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 …

emotional abuse

Emotional Abuse: The Invisible Trauma

Do any of the following points apply to you? You take care of other people’s emotional needs but don’t expect them to take care of yours You have a difficult time identifying and expressing your own feelings You find yourself in relationships with people who seem self-absorbed You never express anger towards friends or partners You never feel like you …

Interrupt your anxiety with this breathing exercise

Anxiety is the body and mind’s threat-detection system going off.  It deserves credit for helping the human species survive.  Here’s one way anxiety has been helpful:  alerting us when the connection to a parent is in jeopardy.  Early baby humans who experienced and listened to this anxiety when their play carried them too far away from a parent, likely scampered …

Chronic Shame

Shame and Social Anxiety

Social anxiety reflects the belief that other people are not safe.  We can learn that others are unsafe from receiving a rejecting or indifferent response at the very moment we need someone’s caring interest and recognition. In the wake of such lack of attunement to our inner worlds, the insidious feeling of shame can flood our systems. Shame feels like …

relational trauma

Don’t Minimize Your Trauma

As an undergraduate, I took a course on African-American Psychology and my professor, Howard C. Stevenson always ended each class with a touching aphorism.  The one that remains with me to this day is “Don’t minimize your trauma”.  This phrase is especially relevant for racial minorities in a society that privileges whiteness while simultaneously denying the existence of that privileged status.  …