Why It’s So Hard to Build Healthy Relationships After Growing Up in Chaos

When we grow up in emotionally chaotic households, we face challenges in establishing healthy adult relationships. When chaos is the norm, we get accustomed to living with what feels bad and scary. We learn to silence our experience because it feels too dangerous to speak up for ourselves or call anyone out on their behavior. As children, […]

Freedom: Taking Ownership of Your Own Happiness

“Lily doesn’t listen,” had been Shelly’s refrain about her partner for years. She had complained many times to me about this issue, and yet somehow her wife’s behavior didn’t change, and Shelly’s anger and frustration about it also didn’t change. Lily’s inability to listen had created tremendous conflict in the family. A conversation would happen over dinner, […]

Do You Feel Alone When You’re Together? How to Deepen Your Connection With Your Partner

A lot of couples show up in my office because they don’t feel deeply connected.  Often, one member of the couple feels like she can’t connect with her partner and is lonely in the relationship.  Couples describe intimate relationships that contain a paltry supply of real intimacy.  In light of this, I wanted to offer something I witnessed recently, which was […]

When We Can No Longer Silence Our Truth

This week something remarkable happened—change happened. When a long-present way of feeling or behaving transforms, I view it as a miracle, a gift of grace. Two months ago, a dear friend, someone I consider family, asked to borrow money.  I’m working a lot these days (thankfully) and therefore could provide the help. My friend told me that […]

When Feeling Guilty is Your Natural State

Do you ever feel like you’re inclined to accept the blame when things go wrong?  The truth is, some of us are more prone to feeling guilty, as if a background sense of guilt is just wired into our system.  Even if we don’t know specifically what we did wrong, we’re convinced that we did something we shouldn’t have, […]

How Long Should You Wait For Your Partner to Commit?

Commitment is a topic that brings a lot of couples into therapy. The word has a single definition, but it holds infinite meanings. For many people, commitment includes an emotional acknowledgment of a we, in that we are with each other and choose to be part of a couple. And on a practical level, it means the possibility of planning for a future—even if it’s […]

When We Shame Ourselves: How to Unhook from Self-Shaming Thoughts

For many (dare I say most) people, spending time with parents can unleash some pretty strong emotions. No matter how grown up we are, our original family can put us in touch with deep hurts, primal longings, unmet needs… a tsunami of feelings. If we want to challenge every ounce of peace, wellbeing, compassion, wisdom and strength […]