The Power of Letting Go

“The willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life is the source from which self-respect springs.” – Joan Didion When asked if people were doing the best they can, a mentor once said: “I don’t know. All I know is that my life is better when I assume that people are doing their best. It […]

Fill ‘er Up

Brené Brown consistently delivers whole-hearted, thought-provoking material. The woman in on fire. Here she interviews Oprah Winfrey in classic researcher style, asking pointed questions on tender subjects. On the topic of shame, Oprah shared how she learned to overcome the diminishing question “Who do you think you are?” Instead of shrinking from self-judgment and aligning with the critic, […]

Teachable Moments

When it comes to behavioral learning, the heat of a moment is not a teachable one. Especially with kids. Your child’s already limited executive functioning isn’t on-line. He’ll be able to learn after everyone has calmed down and you’ll be able to teach a lot better. Besides, no one wants to apologize on the battlefield […]

Rewiring Joy

Thanks to neuroscience, we now know the brain/nervous system is capable of change. That means with enough effort, skill and time a person can do a lot to overcome the effects of painful experiences. The catch is that the survival lessons of our ancestors required they be good at learning from bad experiences. This skill […]

Self-Acceptance

I’d like to share a simple yet highly effective technique for building self-acceptance. Start a phrase using an example you feel sadness, pain, or regret about: “Even though (experience, behavior or feelings) … Then add the self-acceptance piece: “I (was/am) doing the best I (could/can).” No matter where you are in life, no matter what […]

An Ugly Truth

My husband took a trip last week. Calling home he asked to switch over to the computer because we packed the wrong power chord for the phone. Between the two of us, I’m the more organized, neat and tidy which makes me the keeper of important little things like power chords. That means it wasn’t […]

The Blame Game

In the world of intimate relationships, it’s human nature to want to change your partner. The truth is, you can’t change your partner any more than they can change you. You can influence each other, but the more you believe your partner should be different, the less likely you’ll take ownership of your own “contribution.” […]

Culture of Shame

My family recently had dinner at a casual place where you order and grab a seat. While waiting in line, our son started playing with the kid in front. They bonded immediately in a superhero battle and while finding a table, he insisted we sit adjacent to his new best friend. Caught up in the […]

Shame in Couples Therapy

Shame plays a powerful role in distorting identity as it’s concerned with being defective, feeling overexposed or lacking worth in the eyes of others.  As we can imagine, shame also is a critical barrier to intimacy in couples. The aversive nature of shame leads some folks to disown parts of themselves, leaving them susceptible to […]