What I Wish My Father Had Told Me (About Mental Health)

father hiking with son pointing upwards

Fathers are one of the biggest influences in our lives. Whether you are close to your father or have a distant (or non-existent) relationship with him, the role of a father in one’s life is hard to capture succinctly. As we approach Father’s Day, here are some ideas that I wish my father had told me about men and mental health. Continue reading What I Wish My Father Had Told Me (About Mental Health)

What is High-Functioning Anxiety?

Anxious woman

Approximately 18% of people in the United States live with an anxiety condition each year. This means that each and every day, roughly 40 million people go through their daily routine coping with a high degree of stress and anxiety. Many of these people might have what we consider “high-functioning anxiety.”

Psychology is often most concerned with function or dysfunction. Medicine overall looks at illness or diagnosis as a problem (pathology) to be solved. In the past, the mental health community has also viewed mental illnesses as pathology, but as more research has been done and the knowledge of mental health professionals has increased, we’ve come to understand that many mental health conditions exist on a continuum of functioning. Updates to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM V) captures this ongoing shift in thinking Continue reading What is High-Functioning Anxiety?

What is Healthy, Respectful Masculinity?

Man playing with a dog

Masculinity is a hot topic these days, but it is also difficult to adequately define, leaving many people wondering — what is healthy masculinity?

Largely, it depends on who you ask, but to better understand healthy masculinity, it is helpful to start by looking at two key components: Why it’s important, and how masculinity becomes toxic. Continue reading What is Healthy, Respectful Masculinity?

How to Accelerate Your Progress in Therapy

Man waiting for the train

Therapy is often considered a mysterious process, leaving many people unsure about what it actually is and how to make significant progress while in treatment.

At its core, therapy is both a relationship and a process. The process itself is dictated by a therapist’s style and a client’s wishes for their journey in therapy. The relationship (the single most important change factor in therapy) is the process of collaboration between client and therapist. This relationship is known as the therapeutic alliance. Continue reading How to Accelerate Your Progress in Therapy

A Therapist’s Guide to Sunday Scaries

I hate Mondays

Have you ever had a great weekend, only to find that around midday Sunday (or later) a sense of worry or dread about the upcoming work week hits? If so, then you have probably experienced the “Sunday Scaries.”

This anticipatory anxiety seems to be more common these days. As a culture, we’re often overworked, underappreciated, and struggle with managing our work and personal lives. This can all add up to a difficult start to each week. Sometimes it might feel as if you’re dreading heading back to work the following day. If you’ve ever felt the Monday morning blues, just think of the Sunday Scaries as the appetizer to a Monday blues’ entree. Continue reading A Therapist’s Guide to Sunday Scaries

What’s the Deal with Emotional Affairs (According to a Therapist)

Two people holding hands

Emotional affairs are non-sexual, but intense emotional actions with someone outside of a committed relationship. They’re arguably more easily facilitated with the help of modern technology like dating apps or social networks. Unlike prior decades, those who have affairs don’t only relegate themselves to people in their direct proximity (such as work), but may establish real connections with others in far away places.

Emotional affairs are a type of infidelity (cheating). However, everyone has different opinions on what constitutes cheating, so there’s a lot of variation in what might be characterized as an emotional affair. Continue reading What’s the Deal with Emotional Affairs (According to a Therapist)

My Child is Trans, How Can I Best Support Them?

Kid walking

Raising a child is not an easy process. It requires a lot of dedication and sacrifice. Parenthood is filled with great expectations for one’s child, and often requires a lot of hard work and support. This is wonderfully captured in a quote by journalist Maria Shriver:

“Having kids — the responsibility of rearing good, kind, ethical, responsible human beings — is the biggest job anyone can embark on. As with any risk, you have to take a leap of faith and ask lots of wonderful people for their help and guidance. I thank God every day for giving me the opportunity to parent.”

While parenting can be one of the most rewarding parts of the human experience, it can also be a challenge. Many parents face obstacles such as economic concerns and emotional barriers while trying to do their best to raise happy, healthy future adults. Continue reading My Child is Trans, How Can I Best Support Them?

3 Ways to Make the Good Parts of the Holidays Last All Year

Two women meet a Santa under a California pier

The holiday season is a special time of year. Many people are celebrating both religious and cultural holidays in a concentrated few weeks. These celebrations help promote the “holiday spirit” where we often honor some of our most sacred values. But what if you could make the good parts of the holidays last all year long?

You can!

While there is no one way to celebrate the holiday season, here are some suggestions that overlap different traditions and cultures that you may want to incorporate in the coming year. Continue reading 3 Ways to Make the Good Parts of the Holidays Last All Year

A Therapist’s Guide to Getting Unstuck

A man touching a wall of gum

Feeling “stuck” is an awful feeling. Stuck can quickly turn to feeling hopeless and helpless. When you can’t achieve the things that you want, the internal dialogue can quickly turn to criticism and self-blame. But, it doesn’t have to be that way.

If you’re looking to make some important changes in your life, here are some thoughts to get you unstuck.

Continue reading A Therapist’s Guide to Getting Unstuck