How to Be a Great Date

When it comes to dating, there is no shortage of ‘helpful’ advice; there’s an ocean of books, blogs, friends, and strangers sitting next to you on the subway eager to share their thoughts about your dating life. And some of the advice actually is helpful, but it’s often buried under … Read More

The Complicated Process of Mourning Your Divorce

Mourning the death of a spouse can be incredibly difficult. The loss of a partner, friend, companion, and confidant is so universal that expressions of mourning are expected, and responses of sympathy are instinctive. Neither the surviving spouse, nor the people around them question the need to mourn, nor the … Read More

Managing Expectations in the Face of Infinite Challenges

I was recently reminded of a client I saw who struggled with anxiety. He was a typical type ‘A’ personality: bright, ambitious, driven, and goal-oriented. Historically, he had thrived in challenging situations and hadn’t had problems managing high pressure seasons in his life. So why was he suddenly struggling with … Read More

Unconscious Assumptions

Recently I happened upon a TV show about an animal behaviorist who helped people understand issues they were having with their pets. Interestingly, she spent most of her time helping clients recognize the reflexive meanings they unconsciously (and frequently, incorrectly) attribute to their pets’ actions. The most interesting example was … Read More

Gratitude and Dissatisfaction

It can be difficult to listen to someone express dissatisfaction with an open mind. Instead of receiving the comments as a reflection of someone else’s feelings, we insert ourselves into the mix, imbuing their comments with accusation and expectation and responding with defensiveness. Rather than risk criticism, we act quickly to shut … Read More

Great Expectations

speaking

Expectations are a frequent topic of conversation with my clients. Whether we are aware of them or not, our expectations have a tremendous influence on the way we interpret the people and the world around us. Most of the discussions in my office focus on the ways that expectations can … Read More

Rationalization is Unhealthy

projection

Over the past few months, I’ve written about a number of defense mechanisms and the important role they play in human interaction. Defense mechanisms reflect the mind’s brilliantly creative approach to protecting itself. While each of them can be effective in different situations, I freely admit that rationalization is my … Read More

Decision Making with Distractions

trauma

Thanks to technology, travel, and education, we live in a world of almost endless possibilities. We have access to opportunities and experiences that previous generations couldn’t have even imagined. However, it’s also easier than ever to lose focus, to lose valuable time simply sorting through our options. It can feel … Read More

Comfort, Presence and Grief

Responding to another person’s grief can be incredibly difficult, not because we don’t care, but because we simply don’t know what to do. Often, that’s because there isn’t much that we actually can do. We can’t change the death of a loved one or alter a devastating medical diagnosis. Given … Read More