Showing posts from 2019

Dating in the Age of the Apps

For those of us a bit older, remember what it was like when you did not meet someone organically? First it was the personal ads in the back of New York Magazine, and then it was

Now it is as easy but really as hard as a swipe to the left or right based on a photo.

There are two experiences I hear about all of the time. The first is that a person cannot seem to get a date. Either they are not matching with people or never get passed the initial texting phase. For others, they get a million dates but it is so hard to find someone that you feel a connection with.

This makes app dating another forum for rejection, frustration, competition, disappointment, anxiety and depression.

What else comes with app dating? The pressure from outside influences, typically your loved ones, who look at it and believe its so easy to date. Just swipe and magic! So-and-so met on an app, so it must be simple! The ease of it is deceiving.

When anyone finds it hard, they look to outside re…

Life is Short, Let’s Make it Count

We may hear, “Life is short, pay attention to what’s important” all of the time, but do we listen?

In my work on myself and when working with my clients, I am always asking the question: are we living our life in the best way or are we living to avoid fear? Is this why we stay in relationships too long, work too much and let the small stuff get us down?

We must ask ourselves:

Are we making enough time to connect to the people we love the most?
There is nothing more important than the people we cherish. It tops money and all materials. The most joyful people are those that have close connections.

Should we be letting go of people who do not make us feel good?
They do not have to be toxic people in our lives, but focusing on them means we are spending less time on people that bring us joy.

Are we enjoying our lives enough?
Joy for each of us is different. Some people find joy in their work and if you are one of them, you are so fortunate for getting to do something you love for so many hours a…

What to Look for When Choosing a Therapist

I love being a psychologist.  It is a really unique job.

As in any field, no two shrinks are alike.  Therapists have different levels of education, completed different internships and field placements, and went to different schools.  People recommend therapists for a variety of reasons.  Shrinks may hold a certain place in society, have many books written or had multiple guest appearances on TV.  For me, as a provider and consumer of therapy, these considerations do not mean much.  We need to know what to look for besides their outside image.

A problem I see is when someone is in need, and they put all their trust into the professional:
“Oh, but this person has a doctorate, they must know what they are doing!”
“She helped my friend through the most difficult points of her life so she can do that for me.”

It is a confusing process... figuring out what good therapy really is.

One therapist can be great for a person, but not connect to someone else.

If my practice has taught me one thin…

How Do You Know it is Time for Therapy?

Living in New York City, it seems that everyone has a shrink presently, or met with someone at some point in their lives.

But there are so many who do not, and who would benefit from it so much.   They have seemingly legitimate excuses to not start: they do not want to spend the money; they do not have time; they work too much; their problems are high class or first world; they can speak to their friends; they can speak to their mother.

This may reveal what is happening unconsciously for a person: they do not feel deserving of help; it feels indulgent; they are afraid of what therapy might reveal; they cannot deal with what happened when they were young.

For people in their 20’s, there is the barrier of youth and time.  At this age, you rationalize that it will all just turn around. It is extremely hard to differentiate what is a real issue versus what is growing pains.  The transition from college to work, break ups to dating and finding new love, figuring out how to balance a socia…

The Ups and Downs of Social Media

Social media is always a hot topic in my world, but it seems to be amplified for my clients during summer. This month, I am noticing how it makes my girls and guys feel about themselves… summer seems particularly difficult.

I think because it is summer there are high expectations to be having fun. This is different in the winter when people tend to hide out more, stay inside, and have an easier time hiding their feelings. When the weather changes, people are out and about whenever it is nice out. They take even more pictures than usual: from extravagant vacations to Greece to weekending in the Hamptons and all that’s in between… falling in love, showing off their summer bodies, and sharing anything they can that may make another person feel less about themselves in that moment.

Social media in and of itself is not a bad thing, at least for its original purpose which is to connect people, it is an amazing tool for business and it is also a way to reach people that was not available…

Small Changes Make a Big Difference.

Thanks to technology and social media, starting at a very young age we are more aware of what is going on in the world than ever before.

Today there are more solutions presented to change our habits and behaviors to minimize the way we damage our environment.  There are now energy saving cars to hurt the environment less, paper straws to not hurt turtles, vegetable burgers that taste like beef to not hurt animals and the environment, but still, people stay stuck in their ways to avoid experiencing any

discomfort.  We actually cannot use the excuse that we didn’t know, or that there is not scientific data behind global warming.

One person cares about plastic, so they do not buy anymore small bottles of water, but they eat meat.  Another will not give up plastic straws because they love them.  No one wants to give up their cars, especially the SUVs. People treat their dogs and cats as family members but do not seem to want to care about the rest of the animal kingdom...even though the…

The Should's

The “should's” in life is the greatest obstacle we face in regards to our mental health.  Every day, I sit with my clients as they unpack everything that they are unhappy about and it goes something like this:

I “should” be married - I feel awful that I am not.
I “should” be having a baby - I feel terrible that I have not yet.
I “should” be earning more money - I feel like I am failing.
I “should” look better - I feel bad about myself all of the time.

My clients, and perhaps you, my reader, may feel like you are up against what your family, culture and society expects from you.  Or maybe you are not falling short at all but you are unhappy because you are not living the way you imagined you would be at this stage of your life.

The biggest barrier to satisfaction is to compare and contrast each aspect of your life but especially in the era of social media (i.e. Instagram) it is so easy to get caught up with each swipe.

The should's are endless:

I should be prettier, thinner an…

Pride Month

It is pride month: a time to commemorate how far we have come since the Stonewall Riots while also acknowledging how far we have to go.  As a person who embraces differences, I feel a sense of kinship even though I am not part of this community.

My parents were Holocaust survivors.  I am a first generation American.  Although I grew up here with a great life, on the inside I have always identified with difference and persecution.  You cannot psychologically escape these experiences when you are the child of a survivor.  This reflects more than just gender orientation; it reflects how intolerance towards any kind (religious, racial, age, political affiliation – especially now, and etc.) causes so much tragedy in our world. These are some examples of the larger, or ‘macro’ topics.

I see it happening regularly on a ‘micro’ level, as well.  The judgments that people have when they experience others who act differently than they do is astounding to me.

Off the top of my head...

Stay at ho…

Soulmates: Here is what I know to be true.

Soul mates are the people you learn the most from. Mine have taught me the most valuable lessons and helped me grow as a person. They taught me to be less sensitive, less controlling, set boundaries, say no, to put my needs first, be more accepting of people and their faults, and more.

The three women who taught me this are Lisa, Shari and Jaime, who are pictured here. Lisa and Shari are my two best friends from childhood. We met when we were 10 years old and have been in each other’s lives for over 40 years. Then I met Jaime 10 years ago. To call them friends would be an understatement, they are my family - my soul connections.

Throughout the years we experienced many trials and tribulations in our own lives, ranging from births, deaths, illness, accomplishments and disappointments. Through it all, we have stayed close - forever growing and changing. We never have to worry about anything when we are together… we are able to be our most authentic selves.

What is the secret to ha…

Life Lessons from My Late Father

On this Father’s Day, I want to pay tribute to the man who taught me the most precious life lessons by the way he lived his own life.

Born in Poland in 1933, my dad was a survivor of the Holocaust; a child during the war, who afforded me all the opportunities he wasn’t able to have.

He was ahead of his time. European born men of that generation typically came with the mindset that education and career were far more important for a man, whereby marriage and taking care of the home and children was the real goal for a woman. He wanted me to have an education, a career, and be able to take care of myself just as much as he wanted that for my brother. Not only did he encourage me to go for a PhD, but he cheered for me every step of the way. Just the fact that I existed was enough to make his eyes light up when I walked into a room.

I tell my clients: your kids are watching your every move. They will do as you do, not as you say. I know that to be true because my dad taught me the most …

Our Greatest Teachers; Our Pets

The newest edition to my family is Haley.  She is 2 months and 2 weeks old…I rescued her from the ASPCA (as I did my 4 year old guy Fitz – pictured here when I rescued him as a kitten the same age).

The reason she is now part of the family is because I had to put my guy to sleep…Sawyer was sick and it was time…and it was very painful loss. Anyone who loves their pets knows how it feels…

Now I have this new energy in the house – filled with excitement, joy, wonderment and love. The circle of life of feeling joy and sadness at the same time.

Haley is excited to be alive every minute of every day. The smallest things bring her joy. She is playing, running, purring, and giving and receiving love from me, and her new brother. Everything she sees is a wonderment…

The field of positive psychology tells us the things that we need to do to find joy in life: be optimistic, find pleasure, bring fun into your life, give to others, be grateful, connect to the people you love, find meaning, f…

Don’t Get Stuck in Regret

Don’t Get Stuck in Regret

The theme of my week personally and professionally (which happens so often) is: You really can’t change the past. No matter how much you try, wish, cry…what’s done is done. Too often, too many of us get stuck in the trying – or get stuck in regret.

This week, I happened to run into some people from my past that reminded me of love lost, friendships that didn’t survive, and some painful moments when I’d done/experienced things that didn’t represent me at my best. At this stage of the game, I don’t feel regretful very often, but this week, I found myself back in the same old feelings of days long gone. As always, I took to my chair for meditation, and used my tools to put it all back where it belonged. I had to get back to me, and stay present in my life today.

 Most of my clients this week had a theme of being stuck in regret. It was so ironic that I was in the middle of doing the same round of work on myself that I was asking them to do. Since I was so raw in …

Too Self-Conscious?

This picture of me from the ‘70s makes me nostalgic for the days when nothing in the world made me self-conscious... not even my ridiculously frizzed-out hair!  What happened to that carefree and happy little girl!?  When and why did I start taking self-care so seriously?  Given that even this past year when I had four surgeries, I barely missed a blowout or a manicure, have I gone too far?

We all grow up and become aware of ourselves in new ways.  Our expectations change both internally and from society.  I believe in grooming and self-care that helps us feel our best.

That said, when does it represent something else that needs to be examined?  For example, are you watching your diet and exercising because you care about health or because you want to be skinny at all costs?  Are you spending your savings at the plastic surgeon’s office, and often thinking about what you’ll “fix” next?

I speak from no high horse here.  Especially as I get older, I struggle as I ask myself: What am I …