family dynamics

image of a person being embraced by another

What Makes It So Hard to Be Vulnerable?: Why We Avoid Vulnerability and Why We Should Stop

During a particularly difficult month, I had dinner with a dear friend who was going through a heart-wrenching breakup. He told me the details about the dissolution of his relationship, and I was honored to support him. Then he asked me how I’d been doing. After hearing about his pain and fears about the future, I questioned how much I wanted to share. While I…
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​​Why Am I Afraid to Fail?: How Our Fear of Failure Can Hinder Growth

Why do we fear failure? When I began building my practice, I was excited. I was working a full-time job at a non-profit mental health center, tutoring and facilitating psychotherapy groups at an intensive outpatient program. My plate was already full, but I was eager to have my own practice so I could do the clinical work how I wanted to. As my practice grew,…
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What is Intergenerational Trauma?: Understanding the Impacts of Intergenerational Trauma on Mental Health

A few weeks ago, my mother accompanied my children and me on an errand. We were in a familiar store, and my 6-year-old went up the escalator ahead of us and then walked off. My mother started to panic and stormed up the escalator, muttering that someone would take off with my daughter. At that moment, I, too, had felt unnerved but was trying to…
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How Do I Manage My Anger?: Tips for Emotional Regulation in a Time of Collective Moral Outrage

To say that these last few years have been difficult would be an understatement. In addition to living through the worst public health crisis this planet has seen for centuries, we’ve witnessed a global social justice movement aimed at combating various forms of systemic and institutionalized oppression that were further exposed by the pandemic, devastating humanitarian crises in Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Ukraine (just to…
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two clear hands held out in front of a face that is blurry to communicate boundaries and saying no

How Do I Set Boundaries?: Learning to Care for Yourself by Advocating for Your Needs

While the term boundary gets used often these days, it doesn’t mean it’s easy to understand what boundaries are necessarily, or what it takes to establish and reinforce them. My eldest started playing basketball this year, and while I’m typically not a huge sports fan, I was invested when it came to watching her play. One of the things that I quickly learned was when…
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Why Does This Keep Happening to Me?: How Our Attachment Styles Can Impact Our Relationships

I’ll be honest, when I decided to pursue a career as a therapist, one of the motivating factors was the desire to better understand myself and my own relationship patterns. Yes, I wanted to offer others support and care, but I also wanted to learn how to better engage with others and finally figure out why I was drawn to the same type of dating…
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Should I Start a Diet?: Rethinking Your Relationship with Your Body

While it may not have been the first time I was critical of my body, the first time I remember being critical of my body, or of objectifying my own body, is when I was 8-years-old. I was watching something on TV and it was definitely not a show for children. On the show, the it-girl started talking about her weight loss, going as far…
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Image of two individuals with trash bags picking up litter off of the beach. Both are dressed in warm clothing and are wearing gloves.

Is Doing Good Good for You?: The Effects of Philanthropy and Giving on Mental Health

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?” — Martin Luther King, Jr. The end of the year can be a time of stress for many. Spending time with family, while joyful for some, can still carry its own challenges and complications. The holidays can be quite loaded, and planning for the holidays can bring up fears, sadness, and feelings…
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Image of the shape of a person under the covers in bed. Superimposed on this image is a quasi-transparent image of a woman with her head back to depict layers of grief.

How Do I Know if This is Grief?: Understanding and Honoring Grief In All Shapes, Sizes, and Seasons

Over the past 20 months I have watched more TV and movies than I had in years. They offered me a way to cope, a distraction, and space to process. Unsurprisingly, the common theme in a lot of the shows and films I watched last year was grief. It just couldn’t be escaped. Animated films, TV shows… grief was everywhere. I suspect that’s because we…
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Am I Codependent If I Enjoy Having My Needs Met & Meeting The Needs of Others?

Am I Codependent If I Enjoy Having My Needs Met & Meeting The Needs of Others?: Interdependence 101

What does it mean to “need” others (and to be needed in return) the exact right amount? Even though I’m a therapist myself, I’ve struggled with this in my own relationships. When I was younger, I sometimes relied on my romantic relationships for validation and sense of self, and was often crushed when I didn’t feel supported enough. Now, I’m in a different place: I’m…
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