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The Exhausted Woman
with Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC

Exhaustion

What is Verbal Abuse?

Verbal abuse is powerful. After years of counseling as an adult, Natalia realized that she was verbally abused by her father. His harsh words would wear her down to the point she couldn’t think straight. Then he would spin a situation around so everything was Natalia’s fault. Worst yet, as an adult, her dad’s words echoed in her head as she subconsciously reenacted her childhood within her marriage.

Verbal abuse very quickly intimidates the victim while...

Family

What to Do When Father’s Day is Not “Happy”


Trying to pick a card for Father’s Day is impossible for Mary. None of the cards she found reflected her experience. Her dad wasn’t present, didn’t support her interests, didn’t attend activities when she was a kid, or offer good advice. He did, however, go to work on his days off, sit on the couch watching TV on the rare occasions that he was home, intimidate her friends when they came over, verbally berate her, and left...

Family

What Does a Good Father Look Like?

Maladaptive dads are constantly in the news. They make the headlines with excessive abuse, abandonment of responsivity, neglectful actions, or even the death of their children by their own hands. While the headline is sensational, it can give the appearance that all dads are bad. But this is not true.

Unfortunately, not much attention is paid to excellent fathers. They rarely receive any attention at all and are frequently tossed in the dysfunctional section for some...

General

Who is the Most Narcissistic Generation?


Millennials are known as the most narcissistic generation of our time. The overindulge attention, special treatment for nothing special, and excessive emotional tolerance that parents gave their kids have not resulted in a more productive generation but rather one that seems apathetic. It’s a toss-up between who is more confused: Millennials because the world does not work the way they envision it should or other generations because they don’t understand how Millennials think.

How did this...

Exhaustion

Can Therapists Have Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS)?


Yes. According to a study reported in March 2019 of US News and World Report, mental health counselors are listed as one of the most stressful jobs next to attorneys and surgeons. The burnout rate for counselors is between 25-67% (depending on the study and type of practice) with a turnover rate of one in three. It’s not just the clients experiencing stress, the therapist is feeling it as well.

Effective therapy includes actively listening to...

Coping Skills

Wrong Assumptions about Personality Disorders


For the last ten years, I have made working with people who have a personality disorder and their family members the main part of my practice. I made this choice for several reasons. First, there are numerous family members within my own family that have a personality disorder and I have a natural talent for handling this population. Second, this is an area of care that most therapists avoid and therefore there is limited help....

Coping Skills

How to Identify a Misleading Client

“Not everyone who comes to counseling wants to get better.” Amanda, a mental health supervisor, told her intern. “Some are here because of a blown-up relationship, an employer who demands change, or there is a pending legal case mandated it. The key is to distinguish between those who want to improve from those who just want to be heard.”

Unfortunately for the therapist or the intern, this is not always transparent initially. Or can it be?...

Coping Skills

Mistaken Identity: These People Don’t Have a Personality Disorder


Brian came into therapy describing his wife’s behavior as having Borderline Personality Disorder. He looked up the definition online and said he knew she had it. He gave numerous examples of how perfectly she fit the profile and how he and the kids had been traumatized by her behavior.

Brian said she was fearful of his abandonment and in desperation would rage anytime he mentioned separation. He talked about her alcohol abuse and how she seemed...

General

Don’t Argue: Use These 9 Rules of Engagement


It was clear that after 7 years of marriage, Jack and Jill still loved each other. But they way they solved problems, or rather, the way they didn’t solve problems, was destroying their marriage. The last argument ended in a physical altercation and a wrestling match that left them ashamed and humiliated. Neither had ever engaged in this manner before so the shock of how quickly they escalated took them by surprise.

Jack and Jill lived...

Coping Skills

50 Excuses for Why People WON’T Change


Recently, I was speaking about the impact of decision fatigue on our daily lives. Decision fatigue is the deterioration of making good decisions after a long day of decision making. Basically, the more decisions a person makes in a day, the worst the decisions tend to be by the end of the day. This concept is especially important for executives, doctors, attorneys, and other professions that require constant unique, not automatic, daily decisions.

Interestingly enough, while...