For many people, marriage and monogamy sound like an ideal state. These lucky people often couple up and ride off into a beautiful sunset…until, of course, life stressors get in the way and interrupt the honeymoon phase.
Other people, however, see commitment in less idealized terms. It is common to say that there is something wrong with people who have “commitment issues,” but that’s reductive and a little simplistic in most cases. In actuality, there are many factors contributing to what we call commitment issues, and they run the gamut from psychological to evolutionary. Continue reading 5 Reasons for Your Commitment Issues
What defense mechanisms are holding you back?
Psychoanalytic theory holds that there are certain defense mechanisms that people use in order to cope with life stressors. While it’s normal to have and employ defense mechanisms, they can, paradoxically, end up making your life a lot harder in the long run. Continue reading Which Defense Mechanisms Are Holding You Back?
Confidence is elusive for many people. There are many factors that can undermine confidence, but most of them are related to your past experiences in the world — first as a child and then as an adult — and how these experiences have led you to think of yourself.
There are many successful, intelligent people who think that they are “losers,” believing they’ll be discovered as inadequate by those around them. If this describes you, you may be wondering how to release these negative thought patterns and grow more confident.
Continue reading A Therapist’s Guide to Confidence
So many times, we feel like we are stuck in a rut with no clear direction forward. This can happen in a range of areas, including relationships, friendships, work, self-development, or education.
Often, when you have been traveling down the same path for months or even years, it starts to feel like there is only one way to do things. Even if that path makes you unhappy, it feels to you like there is no other option. Here are some examples that may seem familiar.
Continue reading How to Beat Stagnation
It is human nature to compare yourself to others, whether favorably or unfavorably. Favorable comparisons enhance self-esteem and make people feel better about their life circumstances, while continually comparing yourself negatively to others can have the opposite effect.
People compare themselves to others in all arenas of life. Mental health is no exception. Unfortunately, comparing your own mental health issues to those of your friends, family, colleagues, or celebrities can lead to a worsened emotional state. Here are three ways that people compare their mental illness to others’, and the negative effects of these comparisons.
Continue reading 3 Reasons Why Comparing Your Mental Illness to Others is Damaging
Often in therapy, clients come in prepared to discuss a single issue, and one that’s relatively minor in their eyes. However, it can quickly become evident they are struggling with severe mental health issues they likely aren’t aware of.
Relatedly, people may come in with a family member or partner who urges them to get help for a specific issue, but the client is defensive about the very idea of having this issue.
To better assist those we feel should seek help for mental illness, it helps to understand common examples where the potential client may not understand our concern for them.
Continue reading How to Help Someone Who is Avoidant of Their Mental Illness
Anxiety and depression are intricately linked, which is why the same types of therapy and the same classes of medications are often used to treat both disorders.
In my practice, I have noticed that many clients that have self-diagnosed as depressed are actually experiencing anxiety. Similarly, many clients who identify as anxious are often depressed. Here, I will explain the connections between anxiety and depression, and why one can lead to the other.
Continue reading Can Anxiety Make You Depressed (or Vice Versa)?
Many people struggle with the fear of success, fear of closeness, or fear of happiness. Let’s say your father suffered from depression and ranted about the workplace being a dog-eat-dog environment where everyone has to watch his back.
As a child, you, like all kids, want to think of your father as intelligent and perceptive. You listened to him and thought that his worldview made sense. Even if you later realized, as an adult, that your father was a very negative and depressed person, his impact on your own worldview may be very difficult to change.
Although it isn’t rational, many people subconsciously steer themselves away from experiences where they feel good about themselves, or where they end up feeling happy. But why is this and what can you do about it?
Continue reading Why Are We So Afraid to Feel Happy?
Relationships can be difficult, and the majority of couples go through ups and downs as they determine whether they are compatible for the long haul. However, some rough patches are more serious than others, and are indicators that the relationship may not, or should not, survive.
Fortunately, there are some ways to figure out whether you’re just in a low point or whether you need to consider ending your relationship.
Continue reading Is It a Rough Patch or You Should Break Up?
If you have noticed that your intimate relationships have been stressful or unfulfilling, it might be time to think about your attachment style. Attachment style derives from your earliest experiences with your parents.
Knowing the effects these parenting styles have on you as a child helps you better understand the roots of potential relationship issues, and where to begin when addressing these issues — whether on your own, or with the help of a therapist.
Continue reading How Childhood Attachment Styles Influence Your Adult Relationships