Minding Your Emotions: How to Recognize and Deal with Your Feelings (Part 3)

minding our emotionsGetting to know and understanding ourselves, our stories, and our feelings is such an important part of personal growth. Learning to live with difficult feelings instead of self-medicating, numbing ourselves, or in some other way avoiding vulnerability is the stuff of life. Doing this hard work of being aware of and owning our “stuff” is key to living with meaning and fulfillment.

 

In part 1 of this series, I shared a personal experience to illustrate how important learning to deal with our most painful feelings is important. In part 2, I talked about why some people have trouble identifying and describing what they feel. In this post, I’d like to share with you some strategies for how you can learn to get to know yourself and your feelings a little better.

Why We Have Trouble Knowing Our Feelings: How to Recognize and Deal with Your Feelings (Part 2)

why you have trouble knowing your feelingsRemember the last time you felt something so strongly that your emotions got the better of you? Maybe you did something you regret. Maybe you spoke words that you wish you could take back. Or maybe you just gritted your teeth, trying your best to hang in there while it felt like the world was falling apart. Because in moments when strong emotions have ensnared us, it really does feel like the sky is falling.

 

Most of us, in moments like this, have at least some idea that we’re caught up in powerful feelings. What we don’t always know is what we’re feeling and why. As we’ll see, being aware of what you’re feeling is the first step to taking the reins back from your strong emotions.

How to Talk to Your Partner about Going to Therapy

how to talk to your partner about going to therapyWhen I get a call from a couple needing help, the spouse or partner on the phone usually says that the relationship is in some kind of crisis. Couples can sometimes struggle for months, even years, before something happens that at last causes the relationship’s ground to give way.

 

When this finally happens and partners talk about going to therapy for the first time, it may not go anywhere. In fact, things sometimes get worse. Fights get louder and longer. One partner might storm off or leave and not come back for the first time. Words are exchanged that can’t be taken back. Each partner feels like there’s nowhere else the relationship can go. Neither can see a way of working it out. They’re both at the end of their ropes. The relationship is crying out for help.

How to Change Beliefs to Form Better Habits (Part 2)

change beliefs

I believe I don’t like pineapple. That belief isn’t going to change.

Changing our habits can be challenging, and in part 1, we saw why. Whether it’s starting a new habit or ditching an old one, any changes we try make will quickly send us to a meet-n’-greet with the beliefs that are tied up with that habit.

 

Maybe you have trouble regularly checking your finances because we believe you’re not with money and there’s a lot of fear there for you. Maybe you’re afraid to start something new because you believe that you’ll fail. Maybe it’s been really tough to kick your pornography habit because you feel like you’re not good enough no matter what you do, and at least pornography makes you forget that for a while.

Research Describes 14 Qualities and Actions of an Effective Counselor (Part 3 of 2)

This is part 3 in a series of posts originally intended to be a two-part pageturner. You can check out part 1 here and part 2 here.

 

counselor with depressed manIt’s the middle of January, which is the most common month that people seek out counseling. Of course, many factors go into choosing a therapist—location, specialty, a perception that he or she can help with your concerns, fees and insurance, and so on.

 

It’s also been my guess in this series that you also are wondering how in the world to pick an effective counselor. There are online reviews but only sometimes, and therapist websites can only give us clues about a counselor’s competence.

 

It’s been my goal to help you pick a good counselor, one that you can know with a little more clarity if the help you’re getting is worth your time and investment. Ultimately, I do feel that there’s a ineffable quality of “fit” between a counselor and a client that makes therapy work, and that’s hard to write about.

Research Describes 14 Qualities and Actions of an Effective Counselor (Part 2 of 2)

woman in therapyIn case you missed it, in my last post I summarized some findings from the American Psychological Association about the characteristics of an effective counselor. You can check out the APA’s own write-up of the research here. According to the APA, an effective counselor has 14 key qualities that contribute to successful treatment. This time of year, when a lot of people are looking for counseling, these are great things to keep in mind when looking for help.

 

Of course, counseling seems simple on the face of it, but there’s actually a lot going on in your counselor’s mind in session, not to mention the ton of stuff going on in the relationship between you and your counselor. All that to say, great outcomes are the product of a host of variables in counseling, I don’t think it’s too far of a stretch to say that these therapist qualities make successful treatment more likely. 

How to Choose a Sex Addiction Therapist

If you think you might be struggling with sex or pornography addiction, seeking out a therapist is a wonderful way to care for yourself. Partnering with a therapist means enlisting the help of an experienced guide to help you get to where you want to go. However, the sheer number of therapists in your area often makes the choice more than a little overwhelming. So how can you determine which therapist is the right one for you?

 

I often meet with individuals in during free consultations who are looking for the right fit. Choosing a therapist is a highly personal decision that should be made with a great deal of thought and consideration.

 

So how might you determine who is a good fit for you?

3 Things Your Therapist Must Do in Couples Therapy

I recently submitted my first response to Help a Reporter Out (HARO). If you don’t know what HARO is, it’s a subscription service that connects inquiring journalists doing research for stories to experts hungry to provide them with a few good quotes (and get some publicity in the process).

 

Now, chances are I’m not going to get picked because these reporters get a lot of responses. So in the offchance I don’t get instantly famous, I thought I’d share my thoughts with you. Here’s the response in its entirety.