Raleigh Psychotherapy Blog

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“It is astonishing, in the end, how difficult it is to know

the things you know.  What I mean is that all I had discovered 

was everything I knew all along.”

― Aoibheann Sweeney

Anyone who has spent much time with children has heard the common

refrain, “I forgot”.  It can be the answer to anything from, “Where are your shoes?” to “Why are you late?” The phrase “I forgot” is probably more true than most adults want to accept. There are many ways that our mind has to get us to “forget” a piece of information, an event or an experience that it finds...

“I feel so stressed.”

“I am so worried.” 

“When will this end? I am so anxious.” 

In this moment, I hear these statements all day from every avenue.  They fill my therapy room, my email, the internet and every other form of media. I cannot answer the questions about when will it end or how our lives will be shaped by this, but I can offer two ideas to help you get through the pandemic in a calmer way.

Humanity's Affair with Worry

Humanity has a long history with the idea of worrying. It is a form of superstition that through history secretly traded in...

“In truth, the minute we arrive we are born singing,

thought this is often mistaken for crying.” 

---Mark Nepo

When a baby is born, the doctor, the nurse, and the mother all wait to hear the baby’s first cry.  Silence, anticipation and fear are all experienced in that brief moment, waiting for the necessary sound that indicates new life. It is the sound of life. The traditional thinking is that the babies comes into the world crying. Yet, how would that experience change for those who wait for the sounds of life if they thought they were listening f...

Being human means you can love and hate at the same time. Love and hate can make us behave in ways in which we are not fully in control.

Love and hate sound like opposites; however, the two emotions are quite closely connected in the brain. I would suggest that indifference is actually the opposite of love, and can kill any relationship faster than hatred. In order to explain, we need to look at how the brain functions.

Rage is linked to the centers in the brain that anticipate reward. Brain research has shown that stimulating reward circuits resul...

November 19, 2018

Have you had the experience of wanting something, working hard to get it

and when you finally earned it, you no longer wanted it?  You're not alone.

While reading The Little Paris Book Shop, I was introduced to a

character who exemplifies the experience of getting something he wanted

and then no longer wanting it. Max has written a best selling novel. As a

result, he is wildly popular and well known. Rather than feeling proud of his achievement and success, he is hiding from the world. Max is suffering

from guilt and writer’s block.  He says, “I really...

While reading Louise Pennie’s book The Cruelest Month, I was introduced to the concept of “Near Enemies.” Chief Inspector Gamache, the chief homicide detective, is having a discussion with Myra, the local psychologist, about possible suspects in a murder in a small English village, when she asks him if he had heard of the concept of Near Enemies. It is two emotions that look the same but are opposites. One pretends to be the other, and it is often mistaken as the other, but one is helpful while the other is harmful. As long as the harmful emotion...

Have you wondered why you say your going to do something, and either never get started or do the exact opposite? Perhaps the problem is that you are in conflict with your self.

Once again, I am reminded that life is filled with uncertainty, hardship and pain and there are riches to be found in every situation – pennies from heaven – if you look for them.

I propose that there is a value in knowing the truth, even if it is uncomfortable or painful.

When his wife said, “I thought you liked kitties,” it broke the “spell” of fear. They were able to laugh together, transforming the moment to one of joy and togetherness.

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Raleigh NC 27609


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Doubt, Restlessness and Boredom

17 Aug 2020

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