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...

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...

We all have templates by which we live. A template is a way of looking at our experiences through which we give meaning to our lives. When you ponder the meaning of an event or something someone said to you, life’s templates emerge. These templates are largely hidden from ourselves. Like the title of the TV show “Hidden in Plain Sight,” they operate in our daily lives without our noticing.

Templates Play an Important Role

First, they tell us how to behave. There is not enough time to decide how to act in every moment of our lives. We adapt by...

With an outward mindset, you value others. It leads you to want to be helpful and to work together for the good of all.

I have found that passion, although fun, exciting and motivating, is also fickle. It seems to wax and wane with the moon.

The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and happiness, yet sometimes it's hard to cultivate those feelings simply because a calendar says it's time.   When fear, anger and uncertainty are in abundance, how do we find an attitude of thankfulness?

Dr. Robert Emmons has a simple yet powerful solution:

“Life is a series of problems that have to be solved — and a lot of times those problems cause stress. Gratitude can be that stress buster.” 

Research shows there are attitudes and behaviors that can help us lead calmer and happier lives. Performing...

From when you get up in the morning to when you go to bed, life can be difficult and challenging. There are things that we cannot change and there are things we can; sometimes, the only thing we can change is our attitude, but even that can make a significant difference and make our life more satisfying.


Joan hated to get up in the morning. She decided she did not want to dread mornings any longer, so she carefully examined how she felt when she awoke, and what might make her feel better.

One highlight of the morning for Jo...

When something bad happens in your life, how quickly can you bounce back to your usual self?  What about when something stressful happens?  Or something tragic?  

This actually has a name: resiliency.  It is the ability we have to successfully adapt to difficult or challenging life experiences; it is the ability to respond quickly to change without being overwhelmed, and acting in dysfunctional or harmful ways.

  It is also the ability to function in everyday life and do what is necessary to take care of yourself with good grace and good...

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...

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...

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Raleigh NC 27609


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Doubt, Restlessness and Boredom

17 Aug 2020

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