Friends Articles

2 Essential Ingredients of Authenticity

Sunday, May 18th, 2014

unhappy couple at homeWhen couples enter my office, they often report that they have a communication problem. This may be true, but more importantly, they are often having difficulty being authentic — both with themselves and with each other.

The foundation for healthy and vibrant connections is forged through authentic mutual sharing of what each person is experiencing inside, along with how they communicate their experience to each other.

Honoring Our Needs Doesn’t Mean We’re Needy

Thursday, May 15th, 2014 image by Prairie KittenBeing told that we’re “needy” can be an unnerving accusation. Viewing ourselves as needy can be a self-judgment that produces shudders of shame.

Do we really deserve that shameful label or do we simply have basic human needs?

When People Are Dismissive of Your Mood Disorder

Friday, May 9th, 2014

When People are Dismissive of Your Mood DisorderBefore she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, blogger Elaina J. Martin was prescribed an antidepressant in college. Someone laughed and called her medication “happy pills.”

When she’s experienced a depressive episode, people have said things like “There is nothing to be upset about” or “Think how lucky you are. You are way better off than some people.”

The Ritual Sacrifice of Amanda Knox

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

The Ritual Sacrifice of Amanda KnoxWhat do domestic violence, terrorism, the apparently renewable cold war and the repeat trials of Amanda Knox have in common? In a word, the devolution of humanity.

Knox, if you managed to miss the media storm about her, is the young American exchange student convicted, acquitted, then convicted again of the 2007 brutal murder of her roommate in Italy. She is currently living in her hometown of Seattle while awaiting yet another trial, an appeal to the Italian Supreme Court later this year.

In The Wake of a Suicide Epidemic, Inaction Speaks Louder Than Words

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

In The Wake Of A Suicide Epidemic, Inaction Speaks Louder Than Words“It shouldn’t have happened to her.”

“She had so much to live for, she led such a lucky life.”

19-year-old Madison Holleran’s death shocked and frustrated her community. These comments I have heard not only signify a grieving community, but speak volumes toward how little is known about suicide.

While I’m not faulting those who spoke them, I am highlighting the necessity of education about suicide and mental health.

Responsibility in Relationships: Stop Playing the Blame Game

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014

What Role do Sibling Struggles Play in Adult Relationships?

I often find it valuable to take commonplace sayings, or “rules” and, rather than just accept them at face value, “take them for a ride” to see if they ring true.

Most of us have heard the saying, “Others only treat you the way you allow them to.” The hard part about owning this belief is that we have to face the possibility that we are truly responsible for our relationships.

While it is my experience that this is true, it is also my experience that most of us would far rather rely on our “default” setting of blame. I recently had a situation that brought this saying into the realm of truth for me.

Are You Being Helpful or Annoying?

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Are You Being Helpful or Annoying?Have you ever tried to be helpful but found that others experienced you as annoying? Did you feel resentful that your efforts weren’t appreciated? What did you do wrong?

First, a few scenarios:

The Best Ways to Navigate Conflict

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

The Best Ways to Navigate Conflict“Wherever you have two people with different needs and expectations — and, so, basically, wherever you have two people — you have the potential for conflict,” according to Meredith Richardson, Esq., a mediator, conflict coach and trainer who creates retreats that help partners be their best selves.

She believes conflict gets a bad rap in our culture. While conflict is uncomfortable, it’s perfectly normal, she said. Of course, resolving conflict can be tricky. It’s especially tough when one person — or both — is convinced they’re right, Richardson said.

The Power of Cookies and Belonging

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

The Power of Cookies and BelongingI ate a Girl Scout cookie the other day — Samoa, to be exact — and rather than just thinking about its delicious combination of caramel and toasted coconut, I thought about the meaning of being a Girl Scout and the desire people have to belong to a group or to another person.

It is this desire that inevitably shapes who we are as people. We seek to fulfill this desire in order to gain a sense of acceptance and security. We avoid solitude because we ultimately fear ourselves and who we might become without the impact or comfort of others.

This fear or encouragement of belonging is instilled from early childhood. At age 4, many parents enroll their children in Little League or other social organizations. We are taught from a young age to belong to groups and to others.

3 Communication Errors We Make All the Time & How to Fix Them

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

3 Communication Errors We Make All the Time & How to Fix ThemCommunicating seems relatively simple. All we have to do is open our mouths to speak, and, other times, hear what the other person is saying.

In reality, however, communication is a bit trickier. In a single conversation many things can get lost in translation.

Signs Your Boundaries Are Too Loose or Too Rigid

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

Signs Your Boundaries Are Too Loose or Too RigidMany of us might not realize it, but the boundaries we currently have may be too restrictive or too permissive. Since boundaries are our rules for relationships and really how we live our lives, it’s important to make sure we’re maintaining healthy limits — which both protect us and permit intimacy.

Psychotherapist Joyce Marter, LCPC, described healthy boundaries as the “midway between Diva and Doormat.”

The Diva is grandiose and entitled, while the Doormat is passive and has low self-esteem. The Diva doesn’t respect others’ boundaries, while the Doormat doesn’t respect her own, she said.

How to Fix a Common Mistake Newlyweds Make

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

How to Fix A Common Mistake Newlyweds MakeIt’s a mistake that many newlyweds make, and it can chip away at their marriage. Thankfully, it’s  a mistake that couples can avoid and fix.

The mistake?

Many couples confuse their loyalties and don’t set boundaries with their family and friends, according to Nicole Massey-Hastings, PsyD, a clinical psychologist in private practice in Hinsdale, Ill.

Recent Comments
  • Kirk: Hi, great article. I would just like to say that its misleading because you say its a cycle of guilt and yet...
  • anna: Sometimes i find myself angry at the thought of my family and friends at my grave, crying about how IF they...
  • Yves303808: This is exactly what I have gone thru when I had my twoo psychotic episodes. I assigned meaning to the...
  • Cyndy: One of the morning shows here in Los Angeles, the host was recalling how Robin came in to the set and sat on...
  • Darcy: For myself I found Cognitive Therapy and their Group therapy programmes the most effective. I do attend AA but...
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