Are You Being Abused?

photo by: Daniele Levis Pelusi   What is “normal”? When I was in my first year at uni, we had a discussion about what is actually a behavioral disorder. Long story short, the professor’s conclusion was that a behavioral disorder is defined not in terms of unpleasantness of a behavior, but in context of what […]

How To Truly Forgive And Be Forgiven?

  Why is it sometimes so difficult to forgive? Many New Age and self-help books say that, to achieve inner peace, we have to forgive people who hurt us. A common message about how to actually do it is something like: just decide to forgive! Or they might instruct you to repeat affirmations about forgiveness. […]

How To Stand Up For Yourself

Protecting one’s own personal boundaries and finding balance with other people, whether family or strangers, and often in subtle ways, are everyday parts of a human life. Testing and pushing on others’ boundaries is normal in a relationship of a child to a parent, and is still very much present among adults, too. Some people feel their […]

Working With Abusers and Victims of Abuse

If for whatever reason you are interested to learn about the topic of abuse, I strongly recommend the book “Why Does He Do That?” by Lundy Bancroft. This book is especially useful for dismantling some common myths about what causes abuse and violence – whether physical, emotional or verbal – and for understanding how abusers […]

Are You a Flying Monkey? (And How To Avoid Being One)

What is “a flying monkey”? The expression “flying monkey” originates from the book “The Wizard of Oz”, in which a group of winged monkeys serves an evil witch and executes her destructive commands. In real life, it describes a person who was manipulated into tormenting somebody on behalf of the manipulator.  This term is most […]

Red Flags in Relationships

  Incompatibility is fairly common in relationships, which means there are plenty of potential signals of incompatibility depending of one’s values and personal traits. However, sometimes you might not simply be incompatible with a love interest, but you might have stumbled upon a realistically toxic and possibly violent person. While red flags in such cases […]

Do You Feel Taken For Granted? Abuse And Unconditional Love

  A common pattern in unhealthy relationships is when (at least) one of the partners takes the other for granted, perhaps being aggressive, manipulative or dismissive – but when the other partner decides to leave, the first suddenly starts acting like an abandoned puppy. The abuser then apologizes, pleads, brings gifts, swears eternal love, promises […]

Lessons From the Past

  Working with some young clients lately got me thinking about myself in the same age, when I just arrived to a big city to study. More and more often these days, I see those memories as if looking at somebody else rather than identifying with my younger self and seeing things through her eyes. […]

The Gift of Fear (And Some Memories)

  “Intuition is always right in at least two important ways: 1. It is always in response to something. 2. It always has your best interest at heart. (…) Our interpretation of intuition is not always right.” Gavin de Becker, The Gift of Fear This time I want to present a book that I liked very […]

How To Recognize Emotional Blackmail?

Manipulation by definition presumes covert attempt to control others, usually involving twisting facts and using words in ways that might be difficult to distinguish from honest communication. That’s why people are often confused whether they might be manipulated or not. In fact, it’s not uncommon for manipulators to accuse their victims of manipulation – which, of course, is just […]