The Exhausted Woman
with Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC

Children & Teens

What Parental Alienation Is and Is Not

There is hardly a day that doesn’t go by in my counseling practice where someone brings up the concept of parental alienation. The problem is that the term is frequently misused. For some, it is a catch phrase used to describe any and all poor parent/child relationships. After all, it is far easier to blame the ex-spouse for the child’s poor behavior than it is to look at one’s self. This article is an attempt...

Coping Skills

10 Common Signs of a Personality Disorder

Throughout their lifetime, everyone is likely to encounter several people within their family, relationships, friendships, and work environments who have a Personality Disorder (PD).

As a general rule, people with personality disorders tend to be difficult to deal with and manage, argumentative, stubborn, and frustrating. A person with a PD has an inaccurate perception of reality which is pervasive in every environment and is not diagnosed until 18 years old. However, there always is a previous...


10 Things Mental Health Therapists Wish Divorce Attorneys Understood

After 15 years of a tumultuous marriage, Mario decided to divorce his wife. He had enough. His wife Vanessa cheated on him several times, repeatedly lied, her physical abuse escalated into hitting, and there was no evidence that she might be addicted to drugs. Wanting the marriage to end as quickly as possible, he skipped over counseling and hired an attorney.

Mario’s first meeting with his attorney Barbara went well and he was confident that she...

Children & Teens

10 Things You Can Do if Your Teen Seems Narcissistic

“Yet another frustrating conversation with my son,” Halley remarked to her therapist. “He is so arrogant, demanding, and controlling. He refuses to see that the wrong in his actions and insists that everyone else is to blame for his situation. I’m so tired of fighting with him.”

Halley’s 17-year-old son developed severely escalating lousy behavior over the years. At first glance, he was charming to be around and seemed to have plenty of friendships, but he...


My Journey in Mindfulness and Meditation

The following article is about my personal journey through the emerging world of mindfulness. Mindfulness has become a recent buzz within therapy and, as a therapist, I find it necessary to explore or test drive, if you will, new techniques before trying them out with my clients. With all of the talk of mindfulness going around, I viewed this as no exception to my usual vetting methods. Mindfulness can be found within the practice of...


What is Narcissism Awareness Grief (NAG)?

After years of thinking she was dysfunctional, Sam finally embraced the reality of her mother’s narcissism. Her whole life had been filled with feelings of inadequacy, inferiority, self-doubt, shame, and guilt over every little thing she did wrong or was told by her mother was wrong. Now, several therapists later, Sam opened her eyes to the idea that her mother’s perspective was the primary dysfunction, not something inherently within herself.

This revelation resulted in a massive...


Narcissism in Mothers – The Reality of the Classic Villainess

Ever wonder what makes Cinderella’s stepmother, Snow White’s stepmother, and Rapunzel’s adopted mother so evil? These classic fairytale characters are easily villainized precisely because their maternal instincts are contrary to those natural for a nurturing mother. Cinderella’s stepmother, for example, is a humiliating narcissistic parent who neglected and snubbed her daughter after Cinderella went through the trauma of losing her father. Snow White’s stepmother is also ruthless - a narcissistic cutthroat parent who is obsessed...

Coping Skills

Understanding the Effects of Old Abuse and How to Conquer It

One of the many ways a person learns to cope with intense trauma or abuse is to dissociate or detach from their immediate environment. For some, this is a natural reaction born out of a survival instinct. For others, it requires effort and practice to shut down their feelings, intentionally ignore surroundings, and disengage entirely from the people around them.

In the case of long-term abuse - whether it be physical, emotional, mental, verbal, financial, spiritual,...

Children & Teens

10 Emotions That Can be Unintentionally Inherited by Children

Amy’s anxiety was through the roof.

She couldn’t remember the last time she felt at peace. Her mind raced obsessively with thoughts of worst-possible outcomes, reliving past hurts over and over, and fortune-telling what everyone around her was thinking. She found herself going to dark places of imagining what would happen if her husband died, if she died, or worse if something happened to one of her kids.

The harder she tried to stop the pattern and...

Children & Teens

10 Essentials of Co-Parenting After a Divorce

If you have been through or are currently facing a divorce, by this point you know the difficulty that comes with the process. However, the unpleasant aspects don’t just disappear once a divorce is finalized. For those with children, now the hard part of co-parenting begins.

Co-parents are defined as the legal guardians or parents of a child. This means that there are many possible combinations of co-parenting pairs. A biological parent with a grandparent guardian,...