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Archives for April, 2013


Therapy: A Customer Service Profession?

In graduate school, I was told that in therapy, the relationship is a primary source of healing.  There were studies that said interns got as good (or better) results than more experienced therapists, because their clients felt so cared for.

I like that idea.  It rings true with a lot of my professional experiences.

But I'm wondering if it's less and less true.  Is the healing relationship an antiquated notion, out of touch with where our culture is...
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Assertiveness for Beginners

I was just meeting with a client and discussing a situation where she was demeaned by her boss at work in front of her colleagues.  Should she speak up or not?  That is the question.

Since I've been on a self-esteem/self-worth jag on my blog of late, it seemed only natural to ponder that question here.

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Building Kids’ Self-Worth

I started out calling this post "Building Kids' Self-Esteem", but then I realized I really want to talk about something else.  Esteem is really about how other people see us, while worth is about feeling innately, inherently worthy.

I talked in my last post about the Catfish phenomenon, and how I believe it is fueled by low self-esteem on both sides.  But maybe I was wrong.  Maybe it's about low self-worth on both sides.

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“Catfish” and Parenting

Urban Dictionary defines "catfish" as "someone who pretends to be someone they are not online; to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances."  I just watched the "Catfish" documentary (I know, I'm a little behind), which first brought widespread attention to the phenomenon, and it got me thinking:

Why do some people grow up to behave this way?  How do we protect our children from catfish, but also from becoming catfish themselves?

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Old Moms

My 24-year-old client said to me the other day that she hopes her new relationship works out; she doesn't want to wind up being one of those "old moms."  What's an old mom to you?, I asked.  "28," she said.

I had my daughter when I was nine years older than that (go ahead, you can do the math.)  And mostly, I'm comfortable with that.  I was certainly nowhere near ready at 24, or even at 28.  But...
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Maternal Gatekeeping: The Sequel

I received a comment on my previous post about maternal gatekeeping that pointed out how it negatively impacts child development.  (My blog was, admittedly, focused more on the parent doing the behaviors, than on the children affected by them.)

Maternal gatekeeping comprises the beliefs and the behaviors that make mothers more primary than their partners in taking care of the children--essentially, it's a form of control that makes mothers feel overly responsible and overloaded, while the other parent...
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The Cost of Maternal Gatekeeping

I was listening to a radio interview with Sheryl Sandberg, the Facebook COO whose book "Lean In" is apparently inspiring and provoking women in equal measure.  But that's a story for someone else's blog.

Anyway, what grabbed me--in the interests of my blog--was her mention of something called "maternal gatekeeping."  It means (some) mothers are reluctant to relinquish control and as a result, fathers do less in housekeeping and child-rearing.  According to one study, gatekeepers do, on...
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Resilience in Grief: The Newtown Parents

You might have seen the 60 Minutes piece about Newtown parents who've become activists for gun control.  They started with the Connecticut legislature, and now eleven families of Newtown shooting victims took Air Force One to the capitol to try to impact the process there, armed only with the photos of their dead children.

One mother spoke about how the lawmakers who are threatening to filibuster (essentially, to stop gun legislation from even getting a vote)...
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Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Comparing Pain

I had a professor who once said that there's nothing useful about  comparing our pain to other people's.  What she meant is, our pain is our own, and there's no sense in judging it.  The sense is in accepting it.

She wasn't talking about dialectical behavior therapy, though she could have been.  Because DBT attributes a lot of our subjective suffering to the judgments we place upon ourselves.
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