Grief and Loss

To Succeed in Marriage, Clear the Decks

Do you have unfinished business? Most of us do. It’s important to gain a sense of closure about a past relationship in order to succeed in a new one.    

Closure, in the psychological sense, means “the state of experiencing an emotional conclusion to a difficult life event.” 1 Typical situations that call for closure are the loss of a romantic partner, spouse, or parent. Another can involve grieving the absence of a healthier home environment in which one was raised.  
Continue Reading

Marriage and Divorce

After the Wedding Comes the Marriage

It’s almost June -- the beginning of the summer wedding season. Some couples are in the last stages of wedding planning. Hopefully they still like each other.

Too often the bride and groom (bride and bride; groom and groom) are so focused on their wedding day, they forget that they are launching into a new way of life.  Caught up in the mythos of making the perfect day, Bridezilla emerges from an otherwise perfectly lovely young woman. Her partner becomes zilla-ish too. What should be a fun celebration of love becomes a stress-filled quest for an impossible perfection. STOP!
Continue Reading


How to Say No When Someone Asks to “Pick Your Brain”

When you’re an expert in any field, people may regularly ask to “pick your brain,” buy you lunch or some other form of asking for advice. For free, of course.

If you feel conflicted at time like these, it makes perfect sense. Your schedule is packed, yet your instinct might still be to jump in and help. In fact, your generosity and desire to make a difference likely played a huge part in you going into business to begin with.
Continue Reading

Children and Teens

Free Webinar: “Failure to Launch” Revisited: Why Young Adults Can’t Break Free

A decade ago we had the "failure to launch 20-somethings" or the "boomerang" kids who came back to live with mom and dad. A kind of "blaming the victim" approach was adopted to say, what's wrong with these kids, instead of, what's wrong with the world they live in. We have said it was because there were no jobs or they couldn't stick to anything because they were self-absorbed millennials, or worse, just lazy kids unprepared for the real world. A closer look shows that they are up against both internal and external barriers too numerous to overcome. Let's look at some of the real reasons and give them the support they need.

Continue Reading


Expectations and Your Relationship

William Shakespeare once said, “Expectation is the root of all heartache.”

Ask yourself a question. Have you ever been disappointed because something did not turn out the way you expected? Why did you have such a strong belief something would happen?

We all have high expectations at one point or another, only to be disappointed when things do not turn out the way we wanted. It can get the best of us at any given moment. When those expectations are not met, we need to keep in mind the way it affects us.
Continue Reading


How to Metabolize a Compliment

When you receive a compliment, do you get squirmy, suspicious, or uncomfortable? Or do words of appreciation bring a gentle smile to your face and a warm feeling in your belly?

When someone thanks you for helping them, or expresses gratitude for your kind words or actions, or praises you for some accomplishment or quality of your being, do you let yourself be affected by their thoughtful words? Or do their compliments fall flat, perhaps because you’ve learned to deflect good things that come your way?
Continue Reading


5 Ways to Support a Spouse with ADHD and Work as a Team

You love your spouse. You love their compassion, clever sense of humor, spontaneous spirit and many other terrific traits. But you find yourself getting more and more frustrated with them. You find yourself taking on most of the responsibilities, like cleaning and paying the bills.

In short, it doesn’t always feel like a 50/50 partnership, said Terry Matlen, MSW, ACSW, a psychotherapist and ADHD coach who also has ADHD.
Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

Freedom from Fear: Freedom to Live the Life You Want

My last blog on The New ABC of Managing Difficult Emotions outlines a simple process that many of you have told me is really helpful.

Many of you emailed me asking for the downloadable graphic. Many of you shared how you were going to use this process: with your children, to manage your own emotions and to help your clients. I am so glad.

There is one story I want to share with you, because it is so clear and inspiring -- and so helpful for others to consider as well.
Continue Reading

Marriage and Divorce

Do You Hold These Additional Distorted Beliefs About Relationships?

We all hold distorted beliefs about how relationships work and don’t work.

These beliefs can easily dampen a relationship and spark dissatisfaction in both partners. Our warped ideas can lead us to run for the hills when a seemingly stubborn issue actually has a resolution -- and that resolution can help us get closer to our partner and bolster our relationship.

Below, you’ll find several distorted beliefs. Check in with yourself to see if you hold them -- especially since our thoughts influence the actions we take and the decisions we make.
Continue Reading