How to Stay Emotionally Connected in a Relationship

October 12, 2017

Angela Izmirian, Ph.D.

Clear communication is key in any relationship, but it’s hard to know what you actually need to communicate. As the years go by, expectations change, patience wavers, and we use fewer words to convey our needs and feelings. But our longest relationships need more thorough communication to survive. Think about a parent and a child. I love my mother, but I expect more from our relationship than my acquaintances. I have little patience when she misunderstands me repetitively and I don’t always tell her what I need in clear language. When I perceive her as unhelpful or negative, I can feel like exploding! Now think about a romantic partner. We choose our partners for the connection we share and times Read more

Rather than dispose of the barriers to our dreams…

August 25, 2017

Portland Psychotherapy Team

If you’re brave enough to say goodbye…

August 18, 2017

Portland Psychotherapy Team

What Is Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

July 25, 2017

Jason Luoma, Ph.D.

Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO-DBT) is a new evidence-based therapy for people who are overcontrolled. A counterintuitive idea behind the therapy is that it’s possible to have too much self-control.  Self-control refers to our ability to restrain acting on our urges, emotions, and wants in favor of longer term goals. Most of the time, self-control is good, but some people can suffer from excessive self-control. For these people, inhibiting and controlling impulses and emotions has become so habitual and automatic that they have problem relaxing control when needed. This can result in overcontrolled people being overly inhibited, perfectionistic, cautious, and feeling exhausted by social interactions. Where does overcontrol come from? Overcontrol comes from a combination of genetic/biological factors and Read more

People with OCD are often plagued with a wide variety of painful thoughts. These include horrible images, worries they might harm themselves or others, or beliefs that they are condemned altogether. It’s natural why people would struggle with these, why they would try to push them away and get rid of them. However, there’s a wide literature of research demonstrating that efforts to get rid of painful thoughts make them more intense and more intrusive. And there’s newer research that finds that acceptance of painful thoughts and feelings may be the most effective way for defusing OCD. The study OCD expert Dr. Jonathan Abramowitz’s lab looked at the relationship of two ways of dealing with OCD. The study found an Read more