We’ve Moved! And It’s Not Easy

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Change is hard. This is a truth I live by professionally, but it is also a reality in my personal life.  This week we are moving to a new office, and I must admit that it stresses the heck out of me. I’ve already been through the crucible of finding the right place. I spent altogether too long shopping for furniture.  Getting up new signs was its own ordeal (I paid a deposit and then the person I was working with had to leave town to tend to a sick relative, telling me he had no idea when he’d be back).  But now it’s happening. I had my first few sessions in the new office. And it...
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How to Deal with a Difficult Coworker

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Following the recent office shooting not too far from Baltimore, many people have been feeling increased nervousness and tension in their offices. Having trouble with a coworker or employer is a common experience; but who wants that to turn into the kind of nightmare that the victims of this attack had to go through?  How can one handle a difficult person at work in a way that leaves everyone feeling safe? Naturally, there are many different configurations of possible interpersonal networks in various work settings. Let’s look at the relatively straightforward situation of dealing with a si...
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4 Ways to Fight Depression

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If you’ve been feeling down a lot lately, always tired, not in the mood to do much of anything, you may be suffering from depression. Depression is different from just feeling sad, and it is a medical condition that should not go ignored. While medical interventions such as psychiatric medication may be helpful or even necessary to treat depression, there are a number of options you can try on your own to improve the situation.  If nothing seems to help, or if at any point you find yourself thinking about harming yourself, please seek professional help immediately. Exercise It is well-known ...
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How Do I Get My Kids to Eat Their Vegetables?

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Another common battleground for parents with young children is mealtime.  Getting kids to eat their proverbial veggies has been a vexing problem since time immemorial.  Just as we noted with bedtime, it’s unlikely you will ever have children who are 100% compliant with your wishes 100% of the time.  Nevertheless, there are certain steps you can take to make mealtimes easier and more pleasant for all involved. Lower Your Expectations Sometimes the frustration parents experience at mealtime is simply a product of expectations that are too high.  A two-year-old is not going to remain spotlessly...
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Depression vs. Sadness and What You Can Do About It

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We're taking a break from our regularly scheduled posts on the Five Love Languages to bring you this exclusive special in which I was invited to a local TV station to do a short bit on depression.  Here's the clip with a brief discussion, with some further elaboration to follow: Depression vs. Sadness One of the questions the producers asked me about was the difference between depression and sadness. The whole interview was fairly short, so I want to revisit some of these important points. Sadness is a normal part of the ups and downs everyone experiences.  If you're down for a whil...
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The Kids Were Difficult Tonight

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An amazing thing happened in my house last night. I was out for the evening, and I came home to find a tired but relatively cheerful wife and three sleeping children. This is what I would call an excellent outcome for a nighttime routine executed with only one parent. But that wasn’t the amazing part. That was excellent, but not necessarily amazing. What was amazing was my wife’s take on it. She said, quote, “The kids were difficult tonight, so I had to be extra creative.” AMAZING! Did you hear that? She did not say “the kids were difficult tonight and I totally lost my cool,” or, “the kids...
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Time Management for Busy Moms and Others

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Life in the modern era has become more and more of a sophisticated juggling act. Time management skills have become increasingly important: work, family, leisure, health – managing all our responsibilities is no easy feat. And if you have kids, well, it’s like having more balls to juggle and fewer hands! How do we learn to manage our time when there are so many people demanding it – including ourselves? Step one is prioritizing. You have to know yourself and what’s important to you. For some people, exercising three times a week is a non-negotiable; for others, it’s an ideal to meet one day...
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Do You Have a Family Member with Borderline Personality Disorder?

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It is not uncommon for us to field calls from people looking to get help for someone other than themselves. One common category of such callers is the family member of someone with borderline personality disorder. If you have a relative with this diagnosis, this probably comes as no surprise to you. Borderline personality disorder is characterized by a pattern of unstable and highly emotional relationships, as well as impulsivity and emotional volatility. If someone in your family has this disorder, you know something is wrong, even if you haven’t heard of the diagnosis. It is not the kind ...
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 Bariatric Surgery and Therapy

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So what’s the connection between bariatric surgery and therapy? If you’ve gotten the operation done or are considering it, you are probably aware that you have to do a psychological evaluation before going through with it. (Yes, we offer these, and we explain what this is all about here.) But what about after the surgery is over? Sometimes, apart from clearing a patient for the surgery, we will recommend or require that a patient undergo therapy before, during, or after the operation. Here are some of the issues that may come up around bariatric surgery that can affect a person’s mental hea...
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The Best Gift You Can Give Your Children – Part 4

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The last piece I’m going to post on the topic of why a good marriage is the best gift we can give to ours kids is probably the simplest: 4. It’s just nicer to live in a happy household than an unhappy one. Can anyone disagree with that? Who wants to live in a home where people are constantly upset with one another, yelling at each other, harping on each other’s insecurities? What gift could be better than a house full of love and contentment? Children superficially clamor for material things, because they cannot understand more than that – they beg for a new bike, the latest gadget, the new ...
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The Benefit of Gratitude

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With Thanksgiving around the corner, a post on gratitude seems apropos. Gratitude occupies an important position in the positive psychology literature. Positive psychology is a branch of psychology that focuses not on pulling people out of negative mindsets, emotions, and situations, but on helping us reach positive ones. Its goal is to study and promulgate that which enhances the experience of life for everyman – not just for those who have mental illnesses, relationship problems, or other challenging circumstances. The benefit of gratitude has accumulated an extensive base of research. In...
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Why Moms Get Nothing Done

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Have you seen this video yet? This entertaining video gone viral by Story of This Life is generating a lot of conversation – over 3 million views on YouTube as of this writing! Many Moms out there LOL when they watch this video, recognizing the can’t-get-anything-done scenario and laughing at their own frustration. There’s no doubt that this is a cute little toddler! Some folks are posting their own pictures of that triumphant toddler who has taken over Mom’s home domain with making such a mess; others comment that Moms need to come up with some other solutions than letting the toddler ...
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Make it Holiday NOT A Holler-day

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Are you sitting there feeling overwhelmed with all the things you want to get done for the holidays. In fact you may be running around hollering at the fact that there is not enough time, your kids are messing things up, or that the stores are out of what you need. Now my guess is that this is not a fun or happy way to spend the holidays. If you are planning to host a holiday party and are feeling stressed out, here are a few ideas of how to lower your stress level, and all you need is a pen and paper to start with.   Write down your goal: Remembering that the goal of the holida...
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