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Life on a Swing: Bipolar Disorder

Thursday, March 29th, 2012 by Dr. Ilona L. Tobin

We all experience a variety of moods, including happiness, sadness, anger and frustration. Having “good” moods, “bad” moods and fluctuations in moods is an inevitable part of life.

But when a person experiences extreme emotional highs (mania) followed by extreme lows (depression) and these fluctuations severely and negatively impact how they behave and function in their daily lives, a mood disorder could be the underlying cause. (more…)

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Ilona Tobin has been a psychologist and a marriage and family therapist for more than 25 years in Birmingham, Michigan. For more information, please visit her listing on the Therapist Directory.

How to Create Balanced Relationships

Sunday, March 11th, 2012 by Dr. Ilona L. Tobin

“I love you. You…you complete me.” From the film Jerry Maguire.

Whether this quote melts your heart at the thought of such commitment or makes you cringe at the idea of a power imbalance, the fact is, we all relate to people in different ways. (more…)

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Ilona Tobin has been a psychologist and a marriage and family therapist for more than 25 years in Birmingham, Michigan. For more information, please visit her listing on the Therapist Directory.

How to Cope with Challenging Kids

Sunday, March 11th, 2012 by Dr. Ilona L. Tobin

Joyce always expects the unexpected when it comes to her 8-year old son Milo. Within seconds, he can go from sweet-tempered and happy into a vicious tantrum. She’s grown overwhelmed by phone calls from teachers, relaying how Milo hit another child in class or got into a fight on the playground. (more…)

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Ilona Tobin has been a psychologist and a marriage and family therapist for more than 25 years in Birmingham, Michigan. For more information, please visit her listing on the Therapist Directory.

10 Ways Anxiety Presents Itself

Monday, February 20th, 2012 by Dr. Ilona L. Tobin

Common symptoms of anxiety include racing heartbeat and butterflies in your stomach. However, anxiety can present itself in numerous ways.

  1. Constant worries/dread. You feel anxious nearly all the time, although you may not know why. To help reduce anxiety and stress, aim for 30 minutes of aerobic exercise on most days.
  2. (more…)

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Ilona Tobin has been a psychologist and a marriage and family therapist for more than 25 years in Birmingham, Michigan. For more information, please visit her listing on the Therapist Directory.

OCD: Do your Quirks Rise to the Level of this Disorder?

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012 by Dr. Ilona L. Tobin

Mary felt like a prisoner to her fear of burning her house down.

Despite having never left the stove on, Mary was convinced that if she left the house without checking the stove three times, her house would catch fire. If she left the house and forgot to check, or couldn’t remember if she had, she would turn the car around and come back. (more…)

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Ilona Tobin has been a psychologist and a marriage and family therapist for more than 25 years in Birmingham, Michigan. For more information, please visit her listing on the Therapist Directory.

Coping with Loneliness

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011 by Dr. Ilona L. Tobin

“Loneliness,” writes Abigail Van Buren, “is the ultimate poverty.”

As humans we are social beings, but sometimes we lose touch with that social part of ourselves—or we don’t have enough chances to exercise it. When this happens, we may feel lonely and isolated.

What Loneliness Is—and Isn’t

Loneliness is the feeling that we would like more connection, community and companionship than we think we have.

The curious thing about feeling lonely is that it has roots in a measurement. When we feel lonely, we are measuring the amount of social interaction we have against our ideal of desire for how much we would like to have. That “ideal” differs with each individual and can change over time.
(more…)

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Ilona Tobin has been a psychologist and a marriage and family therapist for more than 25 years in Birmingham, Michigan. For more information, please visit her listing on the Therapist Directory.

10 Creative Decision Making Techniques

Thursday, June 30th, 2011 by Dr. Ilona L. Tobin

Most of us have our own way of making decisions. We may carefully consider the pros and cons, consult with experts or ask loved ones. Here are 10 more unusual methods to try.

1. Flip a coin. Then notice your first reaction. If it lands on the “wrong” choice, you’ll feel disappointed.
(more…)

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Ilona Tobin has been a psychologist and a marriage and family therapist for more than 25 years in Birmingham, Michigan. For more information, please visit her listing on the Therapist Directory.

The Danger of Comparisons

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011 by Dr. Ilona L. Tobin

“To love is to stop comparing.”

—Bernard Grasset

Comparing ourselves and our loved ones to others seems to be ingrained into us. We notice similarities and differences. It’s one way we learn to navigate our world.

The trouble comes when we notice differences and then use that information to feel “less than.” For instance, rather than noticing someone’s success and letting that inspire us to take the risk we’ve been wanting to take, instead we may despair, believing that we could never have that kind of success ourselves.
(more…)

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Ilona Tobin has been a psychologist and a marriage and family therapist for more than 25 years in Birmingham, Michigan. For more information, please visit her listing on the Therapist Directory.

Are You Worth It? You Decide.

Monday, April 18th, 2011 by Dr. Ilona L. Tobin

As comedienne Lucille Ball quipped: “You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” Part of that self-love is feeling that you’re “worth it”—that you are good enough, and that you deserve respect, indness, and satisfaction with your life. Although this seems simple enough, unworthiness is more common in our culture than we might expect.

Simply put, “worthiness” is a person’s judgment of their own value, merit, or usefulness. It stems from our deep human need to be known and seen for who we really are and what we have to give. In healthy amounts, it’s the sentiment most clearly expressed in the words of author and poet Maya Angelou: “I’m not perfect, but I’m pretty good.”

(more…)

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Ilona Tobin has been a psychologist and a marriage and family therapist for more than 25 years in Birmingham, Michigan. For more information, please visit her listing on the Therapist Directory.

Living With Grief: How to Survive a Significant Loss

Friday, March 18th, 2011 by Dr. Ilona L. Tobin

One of the hardest things we’ll ever experience is the loss of someone—or something—dear to us. Grieving is a normal and natural response to this loss. While death is one of the most common losses, grief also comes with other big and small life changes, such as a serious illness, the end of a relationship, the loss of a job, relocating to an unfamiliar city, or other lifestyle changes.

Even if you aren’t currently grieving, it can be beneficial to think about the grief process. At its core, grief is a part of the experience of being alive…and human. And while grief isn’t pleasant, it can give us insight, compassion and strength that we wouldn’t otherwise have found.

Here are some ways to access those greater qualities, survive a significant loss or help someone experiencing grief.
(more…)

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Ilona Tobin has been a psychologist and a marriage and family therapist for more than 25 years in Birmingham, Michigan. For more information, please visit her listing on the Therapist Directory.