Good Job is Not Enough

encouraging children hi
It is generally accepted in today’s generation of parents that praise and encouragement are the tools of choice in childrearing rather than some past methods such as yelling, shaming, and, of course, whupping. Praise and encouragement have taken the place of criticism and disparagement.  The catchphrase of the new mentality might be pithily captured in the ubiquitous declaration, “good job!” While I think “good job” is far better as an encouraging statement than nothing at all (or even a diminishment of personal accomplishment), effectiveness in “positive parenting” demands a little more thoug...
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How to Get Over a Breakup

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The end of a relationship is never easy, especially if you’ve been together for years.  This is true even if you know the relationship was going sour, or was unhealthy to begin with. The truth is that we are human, and our emotions aren’t always rational or logical. They just are.  How can you effectively deal with the emotional pain that can follow in the wake of a breakup?  1. Know that this too shall pass. No feeling lasts forever. It is in the nature of emotions to come and go – even the most intense of them.  No matter how bad you feel, remember that you will survive this difficult t...
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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 Five Love Languages: Words of Affirmation

Words of Affirmation hi
Words of Affirmation is the first of the love languages described in Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages system. For people whose primary love language is Words of Affirmation, it’s what you say that counts.  This of course does not mean that you can act like a slob, forget your wife’s birthday gift or cheat on your spouse as long as you say nice things while you do it. It just means that in order for your spouse to feel truly loved by you, you will need to use the power of speech. This is in some ways very easy and in some ways very difficult.  On one hand, we all know what it means to spea...
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Bariatric Surgery and Self-Esteem

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Bariatric surgery and self-esteem are obviously intricately intertwined with each other. Most people who suffer from obesity naturally struggle with their self-esteem, especially in a culture such as ours where beauty and thinness have been entirely conflated and where photoshopped models grace every other advertisement we see. It is certainly difficult in America to be overweight and still have a positive body image. Additionally, people who are severely overweight frequently feel bad about their inability to control their weight or their eating. They have often tried innumerable diets, ex...
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How In-Laws Can Support a Marriage

help with in-laws hi
Parents-in-law have been known to cause grief in many a marriage, but they can also be of tremendous help to it.  In this article I touch on just a few important notes for how parents of adult offspring can do right by their children and their children's spouse. http://www.marriage.com/advice/counseling/how-in-laws-can-support-a-marriage/ Learn more about our family counseling services here.
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Do You Have a Family Member with Borderline Personality Disorder?

borderline personality disorder hi
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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Counseling, Time, and Change

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Every now and then I hear about a “great new therapy” that promises fast results and lasting change (often after a single session or treatment). I am highly skeptical of such approaches and I encourage you to do some due diligence before signing up for one. The process of human change is not nearly as mysterious as we may think. It has in fact been studied at length and there is a good deal of research that informs the way agents of change – therapists, in this case – ought to be working. In short, change does not happen overnight. In the evidence-based Stages of Change model, the “action pha...
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My New Favorite Parenting Expert!

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I recently chanced across an article by Andrea Nair and was so appreciative of it that I looked her up and ended up finding dozens more really helpful articles.  I agree with almost everything she says. I think her perspectives are spot-on and her techniques very solid.  Here is a super article entitled "Stop Tantrums: 33 Phrases to Use With Toddlers" (which I just reviewed for myself as I was posting this.)  A few choice excerpts: 3.     “Pajama time! How about like this?” Put your child’s bottoms on your head. 14.  Put a plate of cut vegetables at your place at the table and say, “I hope...
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