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Laura Giles, LCSW

Boiling Mad? Schedule an Anger Date

When it comes to anger, there seems to be two types of people who get all the attention- those who have no problems spewing anger everywhere and those who feel it’s best to never display anger. I have a suggestion for the second group – schedule an anger date.  What’s an Anger Date? An anger date is a scheduled period of time where you talk about in all the things that make you angry. You could do this alone, with another person, or with a crowd of people. However many are participating, you just let it rip. Yell, scream, cry, be demonstrative. The only restrictions are that you can’t hurt yourself or anyone else, you can’t take your anger out on anyone else, and you must stop when the time is up.  Let’s...

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What’s Your Mental Diet Like?

We hear a lot about how important our diet is. We are encouraged to eat clean, reduce sugar, and eat in moderation. Most of us know the benefits of watching our diet, but what about our mental diet? How much attention do you pay to what your mind consumes? What are you feeding your brain? What Are You Watching? How much television do you consume? Is it uplifting programming? How much nudity, negative language, and violence do you consume? Do you feel keyed up, fearful, or negative afterward? Are you learning anything from what you view? These are some of the questions you can ask yourself. The answers can be used to shape your mental diet. Remember, you are what you consume. In this case, it’s what you’re watching. If you watch  lot of violence, it’s easier...

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Argue for Your Limitations and They Are Yours

Have you ever said, “I can’t because…” the economy is badmy boss doesn’t like memy parents were mentally illI’m too (insert adjective such as short, tall, young, old, etc).my mom didn’t love memy dad was an alcoholicI’m not (insert adjective like good, smart, worthy, or clever) enough “Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they’re yours.” ~Richard Bach Your mindset is powerful! If your self talk is repeatedly reinforcing your limitations, you will continue to be limited. You are the most powerful part of any change work, so if you aren’t open to a new possibility, it can’t happen. Belief and expectation are powerful. When we believe and expect that nothing will change, nothing changes. If we are open to the idea of change, the door opens. Let’s look at what I mean.“Sheila”...

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How to Make Every Date a Success

There is one thing you need to make every date a success. It’s not manners, grooming, a hot body, timeliness, nice clothes, or straight teeth. It’s authenticity. Here is how this can help. You Know Right Away Whether or Not it’s Clicking If you are focused on authenticity vs. “Does she like me?”, you are going to be more present in your body. So, it’s not about whether someone likes you, but whether it’s a match for both of you. Your body will tell you if you’re digging the other person. Your body will also tell you if they like you. There is no guessing if you’re present. This is a great time saver. If you eliminate people who are not a great match on the first date, that’s a success! You...

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Are You Vulnerable to An Affair?

Are you vulnerable to an affair? Any relationship can suffer from infidelity, but there are some factors that make cheating more likely. Let’s take a look at what they are. Marriage vs. Cohabitating Did you know that a study by Pepper Schwartz and Philip Blumstein showed that long term married people are less likely to cheat than long term cohabitating couples? That’s right. The saying that marriage is just a piece of paper isn’t all that accurate. Those who value trust and commitment are less likely to violate their values. When there is no commitment ritual, there may be no emotional commitment either. Does One of You Deal with Stress Through Sex? If one of the people in a partnership deals with stress through sex, this could spell trouble. Perhaps this is where the...

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I Didn’t Sign Up For This!

There may be times in our lives when we throw up our hands and say, “I didn’t sign on for this!” It’s normal to have a pity party when things don’t go as planned. When the pouting is done, there are three things you can do. Deal with it anyway, walk away, or blame and complain. So what types of things can make us say, “I didn’t sign up for this”? Here are some examples. your child is born with special needsyour partner leaves youdomestic violenceyou or your partner contracts a debilitating illnessyou or your partner gains a lot of weightnatural disaster strikesyou get firedyou or your partner has a mental breakdowninfidelityyou or your partner goes to jailaddiction Nobody willingly signs up for these things. They may or may not be a result...

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Loving People Who Are Hard to Love

If you read a lot of my blog posts, you see a lot of “Let it go,” “You gotta have healthy boundaries,” and “You’re responsible for what shows up in your life” types of posts. It may give the impression that if something or someone isn’t working for you, it’s time to cut it loose. Before you do, consider that sometimes those who are hard to love are the ones who need it the most. It’s not your job to save anyone. You have no obligation to put yourself in a position to be used or betrayed. But if you have the strength and patience to give a little of yourself, you may be the thing that turns someone’s life around. How? See the Beauty Beyond the Brokenness Hurt people hurt people. When someone shows up...

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Exploring the Masculine Archetypes

There is a disturbing amount of unhealthy information out there about what it means to be a man. I recently saw an article that essentially described American males as emotionless, lonely, tough, disposable robots. I took it as a wake up call to recognize the humanity inside and release some of the pressure put upon men. It struck me as being pretty brutal. Perhaps this stereotype exists is because we live in an age where we don’t cultivate healthy males. Many households are fatherless due to death or absence. The absence is most often due to incarceration, abandonment, working long hours, or emotional estrangement. So fathers are not rearing healthy males. Mothers may either encourage unhealthy male stereotypes or make our boys into pseudo women. Or worse yet, our young males are molded by pop culture. Consequently...

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compassion

Practice Compassion

Compassion is a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering. It’s always effective to practice compassion when we encounter someone who is suffering. It heals wounds and spreads love. In the space of all that, humanity thrives. When You Judge Yourself, Practice Compassion Pema Chodron said, “Compassion for others begins with kindness to ourselves.” It’s easy to beat yourself up for failing, not being perfect, or doing things that others laugh at or scorn you for. Don’t. Accept your flaws, your humanity, and practice loving kindness for yourself. Without mistakes and pain, we would not grow. Sometimes the biggest failures are blessings in disguise. If you hide from them, you can’t learn from them. When you let...

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you saw me

You Saw Me!

One day I was in conversation with someone who suddenly burst out crying and said, “You saw me!” In that moment it touched me how infrequently that happens. I was also struck by how important it is to be seen. ...

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