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Ask Julie: I’m Madly In Love with My Ex-Therapist!

Q:  I am madly in love with my ex-therapist.  This is not transference; I truly love her! I never had the chance to tell her, and now we no longer talk to one another. This has and is still bothering me. I can’t stop thinking about her, and it is killing me inside everyday! I wanted to tell her back then during sessions, but was afraid to, and now I will never have the opportunity to ever tell her. This is not healthy…what should I do? (28 year old female)

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Ask Julie: My Anxiety Is Hurting My Relationships

Q:All my life, I have never been able to do what i like to do for the fear of being judged by other people. It has come to such a point that I cannot think for myself; it always has to be “if I do this, what will others think?”I have good friends who keep advising me to be more social, but my fear gets the better of me. I haven’t had a serious relationship in a long time. I am scared if that if I keep being such an introvert, I’ll end up with no life. I have lost all sense of emotions in the last few months and am becoming desperate for companionship and just to be accepted.

A: Thank you for writing in. I wish I could talk to you to clarify how long this has been going on. I do have a few thoughts, though. You may have developed social phobia or another form of anxiety disorder. What you’re describing sounds like more than just simply being introverted. I really think you should get some help from a professional. Watch the video for the rest of this answer.

Take good care of yourself!
Julie Hanks, LCSW

5 Ways to Develop Resilience: Studio 5

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Everyone goes through challenging experiences: loss, illness, divorce, and other hardships can take a heavy emotional toll. Resilience is being able overcome these kind of struggles and is the ability to “bounce back.” But you don’t have to wait until the storms hit to develop this skill. Here are 5 ways to build resilience for when you really need it:
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How to Help an Unhappy Friend: Studio 5

How to help and unhappy friend: Julie Hanks, LCSW on Studio 5

True friends often go through a lot together. They experience the joys and good times, and sometimes they seeeach other through harder seasons of life as well. But it can be difficult to know exactly how to react when a friend is weathering a particularly difficult storm or is in some way unfulfilled. Here are 5 strategies to employ when a friend is unhappy:

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Ask Julie: How Do I Open up Emotionally to my Therapist?

Q: How do I open up to my therapist? I am constantly worried that he might think I’m trying to get attention. I have an eating disorder, and I’m slightly overweight (according to my BMI). I’m just not able to be truly open and honest. He really is a great therapist, and I have a deeper connection with him than most others in my life. I have these feelings outside of therapy, but when I go in, I put on a face that everything is ok. How do I work on this to communicate better?

A: Great question! The emotional pattern of guarding your feelings is likely part of the reason you’re in therapy in the first place. I think the first step is to tell you’re therapist that you’re having a hard time opening up! Watch the video for complete answer.

Take good care of yourself!
Julie Hanks, LCSW

5 Steps to a Powerful Apology: Studio 5

5 steps to powerful apology

Human beings are prone to mistakes, and we all have the experience of doing or saying something that has hurt another person (even someone we value and love). In order to repair those precious relationships, it is often necessary to apologize. But simply saying, “I’m sorry” is rarely enough. Here are 5 steps to giving a powerful, sincere apology:

1) Own Your Part

To truly mean that you are sorry, you need to own up to the specific thing you said or did that contributed to the other person’s pain. Take full responsibility for the part you played. Avoid general statements (“I’m sorry for whatever I did to hurt you“) or making reservations about the mistake you made. Have the courage to own up to your fault.

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How to Become Less Judgmental: Studio 5

4 Ways to Become Less Judgmental 4

 

We’ve all known someone who is judgmental. It’s an unfortunate character trait and is often easy to spot in other people, but can be a bit more difficult to see in ourselves.  But the truth is that we all could stand to be more kind and accepting of others. Here are 4 strategies to become less judgmental:

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Ask Julie: I’m Afraid My Husband Will Cheat On Me

Q: I need help on this issue. I feel myself getting jealous all the time with my husband, and I don’t want to be like that. My last relationships were a disaster. My kids’ father cheated on me our whole 15-year relationship; I didn’t know he was cheating until towards the end. Then my next relationship, he went to Florida and brought someone back with him and they started living together right away. That was a 3-year relationship I had with him. I always think my husband is cheating on me or talking to someone. It’s like I don’t want him going anywhere without me. I love him, and I don’t want to be like that with him. He’s never given me a reason to think this. Please help me.

A: While it’s common for unresolved hurt from past betrayal to bring out insecurities in a current relationship, ironically, it may end up pushing your husband away if you don’t resolve your past hurts. When you bring up your jealousy with your husband, make sure that you own that it is your past, not him, that is the problem. Please meet with a therapist to address the underlying emotions that are feeding your jealousy and lack of trust. Thanks so much for writing in. Watch the video to hear my complete answer.

Take good care of yourself and your relationship!

Do Your Kids Define You?: Studio 5

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Being a good parent requires a tremendous amount of time, love, and energy, but what happens when a well-meaning mom or dad becomes too enmeshed in their children’s lives? Over-involvement can unknowingly do damage to kids, who then become responsible for their parents’ well-being and happiness. On the other hand, parents who can draw a separation between themselves and their children are emotionally healthier and are actually able to give more to their families.

Below are 5 questions to ask yourself to determine whether or not your kids define you (along with some strategies to help you reclaim yourself if you find that you’ve taken on a little too much):

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