Love solving problems together

How to Solve Problems Together

Healthy families, and couples, know that everyone, and every family, has problems. We want to live in a society that tries to force us to believe that only bad people have problems. The reality is that we all have issues that we have to deal with and solve if we are to be functional and healthy. When one member of the family has a problem, it is critical to know that it is something that affects the entire family. If you really want to solve things it is going to take a joint effort by everyone concerned to resolve things. Here...

Midlife Crisis – What Are the Signs?

We all have heard about someone having a midlife crisis. Yet we rarely recognize it when it happens to us. Early in our life, we have many hopes and desires about how we want our lives to turn out. We sometimes plan, or just live, expecting that someday we will arrive and have it. Unfortunately, we often live our life as such a fast pace that we end up in crisis. Midlife Crisis in Action By the time we arrive at adulthood, we desire to experience it all. At first, we experience the fun of arriving at adulthood, wanting to live...
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. Insurers, 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 that psychotherapy can keep patients dependent and is of no real benefit, even though research strongly...
Crystal ball to life's purpose

What is my Purpose in Life?

Sometimes, we notice that we are lacking something in our lives. Our goals seems elusive and we feel stuck without.  Like all people, we want to live a life with meaning and purpose. How do we find the answers we are looking for? Finding Clues Interestingly enough, we can discover clues as to what our purpose might by examining our problems. As hard as it is to believe, difficulties actually serve an important purpose in our lives. By looking at the absence of meaning, we can infer our true calling. Our Legacy We may not want the problems we have in our lives....
sad puppy dog

Challenging Negative Self-Talk

Negative dialogue is one of the most important aspects of chronic anxiety, pain, along with stopping one’s progress in overcoming any problems. What we say to ourselves when we face the day, problems and difficulties, can cause us to feel depressed, anxious, or happy. One of the reasons we stay in a "bad state" is because of the way we talk to ourselves. Examples of Negative Self-Talk Sometimes, we mistake negative self talk as fact.  Some examples of this elusive mindset include: "My life sucks, I hate it!" "I'm nothing but a screw-up." "What's wrong with me?" "Why can't I be...
fire explosion

Bottling Up Emotions: Time Bombs for the Future

We all tend to bottle up our emotions. We hope that with a little time and effort, we can figure out things on our own. The problem is that the more we hold things in, the more we feel like we are “just going to explode.” Even the slightest thing can set us off. When we finally explode, we over-react. We might feel guilty and sorry that we ever said anything, so again we try to bottle up our feelings. This only continues the vicious cycle of holding things in and exploding when it becomes too much to handle. Some of this...
axe cut

Rates Slashed for Regence Oregon Psychotherapists

Back in early 2015, Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield announced that they would be cutting provider reimbursement rates by up to 30%. This rate reduction would affect mental health practitioners across the board at both the master's and doctorate level. Now, Mental health professionals have always had a difficult time when dealing with insurance companies. Rates are not reimbursed at the same level as other medical services, and until the Mental Health Parity Law, sometimes counseling wasn't even covered at all. However, a decrease in reimbursement rates is just confusing. The most distressing issue with this change is how it will indirectly...
Metaphor stress anxiety

The Double-Edge Sword of Anxiety and Panic

It can be very difficult to control one's anxiety. Often, this comes from two surprisingly positive aspects of personality: Intuitive awareness, and Vivid creativity. Intuitive Awareness Anxious people tend to possess a "special intuitive awareness" of the world around them. It is an ability to sense what others may be feeling, even without words. Often there is a concern for not wanting to offend others, holding in feelings, and an awareness of what is going on at "multiple levels of consciousness." Anxious people tend to believe that they are "over-reacting" to what they sense from others. As a result, there is a further incentive...
relationship dating

What Makes a Relationship Last?

Psychologists have studied couples for years in order to find out what makes for a lasting relationship. However, predicting what is going to work “before” the marriage is more difficult. Ted Huston, Ph.D. found that marriages fall into four distinct groups:  Married and happy; married and unhappy; divorced early, within seven years, or divorced later, after seven years. Ultimately, the distinguishing factor between those who divorced and those who remained married was noted in the amount of change in the fist two years of the marriage. Happily Married These people were as happy and “in love” as newlyweds. They had less mixed feelings,...
wedding rings

How Can I Trust After an Affair?

Affairs happen for many reasons The main wound is that trust and comfort in the security of the relationship has been shattered.  The fact that we all search for security makes any violation of the relationship, either mental, spiritual, or sexual, much more upsetting. The fact that one is not expecting it, or that it was not part of the assumption about how the relationship would progress and operate, causes traumatic responding. It violates the hopes and expectations that one can be really who they are with another person. Affairs are not really about sex.  It is about betrayal and...