house upside down

Adults Who Grew Up in Dysfunctional Families

Being raised in a dysfunctional family can greatly influence our behavior and feelings as adults. Understanding this fact is vital in knowing why we feel the way we do and gives us an opportunity to learn that we are not crazy. Rather, it is growing up in a crazy or dysfunctional environment which caused us to develop problematic characteristics. To recover fully so that we may have enjoyable lives, we need to understand what has happened to us and learn how to implement a practical solution towards change.Characteristics of Adult Children
No parking sign discouraged

Feeling Discouraged, Lost, and Depressed

When we become discouraged, feel lost, are confused, and feel overwhelmed, it is easy to feel like we want all the pain and sadness to stop.  We want to run, to feel no more, and to have our upset, anger, and sadness removed quickly.  Understanding a few issues might be of help at these difficult times. Discouragement of Depression When we experience depressive feelings, it is easy to feel discouraged and to feel hopeless. Depression is many times anger turned inside because of things that has happened to us in life. At other times, depression is the result of a chemical imbalance.No matter...
psychiatrist office couch

How to Choose a Good Psychiatrist

At some point, you may find yourself in need of a good psychiatrist. There are three critical rules in doing this. Understanding the terminology in distinguishing between a psychiatrist, psychologist, and psychiatric mental nurse practitioner is the most important step. Know the Rules Setting your expectations appropriately and not sabotaging your approach is second. Third is the rule of not forgetting your ultimate goal. Rule 1: Know the Terminology If you are in need of general mental health medications, approaching your primary care physician (PCP) is a good first step. These tend to be general practitioners or family practice doctors. The advantage is one...
great white shark

How to Swim with the “Difficult Sharks” in our Lives

No one WANTS to swim with sharks. However, difficult people are, by their very nature, sharks: Aggressive, territorial, and tribal. When we unexpectedly find ourselves dealing with a difficult person, we assume that they will "play fair". In our desire to "get along with others", we often make the situation worse. In reality, we have no choice but to learn how to identify and respond assertively without being "eaten alive".Swimming with sharks is like any other skill: It cannot be learned from books alone; the novice must practice in order to develop the skills. The RULES, if followed, will...
Careers in mental health

The Definitive Guide to Becoming a Therapist

People often ask me what it takes to become a therapist or a mental health professional. The options are staggering: Psychologist, psychiatrist, LMFT, LPC, LCSW, or PMHNP. Ironically, there are not many places to find the answers. Here's what you need to know to find your way.In general, you must go to four years of college to get a B.A. or B.S. (Bachelor's) degree. This is the general preparation for entry into professional graduate education which starts AFTER you have completed college. Many students will major in psychology or...
mouse trap accident

Why Does My Marriage Feel Like a Trap?

The Freedom of Choice is the most valued factor in our lives. Human beings will do most anything to insure that they can have choice in all of their decisions. Much of what counselors, therapists and psychologists hear in therapy is related to a sense that the individual does not have a sense of choice in their lives.When we feel an obligation to do something, being forced to do what others want, we resist. This is made worse when there is a sense of betrayal in the relationship in some manner. This causes a worry about trust and how...
spy binoculars investigation

How Do I Know if My Partner is Cheating on Me?

Relationships go through many stages, ups and downs, good times and bad. Most of the time we get through these difficult periods. At times, our intuition tells us that the relationship is in the midst of a crisis. Affairs can threaten your trust in the relationship. Understanding the critical clues to an affair can help keep things calm in difficult times.Clues to UnfaithfulnessThere is a sudden, and new, interest in one's physical appearance.New friends and acquaintances are developed outside of the marital relationship that...
Old Library Books

Important Books for Private Practice Therapists

Starting up a private practice can be overwhelming, intimidating, and often a huge financial risk. Taking steps to mitigate the dangers involved demands approaching things from a business perspective; the dilemma is that this is the anthesis of what we consider a genuine therapist should be. Finding a way to blend the two – business skills with the therapist mindset and ethics – is the key.One of the services I offer is being a business mentor for mental health therapists (psychologists, social workers, licensed professional counselors, nurse practitioners, etc.)...
Therapy Models

Standards of Care for Effective Psychotherapy

There is an increasing emphasis in psychology, psychiatry, clinical social work, and counseling about the need for the development of "standards of care" in the provision of psychological treatment services.Explaining Psychotherapy to Non-TherapistsInsurers, other professionals, and legislators ask us to describe what we actually do in psychotherapy. This becomes a particularly important question in an insurance and political era of providers having to be more accountable and focused in the provision of treatment services. There is a concern from insurers, employers, and public policy makers...

Why Does it Hurt So Much When We Fight?

The process of "becoming a couple" is filled with many emotions, feelings, attitudes, risking and identification with another person. Relationship problems happen when these same emotions are injured in any way.  When one "sees and hears" much blaming and emotions between a couple, it is clear that there has been an "attachment bond injury" that has to be healed before the relationship can continue and be healed. Attachment-Bonding We know that an infant and parent need to develop a close bond of trust if the child is to grow. Without this bond, the child will experience a "failure to thrive" which...