Category Archives: Relationships

Adult Children of Alcoholics

It will never happen to meAdult Children of Alcoholics: “Upon reaching adulthood, the majority of children of alcoholics continue to experience problems related to trust, dependency, control, identification and expression of feelings.” – Claudia Black It Will Never Happen to Me: Children of Alcoholics As Youngsters-Adolescents-Adults

In Defense of the “Crazy” Ex

Broken Heart

If you’re one of those people who is dating someone who is emotionally unavailable and you blame the “crazy” ex, the red flag may be closer than you think.
We all know from experience that no one outside an intimate relationship can ever truly know what went on in that relationship or understand the subjective experience of either partner. And, we are getting only one half of the story from our new partner.
If you’re with someone who blames their lack of emotional presence, emotional intimacy and current relationship failures on “drama from the outside” coming from their recent ex, there is likely more there than meets the eye.
Relationship drama, with rare exception, can’t come from the outside unless your partner is actively BRINGING it in and actively participating in it.
I have been privy to situations in both my professional and personal life where the partner pointing the finger at the ex is still willingly communicating with them and, many times, is still carrying on a sexual relationship with them to boot.
The focus of advice columns and online articles is mostly centered around how to deal with the “crazy” ex but not many of them advise you, the current partner, to deal directly with your loved-one,  to look past what you are being told, to set aside your preconceptions, and really ask yourself, “IS the drama really coming from outside my relationship or is there more here than meets the eye?”  It may be time to ask some difficult and direct questions.
I am not defending abusive, controlling or meddling exes but I am advising those with partners who are not fully present and engaged in your relationship and are placing the blame on their ex, to take what their partner says with a grain of salt.  It’s often easier to blame the person we don’t know rather than the one we do.

Electric Currents And An ‘Emotional Awakening’ For One Man With Autism

AutismTerry Gross provides an insightful and humanistic look at autism through the story of one man who underwent an experimental treatment for his condition and then goes on to eloquently explain both the gains and losses he experienced as a result.   Continue reading

Teaching Men to Be Emotionally Honest

Men and Emotions South Lake Union TherapyFor many years I have been speaking to the increasing shift in traditional gender roles and the ways in which this shift is altering the power differential between the sexes.  In my practice, I see these changes manifest in a variety of new and interesting ways, both adaptive and maladaptive.  My work is primarily with men and this latest New York Times article gives a comprehensive overview of the very real and immediate need to foster and accept emotional vulnerability in men for the sake of their health and success.

“Last semester, a student in the masculinity course I teach showed a video clip she had found online of a toddler getting what appeared to be his first vaccinations. Off camera, we hear his father’s voice. “I’ll hold your hand, O.K.?” Then, as his son becomes increasingly agitated: “Don’t cry!… Aw, big boy! High five, high five! Say you’re a man: “I’m a man!”

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TED Talk: Depression, The Secret We Share

Goya South Lake Union Therapy“The opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality, and it was vitality that seemed to seep away from me in that moment.” In a talk equal parts eloquent and devastating, writer Andrew Solomon takes you to the darkest corners of his mind during the years he battled depression. Continue reading

The Real Scoop on Narcissism from Cause to Lived Experience

Narcissism South Lake Union TherapyIn our culture, the term naricissist is used often, informally and carries a pejorative connotation.  Jari Chevalier’s podcast, Living Hero, examines narcissism from all angles and provides a more humanistic perspective on the clinical meaning of the word. Continue reading

The Real Cause of Addiction

Broken Heart The Real Cause of Addiction

This is one of the best articles on addiction I’ve read in a long time.  It echoes what I have seen and experienced around attachment and safety the lengths to which humans will go to find comfort in their absence.  Continue reading

In Defense of Healthy Anger

Healthy Anger South Lake Union TherapyIn Defense of Healthy Anger

Anger is a topic that comes up a lot in conversation with my clients.  Specifically, the concern around the inability to effectively express anger is what comes up.  It’s a question of not being able to express anger and frustration at all until it reaches the level of blind rage at which point it comes out in all manner of destructive ways. Or at least there’s a fear that expressing anger at ALL will result in irreparable damage.  The image that comes to mind is one of a pressure cooker without a safety valve.  It eventually just blows.

I have to confess, as much as I like to pride myself on being pretty straightforward even in the face of conflict, I often find myself at a loss as to how to express negative feelings to those around me. Continue reading