Is Your Perfectionism Getting in the Way of Success?

By Salina Grilli, LMSW

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been victimized by your own perfectionism. SAME. While I consider myself a “recovering’”perfectionist (as an old supervisor once poignantly reflected), I sometimes find myself falling back into the perfectionist trap. In general, I’m efficient at writing. I sit down with an idea, write a rough draft, edit it a couple times, and then submit. For whatever reason, writing this piece was different. I found myself procrastinating and re-writing it over and over again trying to get it “right.” Which I will admit is ironic given that this article is about perfectionism. Once I realized what I had fallen into the perfectionist trap, I was able to get myself out. 

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Elizabeth Cobb
The Neuroscience of Gratitude

By Hannah Rogawski, LMSW

Many of us often hear about the power of gratitude and its capacity to improve our mental health. Many studies over the past couple of years have confirmed that people who consciously work on and express gratitude tend to be less depressed, less anxious, and happier overall. Studies have even found that gratitude can improve your sleep, boost your immune system, and enhance your relationships. What is going on in our bodies to cause such powerful effects? 

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Elizabeth Cobb
Emotional Reasoning: Feelings Aren’t Facts

By Amy Brightman, LCSW

When using Cognitive Therapy, we catch the way we think and need to check our thoughts in order to change them. In order to do this, we often have to look for cognitive thinking traps. A common trap that comes up is what we call “emotional reasoning.” This is when we use feelings to reason with our reality. In other words, we make our feelings facts.

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Elizabeth Cobb
How to Counteract Negative Communication Styles in Your Relationship

By Valerie Capili, LMSW

All relationships have conflict— even the healthiest ones. Learning about how we navigate conflict can provide insight into whether the relationship is more likely to succeed or fail. A renowned relationship psychologist, Dr. Gottman, conducted a study and found four styles of communication that are the biggest predictors of a relationship ending. He termed these, “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.”

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Elizabeth Cobb
Learning to Love the Lapse

By Urmi Chakrabarti, LMSW

Spring definitely is a time where we start to come out of our winter cocoons and start feeling revived as we anticipate the sun and warmth to come. At the same time, it is a reminder of all wellness routines that we tried to implement during the beginning of the year that may have slowly gone awry — maybe it was going to yoga weekly or bringing your lunch to work instead of buying out. The key to making sure a new habit is sustainable is learning to honor and love the lapse. Following are ways you can embrace and love the lapse in your new health and wellness routines within a bigger picture of lifestyle change.

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Elizabeth Cobb
The Healing Process After a Breakup 

By Heather Matzkowitz, LMSW

One of my good friends recently went through a difficult breakup with a partner they were with for many years. This person came to me, on many different occasions, expressing how saddened and defeated they had been feeling. They missed their partner, and despite knowing that ending things was the correct decision, they were having trouble dealing with the despondency they were experiencing. Let’s be honest, breakups are incredibly difficult and each person's situation is unique — just as their healing process is.

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Elizabeth Cobb
The Mind-Body Connection of Stress

By Kathryn O’Connell, LCSW

Often our minds and bodies can seem disconnected, as if they were detached and serving different functions; however, research has shown the contrary, that their relationship is essential to our well-being. On a basic level, our bodies and minds are designed to keep us safe and secure. In an effort to help manage acute stress, our bodies increase stress response hormones, which may prepare us for difficult and/or unpleasant future events. Regrettably, for some individuals, it's possible that stress may persist on a weekly, daily, or even hourly basis. If stress becomes chronic and unmanageable, issues in the body and mind often arise.

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Elizabeth Cobb
The Mental Health Benefits of Volunteering

By Charity Diaz, LMSW

The month of April is National Volunteer Month, a time that recognizes the dedication of volunteers and their collective social impact.  In my experience, volunteerism is a gratifying way to step outside of oneself and express compassion to strangers in need while teaching them new hard skills. These interactions are about the altruism in teaching a fellow human being the accomplishment of grasping a new skill or the nourishment of a hearty meal.  However, the interaction of volunteering is also very much about the human connection, the teaching component, and the mental health benefits.

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Elizabeth Cobb
Are Defense Mechanisms Bad or Brilliant?

By Alessandra Mikic, LMSW

You’ve probably heard someone describe a negative or undesirable behavior as a “defense mechanism” or “defense” for short. It’s usually used with a negative connotation, but here’s the thing: we all use defenses at times — and they’re brilliant. But why are defenses brilliant? In very simplified terms: because your go-to defenses were likely developed earlier in life, maybe even way back in childhood, when you didn’t have someone older and wiser to help you regulate your anxiety and effectively tolerate and process your big feelings.

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Elizabeth Cobb
The Power of Sharing

By Erica Cramer, LMSW

Part of the reason I became a therapist is because I grew up in a family where we did not discuss our feelings.  It did not matter if they were positive or negative, it was an unspoken norm that they were not discussed and should promptly be swept under the rug.  As I got older and began to establish meaningful relationships with people outside of my family, I realized how important it is to tell others how you genuinely feel and that openly expressing yourself can be therapeutic.  Although individual therapy is an important part of managing your mental health, it is only one piece of the puzzle.  Having people to talk to in your everyday life who are supportive, understanding, and inspirational is also essential.

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Elizabeth Cobb
How to Fight Procrastination with Compassion

By Julia Silveira, LMSW

We all procrastinate from time to time. Have you ever felt that you didn’t prepare enough for a meeting? Relied on a last-minute pressure to complete a task? Waited to feel inspired to start doing work? Likely, we all have procrastinated before and have the experience of submitting work last minute or completing a task past due date. Procrastination usually comes with regret and some negative consequences. It has been shown that little good can come from procrastination, and is associated with worse academic performance and greater sickness. Then why do we do it?

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Elizabeth Cobb
Go-Getters, Unite!  Working SMARTer, Not Harder, Towards Your Goals

By Julia Suklevski, LMSW

Intrigued by this blog’s title?  Perhaps you are finding yourself at a crossroads of working towards accomplishing the next best thing in your life, whether that be personally or professionally.  Whether you are the self-proclaimed “go-getter” within your social group, or tend to lean on the side of the unabashed procrastinator, working towards goals that are in alignment with what you what to bring into your life can be challenging.  Chances are, you have expectations for beginning therapy, and will be collaborating with your therapist about treatment goals because you envision a change in your life. 

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Elizabeth Cobb
Integrating Mindfulness Into Your Daily Routine

By Hannah Sherman, LMSW

Finding a sense of calm and present-moment awareness in a busy and vibrant city is no easy feat. Chaotic routines and overstimulation are inevitable obstacles, thus inviting the need to be thoughtful about finding time for self-care. Mindfulness doesn’t require an hour-long formal meditation practice each day. Jon Kabat Zinn, founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, defines mindfulness as, “paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to the unfolding of experience.”

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Elizabeth Cobb
The Importance of Self-Care

By Heather Matzkowitz, LMSW

Self-care involves treating yourself as kindly as you treat others, and it is essential to a happy and healthy life. Often, it is when we feel we don't have enough time to focus on ourselves that we need self-care the most. I have been guilty of neglecting my own self-care in the past, but once I came to the realization of how essential my own needs were, I was able to fully give myself to others.

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Elizabeth Cobb
The Danger of Comparing Ourselves to Others

By Hannah Tishman, LMSW

We encounter dozens of people throughout the course of our day. Whether it is during our morning commute, in a meeting at work, or with friends, it is inevitable that we interact with others on a daily basis. As a human species, we instinctively compare ourselves to one another. We compare as a way to figure out where we fit in amongst others and to more deeply understand ourselves. It is not only a survival technique, but it is how we function as social animals.

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Elizabeth Cobb
Is Your Friendship Toxic?

By Jessica Glynn, LMSW

Have you ever had a friend that loves to call you to gossip or speak poorly of others? If so, you may come to a point in your friendship when you ask yourself this question: if they are speaking this way about others, what are they saying about me? Or if they are lying and ditching other plans to hang out with you, how many times have they lied to you so that they can pursue a seemingly “better” plan for the evening or weekend?

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Elizabeth Cobb
Snooze, Don’t Lose!

By Amy Brightman, LCSW

March marks a big month for sleep — springing forward for Daylight Saving Time and celebrating National Sleep Awareness Week and World Sleep Day. Despite all of this focus on sleep, it has seems like many people are complaining about being tired. We know that losing an hour of sleep takes about a week or two to adjust after the change, so why does it seem like people are still reporting feeling overly tired? Here are five quick tips to help you gain mastery over your sleep.

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Elizabeth Cobb
Schema Therapy and Emotional Deprivation

By Rosie Barton, LMSW

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 

By Kara Korengold, LMSW 

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?

By Julie Stolper, LMSW

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