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How to Create Balanced Relationships

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. Read the rest of this entry »

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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

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. Read the rest of this entry »

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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

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. Read the rest of this entry »

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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?

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. Read the rest of this entry »

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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.

Helping Teens Deal with Grief

November 16th, 2011 by Margaret Conry, MFT

Teens experience grief differently than a child or adults. Although an adolescent may understand death, in contrast to adults, he/she may have less ability to cope because of intense, emotional responses. They often feel overwhelmed by their emotions, depressed, angry, and fearful of the future.

There is also an increase in  suicides among teenagers to-day and they may not know how to cope with the death of their own peers. They may see suicide as a way to cope with their own problems and They needs someone to model a healthy reaction and to explain that suicide is not a  solution as there is always another way to solve a problem. Read the rest of this entry »

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Margaret Conry, MFT is a therapist in private practice in San Ramon, California. For more information, please visit his listing on the Therapist Directory.

Dealing with Teenagers

October 28th, 2011 by Michael Hessdorf, LCSW

DEALING WITH TEENAGERS

Are you kidding me? You didn’t do anything for your project and its due tomorrow? What were you thinking?

Nate, please shut off the computer. You have been on it now for the past three hours.

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Mike Hessdorf, LCSW is a practicing psychotherapist for over 20 years. His practice consists of working with teen and adults. He sees patients individually and in groups. He also has two teenage children that are wonderful and at times, maddening. Feel free to call him for a consultation @ 973-378-5804 or visit his Therapist Directory Listing

Coping with Loneliness

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.
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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.

Put No One Out of Your Heart

July 20th, 2011 by Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

What is an open heart?
The Practice
Put no one out of your heart.
Why?

We all know people who are, ah, . . . challenging. It could be a critical parent, a bossy supervisor, a relative who has you walking on eggshells, a nice but flaky friend, a co-worker who just doesn’t like you, a partner who won’t keep his or her agreements, or a politician you dislike. Right now I’m thinking of a neighbor who refused to pay his share of a fence between us.

As Jean-Paul Sartre put it: “Hell is other people.”

Sure, that’s overstated. But still, most of a person’s hurts, disappointments, and irritations typically arise in reactions to other people.

Ironically, in order for good relationships to be so nurturing to us as human beings – who have evolved to be the most intimately relational animals on the planet – you must be so linked to others that some of them can really rattle you!

So what can you do?

Let’s suppose you’ve tried to make things better – such as taking the high road yourself and perhaps also trying to talk things out, pin down reasonable agreements, set boundaries, etc. – but the results have been partial or nonexistent.

At this point, it’s natural to close off to the other person, often accompanied by feelings of apprehension, resentment, or disdain. While the brain definitely evolved to care about “us,” it also evolved to separate from, fear, exploit, and attack “them” – and those ancient, neural mechanisms can quickly grab hold of you.

But what are the results? Closing off doesn’t feel good. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dr. Hanson is a neuropsychologist in San Rafael, California. His practice includes adults, couples, families, and children, as well as psychological assessments of children and adults related to temperament, school performance, and educational and vocational planning. For more information, please visit his listing on the Therapist Directory

Drop The Case

July 6th, 2011 by Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Who are you prosecuting?
The Practice
Drop the case.
Why?

Lately I’ve been thinking about a kind of “case” that’s been running in my mind about someone in my extended family. The case is a combination of feeling hurt and mistreated, critique of the other person, irritation with others who haven’t supported me, views about what should happen that hasn’t, and implicit taking-things-personally.

In other words, the usual mess.

It’s not that I have not been mistreated – actually, I have been – nor that my analysis of things is inaccurate (others agree that what I see does in fact exist). The problem is that my case is saturated with negative emotions like anger, biased toward my own viewpoint, and full of me-me-me. Every time I think of it I start getting worked up, adding to the bad effects of chronic stress. It creates awkwardness with others, since even though they support me, they’re naturally leery of getting sucked into my strong feelings or into my conflict with the other person. It makes me look bad, too cranked up about things in the past. And it primes me for overreactions when I see the person in question. Yes, I practice with this stuff arising in my mind and generally don’t act it out, but it’s still a burden.

I think my own experience of case-making – and its costs – are true in general. In couples in trouble, one or both people usually have a detailed Bill of Particulars against the other person. At larger scales, different social or political groups have scathing indictments of the other side.

How about you? Think of someone you feel wronged by: can you find case against that person in your mind? What’s it feel like to go into that case? What does it cost you? And others?

The key – often not easy – is to be open to your feelings (e.g., hurt, anger), to see the truth of things, and to take appropriate action . . . while not getting caught up in your case about it all. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dr. Hanson is a neuropsychologist in San Rafael, California. His practice includes adults, couples, families, and children, as well as psychological assessments of children and adults related to temperament, school performance, and educational and vocational planning. For more information, please visit his listing on the Therapist Directory

Tune Into Others

June 30th, 2011 by Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

What Are They Feeling?
The Practice
Tune into others.
Why?

Imagine a world in which people interacted with each other like ants or fish. Imagine a day at work like this, or in your family, aware of the surface behavior of the people around you but oblivious to their inner life while they remain unmoved by your own.

That’s a world without empathy. To me, it sounds like a horror film.

Without empathy, there can be no real love, compassion, kindness, or friendship. Empathic breakdowns shake the foundation of a relationship; just recall a time you felt misunderstood – or even worse, a time when the other person could care less about understanding you. In particular, anyone who is vulnerable (e.g., children, the elderly) has a profound need for empathy, and when it’s a thin soup or missing altogether, that’s very disturbing. In my experience as a therapist, poor empathy is the core problem in most troubled couples or families; without it, nothing good is likely to happen; with it, even the toughest issues can be resolved. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dr. Hanson is a neuropsychologist in San Rafael, California. His practice includes adults, couples, families, and children, as well as psychological assessments of children and adults related to temperament, school performance, and educational and vocational planning. For more information, please visit his listing on the Therapist Directory