David R. Topor, PhD, MS-HPEd

Dr. Topor is a Clinical Psychologist and the Associate Director for Healthcare Professional Education at the VA Boston Healthcare System. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

Posts by David R. Topor, PhD, MS-HPEd

If you are happy and you know it… you may live longer

Plenty of research associates optimism with a reduced risk of certain diseases and conditions. Now, a study suggests that optimistic people are also more likely to live longer.

Preventing depression in pregnancy: New guidelines

First-ever recommendations from US Preventive Services Task Force aim to help women who experience depression during pregnancy or after childbirth.

Genealogy testing: Prepare for the emotional reaction

The availability of relatively affordable personal DNA genealogy testing has led to an increase in people exploring their family histories. If you are considering this type of testing, you should spend some time preparing yourself for what you may learn, and what you may want to do with that knowledge.

Prioritizing the “me” in merry: Self-care strategies for this holiday season

As much fun as the holiday season can be, it’s also stressful for many people, and some find it difficult to feel joyful. Taking time amidst the rush to focus on your own feelings and needs can help relieve some of the stress and make the season more pleasant.

Feeling okay about feeling bad is good for your mental health

A trio of studies investigated the connection between the ability to accept the negative emotions generated by stressful situations and a person’s long-term psychological health.

Coping with the loss of a pet

Losing a pet can be as difficult as losing a human family member. It’s important to acknowledge this grief, and there are many ways to do so, for example, creating a memory book, journaling, building a memorial, or donating money or time to a pet welfare cause.

4 science-backed ways toward better learning (Hint: drop the highlighter)

It’s challenging to remember information when reading or studying, but there are techniques that can be applied to help you retain what you read more effectively. Research shows that common practices, like studying the same topic for a long time and the use of highlighters can get in the way of retaining information.

A spoonful of motivation helps the medicine go down

Sticking to a medication regimen is challenging, and one of the biggest hurdles is staying motivated. Linking proper use of a drug to one’s broader life goals can help make it easier to take regularly.