Here is what you need to know about scheduling, the process, emotions, and side effects

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Photo by CDC on Unsplash

There is so much information about the vaccine out there. Most articles detail the science of the vaccine so you can get the facts — this is absolutely critical. I’d like to compliment all the great science out there with a first-person account of receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in the 1A group. Some of these details will differ from person to person, but I hope that this article will help you know what to expect from the vaccine on a more personal and emotional level.

Here are the intimate details of the entire process of getting the COVID-19 vaccine, from pre-vaccine emotions, scheduling, side effects, and my experience post-vaccine. …

Psychology in short with Dr. Marina Harris

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Photo by Pablo Merchán Montes on Unsplash

In college, I decided to give up chocolate for Lent. My true motivations were probably weight-centered, but it seemed innocuous enough on the surface.

During those 6 weeks, I craved chocolate more than ever. I waited with bated breath until Sunday when I allowed myself to “cheat.” I ate copious amounts of chocolate because I wanted to eat as much as possible before the rest of the chocolate deprivation. I felt so much guilt and shame at my lack of self-control.

That experience made me believe that I couldn’t control myself around sweets. I labeled that I had a “sweet tooth,” and so I needed to stay away from any foods that tempted me to be “bad.” I swore off all sweets, but this set me up for a cycle of restricting sweet foods, and then when they finally became available, I felt like I couldn’t stop eating. …

No matter how much you desperately want it to be

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Photo by nine koepfer on Unsplash

Dear friend,

The New Year’s holiday holds so much allure. The new year represents a chance to start over. An opportunity to take stock — to look at what we’ve accomplished over the year and set new objectives. To dream.

After an unfathomable year, we are desperately clinging to any shred of hope we can lay our hands-on. Enter New Year’s resolutions.

When our world feels out of control, we are more likely to try and make sense of it by exerting more control in our lives. …

Here are three types of caregivers and what you need to know about them.

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Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash

According to psychologist Janet Treasure, there are three common types of caregivers.

The Kangaroo is the overprotector. This caregiver tries to prevent pain in their loved ones by shielding them from any potential harm. Unfortunately, children don’t learn how to problem-solve through life’s challenges. This style can teach children that the world is to be feared.

The Rhinoceros is the confrontational caregiver. These caregivers try to get their objectives met through argument and confrontation. They might over-rely on logic and justify using coercion to make their point. …


A science haiku: Science and Soul prompt

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Photo by princess on Unsplash

Female scientist
Just trying to earn her spot
Among all the men.

I was so thrilled to receive the prompt from R. Rangan Ph.D., to write a haiku about science — a sciku.**For more on the #30DAYSOFSCIKUCHALLENGE — science-inspired haiku.

I am a scientist, researcher, and clinician. But it’s so hard to own my scientific identity.

I struggled in academia. I felt so isolated and powerless as a Middle-eastern female student amidst a sea of white men in power. I think about how I was a hidden mentor to so many female students. How I fought for more egalitarian procedures in our program. …

Sorry to burst your bubble, but you’re not actually angry.

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Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash

When I ask people how they feel in therapy, anger is the most common answer. Or some variation, like frustration or irritation.

Sorry bud, it’s not anger. Or maybe it is, but it’s not only anger. The anger is secondary to what you’re actually feeling on a deeper level.

We have primary and secondary emotions. We experience a primary emotion first, and a secondary emotion second. But because of the recency effect, we most often notice and act on the secondary emotion. And anger is most often a secondary emotion.

You get cut off on the highway. You scream at the “jerk” who cut you off — we call that “road rage,” but really it’s fear. …

Is your heart bigger than your body? Mine too.

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Photo by Shamin on Unsplash

Is your heart too big for your body? Do you feel emotions intensely? There’s a term for this — superfeelers.

Superfeelers have a keen sense for emotions. We are more sensitive to emotional cues in our environment, and are more likely to feed off the energies of others. You might also call us emotional sponges.

Superfeelers are more likely to be “helpers" because we an acutely feel others' pain and joy. We are able to form relationships and connections quickly.

But this can be challenging. Sometimes superfeelers get overwhelmed by emotions and avoid them, or cope in unhelpful ways. …

This is an introduction to Psychology in Short — a daily shortform post dedicated to mental health and wellness.

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Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

My name is Marina Harris and I’m a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and trained therapist.

I started writing on Medium because I wanted to make scientifically-based mental health information accessible to everyone. And I love to write and connect with readers in a meaningful way.

Medium has now been promoting a style of writing called Shortform. Shortform refers to short stories that get right to the punch.

In the spirit of making mental health accessible to all, I’m creating a Shortform series — Psychology in Short — for your daily dose of mental health. …

This foolproof solution hasn’t let me down yet

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

We can all agree that hiccups are one of the most uncomfortable sensations. You can be going about your day, minding your own business, and out of nowhere, you feel this violent contraction in your belly and throat. With a weird sound to boot. Ew.

Hiccups are involuntary spasms of the diaphragm, a dome-shaped muscle that is crucial for breathing. Your diaphragm separates your chest cavity from your abdomen. When your diaphragm involuntarily contracts, air is forced into your throat and hits your voice box — this is what causes you to expel air and make the “hic” sound.

Hiccups can happen for a wide variety of reasons. According to WebMD, hiccups can be caused by eating too quickly, feeling nervous, feeling excited, stress, swallowing air, drinking bubbly drinks, drinking too much alcohol, or sudden temperature changes. …

Get the most out of everything you read

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Photo by Gian Cescon on Unsplash

I am a self-improvement junkie.

There is something so addictive about finding new tips about how to improve your life. It becomes almost a sacred ritual. I love the feel of the brand new, crisp book in my hands. The initial break of the spine as I crack it open. The anticipation I feel as I look forward to implementing new changes in my life. The vigor and vitality that those changes represent. And from there, the magic happens.

But when I got my degree, the magic stopped. Since I became a doctor of clinical psychology, I have become an extremely picky consumer of self-improvement. …


Dr. Marina Harris

PhD in Clinical Psychology | Former Division I athlete | Empathetic advice backed by science |

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