business man asking for help

Saying “I Need Your Help” Does Not Make You a Failure

The Success Trap: When Help Feels Like Failure If you’re like most of my patients, people probably tell you that you ought to be proud of your success: money, job, car, house. Perhaps you’ve even earned an impressive title—CEO, President, Doctor. But what people don’t know is that, for you, there’s still something missing. A big something. Perhaps it’s stability in your relationships. Or you anger too quickly. Maybe you can’t even name it. What you do know is that, despite all your victories, life is still harrowing. For the highly successful, admitting “I need your help,” can feel like a failure. Even with the pain, it’s not easy to walk through my door, and patients come to me with all sorts of stories. Some have tried therapy without benefit. Friends or family have pushed others. Still, others come because they don’t know what else to do. Nearly universal, however, is their deep sense of failure. It doesn’t matter what car a patient drives to the office or what title they have on their business card, to be hurting, and sitting in my office feels as if they’ve failed in a significant way. Seeking help can feel like anything but a success. A book can help you understand how your engine works, but you trust only an expert mechanic to take it apart. Help and expertise are not the same things. The reality, however, is that help and expertise are not equivalent to investments of time or resources. A book can help you understand how your engine works, but you trust only an expert mechanic to take it apart. The same is true of emotional health. One of my patients is a surgeon who once said to me, “No one would be expected to perform an appendectomy on themselves, so why should I try to solve my emotional trauma on my own? That’s your expertise.” He’s exactly right. As a surgeon, my medical expertise is identifying the source of your pain, but instead of finding it in your physical body, the clues I search for are hidden deep within your unconscious. It’s careful, delicate work that takes commitment and time. The same you’d expect of your surgeon, your mechanic, the best negotiator on your sales team. In your area of expertise, whatever it may be, you likely know that just because you can’t achieve a goal on your own, doesn’t …

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3 Porn Myths You’ll be Glad Aren’t True

3 Porn Myths that Aren’t True- From A Doctors Perspective (Pssst: The Doctor Says it Can Actually be Good For You) If only I had a dollar for every time I got to tell someone that there was nothing wrong with what they were doing—or wanted to do—in the bedroom. Most common worry: porn. I’ve chosen to bust 5 of the most common myths about porn and why it’s anything but bad for you. I’ll bust three porn myths now, and two later; stay tuned! Porn Myth #1: Porn is bad for you. Not so fast. Historically, anti-porn arguments have primarily been moral in nature and have little basis in medical science. While porn can lead to addiction (like hundreds of other behaviors), it more often supports and reinforces acceptable sexual behavior. In a healthy, adult relationship, porn can be wonderfully useful. Not only do many couples find it fun, but they often use it to spice up or reignite their sex lives. Many watch it together for new ideas, and some occasionally watch it to help get themselves in the mood when necessary. Like many other things in life, the secret to porn use is moderation, and it is not damaging to a relationship unless one partner regularly chooses it instead of sex with their “real” partner. Porn Myth #2: Porn is a sign that something is “wrong” with you. Let’s be clear: porn doesn’t make you a pervert. It can, however, be a sign that you’re avoiding dealing with uncomfortable feelings or experiences. If you find yourself turning to porn instead of your real partner, or if you find it interfering in your ability to function in daily life or fulfill your responsibilities, please seek professional help to deal with your compulsive behaviors. If you use it in moderation, however—enjoy. Porn Myth #3: Porn is the same as cheating. Many women feel betrayed when faced with the realization that a husband or boyfriend is looking at porn—some as profoundly betrayed as if they’d been cheated on. Often, their immediate reaction is, “What’s wrong with me? Am I not enough?” Some relationships even end over porn. When my patients face this issue, I help them understand that porn and cheating are not the same things. What is the same, however, is the feeling of betrayal. It’s legitimate for a woman to feel betrayed by a man who secretly goes …

Letting Go of Adult Children

Letting Go of Adult Children: How to Get to the Other Side of the Grief   Letting go of adult children can be extremely challenging. Some time ago, I spoke with a mother who was having a terrible time with her adult daughter. Her daughter was in her early twenties, living at home. The tension between the parents and child was becoming too much to bear. It was straining to the point of almost breaking what had long been a beautiful relationship.   She fought with her daughter regularly, nagging at her for not getting out of bed until noon and criticizing her for not being more helpful around the house. In essence, she stayed in her role as a parent to a young child while expecting her daughter to act more maturely.   When talking about her struggles, I used a phrase I often use with those who have lost a loved one. I spoke of “getting to the other side of the grief.” Rather than staying stuck on this side of grief, I talked about how rewarding one’s relationship with their adult child can be. To get there, however, parents have to walk through letting go of adult children, letting their kids make their own mistakes and find their paths. My patients breakthrough Today, my patient’s daughter no longer lives at home. She gave her daughter a deadline by which she had to move out and stuck to it. She grieved the entire time; watching her daughter move on was awfully painful. Now, however, she says she’s catching more and more glimpses of her daughter as an adult. They can discuss future career options and have even begun to collaborate on ideas for decorating her apartment.   Of course, allowing her daughter to grow up wasn’t a smooth transition. As my patient put it, letting go was “horrendously painful.” But she recognizes now that without forcing herself to walk through that pain, to “get to the other side of the grief,” they’d still be where they were, arguing and combative and deeply unhappy about their relationship.   Nowadays, many more children live with their parents into adulthood   It’s not an unfamiliar story. Many more children live with their parents into adulthood today than they did even twenty years ago. For many, the decision is primarily financial, and with proper respect for healthy boundaries, such arrangements can work …

Anxiety and Phobias the Down and Dirty

Phobias, anxiety, disorders, and the unconscious. We’re going to continue our talk on panic and anxiety good with that, so that’s an excellent point to point out if you have anxiety about something, then it’s not a mental disorder. If you know what the reason is, then it’s a normal reaction — a typical response that you’re anxious about, like picking up the little munchkins on time. People come in with anxiety, and they don’t know why, and that’s when it becomes interesting. Or they think they know why and it might not be the real why. That’s when we dig in and do our work because that’s what’s most exciting. It’s like being a detective because you have to find out what it is. It’s unconscious, and why is it unconscious because it hurts. There’s some pain there’s something below the surface. This is painful; you know your brain is smart. Most people’s minds are sparse; it wants to cover up pain; it doesn’t want to feel pain. You may want to know why, but they don’t want to know why. Our job is to get glimpses of that as it comes to the surface and pulls it out, helps them understand in a safe place where they know that, yes, it’s going to hurt, but it never hurts as much as they imagined. It’s like a memory from when you were a child, and you couldn’t deal with pain and stressful situations like you do now. It’s like ripping off a band-aid type of pain It’s usually something as simple as a negative feeling towards somebody that you love. I’ve talked to patients about them having a fantasy about hurting somebody or maiming somebody they feel so guilty about it, but they’ve just been trying to bury it all this time. The fantasies are normal, but there’s a lot of people who do not believe that, and some do not think it’s reasonable to have fantasies about any feeling or doing anything. For this, I’ll use my Stephen King approach. Stephen King would be in jail if we thought weird fantasies were against the law. That’s right; there’s a big difference between thinking and acting. Symbolism is very abstract. I’ll give you an example; sometimes, little crawly things mean invasive. So has somebody been invasive? In a session, I would say okay thanks we’re on the right track because I know you’re eliciting a response from me right so it could be somebody who is a mean or forcing you that could …

How to Enforce Boundaries Without Being the Bad Guy

Hello again! Dr. Laura Dabney and Joelle Brant, life coach we are here helping men, executive men with relationship problems.   We are helping everybody get over the fear of seeing or getting help from somebody in mental health if you need it yes for your emotions and or your relationships. But really almost everybody with emotional problem ends up having a relationship problem.  You can  say for this that it definitely might not be a huge relationship problem but it does affect the relationship.   yeah I think that’s most of the time true what Joelle and I were kind of laughing when we started because we continue to get questions and feedback on our boundaries episodes.  we’ve had two write ins about boundary talks before and they seem to be a big hit so somehow this is an issue.    actually you know what else has been a big issue we’ve been talking a lot with reporters lately that’s been a big change in our practice I don’t know if you noticed on Instagram and Facebook but there have been more articles we’ve been quoted in and they are that topic that keeps coming up over and over again a sociopath.   somehow that’s the big topic I hear it’s there’s some YouTube war going on about somebody claiming someone’s a sociopath and some people thinking he’s not. and that’s maybe part of it but sociopath is a good topic.  so let us know if you wanna hear about that that one put that one on the back burner  because we talked a lot about that.      well maybe a little too much experiences with sociopaths and that’s not fun.  and then we have boundaries for today and we thought we would add a little twist and talk about how to set boundaries.    How to  enforce them without being the bad guy.  we get that question in session a lot so we’ve talked in our other episodes here about what a boundary is and why you need them so check that out I think is that our paprika one.  that’s too funny.   that is our paprika example.  Because you were in the paprika example, make  sure to get me paprika and Joelle’s paprika shirt haha.   so boundaries are important.    once you understand a boundary  and why you need them how do you set that?  yeah so people are very concerned about being the bad guy whenever we talk about discussing negative feelings. or putting up a boundary which involves a negative feeling so I think that’s why a little connection.   like like somehow if you let on you have a …