General Library


F E A T U R E D    A R T I C L E

OCD and Values

October 23rd, 2014
When I talk or write about my son’s journey through severe obsessive-compulsive disorder, the topic of values often arises. Values are the things that are very important and meaningful to us. Examples include the people whom we love, our favorite activities, important experiences, and guiding ...

Acceptance and Rewriting Your Life Story

Acceptance and Rewriting Your Life StoryWe grow up with certain beliefs about ourselves and our lives and expectations that things should work out a certain way. Then, we change, our lives change, and we start to realize that things aren't going as we had expected. This ...

When You Don’t Like Your Teen’s Friends

When You Don't Like Your Teen's FriendsWhen I was in high school, I found a friend my parents couldn’t stand. Shy, introverted, studious, and fashion-impaired, I found someone as opposite to myself as my folks could imagine. My new best friend knew the fashion trends, wore her sweaters ...

Helping Women Cope with Infertility

Helping Women Cope with InfertilityI use various techniques when counseling women and couples during infertility. I begin by gathering information about the history and current status of infertility and treatment. I also gather personal and family history, and talk about the marriage and sex life of the ...

What to Do When ‘I’m Sorry’ Doesn’t Work

What to Do When “I’m Sorry” Doesn’t WorkWe all mess up at times with our spouses, kids, and others important to us. Misunderstandings and empathic failures cannot be avoided in close relationships, but aren’t necessarily detrimental. In fact, the ongoing climate of relationships is typically affected ...

Love, Lust or Addiction?

what-it-means-to-be-in-loveWonder whether you’re in love or in lust? Whether your obsession about someone is a sign of love or addiction? Whether you’re staying in a troubled relationship because you’re addicted or in love? It’s complicated, and lust and love and addiction don’t always exclude one another. ...

A Daily Plan for Overcoming Agoraphobia

A Daily Plan for Overcoming Agoraphobia Agoraphobia narrows your world, literally and figuratively. People with agoraphobia avoid certain situations or places that may cause them to panic or feel trapped. This may include standing in line, driving on a bridge, being in open or enclosed spaces ...

Therapists Spill: When Being a Therapist Was Especially Hard

Therapists Spill: When Being a Therapist Was Especially HardWhen we’re going through something difficult or stressful at home, it often spills into our workplace. This can get especially tricky when your work is being a therapist, an already-demanding job emotionally and mentally. In this month’s “Therapists Spill” ...

Can Babies Be Made into Bullies?

how-a-bully-is-made Molly Skyar, in open conversation with her mother, Dr. Susan Rutherford, a clinical psychologist and expert in human behavior, view parenting decisions through a psychologist's perspective. MOLLY: If your baby didn’t develop a secure attachment to a parent, how might you see that child acting in preschool and ...

5 Myths about Parenting

10 Fantasies to Examine before Deciding on ParenthoodParenting tips are aplenty. It can seem like there’s a new trend every week boasting about the best way to raise your kids or warning about the worst. With so many prescriptions for good parenting, naturally, it can quickly ...

The Stop-Drop-Roll Method of Managing Infidelity

bandaid-for-marriage-in-crisisOften, the most seemingly unrelated day-to-day events give us opportunities to learn from our mistakes and help keep us from repeating them. Our local fire station recently conducted their annual fire safety lesson for my son’s third-grade class, complete with the shiny red pumper truck and fun ...

Depression Kills

Depressed manLast month, I was sitting on my sofa with my laptop when I saw the headline “Robin Williams Found Dead.” I was shocked and deeply saddened by the news and the loss. It seemed like such a conundrum as to why someone with his persona ...

African-American Women and Depression

listening skillsDepression is a huge health concern among African Americans -- particularly women -- but mental health is often stigmatized in the Black community. Although it can impact people from all walks of life, cultural habits and historical experiences can cause depression to be expressed and ...

Marital Rape

crying woman upset googleAs an advice columnist, I receive too many letters like these (names have been changed): Anna is a woman in her 40s. She has been in a conflicted marriage for years. Her husband insists on morning sex, even though he knows it will make ...

OCD vs. Eating Disorders

OCD vs. Eating DisordersThere was a time when my son Dan would go days at a time without eating. When he did eat, it would have to be a specific food at a specific time in a specific place. There was no negotiating with him, and, ...

How to Change Your Attachment Style

How to Change Your Attachment StyleWe’re wired for attachment -- that's why babies cry when separated from their mothers. Depending especially upon our mother’s behavior, as well as later experiences and other factors, we develop a style of attaching that affects our behavior in close relationships. Fortunately, ...

Don’t Fight — Be Happy

Don't Fight -- Be HappyProbably the most difficult thing we humans do is make a long-term relationship with another person. A relationship with a partner is different in kind from relationships with our children or the family we were born to. A partner is another adult ...

7 Persistent Myths About Marriage

7 Persistent Myths About MarriageMyths about marriage abound. Some myths come from pop culture. For instance, a persistent myth is that your relationship should come easy when you’re with “the one,” said Jazmin Moral, LCSW-C, a psychotherapist who specializes in working with couples in Rockville, Md. Other ...

Change How You Feel: Change How You Breathe

MeditationEmotions add flavor to life. Joy, love and contentment make living a pleasure. Anger and fear act as warning signals telling us when to protect ourselves. Most of all, emotions are the glue that binds us to family and friends. But those same emotions can be so ...

Two For: Memories of a Manic Father

Flickr Creative Commons / francois karmA shopping spree. Retail therapy. The high of a manic episode. Call it what you will, an out-of-control buying binge, especially one with a credit card in hand, is a very dangerous thing. My father was what we then called "manic-depressive.’" ...

How to Tell if Your Decisions are from Your Evolved or Primitive Brain

Diabetes Drug Makes Brain Cells Grow in MiceDecisions can be motivated by thoughtful consideration from our higher mind (frontal lobe/executive functions) or fear-based survival instincts (amygdala, impulses) from a more primitive mind. When decisions are informed by our higher mind, they are more likely to lead ...

What’s the Best Treatment for Hair-Pulling Disorder?

What's the Best Treatment for Hair-Pulling Disorder?After school, Henry would sit down and watch TV, but one hour later, his mom would discover he had been pulling his eyelashes and eyebrows. It wasn’t that he didn’t want them, he just couldn’t stop plucking them. When his friends ...

Why Your Therapist Can’t Be Your Friend

Is Liking Your Therapist Enough?It’s only natural. You’ve met with your therapist once a week for a year or more. You’ve shared some of your deepest concerns and worries. You’ve shared your triumphs and celebrations. She (or he, but I’ll stick to female pronouns here) has supported ...