Recovering from a Divorce

There are a number of important stages and steps to go through in the process of divorce recovery. It is important to be proactive and effortful in this process…many of those who drift through hoping that time alone will be their healer may end up in the percentage of divorcees who do not really grow or enhance their lives with this painful experience. To feel the failure of your marriage and determine that you will learn and benefit from this experience means that you will be less likely to repeat it down the road. It is estimated that about 30% of partners who dissolve a family with...

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Helping young adults who are underfunctioning

Is there such a thing as a slacker young adult? Yes there is and they may be part of your own family or even living with you. I have recently been asked by 2 mothers who have children in their 20s living at home, how to help launch these grown children. First of all, not every child who lives in a multi-generational household is a slacker. Some are busy as students or full-time employees and it may be that these young adults are living at home to save money for something important or avoid student debt. In these cases, the children pay some of the living expenses of the house and do chores in...

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A Difficult Mother

What does it mean to have a difficult mother? All mothers go through difficult periods due to fatigue, stress and the demands of adult life and parenting. However a truly difficult mother is difficult all the time and presents a child with an unresolvable dilemma: you can either sacrifice yourself and have a relationship with me or be your true self and I will ridicule, disapprove of or reject you. The child’s dependency on the mother is then exploited and he/she will have difficulty trusting others and developing close relationships in adulthood. Some of the characterisitics of a difficult...

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Happiness Research

What should you spend your money on? How effective is therapy at increasing happiness? The latest research from the Journal of Health Economics, Policy and Law ( Boyce and Wood) has an article entitled Money or Mental Health: Alleviating Psychological Distress with Monetary Compensation versus Psychological Therapy. This research analyzed data sets where thousands of people gave reports on their well-being. They compared well-being ratings for subjects who got a 4 month course of psychotherapy to the ratings of those who had a sudden increase in income through winnings and pay raises. The increase...

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ABC’s 20/20 program about Onsite

Last Friday night the Healing Money Issues program was featured on ABC’s 20/20. This is a 5 day live-in program at a retreat center in Tennessee that works with clients on money issues. I worked in this program as an assistant last november and learned a lot . Here is a link to the video if you would like to see it.  Healing Money Issues

On another note, I am starting my women and money ongoing group this fall. This is a group for women only as all the research and my personal experience leads me to believe that women work best on subjects...

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Intimacy and chemicals

I have been aware for a number of years how using recreational chemicals can impede the development of closeness in couples. The last 2 weeks in the office have really brought this home. When you are high and your special one is not,  he/she is likely to withdraw from you. You don’t  see the changes in yourself or the relationship because your perceptions are altered. It only takes a few drinks or tokes to change the energy between you both.  You  feel that you are “more yourself” or more relaxed and are likely to deny that this is a problem. It is  doesn’t meet...

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Relationship Skills

Most of my clients are either seeking to find a special love relationship or to improve the relationship that they are in. Relationship skills that are important for either seeking or improving a relationship are often learned in the family by watching our parents and how they treat each other. If we are fortunate enough to have parents in a strong marriage, then what we see and absorb will help us though we still must update some of it to work for our own generation. If our parents are single parents or are in unhappy relationships we either have a blank slate where the relationship modeling...

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Seeking Happiness

Many of us want to feel better. This is often the reason people seek therapy.

Psychologists are finally beginning to study and do research on the experience of happiness. Happiness is defined as a feeling of “subjective well-being”, meaning that only we can decide if we are happy or not and that it will change from person to person. Most people would include in their definition of happiness being able to experience a number of positive emotions like joy, affection, contentment, hope, and gratitude. Is it possible to be too happy?

Yes it does seem that it is not good...

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Helping Teens Through The Downturn

This is a particularly difficult time for teens whose families have been hit hard with the economic changes. Why especially hard for teens? This is a time when teens want to break away from their families more and turn to the peer group. Yet if the family is in crisis, it becomes very hard to break away just when everyone needs to pull together. So the changes work against the developmental task of the teen years. It is also possible that being with the peer group would involve money that is no longer available .To go out to eat or on field trips or other youth activities requires money that...

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Dealing with Anxious Times

We are in the middle of a stressful time in our country’s history. The election is pending; home values are sliding; Wall Street is a roller coaster and jobs are ending. This is a frightening time even for those who are not in an immediate crisis. The basic tools of stress management work just as well on money stress as they do on other kinds of stress. Many people mistakenly believe that money stress can only be reduced by money itself.

Stress management involves simple acts that reduce anxiety: breathing slowly and thoughtfully, sitting and meditating, going for a walk, spending...

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