5 Ways that "Good Enough" is Better than "Best"

A mom I know was trying to arrange a birthday party for her child. “I want it to be the best party ever!” she said. “I want her to have memories of this party for the rest of her life.” What's wrong here?

Is It True That Your Physical Pain Is In Your Mind?

“I think there’s something wrong,” Marjorie said. “I feel like I have a urinary tract infection all the time. But the doctor can’t find anything the matter. He says I have an anxiety disorder." A week later, tests showed that she had a UTI. Why hadn't the doctor picked it up before?

What's the Best Way to Deal With a Negative Body Image?

Lianne* came to see me for help with her eating. "I can't stand myself," she said. "I've tried every diet I can think of. I lose weight...and then I gain it all back...and more." Lianne was smart and very funny. She had a successful job and many women friends. But she didn't like her body. And she didn't like herself.

Does Your Relationship Need a Reality Check?

Most of us want to be admired and even, on occasion, slightly idealized by our loved ones. But at a certain point, the good feelings can turn bad. Too much admiration can damage a relationship. What’s the tipping point, and what can you do to avoid it?

Mommy Cliques: 7 Ways to Beat Being Outside the 'In' Group

When my son was a toddler I signed him up for a “gymnastics” group, hoping not only to use up some of his energy, but to find some friends for myself. Instead, I found that there was an "in" group of moms and kids -- and we were definitely on the outside. I felt like a third grader again. If you've ever been in this situation, you'll like these psychologically savvy ideas.

Unhappy? Research Says a Small Smile Can Improve Your Mood

An attractive, well-dressed, and recently divorced client told me that she knew she was looking “old, fat and ugly. What man is going to be interested in me now?” she asked. I wondered about the discrepancy between how I saw her and how she saw herself.

5 Ways to Deal With A Guilt-Tripping Mother

“It doesn’t matter what I do for my mother, it’s never enough.” “I bought my Mom a beautiful gift for her birthday, but she took it back. She always takes my presents back. What’s with that?” “I hate Mother’s Day. I can’t ever get it right.” Sound familiar?

5 Ways to Make Small Talk Worth the Trouble

Do you hate small talk? You’re not alone, of course. Maybe you’re shy, or introverted, or maybe you’re bored by it. Or do you get irritated by the apparently endless and meaningless chatter? Here are 5 reasons to change your mind. And 5 techniques for getting better at it.

If I Talk to a Therapist Will I Stop Speaking to My Parents?

A young man walked into my office for his first therapy session. “If I start talking to you, am I going to end up not talking to my parents?” he asked.

From “Wow” to “Meh” 8 Ways to Deal With Any Letdown

Has this happened to you? You love everything about your new job – your terrific boss, your fabulous co-workers and your first assignment. Even your little cubicle is in the perfect location, with a bit of sunlight from a nearby window and near all of the right people. And then, sometimes all of a sudden, sometimes just bit-by-bit, you start to feel less excited.

What Does It Mean to Really Listen to Someone?

Psychoanalysts learn to listen in our training – it is quite possibly one of the most important things we do in our work. Yet one of the ongoing themes of a conference on "The Art of Listening" is not only how we listen, but also what it actually means to listen and how well we do it.

Some Things Get Better With Age

My ninety year old aunt complains that she does not have much energy anymore. She doesn’t like it that she can’t remember what day it is, or the names of new acquaintances. But when it comes to emotional advice, there’s no one better to ask. Research has shown that as we age, not all of our cognitive abilities are on a steady downward path.

Why It's Easier to Be Kind to Strangers Than to Our Partners

Ann and Bob have been married for five years and, after trying to get pregnant for two years, have just had their first baby. Their friends and family are all thrilled for them. And while they are both excited to be parents at last, they are also exhausted, anxious and miserable.

Campus Sexual Assault & Binge Drinking: What Can Parents Do?

The double whammy of sexual violence and binge drinking on college campuses has parents concerned – as well it should. As numerous studies have shown, the two behaviors are closely linked in a number of ways. Do you, as a parent, feel helpless to do anything about it?

6 Ways to Get Past the Pain of Unrequited Love

It sounds romantic – to love someone with all of your heart and soul, whether or not they love you back. But the reality is very different. The pain of loving someone who doesn’t feel the same way about you can be almost unbearable. It certainly doesn’t feel romantic. It just feels devastating. How do you deal with the feeling?

Looking For Love? Are Your Chances Better On or Offline?

Internet dating and marriage has been around long enough that its success and failure rate is being studied. It’s also being compared to more traditional ways of finding love. So what does the data tell us is the best way to find true and lasting love?

6 Surprising Ways to Communicate Better With Your Partner

Are you having troubles talking about your feelings to someone you love? Does your partner run the other way any time you bring up the word “feeling”?

Putting Feelings Into Words: 3 Ways to Explain What You Feel

Have you ever had troubles finding the words for what you’re feeling or thinking? Most of us have encountered this difficulty at some time or another. It often happens just when we most need to be able to explain ourselves – when we’re feeling something particularly strongly or in a crisis or just want to communicate a strong feeling.

Daydream Your Way to Something New!

Debbie is on her way to work after the long holiday break. She’s thinking about what she did during her vacation and musing on a trip she’s planning for her next time off. She’s so caught up in these daydreams that she misses the turn off to her office building.

Why Trying to Feel Better Can Sometimes Make You Feel Worse

Nancy* tries to take good care of herself. She spends time with friends and family. She exercises and watches her diet. So what is making her feel so bad?

Dealing with the Sunday Night Blues

“Sundays are the worst,” says Janine*, who juggles a career, married life, and parenthood. “I think about all of the stuff I didn’t get done, and whatever good things happened over the weekend just disappear..."

Thanksgiving and Friends - Try this powerful combo

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.” ― Elbert Hubbard

What's the Best Way to Deal with Sneaky People?

Unfortunately, most of us know someone who acts one way and secretly feels another; who lies or misleads us; who is manipulative, or passive-aggressive. Maybe it’s your “friend” who hugs you and tells you you’re the best, and then badmouths you behind your back. Or a sibling who guilt trips you into things you don't want to do. What's the best way to deal with them?

6 Steps to Treating the Pain of a Breakup

Nomar* was in love. He had never been happier. He and his girlfriend Marissa* were talking about living together and eventually getting married. Suddenly, without warning, Marissa told him that it was over. Nomar went from disbelief to incredible pain. How could he ever heal?

A secret way to improve your self esteem

Aleisha*, a professional woman in her late twenties, loves her job but worries that she’s not good enough at it. However, even though she often questions her abilities, the evidence is that she’s pretty good at it. A recent promotion and substantial raise should have boosted her self-confidence. But now she’s feeling even less secure than ever.

Four Ways to Start Your Work Week at the top of Your Game

Going back to work can stir up any number of feelings. So how do you cope with being excited, nervous, pleased, worried, fearful, stressed, or any combination emotions? How can you make the transition in the most positive way possible?

What's the best way to deal with help rejecting complainers?

Adrienne* is basically a nice woman. But she seems to feel that bad things only happen to her. Or when bad things happen to her, they’re worse than when they happen to anyone else. Why is this so irritating to the people around her? What might help her? And what can you do about the Adriennes in your life?

5 ways to find balance in your life

Have you noticed that in times of transition (like when summer turns to fall, or winter turns to spring) you are particularly susceptible to feeling off balance? It seems to me that in months like September and June, when there’s a lot of change going on, I hear the phrase, “There’s just not enough time in the day to do everything I need to do…” more often than ever.

6 Ways to Manage the Differences in Your Relationship

Mary* loves chick flicks. Her boyfriend Sam* likes action movies—the more violence, the better. She’s a vegetarian. He’s a meat and potatoes guy. “I love him, but we seem totally mismatched,” she says. “We can’t agree on a movie or a meal; how can we make important life choices, like where we’ll live or when we’ll start a family?”

Look at Your Body as Your Paintbrush, Not Your Canvas

If you have ever woken up in the morning, looked at yourself in the mirror, and thought, “I just can’t go outside looking like this,” you’re certainly not alone. But what can you do about it? This answer just might surprise you.

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