children of narcissists

Why adult children of narcissists can be so money and not even know it

I have a very smart and wonderful client, Karen*, who recently said: “I feel like you are always telling me that I’m right and everyone else is wrong Isn’t it somewhere in the middle?”. Her question gave me pause. Was I erring on the side of being too supportive and excusing her of responsibility? Had I abandoned ‘therapeutic neutrality’ in …

Good Will Hunting

‘Good Will Hunting’ through the lens of Control-Mastery Theory

Good Will Hunting is one of my favorite movies. Will’s character is so compelling. By day he hangs out with his hard-living friends. By night he exercises his genius by solving quadratic equations, reading voraciously, and thinking big thoughts. Put another way, his public self seems to contradict his private self.   And the contradiction goes in an unusual direction. …

parentification

Kids taking care of parents: Why The Godfather and Dave Chappelle say parentification is bad

Don Vito Corleone in the Godfather was not a paragon of gender equality. Witness his famous statement: “I spend my life trying not to be careless. Women and children can afford to be careless, but not men.” His statement on women is false and misogynous but he offers a truth about children: they need to feel safe being careless.   …

bad childhood

So you had a bad childhood…

To know whether you experienced a bad childhood, take this short assessment.   The majority of adults in the United States had parents who were ‘good-enough’. This does not mean that everything was perfect in these families. Rather there was enough consistency, support, and flexibility for children to develop.   There is a sizable minority in the population whose parents …

addiction

The illusion of control in addiction

by Jay Reid Drugs and alcohol can be fun to consume.  If they weren’t, then a lot less people would find themselves struggling with addiction.  How does recreational use of drugs or alcohol transition to full-blown addiction? Addiction means believing you can control your use despite all the evidence that you cannot. What does the illusion of control over addictive behavior look like? …

find a therapist

How to find a therapist that can help you – ‘the relationship’s the thing’

This blog post is dedicated to letting you know what research says is most helpful in psychotherapy.  I hope that after reading this you feel more informed about what characteristics to look for as you try to find a therapist. More than sixty years of research has determined that therapy works.  People who undergo some form of psychotherapy are better off than about …

Does guilt constrict your life?

Are you extra careful to not seem like a ‘show-off’, ‘know-it-all’ or ‘arrogant’? Do you keep most of your worries to yourself lest you ‘burden’ others? Does it often feel like someone important to you could easily think you’re abandoning him or her? If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you’re not alone. Many people learn that …