Collective Trauma and Four Coping Mechanisms for COVID-19

Learn what does and what does not work.

Originally posted in Psychology Today

A long time ago, probably from age 14 on, I asked myself if people like me can be happy. I had my doubts. Too much was missing in my life; too little under my control. Nothing could stop the threat to which I was subjected daily.

Time stood still. I could not conceive of a better future, even though the thought was offered to me on occasion. It was as if the ocean floor of my mind was too deep to (more…)

The Silent Treatment

Learn to distinguish between golden silence and harmful silence.

Originally posted in Psychology Today


They say silence is golden. And it is. Unless, of course, it is meant to be a wordless punishment, quiet aggression that is supposed to “show him” or “show her” how horrible he or she was.

Many have difficulties distinguishing the virtuous or wise behavior from the destructive form of communication. Unable to differentiate, they suffer needlessly. In addition, people often feel at a loss for how to respond to either silence or the silent treatment. While silence can be uncomfortable when we were raised in a loud family, the silent treatment can be outright terrifying when, in the past, our primary caretaker withheld love. To have knowledge and pointers on the subject can be considered an essential communication skill. (more…)

How to Build Yourself Up After a Disastrous Relationship

The three courageous acts of self-worth.

Originally posted in Psychology Today

Authentic, meaningful relationships are so hard, I do not think I could persuade anybody to seek out this challenge when they have made up their minds to avoid relationships. And yes, it is fine and possibly wonderful to be single. But often we avoid being in a relationship because of previous, overwhelmingly negative experiences. No rational reason could be powerful enough to take the risk to get burned, and we have all been burned. Nothing can ruin us quite like a person to whom we have entrusted our own heart and then get it, along with our bank account, broken into a million pieces. You might choose to try again for the crazy reason of love alone. (more…)