Good communication is an essential skill that can lead to satisfying connections and understanding if done correctly. Unfortunately, when it is not done right, communication issues can lead to misunderstandings, rifts, and eventually even break-ups if not dealt with soon enough or properly. In my practice in which I work with adult individuals and also do couples counseling, I frequently have clients with communication problems in their personal and/or professional lives which are causing them frustration and upset. On the surface, good communication seems like it should be pretty easy. In actuality, it involves many steps and is quite complex, which is why it is hard to do in a healthy, effective manner.
Through the years as a psychologist, I have worked with many single men and women who have found that trying to date in Southern California is not easy. Even though there are seemingly so many potential candidates here, people often are too busy or too disconnected from each other or are exposed to so many “choices” it can be hard to pick the “one.” Actually, I remember reading an article years ago which noted that there may be around 39,000 “one’s” in the world that are right for each person, which gives everyone much better odds and much more hope in finding the right person than if there truly was just only one.
In working with my single men and women clients, here are some observations and tips which can make the whole dating experience more healthy and less frustrating: Continue reading
With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, it can be a difficult day for singles and for couples. For singles in my practice, I often hear how lonely, frustrating, and sad it can be (see my next upcoming blog soon about singles and dating). For couples in my practice, they frequently voice how disappointing, impersonal, and unromantic it has been, which sometimes may reflect how unsatisfying their relationship overall may be. Continue reading
So often at this time of year, people tend to think about the regrets and losses they’ve had over the past twelve months: Regrets about what they did or didn’t do at all, enough of, or not quite right or good enough; and losses about who has left their lives through death or conflict and/or the opportunities or experiences that are over or unavailable to them now. As a result, many people feel depressed, unhappy, frustrated, angry and/or anxious. Certainly, this is not the best way to start a happy and fulfilling new year and can become a vicious cycle in which people can be unmotivated and overwhelmed about how to change things for the new year.
I often work with my clients to look at the “other side of the coin” regarding how their lives have been over the past year. In therapy terms, this is called “reframing” in which a person looks at a situation from a different angle than he/she originally did to gain perspective and to see their whole situation more accurately, positively, yet realistically as well. For instance, if you are feeling stuck and upset being in a job that you had hoped to replace with a more satisfying one this year, don’t forget or underestimate the “positiveness” of being in a job that at least is tolerable and provides job security and a decent paycheck. Or if you haven’t found the “right” significant other over this past year, at least recognize that you also haven’t settled for the “wrong” person. In essence, it is critical to remember and appreciate all the good things in your life and what you have actually gained this year (i.e., getting out of a dead-end job even if you had to start at the ground floor in a career you’ve decided you really want to be in; cutting loose a friend who really wasn’t a friend which allows you to have more room for those who truly care about you, etc.).
I know that seeing things as positive when they seem so negative and like losses and regrets is easier said than done and can feel artificial and fake. But, you can learn how to break your pattern of what you think and feel regarding how you see the world around you.
To help you learn to see things more objectively and accurately so that you can appreciate what you’ve got rather than what you don’t, seek professional counseling if needed. For further assistance, feel free to leave a message with my answering service at (310) 359-9450.
As we enter into the month of April, several things are frequently associated with this time of year: warmer weather, flowers regenerating, and spring cleaning or what I call “DE-CLUTTERING.” In general, the concept of “clutter” is very interesting. I describe clutter as a collection of unnecessary, unused, and/or obsolete items, which may be kept in a haphazard, often excessive way beyond what would seem logical.
Clutter often can be found in places such as one’s home, workspace, and car. To me, the really fascinating part about clutter is that it can EXTERNALLY reflect a person’s INTERNAL EMOTIONAL CLUTTER. (By “emotional clutter,” I am referring to such things as unresolved feelings, thoughts, and conflicts with oneself and/or with others.)
Examples can include the following: A generally messy, chaotic home, workspace, or car can symbolize one’s INTERNAL chaos and confusion. Having EXTERNAL closets packed with stuff often can reflect how stuffed away and closeted one’s own FEELINGS AND THOUGHTS may also be. Having uncluttered and presentable FRONT rooms of one’s home, while the non-public BACK rooms are a mess, may indicate how a person shows a more polished image of oneself to the world, while covering up a less “together” part.
As we head into the month of March, St. Patrick’s Day approaches, with its charming four-leaf clover, “luck of the Irish” folklore. In accordance with this, I thought it would be very timely and appropriate to address the subject of “luck” and how relying on luck too much can actually cause some UNWANTED consequences in one’s life.
Individuals often attribute luck as to why certain events or results happen to oneself and others. People may say that they were in the “right place at the right time” or that they had good timing when a wanted opportunity or outcome occurs. Luck certainly can play a PART in helping create desired situations and results for people, but luck probably is NOT the main reason behind why certain people get what they want in their lives.
As Valentine’s Day approaches, you may be wondering why you are still single.
Perhaps you are having difficulty meeting the “right” one and/or being able to have a reasonably healthy, long-term romantic relationship.
There certainly can be different reasons why things haven’t worked out for some singles looking for love, including poor timing, ill health, or circumstances beyond one’s control.
However, working for over twenty years as a licensed psychologist in Los Angeles area with individuals and couples has opened my eyes to several psychological reasons that also can be disruptive and damaging to one’s romantic success and longevity.
For the purposes of this column, I will target three of these roadblocks that I have run across in my practice:
1) perfectionism, 2) the people pleaser tendency, and 3) and being stuck in a subconscious pattern.
The saying is that the only two PREDICTABLE things in life are death and taxes. And yet, in spite of this, people still DON’T deal with death very well. By “death,” I am referring to two types: the obvious (i.e., that a person has passed on) and the less obvious (i.e., LOSSES and ENDINGS of significant parts of a person’s life, such as a friendship, a marriage, a career, etc.).
As we approach February, we also approach one of the most hyped times of the year by all forms of media: VALENTINE’S DAY. TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, and a variety of stores all do their part in reminding us that this is a romantic, loving, magical time of the year – at least it is “supposed to be,” per these sources. I’m sure that most people on their own are already aware that Valentine’s Day is nearing; thus, the barrage of external reminders can certainly seem excessive. It certainly can FEEL excessive to people who do NOT have an opportunity to experience this romantic, loving, magical time of the year! I’m referring to several categories of people, including those who are single and looking, separated and/or divorced with no significant other, widowed, and those who are with a significant other but NOT happily so. Thus, there are a large number of people who may not get to enjoy Valentine’s Day the way that media – and perhaps oneself – thinks it should be experienced.
Happy New Year, everybody! What a glorious, wonderful time of the year we are in! The holidays have settled down and now we are beginning a New Year, filled with new experiences, opportunities, and maybe some New Year’s Resolutions. This is also a time when people are often taking advantage of the countless sales being promoted all over town. Sure, it’s great to spend some money and get remarkable deals. However, one needs to be aware of how much money can be spent that will still keep him/her within a predetermined budget.