Relationships Articles

How to Be a Better Listener

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

listening240There’s a lot out there about how to talk to your kids, especially about difficult topics like drugs and sex.  But what might be of greater value to your relationship and to their development is if you become a better listener.

Here are some tips.


Irritable Much?

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

stressedIf you’ve been feeling irritable or short-tempered, there could be a number of possible causes.  Figuring out what’s bugging you, deep down, is the first step to feeling better.)

Here are some potential culprits:


Holiday Survival Guide

Friday, December 12th, 2014

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.


Our Children: Our Reflection?

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

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?


Before You Have an Affair, Read This

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

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.


Mean Girls: Helping Your Teen Daughter Survive Her Friends

Monday, November 17th, 2014

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.


Saying No to Manipulation

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

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.


Before You Can Change, You Have to Do This

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

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.


You’re Only Hurting Yourself

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

shutterstock_188024033People do self-destructive acts all the time.  Sometimes it’s because they don’t realize they’re doing it (self-sabotage, where your unconscious is driving the car) or because they don’t see an alternative (cutting, for example, releases endorphins and offers immediate relief from pain.)  Here are some questions to ask yourself, in order to recognize your patterns and begin healing.


How to Fight Fair

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

shutterstock_205440832In a healthy relationship, fights are going to happen.  (Often, a complete absence of fights is a sign partners have become irrevocably disconnected.)  So the goal isn’t to eradicate all fights; it’s to make sure you’re fighting well.

What I mean is, a good fight is one that’s productive: grievances are aired, resentments are released, both parties ultimately feel understood, and the least possible emotional damage was inflicted.  A bad fight is–well, the opposite of that.

If you’ve been having bad fights, this is a great post to read with your partner.  If you can agree to the ground rules in here (and maybe even put them on the fridge or somewhere you can reference them), that can start turn things around.  So here goes!


 

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Recent Comments
  • Holly Brown, LMFT: Thanks! I thought it was applicable to a variety of situations and relationships.
  • Marine Pat: Love this. These questions can trickle up to everyone you encounter in your life. i see so many that are...
  • 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...
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