How to Feel Less Alone

How to Feel Less Alone

As a therapist, I find that my biggest single job is help people connect with themselves and each other. In fact, you will have trouble connecting with anyone else if you cannot connect with yourself. You must be able to touch base with your heart, your mind, and all...
Cats, Catastrophe, and Catharsis

Cats, Catastrophe, and Catharsis

A few weeks ago, after my dear old cat died, I looked for a new one. Enter BosBos (pronounced BoesBoes), almost two years old. Half Egyptian Mau and half Arabian Mau, he suffered abuse in the streets of Egypt before being flown to an Egyptian cat rescue last year....
Great Games for Grownups, No Computer Needed

Great Games for Grownups, No Computer Needed

Throughout history, games have offered people relief from the stresses of the everyday world.  Play lets you fool around and have fun in a make-believe universe where risks and consequences aren’t a problem.  Good games also have some not-so-obvious benefits....
Teaching Your Child About Responsibility

Teaching Your Child About Responsibility

When a child breaks household rules, many parents invoke consequences. “Okay, that’s it,” they say. “No cell phone. No computer. No iPad.  No Wii.” Sometimes kids are grounded for months. Consequences of this sort are really just ordinary punishment, which usually...
Turning Therapy Inside Out

Turning Therapy Inside Out

What is therapy anyhow? When I put this question to clients, they usually mention talking, personal problems, and solutions, which everyone seems to assume lie within you. The insurance companies that pay me would ratchet up the definition to specify medical problems...
Ten Bad Habits That Can Ruin Friendships

Ten Bad Habits That Can Ruin Friendships

Many people—including some therapists!— don’t know how to express negative feelings and are afraid of doing so. Some prefer to say only things that seem likely to please their listeners. Everyone feels sadness, disappointment, shame, embarrassment, anger, and anxiety...
How to Make Music Like Yo-Yo Ma

How to Make Music Like Yo-Yo Ma

When I was about ten years old, my mother bought me piano lessons. It was the mid-1950s, and we were living in Washington, D.C., in those days still a sleepy town. My mother would drop me off at the teacher’s ranch house in Chevy Chase. Helen Jenks was a lonely...
What to Do About Cheating

What to Do About Cheating

He’s married, and he looks at another woman. She, with a husband and two kids, lunches alone with a single male coworker. Does this behavior amount to cheating? What about text messages and phone calls? In the television series Orange Is the New Black, Piper has sex...
Getting Married?  Read This First!

Getting Married? Read This First!

Most people think getting married is procedurally pretty simple. You connect with someone you like and find attractive. You date for a while. You meet the folks and the friends. You compare notes: living and working where? how many kids? You affirm your love....
How to Have Better Sex

How to Have Better Sex

When I was a kid, back in prehistoric times, someone published a book with answers to all the questions people had about sex (so the title proclaimed) but were afraid to ask. Nowadays no one seems to be afraid of asking anything, but sex is still a bugaboo. He doesn’t...
You Aren’t Listening!

You Aren’t Listening!

When I see couples for therapy, the problem is always the same: communication is blocked. It’s my job to ensure that both people speak and that both feel heard. In sessions with individuals I help clients probe their thoughts and feelings, but with couples I become a...
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