Family Articles

Adverse Childhood Experiences Affect Adult Behaviors

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

Adverse Childhood Experiences Affect Adult BehaviorsAdverse childhood experiences negatively affect adult life, says a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). One in four young adults were severely maltreated during childhood and approximately half of adults in England have suffered an adverse experience during their childhood.

Roughly one in ten adults have experienced four or more adverse childhood experiences. There are many forms of childhood adversity, ranging from physical abuse to emotional neglect.

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.

The Importance of a Support Structure After a Mental Illness Diagnosis

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

The Importance of a Support Structure After a Diagnosis of Mental IllnessWhen I was diagnosed with schizophrenia eight years ago it was like walking in a fog. I was lost in my delusions, I was confused about what was happening to me and I was trying to grapple with what exactly reality was.

My family was suffering too.

They had no background with mental illness and no frame of reference about what to expect with it.

I had asked for help a few times but they just thought my skewed thinking was a result of smoking marijuana and that once I stopped everything I would be fine. It didn’t click for them until after my first major episode, when they took me to the hospital and I was finally diagnosed.

Life Lessons: One Father’s Open Letter to His Graduating Son

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

How to Overcome 3 Common Barriers to Success

Some words of wisdom from a father to his son.

Tomorrow you are graduating from high school and preparing to move on to what’s next. It is a surreal moment for me, both as a parent and as a man. In watching you over these last 18 years, I have seen clearly that you have accomplished so much: as a young man, as an actor and as a human being.

Your efforts and grades reflect your unwavering dedication to achievement, and your wanting the best out of life. You have internalized and demonstrated critical lessons in discipline, planning, focus and tenacity. You are on your way.

Amazing Dads

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

Amazing DadsIn most families, yesteryear’s dad had one major role. He had to go to work and support his family financially. Secondarily, he was brought in for major disciplinary action (“wait till your father gets home”).

No hugs, no kisses, no “I love you” was expected from Dad. Those tender moments, like every other aspect of parenting, were left to Mom. (In those days, she was not a stay-at-home mom, she was just Mom).

Oh, how different things are today. When it comes to parenting, men are no longer relegated to the sidelines. They are not bumbling, clueless dads.

The Psychology of Elliot Rodger

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

The Psychology of Elliot RodgerI’m a bit scared to admit that I actually wasn’t shocked when I watched Elliot Rodger’s now-infamous YouTube video. I was horrified, to be sure, but not surprised.

You would think that it’s unnatural not to feel shock when watching a video of an intelligent, articulate young man relish describing his plan to “slaughter” all of the “girls” in the “hottest sorority.”

But these types of desperate, vengeful fantasies have become familiar to me in my line of work. I have, with some frequency, sat in my therapy office and listened to similar sentiments expressed by more than a few patients over the past several years. There are many more Elliot Rodgers in our country than we’d like to believe.

Meditation on a Friend’s Suicide

Monday, June 9th, 2014

Meditation on a Friend’s SuicideA friend killed herself this weekend.

Stop for just a moment and measure how you feel on reading that. Feel into your shoulders and your chest, your gut. Feel the visceral reaction to the statement of fact that someone loved took her own life. Own it.

It is our inability to physically, let alone emotionally, deal with the choice made, the act, that threatens to keep someone so special from living on in our memories.

The Power of Empathy in Romantic Relationships & How to Enhance It

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

The Power of Empathy in Romantic Relationships & How to Enhance It“Empathy is truly the heart of the relationship,” said Carin Goldstein, a licensed marriage and family therapist.

“Without it, the relationship will struggle to survive.” That’s because empathy requires compassion. And, without compassion, couples can’t develop a bond.

“[A] bond is like glue: If there is no glue then everything falls apart.”

The Ultimate Pain: Recovering from Trauma

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

The Ultimate PainRecovery work is painful. It is the hardest thing I have ever done. It is no wonder that I spent two decades avoiding it.

Deep down in my unconscious where the memories were stored, I had determined that the pain of the emotional memories was far worse than spending my life defending against them. And my overactive cortex was happy to oblige.

I could come up with almost anything to justify my feelings or an image that may have flashed in my head. On the bad days, I could keep myself so insanely busy that there was no time to examine anything.

A Parental Guide to Surviving the Teen Years

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

A Parental Guide to Surviving the Teen YearsAre you a parent of an adolescent? Are you so upset with your teen that you’re ready to enroll him or her in the “Witless Protection Program?”

A new identity! Wouldn’t that be a superb solution to getting your teen to renounce his risky behavior, shut her mouth and show some respect, or stop brooding and be appreciative for what she has?

But alas, there is a 20-year waiting list for the Teen Witless Protection Program. So, as a second best option, I offer you alternative ideas about how you might survive those teen years:

What Are Your Deal-Breakers After Marriage?

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

marriage in trouble

Most of us have explored the concept of “deal breakers” in a relationship in the dating phase of our lives. We may have even made lists of what we want and what we don’t.

But what about deal breakers in a marriage after you have vowed “forever and ever” no matter what “in good times and in bad”?

How to Strike a Healthy Work/Play Balance for Your Child

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

How to Strike a Healthy Work/Play Balance for Your ChildParenting is tough. We all want the best for our children, don’t we? We want them to grow up well, to excel in school and sports and get into a good college so they can support themselves someday.

We have all probably told our kids the classic “work before play” rule. But how much work is too much for a child? Or is your child a couch potato who hardly helps around the house?

There are many pressures that kids face — themselves, teachers, coaches, parents, peers and society. Making sure these pressures don’t become overwhelming and finding the right balance between work and play is key for a healthy childhood.

Recent Comments
  • London: Thanks Alf. However, I’m afraid that I’m not as optimistic as you. My first marriage ended...
  • Alf: Wow. It sounds like you have been through the mill. Realising enough is enough is the first step towards getting...
  • Megalodon: I feel that the phrase ‘nervous breakdown’ does not describe the intensity of the situation....
  • London: I think that emotional abuse by women is quite commonplace. I suspect that this not reflected in the blog...
  • Kristin: Great article. Thanks for sharing.
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