The Perfect Storm – Perfectionism in Relationships

By Lesley S. Cunningham, MA, LPC We all say, “No one’s perfect!” But there is a subset of people who frankly strive to be and can seem pretty close. Born Perfect We are born as perfect as we will ever be: untainted, un-programmed, and un-manipulated. But soon thereafter, our well-intentioned parents may begin “fulfilling their dreams” through us, consciously and unconsciously. The dreams for their children hopefully will be translated into shaping behaviors that turn boys into success...
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Holiday Coping: Take a Deep Breath

By Eleanor Harrison, PhD Yes, take a deep breath. The holidays are fast approaching and many people find this time of year stressful. Whether it’s because you have the dreaded Christmas party coming, you are cooking the turkey this year, Aunt Marge will be in town for the holidays, or you are living alone and fear loneliness, the holidays can be very difficult. The advertisements don’t help for they portray loving families with loads of money and perfect homes. In the movies nobody’s family arg...
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Easy Fixes in Therapy and in Life

By Marta Oko-Riebau, MA, NLC, PhD Candidate "Nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work." ~ Booker T. Washington I have been using an internet marketplace to connect to people in need of therapy. I was very surprised to see how many people who are trying to incorporate a positive change in their life seek hypnotherapy instead of psychotherapy. It made me wonder what it is about hypnotherapy that makes it so appealing to so many people. According ...
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Drawn to Danger

By Alexandria Hayes, MA, LPC, NCC Do you know someone who always seems to be in crisis? His car breaks down on a major highway. She trips on the steps and breaks an arm. His wallet, keys, or phone is stolen. Her car or house is broken into. These types of events – or worse – seem to be happening all the time; this person experiences one disaster after another. Why? A person’s attraction to catastrophe may be the result of past traumatic experiences. There are several reasons for this,...
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Why Must I Walk Alone?

By Jaime Davila, MA, LPC, NCC He stands surrounded by strangers, some are friends, some are colleagues, but all are strangers to some degree. What if they knew it all, that is, who he truly is? No, not the story that he has projected and skillfully displayed for his friends, but the story that runs only within him, a story he keeps secret. “I fear that if I tell too much of my story ... well, I am not exactly sure what I fear but I do know the hesitation quite well; it’s what keeps me f...
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The Importance of Empathy

By Lavinia Ball-Marian, MA, LPC According to the dictionary, empathy is “the feeling that you understand and share another person's experiences and emotions: the ability to share someone else's feelings.” In my work with parents and children, I often find that empathy is almost non-existent in certain individuals. They understand that someone is hurt or in pain or grieving but have no ability to put themselves in that person’s shoes. A heart without empathy is like a plant without water – it...
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The Couples Dance of Attachment

By Lesley Cunningham, MA, LPC If I have learned nothing else from Dancing with the Stars, it is at least a lovely metaphor for the dancing that couples do to maintain their most comfortable attachment level based on the early pattern they learned in childhood. There are many dance styles performed every week on the fun to watch show, but for our purposes, we will discuss the Tango, a sensual dance involving intimate connected holding, intense eye contact, and dramatic poses; and the Quick S...
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School Attendance: A Slippery Slope

By Eleanor Harrison, PhD School attendance is something I never thought about as a parent. My children went to school most days unless one of them was sick. My friends sometimes kept their kids home for “free” days or went on long vacations during the school year. When I took a job with a school district as a support to the truancy program, I learned a number of things about school attendance that I thought I would share with you. Attendance Habits Start in Kindergarten Studies have shown...
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Mental Health 101

By Peter Lear, MSW, LCSW, RYT One of my other jobs besides psychotherapist is conducting mental health assessments. At the end of the assessments, I identify an area or two that clients can begin work on to improve their mental health functioning. Most of us do a great job maintaining our mental health functioning AND most of us have periods when we don’t do so well for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it can be a relatively easy fix. A few basic changes can have a powerful effect. The Big T...
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Hope

By Jaime Davila, MA, LPC, NCC  "A human being without hope is like a walking corpse…" ~ Schumacher, 2003 What drives us human beings to continue living from day to day? Is our drive to live simply a biological mechanism that enables us to survive as a species? What role does hope play? Although at first these may seem like odd questions, if we slow down and really consider them, there is a lot here to explore. The dictionary defines hope as "wish, expect, look forward to something, of...
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