Defenses

The Paradox of Psychological Defenses

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 necessity for the developing child. All children experience a certain amount of emotional pain and… Read more »

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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 their identity, be it positive or negative. From an early age, children form a powerful bond… Read more »

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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 a healthy manifestation, whereas the denial or suppression of angry feelings has a pathological effect…. Read more »

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VIDEO: Dr. James Garbarino Talks about Resilience, Hardiness, and Compassion Toward the Human Experience

Watch an excerpt from PsychAlive’s exclusive interview with Dr. James Garbarino. Dr. James Garbarino talks about how hardiness impacts an individual’s resilience. Well, I think, as I see it, there is resilience, which is a sort of description of a situation that a person has faced adversity and has been able to recover from it. … Read more »

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Why Do So Many People Respond Negatively to Being Loved?

Love — kindness, affection, sensitive attunement, respect, companionship — is not only difficult to find, but is even more challenging for many people to accept and tolerate.  In my work with individuals and couples, I have observed countless examples of people reacting angrily when loving responses were directed toward them. One man felt a flash… Read more »

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Why Am I Still Single? 8 Reasons People Often Stay Single

Clearly, some people are single because they choose to be. They are simply not interested in being in a serious relationship at this time in their life. Others are single due to the circumstances of their lives. They may have just gotten out of a meaningful relationship or have dated relentlessly and just haven’t found… Read more »

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Stop Procrastinating

Most of us are aware of that voice in our heads that screams to us, “stop procrastinating!” And most of us know that the pressure and stress that this voice puts on us just makes us more intimidated and less likely to get anything done. Procrastination is a self-fueled cycle, and it is becoming an… Read more »

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Why Are People Afraid to Grow Up?

In a previous blog, “Living Life as an Authentic Adult,” I briefly described the reasons why so many people operate as children emotionally and refuse to grow up.  I discussed how, to varying degrees, individuals are restricted in their ability to function in an adult mode because of  “unresolved childhood trauma and the defenses they… Read more »

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Living Life as an Authentic Adult

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. ~ e.e. cummings Most people are unaware that they are conducting their lives more from a child’s frame of reference than in an adult mode. Although men and women mature physically and become more capable in their practical lives, rarely do they achieve… Read more »

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How to Stop Being a Victim

Challenging negative voices is the way to overcome a victimized orientation. Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears. ~ Marcus Aurelius, Meditations One of the principle ways that people mismanage their anger is by playing the role of victim. In a previous blog, “Don’t Play the Victim Game,” I described the characteristics… Read more »

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