Nov 28 / Simcha

Red Lipstick and Feminism (M. Marsh)

redlipstickAlthough this article strays a bit from “Psychotherapy” and “Personal Growth,” I found it an interesting look at the relationship between self-beautification and the sexualization of women.  Author Madeleine Marsh, who wrote a history entitled Compacts and Cosmetics: Beauty from Victorian Times to the Present, explores the history of cosmetics and lipstick; she suggests that — contrary to common knowledge — red lipstick in particular has been a symbol of female strength, especially in the past century.

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Aug 12 / Simcha

The Importance of Being Generous (Parker-Pope)

attentionIn an article from The New York Times Magazine (“The Generous Marriage,” 12.11.11), Tara Parker-Pope shared the latest research from the University of Virginia’s National Marriage Project. According to this study, GENEROSITY  “the virtue of giving good things to one’s spouse freely and abundantly” — was a predictor of “very happy” marriages.

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Aug 04 / Simcha

Removing Perfectionism from the Bedroom (M. Huston)

bedPerfectionism — the pursuit of unrealistic standards for ourselves and for our partner — inevitably creates difficulties in the relationship (in general) and in the bedroom (in particular). Psychologists and relationship counselors around the world encourage greater tolerance of human imperfection and a recalibration of expectation.

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Apr 29 / Simcha

Giving Feedback That Can Be Heard (B. Brown)

checklist1Many couples struggle with the giving and receiving  of criticism. Often framed in ways that shame, blame, belittle or humiliate, criticism is rarely well-received and usually results in defensiveness and disengagement.  A helpful way to get around these pitfalls is to think in terms of constructive, honest and engaged feedback.

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Apr 28 / Simcha

An Easy Tip to Improve Your Mood (Dunn & Norton)

dontIn an article in today’s New York Times entitled Hello, Stranger (4.25.14), Professors Elizabeth Dunn (Univ. of BC) and Michael Norton (Harvard Business School) describe how the casual social interactions we often avoid may lift our spirits and actually make us happier.  This has definitely been my own experience.  I share here selections from their article.

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Mar 01 / Simcha

Self-Acceptance or Self-Improvement? (D. Brooks)

Art: Andrew Cleary

In a compelling piece in yesterday’s New York Times (Ease and Ardor, 2.27.14), op-ed columnist David Brooks takes a close look at two of the greatest essayists who ever lived: Michel de Montaigne and Samuel Johnson.

Brooks notes how the two men tackled similar problems and were fascinated by some of the same perplexities, yet emerged with different attitudes towards adversity and  living life: Montaigne focused on self-understanding and self-acceptance, while Johnson sought self-conquest and self-improvement; where the former sought a life of wisdom and restraint, the latter pursued a life of improvement and ardor.

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Feb 05 / Simcha

15 Simple Steps for Sustaining Love (H. Lerner)

marriagerules A renowned scholar on the psychology of women and family relationships, Harriet Lerner is the author of numerous articles and eleven books on relationships and connection, among them New York Times bestseller The Dance of Anger, Women in Therapy, and The Mother Dance.

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Jan 23 / Simcha

Being Present in the Face of Grief (D. Brooks)

facesNew York Times Op-Ed columnist David Brooks writes this week of one family’s trauma, following the death of their 27-year-old daughter and the severe injury of their second daughter, Catherine, a few years later at the age of 26.  He shares lessons drawn by the Woodiwisses, which at least apply to their own experience, about how those of us outside the zone of trauma might better communicate with those inside the zone.

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