When you think of therapy, a stereotypical scenario comes to mind: A person lying on a dusty leather couch while some guy with a small notepad sits somewhere by their head, or perhaps across from them, jotting down insights as they speak, probably about their twisted relationship with their parents.
There’s some truth to this scenario (the couch does always seem to be leather, no?), and while talking about your childhood it isn’t the case for all therapy interactions, it is for reparenting.
Continue reading What Is Reparenting and Why You Should Consider It
There comes a moment in many serious relationships when it is time to meet your partner’s parents. In a perfect world, you will instantly connect with these individuals who raised, supported and love your partner — after all, those very family members will likely become a major part of your life if this is a relationship for the long haul.
But that isn’t always the case, and you may find yourself completely disliking your loved one’s parents.
Continue reading What To Do When You Hate Your Partner’s Parents
If you have children, you know raising kids presents challenges on your best days. Parents with mental illness, however, have it even harder.
In particular, parental depression can wreak havoc on a child’s psyche. What’s worse, when children develop problems related to parental depression, the added stress can make that parent’s depression worse. Thus, parental depression can turn into a long-lasting cycle of negative outcomes for the entire family.
Continue reading 4 Vital Tips for Parenting With Depression
Like many young adults, I remember feeling convinced that once I grew up, became independent, and created a home of my own, I would be able to break free from some of the less than desirable aspects of my childhood. The problem was, it wasn’t as easy as I expected. The patterns and dynamics of my upbringing seemed to follow me wherever I went. They were a part of me.
I found that whenever I spent time with my family of origin, we quickly fell back into difficult patterns, no matter what I did to personally resist this behavior. And because some of my family dynamics included abandonment and abuse, these meetings could sometimes be very triggering, making me feel out of sorts (or worse) for days or weeks after.
It turns out I’m far from alone with this problem.
Continue reading Secrets for Keeping Childhood Issues from Wrecking the Present
As someone who has battled an anxiety and panic disorder since childhood, one of my top concerns when I started having children was if I would pass on my disorder to my kids. I wouldn’t wish chronic panic and anxiety on anyone, and the idea that my kids might have a propensity toward it…well, it made my already anxious self that much more terrified.
Over a decade into this parenting thing, I will say that, for the most part, my fears were for naught. My children do share some of my tendencies toward anxiety, but it turns out that your offspring truly are their own people. And while genetics and learned behavior play a part in how they turn out, it’s not everything.
Most importantly, just being aware of your own mental health struggles allows you to be proactive about recognizing and seeking treatment for any issues that might arise in your children.
Continue reading Will You Pass Your Mental Illness Onto Your Kids?
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
Seeking mental health services isn’t easy. It might be even more difficult to open up to your friends and family about how you’ve been struggling to manage your mental health. Starting the conversation, however, has a lot of potential benefits — most notably increased family support and reassurance. When you’re deep in anxiety or depression, this extra support could make a huge difference.
Unfortunately, societal stigmas have made it difficult for those living with mental health concerns to receive support. In an ideal world, we would all be proactive in looking out for one another. Even well-intentioned family members or friends don’t take the time to check in, sometimes due to ignorance around mental health topics, other times because they’re preoccupied with their own concerns.
But, if you’re willing to begin the conversation with your loved ones about your struggles then this post might help them better understand and support you.
Continue reading A Therapist’s Guide to Talking to Friends and Family About Mental Health
I was raised by a strong, imperfect, funny, loving, idiosyncratic, amazing single mom. I don’t think I realized how incredible she was until I became a mother myself and experienced first-hand just how intense and challenging it is to raise children — and I was doing it with a highly involved partner. I have no idea how my mother did it alone.
Continue reading 5 Mental Health Lessons I Learned From My Mother
This post is part of our #TherapyHelpedMe series for Mental Health Awareness Month. Talkspace shares stories of how therapy helps people of all backgrounds work through the daily challenges of modern life.
My therapist sits next to me on the couch, my eyes red rimmed. We’re both staring at the phone face up in my palm, my right index finger hovering over the call button. I’ve already protested about making this phone call, but my therapist insists. I look at her one more time and then hit the call button. My mom’s phone starts ringing.
Fifteen years earlier, this was the scene…
Continue reading Therapy Helped Me: Forgive My Mom
Almost everyone has experienced family drama at one time or another. For some people, there is sibling rivalry that continues into adulthood. For others, it is a dramatic parent who expresses their disapproval in very obvious ways. Nobody feels good about family conflict, but, in some families, it is bearable and fairly infrequent. However, in other families, drama becomes a constant source of unhappiness and even toxicity.
Continue reading When Does Family Drama Become Toxic?