Pandemic Holiday Season 1.0
How in the world are we supposed to navigate this holiday season given, well... 2020?!? Not only have we had an extremely contentious election year, continued racial injustices, and environmental disasters, but we've also had an upsurge of an infectious coronavirus that has put much the world in quarantine lock-downs. How do we find & maintain hope in the midst of all this?
2/3rds of US Adults are Very Stressed about the Elections
In August, 2020, 68% of US Adults said that the upcoming elections are a significant source of stress in their lives, according to a Harris Poll (done on behalf of the American Psychological Association). This percentage was even larger for Democrats, black adults and those with a chronic health condition.
Covid-19 Worldwide Reset
We are experiencing a worldwide stop and reset for how we work, play and rest. This is an opportunity for us to acknowledge patterns of over-working and producing too much at the expense of our health and well-being.
Boundaries are Essential for Self-Preservation
How do we set new boundaries as our world has turned upside down? With updated restrictions on physical distancing & ways to mitigate the spread of this new coronavirus, being able to set boundaries is even more critical for our own health and well-being, let alone for others.
Coping Strategies for Responding to the Coronavirus Pandemic
COVID 19 has transformed our world. Not only has it led to spiked infections, it’s also instilled mass hysteria, global grief, worldwide trauma and a huge stop to our everyday normal routines. So, how do we cope with a worldwide pandemic given our fears of infection and spread? How can we practice greater compassion at a time when we fear limited resources? How can we take into account the impact of our actions on others who may be more vulnerable than us?
Couples Counseling Improves Relationships
Have you ever been curious if couples counseling could improve your relationship? Do you want outside help to create a better relationship or to end your relationship amicably? Whether you’re in a high-conflict or conflict-avoidant relationship, whether you’re interested in rebuilding trust, communicating more effectively, or deepening vulnerability and intimacy with your partner(s), couples counseling with the right therapist and the right conditions, can be very effective.
Happy New Year!
Research at University of Scranton shows 75% of people who make New Year’s Resolutions maintain them past the first week and by six months it’s 46%. However those who make resolutions are 10 times more likely to reach their goals than others who don’t. Improving health tends to be the top resolution: weight loss, exercise, eating better, drinking less alcohol and quitting smoking.
Simple Definition of Mindfulness
According to Jon Kabat-Zin, mindfulness is paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally...as if your life depended on it. We ALL have tons of thoughts every minute of the day. Do you ever feel like your thoughts/feelings are out of control and creating anxiety, depression or just way too much stress in your life? Learning how to navigate this territory can make a huge difference in our lives.
Walking On Eggshells
Being in a relationship with a Narcissist — whether as a friend, co-worker, family member, date, or intimate relationship — can be one of the most difficult and painful relationships to navigate. While we all have legitimate needs for validation, someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) takes it to a whole other, destructive, level.
Stop Judging Yourself
We have tons of thoughts every minute but when these thoughts are consistently critical and judgmental of ourselves (i.e. how we’ve failed yet again) then it restricts our ability to live more fully and enjoy our lives. An intense and relentless Inner Critic can lead to social anxiety, perfectionism, rigidity and depression.
Becoming a Better Communicator
Most couples come in to therapy interested in improving the way they communicate with each other and resolve conflict. Some couples have high conflict while others are conflict avoidant. In either case, learning to speak more effectively can dramatically improve the health of your relationship(s).
Benefits of Friendships
Having good solid friendships deepens our experience of life. They help us combat depression, anxiety and loneliness while also encouraging us to be our most authentic self, to let our hair down and let our freak-flag fly. AND they shine a light on the kind of friendship we want out of our long-term romantic/sexual relationships.
So why is it sometimes so hard to make new friends or maintain the ones we already have?
Meeting Like-Minded Friends
It’s not enough to know what kind of friends you want to make, you also need to put yourself out there in situations where you’re more likely to meet them over time. Where are you most likely to meet the kind of friends you want to have? Give yourself time to brainstorm here too.
#METOO movement & the LGBTQ Community
In the past several weeks, multiple victims of sexual violence have highlighted the prevalence of their experiences in the entertainment industry as well as in politics. Too often the media has focused on the perpetrators of these acts, their denials, their minimizations, and their lack of responding with an adequate apology.
— But what about the victims?
Resolving Conflict Well
Have you ever gotten in an argument with a loved one and regretted things you said or did, after-the-fact? Are you frustrated with how volatile your relationship is at times or conversely, are you avoiding conflict at all costs?
Listening Well Deepens Closeness
One of the most important aspects of improving relationships is developing better listening skills. When we feel heard, valued and cared for we develop greater intimacy with others.
How are LGBTQ Break Ups Different?
Remember the exquisite pain of your first long-term relationship break up? Going through the ending of a significant relationship can be exponentially more difficult for LGBTQ people, having been rejected, demeaned and devalued by society-at-large and too often by our family of origin.
Why is aging so challenging for gay men?
Aging can bring with it fear of invisibility, rejection and physical decline. For gay men aging, these concerns can be heightened because of the extra pressures placed on us to look forever young — especially in Los Angeles. We might protect ourselves from this by busying our lives, denying the inevitable and spending an inordinate amount of time or money on looking young. Fortunately, there can be positive experiences with aging too.
Societal disapproval of age-disparate relationships
Imagine a gay couple whose age difference is greater than 10 years. What’s your first un-censored response when you imagine them? Do you judge, cringe, or assume what’s going on between them? Are you in a relationship with a much older/younger person but still have internalized shame about this?
Not Your Dictionary Definition
Gay men’s relationships have faced an onslaught of repeated attacks by society-at-large. Is gay marriage one of them?
How will marriage equality impact gay relationships? How will gay marriages redefine the social construct of marriage?
AIDS used as a weapon against gay men
1984. Cyndi Lauper’s, “Time after Time,” becomes a top 40’s hit. Michael Jackson’s hair gets burned in a Pepsi commercial accident. Apple unveils its revolutionary Macintosh personal computer. Vanessa Williams surrenders her crown after her Penthouse magazine nude photos are discovered. Ronald Reagan still hasn’t uttered the word “AIDS” publicly and doesn’t do so until 1987 at the end of his second term.