Author Archives: norasblog

About norasblog

I am a psychotherapist with a private practice in downtown Chicago.

Emotional Independence

I was listening to an interview with Thupten Jinpa, the translator for the Dalai Lama, on the podcast “On Being,” hosted by Krista Tippet (On Being). Thupten Jinpa was a Tibetan monk in the same order as the Dalai Lama, … Continue reading

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Regret

Regret is a strange emotion. It causes us to feel bad about choices we have made in the past. Regret can lead to serious unhappiness and a sense of helplessness since we cannot change the past. But maybe it serves … Continue reading

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Grief versus Fear and Anxiety

I am currently reading Jaak Panksepp’s wonderful book “The Archaeology of Mind,” which is an extensive explanation of emotional systems in both animals and human beings. One of the distinctions he makes is between grief and panic, which are responses … Continue reading

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The Search for Certainty

Because our brains are organs designed to recognize patterns, predict danger and keep us safe and functional, they seek certainty. We would like to be a able to predict problems so we can avoid them, or if that is not … Continue reading

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Be With

Culturally, here, in the United States, we have a strong sense of responsibility for our lives, our thoughts, and our feelings. This is a great ideal because it creates motivation, creativity toward change, and ownership of our experience. Sometimes we … Continue reading

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Addiction

This past week I have been teaching about addiction in class, and as always, I ask my class how many people know someone personally who struggles with addiction. Almost every hand goes up. Then we talk about what we know … Continue reading

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Internal Motivation versus External Motivation

The reasons we do what we do may lie within ourselves, based on our ideals and values, or they may lie outside of ourselves, based on fear, reward, or concern about what other people think. The distinction is useful since … Continue reading

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The Activity of Psychotherapy

Like any new activity, engaging in psychotherapy to become intimate with ourselves takes practice. It is a two person activity. It is not something a therapist does. Not therapeutic skills. Each time we experience a new part of ourselves, we … Continue reading

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When Your Mind is at Odds with You

It is fairly easy to believe that whatever mind state we find ourselves in represents who we really are. But we also know that at different times we feel like different people. Sometimes we feel competent, at ease, compassionate, expansive, … Continue reading

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Factors in Relationships

I am currently reading Leslie Greenberg and Rhonda Goldman’s wonderful book “Emotion-Focused Couples Therapy: The Dynamics of Emotion, Love, and Power.” Their complex formulation of the structure of intimate relationships is a very worthwhile perspective. They posit that couples’ relationships have … Continue reading

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