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


What to Do When Your Friends Divorce

You have been best buddies for years. As couples you were at each other’s weddings, baby showers, and housewarmings.

You spend more weekends together than not. And, almost as much as growing old with your spouse, you picture growing old with them. Until -- divorce.

When the couples you are closest to start to fall apart it can hurt almost as much as if your own marriage were ending. Family trips and weekend barbecues will never be the same. Friends becoming the family you chose is true for many, and when a family splits up everyone suffers. So, what do you do when your best friends decide to call it quits?
Continue Reading


The #1 Skill During Uncertainty: Psychological Flexibility

Life is rarely a smooth ride where everything goes to plan.

There are many uncertainties, unpredictabilities and hiccups along the way. But the more you are able to adapt to new conditions, the less painful the process becomes.

Psychological flexibility includes lateral thinking, the ability - or at least willingness - to adapt to changed conditions, and the resolve to tolerate discomfort. It is the opposite to being mentally rigid, with fixed ideas, set expectations and unbending attitudes. Here are the characteristics to develop or strengthen if you want to enhance your ability to navigate unpredictable events and challenges.
Continue Reading


Navigating the Biggest Energy Sappers for HSPs

When Rachelle Mee-Chapman’s daughter was just 5 years old, she’d walk into a restaurant and say “Mommy, that couple is fighting.” The people weren’t visibly arguing. But by the end of their meal, they were. Whether she was picking up on non-verbal cues or some energetic exchange, Mee-Chapman’s daughter was internalizing more information than the average person. Which is precisely what highly sensitive people (HSPs) do. We notice details the rest of the population doesn’t.

We experience the emotional nuances of others, and we are more aware of our own emotional states, said Mee-Chapman, also an HSP and an author and educator who helps people create right-fit spiritual practices for themselves and their families.
Continue Reading


How to Recognize Your Innate Self-Worth

You don’t feel very good about yourself. You search for a boost everywhere. In relationships. On the scale. At a job you don’t even like. Even at the bottom of a shot glass.

You feel the need to earn your self-worth, as though it were a bulletin board with gold stars; stars you earn by performing certain deeds and achieving certain accomplishments.

What you forget—or what others helped you forget—is that you are inherently worthy.
Continue Reading


On Seeking Counseling Before You Need To

Many clients I see here in private practice in the Midwestern area of Illinois are often very stressed. They come in appearing very calm and as soon as I get to the point on my questionnaire about what brings them their they tell me, often with tears and a sense of shame about how long they have been struggling due to their busy lives, lack of self-care and fears of the judgement might have about them. We talk about the stressors they have been having throughout their lives and although they often say none at first, the more we talk the more profoundly amazed I am that they are doing so well holding all their emotions in for so long.

I often find myself asking, “why didn’t you come to talk about all your stress earlier?” ... and “why now?” They often give me a list of reasons for not coming in sooner are: that they believed that God could get rid of their anxiety if they prayed more and or their fears if they truly admitted they were stressed/anxious it might get a lot worse.
Continue Reading


Relaxation Techniques You Probably Haven’t Tried (Yet)

Relaxation techniques are powerful for all sorts of conditions and concerns. Mind/body focused psychotherapist Alena Gerst, LCSW, RYT, uses them to treat symptoms caused by chronic illness, pain, anxiety and depression.

Dezryelle Arcieri, LMFT, a psychotherapist and yoga instructor, uses these techniques to help her clients gain acceptance and create space for their experience. (She prefers not to use the term “relaxation techniques,” because she believes it creates pressure and expectation.) “Our focus is on ‘being,’ rather than ‘doing,’” she said.
Continue Reading


Full or Fulfilled? Another Way of Looking at Eating Disorders

A young woman shared a brilliant insight into what she perceives as a long term eating disorder. She said, “I think I eat until I am so full that I want to burst, because I don’t feel fulfilled in my life.” She is talented, caring, devoted to family and friends, intelligent, creative and loving… to everyone but the woman in the mirror. As she said this, I was astounded since it so perfectly illustrates what for many is the doorway to food intake patterns that are unhealthy.

Over the years, she has binged and purged, as well as restricted food in an attempt to "have a perfect body." There was a time when she felt she had come close, but just like her emotional state, it would morph to fit the expectations of those around her.
Continue Reading


How to Stop Making Problems for Yourself

“You make problem, you have problem.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

When it comes to problems, we all have them. Many problems, however, are self-imposed.

Startling thought?

It’s meant to be. If you want to narrow the list of problems you have, start with a firm decision to stop making problems in the first place. Already, the objections start, beginning with the problems that others create that have a direct effect on you. Surely, you didn’t create them. So, how can you stop those problems?

Nice try, but that’s a weasel-out excuse that won’t work. While you don’t have control over the problems others create, you very much have control over your response, action, or inaction. In other words, it’s what you do that counts, not what the problems are that you face.
Continue Reading

Anxiety and Panic

How to Befriend the Unknown

We fear the unknown. Which is why we stay in bad relationships, in jobs we hate and in other situations that are not good for us. Because what if the alternative -- the nebulous, nameless alternative -- is worse?

We find comfort in the familiar -- even if that comfort isn’t very comfortable. It’s the known, and the known feels as cozy as an old, tattered and torn sweater, even if it keeps us cold.

But the unknown is packed with potential for possibility and personal growth. “As a lifelong student of Jewish mysticism, a practicing psychotherapist and a spiritual director, I have learned that being receptive to the unknown in all its many facets, allows us to become more open, curious, flexible, and expansive in our personal and professional lives,” writes Estelle Frankel in
Continue Reading


What to Do When You Feel Lonely

You feel so lonely.

You are home on a Friday night without any plans. Or you’re sitting in a restaurant with a group of friends, and yet you still feel lonely.

Or you’re sitting on the subway, on your way to work, and the feeling of loneliness sneaks into that space, too. Or you’re perusing social media, looking at photos of glistening faces, of glistening lives. And the ache of loneliness surges. Or you think you’re the only one who gets panicked at the grocery store, the only one who still mourns a loved one’s loss 30 years later, the only one who doesn’t speak to their family, the only one who feels lost.
Continue Reading