Help For Anxiety, Obsessions, And Compulsions

Although some forms of anxiety are helpful because they motivate us to take healthy action (for example, anxiety about illness might lead us to seek treatment), there are other times when feelings of anxiety can lead to a disorder (for example, if the anxiety doesn’t make sense in a given situation, or if it is either so much or so intense that it interferes with a person’s sense of wellness or quality of life). The diagnosis “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder” (OCD) specifically refers to a type Continue reading →

Dealing With Narcissists

Based on the work of Heinz Kohut’s Self Psychology What are Narcissistic Vulnerabilities? Many of the “difficult people” that we encounter in life can be thought of as having narcissistic vulnerabilities. This means that it is very difficult for them to regulate their self-esteem, and that they are vulnerable to feeling very ashamed. These people often feel the need to use other people as selfobjects, meaning that they use other people to fulfills functions of their own selves that they cannot fulfill on their own, Continue reading →

Marriage Counseling and Couples Therapy

“A crisis is an opportunity for growth.” A marriage counselor, much like an alchemist, must take raw materials and somehow transform them into something precious. The raw materials of couples counseling are different for each couple- for some, it might be a sense of distance and growing apart, and the loneliness that comes with that. You might be asking yourself, “What’s happened to my relationship? We used to be so close but I can hardly remember those feelings because they seem so elusive right now”. Continue reading →

Running Away from Ourselves vs. Mindful Awareness

Many of us are afraid to spend quality time with ourselves. We manage to run away in all sorts of ways, trying to escape the unsettling quiet of being alone with our own minds, or noticing how loud our feelings can be when we actually pay attention to them. Some of us mask the “quiet” by constantly talking to other people, chattering endlessly with others and filling up silences the minute they appear. For others, a frenzy of activity offers the desired distraction. And for Continue reading →

Shame

Most of us have experienced feelings of shame at some point in our lives…feelings of wanting to hide, wishing we didn’t exist, feeling painfully exposed to others and their judgments. For some, the sense of inner badness can even be so strong as to make a person feel toxic to others, as if others could become contaminated just by being close to them. For others, the shame might come at a time when they feel they don’t fit in- when they feel too awkward, too Continue reading →

Compulsive Rescuers and Those Who Seek Them

Compulsive Rescuers and Those Who Seek Them: Many people wish to be rescued when circumstances become trying enough. Situations such as not having enough money to pay one’s bills, feeling out of control about compulsive behaviors such as overeating or drinking alcohol, feeling lonely after a recent relationship breakup, or trying to get out of an abusive situation, often lead to rescue-seeking behaviors. Some examples of rescue-seeking behaviors are: complaining to a co-dependent/compulsive rescuer friend, who you know will offer to “bail you out”; avoiding Continue reading →

What Self-Hatred is Really About

Recently, a number of clients have communicated to me some version of “I hate myself” or “I’ve always hated myself”, while discussing symptoms such as depression, compulsive or addictive behaviors, or self-esteem issues. Often, this powerful self-hatred is accompanied by feelings of being toxic, evil, and inherently prone to “bad things happening”. This “hatred turned against the self” seems to have a much more angry, powerful energy than typical expressions of shame seem to have. When I try to explore what is “bad” about the Continue reading →