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Archives for October, 2014

Psychotherapy

Diagnosis: A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?

With a new diagnostic manual out (the DSM-5 replacing the DSM-4TR), I've been thinking more about the dangers of diagnosis.  It's just human nature that if you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

So the way a therapist sees a client is shaped by the diagnostic criteria available, and that can influence how clients see themselves ("I'm a depressive borderline," one new client informed me.)

Given this, therapists have to diagnose with care.  And clients have...
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Relationships

You’re Only Hurting Yourself

People do self-destructive acts all the time.  Sometimes it's because they don't realize they're doing it (self-sabotage, where your unconscious is driving the car) or because they don't see an alternative (cutting, for example, releases endorphins and offers immediate relief from pain.)  Here are some questions to ask yourself, in order to recognize your patterns and begin healing.
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Anger

How to Fight Fair

In a healthy relationship, fights are going to happen.  (Often, a complete absence of fights is a sign partners have become irrevocably disconnected.)  So the goal isn't to eradicate all fights; it's to make sure you're fighting well.

What I mean is, a good fight is one that's productive: grievances are aired, resentments are released, both parties ultimately feel understood, and the least possible emotional damage was inflicted.  A bad fight is--well, the opposite of that.

If you've...
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Adolescents

The Unexpected Ways Social Media Can Harm Your Teen (And What You Can Do About It)

Social media and the parent-child bond are among the themes in my novel, "Don't Try to Find Me."  They were also among the topics of a recent radio interview I gave (thanks to Answers for the Family for a great talk! you can listen to it here.)  While there are the obvious ways that social media can harm a teenager (for example, cyber bullying) there are some more insidious ones as well.

What are...
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You’re Being Emotionally Abused–What Do You Do About it?

My recent post Are You Being Emotionally Abused? seemed to strike a nerve with a lot of people.  That means that many of you are experiencing  emotional abuse in their relationships.  This is (sadly) not surprising to me, in my line of work.  But hopefully, it's a comfort to realize that you're not alone in this. It's not your fault, and it's not okay.

So now that you've acknowledged the abuse, what should you do?  Here are the first steps.
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