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About
Lynn Margolies, Ph.D.

Dr. Lynn Margolies is a psychologist and former Harvard Medical School faculty and fellow, and has completed her internship and post-doc at McLean Hospital. She has helped people from all walks of life with relationship, family, life problems, trauma, and psychological symptoms including depression, anxiety, and chronic conditions. Dr. Margolies has worked in inpatient, outpatient, residential and private practice settings. She has supervised others, and consulted to clinics, hospitals, universities, newspapers. Dr. Margolies has appeared in media -- on news and talk shows, and written columns for various publications. Dr. Margolies is currently in private practice in Newton Centre, MA. Visit her website at drlynnmargolies.com.

Articles by Lynn Margolies, Ph.D.:

  • When an Out of Control Mindset Hijacks the Steering Wheel
    05 Oct 2017

    Whether it’s in the news or our personal lives, we bear witness to people continuing to engage in compulsive, self-defeating behaviors despite the obvious negative or destructive effects. Sometimes it […]

  • How to Get People to Make Good Decisions
    11 Jun 2017

    When we witness people in our lives headed down the wrong path — it’s a natural instinct to correct them, educate them about what’s wrong with what they’re doing, and […]

  • Parenting Teens: 7 Important Questions with Answers that Sort Truth from Fiction
    07 Jun 2016

    Parents of teens can use answers. But it’s not so easy to stay updated. This questionnaire highlights common questions and popular confusions to help parents sort out truth from fiction. […]

  • The Paradox of Pushing Kids to Succeed
    17 May 2016

    Our teens are embedded in a culture driven by competition and perfectionism, where success is defined by status, performance and appearance. These values are transmitted to our children nonverbally through […]

  • Selfishness in Couples: Narcissism, Lack of Interpersonal Skills, or Something Else?
    17 May 2016

    Disclaimer: The characters from these vignettes are fictitious. They were derived from a composite of people and events for the purpose of representing real-life situations and psychological dilemmas. Couples commonly […]

  • Breaking the Cycle of Shame and Self-Destructive Behavior
    17 May 2016

    Shame is: “I am bad” vs. “I did something bad.” Shame involves an internalized feeling of being exposed and humiliated. Shame is different from guilt. Shame is a feeling of […]

  • Getting Unhooked from Pain & Choosing Happiness
    17 May 2016

    Even teens who are popular and appear to be doing well may feel secretly isolated emotionally, harboring distress that seeks expression through self-destructive behavior. Neurobiology of Breaking Habits Self-destructive behavior […]

  • Midlife Crises Affecting Men and Families
    17 May 2016

    Studies show a dip in happiness at midlife across the world, which fortunately is temporary and followed by an upward trend in life satisfaction (The Joy, 2010). Midlife is a […]

  • Power Plays Between Brothers & Families
    17 May 2016

    This story shows how the troubled relationship between two brothers was a therapeutic opportunity to change maladaptive family patterns. Drew, 19, and Steve, 20, were close brothers raised in a […]

  • Is There an ADD Epidemic in Adults?
    17 May 2016

    Do you procrastinate? Do you have trouble with self-discipline, focus and motivation? Are you sometimes forgetful? If the answer is yes, then join the club! Most of us recognize these […]

  • When Fantasy Crosses the Line
    17 May 2016

    Fantasizing about another person may seem like a harmless indulgence, but it actually draws us closer to temptation and can increase the risk of being unfaithful. In the same way […]

  • Defending Against ‘I’m Just Saying’ and Other Verbal Annoyances
    17 May 2016

    Lately the annoying expression “I’m just saying” — usually tacked to the end of what would be an otherwise thoughtless remark — keeps coming up in everyday conversation. We cannot […]

  • Easy Steps to Reconnect: A Guide for Emotionally Avoidant Dads
    17 May 2016

    It was torture for Jason when his 13-year-old son, Dylan, gave him the “cold shoulder” and wouldn’t speak to him. Jason felt his angry reactions were justified because he believed […]

  • Protecting Teens from the Spread of Suicide
    17 May 2016

    When teen suicide strikes close to home, communities are heartbroken and frightened as they realize many teens’ pain and suffering. Sudden tragedy shocks us into vigilant awareness of danger and […]

  • Parental Anxiety Over Kids’ Perceived Failures, Part 1
    17 May 2016

    Sometimes when kids don’t succeed fully, it reverberates with parents’ own dread of failure, leading to personalized reactions, or overreactions, and a cascade of negative cycles between parents and children. […]

  • Parental Guilt Over Kids’ Perceived Failures, Part 2
    17 May 2016

    Children’s struggles or failures — real, perceived or anticipated — can activate strong reactions of disappointment, shame and guilt in parents. Typically, this is most relevant in families with high-achieving […]

  • Are You Confusing Rumination with Problem-Solving?
    17 May 2016

    Many people struggle with anxiety – whether it’s about making the right decision, how they’re viewed by others, or if they measure up. Anxiety is a feeling of apprehension and […]

  • Surefire Ways to Alienate Your Adult Children (and Other People)
    17 May 2016

    Parents who find that their adult children seem angry or avoid them for no apparent reason may be confusing having good intentions with not being on to themselves. Hidden agendas, […]

  • Part 2: Protecting Teens from Danger: Tips and Advice for Parents
    17 May 2016

    Part 1 in this series “Seduced by Risk and Danger: The Teenage Mindset” can be found here. It’s scary to think about how vulnerable teens are to danger. The teenage brain […]

  • Part 1: Seduced by Risk and Danger: The Teenage Mindset
    17 May 2016

    The teenage years pose the highest risk of any age group for behaviors leading to fatal or permanent injuries. Accidents are the leading cause of death of youth between ages […]

  • How Parents Can Help Teens Under Academic Pressure
    17 May 2016

    When grades are slipping and teens don’t seem to be taking action, it’s easy to react from from frustration and helplessness. Under pressure, parents can fall into common traps without […]

  • What to Do When ‘I’m Sorry’ Doesn’t Work
    17 May 2016

    We 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 […]

  • Are Your Decisions from Your Evolved or Primitive Brain?
    17 May 2016

    Decisions 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 […]

  • How to Tell if Your Decisions are from Your Evolved or Primitive Brain
    17 May 2016

    Decisions 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 […]

  • How to Get More of the Behavior You Want in Kids (Without Really Trying)
    17 May 2016

    When kids independently do what we would have wanted, either their natural inclinations sync with our values — or our values have been successfully transmitted. At these happy moments, an […]

  • Transforming Struggles with Kids into Parenting that Works
    17 May 2016

    Kyle, a happy, active, strong-minded 5-year-old, was busy playing after dinner when he was supposed to be clearing the table. His dad called him repeatedly, trying to get his attention […]

  • How to Overcome Obstacles to Positive Change
    17 May 2016

    We all are faced at times with trying to persuade others to make behavioral changes, or needing to do so ourselves. These efforts can leave us feeling frustrated and helpless; […]

  • Being a Grownup When Your Kid Hates You
    17 May 2016

    This column tells a story based on a composite of real-life situations in therapy to represent both teen and parent viewpoints on anger and guilt in families during divorce. The […]

  • Reacting on Autopilot: When Good Intentions Fall Short
    17 May 2016

    Disclaimer: The characters from these vignettes are fictitious. They were derived from a composite of people and events for the purpose of representing real-life situations and psychological dilemmas which occur […]

  • Understanding Different Approaches to Psychotherapy
    17 May 2016

    There are many different approaches to psychotherapy. Use of one method or another depends on the psychologist’s or therapist’s training, style and personality. Some psychologists use one approach with all […]

  • Teens and Internet Pornography
    17 May 2016

    What should parents do when they discover that their young teen or preteen has been looking at pornography sites online? And what does it mean? Based on a survey of […]

  • Seeing Beneath the Surface with Your Teen
    17 May 2016

    Disclaimer: The characters from these vignettes are fictitious. They were derived from a composite of people and events for the purpose of representing real-life situations and psychological dilemmas which occur […]

  • Bonding with Your Teen: A Hidden Opportunity
    17 May 2016

    This column is part of a series of vignettes representing themes common to families and adolescents. Different sides of a dilemma are presented – the parent’s point of view and […]

  • Male and Misunderstood
    17 May 2016

    Why do men so often find themselves in the doghouse with women? They try to please. They try to say the “right” thing. They do favors, buy gifts, work hard, […]

  • Does Your Teenager Want To Get Caught?
    17 May 2016

    Travis was 15. He’d always been a good kid – no trouble, unlike his brothers. His parents saw him as the perfect child. That’s why it was jolting and perplexing […]

  • Teen Drinking: Limits vs. Punishment
    17 May 2016

    According to the National Institute of Health, drinking — the drug of choice among youth — plays a major role in death from injuries, and injuries are the leading cause […]

  • When Your Kids Disappoint You
    17 May 2016

    As summer winds down, many parents longingly await school, yet dread the frustration and disappointment they feel regarding their kids and the resulting guilt over these reactions. Parents may have […]

  • Who Said It’s Not Your Affair?: Part 2
    17 May 2016

    No one is immune to an affair. They can happen in any marriage and – according to some research – do in up to 45 percent of them. Luckily, most […]

  • Understanding the Effects of Trauma: Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
    17 May 2016

    The essential psychological effect of trauma is a shattering of innocence. Trauma creates a loss of faith that there is any safety, predictability, or meaning in the world, or any […]

  • Having a Smooth “Breakup” with Your College-Bound Teen
    17 May 2016

    As fall approaches, many teenagers will be leaving home for the first time, headed to college. Families face many challenges in navigating this transition. Casey, 18, an only child, is […]

  • Competing Family Loyalties in the Holiday Season
    17 May 2016

    The holidays are ripe for unearthing family dramas, often featuring a popular story line about competing loyalties. Though there are variations on the plot, the focus here will be on […]

  • Courage and Limits with Your Teen
    17 May 2016

    This column uses a story based on a real-life situation in therapy to represent both the teen and parent viewpoints on the delicate balance between adolescents’ needs for containment and […]

  • You Should Be So Lucky: Dealing with Tragedy
    17 May 2016

    Katy was diagnosed with a meningioma, a rare operable brain tumor occurring in about 7 in 100,000 people. The tumor was an “incidental finding” or coincidence — revealed on a […]

  • Executive Function Problem or Just a Lazy Kid: Part 2
    17 May 2016

    Executive development happens primarily in the prefrontal cortex, a region of the brain more sensitive to stress than any other. Even mild stress can flood the prefrontal cortex with the […]

  • Executive Function Problem or Just a Lazy Kid: Part 1
    17 May 2016

    Executive functioning is the new “hot” umbrella term used by teachers, counselors, and parents to describe a range of learning and attentional problems. Recent neuroscientific research on children and adults […]

  • Competition Among Women: Myth and Reality
    17 May 2016

    Women seem to have a reputation for being “catty” and competitive with other women, unlike how men behave with other men. This is a curious notion, especially since women are […]

  • Crisis of Confidence in a Teen: It’s a Family Matter
    17 May 2016

    The characters in the following vignette are fictitious. They were derived from a composite of people and events for the purpose of representing real-life situations and psychological dilemmas which occur […]

  • A Good Sex Life is Not Just About Chemistry
    17 May 2016

    Sometimes sexual problems are the body’s way of communicating a message to us that cannot yet be put into words or understood. In this vein, symptoms — psychological, emotional or […]

  • When Your Son Thinks He Is Gay
    17 May 2016

    Jean and Bill sought a psychological consult regarding their youngest son, Lucas, a senior in high school. Bill described a text message he found on Lucas’s phone to a boy […]

  • What Men Say About Their Wives Behind Closed Doors
    17 May 2016

    Josh was engaged to be married. He confessed that he loved Karen, but was scared of feeling trapped. Though this is commonly known as a fairly typical male reaction to […]