The Post-Holiday Blues And COVID

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Photo by Cheron James on Unsplash

A couple of days before Christmas I heard a song on NPR while out shopping. The song was Adam Weiner’s Christmas Makes Me Cry, recently written for the Morning Edition’s Song Project. It nearly brought me to tears. Although the title was written during a college break years before, the song captured beautifully the hauntingly sad sense of loneliness and isolation that many of us are feeling almost a year into the worst Pandemic in 100 years. It would not be a normal Christmas this year, despite my buying a six-foot Christmas tree and stringing solar lights around the outdoor…


Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate our preoccupation with productivity.

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Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash

As a therapist, I hear it every day, “Covid has put my life on hold. I can’t even think about the future, so I have no motivation to do anything.” It’s as if the present has no purpose without an ability to imagine a future, to work toward a goal, even if it’s a trip to Europe or hosting a wedding. Just living in the “Now” is intolerable. We not only worry about the basics, like paying the rent, buying food, and getting medical care; we fear that as the economy grinds to a halt, our lives will too. …


Not Just An Interpersonal Dynamic

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Photo by Philippe Mignot on Unsplash

Gaslighting. Most of us know what it means. And many of us have been its victim. Gaslighting is most often associated with personal relationships, but its insidious nature is also evident in the social and political realms.

Wikipedia defines gaslighting as a form of psychological manipulation in which a person or a group covertly sows seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or group, making them question their own memory, perception, or judgment, often evoking in them cognitive dissonance and other changes, including low self-esteem.” …


Later Life Parenting

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Photo by Echo Grid on Unsplash

Starting a family later in life has been on the rise since the 1970s when the Baby Boom generation came of age. In the ensuing years, we’ve seen a plethora of books on the subject, including my own (Midlife Parenting: A Guide To Having and Raising Kids in your 30s, 40s and Beyond).

While authors warn of medical complications with advancing age, they also note the advantages of waiting. In my book, too, I touted the advantages of starting a family later, claiming that new parents over 35 were more financially and emotionally stable than couples in their twenties, and…


The Impact of Stress

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Photo by 🇸🇮 Janko Ferlič on Unsplash

When the Coronavirus hit and everyone was required to quarantine for weeks that became months, one of my first thoughts was, “Well, here comes the next baby boom!” That, of course, was based on the historical precedent of hard times causing spikes in birthrates. Disasters seem to encourage procreation. After all, what else can couples do when they are housebound — but make love and make babies? Even Planned Parenthood’s Director of Medical Standards thought the virus would mean people having more time for sex, hypothesizing that we might see an increase in pregnancies as a result.

Early in the…


How Empathy And Healthy Guilt May Help

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Photo by Kat J on Unsplash

Jeremy sits on the bench, waiting for his mother to arrive, his head bowed, his feet shuffling back and forth, unable to find a comfortable resting place. He’s accused of impulsively smacking a little girl in his preschool class after she pushed him. Now he’s in big trouble.

That’s how it starts for kids — especially boys — with ADHD. By the time they reach adulthood, they’ve been accused, reprimanded and punished for everything from forgetting their homework to blurting out inappropriate comments. …


How To Reconcile Being a Descendant of a Founding Father And Slave Owner

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Photo by Ian Jones at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial

“I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.” Thomas Jefferson

A friend of mine recently asked me (during the Black Lives Matter protests) whether a painting on her wall appeared “racist.” It depicted several Black women on a dusty road, women who she now realizes were slaves. She discovered the painting in a thrift shop and was instantly drawn to the swirl of color and the hauntingly beautiful but sad-looking faces of the women. Something about it felt familiar. She could relate to it, even though she was a “privileged” white woman — and…


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Photo by Prateek Gautam on Unsplash

My husband and I took up candle making when we had little money for entertainment. It was a creative venture that we could do together. We invested a great deal of time, energy and love into our fledgling creations. We discovered unique ways to decorate each candle, using mostly found materials. One time, in a little shop off the beaten path, we unearthed a poem scrolled in decorative lettering onto a sheet of parchment paper. The author was identified as Anonymous. We liked the look, feel and sentiment of it. We burned the edges of the parchment for effect and…


How to Know What Your Type is

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Susan complains that she and her husband, Jack, don’t communicate. He says he communicates just fine; she just doesn’t listen. She feels frustrated. He feels unheard. Maybe therapy can help.

Included in most therapist’s toolbox are exercises to improve communication, like active listening, reflecting back, or making “I statements” such as “I feel….” or “It’s my experience that….,” statements that don’t make their partner feel put down. These are all well and good, but they often fail to address an important underlying problem — personality styles.

It was Swiss psychologist Carl Jung who first developed a comprehensive theory of personality…


AVOIDING THE INEVITABLE

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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Several years ago I was contacted by “my first love,” who I’d never really gotten over. He’d run into a family member who gave him my number. Enough years had passed that I believed the pain had subsided. I agreed to meet with him, and found myself falling in love all over again. I noted how much more mature he was. During our previous time together he was an alcoholic. Now he was an AA member, as well as a speaker and sponsor for other newly sober members. The old chemistry was still there. I felt as though he brought…

Christi Taylor-Jones

I am a licensed MFT, Certified Jungian Analyst and published author and writer. I am interested in anything that affects humanity

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