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.
Continue Reading

Friends

Accepting the Gift of Criticism

Criticism is often shot with such irrationally charged arrows that it’s natural to yield a defensive shield, which can deflect any kind of positive resolution or self-growth.

Also, criticism can be jarring to one’s self-image. For instance, if you perceive yourself to be a productive member of your company, and someone declares that you’re a slacker, it can be a blow to your ego. It’s natural, then, to try and combat criticism.
Continue Reading

Friends

Losing Friends

We’ve all done it. We’ve all lost a friend or two.

One minute the friend is present, communicative and, well, friendly. The next minute our friend is gone. It doesn’t feel good when it happens. In fact, it can be devastating and downright confusing.

Let’s investigate some of the key reasons people lose friends.
Continue Reading

Friends

Why Am I Uncomfortable Getting Close to People?

Many of us are hesitant to get emotionally close to others. Getting close means sharing feelings, thoughts, wishes and dreads. Getting close means sharing your true self, flaws and all, with someone else who totally accepts us.

Many people, who are hesitant to get close to others, wish they were not hesitant. They yearn for intimacy. They yearn to be known. And, they feel lonely.

But, closeness can be uncomfortable  --  not only mentally but physically as well.
Continue Reading

Anger

What a Real Apology Looks Like

To be human is to hurt people sometimes. Yet it’s not always easy to offer a genuine apology when we’ve injured or offended someone.

We need robust inner resources and an open heart to keep from descending into denial -- or slipping into a shame-freeze -- when we realize that we’ve violated someone’s sensibilities. It takes courage to downsize our ego and accept our human limitations with humility and grace.
Continue Reading

Children and Teens

Psychology Around the Net: October 22, 2016


Once again, my friends, I come to you from behind a computer screen with a box of tissues on one side and a trash can on the other. Tears are running down my cheeks, I can't stop sneezing, and even though I can't breathe my nostrils aren't too stopped up to -- well, I won't get gross.

Wasn't it just a few months ago I was suffering from allergies? Can you even get allergies in the fall? According to WebMD, you sure can, and thanks to a myriad of potential culprits (mold spores and pollen hiding out in fallen leaves and dust mites triggered from turning the heat on for the first time), I am once again down for the count.

Still, that hasn't stopped me from bringing you this week's latest in mental health news! Keep reading for healthy tips for how to break off a friendship, Instagram's new mental health "flagging" feature, ways you can beat election stress, and more.

Continue Reading

Books

3 Tips for Helping Your Kids Develop Empathy

Every child is already empathic. We all are (with a few exceptions). We are wired for empathy. We are wired to connect, communicate and collaborate with others.

Empathy develops in infancy. “A child first learns to tune in to his or her mother’s emotions and moods, and later on to other people’s,” write Jessica Joelle Alexander and Iben Dissing Sandahl in their new book The Danish Way of Parenting: What the Happiest People in the World Know About Raising Confident, Capable Kids.

They further explain, “What the mother feels, the child will feel and mirror. This is why things such as eye contact, facial expressions, and tone of voice are so important in the beginning of life. It is the first way we feel trust and attachment and begin to learn empathy.”
Continue Reading

ADHD and ADD

Reducing One of the Most Painful Symptoms of ADHD

Many adults with ADHD feel shame. A bottomless, all-encompassing shame. They feel shame for having ADHD in the first place. They feel shame for procrastinating or not being as productive as they think they “should” be. They feel shame for forgetting things too quickly. They feel shame for missing deadlines or important appointments. They feel shame for not finishing tasks or following through. They feel shame for being disorganized or impulsive. They feel shame for not paying the bills on time or keeping up with other household tasks.

Shame is “probably one of the most painful symptoms of ADHD and one of the hardest challenges to overcome,” said Nikki Kinzer, PCC, an ADHD coach, author and co-host of “Taking Control: The ADHD Podcast." Some adults with ADHD live with shame every day, she said.
Continue Reading