Schema Therapy and Emotional Deprivation

I often work with men and women who describe a feeling of emptiness and persistent loneliness, but can’t seem to articulate why they feel this way. Often times, these clients lead lives that they feel “should” be fulfilling, though nonetheless they are plagued with this sense that something is missing. Although these clients may have successful careers, have friends they care about, social skills, and hobbies, they might feel as if they are going through life checking off boxes or a to do list, rather than truly being present or enjoying themselves.

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Elizabeth Cobb
The Importance of Practicing Self-Compassion 

Research shows that practicing self-compassion has significant benefits for our mental health and overall well-being. Specifically, those who practice self-compassion experience greater social connectedness, emotional intelligence, happiness, and life satisfaction. Self-compassion has also been found to help reduce anxiety, depression, shame, and fear of failure, as well as increase self-esteem and resilience. Those who practice self-compassion are more likely to have healthy relationships with others as well as have a stable sense of self-worth, not requiring external validation to feel good about themselves.

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Sarah Spitz
What Is Mindfulness and How Do We Practice It?

Mindfulness is a state of attentiveness that promotes awareness of the present moment, including the feelings, senses, emotions, and thoughts that come along with it. Within this, mindfulness encourages not only awareness of the present moment, but ACCEPTANCE as well. By acceptance, mindfulness refers to a place of nonjudgement which allows individuals to not only recognize and observe what they are feeling, but to do so without judgement of themselves for that feeling or present moment.

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Sarah Spitz
Are You Getting in Your Own Way?

It is commonly said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. So why is it that so many people find themselves in a seemingly endless cycle of despair?  While there is no one easy answer when it comes to patterns of self-sabotage, I do believe that there are often several potential factors at play. 

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Elizabeth Cobb
Exploring Termination in Therapy

It is wonderful when you’re able to find a good fit with a therapist — you’ve worked for a while on developing trust, you’ve shared intimate details and thoughts about your life, and you’ve committed to taking time every week to focus on you. So, understandably, you might be hesitant to let this go. Here are some pointers to help you reflect on the trajectory of your therapy and when it might be time to wrap things up:

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Elizabeth Cobb
Understanding and Cultivating Resilience

You may not think you have resilience. You might not even be sure what resilience really means. The APA defines resilience as “the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplaces and financial stressors. It means bouncing back from difficult experiences.”

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Elizabeth Cobb
Break Free of Perfectionism: Make Mistakes!

Many people say that they are perfectionists.  So what is perfectionism? Perfectionism is a way to be constantly disappointed with yourself.  Perfectionism is an excuse to avoid a situation where you may receive an unsatisfactory result or even fail.  Perfectionism is an obstacle to taking chances and risks.  A dear friend once told me, “life is about making mistakes.”  I make mistakes every single day — and let me tell you, a big secret to life is accepting that mistakes are an inevitable part of being human and learning to move forward when you make them.  

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Elizabeth Cobb
Why Should I Feel my Feelings?

I used to be told to “feel my feelings” by an old therapist, and I’d secretly roll my eyes. If I knew I was feeling sad or angry, why in the world would I stay in that state? What was the point? I didn’t understand how it was of any benefit to me, and it felt like mumbo jumbo therapy crap. And anyway, even if I wanted to “feel my feelings,” what did that mean? After doing a ton of research (and becoming a therapist myself - that’s another post), I found my answers. There are two compelling reasons to feel your feelings, and they’re both based on cutting-edge neuroscience:

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Elizabeth Cobb
Holding Space – Strengthening Trust Through Validation

Validation is certainly not a foreign concept. Chances are, you’ve been practicing the art of validation your entire life, consciously and unconsciously, and it is reinforced by the positive and beneficial outcomes you experience. When you validate someone when they approach you during a moment on distress, or when they are feeling unsure, doubtful, or otherwise discontent with present circumstances, there may be an immediate change in the person’s verbal and nonverbal communication that makes you more self-aware of your role in changing their emotional stability. 

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Sarah Spitz
How to Achieve Perfectionism in Parenting: Stop Trying to be Perfect

In Brene Brown’s book, Daring Greatly, she dedicates an entire chapter to what she calls, Wholehearted Parenting: Daring to be the adults we want our children to be. She says, “When we obsess over our parenting choices to the extent that most of us do, and then see someone else making different choices, we often perceive that difference as direct criticism of how we are parenting.” She goes on to write about not shaming yourselves, your kids, and other parents. I interpreted this chapter and much of her book as: ​we all need to be kinder to ourselves.

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Elizabeth Cobbchildren
Defeating the Valentine’s Day Blues for Singles

Month two of the new year comes around and you notice that stores, television ads, and much of social media begin advertising love. You can barely go a day without being reminded of the holiday coming up. That good old fourteenth day of February. Does this day provoke sadness in you? Do you not know what to do if you don’t have a significant other to spend the day with? 

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Elizabeth Cobb
Developing a Healthy Relationship With Exercise

The health benefits of exercise are undeniable and run the gamut from heart health to stress relief. However, if you are in recovery from an eating disorder, exercise is a tricky subject. Often times reincorporating exercise triggers old thought patterns and behaviors, so proceeding with caution is vital. So what can you do when you feel ready to reincorporate exercise? How can you tell whether it is coming from a disordered or healthy place? 

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Reflecting on Our Resolutions

The New Year brings fresh beginnings, direction, dreams, goals, and resolutions.  This time of year, resolutions have been made and are in full force — joining a gym, decreasing drinking and/or smoking, finding a new job, working towards financial security, etc. For many people, these resolutions are typically the go-to in starting a healthier New Year to improve and ultimately change their overall wellbeing.  Hmm, but what about resolutions related to one’s emotional wellbeing? 

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Elizabeth Cobb
Is Rushing Really Worth It? Learning to Slow Down

We’re always in such a hurry, but are we actually getting to our destination that much faster?  Think of the times that you have sped past someone on the street only to find that you are waiting with them at the next intersection.  Or other times, when you speed past someone down the subway stairs, only to find you end up getting on the same train as them.

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Sarah Spitz
How to Get Better at Saying "No"

Many people find it very difficult to say the word “no.” I have often heard my clients say that they are afraid to say no, especially when their friends and family are asking something of them. So why do we finding saying "no" so difficult? Usually it’s because we feel guilty. Here are 4 reasons you shouldn't feel guilty about saying "no."

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Elizabeth Cobb
Five Ways to Cope With The Winter Blues

Winter can be a difficult time for New Yorkers. The sun sets early, depleting healthy levels of Vitamin D, and frequently brings in rain, snow, or a windy chill for a several month-long period. Individuals may refer to changes in their mood or an onset of depression known as “The Winter Blues.” Seasonal Depression, otherwise known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, affects 4-6 percent of people annually.

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Elizabeth Cobbdepression
Stress Management Skills in Under 10 Minutes: Breathing

Life puts several demands on us and when we wear a variety of hats throughout the day, it's understandable that stress is a common reason people seek therapy. Stress can be a helpful thing— it can help us feel motivated and energized, work on goals, and desire growth and development. However, stress that is chronic and high leads to physical, emotional, and behavioral problems. And as a result, these symptoms may lead to difficulties with how well we can wear our different hats. 

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Elizabeth Cobbanxiety
Eliminating Social Media Negativity for the New Year

Social media can be a great way to connect with old friends or loved ones, or even get the latest updates on news and trends. However, certain parts of social media can affect us negatively, especially some of those we follow on social media may not be accounts we actually enjoy seeing pop up on our news feed.

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Elizabeth Cobb
Using DBT to Help You Get Your Needs Met

By learning to practice skills like DEARMAN, it’s possible to move away from the expectation that others should automatically know what you want and need, and instead communicate your needs in a respectful and confident way, opening you up to healthier relationships with others and a stronger sense of self.

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Elizabeth Cobb