Why You’re Attracted to the Wrong People

Last week, I was giving a presentation to other mental health professionals when the talk turned to unmet emotional needs.

This is the kind of thing we therapists tend to discuss when we get together. That, and reality TV shows. Or maybe that’s just me.

Unmet emotional needs are often unconscious, and they cause all sorts of havoc in our lives.

What Scares You in Relationships?

scared couple in movie theater

Some of us barrel into relationships as if the very fact of being alone could cause severe itching.

Others are skittish, shying away from promising new people or finding ways to engage while subtly keep them at a distance. Ultimately, the skittishness takes a toll (barreling into relationships can wreak havoc too, but that’s for another post).

I’m a strong believer that most of the trouble in relationships is caused by fear: Fear of not being loved, of being taken for granted or taken advantage of, of being “found out” as not worth someone’s time, and the list goes on.

It Takes More Than Time to Heal Emotional Wounds

They say time heals everything, but as a therapist, I know that’s not true.

Yes, the pain over that breakup with your high school sweetheart has faded to a distant memory.

At the time, you were devastated. You felt like the world was coming to an end. But you survived the end of the world. You rebuilt your life.

You were young and strong. You healed.

Pack Up Your Troubles?

High-school breakups are something that everyone understands. Read More

Why We’re Ashamed of Ourselves

A hundred thousand years ago or more, on a chilly April evening in Portland, Oregon (I know — it wasn’t called Portland or Oregon then) (or April), two cavemen sat together near a fire.

Gak made a pithy but insulting remark, and Trog got angry. So Trog killed Gak. Later Trog was sorry because there was nobody around to play cards with. Or sing sea chanties. Or whatever our ancestors did to pass the time in the Stone Age. Read More