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Jan 11 18

My radio show on Thursday January 11, 2018

by michelleskeen

This week on Relationships 2.0 my guest is Martin Antony PhD author of The Shyness & Social Anxiety Workbook: Proven, Step-by-Step Techniques for Overcoming Your Fear

About the book:

There’s nothing wrong with being shy. But if shyness or social anxiety keeps you from building meaningful relationships with others, advancing in your education or career, or simply living your best life, The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook offers a comprehensive program to help you confront your fears and become actively involved in the world.

If you are shy or socially anxious, you may dread going to parties, speaking in front of crowds or people you don’t know, going to job interviews, and other critical life situations. You aren’t alone. In fact, studies show that millions of people suffer from a social anxiety disorder. Unfortunately, you can’t hide from some social situations—no matter how much you wish you could. But you don’t have to go on suffering silently. The good news is there are proven-effective techniques you can start using right away to help ease your anxiety or shyness and start living the life you were meant to live: a life where fear doesn’t get in the way of reaching your goals.

This fully revised and updated third edition incorporates breakthrough new research and techniques for overcoming social phobia, including a new chapter on mindfulness-based treatments, updated information on medications, and an overview of treatment-enhancing technological advances. As you complete the activities in this workbook, you’ll learn to find your strengths and weaknesses using self-evaluation, explore and examine your fears, create a personalized plan for change, and put your plan into action through gentle and gradual exposure to the very social situations that cause you to feel uneasy. After completing this program, you’ll be well-equipped to make connections with the people around you. Soon, you’ll be on your way to enjoying all the benefits of being actively involved in the social world.

If you’re ready to confront your fears to live an enjoyable, satisfying life, this new edition of The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook offers a comprehensive program to help you get started. What are you waiting for?

This book has been awarded The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Self-Help Seal of Merit—an award bestowed on outstanding self-help books that are consistent with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) principles and that incorporate scientifically tested strategies for overcoming mental health difficulties. Used alone or in conjunction with therapy, our books offer powerful tools readers can use to jump-start changes in their lives.

About the author:

Martin M. Antony, PhD, is professor and chair in the department of psychology at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. He is also director of research at the Anxiety Treatment and Research Centre at St. Joseph’s Healthcare, Hamilton, Ontario, and a past president of the Canadian Psychological Association. An award-winning researcher, Antony is coauthor of When Perfect Isn’t Good Enough, and more than 25 other books. His research, writing, and clinical practice focus is on cognitive behavioral therapy and the treatment of anxiety disorders. He has been widely quoted in the American and Canadian media.

Dec 14 17

My radio show on Thursday December 14, 2017

by michelleskeen

This week on Relationships 2.0 my guest is Linda Kohanov author of The Five Roles of a Master Herder: A Revolutionary Model for Socially Intelligent Leadership

About the book:

In The Five Roles of a Master Herder, Linda Kohanov adapts horse-inspired insights into powerful tools for developing collaborative leadership and managing change. Over thousands of years, Kohanov writes, “master herders” of nomadic herding cultures developed a multi-faceted, socially intelligent form of leadership combining the five roles of Dominant, Leader, Sentinel, Nurturer/Companion, and Predator. The fluid interplay of these roles allowed interspecies communities to move across vast landscapes, dealing with predators and changing climates, protecting and nurturing the herd while keeping massive, gregarious, often aggressive animals together — without the benefit of fences and with very little reliance on restraints. She includes an innovative assessment tool to help you determine which roles you currently overemphasize and which roles you may be ignoring — or even actively avoiding. Through this powerful and surprising book, Kohanov will show you how to recognize, cultivate, and utilize all five roles in the modern tribes of your workplace, family, and other social organizations.

About the author:

Through her Eponaquest Worldwide, established to explore the healing potential of working with horses, Linda Kohanov teaches internationally on subjects including leadership, social intelligence, and stress reduction. She lives near Tucson, Arizona.

Dec 7 17

How to Talk to Anyone

by robin

As Seen In

Article related to Communication Skills for Teens:

How to Talk to Anyone


by Andrea Bartz

click to enlarge:

Dec 7 17

These 3 Stories Perfectly Illustrate Why It’s So Hard To Get Over Your First Love

by robin

Women’s Health

by Anna Breslaw

First comes love… then comes a tsunami of what-ifs. Your first relationship is like no other, which is why its shadow lingers and shapes every romance that follows. How do you make peace with those memories—and is there such a thing as a second chance?

When artist Rora Blue asked a single Q—”What would you say to the first person you fell for?”—those were three of the 34,000 responses she received. The messages became a Web installation called The Unsent Project, which continues to grow. Why the lasting intensity? “It’s called primacy,” says Jennifer Talarico, Ph.D., a cognitive psychologist at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. “Memories of a first experience are more vivid than similar events that come later.” Like baby ducks thinking a dust mop is “mom,” a part of you can’t shake that imprint of “partner”—enticing some to toy with (or even act on) rejoining that partner years later. Read on for intel on how to live with the enduring presence of the one who taught you about love, good and bad.


She still uses her high school boyfriend’s nickname and birthday for her Web passwords—seven years after they broke up. “I lost my virginity to him,” Alison says. “It was New Year’s Eve, with literal fireworks going off in the background. Cheesy, but awesome.” Beyond the fact that sex releases a surge of oxytocin and dopamine, first sex partners also play a key role in developing our identities, says Michelle Skeen, Psy.D., author of Love Me, Don’t Leave Me. “She became a sexual being with him, and he was the first person to reflect that new self back to her.”

Now Alison is “happily settled in a relationship with the person I know is The One”—and yet, paradoxically, she still thinks about her first and secretly hopes she might run into him someday and get coffee together. “He just left such an impression on my heart. Even though I haven’t spoken to him in ages and probably never will, I feel like I’ve been permanently molded by him.” Skeen’s response? First, change those passwords, which keep memories of the ex alive. “When we’re continually looking back at the past, it impacts the present.” Research bears out the dangers: A new Kansas State University study of 7,000 couples shows that the more accepting people were of their partners being in touch with former flames on social media, the more harmful it was to their relationship—partly because it can create a “slippery slope” of temptation during difficult times.

The other problem with musing about him is that it’s too easy to embellish the past, especially when you’re feeling ticked off at your SO. “Remembering something isn’t like replaying a video,” says Talarico. Instead, she explains, it’s a process of reconstruction. The basic elements stay the same, but you put them together a bit differently each time. So for instance, a trip you shared that had real moments of conflict can seem, in gauzy retrospect, like one long romantic high.


When she was 18, a college sophomore studying abroad at Cambridge, Sandra met her first boyfriend; he was British and 22. “Ever since then I’ve thought that this is how love should feel—like a force of nature greater than yourself,” she recalls. When she returned to the States, they kept it up long-distance for a year. “We planned our future together, from the apartment we’d share to the daughter we were sure we’d have, named Chloe.” Sandra was blindsided when he broke up with her right before her graduation, saying he needed to focus on his career. “For weeks, I lay in bed hardly eating or sleeping,” she says. “I fell into a deep well of self-loathing—I felt like the only logical conclusion was that I was so horrible, a man wouldn’t want to be with me.”

The intensity of Sandra’s anguish actually has a neurological basis, says Helen Fisher, Ph.D., anthropologist and research fellow at the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University in Bloomington. Fisher analyzed the brains of people who’ve been dumped, using an fMRI scanner, and found that when they thought about their former love, they experienced a “brain explosion” that targeted areas linked to cravings, addiction, and physical pain. That chemical storm can lead to a sense of unfinished business—even, as in Sandra’s case, a decade later.

“I’ve had plenty of passionate romances since then, but have never felt consumed like that,” she says. And she may never again, says Skeen: “When we’re younger, we’re much more emotional, and we haven’t been burned yet.” So we enter into the relationship at full speed, and with very little self-protection. Sandra still occasionally dreams about him, and she wonders if meeting up with him once would break the spell. But what haunts her, says Skeen, “is not so much the loss of him, but the visceral memory of her hurt, younger self.” Skeen advises a dose of self-compassion. “Her 30-year-old self is judging the 18-year-old she once was. I would have her write a letter to that younger self, saying, ‘Look, you were only 18. You didn’t have all the answers, so don’t beat up on yourself.’ “


They dated innocently in high school, at ages 15 and 17: no sex, just lots of time together. Then her family moved, and despite love letters and phone calls, they eventually lost touch—but neither ever forgot the other, even though both married other people. “I dreamed of John so many times,” says Lori. “And I wished my husband was like John, who became the epitome of who I thought a man and husband should be.”

These long-lasting memories are due to a “reminiscence bump,” says Talarico; you tend to recall best the life events that occurred from ages 15 to 30, perhaps because those years contain the bulk of our first experiences. When Lori’s unhappy marriage broke up, she tracked down John online and found out he was also divorced. They talked on the phone that night, and soon after they were Skyping daily. Eighteen months later, they got engaged. Says Lori, “I felt compelled to find the kind of love I knew before.”

Will it last the second time around? Two circumstances can improve your odds of success, says Nancy Kalish, Ph.D., author of Lost & Found Lovers, and Lori and John fit both: having met at age 22 or younger, and breaking up because of “situational factors,” like a move, rather than core disagreements. Kalish’s 20 years of research show that three-quarters of reuniting couples will stay together long-term—if both parties are single when they reconnect. “Many people who reunite say their ‘lost love’ became the ‘standard for all the rest,’” she says. “It’s not just nostalgia, or sex, or an unresolved issue. It’s real love.”

*All names and identifying details have been changed.

Read it on Women’s Health

Dec 7 17

Is It Healthy to Stay Friends with Your Ex?

by robin

by Anna Breslaw

Conduct a friendly survey and chances are three out of four female brunch companions will agree: Staying friends with an ex is generally  bad news. It’s easy enough to say you’ll delete that heartbreaker from your life, but fresh off a breakup, it could be difficult to go cold turkey. Often, try as they might to resist the impulse, exes inevitably can’t stop texting each other inside jokes or Gchatting from their respective offices. Assuming that it was a serious, long-term relationship, it’s easy to see why: You’ve already seen each other at your worst and you know each other better than anyone. It’s a recipe for instant friendship—right?

Not exactly. “It takes self-awareness and self-examination to figure out whether to stay in contact,” says Michelle Skeen, PsyD, a San Francisco-based therapist and author of Love Me, Don’t Leave Me.

She recommends first looking back at the romantic relationship and your ex to decide whether the basic qualities you want in a friend are  actually even there. “If the problem was, ‘He didn’t listen’ or ‘She couldn’t deal with it when I was down,’ those negative qualities might also translate in friendship,” notes Dr. Skeen, who suggests bouncing the idea off your close friends. “They might point out something you hadn’t noticed about your relationship or just aren’t ready to acknowledge—maybe they’ll say, ‘You’re still crying every day’ or ‘You’re still not eating right.’”

In fact, a 2011 study from the University of Denver of unmarried, recently-broken-up couples found that continued contact with the ex-partner, even if it was just every few weeks since the breakup, was associated with greater declines in life satisfaction.

Many people keep their exes in their lives only because the time spent in the relationship make them feel obligated to do so, but that’s not a good enough reason to justify it—at least not right away. “Romantic attachment and love are sticky substances,” says Helen E. Fisher, PhD., a biological anthropologist. “It takes time for them to dissolve.”

Fisher and her team put people who had recently experienced breakups in MRI scanners. In those who instigated the breakup, there was little neurological change. Those who were dumped, however, exhibited increased brain activity in several regions associated with reward, motivation, addiction, and obsessive-compulsive disorder—even in those who insisted they were over it.

Another red flag to watch out for: If you check their social media frequently, particularly if you became lax about it while actually in the relationship. “It can be difficult to let go of the knowledge of that person’s life, even if you’re the one who ended it,” says Dr. Skeen. “Social media makes it easier to cling to.” But cyber stalking is dangerous because it harkens back to the early days of your courtship, when your ex-partner was a still mystery—before the reasons for your breakup presented themselves. Even if you insist it’s platonic interest, Dr. Skeen recommends ditching it completely. After all, “friends” don’t creep on their “friends’” Instagram seventeen times a day, right?

So yes, your friends’ advice is as good as the pros’. Overall, experts agree that it’s healthiest not to befriend your ex until you’ve completely moved on (and ideally, until they have, too). As Dr. Fisher puts it: “If you quit drinking, you don’t keep a bottle of vodka in the house.”

One scenario in which you definitely want to cut off all contact immediately: when your ex is a narcissist. And here are the most common relationship problems, according to therapists.

Read it on Well and Good