9 Characteristics of Spiritual Elitism: Narcissism of a Different Variety

Several years ago, I attended a private function at a highly esteemed religious institution (neither the name of the organization nor the type of religion is relevant to this article). I was excited to meet people who possessed an excellent reputation for their excellent work and who were highly esteemed amongst their religious populace. The nature of the engagement allowed the leaders of this institution to be in a more natural environment where they could...

Coping Skills

The 40 Do’s and Don’ts During a Divorce

After counseling hundreds of clients through the divorce process - and having experienced it as a child and adult myself - I have seen the good, the bad, and all the ugly. Too many times in the midst of divorce, unresolved anger takes over a person’s behavior and they become something that they usually are not. This can happen to the nicest of people; no one is free from the temptation of hurting their Soon-To-Be-Ex...


Are You a Good Communicator?

At the start of their initial marriage counseling session, I asked Kevin and Karen, “What can I help you with?” With equal amounts of conviction, both of them said communication. As a therapist, I admit that upon hearing this statement I immediately dismiss it. The reasoning is simple: most people who enter marriage counseling struggle with communication or they would have no need for therapy in the first place. It is also an easy scapegoat...


Are You a “Helicopter Parent?”

Mindy was told by her teenage daughter in the middle of a rage that she was being a “helicopter parent.” Her daughter was upset that Mindy asked for details about where she was going that night, who was going to be there, and when she would be getting home. For some reason, this standard line of questioning set her daughter into a rant about what a controlling mother she was. Confused by the term “helicopter...


15 Ways to Conquer Anxiety Without Stress Eating

After extensively dieting and exercising for months, Amanda was devastated to discover that she hadn’t lost a single pound. Her immediate discouragement was overwhelming, and all she wanted to do was give up and eat a sizeable massive piece of chocolate cake. Curbing her craving, Amanda instead turned to the internet for answers and found that the real problem for her lack of progress might be the frequent anxiety from her stressful job.

Apparently, having...


Shame Based Parenting: A Narcissist’s Specialty

Victor’s therapist asked him the strangest question during his weekly session: “What do you obsess about the most?” He paused for a while to ponder the options, but one word kept resonating - shame. Was it true? Did he obsess about shame the most? A quick inventory over his day revealed several obsessive thought patterns all rooted in personal indignity.

But what does this mean? Where does this come from? Glancing through his childhood brought to...

Coping Skills

Parents of Narcissists: It’s Not You

Margret and Henry felt beaten down after a weekend visit with their daughter’s family. They were excited to see their grandchildren and spend time with their daughter but instead, they became the target of their daughter’s verbal attacks. At times, their daughter treated them like a complete stranger forbidding them to interact with the grandkids. Then when she needed something, she acted like they were best friends and guilted them into buying things.

The confusing tactic...

Coping Skills

10 Signs of a Suicidal Attitude

There is a heavy pause in the air. Very rarely in our busy 24/7 society, we encounter these silent moments, but every time a celebrity or a familiar person commits suicide the world seems to momentarily stop spinning. Shocked into a gasp of disbelief, wonderment, sadness, and awareness, this pause reminds us of the fragility of life.

Then come the questions about the incident: How did they do it? Why did this happen? Who did they...

Children & Teens

What is Reconciliation Therapy?

After a three year absence from her 8-year-old daughter, Allison was eager to reenter and re-engage in her life. She had lost all custody rights due to a neglect charge that happened five years ago. Alison had gone inside a house to purchase illegal drugs and left her child unattended in a hot car. Her child was red hot and screaming when a bystander noticed and called the police. But she paid her dues, went...

Children & Teens

7 Things Children of Divorced Parents Need to Hear

Alice’s parents sat her down to tell her that they were going to get a divorce. She expected it long before they spoke. Recently their fighting escalating into no communication at all and the tension in the house was unbearable. Even though she was only a pre-teen, Alice was already worried about what the divorce would look like. Her best friend’s parents divorced the year earlier and they were constantly using their children to communicate...