Category Archives: Relationships

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

Book Recommendations

Book Recommendations

Of all the books I have read recently, these are my favorites.

What I liked most about Coming Apart is the author’s framing of “failed” relationships not as failures but as developmental tools which promote growth and awareness.

Coming Apart South Lake Union Therapy

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Are We All “Screwed Up?”

NeurosisAre We All “Screwed Up?”

I get asked this question a lot and the answer is, “yes.” This is comforting to many and not such welcome news to others. In the psychological world, “screwed up” is better known as “neurotic.” Psychoanalyst Karen Horney described neurosis as “a distorted way of looking at the world and oneself, determined by compulsive needs rather than by a genuine interest in the world as it is.” Yep. Unfortunately we all do this to one degree or another, in one or more areas of our lives. The extent to which this occurs is in proportion to the severity of the mental and emotional suffering we experience. Continue reading

Why Relationships Matter

Two FriendsWhy Relationships Matter

Patience, kindness and the simple act of our LISTENING can mean the difference between unbearable suffering and a life worth living for many people around us. In listening to this episode of This American Life recently, I was struck by the positive transformation of an adopted child diagnosed with an attachment disorder that was likely the result of abuse or neglect as an infant.

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Shame- The Atlantic Monthly

Scarlet LetterShame- The Atlantic Monthly

I came across this article on shame by Robert Karen in the bibliography of a presentation on narcissistic wounding and the part it plays in addiction. In his article, Karen includes the historical and social aspects of shame as well as the individual experience. He draws a distinction between “normal” and “pathological” shame.  “Pathological shame is an irrational sense of defectiveness, a feeling not of having crossed the boundary but of having been born there.”

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