Raleigh Psychotherapy Blog

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June 27, 2016

Imagine this scene: A mother is in the hospital just having given birth to her baby. She is excited and happy. The nurse gives her the newborn. The baby turns her head toward mother and snuggles.

The baby is searching for warmth and comfort. The child probably is not hungry because it has just spent nine months with all its needs met. The baby is mostly traumatized and seeking comfort and safety.


We begin to learn how to manage our mother and our  environment from birth. Babies are helpless to do for themselves, bu...

June 17, 2016

Alisha came in with a look of fear and anxiety. “What is wrong with the world? Another mass shooting and no-one there to stop it. Why are the police not doing their job and protecting us? I can’t make sense of what is happening in the world. I feel so powerless, what can I do?”

Alisha was the first of many people, both male and female, to express these thoughts about the shooting in Orlando, both in and out of my office. In many ways, I am speechless and feel as powerless as everyone else.

The temptation is to follow the path of anger and viol...

Last  December, I was checking Facebook and saw one of the new live chats pop up in my feed.  WRAL-TV anchor David Crabtree and my friend, producer Stephanie Beck, were taking questions from viewers.  One viewer asked what tips they had for an aspiring news reporter.  Crabtree’s answer, while directed toward a student in the journalism field, can teach everyone an important lesson about life.

He suggested that while in school you:

“Take a course in a subject that you have absolutely no interest in and master it very quickly…. As a ne...

April 25, 2016

Anxiety is something that has become all too common in our modern world, and is something many of us do not enjoy.

Can you think of anyone who appreciates the dread and worry that comes from paying extra attention to an uncomfortable situation? For some people, it can even have a physical element, from headaches and upset stomachs to all out panic attacks.

Disengaging from the discomfort of anxiety can be as simple as breathing, when you know  what you need to do and when. First, we have to know a few things about feelings. Feelings are also called...

February 22, 2016

While attending a recent wedding, three couples caught my attention, because of the qualities in their relationships. The first was the bride and groom, who were aglow with love and excitement. Their happiness was apparent and infectious.

The second couple was nice enough to one another. They spent the majority of the evening separate and engaged with others. They spent little time together. They were  neither attentive nor unkind toward one another.

The third couple stood out for another reason.  They interacted with people and engaged in the acti...

February 2, 2016

Have you ever had a week, day or weekend like this: extra meetings, extra activities and a weekend trip to plan? You keep thinking you will get that piece of work that is due, done after you finish this one task. Unfortunately, “after” did not happen.

That is the kind of week I was having so I decided that I would write this week’s blog article during the weekend. As I was packing for my trip, I realized I had my computer but no power cord. I remained calm with myself and made a plan to stop by the office and get the cord on the way out-of-town. I...

January 29, 2016

When Albert Einstein met Charlie Chaplin, Einstein said,

“What I most admire about your art, is your universality.

You don’t say a word, yet the world understands you!”

Silent film star Charlie Chaplin epitomizes the power of nonverbal communication.  Think about it for a moment: he mastered the use of facial expressions and body language to convey messages in a medium where words were not an option. 

He did so to such a degree that in 1998 – well into the age when words, music, and CGI could tell the story in the movies – film critic Andrew Sa...

December 7, 2015

Holidays may be a great time to see family and friends.  They are also a time when we return to old patterns and behaviors.  When we go back “home,” we revert to the relationships we had growing up, instead of acting as the grownups that we now are.  

These are the same relationships and patterns that formed our views of ourselves and our outlooks on life.  Along with this, unconscious conflicts may come to the surface, which will cause us to end up in a three-sided behavior pattern.

We’ve referred to these patterns as Drama Triangles. T...

August 10, 2015

Last week, we broke down the 5-step process of getting upset. We used the example of a father trying to get his daughter ready for school. He wanted to remain calm in a stressful situation, but instead became anxious and angry. It ended with him yelling at his daughter, her crying, and him feeling like a bad father.

This week, we will use the same scenario, but in a different way. Now that we know the 5 steps, let’s use them to our advantage. Let’s identify ways to calm down at each step so we can achieve a different outcome.

We are not talking ab...

August 3, 2015

Don’t we all want a better handle on our emotions? However, at times you are not able to make that choice to behave like you want and you end up feeling badly about yourself. You can learn skills to help you handle emotional situations differently.

It may feel random, but there is a specific process involved in getting upset. As you learn to recognize the signs, you will begin to know where you are in the process.

The main way to control your emotions is to stop the process before your feelings get too intense.

Let’s look at how emotions escalate b...

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Raleigh NC 27609


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Doubt, Restlessness and Boredom

17 Aug 2020

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