Archives for Neuroscience

Addictive Relating

3 Basics of Working (Mindfully) with a Narcissist in Therapy: A Balancing Act, 1 of 5

In response to a recent post, How to Identify a Narcissist in Therapy, several readers requested a follow up post that outlines a few essentials of working with a client who presents with narcissistic "tendencies" or npd (narcissistic personality disorder) in couples or family therapy, so as to disarm or minimize the potentially destabilizing effects of these problematic behaviors both in the sessions themselves -- and on therapeutic processes and outcomes in general. Other readers also wanted to know...
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Addictive Relating

How to Identify a Narcissist In Family or Couples Counseling

How does a therapist identify a narcissist in therapy? In general, a therapist "knows" because of how much time and energy it takes to manage simple therapy processes. They come dictating the terms; letting you know they need to be in control, and want things done "their" way. 

And, if you're in family or couples counseling, how does a family member recognize them? How about you? Do you display narcissistic tendencies in a therapy session?

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Addictive Relating

Sex and Love Addiction: Five Ways the Dominance Factor Erodes or Blocks Couple Intimacy

Though dominance as a value may make sense on the battlefield, in love relationships, tactics of war are the problem. Dominance and tactics to enforce hierarchical relations are guaranteed to produce needless suffering in the form of win-lose competitions, pursue-withdraw dynamics, illusions of power, and toxic relating patterns.

Whereas dominance is a socially approved behavior for males (considered "norm" in many cases), the opposite is true for women. Regardless who starts the...
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Addictive Relating

3 Strategies for Controlling (or Being Controlled By) Your Body’s Reactive Patterns

Reactivity and defensiveness is deceptively destructive. It throws off the energy (emotions and heart) of the body -- and when your heart is off balance, so are you, logically speaking. You may think you're being "logical," however, in survival mode, fear rules the body, and the higher-thinking capacity of your brain switches to offline mode, a shift that literally turns on the "protective" (defenses) mode, and turns off "real" learning mode, thus, no longer open to influence...
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Conscious Lifestyle

12 Steps to Increase Your Happiness (Optimize Your Thinking-Feeling Habits!), 3 of 4

Are you waiting for happiness to arrive as a result of reaching a certain outcome?

If so, you may be missing a key point. A state of mind set on happiness is a vital fuel that creates more happiness -- making the achievement of goals easier, more effortless, and and the best guarantees you'll enjoy your success once realized.

Happiness is the way so to speak, not a goal.

To develop an optimal life-changing thinking-feeling mindset, let happiness to lead the way. This doesn't men...
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Conscious Lifestyle

Flow & the Science of Happiness, 2 of 3


Speaking of happiness, developing the ability to shift to positive states of mind and body is also how champions or virtuosos intuitively achieve excellence in their field, a state of happiness so profound words do not suffice.

In Part 1, we considered what timeless wisdom and the science of happiness say about the power of our thoughts, more specifically, the cause-effect relationship between our thoughts and the feelings they spark, and how these shapes our lives and behaviors,...
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Addictive Relating

5 Steps to Break a Habit of Arguing With Your Child, 2 of 3

Part 1 outlined five reasons why "arguing" with your children as a parent is a lose-lose proposition. Nobody wins, and you instead risk losing serious ground in terms of the effects on the relationship between you and your child. In human terms, it's safe to say that, based on the latest findings on the brain, attachment and neuroscience, key relationships intimately impact every aspect of human health and ongoing development, to include other relationships (, spouse, self, children that are siblings, etc.) in...
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Emotional Mastery

5 Reasons Why You Want to Avoid Arguing With Your Child, 1 of 3

Parenting is likely the most difficult job in the world. It's easy to get into fights that turn into parent-child power struggles. Regardless of the magnitude of an issue, however, whether it's a relatively minor one of brushing teeth or bigger ones over homework and curfews, there are several reasons parents want to pause and consider before getting into arguments - in fact, it's best to avoid them altogether (like a plague).

Let me clarify. This does not mean to allow children to do what they want; parents are responsible to fulfill, and not abdicate, their role as leaders. There is a clear difference, however, between dealing with disagreements in your parent roles of teacher, mentor and guide, and habitual patterns of dismissing, talking over one another, and attack-counter attack interactions.

There are at least five reasons to (seriously) consider before arguing with your child (or spouse for that matter).
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Addictive Relating

Authentic Versus Romanticized Love, 1 of 3: What Love Is Not

What is authentic love in a couple relationship, and how is it different from romanticized love?

For one, by nature's design, authentic love is not supposed to be "easy" to realize. It is a challenging life experience in which nature stretches us out of our comfort zones, in this case, inviting two individuals to stay engaged, and be transformed, by a process that grows the individual capacity of each to love and be loved, to give and contribute to own and others growth and wellbeing,  bring the love and energy they aspire to realize. In contrast, if anything, romanticized love is easy.

Before looking more closely at the characteristics of authentic versus romanticized love, this post outlines what authentic love is not:
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Addictive Relating

Pornography: Ways It Blocks Healthy Sexual Relations, 2 of 3


A key block to healthy sexual relations, as discussed in Part 1, is that porn depicts sexual relations devoid of emotional intimacy as "the" norm.

Whereas intimacy is an emotional sense of safety and love, a felt state of mind and body that occurs when the love and safety chemical oxytocin is released into the blood stream, and that forms an essential foundation for healthy sexual relations, pornography makes...
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