OCD: What Is it and Do I Have It?


Jenny stops by Amanda’s locker to borrow a pencil before the homeroom bell. “Ugh,” Jenny scoffs, eyeing Amanda’s perfectly stacked books and variety of office supplies, all arranged by size and color. “You’re sooo OCD.” Unlike many mental illnesses, which still carry some degree of social stigma, OCD — obsessive compulsive disorder — has gained such popular acceptance that it is often dropped casually into conversation to punch up a joke or as a pithy synonym for “neat freak.” Pop culture … [Read more...]

The Real Lessons for the School Year


It’s that time of year again. You are buying clothes and school supplies for your children. You are thinking about how you are going to juggle different school schedules with your commitments to work or charitable organizations. You are wondering how you will ever have dinner together again as a family when each of your children plays a different sport and has a different schedule. You are trying to figure out what guidelines to give your child in terms of the grades you expect from him or her … [Read more...]

Warning Signs of an Abuser

Couple conflict on street Leaning On Wall

Over 15 years ago, the newspaper columnist “Dear Abby” printed a list of characteristics of men who were likely to be abusive in relationships.  I saved it and have given copies to many women and teenage girls.  Specifically, I gave it to those females who said they thought jealousy and controlling behavior were signs of love, whether in a marriage or in a dating relationship. An example would be Steffi, whose husband slowly separated her from her friends and family, took her paycheck every … [Read more...]

Are You an Introvert?

Inside my head

   Recently I met with a young man, a professional in a scientific field, who was concerned that his shyness and introversion were hurting him in his profession. Even in a field where hard data is analyzed and replicated, he felt that his personality or ”nature”, as he described it, was hurting him. He preferred to listen and observe in meetings rather than fight for air time to speak. He was not the first one to propose ideas or champion his own projects. As a result, he got negative … [Read more...]

My Child Is So Worried, What Should I DO?

crying child

* Johnny cries and resists going to school every morning. * Suzie is afraid of throwing up and won’t go into any supermarket, because the first time she was in a food store, she vomited. * Liam doesn’t sleep well because he becomes so worried the night before a test. * Janine is afraid of speaking up in front of her friends for fear that they will make fun of her, so she goes along with whatever they want to do and never expresses her own opinion. All four of these children struggle with … [Read more...]

Can You Bounce Back? (Part 2)

Bouncing Back

What are some other things that can add to our ability to bounce back? 1. Go into difficult situations as prepared as possible. Think about what can go wrong and try to have a plan for how to deal with it. 2. Be prepared to stick it out. No matter how difficult things get, if you commit for the long haul, you will be less likely to want to quit. T. This is referred to as having “grit.” 3. See some of the positive aspects of stress instead of the things that are hard about it. It can be … [Read more...]

Can You Bounce Back?

Can you bounce back…after something goes wrong, after your kids make you crazy, after a difficult phone call with a client, after a day filled with anxiety-provoking events? The ability to bounce back is called resilience and it is key to managing our lives with strength and skill. Many of us are so busy trying to achieve, trying to manage our children’s lives, trying to be the best at what we do, that we feel we are in a perpetual state of stress. If we do not come down from that state, we … [Read more...]

11 Ways to Reconnect with Your Partner & Strengthen Your Relationship

Holding Hands

Valentine’s Day is over. Perhaps you got flowers, candy, or even jewelry. While these are lovely gifts, they do not have the staying power to improve and nurture a relationship. So what can you do to make sure that you put as much effort into your most important relationship as you do into your job or your favorite hobby? Recently, a young client shared his insight about how to make his marriage better. He noted that he had always seen the marriage as a game of “see who does the most first.” … [Read more...]

Letting Go of Perfect: Letting Go of Perfectionism for Good

Woman cutting Grass

Part 3 of my "Letting Go of Perfect" series. Well, we are not even into Spring and I would bet that most of us have either thrown our New Year’s resolutions in the trash, given up on them, or didn’t even bother to make any. Part of the reason we do that is that they are too big, too hard, and set the bar too high. In many ways our resolutions are a lot like the things we say to ourselves about being perfect. We may try so hard to be perfect, to do things perfectly, to aspire to perfection, … [Read more...]

Letting Go of Perfect: How Perfectionism Hurts Children

Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 9.20.01 AM

This blog is Part Two of a three-part series on perfectionism. Most parents would feel proud if they thought they had the “perfect” child. But few look at the downside of perfectionism and how striving for it can hurt children. In today’s competitive environment, children cannot just be perfect on paper, amassing a large digital resume good grades and extracurricular activities. They need to have real skills to navigate the ups and down of teacher demands, changing friendships, emotional … [Read more...]