5 Year-Ending Questions to Ask Yourself

By Holly Brown, LMFT

As one year ends, it’s important to take stock. That New Year’s resolution will never stick if you don’t.   So here are some questions to ask yourself about your mental health, your relationships, and your future.  Ready, set, go! (as my almost three-year-old loves to say.)

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Holiday Survival Guide

By Holly Brown, LMFT

shutterstock_26490736If you’re one of the many people who goes into a downward spiral during the holiday season (or if you love someone who does), this one’s for you.

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Our Children: Our Reflection?

By Holly Brown, LMFT

shutterstock_104434844I think most parents have had this experience: You’re out somewhere and your child (toddler, teenager, anywhere in between) is behaving in a way that you find embarrassing, and that you hope is not reflective of your parenting.  But you feel the shame anyway, and the judgment of others, and you wonder: Is this my fault?  Is my child my reflection?

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How to Stop Comparing and Start Enjoying

By Holly Brown, LMFT

shutterstock_192268793Around the holidays, I notice that people compare themselves more to others.  It’s because this is a time of year when people’s lives seem to be on greater display.  You see other people’s Christmas cards, you see their Facebook and Instagram posts, and all those tidings of comfort and joy can send you down the rabbit hole of depression.

So if you’re getting stuck on the comparison merry-go-round, here’s how to get off.

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Giving Thanks (When It’s Been a Crap Year)

By Holly Brown, LMFT

shutterstock_123420286You might be wondering why I’m even suggesting the idea of gratitude when you’ve had a lousy time of it.

It’s because appreciation beats the alternative: spending your holidays in an extended wallow, reinforcing your helplessness over your life.

If you’re reading, you’re considering. So I hope you’ll read on. This post isn’t about finding a silver lining.  It’s about marshaling your strength so that 2015 treats you better.

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Before You Have an Affair, Read This

By Holly Brown, LMFT

As a couples therapist, I sometimes work with couples recovering from infidelity.  But I also work with individuals who are heading down the slippery slope to having an affair and maybe becoming one of those couples.

There’s a moment (well, a bunch of moments) before that decision is made.  If you’re in a state of indecision, read on.

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Mean Girls: Helping Your Teen Daughter Survive Her Friends

By Holly Brown, LMFT

shutterstock_138187733If you’re the parent of a teen girl, you’ve probably experienced one (or maybe both) of the following two scenarios: watching helplessly as your daughter is hurt by the meanness of other girls; watching helplessly as your daughter inflicted meanness on others.

I have some thoughts about the emotional brutality of female adolescence, and what you, as a parent, can do about it.

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People Pleasers: Please Thyself!

By Holly Brown, LMFT

shutterstock_180170765To thine own self be true–it’s good advice.  But it’s hard to follow if you’ve got strong people-pleasing tendencies.

To be clear, I’m defining a people pleaser as someone who consistently sets their needs aside in favor of doing what other people want, regardless of whether those wants are healthy or fair, or even how important the relationship is to the people pleaser; it’s that the people pleaser can’t help themselves, they just want to avoid all conflict and be seen in a positive light.

So here are some ideas of how to stop putting others first all the time.  

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Saying No to Manipulation

By Holly Brown, LMFT

shutterstock_206022634Wikipedia had a great definition of psychological manipulation.  Here it is: “Psychological manipulation is a type of social influence that aims to change the perception or behavior of others through underhanded, deceptive, or even abusive tactics.”  (Thanks, Wikipedia!)  I’d add that manipulation always benefits the manipulator, though he or she might  be adept at making you believe otherwise.

Everyone twists things to their own advantage sometimes.  But if you’re chronically manipulated by someone in your life, I’ve got some suggestions for you.

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Before You Can Change, You Have to Do This

By Holly Brown, LMFT

shutterstock_225432577In a word: self-evaluate.  Taking an honest inventory of your problems is the first step to finding a meaningful solution.  But that can be a lot harder than it sounds.  Here’s how to start.

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Recent Comments
  • Holly Brown, LMFT: The first question is “What’s my baseline mood state?” It’s in there.
  • Becky: The first question is not listed.
  • Holly Brown, LMFT: Hadn’t thought of the Mean Girl mentality of the stepmother (she’s the ringleader for...
  • Ted Petrocci: I just watched the trailer from the new Disney movie, Cinderella. Worth the time. The mean girl step...
  • Holly Brown, LMFT: Being able to cheer yourself on is a pretty crucial skill (and I like that you pointed out...
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