Protecting Your Teen From Online Predators

By Holly Brown, LMFT

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?

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Finding the Right Couples Therapist

By Holly Brown, LMFT

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?

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Do You Ever Feel Invisible?

By Holly Brown, LMFT

likeEvery Tuesday, my post features a theme from my upcoming novel, “Don’t Try to Find Me” (available July 8.)  Today, I’m writing about how feeling invisible can cause people to seek validation in all the wrong places.  This is especially true for teenagers and young adults, but even for older people, there’s a desire to be noticed.  And when we feel overlooked and underappreciated, it can bring up many negative feelings and self-destructive impulses.

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When to Seek Couples Therapy

By Holly Brown, LMFT

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?

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How Well Do You Really Know Your Teenager?

By Holly Brown, LMFT

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.

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Are You A Doormat?

By Holly Brown, LMFT

sarcasmYes, I went for a provocative title.   I know people are not doormats, but let’s face it, sometimes we all have occasions where we act like it.  But if you find that you’re habitually getting walked on, it might be time to make some changes.

This is actually a companion piece to my last blog, “Do You Hold Grudges?”  An astute reader commented that sometimes he tries to be so open-minded and tolerant (as in, not holding grudges) that he ends up being taken advantage of.  So how do you know when it’s time to be self-protective and assertive in your relationships?

Here are five signs that you’re engaging in doormat-like behavior and some suggestions of what to do about it.

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Do You Hold Grudges?

By Holly Brown, LMFT

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

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What’s Your Toddler Thinking?

By Holly Brown, LMFT

Toddlers can be mystifying beings.  You’re cruising through a good morning, and then suddenly, they melt down at what seems like an entirely insignificant event (the loss of a sock would not be unheard of.)  What’s happening in that toddler brain?

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Blaming Others: Hurts You More Than It Hurts Them

By Holly Brown, LMFT

stubbornDon’t get me wrong.  Sometimes other people are to blame.  Sometimes you are completely and totally and utterly correct in thinking that it’s someone else’s fault.

But once you’ve tried to get them to see that and failed, once they refuse to take responsibility, or if you are habitually blaming others rather than formulating a solution–then what?

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How to Handle Overwhelming Emotions

By Holly Brown, LMFT

emoteI was just reliving my younger years as I worked on the Teen Angst playlist for Spotify, as inspired by my novel “Don’t Try to Find Me.”  Adolescence, for many, involves overwhelming emotion, in part because so many of the emotions feel new as well as intense.  What’s the best way to understand and cope with all these emergent feelings? In some ways, that’s the key developmental task of adolescence.

But for some people, the struggle continues on into adulthood.  They might hear themselves called “oversensitive”‘; they might often feel misunderstood or invalidated as a result.  This can lead to a difficult spiral that actually intensifies emotions that already feel like too much to handle.

So where to start?

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