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Past and Future

A Family Dinner Leads to Reflecting on a Legacy

Roberta Israeloff

By Roberta Israeloff - To my mother, who inherited the holiday after my grandmother's death, producing the seder was nothing short of a colossal chore—a feeling she'd communicate with every pot she slammed on the stove. Now, it's my turn.

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VIDEO: When Sorrow Mixes with Joy

Martha Manning Shares a Moving Personal Story of Hardship, Hope, and Love

Martha Manning

A karaoke performance on a psych ward helps a mother and daughter find a way to reconnect.

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Loving Wholeheartedly

Fraught Parent-Child Relationships Can be an Opportunity for Personal Growth

Leonard Felder

By Leonard Felder - Every now and then, we're lucky enough to meet someone who feels driven to let go of old emotional baggage and find the kind of freedom that comes with being able to love wholeheartedly, without inner reservation. When that person is a client, they're a great lesson to us in our own lives.

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The Stories That Bind Us

A Special Feature from Our Family Matters Department

Janine Roberts

By Janine Roberts - When I was eight years old, I reached into Mom's jewelry drawer and found a folded piece of paper that read: “I want to die here in the meadow. The lupine and Indian paintbrush around me.” Not long ago, my granddaughter was born. She taught me anew how we want to connect and be seen—something Mom needed from me.

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The One Thing That's Missing from Attachment Theory

Challenging a Therapeutic Cornerstone

Jerome Kagan

By Jerome Kagan - One of the strongest articles of faith among psychotherapists is the intuitively attractive proposition that the security of early attachments to parents has a profound influence on adult mental health. However, when I examine the evidence for this belief as a research psychologist, rather than as a clinical practitioner, a different, less clear-cut picture emerges.

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What Does a Son Owe a Mother?

A squeeze of the Hand

Barry Jacobs

By Barry Jacobs - For 58 years, from my birth until her death, my mother and I clashed over money and material values, cents and sensibilities. She may have felt entitled to a grand lifestyle, but I felt entitled to a less solipsistic mother—one who relished, not hated, my help. Years later, I found myself able to relax and just be her adult son in a way I’d never experienced.

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Is Your Child "Misbehaving"? It Could Be Completely Normal

Three Ways Understanding Temperament Normalizes Child-Rearing Challenges

Alice Shannon

By Alice Shannon - Our society has become increasingly intolerant of children's behavior that strays beyond familiar norms, and too inclined to diagnose, pathologize, and medicate what are simply temperamental differences. Having an awareness of temperament has helped me as a therapist to be curious, rather than judgmental or prematurely diagnostic.

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Helping Parents Rekindle the Erotic Spark

Why Does Parenthood Deliver Such a Fatal Blow to Intimacy?

Esther Perel

By Esther Perel - The transition from two to three is one of the most profound challenges a couple will ever face. Family life flourishes in an atmosphere of comfort and consistency. Yet unpredictability, spontaneity, and risk are precisely where eroticism resides. Eros is a force that doesn't like to be constrained. When it settles into repetition, habit, or rules, it touches its death.

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Creating a Support System for New Mothers

Five Ways to Help Them Cope with Stress, Improve Mood, and Stay Energetic

Rick Hanson

By Rick Hanson - Motherhood isn't, in itself, a psychological or medical problem. But the challenges inherent in childbearing and childrearing can lead to clinical consequences, with studies showing that mothers are more likely to have depressive moods, more stress than fathers, and frequent conflicts with their partner. Here are five ways to help them cope.

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Promoting Positive Caregiving

Helping Clients Escape Negative Cycles in Caring for Aging Parents

Barry Jacobs

By Barry Jacobs and Julia Mayer - The bedraggled, beleaguered, and bereft family caregivers who come to us for therapy have a common litany of complaints. They feel overburdened by caregiving tasks, unacknowledged by those they’re caring for, and unsupported by family members who take their herculean efforts for granted. Here's how to help them approach the caregiving experience more positively.

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