People Who Try to Control You with Their Feelings Are Immature

Uncategorized Apr 06, 2020

Jim came into therapy because of his inability to get things done at home. He said, “I am irresponsible, and my wife is very displeased with me. I can’t seem to follow through on anything.”

“What sorts of things don’t you follow through on?” I asked.

“Well, Jean wants me to rake the yard, plant a flower garden, fix the patio, remodel the kitchen, take the kids to the movies, make more money ... .”

The list went on and on. “Did you promise to do all those things?”

I asked, when Jim paused to take a breath.


“Do you want to do all those things?” I asked.

“Not really, but I have to,” he replied.

“What do you mean, ‘You have to?’” I asked further.

“Well, if I don’t, Jean will get mad and say that I don’t love her.”

I was beginning to get the picture. “You mean that you promise to do anything Jean wants? How in the world can you make...

Continue Reading...

5 Reasons to Give Yourself Permission to Ask For Help

Uncategorized Apr 04, 2020

Sometimes we struggle to ask for help. You may be the person everyone runs to for help, or maybe you feel like you would be a burden to someone. Let’s talk about the ways that make it ok for us to seek help from others.

Here are a few of the reasons asking is helpful for us:

  1. When we ask, we develop humility. To request help or support from another destroys any illusions of self-sufficiency we might harbor. Asking helps us remember that we are incomplete, that we are needy, and that we are to seek outside of ourselves to take in what we need. This creates the position of humility in us, which opens us up not only to others and our Creator.
  2. When we ask, we are owning our needs. Asking for love, comfort, or understanding is a transaction between two people. You are saying to the other: “I have a need. It’s not your problem. It’s not your responsibility. You don’t have to respond. But I’d like something from you.” This frees the...
Continue Reading...

Understanding PTSD and Our Military

Uncategorized Apr 02, 2020

I will never forget the day that I was almost taken out by a U.S. Marine. I was a little kid working in a boat dealership when I walked into the shop one day and said, “Hey Tommy, have you seen that spare tire for the trailer?” When I did, I startled Tommy, a Viet Nam vet, and he immediately grabbed a shovel, spun around and started swinging at everything in sight, including me. I dived for cover and was hiding behind a fishing boat when he just “snapped out of it,” and was suddenly himself again. I had no clue what had just happened, but it was terrifying. Tommy told me later that he had the “jitters,” as he put it, since he had returned home from the war. 

Now, as a psychologist, I understand more. PTSD and other scars of war are real, and life-altering. What Tommy was experiencing then we have much more knowledge of now. We know what causes it and we know how to treat it. But there are...

Continue Reading...

Why Isolation is So Toxic to You and How to Find Healthy Relationships

Uncategorized Apr 02, 2020

Whether it’s maintaining personal health, thriving in a certain situation, reaching goals or organizational performance, fulfillment requires our reliance on the “others” in our circle. We need them. And our outcomes greatly depend on the quality of how those relationships are working.There are basically four possibilities when it comes to the kinds of relational connections we have in our lives, both personally and professionally. Drawing them into a rectangle, this model forms four corners. The first corner is what I call “no connection,” which happens when we find ourselves with little or no real connection to key individuals in our lives.

This can happen even when we have people around us. While we may be in relationships, both personally and professionally, we find ourselves with little or no connection to them. We are not understood, fueled, built-up, corrected and challenged in the ways that are necessary for thriving. It could be...

Continue Reading...

The Boundaries.Me Podcast: Dr. Les Carter - Boundaries Around a Healthy Identity

Uncategorized Mar 31, 2020


Who are you going to be?

Dr. Les Carter is a therapist and best-selling author of “When Pleasing You is Killing Me” and “The Anger Trip." In this episode of the podcast, he shares with us his story about setting a boundary around staying centered on being himself. Remaining true to ourselves is incredibly hard, but by establishing a boundary around who we are, and who we're going to be to the people around us, it becomes possible. That boundary makes it easier to make adjustments and stay aware of when we diverge from our true selves.

Guest Links

YouTube Channel: Surviving Narcissism 

Boundaries.Me Courses Related to this Episode

How to Identify Safe People and Unsafe Behaviors  

How to Stand Up to a Narcissist


How to Subscribe to the Boundaries.Me Podcast 

Google Play

Need a safe place to relate to others about this topic? Join one of Dr. Henry Cloud's Boundaries Peer Groups.

Boundaries in...

Continue Reading...

How to Deal with Critical People in Your Life

Uncategorized Mar 31, 2020

Several years ago I had spoken at a leadership conference, and I was walking down the hall backstage with a friend of mine, who happened to be the event host. We were talking about the incredible growth and reach of her organization and all the great work it was doing, but something else also came up.

Her organization had its fair share of very vocal critics.

Right before I arrived to speak at this conference, I had read an article about my friend’s organization in a magazine article, and I asked her what she thought of it. Her answer caught me by surprise.

“Can’t say that I’ve seen it. I’ve got other stuff to do and think about.”

Really?” I thought. “You just got blasted by a popular magazine, and it didn’t register?” So, I asked her.

“Really? You just let it go?”

“Overall, yes. I have to do things that my organization depends on me to do. People are going to say what they want, and I have no...

Continue Reading...

Telling Yourself to ‘Get Over It' Simply Doesn’t Work

Uncategorized Mar 30, 2020

Paul came into therapy because his wife was frustrated with his emotional distance from the children. As we explored what made it difficult for him to connect with his children, I asked Paul about his own father.

His father was wonderful, Paul told me, and he had always looked up to him. "It seems you and your father did much better together than you and your children are doing," I said. "I wonder what went wrong."

"I don't know. Maybe it has something to do with his death."

"What do you mean?"

"He died when I was 13. He just never woke up one morning. I watched the paramedics come in and take him away under a sheet. Mom never talked about it. My uncle made all the funeral arrangements, but he didn't talk about it either." And then he began to cry.

As we continued to work, he began to recognize his anger for the sudden loss of his father. He was resentful that his mother and uncle never helped him through his feelings of grief. As he worked through the loss and felt the grief he...

Continue Reading...

The Boundaries.Me Podcast: Dr. Henry Cloud - The Micro-steps to Sanity in a Crisis

Uncategorized Mar 26, 2020

I hope you're doing alright. We're still in the early stages of a crisis and you might be experiencing feelings of being a little lost and adrift right now, or maybe a little unmotivated... well there are some reasons for that. You lose some control when the structures of life disappear. When the choices of normal life get removed you feel powerlessness. So, what can we do individually to take a few steps back to feeling normal? In this podcast, I want to help you overcome something called 'learned helplessness.' I want to help you take control of what you can control, and come to terms with what you can't.

How to Subscribe to the Boundaries.Me Podcast

Google Play

Need a safe place to relate to others about this topic? Join one of Dr. Henry Cloud's Boundaries Peer Groups. 

Boundaries in Marriage
Boundaries with Codependency
Boundaries in Dating
Boundaries with Parents
Boundaries with Adult Children
Boundaries After Divorce
Boundaries with Narcissists
Boundaries with...

Continue Reading...

How to Take Control During A Crisis

Uncategorized Mar 26, 2020

We have all felt the anxiety hearing the replays of crucial 911 calls. We can identify with the caller in these touch and go moments. And we have heard calls sometimes where the operator doesn’t seem to “get it,” that something really frightening is happening for the person. At other times, they get it but don’t seem very caring about the person as they bark out orders in a scary tone. It’s like they have worked too many shifts and are either disengaged or frustrated.

Then you hear the good one, and it instantly feels different. You feel better for the caller and somehow even begin to have hope that something good is going to happen, a better outcome than the person is expecting. It feels like they are in “good hands.” You think, “If I ever call 911 I want that person to answer.”

So, what is the difference? What makes a good crisis operator? Are there certain ingredients that are common to the good ones, elements that we can...

Continue Reading...

4 Things You Can Do For Your Mental Health During the COVID-19 Crisis

Uncategorized Mar 25, 2020

When you go through a crisis, the first thing to go through your brain is, “Something has changed, and everything is different!” So, how do we adjust and adapt?

1. Connection. How connected you feel to others is fuel to life. In order to thrive, we have to have safe connections to other people so we can relate to them, and them to us. The entire foundation of human existence is the degree to which you are connected to other people. If you’re practicing social distancing at home, and I hope you are, make sure you’re taking time to reach out to your friends, your family and the people who give you life. I encourage you to use FaceTime, Zoom, Google, etc.

Also, my heart goes out to those of you who are working in essential industries right now. It is my prayer that you stay safe and be well during this time.

2. Structure. Our brains function well when there is structure. All of life has a structure, and our lives are designed in a way that performs best when...

Continue Reading...

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.