Unlocking Love

by Allie Quade

Attachment Styles: a Key to Understanding Your Relationships

Attachment is a buzz word you may have heard before, perhaps in Psych 101 class or mentioned in parenting books. But did you know that discovering what your and your partner’s attachment styles are can unlock the key to a greater understanding of your needs and theirs? Continue reading

But, are YOU in Recovery?

By Sarah Miller

When one works in the addiction field, it is common to be asked, “are you in recovery?” I remember the first time I was asked this; I felt flustered by the question because it didn’t feel like a simple “yes or no” to me, it was more of a “no, but…” or “yes, and….”

However, I’ve learned that when people ask this question, they are really asking: “Will you judge me?” or “Will you be able to understand me?” — because at the end of it all they’re just hoping to find someone who will listen and genuinely care.

Addiction 101

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Find Your Inner Strength

by Lisa Rosen

Waking Up Feeling Down

I woke up feeling down. I burned my breakfast (part of a new, flavorless diet), and I was just crabby.  I drove to the gym, seemingly hitting every red light. I walked into the group fitness room, late and water bottle-less.

This day was not off to a good start.

Rediscovering Inner Strength

Then, Melissa, our instructor, made eye contact with me.  Her eyes seemed to say, “yes, you can.” That sounds like a small thing, but it stirred something inside of me. My lost confidence started coming back. The class started, and I felt everyone’s energy around me. For the next hour, we were all in this together. Continue reading

On Scarcity and Being Enough

By Jessica Downs

Many of us walk through this world, lost in a hustle—we are exhausted, worn out, and often unsure of why we are where we are. With the ever-growing, ever looming presence of social media, and the pressure from our cultural values to perform and perfect, it’s hard to catch a break from all the things we are not, and that can work to create uncertainty and anxiety.

  • There are not enough jobs for me to find one that will make me happy.
  • I’ll never have the time to be the parent I want to be.
  • I’m not making enough money
  • My house is dated. My wardrobe is dated. My face is looking older—I’m dated!
  • I’ll never be as good-looking, fit, well-liked, successful, talented or witty as “so-and-so.”

And so we hustle. We pin, and we post, and we self-loathe because we are just not keeping up. Continue reading

Parenting & Secure Attachment

Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

By Marion Goodwin, LCSW

  • But Mooommmmmmm, when are you coming hoommmme???”
  • Do I HAVE to finish ALL of my homework before I watch YouTube?”
  • Feed the dogs? I feed them in the evening. It’s not my turn!

I’m the mother of two middle school students. Maybe you are also, or can remember when your kids were this age. Or your children are younger and you can envision how today’s tantrums could evolve to plaintive whines for attention and bargaining in the future. In any event, you are a parent or at least you have a parent, and can relate to these scenarios.

I find it interesting when others (insert Partner/Spouse/Grandparent/Friend) feel emboldened to remark on my children’s behavior:

“They don’t act like that with ME!”
“You need to nip that nonsense in the bud!” “Who’s in charge here anyway???” Continue reading

Rethinking Failure

Photo by Fernando Puente on Unsplash

 

By Kevin Hales, LPC

The Word that Shall Not Be Named

Failure is word that many of us don’t like to talk about. It typically taps into the inner shame that many of us feel when we have “failed.” Nobody wants to be a failure, no one wants to fail at anything they engage in. It is often our fear of failure that prevents us from engaging in new activities, careers and fields of study. Clearly the idea of failure has a powerful effect on all of us, whether or not we actually “fail” at a given task.

In my work as a therapist, I work with brave individuals who have mustered up the courage to call me up, walk through my door and to ask for help with whatever is currently getting in the way of his/her happiness and well-being. Sometimes it’s an individual struggling with addictive behavior of some sort. Perhaps it is a couple struggling in their relationship with one another. One way or another, these people often feel that they are failing in some way with their marriage or with their individual lives. They are stumbling and falling and coming up short, failing over and over again to “succeed.”

A Work in Progress

I believe it is time to rethink the idea of failure. Continue reading

Healing after Loss

Photo by Jordan Wozniak on Unsplash

What do you do when the person you rely on for shelter in life is no longer there? How do you deal with the tsunami of emotions that come with a break-up, a divorce, a death? When that person is no longer there, we feel sadness, anger, hurt, fear—sometimes all at the same time. Sue Johnson, author of Love Sense and originator of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) says that “we are wired for connection.” The anxiety and deep sadness we feel when we lose a loved one is not because we are “co-dependent” or “needy”, but because our partners matter to us. They impact our own need to feel accepted and loved. When a relationship ends, it is a loss. We are suddenly alone.

How do we make it through?

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Effective Apologies

Saying sorry is not that hard. Not when you’re pulling out your carry-on from the overhead compartment and you bump that unsuspecting passenger. Or when your colleague has been waiting for that email from you since yesterday morning. Not even when you’ve just cut off someone because you were in a hurry and they make sure to let their horn tell you how they feel.

But when it comes to those who live and interact with us more intimately, apologizing is one of the hardest things to do, much less do effectively. There is a price to letting others into the limited confines of our heart space—we will bump into each other. Given the inevitably of these collisions, I’d like to speak to a few principles outlined by Harriet Lerner, PhD, that can help in making effective apologies. The following principles are taken from her interview with Brene Brown. Continue reading

Quieting the Inner Critic

Photo by Simon Wijers on Unsplash

Your Personal Drill Sergeant

We have all had some exposure, likely through Hollywood movies, to the overbearing drill sergeant yelling at a group of soldiers:

  • “You’re a maggot!”
  • “You smell like failure!”
  • “You’re worthless! . . .  Drop and give me twenty!”

The drill sergeant’s objective is not to provide care and compassion, but to yell, push, and criticize in order to prepare the soldiers for threats. It may be hard to identify at first, but if you slow down and notice some of messages you tell yourself, you may find that a voice similar to the overbearing drill sergeant has taken place in your mind. This is called the “inner critic.” Continue reading

We’re Doing the Best We Can!

By Kevin Hales, LPC

Do You Assume the Worst in Others?

In the day in which we live, it can be tempting sometimes to assume the worst in others. The driver who cuts us off can suddenly become an enemy to us. The child who defies our direction can be seen as rebellious and troublesome. The spouse who ignores or lashes out can be seen in the moment as uncaring and hateful. Yet, the reality, as unreal as it may seem, is that we’re all doing the best we can, given the knowledge and experience we have gained up until that point in our lives. Continue reading