My wife, Deb, and I have been looking into moving for the past year. We have things we both want, like more rooms and a pool. We have differences as well. She wants to be more central. I'd rather be farther out and have more land. She wants more community. I want more privacy. Our differences are a big reason why we haven't found the right place.
In this post, I will discuss why online therapy may be right for you as well as some things to be cautious about. I moved with my family from New York to Austin three years ago. I had an office in New York where I saw 75% of my patients. For varying reasons, I worked with the other 25% online or via telephone.
I love getting questions from readers about parenting and relationships. It is often difficult to specifically address situations because I don't know the specific people involved, but it is possible to speak to the issues and themes in a more general way that will hopefully provide some help and guidance. The following are three recent questions from readers that I will address.
Filling your partner's cup, listening and understanding when they need it the most, is an art. When an empty cup equals a bad mood, it can be quite complicated. This morning, Deb was feeling depleted and in a bad mood. She has had even less time than she usually has for herself. She was also feeling frustrated with her website and not having the time to work on it. We are going to New York this weekend and she said she didn't want to go.
I watched a short documentary on Netflix a few days ago about Ram Dass called Going Home. He calls suffering the “sandpaper from the spiritual point of view that is awakening people” and encourages people to make friends with change.
I am trying to make friends with change. It has been two months since my mother died. There’s a hole in my heart that I cannot fill with tears, religion, or tequila. Her death has introduced me to grief the likes of which I have never experienced. Her absence follows me like a tail. Life just feels different now. No matter what I do, I cannot go back to the way things were.
The process of change
The process of change fascinates me. A big part of my job as a therapist, after all, is to help people to change and grow. What I am most obsessed with these days, as regular readers of my blog know, is the idea that change is an inside-out process. The environment in which we live can be so overwhelming that it is easy to forget this. We end up scurrying here and there in reaction to different demands that intention and self-determination get sacrificed.
Every experience we have has a narrative attached to it, often with negative beliefs. We accumulate experiences on a daily basis. We, in turn, accumulate reactions to our experiences. Our reactions can be sub-divided into thoughts, feelings, attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs.
The following is a guest post from Daniel Sherwin. Daniel is a single dad to a daughter (9) and son (6). His site, DadSolo.com, provides resources and information for single dads. This post is about staying safe in the kitchen with your kids.
The kitchen is the heart of most homes. There's something about the act of preparing food that stirs the human spirit, calling us to gather together for a good meal and good company. But, before you sit down with your loved ones to enjoy all that wonderful bounty, take a minute to read these kitchen safety tips for kids and adults alike.
A common issue I encounter with couples is knowing how to best support your partner when they are upset. Most people have an impulse to problem-solve when that’s not what is wanted or needed. This often stems in part from underlying anxiety on the part of the listener. It is hard to see one’s partner in distress.
Most people, when they are upset, are not able to clearly communicate what they need. When you put the problem-solving anxiety together with an inability to communicate needs, you have a recipe for disappointment, misattunement, and frustration.
Knowing that it is difficult to work on these things in the moment, it makes sense to sit down and talk about it at a time when both partners are not in distress.
Last week, I wrote about the passing of my mother. This week’s post is about grieving and the price we pay for avoiding dealing with our mortality.
The Shiva Show
In the Jewish tradition, Shiva is a time for grieving, to take care of those that are mourning and pay respects to those that have died. Mourners are supposed to be provided with food, so they don’t have to think about feeding themselves. You’re not supposed to ask mourners how they are doing for the first 30 days because the answer is obvious. Traditionally, one doesn’t initiate conversation with mourners, rather one follows their leads.
Shiva has evolved into something very different, at least for non-religious Jews in the States. These days, the mourners are expected to cater the Shiva so people paying their respects can stuff their faces with bagels, lox, and rugelach (Jewish cookies). It’s more like a cocktail party, really.