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Making Decisions: Living With Loss and Compromise

Making a decision means planting a flag on one of your options but it also means accepting the loss of all your other options. How are decisions made? It isn’t clear anyone has the definitive answer to this question. Some therapeutic approaches, such as motivational interviewing, can help facilitate a change process. Therapies such as […]

Personality 101

“Personality” refers to how a person functions in life, including all the ways he or she perceives things and behaves. We all have a personality and our personality is something we feel is intrinsic and essential to who we are; it is one of the things we are most reluctant to change. Later in this […]

How Do People Form Attachments? An Account by Bowlby

Freud found that people were motivated by two basic needs: hunger and libido (i.e. desires / aggression). Bowlby added a third basic need to this list: the need to attach to others. Bowlby based this discovery on his research and on evidence from the fields of biology and the study of animals. One of Freud’s […]

What Are the Infant’s Phases of Separation From the Parent? An Account by Margaret Mahler

In her seminal research on the mother-child relationship, Margaret Mahler observed the baby develop from a state of “symbiotic” dependence on the mother to a state of exploration and progressive separation.  In the 1950s, Margaret Mahler founded a child studies center in NYC where she and her team observed, recorded and analyzed the interactions of […]

Relationship 101: The Power of Validation

Validation and empathy are often mistaken one for the other but they are not the same. Empathy is an internal process and validation is an interpersonal act. Validation can be a powerful skill in defusing arguments between partners.   Validation and empathy are often used interchangeably but they are distinct. Empathy is the ability to put […]