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How to Make People Feel Guilty

How to Make People Feel Guilty

Guilt-tripping is an ancient, and often highly profitable, art. In every culture, there are people and institutions that actively work to instill guilt, because people who feel guilty are easier…

Can We Make an Open Relationship Work?

Can We Make an Open Relationship Work?

Q: My boyfriend and I have been monogamous for four years, and now we’re considering having an open relationship. We’re both a little worried about it. Could this endanger our…

Science and Thanksgiving

Science and Thanksgiving

Since 1863 in the United States, we’ve set aside an annual Day of Thanksgiving to share our collective gratitude for the abundance in our lives. It’s now largely a festival…

Families of Choice

Families of Choice

Family. It’s a powerful word that evokes many intense emotions. Now that the holiday season is here, many people are anticipating—and some are dreading—spending time with their families. It’s common…

Is it Now, Yet?

Is it Now, Yet?

Wariness is a kind of innate default setting in the human brain. To keep our ancestors alive, the brain evolved a “negativity bias”—an inclination to be constantly on the alert…

Addiction Myths

Addiction Myths

When Brian realized that his depression, work problems and relationship difficulties were due to his crystal meth use, his new clarity initially felt exciting and empowering. Having put two and…

Addicted to “Love”

Addicted to “Love”

At 42, Stewart is single again. “I’ve fallen in love almost once every year since I was twelve,” he tells me, “and by now I’ve had at least twenty ‘soul…

Distractions

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” That saying, which Plato attributed to Socrates, succinctly expresses the basic value underlying every form of personal exploration—the idea that self-knowledge is an…

What’s Wrong with Being ‘Needy’?

What’s Wrong with Being ‘Needy’?

Eric has been single for five years. He’s a relationship-oriented guy. He longs to connect with someone new, but he won’t let himself do it because he believes he isn’t…

Choosing a Therapist

Choosing a Therapist

Q: I’ve never seen a therapist before, but I’ve decided to do it. I got some names, but how do I know if someone is the right therapist for me?…

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