I Want You Close...So Watch Me Push You Away

If you took Psychology 101 in college, you likely heard about an experiment in which a researcher studied baby monkeys--would they choose to be with a wire "mother" who gave them food and water or a cloth "mother" who gave them comfort? What they found is that, despite needing food and water, they always chose the cloth "mother" who gave them comfort! From this and other research we learned that emotional comfort and connection is a primal human need--sometimes even on par with food and water. What does this mean for conflict? Interestingly enough, it's everything. Remember that emotional connection our baby monkeys were looking for? Well, humans look for it too--in adulthood, we usually fin

Trauma Vs. Setbacks

Resiliency is one of the most popular "buzz words" in today's psychological discourse, and there's no doubt why: We're finding that resilient children make resilient adults -- and resilient adults can cope better with life's disappointments (which, lets's face it, are many). As a therapist in Honolulu, I'm asked by parents how they can create more resilient children, especially since more resilient children tend to be less at risk of anxiety and depression, two disorders which have spiked in children and teens in the past ten or so years. So, I try to talk with them about setbacks vs. trauma -- and why one can be constructive and one can be destructive. Trauma would be considered a life-alte

Why We Want What We SHOULDN'T Want In a Partner

I may not have a ton of single friends, but, as a therapist is Honolulu, I DO have several single clients - and, most (if not all) are looking for love. Real love. Lasting love. Powerful love. For many, love is the pinnacle of the human experience - and, indeed, it's at the top of the Human Needs pyramid for a reason. After all our basic human needs are met, most of us are ready for our big love. But, did you know evolution and biology are working AGAINST us when it comes to finding lasting relationships? Turns out, if we "give in" to our most basic instincts, it's almost certain we WON'T find lasting love. Let's see how I can explain it: For thousands of years, our main priority wasn't love

In the Wake of Las Vegas...

My husband, Rob, just happened to be in the hotel next to Mandalay Bay when the Las Vegas shooter killed 59 people Sunday night from a hotel room on the 32nd floor. So, suffice it to say, the tragedy hit a little close to home. Naturally, our friends in the media turned to us for insight, and it wasn't long before a friend and magazine editor asked me to contribute to an article about how to talk to children about tragedy and tragic events. As I wrote about age-appropriate language for children, how to help them feel safe, and what kinds of details to include, I made sure to add something I feel is just as important-how to avoid modeling "all or nothing" language for your children. As a ther

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