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Family Dysfunction – The Children of Substance Abusers

Posted on: March 4, 2020

Countless millions of adults in this country had a parent with a drinking or drug problem. A brief look at some of the history of the 1900’s can clarify this phenomenon. Prohibition was repealed in 1933, and this tended to validate, or at least give some justification for, the consumption of alcohol by the World War II generation. Alcohol was associated with good times and the good life for what is sometimes called the “drinking generation” who lived through WWII, the survivors of whom are most gone now or at the very last stages of the life span. Their children, the Baby Boomers, who are now in middle age and entering older age, tended to use not only alcohol but drugs as well. And again, they often associated the use of these substances with good times. This substance-abusing legacy was often passed to their own children, who are now in the their thirties and forties. Unfortunately, and estimates of the numbers involved are vague, a certain proportion of those who use alcohol or drugs become addicted to these substances.

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

Surviving The Life Crisis

Posted on: February 25, 2020

The Bleakest Times of Our Lives Can Give Rise to Remarkably Positive Life Transformations

A life crisis is one of the inevitable features of our lives. Learning how to survive a crisis is a crucial skill, and one that we will probably need more than once throughout our lives. A crisis can occur when things begin to fall apart around us. The things that shape us – our marital status, job title, relationships with family and friends, health, or financial security – have disappeared and we find ourselves adrift without any clear guidelines that tell us what to do next. We feel lost. Do we hide? Do we deny this is happening? Do we rage? Do we fear the world? The answers may not be obvious. Nobody ever told us that the world would turn out this way. But one thing is clear – this is a crisis.

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

Eating Disorders

Posted on: February 14, 2020

An Eating Disorder Is a Very Serious Problem That Demands Immediate Attention

The Chinese used to bind the feet of women to make them smaller. So tiny and fragile were their feet, in fact, that some women were left essentially crippled, barely able to walk. To the Chinese, this was a sign of beauty and social status. But to us it seems a cruel and bizarre practice. 

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

Depression In Men

Posted on: January 24, 2020

The incidence of depression in our society seems to be on the rise. Recent estimates suggest that as many as one in three of us will experience some form of depression within our lifetimes. Others claim that depression may even represent a symptom of our times which are characterized by alienation, lack of strong community bonds, and hopeless economic situations for many.

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

Looking For Love In All The Right Places

Posted on: January 17, 2020

“This above all – to thine own self be true.” – Polonius in Hamlet (William Shakespeare)

Although some people prefer to remain single throughout their lives, most people strive to connect with and live in partnership with one special person. There are many obvious advantages to finding a relationship partner – physical, economic, social – but there is another significant advantage in that working through the ups and downs of a relationship allows us to come to terms with many of our own personal issues. In fact, these personal issues may make or break a relationship, depending on whether we choose to work on them. If you are single now, you can use this time to learn more about yourself and what makes relationships work.

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Posted in: Marriage Counseling

Working On Your Relationship – By Yourself

Posted on: December 13, 2019

Marriage Counseling insights brought to you by Westlake Village-based California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

You Can Create a Successful Relationship – Even If You Must Do It Alone

Conflicts can be expected to arise in even the strongest of relationships. Two people who attempt to create a relationship always bring their own issues, backgrounds, expectations, personalities, and inner difficulties into the interplay that occurs between them. It is not at all unusual that the two people might find themselves, at times, in a deadlock. They see no way to break the impasse and to recapture the spirit of good will that they once had and would like to have again. Each party’s personal conflicts come into play and stifle the communication, sharing and love that seem necessary for harmonious interaction. Rather than confronting our own part in the problem, we may resort to blaming our partner – “If only she (or he) would change, then we could be happy.”

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Posted in: Marriage Counseling

Communicating When You Have Conflict

Posted on: November 27, 2019

Marriage Counseling insights brought to you by Westlake Village-based California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

Conflict between people is a fact of life – and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, a relationship with frequent conflict may be healthier than one with no observable conflict. Conflicts occur at all levels of interaction – at work, among friends, within families, and between relationship partners. When conflict occurs, the relationship may be weakened or strengthened. Conflict is a critical event in the course of a relationship. Conflict can cause resentment, hostility and perhaps the ending of the relationship. If it is handled well, however, conflict can be productive – leading to deeper understanding, mutual respect and closeness. Whether a relationship is healthy or unhealthy depends not so much on the number of conflicts between participants, but on how the conflicts are resolved.

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Posted in: Marriage Counseling

Handling Stress In Everyday Life

Posted on: November 12, 2019

Individual Counseling insights brought to you by Westlake Village-based California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

Stress happens when we perceive an event as disturbing or threatening. Our primitive ancestors experienced stress when they had to fight off wild animals, invaders, adverse natural events, and other threats to their survival. These days we are more likely to feel the anxiety that emerges from stress when we face overwhelming responsibilities at work or home, experience loneliness, rejection, or the fear of losing things that are important to us, such as our jobs or friends. When we are exposed to such events, we experience what has been called the fight or flight response. To prepare for fighting or fleeing, the body increases its heart rate and blood pressure. This sends more blood to our heart and muscles, and our respiration rate increases. We become vigilant and tense. Our bodies end up on full alert – and this allows us to take action. When these anxiety-inducing conditions continue over a long period of time, however, and have a significant impact on how we live, we may begin to suffer from one of the anxiety disorders.

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

Resisting Violence in Children

Posted on: October 28, 2019

Family Counseling insights brought to you by Westlake Village-based California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

Families Can Do Their Share to Address Violence in Their Children and Emerge Stronger in the Process

Violence in children is a complicated issue with many causes. It is easy to point fingers at some of the more obvious potential culprits. For example, television provides a steady diet of violence. It has been estimated that by the time children turn 18 they have been exposed to 40,000 deaths on TV, usually with no mention of the grieving that families endure when a loved one has died. Similarly rock music, and rap music most of all, often contains lyrics explicitly promulgating killing and other violence. Video games seem to go a step further – they not only are violent but the player of the game is also the shooter. Movies glorify violent deaths and revenge. The Internet is filled with websites carrying violent themes and even sites that tell the viewer how to make bombs. Guns are easy to get and have become a symbol of rebellion and power among some youth. Our schools have become segregated with cliques who intimidate each other – the jocks versus the goths, for example – sometimes in brutal ways. Bullies make some children afraid of going to school.

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Posted in: Family Counseling

Handling Personality Conflicts

Posted on: October 10, 2019

Relationship Counseling insights brought to you by Westlake Village-based California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

Some people are easy to be around and some are not. All of us seem to have at least a few difficult friends in our lives. They can range from those who are a mild annoyance to those who can make life seem nearly intolerable at times. People at this negative end of the continuum, especially if we have contact with them on a daily basis, can jeopardize our mental and emotional wellness over time – particularly if we lack the tools for responding to them in an adaptive way.

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Posted in: Individual Counseling