Need treatment? Find help or get online counseling right now!


How Core Values Help Relationships Grow

We can easily take our values for granted. So we may not be aware of core beliefs that guide our everyday lives. Happy couples typically share enough similar values for long term compatibility.  

If you value honesty, fidelity, a sense of humor, personal growth, respect, empathy, or patience, can you imagine having a life partner who doesn’t? How about ambition, lifestyle, desire for children and so on?

You don’t need to agree on everything; the idea is to agree on areas that are truly necessary for your lasting happiness. Actually, as shown in the example below, sometimes a difference in a core value may enrich a relationship.  
Continue Reading


Use This DBT Skill to Manage Your Emotions and Enhance Your Life

Our thoughts and emotions generally dictate what we do. Which makes sense since we act based on the information our brains automatically give us. So if we’re anxious about speaking in public, we probably will avoid it. After all, we interpret it as a threat, and our brains—and bodies—don’t like threats. If we’re sad, deeply sad, we might isolate ourselves, for days, because we yearn to be alone. If we’re angry with our spouse, we might yell...
Continue Reading


Finding New Friends After 40

A client, age 45, finds herself without close friendships in the wake of a difficult divorce. “Most of my friends are part of couples that my husband and I hung out with. It’s just plain awkward to try to be part of that group anymore.”

My 70-year-old client is lonely. “Most of the friends I thought I’d grow old with have died,” she explained. “I miss them terribly, of course. But I also miss just having people to do things with.”
Continue Reading


Five Tips to Beat Holiday Stress

The holidays can be a difficult time of year. Whether it's depression, family drama, anxiety, or the fear of missing out, the holiday blues can be difficult to beat. Listed below are five constructive ways to help make the holidays happier -- or at least more bearable.

1. Take Time for Yourself

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can quickly become overwhelming, creating the ideal environment for anxiety to flourish. While our minds are preoccupied by plans with friends and family, we often forget about ourselves. Taking a moment to breathe and relax can help reduce anxiety, allowing for a happier holiday.
Continue Reading


Surprising Losses that Need to Be Grieved

We think that the only time we grieve is when a loved one passes away. But it’s important to grieve all sorts of losses. Moving. Graduating. Retiring. Ending a relationship (even if you’re the one who ended it). Being diagnosed with an illness. Recovering from that illness. Starting a new job or even being promoted.

In short, a loss can be anything, negative or positive. As marriage and family therapist Cheryl Beatrice said, “If we can be connected to it -- whatever ‘it’ is -- then we can grieve its loss.”
Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

How Social Media Feeds Social Anxiety

Fingers flying, incessant texting, phones held to ear as secondary appendages gives the illusion we are well connected. We are chattering and snapping and “selfieing” (I think I just made that word up -- you can do that these days) all the live long day. Meanwhile scientists quietly dispense reports underlining an incredible finding: We are socially anxious people. Extremely socially anxious. So what gives?
Continue Reading


8 Ways to Stop Anger From Stopping Intimacy

Learning how to connect when you’re hurt or angry can lead to greater openness in your relationship.

Every relationship has its share of ups and downs. When disagreements or misunderstandings cause you to become hurt or angry, the intimacy you share with your partner may suffer.

Physical intimacy often takes a hit when you fight with your significant other, especially if you tend to think about sex (or the withholding of sex) as a bargaining tool to resolve issues in your relationship.
Continue Reading

Marriage and Divorce

The Key to Success for Marriage-Minded Singles

Often a woman (or man) who wants marriage can get in her own way without knowing it. Ambivalence about marrying can cause her to stay involved with a man who won’t commit or to reject any man who will. For various reasons, she may become involved with a man or with a series of men who lack qualities essential for her happiness. After such a relationship or after a disappointing marriage, she may become stuck in bitterness and cynicism about being able to have a successful marriage. Lana’s story below shows how this can happen and how she overcame her self-defeating pattern and is now happily married.
Continue Reading


Why We Sabotage Ourselves

Counseling psychologist Rosy Saenz-Sierzega, Ph.D, was working with a client who yearned to find a better job. But he wouldn’t apply for any job until his resume was ready.

The problem? It was taking him months to “perfect” it.

In reality, he was sabotaging his success, ensuring he’d stay stuck at his current company.

Sometimes, we sabotage ourselves by setting unrealistic expectations. We decide to try something when we can do it perfectly—which means we don’t do anything at all. We stay in the dead-end job. We stay in the toxic relationship. We don’t finish the degree.
Continue Reading


Why Seeking Reassurance Is a Good Thing

When we talk to a friend about a personal concern, what are we really seeking? Advice? Direction? Or maybe something else?

If we feel muddled about a difficult relationship or a job search, we might use a friend as a sounding board to sort things out. We may get clearer about what we want to say to our partner as we talk it out. We might blow off steam by venting about today’s political situation and find it helpful that others feel similarly.

We may not realize it, but often there’s a deeper reason we like to talk things out: we want reassurance.

Continue Reading