Expectations and Patterns in Relationship

Expectations and patterns: relationshipWhat Does Love Have to do With it?

In last week’s blog,  we talked about  memories, feelings or thoughts from the past being activated in present experiences and relationships. When this happens, we will feel and think in ways that are influenced by previous events. This dynamic  can be seen in romantic relationships

You meet someone and from the first moment, they feel just right. They seem to know what you are thinking before you speak. You have shared interests and similar backgrounds. You feel comfortable with him or her from the beginning  and feel comfortable telling them anything.

Fast forward six months, a year, even ten years, and that same person has become someone whom you both love and hate. It’s as if you can’t live with him or her, yet you can’t live without that person either.  He or she irritates you almost every time they speak.  You don’t feel that person understands you any longer and you sure don’t understand him or her.

The meaningful talk has stopped. You do small talk, you argue, or you don’t talk at all.

You wonder what happened in the relationship; did the other person change or did you? Continue reading

Expectations and Patterns

Expectations and patternsHave you ever asked yourself, ”What was I thinking?” after saying or doing something?  Or made a decision, then wondered if you had lost your mind?  Have there been times when your feelings about someone else’s actions or words confused you? Have you ever found yourself in a friendship or romantic relationship, and after a few weeks ask yourself what you ever saw in that person?

In each of these examples, decisions, feelings, or thoughts that seemed fine in the moment made no sense in hindsight.  Today, we will look as a possible reason why.


Advances in neuroscience are beginning to offer scientific proof of what psychotherapists have believed all along: memories, feelings or thoughts from the past get activated in present experiences and relationships. When this happens, we will feel and think in ways that are influenced by previous events. Continue reading

Symptoms: the Roadmap to Self Discovery

Symptoms a Roadmap to self discoveryThe man came into my office and told me he was here to be “fixed”. He told me he had an anger problem and needed someone to help him get rid of it.

When I inquired why he felt his anger was such a problem, he said that his wife and family did not like that he was angry all the time, and that the way he expressed his anger scared them.

The man talked about feeling that his needs were fulfilled after everyone else’s in the family. He had elderly parents who required a lot of time and care. He had a demanding job in healthcare and suffered from serious back problems, which caused him pain most of the time.

No wonder he acted angry all the time! I suggested that perhaps he had feelings that were hiding under the anger, hurt and sadness. He was surprised by that idea. It had never occurred to him that he might be feeling any emotion other than anger.

Continue reading

The Power of Shame

power of shameEver have that feeling that something is a little bit off in the way you’re taking on life?

On the outside, you look like you have it all together and everything is going well in your life. Other people may even see you as successful, giving and caring, but inside you feel awful because you can’t get things “right”?


Underneath the image you project, you know that what the world sees is a false front 
crafted to hide the self-doubt, fear, anger and resentment you often feel. You work hard, yet never seem to live up to your own expectations.
Continue reading

Lady GaGa’s Stand Against Sexual Assault

Lady Gaga and sexual assaultLady Gaga’s performance at this year’s Oscars touched lives across the country.  The emotional rendition of  “Til It Happens To You” brought the crowd to their feet, and started a conversation about sexual assault.

The song was written for The Hunting Ground, a documentary about sexual assault at colleges and universities.  The lyrics provide a portrait of what it is like to be a victim, and a survivor, of sexual assault. We are talking about more than rape; we are talking about non-consensual sexual contact. In the song, she addresses how abuse victims are mistreated long after the incident itself is over. Continue reading