Dr. Anthony Pantaleno, Psychologist

Pantaleno Psychological Services, PLLC

Helping teens, young adults, their families, and professionals who work with them

 

358 Veterans Memorial Highway, Commack, NY 11725 

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Cell Phone: (631) 543-8336

E-mail (not private)
Dr. Pantaleno has been selected as the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)School Psychologist of the Year for 2013. Click here to see the award ceremony:

NASPConvention Keynote

Article in NASP May 2013 Communique

and

NYSUT Article Honoring Him

He is deeply grateful to all friends and colleagues for these honors and will strive to uphold them and the professionalism they represent.

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EVENT at Hofstra University

The Edge of Therapy: Students, Yoga and Mindful Practice.

Dr. Pantaleno is a panelist.

Monday, 3/3/14, 4PM-8PM

Click here for conference follow-up and handouts.

SPCA Private Practice Presentation by Dr. Pantaleno & Dr. Honor April 4, 2014.  Please click for details.
For SCPA Mindfulness in Clinical Practice Issue, please click here.
For Dr. Pantaleno's article about teen suicide and cyberbullying, please click here.
For Dr. Pantaleno's articles in Newsday, please click here.
For Dr. Pantaleno's article about borderline personality disorder from SCPA Newsletter, please click here.
For Dr. Pantaleno's article about Mindfulness-Based Stress-Reduction Practices Within Public Education Policy, please click here.

In Times of Emotional Dysregulation 

In 1964, a famous rhythm and blues quartet named Little Anthony and the Imperials recorded a song which came to be one of their greatest hits, entitled Goin’ Out Of My Head.  It was a love song written about a shy young man trying to get the attention of a girl, who doesn’t even know he exists.  I am quite certain the song’s composers (Teddy Randazzo and Bobby Weinstein) did not realize their song title would appear on a psychologist’s web page forty-five years later as the suggested key instruction for people to remember when their emotions are running wild.   

When your emotions are dysregulated – meaning very strong and temporarily not under your control, remember that you are too much into your head, your mind, your thoughts.  Remember that song title and you’ll always remember that goin’out of your head is the necessary response to learning how to soothe yourself and get through a tough period of emotional dysregulation.  Detach from your doing mind (the part of you that is trying to find logical solutions to your current conflict) and enter your being mind - (the part of you that just focuses on this moment and how you can be in just this moment without having to do anything else.  When you return to a more regulated emotional state, you can always return to thinking about solutions.  For now, give yourself a break from doing anything and just try to be.  Some suggestions…

REMEMBER that our thoughts are just thoughts.  They are what our minds create naturally.  THOUGHTS ARE NOT ALWAYS ACCURATE PICTURES OF REALITY.  ESPECIALLY IN TIMES OF CRISIS, OUR THOUGHTS BECOME DISTORTED AND OUR SENSE OF REALITY BECOMES UNRELIABLE.   MAKE A CONSCIOUS EFFORT NOT TO RESPOND TO YOUR THOUGHTS. 

SO… what should you do if thoughts keep popping into your mind that you do not want to dwell on?

1.  DON’T TRY TO STOP THE THOUGHTS FROM COMING.  Sometimes when we try to make them stop, they just get stronger.  Just say to yourself, “Oh, there are those thoughts that come up when I am really hurting.  They are thoughts that I’ve had a hundred times before.  Just because I’m having them does not mean that I am really in any danger.  They will come and go, just like a zillion other thoughts do.  Let them be.” 

2.   DISTRACT YOURSELF…redirect your attention to your senses and what your senses can do to help you in this moment. 

  • Listen to your favorite songs.

  • Do five minutes of slow breathing and just focus on the sensations of your breath.

  • SLOWLY drink a favorite drink and really concentrate of the taste of it.

  • Hold an ice cube in your hand and feel the sensations of coldness.

  • Take a cold (or hot) shower.

  • Read a favorite story or poem.

  • Find something that has a pleasurable scent (for example, cut an orange in half or find a fresh flower, a bar of soap, a cup of coffee or tea), hold it under your nose and SLOWLY inhale the fragrance.

  • Take a walk outside.

  • Exercise.

  • Surf some web sites on your computer…try some of the ones on my Dedication page or check out some U-Tube favorites!

  • Watch a favorite movie, look at the clouds in the sky, watch a sunset, draw or paint something.  Find a visually pleasant scene in your mind and just dwell in that scene.

3.  REACH OUT AND CALL SOMEONE YOU TRUST.  Who that is will be up to you (best friend, parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, neighbor, therapist). The hotlines on my Useful Links page are always there too, and they will NOT ask your name.  Share your emotions with them and ask them to just listen.  The intensity of your feelings-- no matter how strong  -- will slowly lessen in time… ALWAYS!!!!    That may be minutes, hours, or longer, depending on what pain is hurting you.   Finding someone to be with you until your feelings do change can be just the thing to help you when all else has failed.  Most important…believe that this too shall pass.

 

© 2009 by Anthony Pantaleno, Ph.D.