Archives for Shame

Anger

The Black Dog of Depression



The other night I was awakened by the sound of a furious barking dog outside my house.

After 30 minutes of constant barking, I stepped outside and saw the neighbor’s black dog running around as if in a panic, trying to get into his home. No one came to the door.

Eventually the police were called, and they tried in vain to catch the skittish dog. The dog would approach the officers, and then...
Continue Reading

Depression

A Client’s Bill of Rights — Our Top 10

When people come in for therapy, they're not at their best. No one comes for counseling when everything is fine. People come because their lives have gotten out of control, when they're hurting, confused, anxious, depressed, or scared.

In the midst of finding a therapist, scheduling a first appointment, and meeting this person who you entrust with the deepest part of yourself, you may not think about your rights as a client or patient.

As a therapist,...
Continue Reading

Relationships

Healing After the Affair: 4 Things to Expect

Infidelity is a topic that few of us discuss openly. When a couple splits up, they're often hesitant to reveal the reason that their relationship ended, especially if it's due to cheating.
Infidelity is like a wrecking ball on a relationship. When a person finds out that their partner has been unfaithful, many areas of their life are impacted. Here are four  changes to expect when your partner has been unfaithful.


Sexuality: When your partner...
Continue Reading

Family

The Fat Shaming Epidemic

I've been thinking a lot about body shaming and fat shaming.
It's all over the media lately. And although kids being teased for their weight is nothing new, the power of the internet takes it to an entirely new level.
Carleigh O'Connell, a 14 year old girl from New Jersey, became a viral sensation and anti-fat shaming advocate when she posted a photograph of herself in a swimsuit in response to a graffiti message...
Continue Reading

anxiety

Transform Your Inner Critic

Your inner critic.

Everyone has one.

Most people want to shut up, destroy, annihilate, or otherwise quiet that voice in their head that says things like, that was a stupid thing to say, or you look so fat today, you're dumb, you'll never get anywhere in life. I'm sure you can add your own.

Your inner critic is the voice that monitors your every act, word, and thought.

When it's out of control, your inner critic can rule your...
Continue Reading

Abuse

The Newest Face of Trauma: Female Veterans


"Jessica" (pseudonym) was 18 years old when she enlisted in the Army. She was trained as a mechanic, and enjoyed what she did.

The Army provided her the family she didn't have at home and a sense of belonging and stability. At the time, the United States was not engaged in a war. A year later, this would change.

Jessica was sent to Afghanistan. While there, she was injured when the truck she was driving hit an...
Continue Reading

Anger

5 Easy Ways to Overcome Negative Thinking

This past weekend, I found myself 400 miles and 3 states away from home with $16 of cash, a half tank of gas, but no credit cards.

I pulled into a gas station and asked if they would take a check. Nope.

How about a credit card number phoned in from my husband? Nope.

My random gift cards were worthless here. I was worried.

I was desperate. I went back to my car where my young daughter sat and...
Continue Reading

Depression

Talking to Your Children About Mental Illness



If you're a parent with a mental illness, or if someone in your  family is mentally ill, you may struggle with how to talk about it with  your children. You may feel embarrassed or even ashamed about your disease.

Even thought it can be difficult, it's important to create a safe space for kids to hear and ask questions about the illness that affects you or your partner.

Here are five tips to help you get...
Continue Reading

Abuse

Unexpected Challengs of Parenting, Part 2: Young Children

When a parent gazes at a beautiful sleeping infant, the possibilities of how he or she will grow up are endless and wonderful.

No one imagines that their sweet fuzzy-haired infant will morph into a toddler who bites and terrorizes other children, or who refuses to eat anything other than chicken nuggets for days at a time.

Parents often imagine that if they just do everything right and provide the best toys and intellectual stimulation for...
Continue Reading

General

Overcoming Shame: It Wasn’t Your Fault

Erica* had a lot going for her. She had a good job, a solid group of friends, and was engaged to be married.

One night, after having some drinks with friends, Erica accepted a ride home with Mark.

Mark walked Erica to the door, then pushed his way in and raped her.

After the sheer terror of the assault had passed, Erica sat sobbing. Despite having done nothing wrong, she felt an intense sense of shame.

She questioned...
Continue Reading