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Overcoming Chronic Resentment

Q: I’ve been with my husband for almost fifteen years. We don’t have any major problems like physical abuse, or cheating, or drugs. I really love him and I know he loves me, But I keep wishing he would be different than he is. I find myself resenting him all the time for little ways…

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Can Meditation Help With My Depression?

Q: I’ve been dogged by times of really intense depression for most of my life. Anti-depressants have helped some, and I’ve been in and out of therapy for years, but it’s still a struggle. I know you’ve written about meditation in the past. Do you think it could help me with my depression? I’ve tried…

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Holding On to a Toxic Partner

Q: My close friend Mark (that’s not his real name) – fell in love with someone nine years ago – I’ll call him Sam. Sam has done nothing but harm to him. He can’t hold down a job, even though Mark spent a lot of money he doesn’t have for schools and training programs for…

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Generosity and Well-Being

If you’re having a bad day, what is the best way to boost your mood? Will you be more likely to feel better if you do something to treat yourself, or will you feel better if you focus on doing something nice for others? Psychologists have actually researched this question, and have come up with…

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Choose Optimism

It probably won’t surprise anyone that an optimistic outlook is good for your physical and emotional well-being. Optimists react to problems with a sense of confidence in their ability to respond effectively to the challenges in their lives. They are hopeful about the future, and believe that their personal problems, as well as those of…

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Pride Matters 2016

(Written the week of the Pulse massacre in Orlando, Florida.) Maybe we’d become too complacent. I think I had. We’ve all known what it feels like to be unsafe in the world, and we’ve known how much it hurts to be “otherized” – to be evicted from the circle of “us” and to be treated…

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An impostor

when people have more professional and financial success than their parents, they often have the fear that their success is somehow ill-gotten gain, and that they don’t really deserve their affluence. Sometimes, sexism or racism is involved: the impostor syndrome was first noted during the ’70’s among women who were entering formerly male-dominated professions, and…

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The Most Destructive Fear

Aaron comes into therapy because he’s stymied by constant fear. He hates his job, but won’t look for a new one because he’s afraid of job interviews. Whenever he’s in a social situation and sees someone he’s attracted to, he avoids him completely for fear of being rejected. He wants to join a gym, but…

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Wanting

The brain evolved through its reptilian, mammalian, and primate/human stages to meet three needs: avoid harms, approach rewards, and attach to others. In terms of these three needs, animals that were nervous, driven, and clinging were more likely to survive and pass on their genes – which are woven into our DNA today. Try to…

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How Your Brain Lies to You 1. Negativity Bias

The human brain didn’t evolve for dispassionately finding truth, but for ensuring our survival. It has built-in biases in the way it processes information, and neuroscience has identified specific ways in which it lies to us about what’s happening around us. These falsehoods create a lot of suffering for us. In this and the next…

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