Wednesday, April 1, 2015

WHY PITYING BULLIES DECREASES THEIR POWER

Image: Warner Brothers

By Jonathan Decker, LMFT, MS

In the 2007 film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, our hero finds himself in a confrontation with his parents' murderer, Voldemort, an evil wizard so terrifying that people dare not say his name. Harry has dreaded this moment, which is something his adversary takes full advantage of. Voldemort possesses Harry's body, tormenting his mind with visions of death and suffering, reminding him of his failings, and taunting him for being "weak."

It is at this point that Harry sees his friends, who have come to his aide. They watch his agony with love and concern. He thinks on their experiences together, along with all the people who've ever loved him and have been kind to him. "You're the weak one," he tells his enemy. "You'll never know love or friendship, and I feel sorry for you." This realization gives him the strength to cast Voldemort out of his mind and body. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Want Great Sex with Your Spouse? Stop Trying so Hard!

Image: soulsatisfactionforwomen.com
By Jonathan Decker, LMFT, MS

Have you ever stumbled while speaking in public or fumbled a job interview? Odds are, you were putting too much pressure on yourself to perform. While it's important to be fully engaged and to give our best efforts, the times when we are relaxed and accepting of imperfection are generally the times that we do our best. This is as true for sex as it is for anything else.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Book Review- MISSION IMPROBABLE: HOW I HEALED BIPOLAR DISORDER WITHOUT DRUGS

“This may sound like a simplistic solution, but I agree with Tony Stephan who said that someday mental illness is going to be seen as nothing more than a nutritional deficiency. Nevertheless, out of small and simple things, great things can and do come to pass. This is one of them.” – S. Deborah Fryer, Mission Improbable: How I Healed Bipolar Disorder without Drugs, p. 83.

Mental illness is a subject about which people feel passionate. Some are adamant that modern medicine is the key to treatment, others point to therapy, while still others hold that holistic methods and natural remedies are the cure. In my experience as a mental health professional, all three have their place.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

YOU MIGHT BE SABOTAGING THE CHANGES YOU WANT YOUR PARTNER TO MAKE

Image: jenandmen.com

Want your partner to change? You might accidentally be hurting your cause. Here's what to do differently. 

I've noticed a pattern in human behavior: we want people to change, but then we make it hard for them to do so. For example, a mother may want her son to stop lying, but reacts angrily when he's honest about his mistakes, shaming him and removing his motivation to tell the truth. Or a husband may want his wife to be more sexual, but contributes to her exhaustion and detachment by not helping with the kids, doing housework, or communicating affection throughout the day.

Friday, January 23, 2015

5 REASONS TO TRY WEBCAM THERAPY

Image credit: carp.ca

In the age of social media and smartphones, so much of our lives revolves around technology. Marriage and family therapy has never been a field to lag behind: online webcam sessions are increasingly common. Many people enjoy meeting with their counselor from the comfort of their own home or office. Here are five reasons why you should consider signing up for an online session.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

20 MOVIES THAT'LL STRENGTHEN YOUR MARRIAGE


Hollywood favors "falling in love" stories rather than "staying in love" stories. Healthy, long-lasting marriages are far too often viewed by Tinseltown as dramatically stale, but there are exceptions to this rule. Below are 20 of my favorite  cinematic depictions of what it takes to make love last. Click on the titles to buy the films, and enjoy!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

WHY DEPRESSION MAKES EASY TASKS DIFFICULT (AND HOW TO FIGHT IT)


THE WEIGHT OF DEPRESSION

Could you eat a bowl of cereal? Of course you can, it's so easy! Now imagine that I've strapped heavy weights to your arms. Could you still do it? If the weight were heavy enough, how long would it take before your arms started shaking and you gave up in exhaustion?

In this scenario, no one would say that a person is weak because they can't finish a bowl of cereal while weighed down, nor would they say that the cereal itself is the problem. Yet persons suffering from depression often belittle themselves because the simplest task seems insurmountable. They see themselves as pathetic, failing to accept that it's the weight of depression, not the task itself, that they struggle with.