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Coping Skills

How to Survive a Narcissistic Mother In-Law

Clara braced herself for a long weekend with her in-laws. It was her husband’s birthday and his mother invited them by saying, “Only I know how to properly celebrate our special day.” Their relationship had always been strange but the physical distance helped minimize contact.

His mom treated her son like he walked on water; nothing was his fault, everything was Clara’s fault. When her husband got the flu, her mother-in-law said, “If Clara took better...

Coping Skills

Can Narcissism be Fixed?

John and Sue were frustrated by their adult daughter who by 35 years old had two failed marriages (everything was the ex’s fault), lost the last five jobs (her bosses hated her and wanted to get rid of her), had several plastic surgical procedures (she HAD to have these), and was now living back at home. After stumbling on the definition of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, they believe she displayed all the characteristics. But there big...

Exhaustion

Do You Have a Sleep Disorder?

At first glance, Megan appeared to have ADHD. She couldn’t sit still, struggled to focus, was easily distracted, and frequently forgot things. She even convinced a doctor that she had ADHD and took some medication which only made matters worse, not better. Frustrated and confused, she became worried that she had a more severe mental disorder and thought she was losing her mind.

One of the commonly overlooked areas in mental health is sleep disorders. A...

General

The Art of Good Communication: Texting Etiquette

Miscommunication happens often enough face to face. But it happens far more frequently over text messages. Alice was texting back and forth with her boyfriend when suddenly he went silent after a simple question. In the middle of a meeting, John received a three page text message from his ex-wife. Sandy accidently sent an intimate text message to the wrong person causing a series of awkward responses.

All of these misunderstandings could be avoided by following...

Coping Skills

7 Steps of Healing from Domestic Violence

The first time Nancy came into counseling she had a hard time looking at her therapist. Embarrassed and ashamed of the bruises on her body, the mental torture from her spouse, and sexual acts he coerced her into doing, she struggled to talk. She believed that she deserved to be treated this way and her actions were causing his rage. Nancy minimized his acts by making excuses for his abusive behavior and blaming herself.

It took...

Exhaustion

7 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health Right Now

Marcia’s small business was finally turning a profit. After years of investing long hours from her family and resources she didn’t always have, she began to see the benefit of her hard work. Even though her husband and kids were supportive of the business, the normal demands of an active family life exhausted her.

Marcia would easily work 10 hours a day at her job, run errands for her kids during lunch, dash to a soccer...

Coping Skills

Mommie Dearest: Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers

The 1981 movie, Mommie Dearest, which is based on the autobiography of Joan Crawford, was written by her daughter, Christina Crawford. While there is much speculation as to the truth of her story, other daughters of narcissistic mothers would say the story rings true for them.

The infamous wire hanger scene where Joan rages over a single wire hanger in her daughter’s closet caused a stir with Joan’s physically abusive behavior. Yet, daughters of narcissistic mothers...

General

12 Ways to Help Someone Dealing with Domestic Violence

It took a while for Matt to realize what was going on with his daughter, Nancy. By 26 years old, Nancy graduated from college, secured a good job, and purchased her first home. She was intelligent, beautiful, talented, and resourceful. So when she met John, who on the surface seemed to match her characteristics, Matt was thrilled and supportive.

But red flags began to appear a few months later. Nancy would bail out of lunches with...

Exhaustion

The Cost of Surrendering Self in Exchange for Peace

At 45 years old, Brian did not know who he was or what he wanted. From the outside looking in, he seemed to have it all: money, family, career, and friends. But in reality, life was very different. He managed to have a successful career at job he did not like. His 20 year abusive marriage was devoid of any pleasure or intimacy. His kids followed their mother’s lead and routinely took advantage of him....

General

10 Things to Transform Your Marriage Today

Sam and Blake have been married for 12 years. Their blended marriage includes a child from a previous relationship for both of them, and two of their own. Both parents have shared custody of their child so scheduling anything can be very difficult depending on the reasonableness of the ex-partners. Between soccer practices, dance classes, and piano lessons, just finding time to come to counseling without the kids was a struggle.

But they did it because...