Take a Vacation from Self-Criticism

By Holly Brown, LMFT • 1 min read

selfcriticismI know, it’s easier said than done. For some people, self-criticism is a way of life. But taking a break can free up a lot of energy for other things.

Here are some ideas on how to start.

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Setting Healthy Expectations for Your Children

By Holly Brown, LMFT • 2 min read

shutterstock_208124314One of the challenges of parenting is figuring out when to accept your children as they are, and when to push them to be more.  Here are some guidelines and suggestions for how to begin to set healthy expectations for your kids, and for yourself.

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Communicating Better in Intimate Relationships

By Holly Brown, LMFT • 2 min read

shutterstock_235865923If you feel like you’re having trouble opening up to your partner or other intimates in your life, or if you keep running into communication roadblocks and misunderstandings, this post is for you.

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Springing Forward

By Holly Brown, LMFT • 2 min read

shutterstock_162510707We’ve got a little more daylight, so it’s time to take stock and see what you want to do with it.  Where do you want to go next in your life?

Here are some thoughts on how to take  stock and spring forward.

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Eliminating Verbal Abuse Once and for All

By Holly Brown, LMFT • 2 min read

yelling240Verbal abuse is derogatory language with the intent to humiliate, hurt, and/or undermine.  It robs the other person of their dignity and sense of security.

Mostly, verbal abuse occurs in anger; sometimes it occurs with cold calculation (in which case, the abuser is much more of a threat to another’s well-being and that relationship should be terminated immediately.)

I’m going to address the former situation: Where abuse occurs in anger, when self-control is lost, and the person is remorseful afterward.

The tips I’m going to give apply to both the person doing the abusing, and the person being abused, because ending abuse while remaining in the relationship is actually a collaborative effort.

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Preventing Mental Disorders in Children and Teens

By Holly Brown, LMFT • 2 min read

momanddaughter240As parents, we’re trying to do a million things to promote the well-being of our children.  Mental health, though, often gets short shrift.

Not all mental health disorders can be avoided (genetics do play a role here.)  But their impact can be lessened, and in some cases, prevented altogether.

If you’re thinking, Oh, no, not one more thing I need to do, on top of making them do their homework, driving them to activities, etc.–good news.  These tips aren’t time consuming, and they fit right in with the rest of your life. 

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Being There for Your Teen

By Holly Brown, LMFT • 2 min read

dadandteen240It’s not an easy task: being there for someone who might not even seem to want you around a lot of the time.  But I have some tips to make it at least a little easier.

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Will the True Narcissist Please Stand Up

By Holly Brown, LMFT • 2 min read

mirror240It seems like everyone is throwing around the word “narcissist” these days.  And it might seem harmless enough, but actually, it’s bad for the people being mislabeled and the people doing the labeling.

To find out if you’re really involved with a narcissist, find my more exhaustive checklist here.  In this blog, what I want to do is distinguish between true narcissism and a myriad of other things that can mistakenly be called narcissism, and explain why misidentification can be costly for everyone involved.

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End That Addictive Relationship, Once and For All

By Holly Brown, LMFT • 2 min read

suitcase240Here’s a quick checklist to know if you’re addicted to a toxic relationship:

  • You have more bad moments than good but you can’t let go because you’re always chasing another fix of the good.
  • The relationship depletes rather than energizes you.  It takes away from other areas in your life.
  • You lose resources (emotional, financial, interpersonal) but no matter how great the cost, you continue with the relationship.  You can’t seem to make rational calculations.
  • When you try to leave, you can’t seem to follow through; you go through withdrawals.  You cave, and you relapse.
  • You pretend every time you make up, it will be different.  You consistently ignore the fact that the past is the greatest predictor of the future.  You will be back there, in pain, again.   But you have selective memory (i.e. denial.)
  • You’re lying to your friends and family about the way you’re being treated; you’re minimizing the pain so they won’t turn against your partner, or urge you to do what you already know you should do, which is end the relationship.
  • OR you’ve alienated good people in your life who don’t want to stand by idly and watch you suffer anymore.

Now here’s how you can start extricating yourself, once and for all.

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Why it’s Better to “Like” than be “Liked”

By Holly Brown, LMFT • 1 min read

texting240In my recent novel, “Don’t Try to Find Me”, social media plays a significant role.  And for many of us, it’s hard to go a day without being on some form of social media.

The act of posting and hearing back from others can be a form of connection and validation.  But recent studies suggest that from a mental health perspective, the act of liking others will give us more of a boost than waiting for others to like us.

How does this apply to our daily lives?

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