Family Dysfunction: 3+Ways To Overcome Family Narcissism

Would you consider yourself to have a healthy family?

Would you say that your family is a loving family that makes you feel secure and valued?

If so, that's wonderful! But sadly, for most people, family is another burden they have to learn to cope with in their daily life.

Narcissistic and self-centered family members are a given in dysfunctional families. Boundaries are fluid, values are confusing, ethical behavior doesn't exist, and abuse as well as trauma is often likely to occur.

In this article, I discuss family narcissism and 3+ ways to overcome it.


The Fragmented Self: 8 Misconceptions Of Trauma

What is emotional and psychological trauma? How would you describe it?

If I were to quiz you on trauma would you know how to define it? You might say something like trauma is a negative experience that you cannot forget or move past. I would give you an A+ but also challenge you to consider different situations in which trauma occurs and the impact on the victim.

For example, we all know that a child who has been abused and neglected or has seen something horrific would most likely be traumatized.

But would you also consider a 3-month-old baby who has been severely neglected to be traumatized? Would you consider an adult, who has a history of trauma, to still suffer from the trauma?

These questions will be answered in this article including a video on the fragmented pieces of themselves trauma victims are left with. 


7 Signs Trauma Has You Stuck

Trauma is a powerful word.  Many people almost stagger when I mention that I believe they have experienced "trauma." When clients hear me label some of their most disturbing and unhealthy experiences as "trauma" they look puzzled.
This article will focus on 7 ways trauma negatively affects us and offer tips on how to cope or move forward. 


BPD Diagnosis: 10 Common Fears

Do you know someone with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)?

Are you diagnosed with it yourself?

How did the person (or you) accept or deal with the diagnosis?

As a therapist who has worked with both adults and adolescents with borderline traits, I have seen my fair share of denial, resentment, and even outright rage expressed in sessions when the word BPD comes up. I had a previous adolescent client ask me to stop using the term BPD while discussing her challenges because "I don't believe I have that. If I don't believe I have that, then neither should you." Stunned by this attempt at controlling a professional, I offered to emphasize only the symptoms and leave the label behind, at least during the hour of psychotherapy.

This article will explore some of the fears that clients may have about being labeled with BPD. 


Surviving The Chronic Liar: 5 Things To Do

Do you know someone who lies frequently about any and everything?

Have you caught someone in a few lies and wonder why they continue to engage in the behavior?

If so, you are obviously dealing with a pathological liar.

What most people fail to recognize about pathological liars is that they often lack the ability to empathize with others (walk in your shoes), feel guilty about their behavior, and have trouble controlling their innate impulse to lie. For most of us, it is very difficult to lie with a straight face and quite easy to feel guilty about the lie. But for someone with pathological behaviors, it is rather easy for them to lie while exhibiting behaviors and emotions that make the lie believable.

What is most interesting about pathological liars is that many of them know how to control their emotions in such a way that lying can look like the truth to us.

This article will explore ways to protect yourself from pathological liars and identify their modus operandi.


6 Delusions You’ll Never Want To Encounter

Have you ever spoken to someone with delusions?

Would you know a delusion if you encountered one?

What about a person experiencing a hallucination?

If you found yourself shaking your head "no" to these questions, that's okay because you are not alone.

This article will engage you in exploring the experience of those who struggle with delusions. 


6 Ways Intergenerational Trauma Impacts Families

Have you ever heard of the term inter-generational trauma? What about "generational curse?"

Inter-generational trauma is a concept developed to help explain years of generational challenges within families. It is the transmission (or sending down to younger generations) of the oppressive or traumatic effects of a historical event. For example, a great grandmother who was placed in a concentration camp in Germany may have learned to cope by "cutting off" her emotions. Because of this, this grandmother may interact with her family in an emotionally distant fashion. That relationship may be tumultuous to say the least.

The transmission of the historical trauma may begin to negatively affect her grandchildren and her grandchildren's children, etc., leading to generations of emotional distance, defensive behaviors around expression of emotions, and denial.

Inter-generational problems including oppression can often be found in families that have been traumatized in severe forms (e.g., sexual abuse, rape, murder, etc). This article will highlight some of the ways inter-generational trauma can affect younger generations and families.


5 Unhealthy Emotional Attachments

What were your thoughts when you read this article title?

You might believe that attachment has nothing to do with mental health but it most certainly does. In fact, some people believe that topics about attachment only have something to do with newborn babies or toddlers. But the reality is that attachment is a natural phenomenon that occurs in every human relationship and begins during the first few years of life.

Some people believe that attachment begins as early as in the womb between baby and mother. Our early life relationships often set the stage for how we will function within future relationships and will affect the boundaries we employ in each relationship. Research has suggested that healthy boundaries often include the ability to attach and detach when appropriate, foresee relational dangers, and employ appropriate boundaries. Unhealthy (or poor) attachment includes the inability to be independent when necessary, high levels of fear and anxiety when separated from a relationship, and very poor boundaries. This article will discuss how poor attachment correlates to unhealthy relationships in the long-run. This article will also highlight 5 unhealthy boundaries, often found in individuals with personality disorders or trauma histories, that we all should be aware of.


Spotting The Trouble-Maker

Do you know someone who takes pleasure in dragging any and everyone down with spreading rumors or lies, starting arguments and getting everyone involved, or keeping problems going by including people who should not be included?

If so, you are not alone. In fact, triangulation is something that emotionally unstable individuals use to either manipulate or confuse a situation. In some cases, the triangulation is unintentional but habitual. Either way, it's problematic.

Have you ever heard of the term "triangulate" or "triangulation?" If not, that's okay because it's typically a concept used in trauma-informed therapy. The term is used to describe an individual who creates drama using 3 or more people in a situation.

This article will explain triangulation and help you explore the problems that result from someone who engages in this behavior.