Raleigh Psychotherapy Blog

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“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...

“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...

Just as you can love and hate another person, you can also love and hate yourself. It can happen to any of us from time to time. Some of the ways to treat yourself with hate are obvious: feeling worthless or bad, calling yourself ugly or disgusting and or a failure, to name a few.

The type of self-hate I am referring to today is not so obvious.  It happens occasionally and is difficult to recognize. It comes in subtle ways that are disguised as the “right” way to live, the way to be a “good person”, or the way you are “supposed” to act. These...

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...

“To love without knowing how to love wounds the person we love.” 

--Thich Nhat Hanh

Last week, I quoted Erich Fromm who wrote an important book about love called The Art of Loving. It was written in 1956 and is considered a masterpiece. He believed having the capacity to love is a rare achievement. He also believed the capacity for love could be developed over time with dedication, effort and someone to help you along the way. Below you will find four important principles proposed by Fromm that explain why love doesn't automatically fall into place...

Human beings have an inborn need for closeness. As infants, a human will not survive without caretakers, and we need them for a longer period than most animals. Babies learn early to seek attachment to a mother or the person in charge of feeding them. Instinctually, they know that their lives depend on closeness and intimacy. They truly cannot survive without it

While we learn to feed and care for ourselves, we never outgrow the need for closeness and touch. We both need and desire closeness in our relationships and friendships. We want to share o...

To be human is to love. We love our parents, whether we want to or not.  We love our children if we have them. We love our friends, our pets, our cars, our houses, and our hobbies. Everyone has someone or something that they love, probably one of each. 

Love brings us joy and pain. Love can be a blessing, or it can be a problem. Usually love is both blessing and problem. With love comes conflict. Humans are never as vulnerable as when they love. We know this and we are afraid. We are afraid to be in relationships and instinctively protect ourselve...

I find the time surrounding Valentine's to be a difficult one for many people. Those who are in relationships have expectations which do not get met. Those who are not in relationships find it a time of longing and desire. The predominate feeling I hear during this time of the year is disappointment. Not everyone but many dread this day.

It seems to me that the point of the day is to love. We all want to be loved so much that we forget how important it is to love others. Not just our family, lovers and friends, but the human race as a whole.

We for...

We all want to be loved. We search all our lives for that special person who will make our lives complete. There's an entire industry of books and videos and seminars centered on the themes of finding “true love” and “soul mates”. 

Many years ago in his book Soul Mates, Thomas Moore summed up the concept by saying, “a soulmate is someone to whom we feel profoundly connected, as though the communicating and communing that take place between us were not the product of intentional efforts, but rather a divine grace.” It is presented as a relationship...

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Doubt, Restlessness and Boredom

17 Aug 2020

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