social support

How Do We Stop Having the Same Fight Over and Over?: Making Sense of Conflict in Relationships and Finding Resolution

I will be celebrating my 10th wedding anniversary with my partner this year. This feels monumental to me, as I often struggled to see myself in a marriage in the traditional sense of the word. Yes, I wanted to be married and have children. And also, sometimes, I didn’t. I imagined so many different lives for myself. I had so many relationships work and then…
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Why Am I Being Singled Out?: Understanding Bullying and Its Impact on Mental Health

Bullying can take many forms, and these days, it seems to be even more ubiquitous. I am fortunate that I haven’t experienced too many instances of peer bullying myself. As a child, I was mainly able to blend in, and as a teen, I chose to lean into and really embrace being different. I was usually kind to others; they were generally kind to me.…
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Why Do I Feel So Alone?: Understanding the Loneliness Epidemic and Cultivating Connection as the Antidote

I was recently on a retreat for work and decided to go early to have some time for myself. As a parent and partner, I later realized this was the longest time I’d been alone in years. I didn’t have anything planned, and it was raining and, at times, totally delightful. I read a whole book, walked in the rain, stopping whenever and wherever my…
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How Can I Say Goodbye?: Grieving the Loss of a Pet or Companion Animal

The first half of this lengthy article is an ode to my dog Maddie (short for Madeline). It’s the story of her life and death, and my grief. The second half will hopefully help you conceptualize pet loss and offer suggestions to help with grief if that’s what you need. But it felt important to write the first part first. If you’re looking for research…
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What’s Happening to Me?: Pregnancy, Mental Health and Postpartum Challenges

Content Warning: This article includes references to suicidal ideation, intrusive thoughts, and other mental health challenges. Please note that while most of the research refers to birthing mothers as it relates to peripartum and postpartum mental health challenges, nonbirthing parents can also experience many of the same difficulties.  I desperately wanted to be a mother ever since I was a child. I had a baby…
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Will I Ever Trust Again?: Understanding the Cost of Betrayal and Conceptualizing Recovery from Betrayal Trauma

Romantic partners have betrayed my confidence, I have felt deeply hurt and wronged by the actions of trusted colleagues, and I have friends that I am no longer in contact with due to feeling betrayed. Not a single incident is easy to recall or write about, but I can still feel the sting and remember the nights spent ruminating. I would stay up trying to…
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Why Do I Feel So Anxious in Social Situations?: Understanding Social Anxiety and Cultivating Connection

An old friend was recently in town, and we made plans to get together. I was nervous to see her and her partner; we hadn’t seen each other for years, and it meant a lot that we were connecting again. Then, during our time together, I made a joke that I quickly realized could be harmful. I felt my face turn red. I wasn’t sure…
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How Does Gaslighting Work?: Understanding Gaslighting and Learning to Trust Yourself Again

In my twenties, I was in an abusive relationship with a partner struggling with a substance use disorder. I didn’t know what was going on until I was way too deep into the relationship, and at the time, I didn’t know enough to get him (or myself) the support necessary. What I do know is that the relationship made me my worst self. My partner…
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Where Can I Be Loved and Accepted?: The Importance of Chosen Family for LGBTQIA+ Individuals

Note to reader: In this article, we will be utilizing the term queer to encompass the LGBTQIA+ community in its entirety, including gender-nonconforming, genderqueer, and nonbinary identities. During college, I often felt homesick. I would experience this longing to go home, and when I finally did, I was disappointed. What I longed for had never really existed, or at least not where I imagined it…
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Why Can’t I Get Anything Done?: The Quest to Stay Motivated

Our team recently read a meditation book, which prompted me to confront the idea of motivation. Allow me to explain. The book was about the science behind meditation, written by a self-identified skeptic of the benefits. The aim was to convince the reader of all of the benefits of meditation and relieve them of any concerns about doing it perfectly. The author wanted to encourage…
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