Psych Central

Happiness In Good Times…And Bad

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski
Photo by Eric Ward

Photo by Eric Ward

Have you ever wondered what “going with the flow” really feels like?

A skilled therapist can help you recognize when and how to turn your problems into growth opportunities—which might seem like a cliché, until this outlook actually begins to work for you. A skilled therapist will teach you how to do this on your own—to generate a flow of positive outlook in both good times and hard times.

Good therapists are the ones who have the specialized knowledge to actually give you the key to your own transformation. 

—From Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better, and Move On

True change happens from the inside out. Anyone who’s ever been in a painful, challenging, or abusive situation for a length of time, and then finds themselves removed from this situation, knows that thoughts and feelings don’t change overnight. If you’ve suffered, then it might take you awhile to learn to trust, relate, and experience joy.

But even if you’re in a difficult situation, inner change is possible.*

Continue reading… »

Help For Men With Borderline Personality Disorder

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski
Photo by S. Spivak

Photo by S. Spivak

We continue discussing Men and Borderline Personality Disorder with Robert Fischer, MD of the Roanne Program, which specializes in in the treatment of young adults with borderline personality disorder or BPD traits.




How does the treatment of borderline personality disorder differ for men and women?

Fundamentally, treatment does not differ!

DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy), mentalization, and other treatment formats are helpful for both men and women.

The differences in treatment are really more about the uniqueness of each individual.

The therapist helps each client identify their unique strengths and helps foster and cultivate those strengths. Effective therapy involves helping the client—male or female—find and develop their passion, experience moments of authentic joy, and share their experience with others.

This is what seems to be lacking in many of the cognitive behavioral approaches.

Continue reading… »

Men Can Have Borderline Personality Disorder, Too

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

Dr_Robert_Fischer_Optimum_Performance_Institute_Roanne_ProgramBorderline Personality Disorder is usually thought of as a “woman’s” disorder. But men can have borderline personality disorder, too.

Therapy Soup welcomes Dr. Robert Fischer. Dr. Fischer is executive director of the Optimum Performance Institute in Woodland Hills, CA. OPI’s Roanne Program specializes in treating young adults with Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD traits.

When most people think of a person with a borderline personality disorder diagnosis, they think of it being a woman’s disorder. Yet, men can also have BPD. How many men have BPD and what percentage of all BPD sufferers are men?

Years ago, clinicians were reluctant to make the diagnosis of BPD partly because the treatments available were not yielding favorable results, and therefore, there was not a lot of hope for full recovery.

With the advent of Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and other therapeutic modalities, it is clear we can do much to help people with BPD improve the quality of their lives. We have made major progress in de-stigmatizing the diagnosis of BPD in females.

Finally, we are taking the next step and doing the same for males.

Continue reading… »

Zohydro: Friend Or Foe?

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe new drug Zohydro, a hydrocodone-based drug which is 5 to 10 times the strength of Vicodin, has now received FDA approval, despite objections from the FDA’s own advisers.

I join numerous other addiction and mental health professionals who are expressing concern. We know that hydrocodone can be as addictive as heroin.*

Continue reading… »

Borderline Personality Disorder, Fear Of Abandonment, And Relationships

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

Lisa Bahar Profile Photo Professional IToday we’re talking with therapist Lisa Bahar about Borderline Personality Disorder and how it can affect relationships.

Welcome, Lisa.

BPD makes it difficult to be involved in a stable, healthy relationship. What are some kinds of behaviors that people with BPD have that are a challenge to a relationship?

A person with BPD desires and responds to structure, predictability and communication. When there is lack of predictability, anxiety or fear of abandonment can potentially set in, and disruptive and unstable behavior can escalate into controlling and aggressive reactions.

These reactions can occur when their partner’s behavior even slightly differs from what is expected. For example, if a partner, who is “always” on time is 15 minutes late, breaking a pattern of predictability, feeling of anxiousness increase. These feelings trigger feelings of abandonment, which can then lead to disproportionate reactions.  These feelings are all rooted in fear.

Continue reading… »

Borderline Personality Disorder: Is It Just An Excuse?

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

595702_14433699Is borderline personality disorder a real diagnosis or is it just a way to let someone who’s selfish, impulsive and mean off the hook for their bad behavior?

If you’re shocked by the above question, don’t be.

Some therapists will tell you that without education, spouses, children, and especially colleagues of those with BPD might feel the diagnosis is a “sham” or an “excuse for bad behavior.”

Continue reading… »

Is It Impossible To Control Your Thoughts? CBT Disagrees.

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

CBT blurbiesChange your thoughts, change your life.

Sure, self-help gurus push this glib-sounding phrase in order to sell books and workshops. But many people, including some even a few therapists, believe it’s bunk.

What a shame.

That’s because many of us do have the power to change our unwanted thoughts (or at least our relationship to our unwanted thoughts) and one therapy method is designed to do just that. 

Continue reading… »

♥Tidbits On Love And Marriage

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

1157966_68111590If Your Love Is Healthy, Your Heart Is Healthy

From ancient times, people in virtually every culture have known that emotions, especially the emotion of love, resides in the heart.

Let the intelligentsia scoff. Now we know that the people rule.

Continue reading… »

♥Thinking About Marriage? 7 Meaningful Rules Of Engagement

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

812211_52277831Thinking about getting engaged?

Here are seven rules to keep in mind through your wedding day (and beyond):

♥Cultivate Awareness. Treasure the moments. Enjoy the process. Being engaged and planning a wedding are one of the most exciting times in your life. Feel it!

♥Before you tie the knot, discuss what constitutes loyalty—and betrayal—in a marriage.

Continue reading… »

Discuss Betrayal BEFORE You Get Married

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

1414424_35810153It’s (almost) never too late to sit down and talk about your marriage, but it’s best to agree upon some guidelines before you tie the knot.

It may be old-fashioned, but having a third party such as a clergy member give you premarital counseling, can help. (See Seven Old Fashioned Ideas That Can Make Marriage Last).

Whether you are seeing a counselor or talking about your future together alone, here are a few insights into loyalty and betrayal you might want to discuss before you head down the aisle.

1. Don’t assume you both have the same values and beliefs about marital loyalty and what constitutes betrayal. If you and your spouse have had different upbringings and backgrounds, it’s even more important to talk openly about the topic. If you don’t have a set of ethno-cultural or religious guidelines that you both believe in, try and create a general list of guidelines—together.

2. Is complaining  about your spouse to a parent or parent-in-law kosher? Bringing your mom or dad, or your spouse’s, into an argument, is usually not a great idea if you want to keep a marriage unified. (There are exceptions to every rule—if your spouse is abusive, or harmful to himself or others, everyone may need to be involved.)

This doesn’t mean you can’t ask your parent for advice on some matters, but knowing where to draw the line can be a bit iffy and worth talking about ahead of time. Of course, in some family cultures, nearly everything is discussed with nearly everyone in the family. This works fine only if both you and your spouse are comfortable with this and agree to live this way.

3. Complaining about your spouse to a friend or colleague can hurt. How would you feel if your spouse complained about you? While it’s true that sometimes we all need to vent or to talk things out, it’s important that we do so with the right person. If you have a problem with your spouse that you two can’t solve on your own, you might want to plan on getting help from someone with some measure of expertise and confidentiality, such as a counselor, coach, or clergy member. (Or at least look for a self-help book on the topic.) By protecting your spouse’s privacy you protect your own.

Remember: This does not apply to an abusive situation. When dealing with an addiction, violence, or emotional abuse, confiding in someone right away, even a friend, is necessary. You are not violating a premarital agreement or rule if someone is getting hurt and you tell a third party.

4. Revealing personal information about your spouse to a friend or acquaintance, even if you’re not complaining, might be a betrayal. But revealing information about your spouse that your spouse might be uncomfortable with is a form of betrayal. Period. (Again, unless it fulfills the requirements of the abuse/addiction/harm caveat.)

5. Our tradition teaches that your other half, your best friend, your soul mate is your spouse. We’re taught that other relationships are vital to having a well-rounded life, but still, your spouse is most important person in your life. When both partners in an emotionally healthy marriage put each other and the marriage first (above friendship, workmates, even family-of-origin), they’ll likely find that though other relationships may not be as intimate as they perhaps could be, they’ll gain in durability and respect.



Therapy Revolution
Check out the book!
Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better, and
Move On without Wasting Time or Money
by Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

Subscribe to this Blog:

Or Get a Single, Daily Email (enter email address):

via FeedBurner

Recent Comments
  • rcp0604: Interesting article, with helpful insights and strategies for everyone, BPD or not. The hitch, though, is...
  • Janey: This behaviour is an infantile form of communication the person has unfortunately internalized a negative...
  • Janey: Sounds like a good friend…
  • Janey: My mother had BPD and constantly felt abandoned everything was about her and therefore she sought to control...
  • Janet: Very good post. In my 20′s and 30′s I misread people leaving my life as abandoning me but I...
Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code

Users Online: 12240
Join Us Now!