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Conflict

How Couples Can Break Through An Impasse



Couples who start to think about separation or divorce are in a place of high conflict or high dissatisfaction. Sometimes it's very easy to find the main culprit in the relationship, especially when there is verbal or physical abuse. But often it's not so clear cut.

Lots of couples aren't happy in their marriage, but find themselves unable to end the relationship. There may be an element of...
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General

When Spiritual Relationships Go Awry – Part IV




Many people who come to enter codependent relationships with their teachers are--consciously or unconsciously--seeking to empower themselves by associating with a powerful figure. They project all the qualities they feel are lacking in themselves onto the teacher: perseverance, wisdom, enlightenment, strength, and so on. They become fixated on the belief that they can only develop these qualities the closer they are to the teacher.
Making the teacher their therapist, lover, or main confidante...
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General

When Spiritual Relationships Go Awry – Part III



Love and care are at the heart of every functioning spiritual student-teacher relationship. It is almost never equally mutual or even palpable in overt ways, and it may never be acknowledged. It can come in many different forms and includes struggles and resistance. But the intensity of every significant bond that is forged in this arena implies by its nature the presence of affection and love.
Unfortunately, the nature of this love is...
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General

When Spiritual Relationships Go Awry, Part II

In my previous post, I discussed the pitfalls of idealization and just how easy it is to put a seemingly highly evolved person on a pedestal. What often comes with idealization is a certain degree of regression, which means that the admirer goes back to a psychologically less mature place and looks up to the spiritual teacher from an almost childlike place. This is what puts the person in authority in such a powerful place.

Spiritual leaders,...
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General

When Spiritual Relationships Go Awry, Part I


 

The story of spiritual relationships going bad has been repeating itself in many ways in virtually every religion. We think about the sex abuse scandals in the Catholic church. Violent outbursts in cults like the Branch Davidians. And bitter disillusionment when a spiritual leader we turn to ends up not having our best interest at heart.

Eastern religions in America have not been spared. There have been sex scandals in Yoga centers all over the country,...
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Anxiety and Worry

How To End Codependency


Codependency is defined as one partner being dependent on the control and the needs of another, like when a self defeating partner falls for a narcissist. For the codependent person, the needs of the other become paramount, and one's own needs and desires - sometimes even the whole personality are obliterated.

The primary task of a codependent person is individuation. Becoming one's own priority. Knowing and realizing one's desires. Discovering the self. And eventually standing on your own...
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Conflict

How To Communicate Instead Of Having A Fight

We've all been there. It's Sunday morning. The husband wants to see his parents. The wife would rather go take a hike in the woods. Or the other way around. One insists on what they want, the other resists or doesn't really engage and you're off arguing what to do with this Sunday afternoon.

The most important aspect to avoid a fight is your attitude towards the other person. If you internally roll your eyes and...
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General

Treating Depression Naturally


Depression, especially when mild and manageable, can be treated with natural means. Lots of people are not comfortable taking psychotropic medication when they feel blue, but still want to be proactive in trying to help themselves.

Psychotherapist Nicole McCance has now published the book "52 Ways to Beat Depression Naturally". It begins with breathing exercises to calm you down and behavioral tips how to get motivated. I especially appreciate the reminder...
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Anxiety and Worry

Therapy Is Not For Wimps

Most people who seek psychotherapy believe that they are weak, that their life force has been shaken to the core, that they can't face the world and its challenges. But it's quite the opposite. Daring to look at oneself and one's imperfections really is an act of heroism.

Most of us don't like to admit that we often are in need: we crave to be in a loving relationship, grow roots and...
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Anxiety and Worry

Colored Lights Will Lift Your Mood


We've long known that soft candle light generally triggers a gentler mood, and grey skies can make us more gloomy. Some people tend to be depressed in the winter, when the sun sets early.

The same dynamic takes place inside our homes and offices. The artificial light that comes from the ceiling or floor lamp will have an impact on us. Especially the harsh light of fluorescent bulbs creates a cold, stark atmosphere.

Researchers at the German Fraunhofer...
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