Self-Help Articles

The Value of Stillness

Friday, September 5th, 2014

The Value of StillnessWhat is the value of stillness? We are indoctrinated with media in a traditional format, television and newspapers, and more informally with social media, Facebook. But what does it really mean to experience stillness and how does taking the time to implement stillness into our lives benefit us?

After thinking about the potential value of stillness for a while, I set up an experiment for myself by making a conscious decision to avoid television, my smart phone and computer for 24 hours. I did not go on a vacation or getaway and simply remained at home, telling my family and friends I would be avoiding electronics for a 24 hour period to avoid worry.

It’s the Little Things That Lead to Happiness

Friday, September 5th, 2014

let it go butterfly freeWhat’s the best part of your day?

For me, it’s waking up early and having coffee on my porch as I watch the sun rise. There’s just something calming about this little morning ritual. I never miss it, it’s truly one of the highlights of my day.

Of course there are other things that can brighten your mood during the course of your day that you might not think so much about.

Reader Question: How Can I Spice Up My ‘Monotogamy’?

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Reader Question: How Can I Spice Up My 'Monotogamy'?Reader Monotogamous (do you see how I’m trying to coin that phrase?  Monotonous monogamy?  Come on, that’s pretty good) writes:

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost three years and I feel I am getting emotionally detached from him because we never have sex … I saw that he was watching porn all the time a few days ago and it bothered me because I feel he’s lost interest in me sexually and physically. I feel as if we are just friends. What are some ideas I could use to bring “love” back?

Well, M, I applaud you for trying to bring the spark back into your relationship. As far as I see it, there are three main areas in a relationship: Sex, Trust, and Communication.

Hyper-Worried About Your Health? 3 Tips to Help

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Hyper-Worried About Your Health? 3 Tips to Help Some people are especially attuned to their bodily sensations. When they experience certain symptoms — headache, stomachache, dizziness or any kind of discomfort — they assume the worst. They start worrying that something is very wrong with them.

What if it’s heart disease or cancer? What if it’s a tumor or meningitis? What if it’s an illness I don’t know about or doctors haven’t even discovered?

They may pore over medical websites trying to diagnose their symptoms, trying to figure out if they’re safe or sick. They may become consumed by their worry, ruminating about a specific illness or a range of dangerous or deadly diseases.

Reactivity and Its Impact

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Reactivity and Its ImpactI recently presented to a large group of Direct Support Professionals, people who support individuals with behavioral challenges. I have conducted similar workshops for family members of those with serious mental illness.

We talk about stress management, self-protection, and the limits of compassion. We meditate together. But the topic that always garners the most interest is how the supporters’ own reactivity, or fight or flight response, can precipitate negative behaviors in the individuals they support.

Couples You Meet in Counseling #3: Mr. and Mrs. Just Not Feeling It

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Couples You Meet in Counseling, #3: Mr. and Mrs. Just Not Feeling ItIn my previous two posts, I examined Mr. Perfect and his Crazy Wife, and the Ice Queen and the Martyr. Both of those couples are easier to work with in couples counseling than #3, Mr. and Mrs. Just Not Feeling It. 

Emotionally, this couple acts like they are already divorced, and have been for many years. There is rare, or no, sex, and often the partners sleep in separate rooms. The relationship can be entirely cold, sarcastic and bickering, or amicably businesslike.

Understanding Rejection in Personal Relationships

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Understanding Rejection in Personal RelationshipsRejection is one person saying to the other — “Keep away, I don’t want you around me now. ” Such a message often hits exactly in the center of our ego and shakes our self worth.  Thus both giving and receiving a message of rejection has to be handled with sensitivity.

Thankfully most social rejections are subtle. Most of us, in the beginning of a relationship, choose less-risky ways to make a connection. Saying “Hi”, sharing a joke, participating in a yoga class together, all these activities can aid in the process of building intimacy. 

When You Feel Worthless

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

When You Feel WorthlessA sinking self-worth usually starts early. Maybe your caregivers criticized your every move, or maybe they criticized themselves and you learned to do the same with yourself.

Journalist Anneli Rufus struggled with self-loathing for over 40 years. “I hated myself unreservedly, as if it was required,” she writes in her latest book Unworthy: How to Stop Hating Yourself.

“Why? Was I a murderer? A thief? Had I committed genocide or bombed the Prado? Was I mean? Did I have seven swollen, scaly heads? Whose children had I thrown down wells? Which city did I plunder? Had I put soap in a swimming pool or slaughtered fawns?”

No.

Is It Guilt or Shame?

Monday, September 1st, 2014

Child punishmentI started this column about guilt — why it stalks me. Why, no matter how hard I try to be a good girl, I can’t get rid of the knot in my stomach that says I’ve been busted, just like I was with a bottle of vodka at band camp in high school. However, upon doing a little research on this topic, I don’t think guilt is so much my problem as shame.

They are related but different.

Suffer from Funphobia? Maybe You Need a Little Luxury Therapy

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

island bigst

On the cruise ship, formal afternoon tea finds me gazing back and forth between jewel-pretty pastries and — past massive yachts sporting helicopter pads — ­­­­Monaco, alight with countless actual emeralds and sapphires worn and sold along its terraced streets.

Astounding. But why do I find it so hard to stay present, in the moment, loving this?

Because I’m suffering from luxury anxiety.

I need luxury therapy.

Seriously.

How to Overcome Limiting Beliefs

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

meditation-yogaI have to earn my place here. Other people don’t struggle like I do. I should’ve figured this out by now. There’s something wrong with me.

Do these thoughts — or some version of them — swirl in your head? Do they consume you daily? Or arise whenever you try something new or make a mistake?

These thoughts are examples of limiting beliefs, according to Lea Seigen Shinraku, MFT, a therapist in private practice in San Francisco. Limiting beliefs derive from a variety of sources.

Dealing with Insults: Don’t Take Anything Personally

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

P3270051My friend is waiting for a table at a local restaurant. She is one of those table stalkers, who intuitively knows who is getting up when. She’s been hovering over a certain table for a good half hour. She is most certain the table is hers until some guy comes out of left field and starts talking to the couple who is leaving. Then he sits down with his girlfriend.

This does not deter my friend from her mission. With the confidence of Marilyn Monroe, she plops down at the table with the guy and his girlfriend and unfolds a napkin over her lap.

Recent Comments
  • Katerina: What are the causes of ODD? Bad parenting; instability, neglect, and abuse. Take a look in the mirror...
  • Mayur: Tom, Allopathic doctors(so called great Psychiatrists) will not be able to do it for you. I have had...
  • SI: The monstrous PTSD fraud squanders funds needed for legitimate illness. A damned shame!
  • pink424: This sounds like a handout from the DBT workbook. I hope she gives Marsha Linehan some credit in that book....
  • Kleia: I disagree with you to an extent, but not fully. There are three generations of Cluster B personality...
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