self-understanding

Laugh it Up: Why Laughing Brings Us Closer Together

Having the last laugh may be more important than you think…literally. New research reveals that the physical act of laughing can actually elevate an individual’s pain threshold. Whether you’re rolling on the ground in stitches over the latest YouTube video with friends, politely chuckling at your uncle’s knock-knock joke, or laughing nervously at your boss’… Read more »

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Understanding Our Style of Relating When Triggered

When we are triggered emotionally, it can all feel sort of choiceless; like we have lost control of ourselves. Even if we have the awareness of our reaction, it is difficult to stop our emotional response, because the nervous system, the brain, the memory centers are all interacting. Our learned style of relating Most often… Read more »

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The Joy of Sadness

Upon exploring my psychological issues rather late in life I discovered something entirely unforeseen: that while I had been unconsciously avoiding feeling “sad” my entire life this emotion was not only satisfying but a key to who I really am. I had until then said my goal in life was to be “happy”. After this… Read more »

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Dr. Pat Love Defines Four Basic Keys to Loving

Dr. Pat Love describes four basic actions to take that constitute a concrete offering of love and can, therefore, dramatically improve a couple relationship: There are really four things, let me just tell you, four things that every baby needs, every child needs, every adult needs.  It’s just basic to homo sapiens, to the human… Read more »

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What’s Really Keeping You Out of Your Swimsuit This Year

The 4th of July weekend carried a strange theme for me this year. It started when I was driving my 10-year-old niece home from a family pool party and she asked me, puzzled, “Why do so many people hate the way they look?” I realized that she was referring to comments she’d overheard while happily… Read more »

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A Definition Of Loving with Dr. Pat Love

In an exclusive interview with PsychAlive, Dr. Pat Love explains and defines the unique paradigm that is Love. It’s interesting that you ask what my definition of love is, because before research I would have said, “Love is a response to getting your needs met.”  Because if you look in the Western literature, it basically… Read more »

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Don’t Play the Victim Game

In Psychological Defenses in Everyday Life, (1989), I described a patient who complained that her husband was habitually late for dinner. Dinner was ready at 6:30, but he often came in as late as 8:30 without calling to let her know that he would be late. She asked me, “Is that right?” in a tone that… Read more »

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Evicting the "Obnoxious Roommate" In Your Head

I scanned the sea of black-robed 20-somethings for my sister’s familiar face. As I glanced over each aisle, I noted the beaming expressions of the satisfied graduate students about to receive their Masters degrees in Journalism. When I finally caught a glimpse of my sister, I was glad to see that in spite of the… Read more »

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Mindsight: The Unexpected Value of Getting to Know Yourself

With everything in the world from our language to our LinkedIn networks growing bigger, more complex and moving faster, it’s easy to feel like we are no longer in control. Our career path, our relationships and our futures are all victims of circumstance. Whether we are bowing to the will of a boss, a paycheck,… Read more »

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Sabotage You

Your boss is evil. Your spouse is lazy. Your teenager doesn’t listen. Your best friend won’t return your calls. Your relationships are complicated. Any attempt to create lasting harmony when facing the inevitable flaws and countless complexities of another human being can make you feel powerless. But before you condemn yourself to a lifetime of… Read more »

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