Travel Anxiety

In our culture that upholds the extrovert ideal as the pinnacle of a life fully lived, I often hear from clients who share that they often feel shame when they don’t fit the mold. I hear from clients in their 20s who feel like they “should” enjoy going to parties and drinking alcohol; clients in their 30s who feel like they “should” have unequivocal clarity about wanting to have a child; and clients of all ages who fall into the belief that they “should” enjoy traveling.

While traveling can be exciting and eye-opening, it can also be quite grueling, especially for the highly sensitive and introverted temperaments. One of the hallmarks of highly sensitive people is having difficulty with change, and there are few experiences more disruptive than leaving the comfort zone of home, the familiarity of your bed and routines, the place where your roots extend down into the … Click here to continue reading...

The Raw Humanity of it All

There are times when I want to collapse from the overpowering wave of not-knowing that washes over me in moments of conflict or overwhelm: my boys at each other’s throats or my husband and I in an argument or a temporary falling out with a soul-sister or the state of the world or the homeless man on the corner. The world seems to storm around me like the fluttering of a thousand moths, a hurricane of emotions tipping into a flicker of despair from the awareness that we all struggle and nobody has the answers. Where’s the magic wand? Where’s the ultimate parenting manual that teaches us in the trenches how to ensure that our kids will get along like boats sailing on a lake as smooth as cream? How do we solve the world’s pain? Does anyone have the answers?

But then something else takes over. It usually arrives … Click here to continue reading...

Sex With An Ex

Originally published on The Huffington Post

“I had the dream again last night,” a client tells me with a slight tone of shame in her voice. “You know, the dream where I’m having sex with my ex. Every time I have that dream I wake up feeling horribly guilty. Here I am in bed with my partner and I’ve practically had sex with my ex. And it was good sex, too. What does this mean? Does it mean I’m still in love with my ex and I don’t really love my partner?”

That would be the most obvious and understandable interpretation, especially when the client describes that when she wakes up she’s filled with longing for the ex. She says it will usually take her about ten minutes to pull herself out of the magnetic dream state and remind herself that she’s not actually with her ex. And then it’s … Click here to continue reading...

When You're Not Attracted To Your Partner ----- Part 2

Physical attraction is not a firm foundation on which to build a relationship, for the simple reason that it is never constant. It sets in motion a cycle of expectation and disillusionment that can go on and on. The person who lives in a world of fantasy will often blame the other for letting him down. Perhaps, for example, Juliet expects Romeo to come to her balcony every morning and launch into, “It is the east, and you are the sun . . . .” Three days after the honeymoon, she feels crushed when she is greeted at breakfast with nothing more romantic than, “Where’s the toast?” Many relationships sputter because of just such inflated expectations, which demand of life something that it simply cannot give. We should not feel that close relationships are beyond our reach, but they are demanding. Through experience, we come to realize that in Click here to continue reading...

Engagement Anxiety and the Question of Sex

Originally published in the Huffington Post.

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One of the most common questions I’m asked in my counseling practice is something along these lines:

My fiancé and I have a great relationship, but after he proposed my sex drive plummeted. Is this normal? I don’t want to be stuck in a sexless marriage! 

And even though the topic of sex is splashed across every form of media, when someone brings the question to a session they usually ask it with a great deal of trepidation in their voice.

This is because there’s a big taboo around admitting that you’re struggling in the bedroom. And yet here’s a secret that the mainstream media doesn’t tell you: nearly every couple that has been together more than a couple of years and is past the honeymoon stage struggles with sex at some point in their relationship. We have men and women with different … Click here to continue reading...