Self-Sabotaging Emotional Intelligence

When looking for the negative becomes married to poor self-perception or negative self-talk, it creates a cascade of emotions, dragging us down a rabbit hole of our own making.

The Yoga of Relationship

Conscious relationship is not something we engage in by default. More often than not, we fall into—and accept—relationships of convenience.

Transforming Toxic Relationships

Recognizing a toxic relationship can sometimes prove to be a bit elusive. That is in large measure because of what we bring to the table in terms of our own inner narrative.

What’s Really Behind the Curtain?

So, what happens when our social assumptions and expectations are misplaced? More to the point, what happens when we figure that out? We discover things aren't quite as they seem.

Leveling Up Your Emotional Intelligence

One of the hall marks of emotional intelligence is responding, rather than reacting. An even more subtle and nuanced aspect of emotional intelligence is reflecting.

Empowering Your Willingness to Change

When talking about creating change, empowerment quite literally means doing something—specifically doing something differently.

How’s Your Self-Relationship?

We work hard at our relationships, and, in of service them, we often overlook, or even neglect, our most important one—our relationship to ourselves.

How Others Judge You

The need for acceptance is fairly high on our list of social priorities. What's more important is how others see us, or how they receive us, and what they do with that.

Personal Empowerment Is More Than a Feeling

Personal empowerment is not something we feel, it’s something we do. Our sense of empowerment is a reflection of increased personal value and self-worth.

Emerging From the Veil of Addiction

When self-medication winds its way into compulsive dependence, we disappear behind a veil that leaves us in a sort of social and emotional suspended animation and, when we reemerge, we find we are right where we started.

Gas-lighting: Burning the Bridges of Truth

One of the more insidious forms of mental abuse has come to be referred to as gas-lighting. It refers to those who attempt to destroy another person’s sense of reality.

Getting Into Your Growth Zone

If we look closely, what we find nested inside our comfort zone is a little rabbit hole—our complacency zone.

Exploring Post Traumatic Growth

In recent years, we’ve heard a lot about post-traumatic stress, or PTSD, and the negative effects it can have on a person’s overall health and wellness. PTSD is triggered in response to either experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event, particularly if that event is life threatening

Exploring Existential Depression

From a clinical perspective, depression is typically categorized as psychological, situational or some combination of the two. What we often overlook is the spiritual aspect of depression, which is not clinical, but existential. This subtle, cloying sense of incompleteness doesn’t so much paralyze us as haunt us, ringing hollow in our deepest heart.

Selling the Couch: The Business of Psychotherapy

The business side of private practice is something that eludes many, if not most, mental health professionals. As an outgrowth of his practice, Philadelphia-area psychologist Melvin Varghese has created an iTunes podcast called Selling the Couch, which is an on-going series of interviews with thought leaders in practice building, marketing and social media.

Mindfulness and Cultivating Creativity

Creativity relies, in part, on the brain being in a state of unfocused, resting wakefulness, similar to that found in certain types of mediation and mindfulness practice. So, when you're at rest, are you actually working?

Impulse Control Can Work Against You

When “I shouldn’t” becomes “I can’t,” we can end up creating obstacles for ourselves that interfere, not only with our self-development, but with our basic happiness.

Why We Care About What Other People Think of Us

One of our more enduring social fallacies is the idea that what others think of us actually matters, and has become one of our greatest obstacles to self-acceptance.

Gratitude, Listening and Leaning In

Central to every relationship is communication, and genuine communication relies on listening. Not just listening to the words that are spoken, but listening wholeheartedly to every aspect of the conversation taking place.

The Vanishing Point of Grief

Grieving is not a linear process. It’s more of a spiral that leads us from our immediate broken heart, to a place of release and then, just when we think we have found some peace, sweeps us even more deeply into the tender heart of sorrow. That tender heart is the ground for compassion and acceptance, lifting us out of our sadness and into grace.

You Are More-Than, Not Less-Than, You Think

It seems nowhere are we more apt to exercise our negativity bias than when it comes to ourselves. This tendency can amplify our insecurities, drive our arrogance and keep us tethered to a past rife with regret, both real and imagined. The heart of change here is the recognition that it is our thinking—and our thinking alone—that fuels the less-than mentality.

Raise Your Words, Not Your Voice

One of the more enduring myths around marriage and relationships is that all couples fight. In fact, when a discussion escalates from a cooperative dialogue into an argument, it signals a fracture in the partnership that may be either acute, or more abiding.

Conscious Aging: Sense of Purpose Contributes to Longevity

A recently published study in the journal Psychological Science suggests that having a sense of purpose may add years to your life. Previous studies have also shown that purpose lowers risk of mortality, but what sets this study apart is its demonstration that the benefit of purpose does not change over diverse developmental periods or major life transitions.

The Perils of Perfectionism

When I set out to write an article on the perils of perfectionism, I didn’t realize that my own tendencies in that direction would prove to be one of my greatest obstacles. Having discovered this, it occurred to me that relating a personal narrative, rather than taking a more characteristic pedagogic approach, might be somewhat more revealing.

Is Your Relationship Evolving With You?

One of our most valuable human characteristics is the capacity to consciously evolve. Once we reach a certain point of self-awareness, it’s a small step to advancing our social, emotional, and spiritual intelligence. What happens, however, when our context—especially a significant interpersonal relationship—fails to keep pace with our self-creation?

Social Acceptance: Are You a Threat?

Not only do we want to be loved, we need to be loved. This aspect of the human condition is a vestige of our primal heritage, hardwired into our brains. Because we also harbor a cognitive bias that prompts us to interpret things in a negative light, our experience of social rejection may actually be a misguided perception.

The Unhappy Life

A recently published study in the Journal of Positive Psychology revealed some specific differences between meaningfulness and happiness. It turns out that a meaningful life can be an unhappy one, but momentary unhappiness is often informed by positive social contribution, and connected to a broader sense of purpose and self-value.

Personal Meaning Impacts Male Suicide

The Center for Disease Control recently released statistics on suicide showing a sharp increase across the board, but particularly within the middle-aged male population. Although researchers point to a number of variables potentially contributing to this trend, another, more subtle, factor to consider may be loss of meaning and thwarted sense of purpose.

Understanding What Motivates Your Triggers

One of the keys to recovery is knowing your triggers. Probably the greatest challenge to recovery is the specter of relapse. Crucial to sustainable sobriety is understanding what motivates your unique set of triggers, empowering more effective management of influences that might lead to relapse.

It’s Not OK: Learning Self-Valuation

One of the subtle messages coming out of the Judeo-Christian ethic informing our culture is that we are somehow wrong or broken. Unlearning that perspective—and learning instead to value our own—can be one of our greatest challenges.