Family Articles

We Are Not the Same

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

happy_peopleHow boring it would be if everybody in the world were the same. Yet, how difficult it is for people to respect and appreciate those differences. Instead, we become impatient with others’ differences, letting them know how wrong they are for not acting or being the way we think they should be.

“Why can’t you be more like …”

“How many times do I need to tell you to …”

“You better change the way you …”

Yup, it’s tough for us to accept differences in people. Amazingly, we actually do better with plants and pets.

6 Things I Learned about Serious Mental Illness While Caring for My Brother

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Flickr Creative Commons / Vinoth ChandarOver the past year since I published my memoir about caring for my brother Paul, who suffered from schizophrenia, I have encountered several misguided but firmly held beliefs that get in the way of understanding our fellow humans who suffer from a severe brain disorder. Here are just a few:

Take, Take, Take and Never Give

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

money 2 billsMike was grumbling about his daughter Crystal.

“She told me she was in ‘desperate need’ of a state-of-the-art computer only six months after she ‘needed’ a ‘loan’ because the lease on her Lexus had expired. Crystal wasn’t even apologetic when she asked me to foot the bill. She just rattled off a bunch of reasons about why she couldn’t pay for them and why I should.”

Mike continued. “When Crystal was younger, I used to think she’d outgrow this pattern. But she’s 25 years old now and I don’t see anything changing. She wants what she wants and doesn’t care how her wants affect me or her mother. We try to reason with her or tell her no but she’s an expert at wearing us down.”

Failure to Launch

Friday, February 27th, 2015

video-game-addiction-fix-itselfJohn was never the greatest of students but he did manage to graduate from college in six years. Yay! His parents breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, he had accomplished what he set out to do.

Now, three years later, Mom and Dad are feeling increasingly distressed. John is living back home and going nowhere. His motivation to get a job comes and goes. The bulk of his day is spent on social media, video games and getting high.

He shows little interest in becoming an independent, self-sufficient adult. If his parents would get him an apartment, he’d move in a minute. But the idea of working toward that goal is beyond him.

Is Your Partner Depressed?

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Stress & Schizophrenia: How to Help Your Loved One & YourselfA married couple came to psychotherapist Rebecca Nichols, LPC, to improve their communication. The wife was having a hard time concentrating on conversations. In the last few months she’d become increasingly irritable and indecisive. And she constantly snapped at her husband. While the couple’s communication certainly needed work, it turned out that the wife was struggling with depression.

Thankfully, this couple sought help. Nichols helped the wife work through her depression, and helped both of them improve their relationship. But often depression goes unnoticed, especially when the signs are subtle.

4 Ways a Child with Autism Affects Family Life

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

family grass blue skyAn autism diagnosis not only changes the life of the child diagnosed, but also that of family members. Parents of an autistic child have to bear a lot of stress owing to complicated therapy schedules, home treatments, and juggling job responsibilities and family commitments. There is also financial stress coming from the expensive therapies and treatments.

Such stress may affect family life in various adverse ways. Parents of autistic children need to meet the needs of their children, as well as address the needs of their family. Coping with the stresses involved in being parents to an autistic child can strengthen families and marriages, but this requires a great support system and a lot of hard work.

Remembering ‘Parenthood’

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Parenthood TV showThe TV show “Parenthood” recently ended after six seasons and viewers bid goodbye to …

18 Tell-Tale Signs You’ve Crossed the Emotional Affair Line

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

Overcoming Family Assumptions

Has your flirtation gotten out of hand?

In this day and age, most of us have friends of the opposite sex, whether they are co-workers, casual acquaintances or close confidantes. The question is: how close is too close when you’re in a romantic relationship with someone else?

Here are some signs that your so-called friendship may be entering the not-so-gray area of emotional infidelity:

1. You dress up for him.

When you buy new clothes or change your hairstyle and wonder what he’ll think (instead of how your partner will react) that’s a danger sign. We all consider our audience when we’re getting ready to go out, but doing so with a particular other in mind — not your significant other — suggests there’s something more here than meets the eye.

Loneliness within a Marriage

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

relationship-crisisMany of my clients discuss a feeling of loneliness within their marriages. Often their spouses look at them with confusion or contempt. They ask how it’s possible to feel alone when they are in the same house or even the same room much of the time. Mr. and Mrs. Just Not Feeling It may also be helpful in explaining how you feel.

When you feel lonely within your marriage, you don’t feel like you’re part of anything bigger than yourself. You feel alone, and there is no “we,” only you and your spouse, completely separate entities. You may or may not seem to be a happy couple to others, and you may or may not be able to keep a united front for the kids. Either way, when it is just you and your spouse talking to each other, you don’t feel close, connected, secure or safe.

5 Ways to Build Children’s Self-Esteem

Saturday, February 7th, 2015

child_overcome_negative_thinkingParents tend to forget about the importance of self-esteem in their children’s lives. Great intelligence or talent may not come to full fruition in adulthood if self-esteem is lacking. That’s why it’s important for parents to take action early in their kids’ lives to ensure a healthy dose of self-confidence and high self-esteem.

Here are five practical tips on how to build children’s self-esteem:

How One Woman Reclaimed Stability During Postpartum Depression

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Mindful Self-Compassion and Parenting

One minute I was fine, the next a raging lunatic.

Nothing ever prepares you for motherhood. Nothing. I read the books, made my birth plan, chose a playlist for my delivery and yet I was still totally naive and ignorant when the baby actually came nine months later. I was particularly wary about having postpartum depression since I had had episodes of depressed states in my 20s.

In the first few months after giving birth, I was always on guard of how I was feeling. It was a soupy mixture of sleep deprivation fog and hazy bliss.

I was handling new motherhood like a champ until six weeks in at 3 AM in the morning when my husband and I had a huge fight, the biggest to date in our marriage.

Siblings with Severe Mental Illness: An Evolving Relationship

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

Siblings with Severe Mental Illness: An Evolving RelationshipThere is an undeniable connection between siblings. You came from the same family and grew up in the same environment. There will always be a shared past between siblings, whether they are close or not. But when your sibling is diagnosed with mental illness the personal history and the things you had in common can seem to disappear.

Life seems to stop and be consumed by their illness. An intangible connection can be seemingly swept right off the page. Something that therapists never told me was that one day I would just be happy to take what I could get.

Recent Comments
  • doris: Ho my goodness my eyes are now open wide to the relationship that i have been in for 8 years everything that i...
  • Learnthehardway: Terrible that people are like that. My ex husband was/is one combined with a nasty vindictive...
  • CA: I responded to some posts last year. My husband of 15 years left me because he was depressed and disconnected...
  • CA: Anne, I’m feeling for you. I hope you are hanging on and that a way out reveals itself.
  • chely: I agree with your comment. Since I have learned to not get sucked into it when he starts on one of his rants,...
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