A self-perpetuating cycle of confusion, emotional reactions, and defensive behaviors between two or more individuals, caused by overtaxed fight or flight neurochemistry resulting from constantly pressed panic buttons; a condensation of “cognitive logjam.”


Latest Blog…

Surviving the Impeachment Hearings

Here we are, again. Welcome to the latest installment of cogjam–one to easily have us following lemmings over the virtual cliff. Impeachment hearing broadcasts further drive the wedges between those of differing opinions. The gut brain can’t help but react. It perceives threats within disagreeable statements and behavior, no matter which side of the divide. […]


The Cogjam Effect

…And the Path to Healing Divisive Community and Fractured Science

Mental health disaster is growing roots, having sprouted from today’s socio-political meltdown. We typically blame it on politics. But our angst is actually fueled by fear response processes gone awry-within ourselves and others, both physically and mentally. Drawing from current understanding of disaster, brain science, cognitive development, trauma, and resilience, The Cogjam Effect explains how to find healing through mindfulness, compassion, and reenlisting reasoning skills we’ve honed since birth.

Available at Amazon and other fine retailers

What people are saying about “The Cogjam Effect”

“Laurel E. Hughes, Psy.D. integrates her disaster mental health expertise and practical life experiences as she sheds light on circumstances in today’s world that have most of us perplexed. Her approach to laying a foundation of understanding stress and disaster recovery outlines potential paths for moving forward: behavioral, emotional, interpersonal, and community-wide. She skillfully weaves her scientific background with compassionate insights into common and not-so-common human conditions. Her writing style captures the reader’s attention, holds it, and communicates content succinctly with a sprinkling of humor. She makes the reader think, and encourages us in our individual journeys of discovery. Balance, proficiency, kindness, uplifting energy–all attributes of Laurel Hughes that are evident in The Cogjam Effect…and the Path to Healing Divisive Community and Fractured Science.” 

Rebecca LaFollette Taylor, Retired private and public educator 

“Do the times feel crazy to you? Leave it to Laurel Hughes to come up with fresh high-level understanding of what is happening in America now–an unfortunate malady she calls “cogjam.” Laurel’s substantial experience with the psychological aftermath of disasters such as the Twin Towers, Katrina and many others gives her unique perspective. She intelligently and coherently diagnoses the widespread symptoms of the American populace’s disrupted lives, which strike her as eerily similar to those experienced by people mending from the fallout of major disaster…Beyond identifying the nature of the situation, Laurel provides a clear and useful guide to why this is happening. She delivers a brief but powerful masterclass in cognitive jamming, blending latest brain science and social research with lessons learned during her during her experience helping disaster survivors.” 

Jeannie Coyle Penny, Former SVP HR of American Express, speaker and executive coach to and C-Suite executives, and author of “Make Talent Your Business“.

Other Books by Laurel Hughes…

Keepers Searching for Sam

Sam Turner is last seen strolling away from a disaster relief shelter, carrying an odd contraption found half-buried on his flood ravaged property. That evening his body shop burns down, and the retired widower is nowhere to be found. Sarah, his estranged daughter, returns to the small town she had rejected – both hoping and dreading that she finds him. Available on Amazon.

Keepers Saving the World

A parade bombing near Marshland devastates the rural Midwest town. Dozens are killed, hundreds injured, and the emotional damage incalculable. Mystery looms as well, as the cause of the explosion escapes explanation: Was it a terrorist? Local politics? Military targeting? An attempt to collect insurance? Or even disaster junkies, creating work to feed their addiction? As Sarah and Paulson assist with the aftermath, their personal journeys weave in with the professional. Only by overcoming baggage from their own 9/11 experiences do they succeed in their efforts, as well as uncover answers to the mystery. Available on Amazon.