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Practical psychology for everyday life.
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I suffered prolonged post-partum depression for three years. I believed I had given up being ‘successful’ to be a mother and that therefore, in my achievement-focused society, I was worthless.

I stubbornly held onto that belief (even in the face of evidence to the contrary) because it confirmed my core belief of not being ‘good enough’.

For most of my life, I had contorted myself into painful shapes because I held onto beliefs like: ‘I’m only lovable if I succeed in life’ and ‘I’m only okay. if I please other people’.

For me that was the truth. Me and those…

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You’re desperate to switch up your life.

Quit your job, change your career, end your relationship, move to a new house. Or town. Or country. Or get a piercing. Or a tattoo. OMG, to just do something.

But you’re also struggling mentally; flat, anxious, detached — even numb — and your moods are up and down. You wonder if this is a good time to shake it up. Maybe you should sit tight till the world — and life — settles down a bit?

If those feelings are familiar, you might be struggling with what US social psychologists refer to…

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You probably knew you what you were going through.

It’s just that you: (1) denied it, (2) were so confused by it, (3) desperately wanted the relationship to work, (4) kept trying even when you knew it was futile and (5) found it too hard to leave.

Narcissistic abuse is like that. It’s a form of emotional abuse inflicted on you by someone with narcissistic personality traits.

In short, they use words and behaviours to manipulate, control and damage you. Sometimes, they’re not even fully conscious of what they’re doing; it’s just an entrenched part of who they are.


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Boundaries are vital for long-term survival. Without them, you will suffer, physically and mentally.

I know because I’ve struggled with boundaries my whole life. I’m constantly learning how to protect myself by enforcing them, and how to not feel guilty when I do so.

My life has been a mishmash of others' decisions and I’ve consistently attracted the wrong types of people into my life. It wasn’t until recently that I learned about boundaries and how much I desperately needed them. After much self-work, I now can attribute many of the problems in my life to poor boundaries.

If you've…

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We’ve heard it a million times: Be the best version of who you are.

I get it: People want to be all they can be. People want their kids to be all they can be too.

But who is the best version of yourself, anyway? And why don’t all the other versions matter just as much?

Humans are just people. Which means that the best version of yourself doesn’t always show up. Sometimes, it’s the sad, weepy version. Or the stressed-out one. Or the scared one. Or the lonely one. Or the mean, dark one.

You get my point? All…

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You’ve heard of the 7 Heavenly Virtues?

Fine, but this list is not them. This is not an official list. You can’t Google it. You may want to debate it (good). You may want to argue with it (fine, also). I don’t own it, so I don’t mind.

This is just the list I’ve come up with based on working therapeutically with a lot of people — young and old — for a long time, and seeing what helps them most in their lives.

So grab your seat on the couch and let’s dive in.

The 7 Aspirational Virtues of Adult Life

1. Humility

“One must become as humble…

A lady staring directly in the camera lens, a small rainbow accross her left eye
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People will go to extreme lengths to impress friends and even strangers.

You want them to remember the times they shared with you fondly; you want to leave them with positive associations of you.

But there’s no need to stress yourself to impress anyone. It’s about letting things flow naturally; allowing your personality to shine through.

Too often, however, people try too hard to impress others. And when it’s that obvious it can get awkward. Here are six ways you may be doing that — or habits you need to avoid.

1. Playing the role of a fake comedian

Humor builds and maintains healthy friendships; its benefits extend…

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Four words come up again and again in therapy.

They’re raised in many different contexts, there are (almost) infinite ways they can be applied. They don’t discriminate between people either: They don’t have a favourite gender, race, culture, religion or education status. They certainly don’t have an age limit.

What they do have, though, is the power to define a person’s life. So psychologists are always waiting and watching for them.

Because we don’t think any words should have that much power.

Do you?

Four Little Words That Pack a Mighty Punch.

I’m not trying to hold out on you. You know the words I mean, don’t you?

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“I’m just lonely,” a woman said, during our session.

“I need to be around other people so I’m really struggling right now.”

She was referring to the loneliness exacerbated by the pandemic and its restrictions. She was single, lived alone, was working from home and her previously active social life had stalled.

It was really playing with her mind. She felt flat and unmotivated; she wasn’t sleeping and rumbling anxiety had become a constant companion.

“I know plenty of people are going through this,” she said. “But that doesn’t make it easier.”

The Rise and Rise of Loneliness

My client was right — loneliness is both…

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It’s the silent dream, isn’t it?

To raise That Kid. The one who shines at school, is a natural at sports, is on everyone’s playdate list, who glides effortlessly through life.

To be the parent of That Kid. So that other parents are looking admirably at you and your shining example of offspring and thinking: How’d they do that?

If you are one of those parents — or you hope to be — all power to you. But as well as throwing money into their College education fund, save some for therapy.

Because life gets hard for those kids, too…

On The Couch

Practical psychology for everyday life.

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