relationship challenges

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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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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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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Getting Past the Inner Critic

Can I Move Towards My Goals While Resisting Perfectionism?: Getting Past the Inner Critic

This past fall, we moved some things around in our previously neglected backyard. We thought having a dedicated play space would help our kids, as well as afford us more breathing room during the pandemic. I began starting evenings with vision boards, shopping lists, and poring over Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace for deals. I wanted to make sure anything we bought fit the greater “vision.”…
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Recognizing Our Own Resilience May Help

How Do We Keep Going In Hard Times?: Recognizing Our Own Resilience May Help

Our resilience increases as we recognize the magnitude of what we have already accomplished. -Patricia O’Gorman Do you remember last December? I do, but it feels like a million years away. This has been a year of many adjustments. Only a week ago, I felt like I was staring down the barrel of another lockdown. Today, I’m still reeling, but feel a glimmer of optimism…
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