Vulnerability Pays Big Dividends

In her book Hold Me Tight, Dr. Sue Johnson brilliantly sums up what happens when couples get stuck in negative and reactive cycles: “In insecure relationships, we disguise our vulnerabilities so our partner never really sees us.” Dr. Johnson goes on to talk about the healing power of love and emotional responsiveness in a love relationship: “Love has an immense ability to help heal the devastating wounds that life sometimes deals us. Love also enhances our sense of connection to the larger world. Loving responsiveness is the foundation of a truly compassionate, civilized society.”

The father of Attachment Theory, British Psychiatrist John Bowlby, summed up what Attachment Theory teaches us about the key relationships in our lives: “The propensity to make strong emotional bonds to particular individuals is a basic component of human nature.“ Bowlby also wrote on how relationships with key “others” are vitally important in the growth and health of all individuals.

Given this information, here are some conclusions about vulnerability:

Attachment Theory teaches us that key relationships (in childhood with an adult care-giver and in adult romantic partners) play a huge part in the human development of a safe haven and the strong ability to be in the world and take risks; the risks are tolerable because the person knows that their partner has their back emotionally and will be there when they reach out in need.

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), developed by Dr. Sue Johnson, is a highly effective couples therapy modality that focuses on helping clients learn to communicate the softer primary emotions (think vulnerability, or the need for acceptance) that always lie underneath the more surface emotions (think anger, contempt, and defensiveness) that put us in a negative cycle of hurt and disconnection.

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) brilliantly supports couples to share their vulnerabilities, which leads to the creation of an emotional “safe haven” and a strong bond that can stand firm in the face of life’s many difficult emotional challenges.

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Graphic of the Teenage Brain

So true!


Find Gratitude in Beauty – Look Hard and Deep

Lately I have been paying more attention to art. Part of my recovery and my mental and spiritual health is to pay attention to beauty wherever I see it — to look hard and deep — to truly be mindful. Here are two Van Gogh paintings that make my heart sing. Enjoy!


If you struggle finding beauty, joy, and happiness in life, we’re here to help. Request an appointment today and begin on the path of improved mental health.

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New Years resolutions, goals, and the inner critic (blocks to creativity)

Today I am setting small goals – instead of “loose 20 lbs in 3 mo” my goal is “get to the gym today do a workout – any workout”. this goal is encouraging ‬and do-able. I need to set myself up for a win. When I say this goal out loud my inner-critic is silent. I need more small goals that will day by day move me towards my bigger goals – chunk it down.

If you need help setting yourself up for success with goals or other mental health needs, we’re here to help. Request an appointment today at our convenient Salt Lake City based office.

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Depression and the Inner Critic

When I have been the most depressed one constant was a brutally critical interior conversation. This inner critic was loud and menacing, usually communicating to me that I was worthless and weak, not worthy of love, and that getting out of the depression was unlikely.
Over many years of cognitive and spiritual work I have learned to recognize this critical voice and take my power back. The first step always was to identify the voice. Next was to observe the insanity of the critic’s voice. Only then could I talk back to the critic and begin to find my own voice.
I believe the first step is acceptance of the voice. Then experiencing it, not running from it. Mindfulness is vital even when the inner critic rages and roars.

If you need help dealing with depression and battling your inner critic, we’re here for you. Request an appointment below and start the work to better mental health today.

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Express More Gratitude to Experience Less Negativity

7 Simple Tips To Strengthen Your Relationship

I am convinced that the best antidote to negativity is gratitude. We all know how good it feels to be full of gratitude. Try this as a daily practice; before you get out of bed think of 5 specific things you are grateful for. It will change your feelings your energy level and your attitude. Then add to this 5 specific things you appreciate about each member of your family. You will feel the difference. Gratitude is a powerful tool.

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Live From Your Values, Not Your Emotions to Battle Addiction

Addicts pay attention to their feelings more than their values. If an addict can slow down and not make the impulsive choice in the moment then they have a chance to reflect on their values (what the cars about most) then they have a chance to not take the next fix but instead Make a healthy choice.

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Our team is here to help you battle and overcome your addictions. Request an appointment below and we will help you learn the skills necessary to overcome the challenges you face.

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Mindfulness and the Power of the Present

I cannot stress loudly or strongly enough that learning to live mindfully in the moment and in touch with your body are key steps toward true mental health. Mental conditions such as depression,  anxiety, OCD, ADD, and others all share an underdeveloped ability to live in the present. When recovering from these conditions, if you develop a mindfulness practice, it will help you feel relaxed and get back “in” your body. Do this and you are on the road to real recovery and serenity.


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Our team is here to help you learn the skills and techniques necessary to improve your mental health. Request an appointment below and we will help you learn the skills necessary to overcome the challenges you face.

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A Different Description or Definition of Addiction

A wise friend once said this about her experience with drug addiction:

“When I got into drugs I wanted to use them (I was young and liked to party) … then when I finally no longer wanted to use the drugs I was hooked and I couldn’t stop using them.”

What an accurate description of addiction!

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If you’re struggling with addiction, we’re here to help. Contact us today and request an appointment to help overcome the addictions that are holding you back.

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Controlling Behavior

When anxiety leads you to get overly obsessed with controlling outcomes in your life (specifically ones that in reality you can’t control) then you can be sure you are out of “flow” and out of the moment and you are in the dangerous emotional state of over controlling your life . (This idea comes fro Dr Joe Luciano’s Self Coaching book)