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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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What Are The Phases of Psychological Development? Accounts by Freud and Erikson

Freud and Erikson put forward distinct accounts of how people’s psyches develop. They agreed on the time frame for the phases of psychological development but their accounts of what happened during each such phase differed. Read on to learn in what ways. One of Freud’s important contributions to the field of psychology was to posit […]

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Pros and Cons of Self-Defeating Behaviors

Ally and Rob have been dating for a year. They get into a big fight the day before Valentine’s Day. Ally decides to cut off all contact with Rob the following day. What are the pros and cons of her decision? Why people make decisions that are manifestly against their own self-interest is a question […]

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Learn How To Detach Yourself From Work Effectively

Some people find it difficult to detach from their work responsibilities and they keep working nights and weekends. Other people find it difficult to detach from their thoughts about work. This post addresses the latter situation. Detaching from work can refer to physical separation or to mental / emotional separation. In the former case, separating […]

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Tips For Finding A Psychologist In NYC

To find the therapist that best fits your needs at this time, identify the attributes that are important to you now in a therapist, and then narrow the number of possibilities down to the group of therapists with those attributes. There are many well trained and experienced mental health clinicians in New York City – […]

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Managing Transitions Effectively

Transitions are inherently stressful, whether they are transitions for the better or the worse. A first step in managing transitions effectively is to acknowledge and accept their inherently stressful nature. Acceptance does not mean approval, a distinction Marsha Linehan, the author of DBT, has made clear. Acceptance just means recognizing reality as it currently is; […]

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What is a Healthy Emotional Distance from Your Parents?

From the moment of birth, psychological development entails a process of gradual distancing and separation from parents. That process begins in a state of symbiotic and heightened dependence on parents for basic physical, emotional, and psychological needs. This separation process then progresses in stages as a person grows up and develops greater independence and autonomy. […]

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Do I Have Enough Ambition?

The question “do I have enough ambition” could be a disguised statement or a disguised judgment. Our minds are filled with the judgments and beliefs of important figures in our lives: parents, siblings, other caretakers, teachers, buddies, etc. So is this inquiry about ambition your own or is it the internalized “voice” of a person […]

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