How to Stop Hurting When You Have a Narcissistic Parent

“If I accept that I can never have a real relationship with my father, it feels like I don’t have a father. If I accept that, am I still a son?”

Jack’s Story:

Jack is a 45-year-old architect, recently married for the first time. He came to therapy to deal with long-standing feelings of depression. His wife, ten years younger than Jack, wanted to start a family. Jack had spent years keeping a cool and cordial distance from his critical father. Now, as his wife pressed him to become a father himself, he felt flooded by sadness and insecurity. Could he be a good father? What if he messed it up?
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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

There’s a Best Time to Talk to Your Therapist — And That Time Is Specific to You

You’re likely aware that your energy and your mood shift throughout the day. Have you ever noticed you also have preferences for certain activities at certain times? You like to wake around the same time in the mornings. Exercise feels best at the same time, day after day. Your appetite follows a daily pattern, too, as do your desire for sex and physical intimacy.

The body’s bio rhythms regulate much of how we feel and what we do. The bio clock that keeps these rhythms in sync runs a little differently from one person to the next. These individual differences in bio time result in preferences for morning or evening activity, or something in between. (That’s why you like to rise with the sun and your partner hits the snooze button five times. Or vice-versa.)
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Retroactive Jealousy vs ‘Regular’ Jealousy in a Relationship

We all know what “regular” jealousy in a relationship looks like. The guy who demands his girlfriend text him every hour when she’s on a night out. The wife who secretly trails her husband wherever he goes like a private investigator, and so on.

These are extreme examples, but the reason for jealous behavior like this in people is a fairly straightforward fear of losing the one they love to someone else. While this fear is usually totally unfounded and irrational, it’s grounded in reality in the sense that their partner could theoretically fall in love with that handsome new work colleague, or have a fling with a random girl they met on Tinder.

Retroactive jealousy on the other hand is a condition in which people find themselves feeling jealous, angry and upset about people their partner once dated or had sex with in the past.
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Does loneliness have an antonym? A word that is the opposite in meaning? has a few suggestions: the obvious being “unlonely,” and debateably, “loved.”

The world has in common loneliness, but not all the people who are lonely are unloved. There are the lonely people whom have themselves stood still behind the world, fiercely protective and bonded to their solitude, but are yet quick to blame the world they deny for their isolation. They have never known anyone to trust, nor kindness, and they are unable to recognize trustworthiness and kindness when they receive it; it makes them greedy, hungry to be loved, but also suspicious of just that all at once.

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Brain and Behavior

Psychology Around the Net: September 3, 2016

Here in the U.S., we're currently in the throes of Labor Day Weekend (and I'm at a local music and arts festival, celebrating!).

Labor Day is the first Monday of September, and although it gives us a nice little three-day weekend, it's about much more than that: Labor Day honors our country's labor movement and "constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country."

So, Happy Labor Day! I hope you're doing something to celebrate all your hard work and, once you get a chance, check out this week's latest in how your mood affects whether you live in the moment or the future, the new warning labels regarding opioid use with other medications, what your choice between iPhones and Androids says about your personality, and more!

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It Isn’t Our Fault: Being in Love with a Narcissist

Note: Although I share thoughts from personal experience and refer to the narcissist as male, narcissism is not discriminatory.

Maybe you are feeling a desperate need to try and salvage a relationship you intuitively know is unhealthy and imbalanced; or maybe you are wondering why you can’t “let go” and “move on” from the loss of your relationship. It’s possible that you are in love with a narcissist, and now owning the blame for all the sudden problems or downfall. A narcissist is someone who will enter our life and consume our entire existence all for selfish benefit. Understanding the whirlwind and accepting the finality of a relationship with a narcissist will show that we possess tremendous value.

We are smart and confident, so why did we allow ourselves to fall for the narcissist?
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7 Ways to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence

Howard Gardner argued that instead of intelligence being a single ability, humans have the ability to develop multiple intelligences, nine to be exact. Some people have a natural proficiency in emotional or interpersonal intelligence; others have difficulty with this. Although this article focuses on one type of intelligence, I suggest for each reader to practice personal insight and assess himself or herself on every intelligence scale.
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Attitudinal Healing

Your attitudes support or detract from your experience when moving through life. Whether your attitude is expectant, positive, negative, neutral, simple, or complex, it drives you and shows up in your behavior. The best way to assess your position in life, your relationships, and your focus on life’s gifts or hindrances is to get to the root of your belief system, which in turn creates your attitudes.

Chances are that you learned your life attitudes from those who raised you, your parents and caregivers. Other influential people who made a strong impact on your mind and experience also factor in.
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Keep Your Cool around Hotheads

How many times in your life have you dealt with a hothead? That is someone who overreacts and flies off the handle, doing so with some degree of intensity, consistency, and predictability, typically with minimal provocation. When faced with a hothead who occasionally or repeatedly blows off steam in your direction, how do you process the behavior and keep your cool?

Once you've spent time with a hothead, you learn to expect future over-the-top reactions. Their inappropriate intensity and lack of self-control may show up in limited or multiple scenarios. You may feel uncomfortable, even fearful and embarrassed around these people. They may be aggressive, passive with explosive tendencies, unable to appropriately handle stressful triggers, or lack healthy emotional and physical outlets.

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5 Ways to Use Art for Reconnecting to Yourself — No Drawing, Crafting Experience Required

Reconnecting to ourselves comes in many different shapes and stripes. For instance, for Arizona-based art therapist Lanie Smith, MPS, ATR, it means solitude: being alone so she can listen to her inner needs and desires. It means expressing her creativity. One of the ways she does that is through visual arts. The visual arts help us to gain access to parts of ourselves, which might’ve been unavailable to us before, she said.

Using art lets us activate the intuitive and emotional part of our body, said Kelly Darke, ATR, M.Ed, BFA, an art therapist and professional artist in Livonia, Mich. “Creating art is cathartic, allowing you to express emotions in a safe and creative way.”
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