How to Be Brave About Your Mental Health

Lion lying down

Talking about intimate experiences, of any type, is tough. You’re being vulnerable, unsure of your audience’s reaction, worried about oversharing or making your audience uncomfortable. But to end the stigma surrounding mental health, those with mental health issues are being encouraged to be more honest and brave, and open up about their mental health needs.

This kind of transparency can help remove the taboos and stigma associated with mental health and make society more comfortable talking about it. After all, when it comes to physical wellness, we understand that health is a broad spectrum. Some people wear glasses. Some have bad knees. Why not be as open about our mental health and the conditions associated with that? Why feel ashamed? Continue reading How to Be Brave About Your Mental Health

8 Ways to Maintain Friendships When in a Relationship

Two friends sitting on bench

Nothing beats the “can’t eat, can’t sleep, reach for the stars” feeling of new love.

We all know how it goes. Suddenly you’re so smitten, there’s no one else you’d rather spend time with than your new beau. Hanging out one night a week quickly turns into seven, and next thing you know you’re leaving a toothbrush at their apartment and wearing each other’s clothes.

Despite the sheer bliss of the start of a new relationship, navigating the early stages of love can be immensely overwhelming and all-consuming. They say love is like a drug, and it turns out there’s a chemical reason for that: It causes the brain to release a flood of dopamine, creating a sense of euphoria. It feels good, and you can’t get enough. Continue reading 8 Ways to Maintain Friendships When in a Relationship

How to Tell if You’re “Clingy” and What to Do About it

Koala hanging from tree

When it comes to a new relationship, some love the chase, others find it exhausting. Once it’s more solidified, some enjoy spending every free moment with their partner, others need their space.

Figuring out how to act from day one in a relationship isn’t easy — do you text again or give him space? Do you see him on Friday and Saturday or figure he needs a night off? Is it normal to analyze his social media activity or are you inching toward obsessive danger? Continue reading How to Tell if You’re “Clingy” and What to Do About it

How to *Actually* Communicate

Orange telephone on a table

As much as we talk, sometimes we’re pretty bad at actually communicating. As social beings, though, our well-being depends upon effective communication. In fact, studies show good communication not only helps us meet our basic needs for food and shelter, but it’s key to establishing trusting relationships and achieving higher personal goals such as self-fulfillment.

Communication may be a vital part of our day-to-day interactions, but that doesn’t mean we automatically know how to do it effectively. In fact, in my practice, I find one of the biggest sources of relationship distress centers on communication. So how should you actually communicate? Continue reading How to *Actually* Communicate

Am I Being Assertive or Stubborn?

Donkey on a beach

Winning arguments isn’t a personality flaw. There’s nothing wrong with standing up for your beliefs. “Assertive” is an admirable personality trait — just like “good-hearted” and “honest.”

“Stubborn,” though? That’s a name no one wants to be called.

When an assertive personality starts to tip into obstinance, friends and family may drift away and work performance might suffer. No one wants to spend time with you anymore — and that sucks!

How do you know if you’re toeing the line? Here’s how to tell if you’re being assertive or just being a jerk. Continue reading Am I Being Assertive or Stubborn?

Are There Good Reasons for Your Bad Feelings: Interview with Randolph M. Nesse

Randolph M. Nesse

Our relationship with mental health is typically based on challenges we’re currently experiencing — but what if our current issues are rooted in the distant past? Often overlooked is the fact that our predispositions for conditions like depression and anxiety have existed for millenia. From an evolutionary standpoint, why haven’t these detrimental traits and behaviors been filtered out and how might they affect us now?

Randolph M. Nesse, MD, a founder of the field of evolutionary medicine and author of recently-published Good Reasons for Bad Feelings, helped us understand the gap between human physiology and modern environment, and how we can apply this field for better therapy outcomes. Continue reading Are There Good Reasons for Your Bad Feelings: Interview with Randolph M. Nesse

How to Own Your Instincts (and Beat Your Insecurities)

a woman's hands on her lap

I have a loud inner critic.

It’s this nagging voice in my head that constantly tells me all the ways I’m messing up, falling short, disappointing people, and making a fool out of myself. This sneaky voice pretends it’s protecting me from failure when in reality it’s just getting in the way of me owning my instincts, trusting my decisions, and feeling confident about my abilities.

In her 15 years of working as a professor and licensed Talkspace psychotherapist, Cynthia Catchings, LCSW-S, has observed how people’s insecurities affect them across different settings. Continue reading How to Own Your Instincts (and Beat Your Insecurities)

Finding the Best Online Therapy for You

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The best online therapy provides a convenient, affordable way to receive mental health support. It gives clients an opportunity to connect with reputable therapists in a flexible and accessible scheduling environment, as well as offering up varied options for communication (just to name a few of its benefits).

With its many advantages over traditional, in-office therapy, it is no surprise those who are interested in receiving this form of support have a lot of choices when it comes to their provider and platform — but not every online therapy provider is created equal.

Continue reading Finding the Best Online Therapy for You

How to Accelerate Your Progress in Therapy

Man waiting for the train

Therapy is often considered a mysterious process, leaving many people unsure about what it actually is and how to make significant progress while in treatment.

At its core, therapy is both a relationship and a process. The process itself is dictated by a therapist’s style and a client’s wishes for their journey in therapy. The relationship (the single most important change factor in therapy) is the process of collaboration between client and therapist. This relationship is known as the therapeutic alliance. Continue reading How to Accelerate Your Progress in Therapy

Why You Should Stick with Therapy, Even When It’s Tough

Man smiling at the sun

No matter how eager you are to change your ways, there will come a point in therapy when you think, “This sucks. Dante forgot to include ‘Therapy’ as the tenth layer of hell.”

It’s hard work. Maybe you had a panic attack during a session, or realized some difficult truths about your personality. Sometimes therapy is boring, or you’re convinced your poor therapist is bored. You talk about the same things week after week, over and over again, and nothing in you is changing. Continue reading Why You Should Stick with Therapy, Even When It’s Tough