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The Exhausted Woman
with Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC

Coping Skills

The Difference Between Male and Female Narcissists

Too often, narcissism is portrayed as an overly aggressive male disorder. It is not. Females can be narcissistic as well although it might look a bit different from males. Meryl Streep in her role as Miranda Priestly in “The Devil Wears Prada” did an excellent job portraying a narcissistic female boss. Michelle Pfieffer did as well in playing a narcissistic mother in “White Oleander.”

There are several areas that the difference in sexes can be...

General

Why Some People Age Well and Others Rot

Spend some time in a nursing home and observe two very general types of elderly people: ones who are still happy and others who are still miserable.  Both of their stories have a fair share of life tragedies, health problems, loss of loved ones, wars, disappointments, and successes.  Yet one group walks away with a sense of having lived life well despite all of the tragedies and the other with regret despite any successes.  How...

General

Why Mid-Life Crisis Happens

A bad outcome of a mid-life crisis tosses people into counseling. They report that the person they knew became entirely different over night.  It is almost cliché that with a mid-life crisis comes the impractical sports car, the extramarital affair, late nights at bars, new friends who are twenty years younger, hipper clothes or a dramatic career change.  They never thought it would happen to their spouse or friend, but it did.  How?

Erik Erikson defines his...

Coping Skills

The Addicted Narcissist

One of the hardest types of people to deal with is a narcissist in the middle of their addiction. They are completely exhausting. The combined selfishness of narcissism and addictive behavior is overpowering, relentless, callous, and frequently abusive. This destructive blend of arrogant thinking in that they are always right and that they do not have a problem leads to devastating consequences.

There are many parts to the addicted narcissist and their road to recovery....

General

Why Some People Struggle With Intimacy

Do you have a client who pushes away good companions for no real reason?  Just when they were getting close, they pull back to the beginning of the relationship refusing to go any deeper.  If your client's behavior is challenged, they react with intense resistance and denial, claiming they are just not in a good enough place yet for a relationship.

Interestingly enough, a person who struggles with intimacy can be married, single, divorced, widowed, have children, have...

Exhaustion

How A Narcissist Verbally Abuses

Narcissistic verbal abuse is powerful. A talented narcissist can wear down your client and then spin them around so fast before they realize what has happened. Somehow, the narcissist has convinced them that what is up is really down and the verbal assaults are actually your client's fault.

For this reason, verbal abuse is a favorite tactic of narcissists. It very quickly intimidates the target while simultaneously establishing their dominance and superiority. The attack usually...

General

Why Some People Don’t Know Who They Are

Has a client ever struggled with answering a simple open ended question such as, “Tell me about yourself?” Perhaps they look like a deer caught in the headlights, responding with confusion, “Well, what do you mean?”  Or “What do you want to know?” Occasionally they may reply with overly generic statements which still provide no insight. Their struggle is not because they don’t know how to answer as much as it is because they really don’t...

Exhaustion

How Exhaustion Steals Joy

Ginger wept when another woman said, “These are the happiest times of your life.” She desperately wanted to feel that way but as a new mother who worked a full-time job, joy escaped her. There was little she could do about her financial situation, she had to work. But she longed for the moments when she could just sit down and let her baby fall asleep on her. Instead, there were loads of laundry, bills...

General

Why Some People Feel Inferior

“I never do anything right.”  While this is an overgeneralization with evidence to the contrary, some people actually believe they can’t to do anything right.  Perhaps you have a client like this.  It is unproductive to argue the specific points of the matter with them because no amount of reason stops the inferiority feeling. What does work is understanding the origin of the thoughts and then rationalizing the emotion.

The fourth stage of Erik Erikson’s Psychosocial Development is Industry...