Raleigh Psychotherapy Blog

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If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know I find valuable messages in movies. If you are looking for a film with a helpful message and lots of fun, the Pixar film Inside Out will not disappoint. It is the story of Riley, a young girl from

the Midwest who has her life turned upside down when her father started a new job in San Francisco. 

Riley is guided by her emotions: Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness. These emotions live in the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help navigate her through everyday...

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...

Humans need to connect with each other; it is a biological imperative.  We also need solitude. Solitude calms our nervous system, increases our creativity and heightens intimacy with our friends, family and lovers. Connection and solitude sit at two ends of a continuum.  Move beyond social connection and you find overwhelm.  Move beyond solitude and you find isolation and loneliness.

Our Personal Continuum 

Each of us has our own way of viewing this continuum, and our own opinions on what different steps of this spectrum should be called....

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...

March 9, 2020

Vinny needed some electrical work done on his house. He was new to town and did not have anyone to give him recommendations for trustworthy electricians. He searched online, and found dozens of options.  He became paralyzed and could not make a decision about who to call. He was overwhelmed with fear because he did not know who he could trust.

Gail was on her way to an important business meeting. She planned to pitch a new

product to a potential customer. On the way she encountered a fire engine with its lights flashing and siren blaring. Her breat...

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.


Help me to make beginnings:

to begin going out of my weary mind into fresh dreams,

Daring to make my own bold tracks in the land of now….

Help me to believe in beginnings, to make a beginning,

so that I may not just grow old,

But grow new

each day of this wild, amazing life

you call me to live

with passion….*

We look forward to beginnings, the beginning of a movie, the beginning of a game, the beginning of a good meal. They represent excitement and hold the hope and promise of something tasty, entertaining, or pleasurable. That is not all that beginnings...

Jack came into the office feeling deep and painful shame. “I made so many

stupid decisions,” he told me. “I hurt everyone I love and who loves me. I am a failure in life. I feel so ashamed of myself. I can see no way I can ever forgive myself for the years that I hurt others. If people knew who I really am and what I

did, they would hate me like I hate myself. I am a bad worthless person and

should have never been born. 

“I don’t do those things any more, but no matter what I do it never seems to be

enough.  I try to make amends and change.  I don’t k...

Aron and his family spent a week at the beach with their extended family. Unfortunately, the timing was not ideal for Aron and he had to work a large portion of the week. When the weekend was planned, his company was having a slow period and it looked as if he would be able to spend time with his family and have fun.  The week of his vacation, an unexpected project came up and he had to attend to the last minute details in order for the deal to close.

As the week progressed, Aron became more disappointed that he was missing all the fun. He would w...

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Raleigh NC 27609


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Doubt, Restlessness and Boredom

17 Aug 2020

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