Psychologists help people cope with change in ways that enlarge and nourish them. Perhaps the most important thing we do is witness our clients’ stories by the deceptively simple act of listening and observing. …

Being able to hold opposing emotions is one of the hallmarks of good mental health. Something can be both bitter and sweet, and we tend to feel that we must pick sides. To our confusion, we often can’t stick with one or the other feelings — either getting pulled back…

There’s a plethora of information about happiness.

My literature search on this subject yielded over 13,000 scholarly research articles and over one thousand books. Advice about how to be happy floods the internet daily with simplistic listicles and click-bait articles that make it all seem so easy.

But their advice…

Last summer my neighbor’s son built a huge skate ramp right next to our property line. (We’re on different streets, so I’d never met him or his family.) First sawing, then drills, and eventually it was finished. I was glad for the wild Toyon bushes that grew high along a…

“Yesterday all day a small gardenia was a great consolation.”

Thomas Merton

A Year with Thomas Merton: Daily Meditations from His Journals

Some days are harder than others. It’s tempting to find something or someone to blame, even if it’s just the wrong side of the bed. Yesterday, I woke…

Amor and Psyche

Taking Down the Walls to Intimacy

Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new. Ursula K. Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven

Sometime during the first episode of BBC’s Pride and Prejudice, I fell in love with Mr. Darcy. So much so that…

People are innately attracted to faces, especially eyes. The human face is associated with our identity; we are recognized more through our eyes than through any other facial feature. ”Because the eyes offer such rich social information, adults and infants alike show a natural attraction to the whole face,” write…

Photo by Marcelo Quinan, Unsplash

For three months, I’ve resisted writing. I sat at my desk or the kitchen table — my favorite place to write — to compose an essay, but distraction beckoned me at every turn. The muse, that slippery, elusive impulse to create words from experiences and observations, had gone missing. …

Photo by Jordan McQueen, Unsplash

We seldom deliberately present a bad face on social media. Selfie stick in hand, we depict ourselves smiling before an elaborate, expensive meal, in front of a landmark in an exotic land, or simply celebrating with friends (which all can see, including those not fortunate enough to be present in…

My daughter posted this photo and comment on her Facebook page after purchasing her textbooks for winter term. She is a full-time senior at a university and works part-time at an independent bookstore. Yet she can’t get enough of reading and learning. Her twin is equally passionate about learning. …

Susan O'Grady, Ph.D.

Dr. Susan O'Grady, Clinical Psychologist, Marriage and Couples Counselor. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Instructor.

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