Self-Help Articles

How to Respect Other People’s Boundaries

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

The KissThere are many articles on how to create and maintain personal boundaries. But there isn’t as much guidance on how we can respect other people’s limits, because this, too, can be as difficult as setting our own.

Boundary violations typically fall into three categories, according to Chester McNaughton, a registered professional counselor who specializes in boundaries, anger management and dysfunctional relationships in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: aggressive, passive-aggressive or accidental.

Was Skinner Wrong? Operant Conditioning & Down-Voting in Online Communities

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Was Skinner Wrong? Operant Conditioning & Down-Voting in Online CommunitiesPsychologists have long known that while B.F. Skinner is a founding father of behavioral psychology, some of the foundations he built his theories upon haven’t held up under the scrutiny of modern research.

One of Skinner’s core contributions to modern psychology was a theory called “operant conditioning.” In it, he believed that people could be motivated by four different types of stimuli: negative or positive reinforcement and negative or positive punishment.

Unfortunately, a lot of developers build online tools, services and frameworks that put their pop psychology beliefs into practice. So what did the researchers find when they examined the use of two of Skinner’s most popular operant conditioning tools in a few large online communities?

Panic and the Media: Unraveling the Worry

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

News mediaA Manhattan doctor went bowling in my neighborhood recently and was diagnosed with Ebola the next day. It seems to be the only thing you see on the news anymore and it has people across the country truly frightened.

I got married in early October and my aunt, who’s from a small town in Arkansas, was anxious about flying into and out of New York airports. The 60-something Southern belle who’s in great health watches the news almost exclusively.

Your odds of dying from Ebola in the next year is 1 in 309,629,415, according to the Washington Post. You’re more likely to die in a flood, from a bee sting, or by simply suffocating in bed. But statistics aren’t necessarily enough to make people feel better. I understand that because I’m an anxious person.

The Power of Befriending Our Feelings

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

feelings____by_LestaAs a psychotherapist, I often invite my clients to notice and welcome their genuine feelings. Many clients feel relieved that it’s okay to feel whatever they happen to experiencing. And they feel reassured that someone (namely, me!) is interested in hearing their authentic feelings without judging them.

But some people are troubled by the prospect of opening to their feelings. They ask some version of the following: “Why would I want to feel those feelings? Why would I want to experience pain, hurt, or sorrow?”

Pushing Your Partner’s Buttons — in a Positive Way

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

Pushing Your Partner’s Buttons – In A Positive Way“Partners in intimate relationships can become masters of pushing each other’s buttons,” according to Susan Orenstein, Ph.D, a licensed psychologist and relationship expert in Cary, N.C.

Of course, this pushing is far from positive. For instance, partners might make personal attacks in subtle, sarcastic or passive-aggressive ways, she said. They might psychoanalyze their partner: “You’re just like your mother!” or “Your family was so screwed up!”

5 Tips for Changing Negative Self Beliefs

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Saving Yourself First

“Wisdom is nothing more than healed pain.”

- Robert Gary Lee

A year ago, I began to accept that I was depressed, and had been for a long time. It was scary. I broke up with my live-in boyfriend of almost three years, quit my job, and though I didn’t want to, I moved halfway across the country to move back in with my parents.

I was a wreck; all of the feelings that I had been suppressing for years, some literally since childhood, came flooding back. My only defense in the past had been to ignore these feelings, though I did so quite poorly and ended up being an emotional basket case most of the time anyway.

5 Ways to Stop Yourself from Eating When You’re not Hungry

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

5 Ways to Stop Yourself from Eating When You're not HungryThe fridge door is open and you’re peering inside, feeling bored, lonely or sad. But you’re not actually hungry.

You know that eating what’s in front of you isn’t the answer. You know you’re just going to feel awful, if you do. But what are some things you can think, say or do to stop eating when you’re not hungry?

Can a Better Romantic Relationship Lead to Better Parenting?

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Happy Family

Do you believe your partner should come before your kids?

I read this quote recently:

“The best thing a society can do for itself is to promote and support healthy couples, and the best thing partners can do for themselves, for their children, and for society is to have a healthy relationship.”

- Harville Hendrix, author of Getting the Love You Want

Seriously? The “best” thing we can do for our kids is to have a good relationship with our partners? That’s fine in theory, but what if our relationship is just okay, or good sometimes with long periods of mediocrity, or mostly bad with occasional moments of happiness? What then?

Mindful Self-Compassion and Parenting

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

right-way-feed-babySelf-compassion has three components:

1. The kindness we would show a friend is directed toward ourselves.

2. A recognition that pain and suffering is part of life — it’s something every human being goes through.

3. Mindfulness.

Here are the benefits I have gained from self-compassion:

Finding the Source of Your Fears

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Finding the Source of Your FearsKnowing what is causing your fear and anxiety can go a long way …

ADHD and Women: When Your Senses Are Extra Sensitive

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

ADHD and Women: When Your Senses Are Extra SensitivePsychotherapist Terry Matlen thought she was losing her hearing. Every time she’d talk on the phone, she couldn’t hear what the other person was saying if other sounds were present. Even a quiet TV and a loved one talking hampered her hearing.

But when she went to get tested, she actually learned that she has better hearing than most people her age.

5 Signs Your Mate Is Overly Critical

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Young Couple Arguing

Is he ultra sensitive about the words you use? You might want to move on ASAP.

As a body language expert, I observe the ways couples interact with each other. Over the years I’ve identified several types of toxic relationships that fall into a category of romance that I’ve termed “psychological demons disguised as love.”

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