Happy 2024, I Have a Few Things for You
Love And Life Toolbox
by Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT
3M ago
2023 was quite a year.  To say there have been some challenges is an understatement but my hope for you is that you are finding some inspiration and optimism for the New Year.  There were highs, lows and transitions for many.  LoveAndlLifeToolbox.com was about experimentation and change in 2023.  The site has gone through a number of shifts in the over 10 years of its existence.  I continue to be a working therapist in private practice in Marin County, California while maintaining this site. I am very proud that LoveAndLifeToolbox.com remains a trusted emotional health ..read more
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I’m a Therapist. Here’s what Happened the Day I Met with Both an Arab and a Jew.
Love And Life Toolbox
by Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT
4M ago
(The following piece is by Dr. Carl R. Nassar, Ph.D., LPC, CIIPTS) It’s a Tuesday morning. A world away, more than two hundred hostages are held captive in the underground caverns of Gaza. I’m in my office—an upstairs loft in the heart of Old Town in Fort Collins, Colorado—and I’m caught a little off guard when my client Paul tells me that he feels he’s also being held hostage. He explains that, of course, he’s not physically being held hostage, but rather, emotionally. All around the world, he reminds me, on college campuses and on iPhones and tablets and laptops, anti-Semitism is o ..read more
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The War is Taking a Psychological Toll on All of Us
Love And Life Toolbox
by Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT
6M ago
The world is watching a profound crisis of human suffering.  The Israel-Hamas war is unleashing a deep, collective emotional response.  Many are now living in legitimate physical threat, loss of life, loss of family and home.  The rest of us are cycling through horror, rage, fear,  sadness and disbelief.  The stories and images are outside of what many can process, not to mention the additional existential crises of the meaning and end result from all of this. The war is taking a psychological toll on all of us. The American Psychological Association has put out a warn ..read more
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Addressing the Problem of Feeling Unlovable
Love And Life Toolbox
by Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT
8M ago
The problem of feeling unlovable is a deep and complex issue for many people, often for those you would never suspect have a poor sense of self in how well they hide it.  There are also those who behave in ways who clearly demonstrate a lack of self love in self-sabotaging behaviors.  Feeling unlovable is a highly influential core belief, setting the stage for how we show up for ourselves and in relationships.  And it can come with a sense of deep terror. Consider the ways this can show up; bouts with depression, anxiety, relationship problems and the endless list of behavioral ..read more
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Whether Single or in a Relationship, Flirting is Good For Your Health
Love And Life Toolbox
by Joy Nordenstrom, CMM, MBA
9M ago
If you are single or in a relationship, it is paramount that you know how to flirt. It not only improves your relationships with others, it also improves your physical and emotional health. A prerequisite to the following lessons is having an understanding of what flirting is not before elaborating on what it is. It is not a game you need to master. Your intent should never be to manipulate others. Please note it does not have to be conducted in a way as to attract sexual attention. The truth of the matter is that a majority of the time it’s quite platonic. Flirting is about finding your ..read more
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5 Steps to Create Positive Change in Your Relationship
Love And Life Toolbox
by Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT
9M ago
Marriage and/or long-term intimate relationships have the potential to be incredibly rewarding and people generally do the best they can with what they know.  Couples can generally do well over time but many hit emotional speed bumps.  No matter when or how a relationship feels strain, ideally there is some reflection and curiosity by one or both partners around the sources of distress.  And a desire to do something about it. For those who want to take accountability and be proactive in their relationships, having vision into their role is helpful.  Mistakes are often made ..read more
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Too Independent in Your Relationship?
Love And Life Toolbox
by Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT
10M ago
Jennifer Chappell Marsh, MFT explores independence vs interdependence in relationships and what secure attachment looks like. Many of us have heard the saying, “At the end of the day, you only have yourself to fall back on…” We are taught from a young age that independence is a good thing; a source of strength and pride. Take care of yourself. Don’t be clingy or needy. Gaining independence, learning how to think and decide for ourselves is necessary to transition from childhood to adulthood. Being self-sufficient is necessary to functioning on our own. Can too much independence hurt your ..read more
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Too Independent in Your Relationship?
Love And Life Toolbox
by Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT
10M ago
Jennifer Chappell Marsh, MFT explores independence vs interdependence in relationships and what secure attachment looks like. Many of us have heard the saying, “At the end of the day, you only have yourself to fall back on…” We are taught from a young age that independence is a good thing; a source of strength and pride. Take care of yourself. Don’t be clingy or needy. Gaining independence, learning how to think and decide for ourselves is necessary to transition from childhood to adulthood. Being self-sufficient is necessary to functioning on our own. Can too much independence hurt your ..read more
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Is Your Relationship in Red Alert?
Love And Life Toolbox
by Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT
10M ago
The most dangerous relationship threats aren’t always the most visible; like a pattern of high conflict, lack of kindness or disrespect.  Those are clearly problematic signs that need attention but the behaviors that are sometimes the least detectable can create a significant vulnerability in the relationship where emotional safety levels have taken a serious hit. A relationship is in red alert if one or both are in emotional distress over a long period of time and are not communicating about it.  I’ve seen this repeatedly in my couples therapy practice and anecdotally in life.  ..read more
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Do One Scary Thing a Day
Love And Life Toolbox
by Linda Graham, MFT
11M ago
Linda Graham, MFT looks at the benefits of doing something scary every day which can build the brain’s capacity for resilience. The scary things we could choose to do each day could vary quite a bit from person to person or even for ourselves from one day to the next. Choosing to go through our records to prepare for an IRS audit would feel pretty scary on any day, but some days just checking our bank account to see if we have enough money to go to the grocery store is plenty scary for that day. Some days we’re scared but determined to ask the boss anyway for extra time off around a holid ..read more
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