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It Didn’t Start With You: Tracing the Roots of Narcissistic Abuse

It didn’t start with you   Narcissistic abuse never starts with the victim, no matter what the narcissist says.   Did you know that?   Even if they said, “You were just such a difficult child, I never knew how to deal with you.”   It didn’t start with you.   Even if they told…

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Anger is not your enemy

 When I decided to focus this week’s article about how anger is not your enemy, I poked around for some suitable quotes to illustrate my position. Unsurprisingly, many of the quotes that came up condemned or advised against anger. There are many variations on the theme that anger is harmful, negative, and to be avoided…

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When love is mingled with grief

Last week, I wrote about Aragorn and his journey from nameless ranger to noble king. Today, I want to revisit the Lord of the Rings from a different angle. Today, we will explore a concept spoken by the Elf Queen Galadriel: love, mingled with grief.   In the first first movie of the Lord of…

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You Are Not Broken

One of my favorite story arcs in the quintessential fantasy series The Lord of the Rings is that of Strider, a Ranger who appears to guide Frodo through the wilderness on his quest to destroy the evil Ring of Power.   When Frodo first meets Strider, he sees only a muddy, mysterious, frightening man who…

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When Therapy Sucks, part 2: Emotional Hangover

Awhile back, I wrote an article about why it’s important to stick it out even when therapy sucks. Today, I want to talk a little more about what can make therapy so hard sometimes. Have you ever had a session that felt really special – like, a deep, breakthrough, oh-my-God-it-all-makes-sense-now, felt like something really shifted…

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The Words We Use: How Self-Talk Impacts Self-Concept

Our words, our self-talk   This week I find myself thinking a lot about words. Specifically, the words we use to name ourselves: aka, self-talk. Have you ever been asked that impossible question, “describe yourself using just one word?” I always hated that one, because no one word can sum up an entire person. But…

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4 Tips for Setting Healthy Boundaries

Boundaries is a scary word for a lot of people. We often struggle with the concept because we don’t really understand what boundaries are and why we need them. For some, trying to say no or stand up for yourself in the past may have led to anger, rejection, guilt-tripping, or shaming behaviors. Others may…

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When You’re Stuck: Writing a new story for a better life

Your story is an introduction   It happens all the time. A new client sits down for the first session and pours out all the stories no one ever believed, hoping desperately that this time, they’ll be heard. This time, they hope, someone will believe me. This time, I will be validated. And when they…

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There’s a Name for That: A Glossary of Toxic Relationship Terms

Toxic relationships can be hard to define   Being in a toxic relationship but unable to pinpoint what is unhealthy about it can be crazy-making. When you know something is wrong but you can’t put your finger on it, you may second-guess yourself. Second-guessing can keep you in unhealthy relationships longer, leading to more pain…

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When Father’s Day is Bittersweet

Today is a day that we honor and celebrate fathers.   Fathers are inarguably some of the most influential people in our lives – whether they are in our lives or not. Their presence or lack of presence can have an equally significant impact on us. In the ideal, the role of father carries the…

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