trauma

When Will I Feel Better?: Understanding and Combating Shame

As I prepared to work on this article, I tried to think about a time when I experienced shame that I could comfortably share to set the stage. Unsurprisingly, that prompted me to avoid working on the article for days… I was suddenly too hungry, tired, or distracted to write. It finally became clear to me that I didn’t want to share my major shame…
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What’s the Point of Crying?: The Benefits of Tears for Mental and Physical Well Being

I have always been sensitive. Growing up, that meant a lot of tears and, unfortunately, a lot of frustration on my parents’ part. “Why are you crying?” and “that’s nothing to cry about” were frequent refrains in my home. When most frustrated with me and my feelings, my mother would say, “I hope you don’t cry like that at my funeral.” So I spent many,…
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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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How Do I Keep Going?: The Importance of Finding Joy (Even When Things Seem Hopeless)

When we started working on this article, things in our country and the world were swiftly crumbling, and I certainly felt the impact. And then last week happened, and it felt as though the rug was pulled out from under my feet. I was recently reminded, “intellectually knowing that something is coming does not prepare you for the devastation in the body when it hits,”…
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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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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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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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What is Toxic Positivity? And How to Respond to Your Feelings Instead

Even after years of doing this work, I’ve had moments when I am feeling sad or frustrated and I’ll catch myself thinking, “well, things could be worse!” While this seems pretty benign at first glance (or first thought…), I’ve come to understand how this falls under the umbrella of toxic positivity. What is toxic positivity? It’s the tendency to suppress, ignore, or disregard how one…
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