Showing posts from November, 2016

What is a Narcissist?

By: Christine Hammond, LMHC, NCC
The word “Narcissist” has it’s origins in Greek Mythology. Around 8AD, there is a story about a beautiful hunter named Narcissus who was exceptionally proud. In order to expose his arrogance, Nemesis (a long standing rival and the origin of the word nemesis) drew him to a pool of water.  Narcissus, upon seeing his reflection and not realizing it was his own image, became so attracted to himself that he refused to leave. He later died there. Thus, the name Narcissist describes a person who is fixated on themselves. Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) takes it root from the same name. Here is a practical definition:

·Believes they better and/or superior to others, ·Fantasizes about their unlimited power, success, and attractiveness, ·Exaggerates their achievements and talents, ·Expects constant praise and admiration from others, ·Believes they are special and can only associate with other special people, ·Shows little to no empathy for others, ·Expects other…

The Role of Food in Holiday Celebrations: Eating Disorders

By: Nancy Tikunoff, IMH In the United States, our holidays are rife with references to food as a central part of the celebration. Who can imagine a Thanksgiving get-together without all the traditional favorites? The meal is planned, budgeted, shopped for, cooked and eaten with much attention and relish. Along with the emphasis on the food comes an expectation that we will overeat. Oh yes, we’ll then complain about how “stuffed” we feel like the turkey itself and make jokes about the now-needed after dinner walk. We might even take the walk but we will still eat too much. The naps will abound before the football games start. All of this is within the normative experience of Americans during this special time of friends, family, relaxation and food. After it’s all over, we’ll go back to our usual eating habits that don’t include two pieces of pie and extra helpings of all of our favorites. It was only for a day or two and not a lifestyle and we won’t be seriously harmed. There will be th…

Holiday Conversation Tips - Millenial Edition

By: Nate Webster, IMH
If there is one thing millennials deal with around the holidays, it is the passive-aggressive (or sometimes obviously aggressive) cross-examination and questioning of their life and career choices. Many millennials are dreading the question, “So what do you do for a living?” only to be met with blank stares when they try to explain that they are free-lancing, creating art or finding themselves. Holidays can be especially tough for millennials because it often feels more like a time to justify their existence than to celebrate family. So for those millennials reading this, let’s review some strategies for handling those inevitable periods of time during the holiday season when friends and family will prod at you about your life.

1.Keep it simple: There are some old sayings, "Don’t throw pearls before swine or else they’ll trample them" and "Don’t give what is special to dogs or else they may turn around and bite you for it!" Most people in life d…

Top 10 Holiday Defense Mechanisms

By: Christine Hammond, LMHC For many, the stress of the holidays is overwhelming. The anticipation of family gatherings alone can create anxious, tense, and uncomfortable responses. Then there are the personal expectations of gift giving, the lack of appropriate boundaries of friends, and the increased tension of an end-of-the-year work cycle. Sorting through these conflicting thoughts and emotions can be difficult. Fortunately, Freud identified common coping strategies that many people utilize which he referred to as defense mechanisms. Here is a list of ten typical holiday defense mechanisms: 1.Denial. At the top of the list is a concept of refusing to accept that anything is wrong or needs to be handled. Denial is very powerful because if something doesn’t exist then it doesn’t have to be addressed. A person may deny that anything is different after losing a family member, forbid discussion about touchy subjects, or reject a new person in their life that is displeasing. 2.Regression. …

7 Tips for Surviving the Holidays with a Narcissist

By: Christine Hammond, LMHC
As if life with a narcissist wasn’t bad enough on a regular basis, add the holidays into the mix and it becomes chaotic. Narcissists want the best looking house on the block with extreme decorating measures just to outdo the neighbors and relatives. The food is Martha Stewart worthy (even when it is purchased and made to look homemade), the clothes are the latest fashion trend, the parties are legendary but so are the rants and verbal assaults beforehand. And the gifts…well they are always memorable as either too lavish or too thoughtless.
But the narcissistic relative does not have to get the best of the holiday season. Try these seven tips for surviving the next holiday function.
1.Remember who they are. A narcissist acts narcissistic. Expecting them to be anything different because it is a special time of the year is unrealistic. If anything, the charming narcissist will emerge full of colorful stories of their exaggerated elaborate accomplishments designe…


By: Nancy Tikunoff, IMH
What is EMDR?
The EMDR acronym stands for Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing. It is a psychological treatment based on a scientific model of adaptive information processing (AIP). The theoretical basis for it was formulated by the founder Dr. Francine Shapiro who found that traumatic or problematic events and their later memories sometimes are processed maladaptively by our brains. The EMDR process allows for those events/memories to be reprocessed in an adaptive manner thus relieving the client's distressing symptoms.
How does it work?
After ensuring that the client feels safe through the creation of resources to assist them in accessing a place of safety, the actual eye movement reprocessing is started.
Hand movements initiated by the therapist & followed by the client's eyes are designed to cause the eyes to move in such a way that allows the brain to correct the way the memory was processed.
Other methods such as tapping, listening with ea…

The Anxiety of Living in a Military Family

By: Christine Hammond, LMHC, NCC As a mom with a child in the military, every time a news story breaks of a military death, my heart and breathing literally stop. It doesn’t matter what branch, location/country, circumstance, on base, off base, or in the line of duty, life comes to a screeching halt. A flood of emotions takes over any logic at the moment as all five senses become hyper-aware of the potential crisis. It usually takes reading or listening to the story several times before logic returns and the anxiety diminishes. Keeping the anxiety at bay is nearly impossible at the initial onset of news even though that would be ideal. The last thing that is needed in those moments is an emotional overreaction because it clouds thinking. By the end, the emotional toll from the rush of anxiety is exhausting, draining, and can be debilitating. However, there is a better way. Follow these steps to reduce the intensity of the anxiety. 1.Prepare. Mentally prepare ahead of time for the next an…