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Coming Clean on the Couch

self deception

Coming clean on the couch isn’t easy. And what do I mean by that? This is a post about self deception and how it stops you cold from achieving your best self. Self deception exists in many forms. We tell ourselves it won’t matter if we just have this extra helping of mashed potatoes or purchase this designer handbag on sale. The credit card bill is already high–what the hell. But how about self deception as a form of [false] protection?

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Can’t. Think. Clearly.

can't think clearly

Hello everyone! This post is a Part II to last week’s, which you can read here if you missed it.

What happens when you are fighting with your lover and you get either so hurt, or so angry, that you can’t think clearly?

Research by Jaak Panksepp of Washington State University demonstrates that mammals develop a special pathway in the amygdala that lights up when they perceive their mate is unavailable. Panksepp is convinced this special pathway exists in all mammals. So what happens when you feel, most likely without even realizing it, that your connection with your partner is under threat? You are plunged into what he terms “primal panic.” The primal part is due to the absolute need,  a primal need, for connection to others–especially our significant others.

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Anxiety and Love

Anxiety and love

Anxiety and love are connected. Logic, as we think of it in the Western sense, is often prized above love, when love is thought of as an emotion that lacks intellect. Yet love, which is comprised of all six innate identified emotions (recognized and verified via social science the world over): fear, anger, happiness, sadness, surprise, and shame, is exquisite in its logic of self protection. We are designed by evolution to seek connection for survival and much research on attachment theory has verified this. So what happens when our sense of attachment with our partner feels threatened and we start to feel anxious?

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What matters most in therapy?

therapeutic relationship

Wow. What matters most in therapy? There are so many schools of thought on that question it boggles the brain. Between the problem approach and the list of disorders published in the DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: Fifth Edition), identifying what makes therapy successful has about as many answers as there are economists predicting the stock market. When I scroll through other therapists’ listings on Psychology Today to see how many different disorders they treat, I start feeling a little queasy. Should I be treating all those? Listing all those specialties? Does that matter? Or should I maybe sound more warm and fuzzy like many sites do? Should I declare that my undying passion is to help others?
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What Happens to My Body During an Anxiety Attack?

anxiety attack

Our bodies are truly amazing at protecting us. Which is one reason people ask me “What happens to my body during an anxiety attack?” Let’s talk physical.

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Stress Whining

stress management

Yes , that’s me stress whining. Lately I have been grousing and grumbling a good deal about my schedule and feeling slightly overwhelmed with my “To Do” List. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to have a busy work and social life with much to accomplish, but the way I do stress management is to let off steam by doing a little whining. The question is what do you do to keep it all reigned in?

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Adult Coloring Books: What They Are/Are Not

adult coloring books

So everyone whose head is not up a deep dark place knows about the adult coloring books craze. I recently saw a cute cartoon with two zebras facing each other, one with bright rainbow colored stripes saying “It is supposed to reduce stress.” What adult coloring books are/are not is the light topic I offer you today.

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The Anxious Underbelly of Small Business Ownership

workaholism

When you are an entrepreneur, it is easy to get consumed by what I call the anxious underbelly of small business ownership. When you find that you cannot shut off the valve of workaholism, and you cannot stop obsessing about the never ending to-do list, it is time to reassess. Read more

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Shame Triggers: How They Bloom

shame triggers for women

When I think about shame triggers and how they bloom, I am immediately taken back to a story of myself in the sixth grade. This was when elementary school went from 1st-6th grade; formal kindergarten was not yet in existence.
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What does a baby monkey have to do with the fight you had with your lover last night?

fight with lover

Harry Harlow was the first to do groundbreaking research using rhesus monkeys to demonstrate the profound impact mother attachment had on the normal growth and maturation of the baby monkeys in his experiments. It showed that even when the monkeys were repeatedly rejected by painful mother “dolls”, they would return seeking connection even though the source (the doll) was woefully lacking in the same.

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