Narcissism

When Narcissists Claim They’ve Changed

If you've read my blog, you know that I never count anyone out. I don't think that just because someone has been diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder (or not officially diagnosed but they meet all the crtieria), that means they're incapable of change. But a friend of mine was involved with a narcissist, and has tried again numerous times to get back together only to be let down, and he's trying once again. It's got me fired up, frankly. So if you're debating whether to try again with someone you know to be a narcissist (i.e. always primarily concerned with their happiness over yours, willing to sacrifice your needs for theirs, low on awareness of your feelings and on empathy), please read on.
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Adolescents

Talking to a Difficult Teen

You might feel like you're tried everything to reach your teen. Or maybe you've gotten so frustrated you've given up, figured you'd wait until the hormones settle. These are key years, and you want to do what you can to influence their course. I say "influence" because the truth is, you can't control. But you can help. Here are some ideas of where to start.
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General

What Trump’s Ascendancy Says About Our Mental Health

Back in August, I wrote the blog post When Did Narcissism Become Presidential? At that time, I thought Trump's candidacy was something of a joke (a troubling one, but a joke nonetheless.) It's hard to laugh at this point when he's poised to become the Republican nominee. This is not a political blog post. It is not about Trump's qualities as a potential leader. It's about what he's displayed as a human being. More importantly, it's about what he hasn't displayed: kindness, compassion, humility, empathy, concern for the welfare of others...I could go on. What does it say about our national mental health that he's amassed the support he has, and where do we go from here? I've some thoughts.
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General

Skip the New Year’s Resolution

I'm no fan of New Year's resolutions. Either they make people feel pressured to create a fresh start, or excited for that fresh start, only to be discouraged fairly soon after. They're about turning a critical eye on yourself, rather than an appreciative one. The truth is, change can be overrated. Maybe what you really need to do this year is a better job at accepting yourself and the life you already have. Here's how to start.
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General

Should I Fire My Therapist?

As a therapist, I'm here to tell you: Sometimes it's them, and not you. And sometimes they're great therapists, but not for you. So I'm also here to tell you: When it's not a match, give yourself permission to end the relationship (just like you'd do with any other relationship that's not working.) But how do you know if it's just not working, or if you're not working hard enough to improve your own life?
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Attachment

Keeping Your Marriage Strong

Sometimes a marriage starts out strong, and then flaws begin to materialize. This is completely normal. But like many things, if left unaddressed, marital imperfections can start to wreak havoc on your lives. So here are some ideas for proper care and maintenance of your marriage. Think of it like this: the 5,000-mile checkup; 10,000 mile checkup; and so on. You do it for your car. Your marriage is way more valuable than your automobile. Here goes!
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Abuse

When the Holidays Remind You: I Don’t Have the Family I Want

For many, the holidays are hard because of all those images of happy families. The rest of the year, maybe you're able to just bury yourself in your own life and pursuits. Often, you're able to forget that other have what you want. But at the holidays,  the truth can be stark, and painful. Maybe it's that you've had to cut your family off because they're toxic; maybe they're still in your life but they're critical, cruel, or neglectful; maybe you feel you can never do right by them, and this is the one time of year you see them face to face and have to be reminded. So how to cope with the holiday season that's nearly upon us? Here are some thoughts.
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Assertiveness

How to Stop Spoiling Your Kids

You love your kids; you mean to do the best for them. But you find yourself indulging them far too often. It's a terrible term--the idea that you'll "spoil" this cherished little human of yours--but the reality is, overindulged children aren't well-prepared for life. So if you want to produce a kid who's hard-working, grateful, and gracious, where do you start (and what do you stop)?
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