If I Were You, I Would...

How many times a day do you come across situations in which you might say to yourself (or out loud), "If I were you, I would..." or "She should..." or " If he knew what was best for him, he would..." Seems we all know what others SHOULD do, but when it comes to ourselves? Well, the same rules don't always apply. This phenomenon happens so frequently, we now have a name for it... we call it cognitive dissonance. Simply put, it's when you have conflicting thoughts about a situation or when your thoughts don't line up with your behaviors. But, I like to call it more plainly: It's when you fail to follow your own advice. As a therapist in Honolulu, in session, I might ask - "How would you advise

Why Are We So Afraid of Struggle?

I don't often get to see my clients during times of joy, peace, and tranquility - instead, I often interact with them during times of trauma, struggle, or pain. Most often, they are seeking help with their current struggle - and, to be sure, it's my job to help them through. So, it's usually quite surprising when I bring up the "usefulness" of struggle. And, it's usually even more surprising when I tell them we NEED to struggle. Think about it--we spend so much time, money, and effort trying our best to avoid struggle and pain - maybe we shop, maybe we drink, maybe we take drugs, etc. to divert ourselves from pain. Psychologically, we can become obsessed with perfection to avoid failure or s

Take These "Off-Ramps" to Resolution

When was the last time you were in the midst of a heated argument, desperately hoping for some way to "get out" of the situation with your pride and ego in tact? It happens a lot for most of us, especially when we're in a conflict with a loved one or relationship partner. So, I've developed a set of "off ramps" to help. Yep, off ramps. If you can imagine a runaway conflict like it's a superhighway to nowhere, then just imagine these conflict "off ramps" are exits that can help you take a break or even resolve the conflict in a manner that will keep you from losing too much face. Here are some that I like to use to help my clients (usually couples) resolve conflict in a healthy way: --Humor:

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