Anger Articles

The Truth about Couples Therapy

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

upset couple backs bigstI always say that every couple would benefit from therapy. As a couples therapist myself, I am privy to the benefits of therapy both after problems begin and as a preventative measure. As some brilliant person once said, “The best time to fix a leaky roof is when the sun is shining.”

But the truth is, most people aren’t entirely enthusiastic about the prospect of couples therapy. Who wants to voluntarily do something that conjures up images of a woman in a beige sweater looking over her glasses, asking, “And how do you feel about that?”

The Importance of Having a Friend to Talk You Down

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

take-friendship-next-level-honestyI’m stable. At least that’s how I usually am.

In the eight years I’ve lived with schizophrenia I’ve managed to find a pretty strong footing for my life. I take my meds and go to therapy and practice my social skills and hell, I even have a job, which is more than a lot of people with schizophrenia can handle.

That said, there are times where the stars align for madness and you lose yourself in being overwhelmed with feelings or thoughts that confuse and delude you.

This past week was one of those times for me.

Why Do We Find the Words ‘I’m Sorry’ So Rewarding?

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

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Have you ever been hurt by an unapologetic person? Most of us have. When this happens, it hurts, but we intuitively know the importance of forgiving the person anyway — for our own sake — simply to free ourselves from the heavy burden of resentment.

But still, we deeply crave the words “I’m sorry.” These simple words have the power to deliver nearly instant relief and help us drop our guard. Why is this? What exactly goes on in the heads (and hearts) of people who are at the receiving end of “I’m sorry?”

Withdrawal: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Withdrawal: the Good, the Bad, and the UglyWithdrawal makes love addiction different from codependency. Like any other addict, a love addict wants a fix — in this case, the object of his or her obsession. That could be a particular person, or a relationship in general. So what happens when that “substance” goes away?

There are two ways a love addict enters withdrawal: They’ve ended the relationship or tried to. Or his or her partner has left the relationship — explicitly, or by becoming obsessed with his or her own addictive behavior. As soon as the love addict feels the other person’s absence, it will trigger feelings of loss.

The ‘Weakness Factor’: Men and Depression

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Men and DepressionI’ve found that it’s much easier for women to say, “I’m depressed,” than it is for men. This has more to do with what I call the “weakness factor,” in which men struggle to admit something’s wrong with them or acknowledge something they perceive as a sign of weakness.

Men get depressed just as women do. The biggest difference between the sexes is that men typically won’t admit to themselves, or anyone else, that they’re feeling down.

Asking for help? As Anthony Soprano would say, “forget about it.”

Think You’re Not Guilty of Verbal Abuse? Think Again

Monday, July 28th, 2014

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Never speak badly about yourself.

It’s a simple statement, one many of us would agree with in concept. But do you follow it’s advice? Probably not. Because our inner critic speaks to us in a voice so familiar we rarely notice it’s presence.

Recently, I had a friend say out loud with absolute conviction: “God, I’m such a (expletive) idiot.”

She said this more than once, and I was taken back to my childhood where this type of mental patterning was more commonly accepted. I used to say this out loud to myself all the time. Now, I just say it internally.

3 Mindful Ways to Navigate Anger

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

3 Mindful Ways to Navigate AngerAnger is a natural and normal emotion. It’s also a valuable one. It lets us know when our boundaries have been crossed in all areas of our lives.

However, anger also can distract us. We may become lost in our anger, blind to the blessings around us.

How Connecting with Our Authentic Self Creates a Foundation for Intimacy

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

We long for love, connection, and understanding, but oftentimes we don’t know how to create it.

Growing up in a goal-oriented society, we may develop a mindset that helps us succeed in business, but doesn’t do much to create safe and satisfying relationships. Pushing ourselves to work harder and promoting our viewpoints may increase sales figures or professional triumphs, but too much focus on success can be antithetical to love and intimacy.

Lowering the Volume in a World of Living Out Loud

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

Lowering the Volume in a World of Living Out LoudLife in the age of living out loud presents some unique challenges. You may have heard the well-known saying about jazz music that there is great importance in the notes that are not played, that the notes that are not played are as important as the ones that are. American jazz musician Miles Davis is often cited as the creator of the phrase, but it is sometimes attributed to other musicians as well.

The concept of the importance of space and silence is relevant in many artistic mediums, and is also applicable to human communication and interaction.

Constructive communication is best approached with a spirit of editing, of identifying what will not be said. I sometimes tell clients to think about their communication and interaction with others as a book that is being written. All books could benefit from editing and refining rough drafts. The editing of the self in the realm of communication may serve to not only avoid escalation and conflict; it may provide a chance to practice mindfulness and self-discipline in a way that benefits the self and others.

Predicting Divorce: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalpyse

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

The Four Horsemen of the ApocalpyseThe beginning of a relationship is a lot like buying a new house. Everything seems terrific, and that initial excitement can last for weeks, months, or even years. But like any house that isn’t taken care of, eventually your relationship may start to fall apart, leaving you wondering where it all went wrong.

Just as you can take regular care of your house in order to prevent it from falling apart, the same is true for your relationship. John Gottman, renowned relationship expert, discovered four markers of relationship failure with 93 percent accuracy in predicting divorce. These four indicators, also known as the four horsemen, are criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling.

Mass Shooters = Mental Illness?

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

Mass Shooters = Mental Illness?In the wake of yet another mass school shooting, we mourn. We are angry. Why is this happening in our country? What is going on? And yet, as I flip on my television — what do I see? It’s certainly not anything about gun control or raising children properly, but alas, mental illness.

No one is disputing that our mental health system is a wreck. I know from firsthand experience that it is a travesty. I must admit, however, that the media’s portrayal of these shooters is uncomfortable and offensive.

The Funeral

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

The FuneralMy aunt — my mother´s youngest sister — left a chilling message on my cousin´s voicemail.

“Suzanne has to be institutionalized,” she pronounced without conscience or hesitation. “Don’t enable her delusions.”

Just like that. Suzanne was bipolar so she should be committed; lose her freedom, her rights. My aunt, whose exact qualifications elude me, was now a self-anointed/appointed psychiatrist.

Recent Comments
  • normalguy: I think number 1 and 2 cover it the most. I love my wife thoroughly, no other woman has ever come even...
  • Anna: Saint Theresa. I too have depression and have to fight it all the time with exercise and surrounding myself...
  • Granny Flee: James, do you know anything that can help bipolar cycles. Usually I experience a Mania cycle caused by...
  • Survivor of people with BPD: I consider myself of a survivor of BPD. I grew up with a mom who was a really bad BPD....
  • Alpha: I would monitor him closely over the next year to see how he progresses. If he doesn’t improve, I highly...
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