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Transference in Therapy

I dreamed of giving him my bone marrow. I offered him poetry, homemade cupcakes, passionate sex and a basket of Honey Peanut Balance bars, his favorite. I even proposed to repaint and decorate his waiting room -- at my expense.

I was in love.

His name was David. David was my therapist.

I started treatment with him after my mother’s death from a six-month bout with cancer. Her death left me broken open, bereft. My three-year-old marriage hadn’t quite found its footing and I felt alone in my grief. So I began therapy with David expecting a psychic sanctuary.
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Loneliness within a Marriage

Many of my clients discuss a feeling of loneliness within their marriages. Often their spouses look at them with confusion or contempt. They ask how it’s possible to feel alone when they are in the same house or even the same room much of the time. Mr. and Mrs. Just Not Feeling It may also be helpful in explaining how you feel.

When you feel lonely within your marriage, you don’t feel like you’re part of anything bigger than yourself. You feel alone, and there is no “we,” only you and your spouse, completely separate entities. You may or may not seem to be a happy couple to others, and you may or may not be able to keep a united front for the kids. Either way, when it is just you and your spouse talking to each other, you don’t feel close, connected, secure or safe.
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How to Cope with PMS

Those who know me know that I tend to be rather vocal about my menstrual cycle (sorry to all the male readers, but it's the truth). PMS -- and the lovely symptoms that incorporate menstruation -- rear its ugly head every month via mind-numbing cramps, and moments where I want to weep at everything imaginable, eat everything imaginable, or yell at everything imaginable.

PMS is that pesky hormonal time where emotions are heightened; where we’re susceptible to vulnerability. We’re more prone to feeling annoyed or stressed or upset over circumstances that may normally be dealt with calmly.

According to Jan Sheehan’s
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10 Common Reactions to Urinary Incontinence that Impede Care-Seeking

Our lives are a dynamic flurry of family and professional activities -- our work, our families and friends, and duties on the home front. Some of us have additional challenges due to ill health, financial stress, elder care or marital breakdown. When small urine leaks begin to appear every now and then, they might feel like a nuisance amid the noise of everyday life. Research tells us that women wait about five to 10 years to seek assistance for urinary incontinence.

Our beliefs about the problem are important because they influence how and when we take action. The following are 10 common reactions that deter or delay sufferers, especially women, from seeking professional advice or assistance for the problem:

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How One Woman Reclaimed Stability During Postpartum Depression

One minute I was fine, the next a raging lunatic.

Nothing ever prepares you for motherhood. Nothing. I read the books, made my birth plan, chose a playlist for my delivery and yet I was still totally naive and ignorant when the baby actually came nine months later. I was particularly wary about having postpartum depression since I had had episodes of depressed states in my 20s.

In the first few months after giving birth, I was always on guard of how I was feeling. It was a soupy mixture of sleep deprivation fog and hazy bliss.

I was handling new motherhood like a champ until six weeks in at 3 AM in the morning when my husband and I had a huge fight, the biggest to date in our marriage.
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How to Tell if You’re the Victim of Emotional Blackmail

Does your partner behave inappropriately and then blames you? This could be emotional blackmail.

Many relationships function on a level that isn't healthy for either partner, yet each person seems willing to hold onto the relationship at all costs. Their love for each other and desire to remain in the relationship is stronger than the problems they're going through.

This can most often be seen with lovers in cases of emotional blackmail. This is where one person behaves inappropriately within the relationship and then blames the other for the behavior. The partner receiving all the blame instantly feels guilty and inadequate and wants to try harder to please.

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Psychology Around the Net: November 29, 2014

This week's Psychology Around the Net covers ways to keep your sanity during seasonal shopping, learning how to motivate yourself by pretending your life is a movie (wow!), and even tips on how to read and interpret others' facial expressions...and act accordingly.


Black Friday Prep: Crowd Psychology Can Help You Hang Onto Budget: Yes, we realize Black Friday is over, but you can still keep your sanity this shopping season! Check out these seasonal shopping tips on avoiding spending hype, including setting goals and making lists; choosing the right shopping buddy; and the negative social influence you can avoid by shopping online.

Women in Positions of Power Show More Signs of Depression Than Men: Recent research from the University of Texas at Austin suggests women climbing the work success ladder show more signs of depression than do their male counterparts.

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5 Sneaky Signs of Depression You May Be Overlooking

Things have changed a lot in the past 30 years when it comes to our ideas about depression. In the 1980s and even the 1990s, people often still saw it as a moral weakness, a sign of being “crazy,” or as something to be dismissed completely.

Today most people not only know someone who has struggled openly with depression, but they can probably also rattle off a handful of symptoms just from watching the many depression medication television commercials that dominate the airwaves. The voiceover asks “Are you always sad and tearful? Have you lost interest in things you used to enjoy? If so, ask your doctor about this medication.”

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How to Detach from Both Criticism and Praise

Criticism stings. Many of us may be so focused on protecting ourselves from the potential pain of criticism that we start to tailor our work -- and our lives -- to avoid it. We may let criticism dictate everything from the ideas we bring up in a board meeting to the passions we pursue.

Interestingly, we do the same with praise. We get so used to positive feedback that we may change how we act. And, when we don’t receive the accolades and applause, we start questioning ourselves and feeling like failures.
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Conflict Resolution and Communication Styles

I recently read John Gray’s classic, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. This relationship guide (with an extraterrestrial twist) details the various differences and nuances in behavior between the genders.

I’m normally one to advocate that people are people; there’s something to be said for individualism and circumstance. However, I couldn’t help but nod in agreement with certain generalized ideas, particularly distinctions in how both sexes communicate when conflict strikes.

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