Personality Articles

The Magic & Benefits of Emotional Attunement

Monday, November 25th, 2013

asian couple happy googleRecently I was out to dinner with some friends. The restaurant was packed, and clearly the wait staff was missing a person or two. Our server was taking care of a huge section of the restaurant and was quite frazzled. His stress came across as frustration.

“What can I get for you?” he said in a rushed, distracted, agitated tone which communicated that he was viewing our party as an imposition at the moment.

I felt immediately a bit put-off. But then I looked around, noticed his situation, and felt a wave of empathy for this young man who was in over his head.

How to Get a Friend to See a Therapist

Saturday, November 16th, 2013

How to Get a Friend to See a TherapistYou probably regularly come across people who need professional help. They may be in the midst of a crisis, an important relationship isn’t working, they are emotionally unstable or their behavior is erratic. When drugs or alcohol are involved, especially around children, then it’s critical to take action.

However, it’s not easy to say to someone “I think you should see a therapist.”

It may offend them, shame them or disrupt your relationship. Your friend may hear: “You think there’s something wrong with me” and get angry, defensive or vehemently deny there’s a problem.

Rarely does a direct approach work in these circumstances.

Living with & Loving Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Living with & Loving Someone with Borderline Personality DisorderAnger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.
~Mark Twain

We are a psychologically sophisticated society. Emotional difficulties are now shared openly — not only by celebrities but by your average person. It’s not unusual for people to tell friends that they have an anxiety disorder, anger management problem, depression, panic attacks, phobias, eating disorder, substance abuse problem, OCD or ADD.

Yet, there is a widespread psychological disorder that most people know little or nothing about. Why? Because its symptoms are largely interpersonal, causing many to view it as a relationship issue, not a mental health one. Also, people shy away from the term because of its unflattering name: Borderline Personality Disorder.

How to Avoid Being Drained by Energy Vampires

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

How to Avoid Being Drained by Energy VampiresHave you ever had the experience of having the life sucked out of you by spending time with a particular person?

I’m talking about feeling exhausted, bored, irritated, stressed, anxious, threatened, overwhelmed or depressed after just a few moments in that person’s company.

There may have been times where you felt guilty for having negative thoughts about that person — which made you feel even worse. You may even have thought there was something wrong with you, such as feeling a headache coming on or stressing over a work deadline. Either way, you didn’t understand why you felt so out of sorts.

If that describes a familiar experience, chances are you have been in the company of an energy vampire.

Unearthing & Ridding Yourself of Toxic Shame

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Unearthing & Ridding Yourself of Toxic ShameShame is inexorably tied to the question that many of us will eventually ask ourselves: “Are we a human doing or a human being?”

In other words, is our value and appreciation for and about ourselves determined by what we do (and how it affects others) or just by who we are?

Human doers live their lives chasing the proverbial carrot, which is unattainable. Because core shame is maintained from the inside, no amount of “carrots” will ever relieve a person of it. It is simply impossible to reach a goal that is neither possible nor realistic.

Free Webinar: The Heart of Self-Acceptance

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Free Webinar: The Heart of Self-Acceptance

Join Francine Shapiro, Noah Rubinstein and Mike Bundrant for this special, one-hour event, The Heart of Self-Acceptance. During this live webinar, each speaker will discuss how to gain greater self-acceptance as well as fundamental obstacles that get in the way.

This free webinar will be hosted on Monday, Nov. 18 @ 7:00 PM EST. Registration is free, but space is limited.

Do you need to learn to accept yourself? You will leave this presentation with clear ideas that you can act upon immediately to improve your self-worth.

Depression in Doctors

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Depression in DoctorsIt’s official: In Australia, doctors are depressed.

The results of a survey published by Beyond Blue in October 2013 showed that the rates of depression in over 14,000 doctors and medical students are over four times higher than in that of the general population. One in ten had suicidal thoughts in the last 12 months.

Almost 6 percent of doctors under age 30 experienced very high psychological distress, which was twice the rate of the general population.

What Parents Can Learn from Their Kids

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

What Parents Can Learn from Their KidsWe all know that parents teach their kids much about life.

But how often do we pay attention to what kids teach their parents? I’d like to share with you three important lessons I learned from each of my three sons.

I’ll begin with Danny, the youngest, who was a confident, self-assured kid from the day he was born. He knew what he liked, knew what he wanted, knew how to avoid being a victim. These were impressive traits to his mom, who grew up as a scared child, afraid to speak her mind.

Interventions That Really Work for College Drinking

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

Interventions That Really Work for College DrinkingWhen a student heads off to college, friends, family members and loved ones hope that they are prepared both emotionally and academically for transitions and the independence that comes with college life. But for some students, drinking problems emerge with potentially serious consequences for a student’s academics, relationships and mental and physical health.

Colleges have long struggled to identify who is most at risk for developing drinking problems and which interventions best treat problems once they emerge. 

With more than 1,825 college student deaths from alcohol-related accidents, according to a 2009 study in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, it’s also a question of keen interest and scientific investigation for psychologists. What have they discovered?

Love Addiction, Codependency & Internet Dating

Friday, October 25th, 2013

Love Addiction, Codependency & Internet DatingFor the love addict and codependent, Internet dating sites are the crack cocaine of romantic exploration. Although the love addict consciously wants true and lasting love, they are drawn to the exhilarating rush of new love.

Their dream of being forever in love with a fated soul mate is inexplicably foiled by reasons that never quite make sense to them.

Love addicts rarely make it past the 30-day mark in any new relationship. It is as if they have a fuel tank that supplies the gasoline to a race car engine, but it only has a one-gallon capacity.

Melissa, a 35-year-old codependent, and Jake, a 37-year-old love addict, were oblivious to their psychological afflictions. They felt like “regular” people who just wanted the all-American dream of true love. They were blind to their revolving door dating pattern, which they simply dismissed as a phenomenon of the modern Internet age of romance.

Therapists Have Therapy Too

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Therapists Have Therapy TooOne thing that often surprises me is when a therapy user comments on how they admire the therapist because they must never get overwhelmed by the common issues or problems the rest of humanity experiences.

The times I’ve heard people tell me, “I wish I was like you, you are so calm and together.” As much as I appreciate the compliment, that isn’t always true.

I’ve been through psychotherapy before. As a trainee years and years ago, I was required to do at least a year of therapy. And although when I went into therapy I thought I didn’t have any issues to talk about and thought myself self-aware, I soon learned how easy it is fooling oneself.

The Psychology of Oppositional Conversational Style (OCS)

Sunday, September 29th, 2013

The Psychology of Oppositional Conversational Style (OCS)Back by popular demand is the assay I wrote about the “oppositional conversational style” (OCS). This post really seems to strike a chord with people.

Which surprised me at first, because when I identified OCS, I thought I was the only person who had ever noticed it.

Turns out that many people have noticed it! From both sides of the OCS-dominated conversation.

Recent Comments
  • Passion13: I feel your pain. I would love to communicate with you privately. Would you have an email address that you...
  • Passion13: I need some help and advice!! I know my husband suffers from depression, he might even be bipolar. We have...
  • Mindy: Go find some one else- get a divorce. You do not need to live like this!!
  • Gary: Divorce him now!!!
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