A Therapist’s Guide to Cohabitation

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Cohabitation is the practice of living with another person while in a relationship, typically of a romantic or sexual nature.

Cohabitation is relatively common these days, with some past estimates (from 2012) indicating that as many as 7.8 million couples were living together, unmarried. This number has dramatically increased in the past few decades as our culture has shifted from a more religious and conservative stance to a more progressive and practical (though anxious) one.

It’s almost more uncommon to meet a couple who hasn’t taken the proverbial “test drive” in cohabiting before marriage. It’s a relatively practical solution to difficult emotional problem — how two people can coexist peacefully and happily under the same roof.

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6 Ways to Bounce Back After a Relationship Meltdown

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Relationship meltdowns happen to the best of us (and they’ve certainly happened to me).

As humans it’s only natural that we make mistakes, have freak-outs, and overreact sometimes. Lots of things can cause us to have a meltdown, from fear of abandonment to jealousy issues. We can’t control the past, and once we freak out, what’s done is done. Luckily, we can control how we act after we have a meltdown, and that’s what’s going to make all the difference.

Here are 6 steps for bouncing back after having a relationship meltdown.

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How a Breast Cancer Diagnosis Affects Your Mental Health

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Everyone affected by breast cancer knows the physical hardship it can bring. What’s less commonly talked about, but also important, is how breast cancer affects patients’ and survivors’ mental health.

A history of mental illness can be exacerbated by a breast cancer diagnosis, and the rigors of treatment — while life-saving — are difficult, leaving many women depressed, anxious, or feeling alone.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time to recognize women affected by breast cancer and raise awareness about breast cancer prevention. Many breast cancer survivors have spoken up about their struggles with mental illness. To honor their voices, here’s what you need to know about breast cancer and mental health.

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What Is Reparenting and Why You Should Consider It

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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.
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What To Do When You Hate Your Partner’s Parents

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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.

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Why Are We So Afraid to Feel Happy?

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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?

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4 Vital Tips for Parenting With Depression

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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.

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How to Assert Yourself at Work

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For as long as I remember, I’ve wanted to be a journalist.

Even before I knew of Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw, The Devil Wears Prada’s Andy Sachs or How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days’ Andie, I knew I was destined to chase deadlines. So, when I graduated during the recession of 2008 and was given my first full-time editorial opportunity, I knew how much of a privilege it was. I was elated to be fulfilling a 10-year dream.

Even though it was a very junior position for a very small magazine publisher, I knew it was an important stepping stone, and I wanted to give it my all. So, I took on everything.

You need your three-hour interview transcribed? I’m on it. Six pieces need to be written and published by Monday? Don’t ask anyone else, my weekend is yours. Slowly, I began to be seen as the one in the office you could count on doing what you didn’t want to do.

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Secrets for Keeping Childhood Issues from Wrecking the Present

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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.

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Will You Pass Your Mental Illness Onto Your Kids?

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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.

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