General

In Love & Still Lonely

Many of us believe that if we feel lonely, we are searching for love. We think that love is the most profound feeling possible; it is the glue that holds us together. It is the greatest joy we can experience.

While this may be true under the right circumstances, love also is fickle. We have the capacity to fall in love with someone who is unavailable. Maybe the person we love doesn’t love us back. We might fall in love with someone who is incapable of expressing emotions or affection. In fact, falling in love with the wrong person can be the worst of all heartaches.

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General

3 Surprisingly Simple Keys to a Happy Marriage

Maintaining a happy marriage isn’t complicated. In fact, it can be simple. The keys to a happy union are feasible and fairly straightforward. Which isn’t the same as easy and effortless. Because a happy, healthy marriage requires work from both spouses. Anything worthwhile does.

Below, Ashley Thorn, a licensed marriage and family therapist, spells out the simple keys. She also reveals how she helps her clients cultivate these keys—and how you and your spouse can, too.

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Addiction

Empaths vs. Codependents

I don't like when the term “empath” is used interchangeably with “codependent.” “Empath,” which has its origins in the spiritual and metaphysical world, was never intended to be a replacement term for codependency.

An empath is defined as a person with the paranormal ability to intuitively sense and understand the mental or emotional state of another individual. According to empaths I have spoken to and the information available on the Internet, they are highly sensitive to others' emotional and metaphysical energy. If, indeed, this extra-sensory phenomenon exists, it is definitely not the same thing as codependency.

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Anger

Re-Visioning Strength: What It Really Means to Be Strong and Why It’s Important


In this year’s election cycle, there is understandable anxiety about terrorism. Political candidates are competing to reassure voters that they are the strongest candidate and have the best plan for keeping us safe.

This raises some interesting psychological issues. How do we react when our sense of safety and well-being are threatened? What does it mean to be strong in the face of danger? What is a wise response to a difficult or scary situation?

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Children and Teens

The Fear of Having Children When You Grew Up in an Abusive Home

I’ve often wondered what kind of mother I would be. I thought I’d be a terrible parent, unable to make any decisions on my own. I thought I needed someone watching my every move or I’d screw up royally. Then I’ve swung the other way and thought I’d be the greatest mother in the world. And among all that ambivalence, I wonder if I’ll ever be a mother at all.

I grew up in an abusive home where bad behavior and poor coping skills were modeled daily. I spent much of my adult life trying to unlearn those unhealthy ways of dealing with my emotions and with the world.
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General

Getting Married Takes a Leap of Faith

Many singles are conflicted about marrying. They yearn for the fulfillment a good marriage brings but are afraid to commit. They fear it won’t work out, which, given the current high rate of marriage failures, is understandable.

It should come as no surprise that it takes a leap of faith to marry. The example below shows how one woman resolved her conflict about marrying. Her major challenges were learning to believe in herself and gaining trust that she could succeed.

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Bipolar

A Friend Lost and Found

Often, after one develops a mental illness, one may lose friends. This happened to me. I lost a childhood friend who was with me when I experienced a nervous breakdown. I was in New York City when it happened. I completely and totally lost touch with reality.

Pam was driving me to the airport, and she had the radio on. I kept hearing the DJ mention my first and last name. This was sending me into hysterics. Of course, the DJ was not saying my name. I was mishearing or hallucinating or a combination of both.

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Addiction

Signs of a Dysfunctional Religion: Toward a Healthy Spirituality

We know the common addictions of modern life: alcoholism, drugs, and gambling have destroyed many lives. But beyond obvious addictions lurk more subtle ones. As a child, I was addicted to television to distract myself from unhappiness.

The addiction to power, sex, or material things may substitute for a longing to love and be loved. We cling to things that offer diversions from the anxiety of a lonely, disconnected existence.

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General

Uncomfortable with Feeling Sadness? These Tips Might Help

When we’re upset, many of us do everything but cope with our sadness. We work. We shop. We eat. We drink. We clean. We run errands. We organize. We simply don’t stop moving. And we convince ourselves that we’re too busy to feel sad.

We just can’t pause when there are piles (and piles) of things to do. We try to avoid sadness at all costs. Maybe we’ve learned to see sadness as an emotion we definitely don't want to feel.
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Family

Want to Be Close to Someone? Ask These 36 Questions

Can you create a sense of closeness or intimacy with a complete stranger? Psychology research says, yes, you can.

Nearly 20 years ago, a team of psychology researchers led by Arthur Aron (1997) conducted an experiment that demonstrated that you can create a sense of closeness or intimacy with another person simply by asking and answering a set of 36 questions together.

But was the closeness produced in the experimental condition the same as the real closeness we feel with long-time partners and friends?

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Marriage and Divorce

Can Practicing Mindfulness Lead to Unconditional Love?

Is it even possible to find unconditional love?

Unconditional love. A love that comes without any conditions, expectations, constraints, or parameters; a love that just IS. A love that is so perfect and so pure that it's given freely -- no matter what.

Does it exist? And if it does, is it possible to practice in the context of a relationship? Can we truly love someone unconditionally?

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Friends

5 Ways Unhealthy Couples Use Facebook

Facebook is a wonderful social tool that keeps us connected with friends and family in our busy daily lives. But used in the wrong way, it can become a liability in both our lives and our relationships. Here are five ways that unhealthy couples use Facebook.

If you recognize yourself in one or more of these ways, you may want to re-evaluate your use of Facebook. Cutting back on using it may benefit not only your own feelings of self-esteem but also your romantic relationship.

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