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Archives for December, 2012

Attachment

Top Ten Things I Learned As A New Mom

Since we're mere hours from the new year, I thought I'd count down the life lessons from my first year as a mother.

Being a marriage and family therapist as well as a new mom, there were lots of things I knew intellectually.  I've worked with women experiencing postpartum depression, and with couples and new families under stress.  But this year, I learned the difference between knowing and knowing.

For my Top Ten List--a la...
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Attachment

How to Be Heard

Last week, I was meeting with a couple fresh off a really damaging fight.  She had gotten angry and threatening; he had shut down; she had continued to escalate in the hopes of getting a response.  The escalation had led to some ugly comments, from which they were still recovering.

It's a fairly common pattern.  When we want to be heard, it seems logical to speak louder, maybe even to...
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Attachment

Merry Christmas, Baby!

My baby is approaching one year old, so this is her first Christmas out of utero.  That meant her first Christmas party, this past Saturday night.  Being out at night, falling asleep in a strange environment--I wasn't sure how it would all come together.  Once you're a parent, you really know what happens to the best-laid plans.

My husband and I gathered all sorts of objects intended for play and soothing and sleep, hoping...
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Attachment

The Problem with Monsters

We teach children not to fear monsters.  "Look," we say, "I'll show you there's no one hiding in your closet or under your bed."  But as adults, after collectively witnessing something like the Sandy Hook tragedy, we might find that we believe in monsters, too.

Here's the problem with that: Some people do commit monstrous acts.  But if we simply dismiss people as monsters, we might miss the opportunity to give them treatment.  We...
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Attachment

Secure Attachment as Violence Prevention

Since the Newtown shootings, I've been thinking a lot about violence, and how to prevent it.  I've been thinking about why some people become enraged to the point of harming others.  I'm not talking about only the Newtown shootings, but about smaller, seemingly more comprehensible acts of violence.  Why do some people have self-control, even when they're in great personal pain, and other don't?

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Attachment

Too Many Guns, Not Enough Mental Health Treatment

I don't think anyone could hear about the elementary school shooting without feeling shock and horror.  That's the first response, and it'll probably be the second and third and fourth as more information unfolds in the coming days.

But once that begins to subside, hopefully it won't be replaced by despair, or worse, numbness.  I hope that it will be replaced by a collective sense of resolve.  Because we, as Americans, need...
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Parenting

Accidents Happen (If We’re Doing it Right)

My baby's pushing a year old, and she's not the most physical kid you ever saw.  She can get around by rolling, but her attempts at crawling look like she's trying to do the breast stroke.  She's generally content to sit in one place with toys strewn around her.

So we were a little surprised when she came home from daycare with a shiner.  She'd rolled herself into a corner and tried to get...
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General

Having it All (Sort of)

I'm obsessed with trade-offs.  If you ask me, "What's life about?", I'd answer, in a heartbeat, "Trade-offs."  If you say, "Can people have it all?", I'd respond, "They can have a lot, if they're realistic in their expectations, and make the right trade-offs."  It's an imperfect world.  There's a finite amount of time.

My theory of trade-offs, which I rely on in my personal and professional life, is this: You...
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Communication

Personal Disclosures: The Sequel

My inaugural blog post was called Personal Disclosures.  And in my post Tale of Two Rookie Moms, I wrote about my therapy work with a stay-home mom who was struggling emotionally.  I told her how hard maternity leave was for me, and how I felt so much more myself, so much more balanced, so much more capable as a mother, by going back to work.   My...
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General

It’s Not All About the Kids

New parents hear it all the time: "It's not about you anymore; now it's all about the kids."  Selflessness is in.  Selfishness is out.  Got it.

What's always struck me is that there's no word in the English language for maintaining a healthy self.  I'd propose one: Self-ness.  After all, if one end of the continuum is selfishness, and the other is selflessness, shouldn't there be some middle ground?  Perhaps self-ness is that middle...
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