How to make friends in San Francisco

I recently received the following note from a reader of my blog. Perhaps you can relate, even if you don’t live in San Francisco: Dear Dr. Davis, How do very busy people (due to demanding job, lots of hobbies) create space for friendship? I found it easy while I was living abroad, but not whileContinue reading “How to make friends in San Francisco”

Signs your therapist is unprofessional AF

I will always be a champion of self-care, good mental health, and going to therapy. But there’s a lotta bad therapists out there, honey. We’ve all encountered mediocrity and unprofessionalism from time to time (okay, often), and the mental health profession is not exempt. Don’t get me wrong: some therapists are fantastic! Amazing! Life-changing! But,Continue reading “Signs your therapist is unprofessional AF”

Thanking Your Mind: An ACT Technique for Coping with Unhelpful Thoughts

As a clinical psychologist who practices CBT, I’m focused on helping therapy clients explore the relationship between their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. I’ve written about some of these ideas and techniques in articles about automatic thoughts, distorted thinking, and how to use mindfulness and thought records to recognize and challenge unhelpful thoughts. In addition toContinue reading “Thanking Your Mind: An ACT Technique for Coping with Unhelpful Thoughts”

Distress Tolerance Skills for Healthier Relationships

If you identify as a person with an insecure (i.e. anxious, avoidant, or fearful) attachment style and have decided to begin your healing journey, you’re going to encounter some challenging emotions. Change is never easy, even when it’s positive, and it’s normal to feel overwhelmed, defeated, or just plan uncomfortable as you heal your attachmentContinue reading “Distress Tolerance Skills for Healthier Relationships”

The people-pleaser’s guide to speaking up.

A lot of the clients I work with have been taught not to “rock the boat” in relationships, meaning they’ve received and currently implement some version(s) of the following instructions: Don’t rock the boat by setting boundaries, because people will think your’e selfish. Don’t rock the boat by asking for what you want, you’ll onlyContinue reading “The people-pleaser’s guide to speaking up.”

How to set & hold a boundary.

One of the most frequent issues that come up in my work with therapy clients is boundaries: How to recognize when boundaries are needed, how to set them, maintain them, not feel guilty for having them, and the list goes on! Boundaries are the limits and rules you set for yourself within relationships. In orderContinue reading “How to set & hold a boundary.”

4 tools for healing avoidant attachment

Imagine no longer panicking when people want to get closer or know you more intimately. If you have an avoidant attachment style, you are likely no stranger to the pain of feeling unfulfilled, isolated, and that no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to please the people you care about. An insecureContinue reading “4 tools for healing avoidant attachment”

4 tools for healing anxious attachment

Imagine no longer chasing (or even wanting to chase) relationships with people who cannot love you in the ways you need. If you have an anxious attachment style, you are likely no stranger to the pain of unfulfilling, disappointing, drama-filled relationships. An insecure attachment style can predispose us to unhealthy relationship dynamics, but the goodContinue reading “4 tools for healing anxious attachment”

5 tips for becoming a better listener

“The art of listening is so lost,” a colleague once said to me. Sometimes we find it easier to talk than to listen, but listening is a skill that, when used effectively, can improve the experience of both the listener and and the listened-to. Below are five simple suggestions for better listening: Get clear onContinue reading “5 tips for becoming a better listener”

The Exploding Doormat: Coping With Anger from People-Pleasing

“Exploding doormat” is a term I originally learned from someone who was working the twelve steps in Al-Anon. It refers to an individual (i.e. “doormat”) who has habitually bent over backwards, placed their needs last, given into people-pleasing tendencies for far too long…and “exploded” (i.e. become openly enraged and/or acted out) as a result. ExplodingContinue reading “The Exploding Doormat: Coping With Anger from People-Pleasing”