Life Beyond Therapy: Fantasy sex

It’s so hard not to compare ourselves to other people. No matter how hard we try, somebody else always seems to have a better life than we do, a better partner, job, car, home or body.

This comparison thing also extends to sex. We imagine what other people do and we see — in videos and movies — hundreds of images of how other people have sex.

After seeing so many perfect-looking people having perfect-looking sex, it’s awfully hard to come up with our own definition of good sex. Instead, many of us fall into the trap of what I call, “fantasy sex.”

Life Beyond Therapy: Kind, flexible and forgiving- the keys to losing weight

Of all the problems in life, how much we weigh seems to be a concern for everyone I’ve ever met, myself included. In my work as a psychotherapist, clients typically don’t bring this up in the beginning of our work together. They usually wait until we’ve gotten to know each other better before they feel comfortable enough to talk about their weight.

This tells me that — for most of us — our weight is a very tender spot in our psyche. How much we weigh, how our body looks and how we feel about our body is a major part of our self-image.

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"Hunger Games" Jack Quaid lends his voice to mental health awareness

Hunger Games star Jack Quaid would like to bring awareness to the harmful prejudices so often associated with mental illness and economic inequality by lending his voice to Project UROK .

Using the Hashtag #MyHungerGames to tell your story on social media ensures that others around you may better understand your plight and what it means to live with the illness.

Life Beyond Therapy: The challenges of internalized homophobia

The other day I was talking with a client, a well-adjusted gay man, who told me, “I don’t think I’m homophobic anymore. I think I’ve worked all that through.”

My response was, “Really? Do you think that’s possible?”

He was pretty surprised to hear me say that. And that led us to a discussion of what homophobia really is.

Internalized homophobia is based on fear. A fear that who we are is not okay and that if we allowed how we feel inside to show outside, we’d never fit in.

Life Beyond Therapy: Practical ways to lower your stress (and be more relaxed)

Well, summer is over and those lazy vacation days are probably a thing of the past. So, how can you have a nice, peaceful, mellow autumn?

Over the years, I’ve been compiling a list of ways to lower stress. These are personal observations, great ideas from other people and tips I’ve gained from colleagues at professional conferences. My list is pretty long: it has over 70 items! So I’ve narrowed it down to my personal favorites:

Physical stuff:

-Reduce your xanthene intake.

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Watch this trans teen find out her life is about to change forever

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Life Beyond Therapy: Stuck in the (bisexual) closet

Dear Michael:

I am a closet bisexual. I have been with a terrific guy for about 10 years now. We have a great sex life and a good life together. But, I have never been with another woman sexually and I want to experience that.

So, last month I told my boyfriend and he freaked out. He said that this was a deal breaker for him and that we agreed to be monogamous and that this totally fucks with his ability to trust me. What do I do now?

—Coming Out and Unhappy

Life Beyond Therapy: Taking a chance on happiness

Everybody I know says that they want to be happy and it sounds like a pretty normal thing, but rarely do we explore what happiness is and how we can get there.

Happiness is often defined as some perfect combination of pleasure, joy, exhilaration, bliss, contentedness, enjoyment and satisfaction. Sounds good, right? But if this is something that we really want, then why is it so often missing from our lives?

Life Beyond Therapy: Cheaters

Dear Michael:

I never thought it would happen to me, but here I am, in a relationship with a cheater.

I didn’t know he was sleeping with other guys, but I started to notice too many things that were weird and he then started being extra nice to me in a way that made me wonder what the hell was going on.

Anyway, I found out, confronted him and he admitted it. The problem is: What do I do now? Do I forgive him? How can I trust him again? He swears he won’t do it again, but can I believe him?

Life Beyond Therapy: Parenting yourself

Almost everyone I know complains about their parents — clients, friends and relatives alike. Our parents never get it right, do they? They always screw up in tons of creative, hurtful ways. But what can we do about it?

We can learn to parent ourselves.

Many of us go through life looking for what our parents couldn’t give us. We look to friends, partners, children and our pets for those missing pieces of ourselves that we never got. I see it a lot as a psychotherapist: There’s all this stuff we didn’t get from our parents that we still want. And we want it NOW.