When Your Mate Touches a Nerve…

How do you talk to your partner about a sensitive topic? If he or she says something that makes you uneasy, do you feel tightness in your throat, chest or elsewhere? Forget to breathe?

Maybe you change the subject? Call the person selfish, unreasonable, or inconsiderate? Or withdraw?

Reacting means doing or saying what first pops into your mind. If you routinely do whatever you’re asked to do when you’d rather not, you’re likely to build up resentment. If instead of yielding, you belittle or stonewall your partner, you can expect ill will and conflict to increase.
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My Life with Trichotillomania (Hair Pulling)

“Truth is I cut my hair for freedom, not for beauty.”  ~Chrisette Michele

When I was around 13 years old -- 27 or so years ago -- I decided to grow a ponytail. Before that, my parents chose my haircuts and kept it short. At the time, I just wanted to look like my 80s hair band heroes. I didn’t expect the decision to grow my hair out would expose the very first noticeable symptom of mental illness.
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Are You Living in Your Own Bubble?

It’s so easy to live in your own bubble. To ridicule ideas that aren’t in your echo chamber. To give zero latitude to concepts that are foreign to you.

Too bad.

For to live a full life, a rich life, you need to remind yourself of the lessons you learned in kindergarten. First lesson: play well with others.

Why do we have to do that? Why can’t they just conform to our ways or go elsewhere? There should be different schools for them or maybe they shouldn’t even be here.
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Seven Surprising Lessons a “Helicopter” Parent Learned from Her Asperger Child

I felt utterly helpless. There was something profoundly wrong with my daughter, but I couldn’t help her -- me the trained psychologist, the one with the master’s degree in social work and a doctoral degree in psychology. But this was long before the Asperger’s Syndrome diagnosis became official in the United States. (Now it’s classified as a high functioning form Autism Spectrum Disorder.)
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Leaping Over the Assertiveness Hurtle

Asserting yourself can be one of the most challenging communication skills to master, especially if you’re dealing with a defensive person or someone who verbally agrees with your requests, but never actually follows through.

In response, people who have unsuccessfully asserted themselves often give up or become angry. They react by ignoring issues, fixing the problems themselves, or losing their tempers. The first two approaches may seem to work on a short-term basis, but not in the long run. When people push down their own needs, anger and resentment often follow, which can lead to physical and emotional problems (such as headaches and depression). And when people react by losing their temper by shouting and/or calling someone names, the other party will often become even more defensive and uncooperative.
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I Matter Too: Self-Compassion in Action

“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.” - Jack Kornfield
Raise your hand if you are a caregiver, either personally or professionally. Do you spend your days looking after the wellbeing of family, friends and/or clients? At the end of a long day or an even longer week, do you feel "all gived out"? As a therapist and consummate caregiver in most of my relationships, I would often admit that my compassion meter was running a quart low. I would find myself feeling impatient and annoyed with the drama that swirled around me. That’s when I knew I needed to examine the areas in my life in which I was neglecting that which I was showering on others.
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Can You Forgive Yourself?

“My problem stemmed from not forgiving myself.” – Shannon A. Thompson
Each of us has done things we’re not particularly proud of. It could have been something major that brought great harm or pain to another. Maybe it was some trivial matter, an action we didn’t think all that much of initially but later learned had consequences. The human tendency is to internalize the
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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.  
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Inspiration & Hope

Can You Have Too Much Self-Esteem?

The time, place and culture we grow up in affects everything we experience going forward.

For those who came of age when obedience ranked supreme - when “what do you know, you’re just a kid” was a given, when harsh external censors (that subsequently became our own internal censors) destroyed one’s self-confidence -- the self-esteem movement was welcomed as a breath of fresh air.
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