Sometimes Adults Need Tantrums, Too! – By Andrea Wachter, LMFT

When I was studying to become a psychotherapist, a professor told me that people generally seek therapy for one of two reasons: They are either having a tantrum or they need to have one! I have actually counseled people for many additional reasons but the tantrum tip has stuck with me over the years. And as I have worked with clients’ issues (as well as my own), I have recognized the importance of an occasional adult tantrum. Tantrums are usually associated with children and are often considered unpleasant and unwanted. But what about a healthy, grown-up tantrum? What about making a conscious decision to welcome up our emotions rather than stuff them in or lash them out? We all experience bumps in the road that trigger emotions. These bumps can range from minor irritations to challenging hardships to major traumas. A flat tire, a root canal, lost luggage: not fun, but likely something you’ll… Continue reading

Addressing Emotional Abuse in Addiction Recovery – By Lee Weber

  There are people who try to control other people’s actions by behaving in an abusive way. Often, the abuse manifests through humiliation, fear, guilt or feeling of embarrassment. So, how can we deal with current or past emotional abuse in recovery? We explore the issue here. Then, we invite your questions ro feedback at the end. What Is Emotional Abuse, Exactly? Emotional abuse is defined as is the ongoing emotional maltreatment or emotional neglect of a child or person. It is mostly expressed verbally by: critisizing disapproval of another person’s action(s), or constant expression of dissatisfaction This type of behavior, especially when it appears in primary relationships with loved ones, can destabilize self-confidence and sense of self-worth. Emotionally abused individuals see no way out, experience a growing fear of being alone, and ususally tend to accept the abusive situations and behaviors as normal. But, how can you recognize if… Continue reading

The Generosity of Receiving Help – Kyczy Hawk

I was walking the other day, thinking about my daughter with whom I had just had a pleasant phone call. I am so proud of her, I love her loving heart, her pragmatic approach to life, the generosity she holds for her family, house and home; welcoming to others and being informal so that all can feel comfortable in her presence. She also doesn’t need me one bit. That is not surprising as she is a woman in her early forties. She has a husband, three kids, a career and a community. She has made a good life for herself and her family. And she doesn’t need me one bit. She has lyme disease and experiences knee pain on occasion. She eats well to minimize as much impact as she can. Even during home remodel she kept a good attitude; which for me is impossible when I am in pain.… Continue reading

A Letter For Your Isolated and Hard to Reach Teen – By Andrea Wachter, LMFT and Steve Legallet, LMFT

    As family therapists, we are seeing more and more young people who are suffering from various degrees of depression, anxiety, addictions and social isolation as they try to mask all of the emotions and negative consequences associated with theses self-defeating behaviors. We also see many concerned and baffled parents who struggle with trying to find ways to help their wounded and isolated kids. If you have a son or daughter who is suffering, addicted, depressed, anxious, isolated, angry and/or shut down, here are some words that you might consider writing or saying to open the door to a new avenue of communication: Dear Son or Daughter, We see that you are struggling and suffering. We imagine that there are many thoughts and feelings underneath your anger including confusion, fear, hopelessness, and pain. We understand that you are going through a very difficult time in your life, and that… Continue reading

9 Ways to Improve Body Image – By Andrea Wachter & Marsea Marcus

Body dissatisfaction is an epidemic in our image-obsessed culture. If you are a member of the unofficial “club” of women who dislike or despise their bodies, you may have discovered that the daily dues are high and the long-term benefits are low. But membership in this body-bashing club is hard to avoid, with people speaking the club’s not-so-secret language and recruiting new members just about everywhere you turn. We call this club’s language “Fat Chat.” Fat Chat is when people talk about food, fat, or other peoples’ bodies in a negative way. Even positive comments about bodies can sometimes be Fat Chat because of the focus on looks and the pressure it causes people to think they need to look a certain way. Club doctrine dictates that there are “good foods” and “bad foods” (though this changes, depending on the year). Club status is determined by how much or how… Continue reading