Trauma

How to feel safe in the midst of suffering

By Nicole Urdang | May 31, 2016
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People are like plants: they grow toward the light. I chose science because science gave me what I needed—a home as defined in the most literal sense: a safe place to be. Hope Jahren   If you had a childhood full of drama, yelling, violence, addiction, over-controlling or neglectful parents, it can be especially difficult […]

Family Secrets: How to Overcome their Toxic Legacy 

By Nicole Urdang | December 14, 2015
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Nothing makes us so lonely as our secrets. Paul Tournier We dance round in a ring and suppose, but the secret sits in the middle and knows. Robert Frost, The Secret Sits In families where there is addiction, abuse, criminal behavior, or mental illness, there is usually a code of silence that dictates the actions […]

How Abandonment Issues Affect Intimate Relationships

By Nicole Urdang | August 25, 2015
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“Finally, I decide I am my own case history, and if I don’t dig in to understand what I am doing, I will be spending the years ahead in a vexing pattern of intimacy and abandonment.” Dominique Browning in “Slow Love” Dig in is right. Dig in and root around is even more accurate. Of […]

Addiction Recovery: Techniques for Staying Sober

By Nicole Urdang | April 9, 2013
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All addictions, like all obsessive-compulsive disorders, serve one purpose: To push unpleasant feelings out of your conscious awareness. It makes no difference if you are addicted to alcohol, shopping, pornography, pain killers, pot, food, cocaine, gambling, or anything else, the key to recovery is finding peace. Peace from incessant thoughts urging you to obsessively repeat […]

Self-Compassion: Cultivating Deep Kindness for Yourself

By Nicole Urdang | August 29, 2012
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These days it seems as if every website, book, and podcast is encouraging self-compassion as a path to inner freedom and peace. And rightly so. Showering yourself with loving kindness will surely make you feel better, no matter what’s ailing your body, mind, or spirit. The problem is, how exactly do you do it? While […]

Emotional First Aid

By Nicole Urdang | August 17, 2010
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Ten ways to handle bad news: 1. Breathe deeply and slowly. Use grounding techniques (see Grounding Techniques). 2. Remember: This will pass. 3. Don’t take it personally, no matter what happened. 4. Allow all your feelings; yes, all of them. 5. Have faith in yourself. You are more competent than you think right this moment. […]