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Relationship Corner
with Tarra Bates-Duford, Ph.D., MFT

Family, Mental Health, Relationships, Support. Treatment

Who is Gaslighting Who? When Partners Gaslight in a Relationship


The topic of gaslighting has been a hot topic among both mental health professionals and social media sites for the last year. For those of you that have never heard of gaslighting, gaslighting is a form of psychological and emotional manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or group, making them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Individuals that gaslight others do so as a way gain power and control over...


Family, Mental Health, Relationships, Support. Treatment

When Smiling Hurts: 10 Reasons People with Depression Feign Happiness


Depression, also known as major depressive disorder or clinical depression, is an all too common mood disorder. Individuals who suffer from depression experience ongoing persistent feelings of profound sadness and hopelessness, he or she often loses interest in activities they once enjoyed. In additional to the negative emotions and problems caused by depressive symptoms somatic issues are more likely to be present. Somatic issues associated with depression can include migraine headaches, chronic fatigue, body aches, digestive...


Family, Mental Health, Relationships, Support. Treatment

Changes in Love Interests with Maturity: 11 Changes


Romantic love is often described as universal as it is associated with intense emotional feelings of euphoria and excitement. Predictably, euphoric feelings come with increased energy, elevated positive mood, positive outlook, and anticipation. That being said, when we experience euphoric feelings associated with a new love, we also experience feelings of increased desires, obsessive thinking, and increased energy. Once we feel we have found shared love, someone that shares our interests, or someone that brings joy to...


Family, Mental Health, Relationships, Support. Treatment

Harmful Family Lies, Secrets, and Legacies


Everyone tells a lie at some point or other in their life, no one is perfect. There is no one reason why someone might tell a lie as he/she might tell a lie to escape an uncomfortable situation, shame, guilt, cover up something that occurred, spare someone elses feelings, or in an attempt to hide or mislead. Generational lies can be particularly distressing for family members as the lie may have been told and maintained over...


Family, Mental Health, Relationships, Support. Treatment

Bipolar Disorder and Family: 8 Tips to Manage the Disorder


Bipolar disorder is a serious mental health condition characterized by extreme fluctuations in mood, that is often not directly associated with external stimuli. It's a disorder that can lead to risk taking behaviors, personal, familial, and vocational instability, and even suicidal thoughts/tendencies if it is not treated appropriately.

Although, most of us experience fluctuations in mood that travel along a continuum of emotions we often do so gradually and subtly. Persons with bipolar disorder struggle more often...


Family, Mental Health, Relationships, Support. Treatment

Breakups and the New Year: 7 Reasons Couples Breakup


Romantic relationships begin and end every day, some couples form and we totally see it coming, and others we don’t. The same thing applies to breakups, some we can see coming others we don’t. However, when we consider the breakup of a romantic relationship many things are true, , there were pre-existing problems in the relationship, the couple did not work through their problems, did not communicate their individual needs, or pretended there were no issues...


Family, Mental Health, Relationships, Support. Treatment

Why Are We So Fascinated by Narcissists?


People with narcissism live in world that focuses on themselves all day, every day. The world in which the narcissist “lives” is quite distorted, filled with self-indulgence, thoughts of superiority, and double standards. Interacting with a narcissist can be both confusing and frustrating as the narcissist has little to no insight into social norms, appropriateness, and how to use empathizing behaviors. Expecting the narcissist to see beyond his or her own personal needs and desires is...


Family, Mental Health, Relationships, Support. Treatment

Celebrating the Holidays Post Divorce: 12 Tips


It is pretty safe to say, most couples do not enter a marriage with the expectation of later divorcing. However, when divorce or separation occurs within the family, the holidays can be an especially challenging time of year. Many former spouses find themselves dreading the holidays as they now have to focus on how they should engage with each other post-divorce, how their children will respond to the change of their parents being divorced, should they follow...


Family, Mental Health, Relationships, Support. Treatment

Broken Things: Our Need to Fix Others


 

For some, the need to “fix” others can be overpowering, we want to fix what we perceive to be broken or not working properly. The need to fix others can often be seen in romantic relationships, one partner feels the other may need “a little work” in order to make him/her a better person or better partner in the relationship. One problem with this is that the other person may not want fixing or may not...


Family, Mental Health, Relationships, Support. Treatment

Can Children Become Narcissists?


Just about everyone has crossed paths with a narcissistic, has a friend or family member that is a narcissist, or works for/with a narcissist. However, the question remains, what causes a person to become a narcissist?

Narcissism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder are often associated with certain childhood experiences or the environment in which we are raised. As children we look to our parents for guidance and approval. Most of us grow up wanting to be just like...