Raleigh Psychotherapy

409 Snelling Rd

Raleigh NC 27609


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Take It Easy For The New Year

30 Dec 2019

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Raleigh Psychotherapy Blog

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From the earliest days of modern psychological thought, Freud recognized that our psyches are made of different parts. He named them the id, ego and superego. Since Freud's day, research and discoveries have expanded upon those ideas.  One of the most significant discoveries has been the use of brain imaging to lend credence to Freud’s original ideas and expand his theory. Our understanding of the way the brain works has catapulted psychological understanding to a new level.

One of the most valuable contributions of the new technologies, is the di...

Love and hate have a magical transforming power. 

They are the great soul changers. We grow their exercise 

into the likeness of what we contemplate.

    - George William Russell

More often than not, love and hate are misunderstood and confusing emotions. They are siblings, born from the same family but with different characteristics. In the next few weeks, I am going to explore each emotion, their relationship to one another and how they impact us.

What is Hate? 

Hate is many things at once.  It is an emotion, a belief, an action, or a policy. We...

Alex tells his story.  “As a teenager I was considered difficult. Anger was my constant companion. I would be angry when my parents told me to do something, I hated all the rules and regulations of school. I felt controlled and resentful, that I was not able to make my own decisions.”

“When I went to college it was better,” he says.  “I did not feel as angry because I was free to make my own decisions. In hindsight, I realize that I was irritable. Loud noises, loud talking, delays and waiting, to name a few things, would set off grumbling and impa...

  Roger is depressed because of the death of a close friend. He was told to go to a self help group.

  Stacy fought depression all her adult life. She was told to get on a disciplined program of exercise, diet and meditation.

  Allie was depressed after losing her job. She was told to contact a headhunter, join LinkedIn and to treat looking for a job as a job.

  William is depressed and has no idea why. He was told to be grateful for all he has and to snap out of it.

None of this “helpful” advice actually helped. Why? Because each of these peopl...

Before you say, “No, not me!” let me offer you a number.  The National Institutes of Health estimates 17.3 million adults in this country experienced at least one major depressive episode in 2017; that's a little more than seven percent of the  US population.  It is not because 2017 was a particularly bad year for people; it is because depression is something that nearly every one of us will experience as we move through life. 

Depression is part of some important experiences we all have, such as illness, losing a pet, losing a job, a de...

Think about the last two weeks.  How many times would you have described yourself as “angry”? If we're honest about it, we could all say, “Quite a few times,” not because we are angry people, but because the word itself covers so many states of mind, and so many means of expressing it.

A few examples: 

When angry, count to four;

when very angry,


Mark Twain

We have all experienced anger at times when we did not want to feel it. It was inconvenient and interfered with what was going on at the moment. We needed to be logical, and instead we were flooded with anger and all the uncomfortable physical sensations that come with it. It was painful to experience the feelings, and we needed to get rid of the anger as quickly as possible, or so we thought.

Choosing not to deal with anger in the moment, for whatever reason, creates a new set of problems....

What's in a name? That which we call a rose

By any other word would smell as sweet....

William Shakespear 

Anger is a difficult emotion, and one of which many people are afraid. I find in my work that most people are hesitant to use the words “angry” or “mad” to describe their feelings. They use substitute words or slang expressions to describe how they feel; thereby avoiding the word “angry. This creates a situation where their feelings are being mislabeled.    

I cannot stress enough the importance of properly identifying your emotions in th...

Anger is an emotion that has a certain mystique about it. It is blamed for many harmful events and problematic outcomes. When something has a long history and predominate place in human consciousness, myths grow to explain what it means.

They are not necessary factual but they are treated as if they are. 

Being angry can be considered bad and undesirable. Often, it is considered unacceptable behavior to express anger in social situations.  Some even go so far as to consider it dangerous and destructive.

Let's look at it from another angle. Anger is...

“I’m going to be voted off the island,” she wailed. Most of us know she is referring to the TV show, “Survivor.” On the show, team members are made to leave when they do not live up to expectations, or are seen as a threat by the other contestants. No matter the reason, a line was crossed, intentionally or unintentionally, and the situation could not be fixed. The contestant had done something wrong, and the mistake was large enough that they would not get a second chance.


In this case, we need more details to determine what happened.  We kn...