Striking a Balance Between Pleasing Others and Self-Care
Doctor Ilene | Marriage and Family Therapist
by Dr. Ilene
2w ago
In the dance of human connection, we often find ourselves wanting both to meet others’ expectations and nurture our well-being. This delicate balancing act, especially within close relationships, demands understanding two fundamental forces—individuality and togetherness—at the heart of Bowen family systems theory. As a Bowen family systems therapist, I witness the struggle many face as they try to please their partners, family members, or friends while keeping their boundaries intact. The challenge isn’t simply about saying “no” or carving out “me” time; it’s about redefining our conception o ..read more
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The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories
Doctor Ilene | Marriage and Family Therapist
by Dr. Ilene
1M ago
Conspiracy theories have occurred in society for centuries, but they have gained increased prominence in our contemporary culture, fueled by the unease of an anxious world. In the high-speed information exchange and social media bubble, these theories find fertile ground to root and spread, often playing into the fears and uncertainties of individuals. The appeal of such theories can be multi-faceted; they offer simple explanations for complex problems, validate pre-existing beliefs or biases, and provide a sense of control in times of chaos or confusion. It is crucial to explore the psycholog ..read more
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The Art of Parenting
Doctor Ilene | Marriage and Family Therapist
by Dr. Ilene
1M ago
Picture this: Anna, a mother of two, finds herself constantly torn between conflicting advice from parenting books, online “parenting gurus,” and well-meaning friends and family. She wonders, “What’s the best way to raise my children? How can I ensure they grow into healthy, happy, and successful individuals?” Are you, like Anna, trying to navigate the complex web of parenting advice? If so, this is for you. With countless parenting “experts” out there, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. But what does research say about how we should parent? What does it mean to be a good parent, and how can your c ..read more
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Setting Firm and Consistent Boundaries With Your Family
Doctor Ilene | Marriage and Family Therapist
by Dr. Ilene
1M ago
Picture this: It’s Sunday evening, and your phone rings; it’s your cousin—again. She wants to vent about her life problems for the third time this week. You’re exhausted, you’ve had a long day, and you only want some quiet time. But saying “no” feels like an offense, so you reluctantly pick up the call. The boundary has been crossed yet again. This scenario, or a variation of it, is a familiar one for many. We often find ourselves in situations where our boundaries are constantly tested, especially by family members who may not understand or respect them. So, how do we navigate this, especiall ..read more
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How to Be There for Others Without Burning Out
Doctor Ilene | Marriage and Family Therapist
by Dr. Ilene
1M ago
As a therapist, here’s a question I get asked a lot: How do you listen to people’s problems all day? Don’t you get burned out? In all honesty, I have worked on my ability to be present and accountable for my clients without taking on their feelings. You can imagine that I see people who are anxious, uncomfortable, lost, sad, frustrated, and traumatized. I hear people’s darkest thoughts about the most challenging times. As a compassionate person, it’s only natural for me to feel their pain, too. However, I have worked on better managing my emotions around others’ discomfort because I get a lot ..read more
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Caring for Yourself in the New Year
Doctor Ilene | Marriage and Family Therapist
by Dr. Ilene
2M ago
Are you ready for the year 2024? Do you want to navigate the coming months with resilience, grace, and self-love? If your answer is a resounding “Yes!” then the starting point of this journey is YOU. Caring for yourself goes beyond the occasional bubble bath or massage (although those are lovely!). It’s about setting goals, establishing boundaries, and creating a life that brings you joy and fulfillment. It’s about living authentically and intentionally. So, let’s dive into some practical strategies for nurturing your mind, body, and spirit in the new year. 1. Set Goals with Intention Setting ..read more
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The Lifelong Journey of Personal Development
Doctor Ilene | Marriage and Family Therapist
by Dr. Ilene
2M ago
Many individuals seek quick solutions and universal advice to overcome their challenges. However, personal development is not a destination but an ongoing journey of self-improvement and self-discovery. It’s not a process that can be expedited through a handful of therapy sessions but rather a lifelong pursuit of becoming the best version of oneself. After all, what could be more important than that? Personal development is a continuous process that makes life all the more enjoyable. We are constantly evolving beings, each with our unique set of challenges. These challenges can be viewed as op ..read more
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Family Gatherings: Navigating Tensions and Fostering Harmony
Doctor Ilene | Marriage and Family Therapist
by Dr. Ilene
2M ago
The holiday season is often painted as a time of joy, peace, and togetherness. For some, it is indeed the most beautiful time of the year. However, navigating family dynamics can be incredibly challenging for others. It’s especially true for those who have lost loved ones, are estranged from family, or come from an abusive home. Consider the case of Jane. Every year, Jane anxiously looked forward to the holiday season, not for the festive celebrations but for the inevitable drama that unfolded at her family gatherings. Her Uncle Bob, infamous for his outspoken opinions and inappropriate remark ..read more
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Embrace Authenticity and Live Your True Self: Unleashing Your True Self While Nurturing Relationships.
Doctor Ilene | Marriage and Family Therapist
by Dr. Ilene
3M ago
In a time when conformity often takes precedence, embracing our authentic selves can seem daunting. However, as Brene Brown articulates in “Braving the Wilderness” and Glennon Doyle emphasizes in “Untamed,” living authentically is liberating and essential for our overall well-being. Living authentically involves embracing and expressing our true selves, not the versions of ourselves that society expects or accepts. This authenticity is deeply intertwined with our sense of self-worth and self-understanding, as Brene Brown suggests in “Braving the Wilderness.” She proposes that venturing into ou ..read more
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Understanding Bowen Family Systems Theory: Enhancing Your Relationships Through Emotional Differentiation
Doctor Ilene | Marriage and Family Therapist
by Dr. Ilene
3M ago
The Bowen family systems theory, developed by psychiatrist Dr. Murray Bowen, offers profound insights into the dynamics of family relationships and how they shape our lives. This influential theory delves into the interplay among family systems, emotional fusion, and the concept of differentiation. By understanding and applying the Bowen family systems theory principles, individuals can cultivate emotional differentiation, foster healthier relationships, and navigate challenging dynamics with greater clarity and resilience. In this post, I explain the core tenets of Bowen’s theory and discover ..read more
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