Anger

The Role of Make Believe Play in Adult Life

“You cannot change the past, but you can change how you feel about the past.”

We often hear how important it is for children to use their imaginations. But did you know adults can strategically use imagination and make believe play to manage their emotions and feel better? In fact the use of fantasy is one way trauma therapists heal psychological wounds.

Amazing scientific fact: The brain cannot tell the difference between fantasy and reality.
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Family

Caring for Trauma Survivors and Caring for Yourself in the Process: Everyday Tips for Non-Professionals

Elise just told me about her past. I knew she had been through a lot, but not all that. She said her mom hit her and left bruises when she was a kid, her neighbor touched her where she didn't want to be touched, and I guess her brother was alcoholic. There was a lot of other stuff, too. It has gotten better in the last couple years so that is good. I have known their whole family for a long time and never knew any of that.

What do I do now? I want to help somehow, but is there anything to do? I don't know if I should tell someone. I feel sad.

We hope abuse and trauma never happen to ourselves or someone we love. When your sister, long-time friend, or neighbor tells you something you never expected, it can be confusing, upsetting, and scary.
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Family

Don’t Let Politics Spoil Your Family Holiday

My grandmother had a rule: No talking about politics, religion or money while at the table. In the wake of the 2016 election, this may be particularly difficult, especially if yours is a family that is divided along political lines. Some may still be mourning the results of the presidential election while others are celebrating. Some may be scared to death about what comes next, while others are bathing in new hope for their future.
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Family

When Infidelity Is an Uninvited Guest at Your Thanksgiving Dinner

No time of year is a good time to be coping with infidelity. But when the wounds of a relationship betrayal are still tender and coincide with a traditional family holiday, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, the sting of infidelity is that much sharper.

Infidelity is a private matter. If there is any hope of repairing the damaged relationship, it is best to deal with it discreetly.
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Family

Self-Care During the Holidays

For some the holidays are a time of togetherness, family, and friends. For others, it is a time of isolation, loneliness, and a reminder that they don’t have a support system. Janet is a 27-year-old single woman and has many friends and a close-knit family. Thomas is a 30-year-old male whose family is in another state, and he is not very close with them. He doesn’t have a lot of friends since he moved to a new city, and finds it difficult to meet new people. Here are two people, relatively the same age, and although their lives are so different, they may experience some of the same feelings during the holiday times.
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Anger

Six Tips for Dealing with Family Drama During the Holidays

The holidays are some people’s favorite time of year. Cozy nights in, creating new memories, and lots of time spent with immediate and extended family members.

For some, this time is wonderful. But for others, dealing with family members and in-laws can make the holiday season extremely stressful; even dreadful.

If you have difficult family members who just seem to ruin your holidays, here are six ways to deal with them this season.
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Addiction

Staying Sober During the Holidays

The holidays can be an emotional time for many people, but for those who have recently stopped drinking, navigating the holidays can be especially challenging.

What makes the holidays so appealing to people -- catching up with the same relatives and friends and doing the same traditions year after year -- is exactly what can make it tough for newly sober people to stay sober.
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Children and Teens

How Does Birth Order Affect a Child?

Does being a firstborn, middle child, last-born or only child have an effect on your personality, behavior, or even your intelligence? While the possibility has been challenged, our birth order is believed by many to have an enduring impact on our psychological development and adult relationships.

Firstborns are often described as being high achievers who seek approval. They’re also described as cautious, controlling, and reliable. Firstborns and only children are the only siblings who are allowed to bask in their parents’ undivided attention (for better or worse) with no distractions from siblings. Studies have confirmed that without question, firstborn children are offered more individual and uninterrupted hours of their parents’ attention, which may, in fact, allow for relatively greater gains in intelligence.
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Family

How Far Can Our Empathy Go?

I read this quote today and I had three thoughts almost simultaneously:
“Now, with regard to the people who have done things we call "terrorism," I'm confident they have been expressing their pain in many different ways for thirty years or more. Instead of our empathically receiving it when they expressed it in much gentler ways -- they were trying to tell us how hurt they felt that some...
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