poor self-esteem

Why Can’t I Love Myself?: Learning to Develop a Loving Relationship with Yourself

There have been periods in my life when I didn’t necessarily like myself, much less love myself. After brutal breakups, when I wasn’t accepted into the college of my choice (or any of the places I had applied to, to be honest), when I lose my temper or am unkind to someone I care about, and when I am just struggling. Showing myself love is…
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Two people sitting back to back with one facing the camera with a stern expression while the other looks away

How Do I Deal with Toxic Family Members?: The Mental and Emotional Toll of Navigating Harmful Family Relationships

In my family, we learned that blood is thicker than water. Our relationships with each other were to be prized, no matter the cost. So years ago, when I saw an Instagram post by another therapist I follow, a white one, suggesting that if you have a harmful family member, you should cut them out just like you would a malignant tumor, I was shocked!…
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Why Am I Here?: The Importance of Connecting with Your Purpose for Mental Health and Wellbeing

If you had asked 5-year-old me my reason for living, I would have probably told you that I wanted to be an artist, a parent, and someone who helped the environment. As a child, I loved making things, had a ton of love to give, and saw the benefits of being of service. As I grew up, my immigrant parents tried to morph my passions…
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How Do I Get Over a Breakup?: Tips for Coping with the End of a Relationship and Moving On

During one of my more devastating breakups, for days, I cried myself to sleep and woke up in the mornings to a pillow quite literally soaked with tears. I remember thinking that the pain may be similar to having an appendage forcibly removed. Reflecting on these details, they seem over the top, but these are my distinct memories of this time. I didn’t think I…
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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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