Dealing With Miscarriage & Infertility

"I remember the moment my husband and I decided to have kids. After 6 years of marriage, the puzzle pieces of our lives were finally falling together. I remember the two pink lines exactly two weeks later. I cried tears of joy. I planned to tell my husband, sister, best friends, mom, and in-laws… I let the love and attention wash over me. I remember his little heartbeat: quick and eager. He always measured 3 days ahead at every appointment. I remember the gender reveal. Blue dye stained my hands and my clothes for weeks. I remember his name. Cullen, after where my husband and I met. 

Then I remember the pain and the phone calls. Every day for a week I called. Every day for a week I was told it was normal. I remember, they said it was normal. Then I remember the Emergency Room and then the hospital room. And suddenly, I was holding my lifeless, 18-week-old child in my arms. 

In the months that passed I felt betrayed by my friends, by my body, and by God. I felt betrayed by the time that it had the nerve to keep ticking by. My desire to exist in a world where my baby could die, withered along with the condolence bouquets and my friendships. At some point you need to get over it, they said. So I put on a brave face and got over it. I got over it in front of my friends, my husband, my family, my students… But the second my body fell into my therapist's couch, I was not over it. 

There were sessions with my therapist in those early months where I would just sit and cry. All the anger, shame, and pain came out and were received with no judgment. In those early months, only she knew how I really felt as she helped me navigate how and why my relationships changed, what was my responsibility and what was not, what was in my control and what was not. 

2021 became 2022 we had yet to experience the two pink lines again. As friends and family announced their second and third pregnancies, I was trying to mourn my first while trying to achieve my second. “At least you know you can get pregnant” was a phrase I had stopped hearing in December as the reality of infertility was slowly taking away my hope.

 Consistently being in therapy has given me a place to organize all the thoughts in my head and separate the helpful ones from the harmful ones. In one powerful session, my therapist helped me make the decision to take the next medical step in my journey to become a mother. So, My Happy Ending is yet to be determined, but my Healthy During is cultivated through therapy."

~ Client

Infertility is a common medical condition that affects many couples trying to conceive. It can have a significant impact on a person's mental health, leading to feelings of sadness, anxiety, and frustration. Dealing with infertility can be a complex and emotional process, but therapy can play a crucial role in helping individuals cope and find ways to move forward. Here are some ways therapy can help individuals dealing with infertility:

In conclusion, dealing with infertility can be a complex and emotional process. Therapy can play a crucial role in helping individuals cope and find ways to move forward by providing a safe space to discuss feelings and emotions, helping navigate complex medical decisions, teaching healthy coping strategies, offering ongoing support and guidance, and improving communication and relationships. If you or someone you know is struggling with infertility, consider reaching out to a mental health professional for support.

Gaslighting...Victim or Bully?

One of the great things about having easy access to so much information right at your fingertips is that it can shine a bright light on certain forms of covert and abusive relationship issues that were not previously well-known or discussed in our society. A newer “buzz” word that seems to be talked about a lot these days is gaslighting. What exactly is gaslighting and how does it affect the victim? More importantly, how do you know when you’re caught in the proverbial spider web and what, if anything, can you do to free yourself?

Gaslighting is a form of psychological warfare that causes the victim to question their own judgment and reality. It is an extreme and very specialized form of brainwashing. And, gaslighting commonly goes hand in hand with narcissism, which is yet another form of psychological abuse- has its own sliding scale, and depending on the severity, it may even be associated with certain types of personality disorders. But that’s a can of worms for another time. For now, let’s dive into gaslighting.

Make no mistake, when used in a consistent and pervasive manner, gaslighting is a form of masterful manipulation and abuse and it is crippling for the victim. For example, say you have befriended someone and you find yourself on the phone with this person and they are telling you how depressed they feel, how they can’t sleep, and how terrible everything in their life is. They bring up their past experience with attempted suicide. Naturally, the context of all of this leaves you feeling frightened, helpless, and unsure of what to say or do. Suddenly, they abruptly tell you that they have to go because they have something they need to do. You try to text them, but they don’t respond. You call, but they don’t respond. You leave a voice message, but again, they don’t respond. Hours later, after you have worked yourself up to the point of being physically sick with worry, they text you and tell you that they had to go because they needed to get a birthday gift for a friend. When you express how they steered your perception and how upset you are, they act as though you overreacted, are too sensitive, or treat you like you’re crazy and imagined the whole thing.

Or, say you are dating a man who has a history of lying and twisting things so that you always feel like the crazy one or the one in the wrong. He feels like you are slipping away from him so he begins to insist that you must be cheating on him. There is no truth to it and you tell him so, but he continues to accuse you of cheating and questions everything you do. He even goes so far as to set up cameras, without your knowledge, so he can “catch” you in the act. After weeks of this behavior, he gains enough evidence to realize that you are not cheating and never were. Instead of apologizing or showing remorse, and doing all he can to make it right, he behaves as though you somehow brought all of this on yourself, that you made him feel like he had to resort to such extreme measures. Clearly, It’s not his fault, it’s yours.

As a final example, imagine that you are having a conversation with someone and they are telling you a story. You listen intently. The following day, the story comes up again in conversation but this time, the details are different. You question it and immediately the other person goes on the defensive. They tell you that you weren’t listening to them, that you’re trying to make it seem that they are dishonest and then they tell you how hurt they are that you don’t trust them. They go on and on about it and you can feel yourself shrinking, second-guessing yourself, and you find yourself apologizing over and over again for not believing or trusting in them. And, so it goes. The lies and manipulation get worse and worse and you become less and less of who you once were before this person entered your life.

In the end, you are left feeling like nothing you do is ever good enough, you’re always wrong, and you always seem to be apologizing for something. As the victim, you no longer feel like yourself, you’ve lost confidence, and typically feel confused, anxious, and/or unable to trust yourself. You might even wonder if you are too sensitive and blame yourself.

According to Preston Ni, a writer for Psychology Today, there are 7 core traits to the insidious practice of gaslighting.

Ultimately when you challenge them (which you will, especially in the beginning), they will refute the evidence (no matter how concrete), deny, blame, misdirect, create confusion and doubt, and manipulate you into submission. They want complete power over you mentally and emotionally so that you feel like you need them for acceptance, approval, respect, safety, and security. You will be full of fear, vulnerable, and marginalized so that they can exploit you at will for their own power and personal gain. If you do receive some small kindness or a glimpse of remorse, it will be fleeting, fake, and superficial- its only purpose is to keep you dancing on the puppet strings.

By now, you might be wondering what, if anything, can you do to get out? In order to start the process of freeing yourself, it is necessary to recognize that you are in the gaslighting spider web in the first place. Once you do, talk to someone you trust about what you are going through, compile some examples, do your research, write things down, and then seek help from a therapist. Make a plan and take steps to get out of the relationship as soon as you can by lining up someplace to live, finding a job, or setting money aside whenever possible, so that you can rebuild your life. It will not be easy, but it can be done. Don’t give up and remember, you are not alone. 


Divorce sucks. Plain and simple. Whether you initiated, your partner did, or you both agreed together, it is a crap-shoot. 

Six months ago, my husband and I quietly separated. I needed my own space so that I could deal with my resentment towards him. I was incredibly unhappy and had been for years. I felt completely unseen, unloved, and unwanted. We had almost no intimacy, sexual or otherwise, we rarely talked, and I always felt like the “heavy” in our relationship- the one who made the tough decisions, disciplined the kids, handled the finances, and took care of any and all planning for appointments and such. Now, in all fairness, my husband works hard- really hard! He works 10+ hour days through the week and then puts in another 6-8 on Saturdays. Sometimes, he even worked half-days on Sunday. He always took care of grocery shopping 1-2 times a month and cooked dinner most nights. He took care of oil changes, brake jobs, and yard work. And when he had free time, he spent with our kids outside playing soccer or basketball or playing on the trampoline. He and my son get along great- they have gaming in common and my husband is super patient with him. All in all, he’s not a bad guy and he certainly isn’t a bad dad, but as a husband, well, let’s just say, I was never really his priority. 

The 7 Pillars of Grief: An Introverts Perspective 
The experience of loss can come in many forms. Most of us readily recognize the finality of death as an obvious catalyst for grief. The process for working through these other types of loss is more or less identical to that of death.

We are going to explore some of these other forms of loss, how they shape us, how we heal from them, and most importantly, how we, as introverts, define and handle the stepping stones of this particularly hard, but necessary journey. First, allow me to tell you a little bit about one of my biggest battles with grief. 

In August 2017, my father passed away. My relationship with him had been complicated for almost all of my adult years. He had diabetes and ultimately succumbed to the toll that the disease took on his body. He was an alcoholic during my growing-up years, he could be hugely warm and funny, but he could also be cruel and cutting. He was an avid history buff and loved to read. He genuinely liked kids and enjoyed teaching them card games and board games. He was far from perfect and we struggled to understand each other. But, I know he loved me and I loved him. My journey through grieving was a life-altering experience from the inside out. 

The 7 Pillars (stages) of Grief are a vital part of the healing process. If you were to work through them in order, it would look like this:

• Shock and Denial
• Pain and Guilt
• Anger and Bargaining
• Depression, Reflection, and Loneliness 
• The Upward Turn
• Reconstruction and Working Through
• Acceptance and Hope

Now, here is something I want you to keep in mind- every single person is different. We all grieve in our own way and in our own time. If you find yourself skipping or vacillating between one or more of these pillar stages, that’s okay. If you feel like you are all over the place, that’s okay. There is nothing wrong with you. 

Grief is messy. It’s chaotic and crazy and deeply painful. It shows up in ways that you never thought possible. You will have days of deep despair- where you won’t want to get out of bed. You’ll feel weak and defeated and lost. You’ll have days where seemingly nothing of significance will make you cry or completely alter your mood from one extreme to another. There will be days when you’ll feel strong and alive and like you can FINALLY breathe. And yes, there will be days- even moments, when you’ll experience both ends of the spectrum and everything in between. And, you know what? It’s okay. You are okay. I repeat, there is NOTHING wrong with you. Keep moving forward because the only way out is through. It takes what it takes to heal.

Using Therapy As A Tool vs. A Crutch

Therapy is a tool that can help people improve their mental health and well-being. However, some individuals may find themselves becoming addicted to therapy, using it as a crutch or a form of escape from their daily lives. In this blog post, we will explore what it means to be addicted to therapy, the reasons behind it, and how to overcome it.

What is therapy addiction?

Therapy addiction, also known as therapy dependency, is a condition where individuals become reliant on therapy as a coping mechanism for their problems. People who are addicted to therapy may feel a constant need to attend sessions, even if they do not necessarily need them. They may also become anxious or distressed if they are unable to attend therapy.

There is no specific cause of therapy addiction, but it is often related to underlying mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, or trauma. Individuals who have experienced a traumatic event, for example, may become may become addicted to therapy as a way to cope with their emotions and avoid dealing with the root cause of their trauma.

The signs of therapy addiction can vary, but some common ones include:

How to overcome therapy addiction

If you suspect that you or someone you know is addicted to therapy, the first step is to acknowledge that there is a problem. Here are some tips on how to overcome therapy addiction:

  1. Seek professional help

It may seem counterintuitive, but seeking professional help from the right therapist or counselor can be an important step in overcoming therapy addiction. A trained mental health professional can help you understand the underlying causes of your addiction and provide you with tools and techniques to manage your symptoms.

  1. Set realistic expectations

Therapy can be helpful, but it is not a magic cure. It is important to set realistic expectations for what therapy can achieve and to understand that it takes time and effort to see results.

  1. Develop coping strategies

Learning healthy coping strategies can help you manage your emotions and reduce your dependence on therapy. This may include things like meditation, exercise, journaling, or talking to a trusted friend or family member.

  1. Take action

Therapy can be a valuable tool, but it is not a substitute for taking action in your life. It is important to set goals, make decisions, and take steps toward positive change outside of therapy.

In conclusion, therapy addiction is a real phenomenon that can have negative consequences for an individual's mental health and well-being. Recognizing the signs of therapy addiction and seeking professional help are important steps in overcoming it. Developing healthy coping strategies and taking action in your life can also help you manage your emotions and reduce your dependence on therapy.


Infidelity can be one of the most devastating experiences a person can go through in a relationship. It can be emotionally painful and can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety. In fact, research has shown that people who have experienced infidelity in their relationships are at an increased risk for developing mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. In this blog post, we will explore the ways in which infidelity can impact mental health in a relationship and what mental health therapists can do to help couples who are struggling with this issue.

First and foremost, it is important to understand that infidelity is not always about sex. While sexual infidelity is certainly one way in which infidelity can manifest, it can also involve emotional infidelity, such as forming a deep emotional connection with someone outside of the relationship. Both types of infidelity can be equally damaging to a relationship and can have a significant impact on mental health.

When someone discovers that their partner has been unfaithful, it can be a shock that shakes their entire sense of self and trust in the relationship. They may feel betrayed, rejected, and deeply hurt by their partner's actions. These emotions can lead to depression, anxiety, and a range of other mental health issues. In fact, research has shown that people who experience infidelity are more likely to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety than those who have not experienced infidelity.

The impact of infidelity on mental health is not limited to the person who has been cheated on. The person who has cheated may also experience negative mental health effects as a result of their actions. They may feel guilt, shame, and remorse for their actions and may struggle with their own mental health issues as a result.

In addition to the emotional pain caused by infidelity, it can also have a major impact on a person's sense of self-worth and self-esteem. When someone's trust has been betrayed, they may begin to question their own value and worth as a partner. This can lead to low self-esteem and a lack of confidence in themselves and their relationships.

So, what can mental health therapists do to help couples who are struggling with the aftermath of infidelity?

First and foremost, it is important to provide a safe and supportive environment for both partners to process their emotions and work through the challenges they are facing. This may involve individual therapy for both partners, as well as couples therapy to help them communicate effectively and repair their relationship.

It is also important for therapists to help couples identify the underlying issues that may have led to the infidelity in the first place. This may involve exploring issues such as a lack of communication, unmet emotional needs, or a lack of intimacy in the relationship. By addressing these underlying issues, couples can work towards rebuilding their relationship and creating a stronger foundation for the future.

In addition to addressing the issues that led to the infidelity, it is also important for therapists to help couples establish healthy boundaries and communication strategies to prevent future infidelity. This may involve setting clear expectations and boundaries within the relationship and learning how to effectively communicate with one another.

Finally, it is important for therapists to help couples develop coping strategies to manage the stress and anxiety that can result from infidelity. This may involve teaching couples relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation, as well as helping them to find healthy outlets for their emotions, such as exercise or art therapy.

In conclusion, infidelity can have a significant impact on mental health in a relationship. It can be emotionally painful and can cause a range of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Mental health therapists can play a crucial role in helping couples navigate the aftermath of infidelity and work towards rebuilding their relationship.

The Importance of Sexual Intimacy

Sexual intimacy is an important aspect of many committed relationships, as it can provide a sense of closeness and connection between partners. In this article, we will explore the various ways in which sexual intimacy can be important in a committed relationship, and we will discuss some ways in which couples can work to maintain and improve their sexual intimacy.

One of the most obvious ways in which sexual intimacy is important in a committed relationship is that it can provide a sense of physical pleasure and enjoyment. Sex can be an enjoyable and pleasurable activity in its own right, and it can also release feel-good chemicals in the brain that can help to improve mood and reduce stress. Sexual intimacy can also be an important way for couples to show their affection and love for each other.

Sexual intimacy can also be an important way for couples to communicate and connect with each other. It can provide an opportunity for partners to express their needs and desires, and it can also be a way for couples to learn more about each other's bodies and what brings each other pleasure. In this way, sexual intimacy can help to strengthen the emotional bond between partners.

In addition to the personal benefits of sexual intimacy, it can also have a number of positive effects on the relationship as a whole. For example, research has shown that couples who have a healthy and satisfying sex life tend to have higher levels of relationship satisfaction and are more likely to stay together. Sexual intimacy can also help to reduce conflict and increase feelings of intimacy and closeness between partners.

However, it is important to recognize that sexual intimacy is not the only factor that determines the success or happiness of a relationship. There are many other important aspects of a relationship, such as trust, communication, and shared values and goals. However, sexual intimacy can be an important component of a committed relationship, and it is worth making an effort to maintain and improve it.

So, what can couples do to maintain and improve their sexual intimacy? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Communicate openly and honestly: It is important for couples to communicate openly and honestly about their sexual desires and needs. This can help to ensure that both partners feel satisfied and fulfilled, and it can also help to prevent misunderstandings or resentment.
  2. Experiment and try new things: It can be easy for couples to fall into a sexual routine, but it is important to remember that variety is the spice of life. Experimenting with new positions, locations, or activities can help to keep things exciting and can help to keep the spark alive in a relationship.
  3. Prioritize intimacy: It is important for couples to make time for sexual intimacy and to prioritize it in their relationship. This might mean setting aside time for date nights or making an effort to create a romantic atmosphere at home.
  4. Seek help if needed: If a couple is experiencing difficulties with their sexual intimacy, it can be helpful to seek the advice of a therapist or other mental health professional. A professional can provide guidance and support to help couples overcome any challenges they may be facing.

In conclusion, sexual intimacy is an important aspect of many committed relationships. It can provide physical pleasure and enjoyment, help couples to connect and communicate, and have a number of positive effects on the relationship as a whole. By making an effort to maintain and improve their sexual intimacy, couples can strengthen their bond and deepen their connection with each other.

Dealing With A Narcissistic Partner

Dealing with a narcissistic partner can be challenging and emotionally draining. Narcissistic personality disorder is characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, a lack of empathy, and a need for admiration. Here are some tips for coping with a narcissistic partner:

  1. Set boundaries: It is important to establish clear boundaries with a narcissistic partner and to communicate them clearly. This may mean setting limits on how much time you spend with them or setting limits on what you are willing to tolerate in terms of behavior.
  2. Seek support: Coping with a narcissistic partner can be emotionally draining, and it is important to have a support system in place to help you through this challenging time. This might include friends, family, a therapist, or a support group.
  3. Focus on self-care: It is important to prioritize your own well-being when dealing with a narcissistic partner. This may mean making time for activities that bring you joy, taking care of your physical health, and seeking support when you need it.
  4. Communicate openly and honestly: It is important to communicate openly and honestly with a narcissistic partner, but it is also important to be aware of their tendency to manipulate or gaslight. It may be helpful to practice active listening and to use "I" statements to express your thoughts and feelings.
  5. Seek professional help: If you are struggling to cope with a narcissistic partner, it may be helpful to seek the support of a therapist or other mental health professional. A therapist can provide a safe and supportive space to process your emotions and work on strategies for coping with a narcissistic partner.

It is important to remember that dealing with a narcissistic partner can be difficult and emotionally draining. It is okay to take breaks and to set boundaries to protect your own well-being. It is also important to recognize that you are not alone and that there is help available.

Recognizing Depression & What To Do About It

Depression is a common and serious mental health condition that can have a wide range of negative effects on your thoughts, behaviors, and overall well-being. It can be difficult to recognize depression in yourself, especially if you are used to feeling down or if you are trying to push through difficult emotions on your own. However, it is important to pay attention to your mental health and to seek help if you think you might be struggling with depression. Here are some signs that you might be experiencing depression:

  1. Persistent sadness or feelings of emptiness: One of the most common signs of depression is a persistent feeling of sadness or emptiness that lasts for weeks or even months. If you find that you are consistently feeling down or hopeless, it could be a sign of depression.
  2. Lack of motivation or interest: Depression can cause a loss of interest in activities that you used to enjoy. If you are no longer finding pleasure in things that you used to enjoy, or if you are having a hard time getting motivated to do things, it could be a sign of depression.
  3. Changes in appetite or sleep patterns: Depression can affect your appetite and sleep patterns. If you are eating more or less than usual, or if you are having a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep, it could be a sign of depression.
  4. Difficulty concentrating or making decisions: Depression can make it difficult to concentrate or make decisions. If you are having a hard time focusing or making decisions, it could be a sign of depression.
  5. Feeling tired or low energy: Depression can cause feelings of tiredness or low energy. If you are consistently feeling tired or lethargic, it could be a sign of depression.
  6. Thoughts of suicide: Depression can cause thoughts of suicide. If you are having thoughts of suicide, it is important to seek help immediately.

If you think you might be experiencing depression, it is important to seek help. There are many different treatments for depression, including therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes. A mental health professional can help you determine the best course of treatment for your specific needs. Don't be afraid to reach out for help. Remember, you are not alone and there is no shame in seeking help for your mental health.