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  • How Childhood Defenses Hurt Us As Adults

    It is ironic that the very defenses that saved us emotionally so long ago are now robbing us of our lives today. What originally served as a reasonable adaptation to a difficult situation can become our imprisoning agent.

  • Understanding Defenses

    Many of us are defended against feeling and to understand why, we have to go back to when we first developed our defenses.

  • Self-Limiting Behaviors

    How is it that we can be acting against our own interests? Why are we sabotaging our chances of realizing our dreams? Can it be that we don’t want what we say we want? Can it be that we don’t want our dreams to come true? Yes, it can.

  • How to Stop Being a Victim

    Challenging negative voices is the way to overcome a victimized orientation.

There are many traits we developed as children that served a purpose in our childhood but actually hinder us in adulthood. As kids, we may have armed ourselves against hurtful influences by keeping to ourselves, rebelling against restraints, or engaging in self-soothing behaviors. These characteristics may have served as survival mechanisms or “defenses” in our youth. Yet, these same defenses that protected us as kids can hurt in adulthood. The adaptations we made to once painful events may lead to some of our most destructive habits as adults. Our defenses can keep us from taking chances, getting close to someone, or achieving success. Learn more about what your defenses might be, where they came from, how they influence you, and how you can challenge them in your life today.

Societal Defenses Against Death Anxiety

Faced with the painful awareness of death’s finality, individuals try to recreate a parent or parents in other people, groups, or institutions, or they search for a personal savior on earth or in the heavens. Just as the imagined merger ...

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It’s Not Your Fault: Overcoming Trauma

There is a famous scene in the film Good Will Hunting where Robin Williams, playing a therapist, compassionately repeats the line “It’s not your fault” to Will, a troubled young man with self-destructive tendencies, who happens to be a genius. ...

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The Voice (The Enemy Within)

Discover the negative thoughts and attitudes at the core of a person’s maladaptation. The voice consists of a series of negative thoughts and attitudes toward oneself and others that is at the core of a person’s maladaptation. It can be ...

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The Paradox of Psychological Defenses

How to Deal with Rejection

Should we contend with painful realities or avoid them? Although psychological defenses offer a degree of comfort and a form of security, they also predispose distortion and maladaptation in adult life. Yet varying degrees of defense formation are a virtual ...

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You Don’t Really Want to Get Better

Of course psychotherapy clients want relief from their symptoms, depression, anxiety, and other painful emotions. But at the same time, they don’t want to change the fundamental defenses that would then allow them to develop and overcome their psychological maladies. Most people fear a basic change in ...

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The Simple Truth about Anger

Feeling angry is a universal human phenomenon. It is as basic as feeling hungry, lonely, loving, or tired. -Theodore Rubin “A thought murder a day keeps the doctor away.”  What this quote emphasizes is that feeling one’s angry thoughts is ...

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Helping Clients Stop Self-Sabotaging

A CE Webinar with Lisa Firestone, Ph.D. – Every person has a destructive inner voice that often sabotages our goals. This inner critic judges our every action and instructs us on how to live our lives. It encourages us to act in ...

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Invisible Child Abuse

A compelling program that sheds light on patterns of emotional child abuse that have been largely neglected in our focus on physical and sexual abuse. Throughout the program, the participants reveal that despite their successes, they continue to treat themselves ...

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