self-understanding

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 conceptualized as the language of the defense system. The voice is not restricted to thoughts,… Read more »

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Spring Cleaning for Your Social Network

It’s important to think about the people you surround yourself with, both in person and online. I don’t mean the number of Facebook friends you have, but the people you have the most interactions with in-person or virtually. You can have a big or a small circle of people in your life, but the key question is, who of these people are actually… Read more »

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10 Life-Changing Benefits You Can Enjoy By Keeping a Journal

The chances are that you write every single day without even thinking about it. Whether you’re chatting with your friends and family through your smartphone, crafting emails to colleagues at work, or writing up some sort of letter to customers, writing is a huge part of our lives. However, have you ever considered how writing… 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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How Emotions Guide Our Lives

Emotions guide our lives in a million ways. Whether we’re inclined to hide and avoid or ponder and express them, most of us don’t realize the extent to which they are driving our thoughts and behavior. Exploring our emotions is a worthy endeavor for anyone hoping to know and develop themselves, build healthy relationships, and… 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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Are You Living with an Accidental Identity?

We often consider our identity as fixed and say things like “that’s just the way I am.” Yet, every one of us has the power to change most aspects of who we are at any given moment in time. If we’d like to be giving, we can be generous. If we’d like to be less… Read more »

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Simple Ways to Reduce the Mental Illness Stigma

Let’s Make it Okay to Ask For Help The problem with the stigma around mental illness is huge! It stops too many people from getting help early, when it’s most effective. With a little knowledge, you and I can help end the stigma, prevent a great deal of suffering and save more lives. “That’s not a… Read more »

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What Drives Our Loneliness?

When we perceive ourselves as lonely, it can actually imperil our health. Research has shown that both perceived and actual social isolation were associated with increased risk of early mortality. Studies have found links between perceived loneliness and heart disease, while other research has suggested that loneliness and social isolation may be a greater threat to public health in the United States than… Read more »

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7 Ways To Tell The Difference Between Sadness and Depression

Feelings of sadness, grief, despair and loneliness are normal emotions that all human beings experience at some point in their lives. When these feelings last for a long time, a misdiagnosis is often made as the conditions of being sad and depressed share several common symptoms including difficulty focusing and chronic fatigue paired with sleeplessness… Read more »

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