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.”


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What Makes for a “Healthy Tribe?”

Tribal beliefs and behaviors have kept us going for millennia. Safety in numbers and dependable social supports are key to human health and survival. In this day of philosophical divides, however, our tribal tendencies seem to be going awry: Our differences from other “tribes” get overemphasized, and we lose track of our common ground.We may…


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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

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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 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? […]

Revised edition coming soon!

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. […]

Keepers Come to Portland

Missing cremains hold secrets of a bygone insane asylum, better left buried. They live on when social worker Paulson Forbes’ return to disaster work entangles him in their legacy. Or is it only trauma from his own past that torments him? […]

Release date and cover reveal to be announced later this year!

Paving Pathways – Child and Adolescent Development

This is a student-centered, applied text, providing a chronologically organized introduction to the main age stages, research, and theories of child/adolescent development. […]

Beginnings and Beyond – a Guide for Personal Growth and Adjustment

In this practical text, Laurel Hughes offers self-testing and practical applications and suggestions, so that students learn to deal with problems they face in their own lives.[…]

Expanding Your Experience

Designed to accompany Beginnings and Beyond, this student workbook guides students in the important task of keeping a journal. […]

How to Raise a Healthy Achiever

This book offers parents advice on helping their children develop a healthy attitude towards achievement, while avoiding obsessive work focus, excessive stress, and emotional shallowness.[…]

How to Raise Good Children

This is a breakthrough guidebook that shows parents how to encourage moral growth in children.[…]