Raleigh Psychotherapy Blog

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We are living in a moment of tremendous potential.  We are surrounded by change and the potential for more.  An important movement is underway: the movement toward anti-racism, justice reform, and to end police brutality and systemic racism. 

It would be very easy to do nothing, even if we wanted to help.  Life gets busy, we get involved with our everyday schedules, and things that are out of sight seem to disappear into tomorrow.   Many of us doubt the impact one voice can have.  The world is so big and there are so many people, it is e...

Think about the last few movies you watched… or television shows… or books you read.   What kind of relationship did the main characters have?  Chances are good they were either falling in love or falling out of it.

Popular culture presents us very few examples of what an actual intimate relationship looks like. Most entertainment today focuses on one of two points in a relationship: the romance, or the conflict that comes after “the thrill is gone.”  There is another aspect of relationships that we seldom see, and is something we do want to...

“I think we all have empathy. We may not have enough courage to display it.”                                 

Maya Angelou

Empathy is so important and you might wonder why people don’t practice it more often especially in the light of current events. As with most human characteristics and behaviors, there is more to the story than meets the eye.

Empathy has to be developed. It is taught and practiced. We learn through words, actions and the experiences we have...

Empathy is about standing in someone else’s shoes, feeling with his or her heart, seeing with his or her eyes. Not only is empathy hard to outsource and automate, but it makes the world a better place.

Daniel H. Pink

Empathy is more than a word in a quote posted to someone’s Facebook page in an attempt to be poetic.  It’s a key ingredient in fostering loving and caring relationships. Being able to experience a situation from someone else’s point of view is a requirement for creating intimacy.


Even outside a romantic co...

We spend our lives looking for happiness, often in the wrong places.  At a moment like this, when we are all at home with plenty of time to think, many of us are searching even harder.  We seek happiness in all the obvious places, and we come away disappointed. Perhaps what we should be seeking instead is freedom.

As children, we are taught what happiness is when we are read a fairy tale or watch a Disney movie. As adolescences, we are taught what happiness is through the messages of popular culture and love songs. As adults, we continue to s...

February 17, 2020

Vulnerability is the birthplace of connection and the path to the feeling

of worthiness.

– Brené Brown

Vulnerability has a bad reputation in today’s world where so much importance is placed on power over others.  It is believed that if we push a little harder, lean-in a little further, or work a little smarter, we will get all that we want. Success is measured in having more and climbing the ladder to higher levels of success. The idea of vulnerability – living in uncertainty, taking unknown risk, and allowing

emotional exposure –  is an anathema.


Maya Angelou was a poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She died in 2014 at the age of 86. She was a wise and respected woman, who grew beyond her abusive childhood and used her early experiences to help others.

At 16, she became the first black female streetcar conductor in San Francisco. Over the next 24 years, she worked as a calypso singer, waitress, dancer, actress, prostitute, and a madam. She began her journey to become the woman most of us knew - the writer, poet, and speaker at President Clinton’s inauguration - when she wr...

Carlos went for his yearly physical and the phlebotomist asked, “Are you ready for Christmas?” This was a particularly difficult question for him because he has no one with whom to spend the holiday. He and his girlfriend broke up, his family is far away and his friends will all be off visiting their families. He is heart broken and disappointed, he expected that he would be having a happy holiday with his girlfriend. The phlebotomist was making typical holiday conversation, she had no idea that Paul was having a difficult time.

Disappointment is...

Most of us have heard the story of the scorpion and the turtle. It can illustrate many points and teach a number of lessons.  I see it as a parable about mistrust and trust, and how old messages formed from treatment in our formative years can lead us to abandon our good thinking.  Let’s take a look.

The Scorpion and the Turtle

The scorpion and the turtle meet on a river bank. The scorpion cannot swim, so she asks for a ride across the river on the turtle’s back. Mr. Turtle has been around the block a couple of times, has heard the stories abo...

You can’t please everyone all the time, but that doesn’t stop most of us from trying.  When we hear the criticism that comes from not pleasing others, that knowledge doesn’t stop us from feeling the disappointment.  Today, we’re going to take a thousand words to examine what criticism is, how it hurts us, and how you can stop yourself from feeding what can become an endless cycle.

What is Criticism?

Criticism is the analysis and judgment of someone or something’s merits and faults.  It is an expression of disapproval based on perceived merits or fa...

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Raleigh NC 27609


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Doubt, Restlessness and Boredom

17 Aug 2020

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