family therapy

It’s Never Too Late to Be a Self

self

Denise came to counseling after her father had died of a heart attack at the age of 84. She had been on a cruise to Alaska when he died, and she felt guilty for leaving her 76-year-old mother and younger sister to plan the funeral. A few months later, Denise was flying back every other weekend to Denver to clean out her father’s belongings and check in on her mother. She complained that her sister rarely stopped by to help, even though she only lived half an hour from their childhood home.

Denise always thought her mother would be the first to go in the family. She had diabetes and had experienced a heart attack several years before. Her father had been in great shape and was a regular at the gym. He was actively involved in a local church and was president of the local American Legion.  He also took on most of the household responsibilities—he loved to cook and paid all the bills. Denise was surprised to learn how little her mother knew about their finances—she couldn’t even tell them where to locate important papers in the house. “She can barely make scrambled eggs. She eats TV dinners and I can’t get her to leave the house more than once a week.”

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Surviving Your Family Reunion This Summer

people-mother-family-father-1280x429Does thinking about spending time with your family have you feeling stressed out and anxious? If you’re dreading your family reunion or annual family vacation, read my advice at psycom.net.

 

My advice about loneliness featured on CNN

 

Grandma at the park; Shutterstock ID 595954499; Job: -We live in lonely times. The elderly are lonely. The teens are lonely. People are lonely in cities and in rural areas, so much so that it’s now considered a public-health issue (one with real, physical health effects). In a cover story for the Harvard Business Review last year, former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy declared that “the world is suffering from an epidemic of loneliness.”

Read my advice here.

Book Recommendations: Diverse Families in Fiction

For the AAMFT’s Family Therapy Magazine: 

The relationship between reading fiction and developing interpersonal skills is a hot topic in psychology news for 2014. Therapists are suddenly picking up novels for more than just self-care, and they are finding they can learn as much about the human condition from fiction as they can from their clients. Read more (pg. 42-43).