Why We Find Emotionally Unavailable People Attractive

man sipping his drink wearing sunglasses

When I look back at my quasi-relationships that haven’t worked out, I can see a common denominator. I was going after guys who were emotionally unavailable (let’s be real: beyond emotionally unavailable).

For one example, I was almost in love with someone who had so many red flags he could have been an air traffic controller. He was an hour late to our first date, and chronically late after that…(the first red flag). Giving him the benefit of the doubt, I continued to see him. He had several tattoos that he’d gotten with or for exes, and while we were “seeing each other” he got another that was a nickname another ex gave him…(another red flag). Oh, and he was still legally married, something he told me months later…(the biggest red flag). Continue reading Why We Find Emotionally Unavailable People Attractive

How Keeping Secrets Can Impact Your Mental Health

girl hiding behind curtain

You know the saying: “Secret secrets are no fun unless you share with everyone.”

While not everyone gets a kick out of keeping secrets, a lot of people do deem secret-keeping necessary, whether they’re hiding something from their romantic partner, family, or friends. People keep secrets for a multitude of reasons. Maybe they feel embarrassed or shame about something, they feel they might get in trouble (with the law or with a person), or they feel like their relationship with somebody might be destroyed should the big secret be revealed. Continue reading How Keeping Secrets Can Impact Your Mental Health

How Quality Time With Your Partner Improves Your Mental Health

partners holding hands on a walk

My husband and I just got back from a vacation in Maine, where we spent a few glorious days hiking in Acadia National Park. We ate lobster rolls, searched tidepools, and took naps on the ocean rocks like the nearby seals. The best part? There was no service. Without the constant flood of emails, text messages, and social media updates, we could simply enjoy each other’s presence. A luxury.

Quality in-person time is especially important in our digital age because, as a recent study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion shows, higher rates of social media use are tied to greater loneliness. Tweeting at your sweetie, might not be as hot as holding their hand on a nice hike.

Like many couples, my husband and I have a hard time carving out quality time for just the two of us. At any given moment, we are either working, meeting up with friends, visiting family, or running errands. It takes conscious effort to set aside time for us to spend together doing something just for fun. But it’s been vital to our relationship and my personal happiness. Continue reading How Quality Time With Your Partner Improves Your Mental Health

What Is Cognitive Dissonance?

woman hiding behind corner

Have you ever had an experience where you see yourself doing something you know you shouldn’t be doing — a behavior that you yourself don’t support or condone — but you find yourself doing it anyway?

Cognitive dissonance is that disconnect between what we believe and what we do — it’s an experience we all have at one time or another. While it can be uncomfortable and stressful to act in a way that feels contrary to what we believe, it’s a common experience. In a way, living with a little cognitive dissonance is simply part of being human. Continue reading What Is Cognitive Dissonance?

Supplementing Your Existing Care With Talkspace

man sitting on couch texting Talkspace therapist

Traditional, brick-and-mortar therapy is a wonderful thing, and can be incredibly healing when you are working through a mental health challenge. I personally benefited from ten years of brick-and-mortar therapy and recommend it highly. However, I’ve been in online therapy for almost three years, and have also fallen in love with the experience.

Both forms of therapy have their advantages. Studies have shown that both online and traditional therapy are effective at managing mental health struggles. And the beauty of it all is that it doesn’t have to be one or the other. Continue reading Supplementing Your Existing Care With Talkspace

Why Therapists Need Therapy Too

therapists office

Therapists have hard jobs. They hear about difficult, sometimes traumatic experiences each day, as their clients share their issues. They too occasionally have personal problems and things they would like to work through. You might wonder, however: Do therapists just know how to handle their issues, based on their training? It’s often said that everyone can benefit from therapy, but what about therapists? 

Just because they’re trained, doesn’t mean therapists don’t sometimes need help themselves. In fact, the nature of their job places them at higher risk for emotional distress. In short, therapists often need just as much — if not more — support than the average person.  Continue reading Why Therapists Need Therapy Too

What To Do if You Don’t Respect Your Therapist

man confronting woman

The beginning of therapy brings up complicated emotions. You might feel relieved that you’ve been able to unburden yourself, or even awe at the way your therapist “gets” you. Like every relationship, there is usually a honeymoon period, in which you admire and respect your therapist, confident in their ability to heal you.

Over time, however, the newness fades and the work gets harder. People often put their therapist on a pedestal at first, but the therapist is bound to fall eventually. For some people, adjusting to a more realistic view of the therapist is easy, but for others, resentment or lack of respect creep in. Continue reading What To Do if You Don’t Respect Your Therapist

So, You’ve Hit a Plateau in Therapy — Now What?

people on a cliff

Whether you’ve been seeing your therapist for a few months or a few years, it’s very likely that at some point during the treatment you will feel like nothing is happening. “What am I really getting out of this?” you’ll wonder. “Is this still working for me?” This feeling of stuck-ness is common and it doesn’t mean you’re “failing” at therapy.

Plateaus happen in almost every therapeutic relationship eventually, and they can look different depending on why you’re in therapy. For some, it may look like obsessing about the same problem week after week without moving toward any kind of solution or resolution. For others, it may look like struggling to find something to talk about with the therapist. In either situation, the question becomes, at this point, what to do when it happens? Continue reading So, You’ve Hit a Plateau in Therapy — Now What?

Subtle Signs You Need To Care For Your Mental Health

darts

If I asked you to describe what a depressed person looks like, you probably wouldn’t have pictured someone like me. While I was struggling with depression, I still showed up to work every day, took care of my appearance, and did my hair and makeup everyday. I didn’t lock myself in my apartment with dishes piling up in the sink — you would have no idea based on just on appearances.

I hadn’t (yet) experienced that major, suffocating form of depression that makes getting through every single day a herculean task — but I also didn’t feel like myself. Normally an energetic and social person, I felt apathetic about seeing friends and attending social functions that used to excite me. Continue reading Subtle Signs You Need To Care For Your Mental Health

What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

man holding lightbulb

No matter how big or small the challenge, condition, phobia, disorder, or addiction may be, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based psychotherapy treatment method that can help you change negative responses to uncomfortable situations. Chances are, you have already seen this treatment method mentioned in a self-help article or know someone who has benefited from it. It’s a popular treatment method due to its affordability, short-term treatment horizon, and its empirically supported effectiveness. Before diving head first into this form of therapy, consider the information below about its intended uses and key benefits. Continue reading What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?