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”

By virtue of being alive.

This is a concept that comes up for a lot of the clients I work with who were programmed, taught, or otherwise given the message that they were somehow not enough: You have value and worth…by virtue of being alive. What does this mean? It means you do not have to earn your place onContinue reading “By virtue of being alive.”

You Can Choose Your Friends (Yes, Really!)

When determining whether to pursue a romantic relationship, people often tend towards vigilance, looking out for signs of “red flags,” “settling” and indicators of incompatibility or “deal breakers.” When it comes to friendship, however, many of us take a much more relaxed approach. We know it’s important to choose our friends wisely. My grandmother alwaysContinue reading “You Can Choose Your Friends (Yes, Really!)”

Avoidant Attachment in Friendship

There are four relationship attachment styles: Anxious, Avoidant, Fearful, and Secure In my last post, I wrote about anxious attachment in friendship. This week, I’ll discuss the avoidant attachment style and how it manifests within the context of friendship. Avoidant Attachment in Friendship: Have you ever been told you have “a wall up” been calledContinue reading “Avoidant Attachment in Friendship”