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Self compassion fuels a healthier today and a more resilient tomorrow.


Self Compassion

You had a hard day. You did not meet your productivity goals. You said something that hurt your friends feelings. In any of these situations, most of us would automatically be hard on ourselves. To be kind to ourselves might feel self-indulgent or guarantee we continuing making the same mistakes.

 Self Compassion isn't self-indulgent.

When we acknowledge our emotions in a non-judgemental way we process our experience in a way that allows us to learn from it.  You are not wrong for feeling pain, sadness, regret or any emotion.

Imperfection is the human condition.

When we accept that we are still growing and learning and subject to making mistakes, we acknowledge our humanness and can realize that we are not alone.


Self-compassion means treating yourself as kindly as you would treat a friend who needs that support.

Self compassion includes adopting healthier behaviors that support your physical and emotional strength.

Being hard on ourselves isn't...

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Massively Improve Your Relationship With One Easy to Learn Technique

How many times have you heard the warning not to assume our partner can read our minds?  This tip is often proffered just after we have shared that we want something from the relationship that we are not getting. Asking for what we need increases the likelihood of having our needs met in the relationship.

Our needs being met is not the only goal of relationship. With our needs met we may still be lonely. This is especially true if we don't feel a connection with our partner that is strong enough to support healthy conflict.

If we seek deeper intimacy and connection in the relationship, we must be willing to face conflict with each other and in the relationship.

I want to share one extremely potent communication technique that couples can use to deepen their connection with each other and their ability to work through conflict.

Narrating Inner Experience

Narrating Inner Experience is a great technique for deepening understanding and intimacy in your relationship.

What is...

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How Do You Love Your Partner Every Day?

After many years working with happy and unhappy couples, one element I have found in successful and enduring relationships is for both people to actually love their partner each day.

More than grand gestures.

More than a recitation of your continuing promise to always, always be there.

Love as an active verb.

Love as an act each day.

Every day.

Even when angry.

Even when busy.

Make the conscious choice to indeed love your partner.

What that looks like will depend on the context of that very day.

What is going on in their world today? In yours?

Be curious about their inner experience.

What might be capturing their thoughts and feelings today?

What is one small thing you could do that would be felt as an act of love on this day?

What is one small thing you can do to show:

I see you.

I care about you.

I'm excited to be with you.

We're in this together.





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The True Meaning Of Friendship In Romantic Relationships

What Does Friendship Mean to You?

Explore this list of questions for insight and clarity into the meaning of friendship in your life and in relationship with your partner.

  • What does it mean to you to be a good friend? Do you feel that each of you is a good friend in this relationship?
  • Is it important to have a balance between giving and taking in this friendship? How are you doing in that regard?
  • How important is it for you to be able to express your true feelings to one another? 
  • Is it okay if you and your friend tell each other when you feel angry, sad, or afraid?
  • What’s the role of acceptance in this friendship? Can you rely on one another to feel affirmed? Supported? Valued? Is that important to you?
  • What’s the role of truthfulness in this friendship? Is it important for you to share honest opinions? Is it okay to disagree?
  • Is it okay to feel jealous or resentful if this friend has close relationships with other people? Is it okay to express those...
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Agreeing to Never Disagree and Other Relationship Killers

Withdrawal, Blaming, and Agreeing to Never Disagree

Conflict with a partner or someone we care about can feel intensely uncomfortable. To avoid the discomfort, we may engage defense mechanisms such as withdrawal, blaming, and agreeing to never disagree.


One way we protect ourselves from the discomfort of conflict is to withdraw from the person with whom we are experiencing conflict.

Withdrawal is a defense mechanism that is enacted in different ways.  For some, withdrawal from conflict looks like checking out or acting distracted. For others, withdrawal looks like shutting down emotionally and/or sometimes physically.  Stonewalling is another common form of withdrawal. However, of all the ways to enact withdrawal from conflict, the one seen most frequently is pretending we don't care.

Mindy shared that she cultivated a cool girl persona when she was in her at twenties.

"I pretended I didn't care about anything. If whoever was my partner at the time wanted to do...

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Emotional Maturity as a Foundation for Honesty and Intimacy

Kaileen shared,

"I am a fighter. I'm an only child. My room was always very quiet. Leaving my room, I did a lot of watching and observing. I observed my parents either arguing or ignoring. My father was consistently the parent with the power. I wanted to defuse their fiery and alternately icy cold encounters.  I wanted their conflict to stop so I did all that I could to please my parents and be the perfect daughter."

As children, we lack the power to influence our environment.

We want the bad things taking place around us to stop. We want to make things better. Kaileen's power stopped at the border of what she could draw attention to or draw attention away from.

Marvin shared that as a teenager he fought with his parents at every turn. His way of protecting himself was to fight for what he believed was right or to prove that he was right and that his parents were wrong.

Marvin's mother was emotionally manipulative and engaged in gaslighting. Gaslighting is to manipulate...

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Practice Dying For A Life Fully Lived

The Dalai Lama says that we should gain familiarity with the process and practices of death so that when we are physically weak our mind will continue to function in a way that serves us and others. 

Lately, the whoosh of everything fleeting has haunted me, chilling my skin. I remember being 17 and knowing the exact number of days until I could leave my mother and stepfather’s home; in that forever, my life would begin. Each day until my departure moved like a giant Galapagos tortoise. All of my counting blinded me to the beauty around me.

A trite mantra rings in my mind, “Like a flower, take in and grow from both sun and rain.” The knowing that all events are grist for the mill and that nothing is permanent is not enough. One must live in a way that reflects one’s knowledge of life’s impermanence. To do so, we must cultivate patience with pain, discomfort, and loss so that each encounter becomes part of the practice of dying and a piece in the...

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It's Time to Feed Your Brain

Tara Parker Hope recently published an article in the New York Times on the best brain foods you are not eating with the overall theme that it is time to start feeding your brain.

Nutritional psychiatry studies how foods can make us feel. Hope quotes Harvard psychiatrist Dr. Uma Naidoo:

“Many people think about food in terms of their waistlines, but it also impacts our mental health. It’s a missing part of the conversation.”

The stomach and the brain have a strong connection. "One of the significant ways the brain and gut are connected is through the vagus nerve, a two-way chemical messaging system that explains why stress can trigger feelings of anxiety in your mind and butterflies in your stomach."

Dr. Naidoo, who wrote “This Is Your Brain on Food" describes food  as something that influences your microbiome.  Some species of gut microbes have been linked to higher rates of depression. "The brain...

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The Gift of Today

Soaking up the sun on a bright January day, I can't help but feel gratitude for the gift of today.

Whenever I get caught up in the day-to-day stress of running a busy practice, I always remind myself that today is a gift.

Decades ago, when I was practicing family law and wondering if I was making a positive impact on parents and children's lives,  Our sense of self plays out in our work everyday. We teach who we are. That's why I took the risk to move from practicing law to becoming a psychologist. 

Back then, I would have given anything to work with people in the way I do as a psychologist, Our sense of self plays out in our work everyday. We teach who we are.

Just showing up can be courageous! I watch my clients learn to embrace their courage, to set intentions, and to be willing to take life enhancing risks to live their best life.


I am so grateful for the life and work I have now. 

How do you feel about your everyday life?  Courage doesn't have to...

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