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How Is Your Anger Best Seen as Retaliation?

Basically, all the perceived affronts that make you mad start, unconsciously, with your self-image taking a hit—reviving the ancient, overblown fear that you’re not good enough.

Should You Purposely Test Another’s Limits?

Not knowing how far you can go with someone—particularly your spouse—for fear of their reacting negatively, seriously hampers a relationship from reaching its potential.

Can You Create a New Reality by Reinterpreting the Old One?

The saying “keep an open mind” suggests the value of not clinging to old assumptions and beliefs. If your life lacks adventure, satisfaction, or fulfillment, here’s what to do.

Does Bickering Pretty Much Define Your Relationship?

This title might seem to smack of hyperbole. But as a therapist I’ve seen this dismal pattern of contentiousness all too often. So how do couples "achieve" such unending friction?

How Vulnerable Should You Let Yourself Be?

The impulse, self-protectively, to ward off whatever feels threatening is only natural. But you also have to consider the costs of such cautiousness.

Would You Rather Be Heard, or Be Right?

When you’re really frustrated with someone (for whatever reason), you need to say something. But what? And how do you say it? And what if you remain silent?

Why Empathy Is the Golden Rule of Couples Communication

It's only logical that to get your partner to hear you the way you want, you first need to emotionally connect with them. Yet that’s almost never what happens.

Male Sexual Misconduct and the Testosterone Curse

In assessing present-day perpetrators, it's important to consider testosterone—the "ethics-free" chemical of desire—as being the organic culprit of their objectification of women.

How to Neutralize Your Partner’s Defenses

Unlike courtship, once couples enter into a presumably lasting commitment, they both—however unconsciously—focus more on what they never really liked about each other.

The Catch-22 of Dealing With a Narcissist

Most pathological narcissists suffer from marked deficits in self-image. But their wildly overcompensating sense of superiority and entitlement can cause others to suffer, too.

Couples: Do You Argue About “A” When the Real Issue is “B”?

When couples enter therapy to work on what they see as their main difficulty, there's generally a more fundamental, underlying problem not yet recognized by them.

Did You Get the Parental Guidance You Needed Growing Up?

As a child, did you frequently feel behind the curve—or eight-ball? If so, what was that like for you? And why do you think it was such a struggle for you to blend in with others?

Do You Have an Inner Taskmaster? How Can You Tell?

Having an inner taskmaster is a mixed blessing. It can offer you various advantages. But it can also be an oppressive force, keeping you from experiencing many of life’s joys.

How Is Rewriting History the Goal of All Therapy?

It’s common to talk about what therapy can do for you. But before therapy is able to eliminate disturbing personal and relational problems, it needs first to undo what caused them.

“Never Again!” The Psychological Fallout of Trauma

You're born with various survival programs (or defenses). Later, when you actually experience a serious threat, you acquire more defenses that can end up harming you.

15 Reasons to Be Wary About Falling in Love

No matter how it turned out, most people would agree that falling in love was the most euphoric, even ecstatic, experience of their life.

Human Perversity: Guess What? It’s Normal

Though it might be difficult to admit, there are times when we’ve all acted in ways hurtful to ourselves. And for multiple reasons.

It’s Not Really About Control: Tips for Frustrated Couples

It happens routinely. So often, when I begin counseling with a couple, not one but both parties complain that the other is trying to control them. But just how accurate is this?

Covering Up Negative Emotions Doesn’t Work. So What Does?

Common wisdom advises you to avoid, or try to let go of, upsetting feelings. However—and like a lot of self-help advice—such straightforward guidance too often won't work.

How and Why You Compromise Your Integrity

Your most important possession is your integrity. It’s your trustworthiness, word of honor. Yet at some point you’ve certainly violated this most “sacred” part of yourself. Why?

Yes, You Can’t!—Why You Should Affirm Your Limitations

This title may seem unduly pessimistic—or downright perverse. But as a cautionary note, there are times when your dreams or lofty ideals must bow to inescapable reality.

How Do Parents Model Exactly What They Don’t Want?

When parents haven’t resolved their deeper psychological issues, or broken their bad habits, they’re likely—however unintentionally—to pass them on to their children.

Feeling Understood — Even More Important Than Feeling Loved?

Absent the substantial chemical attraction intrinsic to the heated glow of romantic love, can you actually stay in love with someone who you feel can’t “get” who you are?

What’s “Emotional Reasoning”—And Why Is It Such a Problem?

One of the most baffling psychological problems is to acutely feel the reality of something without its having any basis in fact. Here are some examples...

4 Dysfunctional Things People Do to Avoid Disapproval

To best understand yourself and how you relate to others, you need to consider how, as a child, you might have adapted to your parents’ only partial acceptance of you.

Are You Smart, or Smart Enough?

Do you see yourself as smart, or not smart? And just how smart is smart enough?

Is Truth in the Eyes of the Beholder?

Trump's relationship to truth.

Is Depression Apart from Grief or a Part of Grief?

The title above alludes to a really tricky question. And a complicated one, too. For the answer to this two-part inquiry is, well, “Yes” and “Yes.”

What’s So Sexy About Belly Buttons?

Academic journals examining the psychological and sexual aspects of the navel are almost nonexistent. But Wikipedia’s extensive, even scholarly, coverage fills this gap.

Loving vs. Judging: How to Keep Your Romance Alive

Most people admit that the most exciting time of their relationship occurred in courtship. And surely nothing quite compares to its freshness, novelty, and intriguing uncertainty.