Raleigh Psychotherapy Blog

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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...

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...

Maya Angelou was a poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She died in 2014 at the age of 86. She was a wise and respected woman, who grew beyond her abusive childhood and used her early experiences to help others.

At 16, she became the first black female streetcar conductor in San Francisco. Over the next 24 years, she worked as a calypso singer, waitress, dancer, actress, prostitute, and a madam. She began her journey to become the woman most of us knew - the writer, poet, and speaker at President Clinton’s inauguration - when she wr...

Trust is the product of vulnerability that grows over time and requires work,

attention and full engagement. Brene Brown

We are living in a world where there is a crisis of trust. Brene Brown is a well-known research professor at the University of Houston who has spent her career studying courage, vulnerability, shame, empathy and trust.

Over the course of her research, she found that trust is built in the small moments of life. When asked about building trust, people cited events that included being asked about a loved one who is sick; a neighbor w...

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...

As you can see, co-dependency and counter-dependency work together inside to keep the dance going and the distance steady: not too close and not too far.

The word “co-dependency” gets thrown around a lot. It is used to describe people, relationships and caretakers. It can be a helpful term, one that identifies well-intended but harmful behaviors. It also can be used as a criticism, a weapon, a way to shutdown and control another person.

You’ll remember from the last post that we’re defining a co-dependent as a person with little to no sense of self.  They must center their minds around a person, an idea, or a substance in order to have an identity or to feel like they exist. This leads to co-depend...

Much has been written about co-dependency, its characteristics and the many ways it impacts relationships. Little has been written about the other side of the coin: counter-dependency. When circumstances are right, the co-dependent and counter-dependent will change roles. Even though they look very different they are both a product of fear. One is not worse than the other or more painful than the


A comparison of the two will make counter-dependency easier to understand.

1. Co-dependents cling to others, wanting to have their partner around a...

John is the head of a non-profit organization that benefits the poor. He is loved and respected, yet feels it is never enough. His identity is his work. He neglects his family and friends.

Jane is the mother of three. She dedicates her life to her children’s needs and wants. She has no social life and no interests of her own.  Her only sense of identity is as a mother.

Sally is a “closet” alcoholic. She works all day, but at night and on weekends she is consumed with alcohol. Every activity must include the opportunity for alcohol. She lives to dri...

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Raleigh NC 27609


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Doubt, Restlessness and Boredom

17 Aug 2020

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