All About Caregiving

In a 2004 national survey, the AARP found that 44.4 million Americans are providing unpaid care to an adult, and the estimated annual value is $257 billion. To do so is a beautiful act of love and devotion, but also a great drain on one's physical and psychological resources.

Recent Posts on Caregiving

More Indispensables for Those With Chronic Pain and Illness

My "comfort food" is a cup of decaf coffee with cocoa powder, stevia, and coconut milk in it. (I admit, it’s really a pretend decaf mocha.) Does this sound truly awful to you? That’s why comfort food is a personal indispensable!

5 Things They Don't Tell You About Grief

Worried you aren't grieving the "right" way? There are some parts of the grief process that people don't like to talk about.

Happy Holidays—Or Else!

Being haunted by the idea that other people are “better” at holiday celebrations than we are can drive us to “fix” our own family’s time together. But this preoccupation with “getting it right” can become an emotional wedge between ourselves and those we’re trying to please.

How Depression Prepared Me For A Death In The Family

By Tom Wootton on November 17, 2015 Bipolar Advantage
If I did not understand how to function during depression or, worse yet, still clung to the notion that it is not possible, I would have been a burden to my family instead of an asset. Most people fear they will break down and become a burden on those around them or that their bipolar loved ones will break down and add to the already difficult situation.

Our Families: What's Missing?

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on November 15, 2015 Living Single
In this guest post, sociologist Joshua Gamson takes a look at the beautifully produced Tylenol ads celebrating family diversity, and explores what's missing or hidden.

The Essential Power Of Relationship

Perhaps the most important psychological discovery in years, Porges' research explains how the benevolent non-judgmental signals of the caregiver can calm the child. If consistent enough, calming relatedness is internalized, allowing us humans to engage in cooperation, reproduction, and - indeed - civilization.

“Fix You,” Conscious Uncoupling and Irrelationship

We think “Conscious Uncoupling’s promise of a “Happily-even-after” makes good sense. Our one big concern, however, is that the description of "Conscious Uncoupling" also provides ample opportunity for irrelationship to do its very best—that is, each incident of conscious uncoupling might just be an incident where a couple has stepped on a land mine of irrelationship.

10 Indispensables for Those with Chronic Pain and Illness

I know the joy of hearing the actual voice of a loved one. That said, email is the principal way I communicate with people...

Irrelationship: How We Hide from Intimacy

By The Book Brigade on November 05, 2015 The Author Speaks
Wanting intimacy is one thing. Achieving it is another, more difficult, thing. Often, partners use their relationship to guard against the very thing they want most.

Getting In the Way of Our Own Old-Age Well-being

How do loss aversion and the above-average effect influence people's decisions about where to spend their later years?


What exactly is resilience, and how can it help you bounce back from a brain injury? Dr. Diane® shares what she has learned.

Compulsive Scaregiving

Without a sense of security built on shared investment in empathy, intimacy and vulnerability, early company successes and wishful thinking can lull us into a false sense of security. Sometimes, someone is unconsciously relegated to “scare” us out of our sleep and into the serious work of mutually building actual security into the foundation of the organization.

Relationships and Being a Great Partner

You might be wondering how being single has anything to do with being in a successful relationship with others, but it does.

5 Benefits of Corporate Intimacy

Intimacy isn’t, perhaps, a term that’s thrown around very much in the workplace. But that doesn’t mean that intimacy isn’t a crucial factor in how we experience our jobs. What does intimacy look and feel like in the workplace? Let's talk about intimacy in the workplace.


We each find a comfort zone between the poles of paranoia and gullibility, and proudly defend our spot at the expense of adaptive flexibility.

True Reflection

By Susan Rako M.D. on October 25, 2015 More Light
Have your children and grandchildren helped you to heal and grow?

Developing Co-Parenting Plans

A written plan will help all family members to know what is expected of them and will be a valuable reference as time passes and family circumstances change.

The Bully as a Symbol/Symptom of Unsafety

How are our children supposed to convey to us that it doesn't feel safe to be a kid in today's society? As an issue that has captured national and international attention, the issue of bullying may be a message that our children are sending to us about a general sense of unsafety, a dropping of the ball, in our society's ability to care for our younger generation.

8 Ways Real Listening Will Help Your Relationships

Effective communication built on the bedrock of effective listening is vital to the development of empathy in any relationship. Such listening is the primary tool for: a. Disarming the anxiety driving irrelationship; and, b. Opening the way for intimacy. Here we present a list of some of the most powerful characteristics of listening to empower effective communication.

Red Flags for Emotional Caretakers, Part Two

Do you find it hard to notice when you are giving up your own needs and feelings and caretaking others? Here are some red flags to help you notice when you are doing too much caretaking of others.

Writing a Self-Other Help Book

The authors of this original, innovative new text share with readers a reflection on the experience of discovering irrelationship in the clinical setting and in our own working dynamic.

When I Couldn't Say Goodbye

It was shocking to feel so typical.

Be Slick, Do Less, Get More

The irony of caregiving and caretaking is that the worst form of rip-off is doesn't occur when we give too much—what's better than a well-nursed grudge or a blast of righteous indignation? Actually, though, the real shakedown comes from having our own contributions refused.

Ghost Stories for Dogs

For Halloween, Ghosts of Gettysburg provides a unique socializing event for service pups in training.

After a Stillbirth, Interpersonal Support Facilitates Coping

Finding support is key for emotional recovery after a stillbirth

9 Indications Your Psychotherapy May Need A Tune-Up

How do I know when my therapy is deadlocked? The following discussion was provoked by feedback we received on a blog entry on the “doctor-patient relationship,” and provides food for thought for both therapists and their patients.

Can You Say No To Requests?

People-pleasing has its up-sides. Generosity tends to uplift the giver as well as the receiver. Yet for the times when you really do not want to do something that someone has requested of you, here's a gracious way to say a clear no.

The Normalization of Aging and How To Make It Matter

By Jenni Ogden Ph.D. on September 26, 2015 Trouble in Mind
Aging is not a disease, but it can feel like one as the body wears out and the mind slows down. Staying alive too long can command a high price—pain, and an increasing dependence on others. When drastic medical intervention is the only option left to keep someone you care about alive, ask them what this would need to deliver that really matters to them now, at the end.

Protected Against Presence

Presence can be an idealized—but powerfully defended against—missing ingredient in relationships that work as co-created psychological defense systems, called irrelationships. Presence, the very thing we say and think we want can be a terrorizing force threatening to erupt as love, care and compassion—the very things that irrelationship is built to protect us against.

20 Tips for Living Well with Chronic Pain and Illness

Herein, a list of 20 tips to help with the health challenges all us face at one time or another in life.