An important way your own childhood affects your parenting

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Imagine this scene:  Your third-grader, standing before you with hands on hips, indignantly whines, “Mo-om!  You didn’t remember to add money to my lunch account!!  The lunch lady had to give me a special note today, and it was SO-OH EMBARASSING!  How FLAKY can you … Continue reading

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Reader asks: I had an affair, and it’s not my fault.

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Reader Asks:  I have had an affair and was caught a few years ago. My husband and I are together and he is a wonderful man. While I am very remorseful, I am having a lot of trouble truly accepting the blame. In … Continue reading

The one habit that could improve your life. (validation.)

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By Angelica Shiels Psy.D. Okay, so anyone who has read my blog or done therapy with me already knows that my favorite “therapy tool,” isn’t really a tool at all; It’s just a simple way of thinking: Validation. What is … Continue reading

Reader Asks: I wish I never had my child.

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Question: I have a daughter with bipolar disorder who is ruining my life with her disrespect and her antics.  I bring her to therapy and she’s on medication, but it doesn’t seem to be helping. I am honestly counting the days … Continue reading

8 things you should never say to your spouse.

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By Angelica Shiels Psy.D. (also published on Lifehack.) Words are powerful, and they can be used to build an amazing relationship or to destroy a relationship. Here are 10 things to be careful to never say to your spouse: 1. “You’re … Continue reading

Radical Acceptance (explained in one simple crappy drawing.)

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By Angelica Shiels Psy.D. Oh, what’s that?  You’ve always wondered, “What exactly is radical acceptance, and does anyone have any amateur drawings depicting its every-day application?” ??  Today is your lucky day: And, incidentally, I just also had to radically accept that … Continue reading

DBT and “Mindfulness” (so you don’t chuck any remotes into any TV screens.)

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“Dialectical Behavioral Therapy” (DBT) is a type of therapy developed by Marsha Linehan which helps people manage and tolerate distressing situations and feelings.  DBT is similar to “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy” (CBT) in that it challenges ways of thinking that end up making you feel … Continue reading

Family Bootcamp. (A training program for spouses and parents.)

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By Angelica Shiels Psy.D. “Family” is not for the faint of heart.  As a family therapist and someone who has a family myself, I actually think that marriage licenses and pregnancy tests should offer disclaimers. Similar to the warnings on alcohol and tobacco products, I think … Continue reading

From crazy love to just plain crazy….What often goes wrong in relationships.

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By Angelica Shiels Psy.D. Why do so many people fall into blazing-hot love, only to find themselves so dissatisfied years later? Well, “Imago relational theory” (just a theory, but I haven’t seen one situation where it doesn’t fit) gives us … Continue reading