Family Articles

Families Engaged in Destructive Tug of War: How to Drop the Rope

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

Families Engaged In Tug of War: How to Drop the RopeTug of war is an ancient game that is believed to have begun in the 8th century BC as a training exercise for warriors. Today it is a fun game usually played at social events that pits two teams against one another to reveal which team is the strongest and has the most endurance.

However, when a tug of war pits two family members against each other, it’s anything but fun. Indeed, it often turns into a deadly game — killing any safety and security that family members feel in their own home.

Understanding the Cycle of Guilt

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Understanding the Cycle of GuiltThe cycle of guilt is the ultimate Catch-22 situation, an emotional prison where no matter what you do, you end up feeling bad. I know this place, because it’s taken me weeks to write this article, and all the while I’ve been running laps on the hamster wheel of guilt.

And it’s not just me. The subject has entered the therapy room quite a lot this summer; many people seem to want off the wheel, to break the cycle and dump the feelings of heaviness and burden.

Does Your Sweetheart Drive You Nuts with the Very Qualities that Attracted You?

Friday, August 15th, 2014

swingingballsAre you driven nuts by the very qualities that drew you to your sweetheart?

A few days ago, I read Elizabeth Bernstein’s Wall Street Journal piece, How to cope when you and your partner are falling out of love.

It discusses the idea of “fatal attraction” — that the traits that drew you toward your sweetheart now drive you nuts. Often, we’re drawn to a quality in someone else because we somehow lack or desire that quality in ourselves — but then that very quality turns out to be a point of tension. An introverted person might be attracted to someone’s more outgoing nature, but then get tired of their constant desire to be sociable.

4 Tips for Helping Children with Abandonment Issues

Monday, August 11th, 2014

parents-can-learn-from-kids-boy

4 steps for raising a child who doesn’t feel emotionally stranded.

Your child suffers from abandonment issues.

If you are a nurturing parent, you are probably balking at this statement. Most of us associate abandonment with physical conditions, such as inadequate nourishment, inadequate clothing, physical abuse or literally leaving our child without care. If you provide for the well being of your children, how could they possibly feel “abandoned”?

When People Don’t Understand Your Mental Health Condition

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

When People Don't Understand Your Mental Health ConditionYou have just been diagnosed with a mental health condition such as depression, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, addiction, OCD, or some other mental health disorder. You go see a counselor to get help. Eventually your relatives and closest friends find out your condition. The problem is that some of them get on your case and do not understand what you are going through.

Here are four ways to deal with this situation.

Want a Divorce? Stop the Emotional Yo-Yo and Be Clear About It

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

couple unhappy black male female

Don’t beat around the bush when asking for divorce.

Sheila had been thinking about it for months and she had talked to her girlfriends about it. They were shocked by her admission — she wasn’t sure she loved her husband Jeff any more.

Her friends were shocked because, even after all these years, Jeff seemed to be hopelessly in love with her. But she just wasn’t hopelessly in love with him anymore. She’d made her decision; she was going to tell Jeff she wanted a divorce.

Key Questions for Couples to Consider before Baby Arrives

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

right-way-feed-babyThere’s no shortage of advice and to-do lists for parents-to-be. There are articles on do’s and don’ts; information about things you should and shouldn’t buy; and books you must read right away. The sheer overload of information can be dizzying.

Pausing can help. In fact, one of the best things parents-to-be can do is to look within and reflect together. Not surprisingly, communication between partners is key when you start expanding your family.

Consequences of Emotional Abuse

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Consequences of Emotional AbuseI come from a family where abuse has had a generational continuity. My grandfather abused my grandmother. My grandmother abused her son, daughter-in-law and other people. (She threw food at me once.) My father bullies his wife and daughter. My mother is emotionally violent to me. I go crazy and can break stuff around my mother.

Overall it is a very disturbing home environment. No one knows how to get out of the situation and we continue to harm each other. At times it feels like a spiraling battle to death. My grandpa passed away recently, ending his part.

Signs Your Child May Benefit from Seeing a Therapist

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Signs Your Child May Benefit from Seeing a TherapistKnowing when a child needs to see a therapist can be tricky. Naturally, young kids don’t have the emotional or communication skills to verbalize what they need and how they’re feeling.

Therapy can be incredibly helpful for kids. It teaches children healthy coping skills. It teaches them how to understand, articulate and express their feelings instead of acting out behaviorally, said Clair Mellenthin, LCSW, a child and family therapist.

Adults with ADHD: Tips for Juggling Life in Today’s Frenetic World

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Adults with ADHD: Tips for Juggling Life in Today’s Frenetic WorldWe live in a wired, fast-paced world. We’re constantly plugged in — checking email and social media sites from all of our devices. We’re trying to meet ever-increasing expectations and demands, juggling careers and school, raising kids, managing our homes, entertaining, and much more, says Terry Matlen, MSW, ACSW, a psychotherapist and ADHD coach.

“For the adult without ADD, it’s a tough situation to keep their heads above water. But for an adult with ADHD, it’s almost an impossible task.”

“The brain can just ‘shut down’ due to feeling overwhelmed,” said Stephanie Sarkis, Ph.D, NCC, a psychotherapist and ADHD specialist. Adults with ADHD can become paralyzed because they don’t know where to start, she said.

Death in the Family: How I Found Myself After Losing My Mother

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

Mirror Reflection of an Eye

How I lost her but learned a lot about myself along the way.

I would like to start this by saying that this isn’t a typical love story about a woman who wakes up one day and falls face first into self-discovery — but it comes pretty close. When I was sixteen, my mother died after battling breast cancer for the second time, passing through a rotating door of radiation treatments that eventually left holes in her lungs. I remember feeling empty. Like there was this large piece of me missing and I couldn’t find it — A hole in the center of my chest for everyone to see.

But, that’s not what this story is all about. You see, until this point, I had never even been around this country, let alone another one. When I was younger, my mother used to go on a lot of trips; once a year, she would travel the world — She always went alone, and never to the same place twice.

What Really Works in Disciplining Your Teen

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

What Really Works in Disciplining Your TeenParenting teens is tricky. Some parents, worried their teens will make bad decisions, micromanage their behavior. They set a slew of rules and parent with iron fists, lectures and fear-based tactics.

This, however, tends to drive teens away and disconnects them from their parents. In the second edition of his book The Available Parent: Expert Advice for Raising Successful and Resilient Teens and Tweens, clinical psychologist and parenting expert John Duffy, Ph.D, advocates for a different approach.

Of course, discipline is important for teens. It provides structure and boundaries, writes Duffy. But he distinguishes effective discipline from punishment. Punishment triggers arguments and cuts communication. Effective discipline, however, “comes from a calm, centered, loving place.”

Recent Comments
  • Meira Eliot: I can really relate to what this article is saying. There are factors in our upbringing and lifestyle...
  • Meira Eliot: Don`t want to be a neurological party-pooper, but isn`t this article rather narrowly focused on...
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  • cat: In Florida the same thing is said. I checked laws regarding mental health and found the reason a copy of your...
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