Self Development

Open to Emotion

I was in Trader Joe’s the other day. Next line over was a boy and his mom. Suddenly, wails billowed from his little three-year-old body. He was holding his mouth, pointing to the shopping cart. The nasty steel contraption that is so fun to hang on, had somehow come alive and pinched his lip. His… Read more »

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Addictions

Addictions and addictive behaviors are appealing because they offer immediate relief from psychological pain and anxiety. However the relief is only temporary; they never provide a lasting solution to our problems. When we “sober up” we find that our emotional pain is still there. A serious side effect of addictive behaviors is that they do… Read more »

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Understanding Anger

For most of us, anger can be an intimidating subject. On one level or another, anger causes everyone a certain amount of fear. We’re afraid of someone getting angry at us and we’re afraid when we feel angry at someone else. We are even troubled when we aren’t directly involved and are just observing two… Read more »

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Anxiety

Anxiety can be a serious psychological condition that limits us in our interactions, our development and our general state of mind. For some of us, anxiety has a constant presence, continually setting off alarms in our brain that tell us to worry over every little thing.  For others, we may hardly take notice when we… Read more »

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Coping with the Economic Crisis: Story from a PsychAlive Member

A time of practical struggle can be a time of personal gain. One PsychAlive member shares her story. When I was a little girl, I traveled to Mexico with my family. We weren’t especially wealthy, but were very lucky in that we were able to afford a yearly winter vacation taking our family’s sailboat south… Read more »

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Critical Inner Voice

What is the Critical Inner Voice? The critical inner voice is a well-integrated pattern of destructive thoughts toward ourselves and others. The nagging “voices,” or thoughts, that make up this internalized dialogue are at the root of much of our self-destructive and maladaptive behavior. The critical inner voice is not an auditory hallucination; it is… Read more »

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Defenses

“What’s keeping me from feeling?” How could something as natural as feeling our emotions be so difficult? There is a very logical explanation for why we have trouble accessing our feelings and instead find ourselves cut off and detached. Many of us are defended against feeling and to understand why, we have to go back… Read more »

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Depression

Depression can be a very serious, debilitating disorder. About seven out of a hundred people suffer depression at some point in their lives, making it an important health concern that commands treatment. Dealing with depression can feel especially difficult, because the symptoms it generates (i.e. tiredness, lethargy and lack of enthusiasm) can deter those suffering… Read more »

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Fantasy Bond

What is a fantasy bond? A “fantasy bond” describes an illusion of connection between a couple that is substituted for feelings of real love and intimacy. Forming a fantasy bond is an often unconscious act of self-parenting and self-protection, in which two people become pseudo-independent, replacing the real relating involved in being in love with the form of… Read more »

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Fear of Intimacy

There’s one sad truth in life I’ve found While journeying east and west – The only folks we really wound Are those we love the best. We flatter those we scarcely know, We please the fleeting guest, And deal full many a thoughtless blow, To those who love us best. This amusing little poem isn’t… Read more »

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