Communication Articles

Should You Cyberstalk Your Teenager?

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

shutterstock_146024162This was a question that came up on my Facebook author page among some mothers who’d read my book, “Don’t Try to Find Me.”  Yes, my novel represents a very particular case but the desire to protect your kids is pretty universal.

Do all teens require online monitoring?  How do you monitor?  And what do you do with what you find out?


5 Tips for Breaking Up

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

shutterstock_101362756This post was inspired by a client of mine who was talking for years (literally) about ending a relationship, and she finally pulled the  trigger.  (Go, you! and you know who you are!)   If you’re having trouble breaking up with someone, here’s how to get it done.


Teaming Up With Your Spouse

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

workingYou love your spouse, but do you work well together?  Unfortunately, many people find that the answer is no.  This can become painfully evident once we become parents, and suddenly we have to rely on one another in a different way than ever before.

Here are some strategies on how to reduce tension and conflict, and improve teamwork.


Protecting Your Teen From Online Predators

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

txtingParents a generation ago didn’t have to worry about online predators, but today’s parents need to be aware.  What are the signs your teen is getting in over her (or his) head in social media?  How do we keep our kids safe?


Finding the Right Couples Therapist

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

curlsThis is not the same as finding a “good” couples therapist.  I used to believe in the myth that therapists are either good or bad; now I think that there are some good therapists who are just a mismatch for certain clients.

So how to find the right one?


When to Seek Couples Therapy

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

coupleMost people treat couples therapy as a measure of last resort: Your relationship is completely on the rocks, one or both of you is considering calling it quits.   It’s like dialing 911.

But as I’ve said before, that’s the worst time to start therapy–when you’re feeling hopeless, when one or both of you has little investment in the relationship.  Seeking professional help sooner can make all the difference.

So what is the best time?


How Well Do You Really Know Your Teenager?

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

teenIn my novel, “Don’t Try to Find Me” (due out July 8), 14-year-old Marley runs away, leaving her mother Rachel wondering how she missed all the clues.  Did she really know Marley at all? And has Rachel’s oblivion put Marley in harm’s way?

For those answers,  you’ll have the read the book!  But if you have a teenager of your own, here are some ideas of how to assess where you are in your relationship.


Do You Hold Grudges?

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

grudgeIf you find that resentments fester, forgiveness comes hard, and letting go of past grievances is even harder, then this blog’s for you.


Reconnecting With A Distant Partner

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

coupleI practice emotionally-focused couples therapy, which is about trust and security being the bedrock of a relationship.  The core question we’re all asking, on an emotional level, is: When I need you, will you be there for me?  Can I count on you?

If we sense–again, on a subterranean emotional level, possibly beneath our conscious awareness–that our partner is unreliable, or unreachable, all sorts of issues can ensue.  We might find ourselves more prone to stress, irritability, mood swings, sadness, anger, defensive detachment and emotional shut-down…If this sounds familiar, read on.

In every relationship, there are times when you’re closer and times when you’re further away.  Often, the distance resolves itself.  It was just a busy and/or stressful week (or month), and there’s no underlying relationship issue.

But if you’re finding that the distance has persisted longer, and/or you find you’re experiencing some of the symptoms I listed above, then it’s time to address the problem.  Start by  asking yourself what’s causing the distance.  Is it logistical?  About scheduling, or the overall architecture of your lives?  Or is it that one or both of you are in avoidance mode?

Sometimes there might be unexpressed hurt, frustration or anger.  Sometimes rather than speak up, people just pull away. This could be a lack of assertiveness skills, or it could be that in the past, efforts to resolve things have ended badly.  Maybe one partner is feeling like there’s no point in trying.

If you’re that partner, examine this more deeply.  Think about what it would mean to your relationship to never deal with what’s bothering you.  How far would it go?  To separate bedrooms, separate lives?  If you’re assuming the feelings will just dissipate (if that’s what you’re hoping for), but it’s not happening, you might need to go to Plan B.  That could be forcing yourself to have some hard conversations.

If you’re the other partner–as in, noticing the pull-away–it might be time to ask some questions.  Consider how to do this in a supportive, rather than a demanding or attacking, way.  Remember that what we all want, deep down, is to feel loved and …


Being Your Child’s Advocate

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

chairsI’ve mentioned before in this blog that my daughter’s had some delays.  Recently, she had an occupational therapy evaluation where the possibility of apraxia (a lifelong motor processing issue that needs heavy-duty therapy for years) was raised.

I went into a bit of a panic as I learned more about it.  Then I started educating myself and speaking up to my current speech therapist, as well as making calls to explore the possibility of a change.  The up side is, we’re going to start on a new, intensive treatment plan.

I don’t know how this is ultimately going to turn out.  But I do know that more advocacy is probably in my future.  And I think that whether your children are experiencing delays or not, as parents, all of us will be confronted with situations where we need to stand up for our children when they’re not yet ready or able to do it for themselves.

That can be a daunting prospect for many.  So here are some suggestions that I hope will help.


 

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