Adult Attachment Styles – Illustrated Spectrum

  Most psychological measures and scales tend to make us think in black-and-white terms, but I like how this adaptation takes the attachment style grid and transforms it into a spectrum for adult attachment. A spectrum allows space for everyone and each of our unique experiences: experiencing more or less relationship-related anxiety, with a greater…

How to Find a Therapist: Infographic

Sometimes finding a therapist can be the hardest part of deciding to start therapy. It can be hard to know where to begin, especially when we’ve all heard stories about not-so-great therapists. Although online directories like P.T. make it easy to search and sort, it’s worth considering that many of the more experienced, more in-demand…

Disclosing Trauma in New Relationships 101

In a culture where “vulnerability” can sometimes feel like relational currency, it’s easy to fall into a trap of sharing trauma stories before a new relationship has the roots to support it. Especially when we’ve had trauma in past relationships, it can be tempting to “test” new relationships in order to justify leaving or to…

Illustration Series: Intuitive Eating Vampires

I drew this intuitive eating inspired doodles while on vacation in Translyvania (true story!). As I passed through this part of Romania with its kitschy vampire-themed tourism, I got to thinking about how vampires are the perfect mascots for Intuitive Eating: One theory I’d love to research one day is the parallel development of the…

Flourishing through Suffering:The Myth of the Archetypal Biography

Most of the “life stories” we encounter through fiction, movies, and summary biographies (i.e. wikipedia) follow narrative development that isn’t really accurate. In real life, setbacks are common- and part of growth. Recently I got to hear my friend Kate Rae Davis present at Symposia, a series of ted-talk style presentations by fellow alumni of…

Not Knowing Everything Your Kid does Online is a Good Thing

There is an enormous amount of pressure on parents to keep tabs on everything their teen does- especially online. But a little bit of privacy can be a good thing when it comes to healthy adolescent development. The mall, the skate park, the beach, the drive-in, the soda fountain. These aren’t just spaces where generations…

Triggers vs “Triggered”: Trauma Triggers and Modern Language Shifts

It’s normal to feel upset, anxious, or extremely uncomfortable when we encounter difficult content. Having a strong reaction to information that is generally considered troubling or difficult information is normal. Learning how to self-regulate (aka “calm down”) after being exposed to difficult content is part of normal emotional development. Trauma triggers are different. Trauma triggers…

How we Give Language to Traumatic Events Changes how we Heal

  For a while now, the terminology of both “victim” and “survivor” has sat uneasily with me. Both terms center the traumatic experience as part of a person’s identity. Although (and please hear me on this) we can do real harm by minimizing someone’s trauma, one way we can support people in maintaining or building…

Untreated Depression can Cause Permanent Changes in the Brain

  Results of a recent study confirmed what has long been suspected: “neurodegeneration underpins disease progression when major depressive disorder is left untreated,” In layman’s terms, neurobiologists have been able to demonstrate that when depression goes untreated, sections of our the brain can begin to degenerate. This research indicates that untreated depression can cause the…

No one Gets to Decide for Us What a Good Life Is

There are lots of voices shaping our idea of a “Good Life,” but freedom comes when we take ownership of that narrative and choose- with mindfulness, integrity, and the wisdom of voices that have *earned* our trust- what the life we actually want to live looks like. Listening to our deep desires can be terrifying…

Ritual

Ritual doesn’t have to be religious, weird, or woo-woo. Think of ritual as a way to give your brain sensory (sight, touch, sound, smell, etc) symbols of a shift you want to make. Maybe it’s a big ritual like a moonlight burial of the mementos from a relationship it’s time to let go of, or…

Childhood Emotional Neglect and Chronic Shame

Kids who grow up in families where emotional needs are not validated and met often develop a deep sense of internal shame for having needs at all. Over time, in order to cope, many of these kids become adults with little or no capacity to experience their emotions  (a symptom associated with alexithymia). Hilary Jacobs…

Unsolicited Information on Everyone’s Least Favorite Form of Communication

A sketchnote highlighting some interesting research on the psychology behind the behavior colloquially referred to as “dick pics.” Somewhat surprisingly, this research on a group of about 1,000 men, found that most senders of this type of unwanted-imagery believe that the behavior is “flirting,” and that 82% of senders indicated that the hoped the images…

Desire is Not Pathology

Pop-culture “wellness” often pathologizes desire. We are promised that if we can ignore physical hunger, meet our own needs emotionally, and keep our sexual desire confined, we’ll be okay and we won’t have to suffer the affliction of desire. This marketing-tactic is so ingrained that most of us (particularly women) have swallowed it whole. However,…