psychological advice

Grow with a Learning Mindset!

Life is full of ups and downs. Perhaps you recently ended a relationship, got negative feedback on a work project, or fell into a bout of stress, anxiety, or depression. Because our brains are wired to pay attention to the negative, losses like these are often magnified and/or rehashed over time, with the result that they become… Read more »

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5 Things to Do When Your Inner Critic Takes Over

Each of us has a side of ourselves that is “on our team,” rooting for us as we move through life and encouraging us to take positive, goal-directed actions. However, we also have another side that is our biggest critic – our worst enemy – in pretty much every sense. A lot of people chalk… Read more »

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Making Sense of Your Life to Empower Your Future

What could be more important and empowering than making sense of your story? Research demonstrates that creating a coherent narrative of your early life frees you to be the author of your future. When we fail to make sense of the past, we are often trapped in it, reliving old hurts over and over again…. Read more »

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Don’t Give Up Hope: Using Acceptance & Enthusiasm to Heal Our Troubled World

I’m sure people from every generation have felt this way, but I’m worried. From my perspective, the state of the world is troubled. It feels worse to me than any other point I can remember. Even setting aside the menace of climate change, headlines are frightening. Animosity and violence are looming large. More than ever,… Read more »

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“You Need Psychotherapy”

Psychotherapy is a luxury that you deserve. When I was in my early 20s, I went into psychotherapy. At that point in my life, I had tried all of the things that were supposed to bring me happiness—college, marriage, moving to a different city—and I was getting more and more miserable. I wasn’t a mental mess; I wasn’t seriously… Read more »

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How To Create Healthy Boundaries That Work for You

You have an important deadline at work. But you had to take your car to the shop. You skip breakfast and catch a ride to work. By noon your stomach is churning. On your way to lunch, your boss stops you to take care of something urgent. What do you do? We depend on our… Read more »

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The Scientific Approach to Keeping New Year’s Resolutions

Effective tips to help you make a change… I have mixed feelings about New Year’s resolutions. On the one hand, I am all for setting goals and going after what you want in life. On the other hand, I see a problem with the way many people view and treat themselves when it comes to… Read more »

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Silencing the Troll Inside Your Head

In a recent study, nearly half of Americans surveyed said they’d experienced online harassment or abuse. Cruel, condescending, and critical commentary can be found everywhere from celebrity Twitter threads to the comment sections of blogs about topics as innocuous as how to properly boil an egg. While it’s shocking and upsetting to have a complete stranger lash out… Read more »

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The Fantasy Bond or Primary Defense

This is the first in a series of blogs describing my theoretical approach known as Separation Theory. It represents an integration of psychoanalytic and existential systems of thought and describes how early interpersonal pain and separation anxiety and, later, death anxiety, lead to the formation of powerful psychological defenses. The primary defense is the fantasy… Read more »

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Changing Your Sense of Identity

Recently, I wrote about “Living with an Accidental Identity.” I described how painful early experiences, definitions, and defenses affect the way individuals perceive and present themselves throughout their lives, leading them to develop an “accidental identity,” rather than a true sense of who they are. Understanding this process can lead people to question their negative identity and make… Read more »

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