3 Ways to Deal with Toxic Family Over the Holidays

toxic family holidays austin therapyAh, the holidays! That time of year when families and loved ones come together to celebrate the season. But for anyone with toxic family members, the holidays can be one giant eye roll, or worse.

You feel obligated to attend events, even though you’d rather be doing literally anything else. Maybe it’s so bad you’re debating cutting certain people or gatherings out of your life completely.

If you or someone you know is dreading an upcoming holiday but are still planning to attend, here are 3 tips to get through it with your sanity intact:


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3 Ways to Support a Grieving Friend

grief sad austin

Managing day-to-day life can be enough of a struggle, but when you throw a death into the mix, suddenly life can turn chaotic and unmanageable. One of the biggest struggles I come across when working with grieving individuals is finding enough social support.

In so many cases, reaching out for support just may not be a viable option. They may be too clouded in their grief to even know what or how to ask for help. Maybe you know someone and are confused about how to help them.

What can you do to support a grieving friend? Here are 3 simple tips:

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6 Ways To Support A Depressed Partner


Is your partner depressed? Do you wonder how to best support them? Living with a depressed partner can be so challenging and cause an immense amount of stress. Every relationship is different, but there are effective ways you can support a partner with depression without damaging yourself or the relationship.

Here are 6 ways to support a partner with depression:

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Simple Steps to a Happier Relationship

Simple steps to happier relationshipBe kind

Decades of research on marriages have shown that kindness (combined with emotional intelligence) is the most important factor in a happy marriage. Kindness is like a muscle that becomes stronger when exercised. Make an effort to engage in daily acts of small kindnesses, which will add up to a cumulative effect of thoughtfulness and consideration in your relationship.


We all get stressed out by the demands of daily life and take our irritability and frustration out on our partners. That’s part of being human. And part of being in a day-in-day-out marriage or intimate partnership. The way to keep those little hurts from turning into ongoing relationship resentments is to make a repair. Own your mistakes and say you’re sorry. Continue reading “Simple Steps to a Happier Relationship”

5 Ways Couples Therapy Can Improve Your Relationship

Couples Therapy Can Improve Your Relationship1. Stop the Blame Game and Take Responsibility.

Often, couples present in therapy blaming one another for problems in the relationship. There is a belief that, if only my partner can change his/her behavior everything will be better. Yet, that’s typically not the case: in most relationships both partners contribute to distress and dissatisfaction through their behavior. Therefore, the first step in couples therapy is to stop the blame game and view problems as part of the relational system.

2. Become Aware of Relationship Patterns

Have you ever had an argument about your partner’s handling of a money issue? Only to realize it wasn’t about the spending at all. Couples therapy can help you pull back from everyday problems (what therapists call content) to see the larger recurring patterns in the relationship (what therapists call process). The process of how you communicate with your partner is influenced by your personality, your family of origin, and your previous life experiences. These automatic, learned responses influence every aspect of your relationship – and can lead to a satisfying intimate partnership or a distressing one. Continue reading “5 Ways Couples Therapy Can Improve Your Relationship”