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Your Self-Awareness Journey

A psychoanalytic investigation is a complex and nuanced journey into one's delicate heart.-Galit Atlas, PhD

One reason people come to therapy is to get to know the truth of who they are. A next step is to live from that truth on a daily basis, not only during extraordinary circumstances.
Below are some questions to ask yourself as you continue on your self-awareness journey.

4 Questions to Ask Yourself As You Begin

Your Self-Awareness Journey

How do I handle strong emotions?

Our body signals similar sensations for both anticipation and anxiety, as well as passion and frustration. However, our mindset plays a crucial role in determining how we respond to these sensations. We have the power to generate momentum for positive change or get caught up in a mental loop. It all depends on how we choose to respond. 

Stress arises from many different kinds of situations, both good and bad life events and transitions trigger stress. We can learn a lot about ourselves from looking more...

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12 Ways to Build Self-Trust


The opposite of self-trust is self-doubt.

Biological characteristics that we are born with, such as being prone to anxiety, mix with our significant life experiences to to contribute to determining why we may be more self-doubting than trusting or the reverse!

Examples of significant life experiences that may influence the way we see ourselves and the extent to which we trust or doubt ourselves:

Frequent moving

Parents divorce,

Substance abuse in the family,

Exposure to trauma, such as sexual or physical abuse, growing up with a mentally ill parent, or experiencing homelessness, poverty, or abandonment.

Certain experiences
arising in connection with your race, age, economic status, sexual or gender identity, culture, religion, and so forth.

Events need not be dramatic to illicit self doubt.

Your position in a family such as being the only child not to attend college in a family of siblings with graduate degrees or being unpopular with kids at school.

The messages...

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I'm Sorry is Not A Complete Apology

A sincere apology can contribute to the healing of a ruptured relationship. However, "I'M SORRY" alone won't have the healing power that an apology that shows care and respect would.

If you regret something you did, and we all do things that we later regret and wish we could adequately apologize, take the time to do it right.





Ask yourself how your actions contributed to an injury or problem. Try to objectively view the role you played even if you were not the sole cause of the hurt or damage.




Taking responsibility involves owning up to your actions in addition to saying  “I’m sorry” or another phrase expressing your regret. Make sure you are clear and direct communicating the specific actions you are apologizing for.






Listening and improving means actively listening. Give the person the opportunity to respond...

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Your Greatest Teacher

All the situations in our lives teach us exactly what we need to be learning.

Many of us long for someone who has attained a higher level of insight to lead the way for us. The good news is that the greatest teacher you could ever want is always with you -- that is your life. 

The people and situations we encounter every day have much to teach us when we are open to receiving their wisdom. Often we don’t recognize our teachers because they may not look or act like our idea of a wise person, yet they may embody great wisdom. In addition, some people teach us by showing us what we don’t want to do. All the situations in our lives, from the insignificant to the major, conspire to teach us exactly what we need to be learning at any given time. Patience, compassion, perseverance, honesty, letting go -- all these are covered in the classroom of the teacher that is your life. 

We might take some time each day to consider what our lives are trying to teach us at this...

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Begin Today to Focus on Shifting Your Patterns of Thinking

Celebrate and love yourself for how far you have come. Celebrate both you and every step you have taken to this point on your journey. Celebrate how much you have learned from the things that did and did not go as planned.


Begin with capturing this affirmation as your mantra for today.



By acknowledging your strengths and victories you rewire your brain to accept your capabilities and successes. Your brain changes with your experiences. It creates new neural pathways that are strengthened every time they are repeated. This is called neuroplasticity. The stronger the pathway, the more it shapes what you believe about what you can and cannot do and your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

With conscious awareness and repetition we strengthen new neural pathways.

You can begin today to focus on shifting your patterns of thinking. You can keep this small promise to yourself to stay mindful of your thinking and aware of what you are reinforcing within yourself...
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How might a bit of understated elegance change your life?

Are you fixated upon progress, perfection, conformity and achievement?  If so, have you thought about the cost of this way life? 

  • How often do you experience the feeling of truly enjoying yourself?
  • Are you able to laugh at yourself like a good old friend or are you your own worst enemy, endlessly berating yourself? 
  • When was the last time you stopped to admire the infinite and transitory wonders of nature?
  • You have one life, are you spending it wisely?


If you have deep rooted patterns of perfectionism and other traits of the exceedingly driven, it can help to utilize a framework to foster change.  Today, I seek to open your mind to the framework of Wabi Sabi.

Wabi-Sabi is a way of living.

The Japanese cultivated “wabi-sabi;” 

“Wabi” connotes rustic simplicity, quietness or understated elegance;

Sabi” means beauty or serenity that comes with age.


There are seven principles for achieving wabi-sabi


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Knowing Your Attachment Style Will Increase Your Success in Dating

Attachment forms the roots of security or insecurity in close relationships. Our feelings of security and insecurity in close relationships will influence our behavior in those relationships.

Attachment Styles: the way we perceive and respond to intimacy in relationships and the way we experience security and insecurity in relationships.

What does Attachment Theory have to do with my relationships as an adult?

Connection is a human need.

Independence is a human need.

The two distinct processes of developing intimacy and autonomy are synergistic and interdependent in normal development and throughout our lives.

The way individuals perceive closeness and separation, relatedness and self-definition, or intimacy and autonomy is a fundamental aspect of their personality and may also influence their self-definition and feelings and beliefs about self-worth. It also impacts their behavior in relationships. Furthermore, the actual effects of attachment styles on the relationship are the...

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The Six Essential Personal Boundaries

As humans, we all need both connection and autonomy. Balancing our needs for both is a lifelong practice. The challenge is like a tide that rises and falls.

The typical wrestling to achieve balance and the resulting lean in the direction of connection over autonomy or vice versa is distinguishable from having an extreme emphasis on either connection or autonomy. The later can leave us lonely or living a life in chaos. To avoid life at either extreme, we can engage in the daily practice of setting boundaries.


What is meant by Personal Boundaries?

Personal boundaries are the limits and rules we set for ourselves with others.

Unhealthy Boundaries are personal boundaries that are too rigid or too porous.

Rigid or Porous Boundaries

A symptom of overly porous boundaries is codependency. Codependency involves the loss of self and caring and doing for others even at the expense of self. The other boundary extreme is to have rigid boundaries, which is to be self-isolating and...

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Your Partner Won't Go to Couple's Therapy, Now What?

Your relationship is clearly the problem in your life right now. Everything would be fine if only you did not have to deal with these relationship issues. Actually, they are your partner's issues but they're getting in the way of your happy life. You told him or her you want to go to couple's therapy and they refuse to go. Now what?

I'm not saying you should give up on couple's therapy but I am saying you may be able to get help regarding the relationship, even if you go to therapy alone.

The problem's in a relationship are never just the product of one partner's behavior. It is valuable to look at both the substantive issues as well as the way you approach conflict individually and together. Knowing problems in a relationship are never solely caused by one partner, dig deeper to find out your role on the path to healing your heart.

Be true to you. You are not perfect but love yourself not just despite this but because of this. You deserve to be in a healthy relationship. Even if...

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Emotional Addiction

We can bring unresolved issues into our awareness so that we can heal.

Do you notice having a fear, such as a fear of abandonment, that repeatedly shows up in many different kinds of relationships?

Our fears show us places were we can gain more knowledge and understanding about ourselves.


What is Emotional Addiction?

Emotional addiction involves becoming attached to certain feeling sensations to cope with or to confirm our fears or insecurities. 

Is emotional addiction like other addictions?

Emotional addiction is like other addictions in that it involves a pattern of behavior used to react or respond to challenges or life's difficulties. Like many addictions, emotional addiction may be a coping strategy or behavior that is triggered by wanting to feel a certain way. Emotional addiction can lose it's adaptive qualities and become an unhealthy strategy for dealing with our lives and our inner and outer worlds.

What is an example of emotional addiction?

As children,...

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Two Step

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