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Looking for a blog rich with information on codependency, trauma, and self-esteem?  Search this archive of more than 150 original posts.

People pleasing, attachment, and writing a book: a car ramble

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Here’s what happens when I have time in the car to myself to think.  If you’d like to learn a little bit more about attachment and people pleasing, take a listen.  The first 30 seconds is me laughing at myself for setting rigid goals about word count for the book I’m writing.  See full transcript below. NB: I was driving home from a training on parts work, so my brain was a little scrambled. https://labyrinth1.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/car_ramble.mp3 I think about the goal I had/have for 50,000 words, that feels like a very left-shifted goal. Words, how many of them, vs have you told the things you need to tell? So I’m just thinking...

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White therapists, talk to your white clients about race.

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This video is for white therapists who are worried about following their client’s lead in session and refraining from talking about race in session because they are fearful about… therapeutic rupture or alienating their clients, betraying their training or theoretical orientation to practice in a client-centered way, or being unethical by imposing an agenda on their clients. Don’t have time to read this post?  Here’s the gist: There are guidelines in every ethics code for psychologists, social workers, licensed professional counselors and marriage and family therapists about addressing racism and white privilege in session– even if it is...

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A therapist coping with coronavirus in Austin, Texas

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This is a very strange season. Outside, the world is bursting with blooms and spring is here.  And yet. And yet we have traded the usual springtime festivities for hunkering down and social distancing. Austin is a ghost town, as well it should be. The few times I have had reason to leave my house lately have been ordinary and jarring both at the same time. Grief catches me by the heel in small, unexpected ways. I cried at the lack of Austin traffic as I sped down I-35. It felt like I was making the commute I would have made back in 2000. I felt like I was outside of time, outside of the chronology of my own life. We are all in the soup together We all feel untethered at...

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Insecure attachment makes so much sense.

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It’s easy to understand how insecure attachment gets a bad rap.  There’s loads of research studies talking about the early negative and often lifelong impact of these relational styles. It impacts our social relationships, academic performance, rates of mental illness, and, to add salt to the wound, success rates in therapy.  (Let’s appreciate the unfortunate irony of that last one for a moment.) So I’m not surprised that when you type ‘insecure attachment’ into google, the most commonly seen autocomplete threads say something like ‘do I have it’ and then ‘treatment’ … I get it. It’s a long list of consequences to something that gets...

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A common, hidden cause of depression and anxiety and burn out that 75% of us are doing: living left-shifted.

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When we’re feeling miserable, it’s natural to go looking for a series of signs and symptoms. We want to explain things and get strategies to hoist us out of our pain. Most articles out there are going to explain symptoms of a toxic relationship, or the impact of your genetics and family history on your proneness to depression, or burn out, or stress. And that’s all very important context. But today, I want to write about a not-much-talked about source of some of our misery.  Our brains… and more specifically, the way that our left hemisphere processes information. Now, before your eyes glaze over and you go off to read something more interesting, give me 30...

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What is secure attachment?

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Hi, Ann Stoneson here.  Today I want to talk with you about what is attachment, specifically secure attachment, and why does it matter. So, whether you’re in the field of psychology practicing as a therapist or just a person who’ve been reading books and hearing in podcasts about secure attachment, today I want to talk to you about what secure attachment is and how it impacts our lives from “the cradle to grave”– which is a quote from John Bowlby who is actually the father of attachment theory. So, when I talk about attachment and attachment theory, I want to be sure to be clear that this is different from attachment parenting which is a...

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What is EMDR therapy?

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Hi, y’all– here’s my latest video & transcript.  In today’s video, I tackle the topic “What is EMDR therapy?” — take a look! If you’d like to stay in touch for future videos, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel here. Transcript: Hi, Ann Stoneson here. Today I want to talk to you about EMDR therapy, also known as eye movement desensitization reprocessing. So, what is EMDR and how does it work? EMDR was developed about 30 years ago by a psychologist, Francine Shapiro, totally by accident.  She noticed as she was walking through a park that she was thinking about something distressing, and when she moved her eyes back...

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What causes people pleasing?

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Hi, y’all– here’s my next installment in video series I’m putting together on mental health.  In today’s video, I tackle the topic “What causes people pleasing?” — take a look! If you’d like to stay in touch for future videos, you can subscribe to my Youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-GGFzmtZvR9j1noAp1AbaA  What causes people pleasing? Transcript: I’m Ann Stoneson, I’m a therapist in private practice in Austin, Texas. Today, I want to talk a little bit about the origin of people-pleasing.  Most people when you ask them “Do you know what a people pleaser is?”— they can give you a pretty clear answer. ...

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Anxious Attachment Quiz: People pleasing vs codependency vs anxious attachment

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Are you wondering if you have anxious attachment?  Here’s a quick, extremely informal and homemade way to assess if your relationship style might lean toward anxious attachment (aka, preoccupied attachment or ambivalent attachment). This isn’t a formal assessment!  You’d need to sit down with a mental health professional to discuss these matters in depth to know for certain—or have them administer an AAI (Adult Attachment Interview). A Very Not-Official Anxious Attachment Quiz Review the following items, making a note of each one that describes you well: I often end up in relationships where I seem more invested than the other person. In romantic relationships,...

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Stop Shaming People Pleasers: People Pleasing as a Relational Strategy

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Hi, y’all– here’s my first installment in video series I’m putting together on mental health.  I’m kicking things off with a discussion about “What is people-pleasing?” — take a look! If you’d like to stay in touch for future videos, you can subscribe to my Youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-GGFzmtZvR9j1noAp1AbaA What is people pleasing? Transcript: Hi, there.  My name is Ann Stoneson.  I’m a therapist in private practice in Austin Texas and I specialize in working with people pleasers.  And if you’ve followed my work at all, you know this is a topic I am really passionate about.  I...

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How do I find a therapist near me?

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Are you looking for therapy in Austin?  Yes? In that case, the answer to your question is fairly simple. Pick up a stone, throw it in any direction.  Chances are good it may hit a therapist.  Why? (Unnecessary sidebar: please don’t actually throw stones at people.) Well, Austin is a pretty great place to live, honestly.  Not that I’m biased or anything, of course. But seriously—last I checked, there were more therapists per capita here than in many other major metropolitan cities in Texas.  And the Austin therapeutic community is incredibly diverse. For trauma recovery, we have EMDRIA – that’s the EMDR International Association—based in Austin.  EMDR...

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10 Survival Tips for Survivors of Sexual Trauma When News Coverage is Triggering

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I wish I could say I was surprised by this latest news cycle and the backlash that followed. But, when you’re a trauma therapist, you become a repository for some of the deepest secrets and pain humankind can offer.  You don’t get to have the luxury of denial. And you get to see fierce, quiet displays of courage in your clients every week as they heal.  It is sacred work I feel lucky to do each and every day. But, the point of this article isn’t to talk about the privileges and hazards of my profession.  I’m writing this for all the survivors of sexual trauma out there.  I know there are a lot of us. You’ve probably already seen plenty of posts about how to...

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Are you in a codependent relationship? Avoidant attachment meets anxious attachment.

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Are you in a codependent relationship? Codependency is a pattern of problematic behavior in interpersonal relationships.  Here are some of the common features or situations you’ll see in codependent relationships. The codependency behaviors listed below are better understood as anxious attachment or people-pleasing behaviors, which I’ve written more about here. The other attachment style commonly paired with anxious attachment is avoidant attachment. This post doesn’t describe those behaviors, but you can learn a bit more about that here. So, here are some common examples of codependency in relationships– specifically, what people-pleasing looks like...

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Am I Codependent? Getting a Good Codependency Definition

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Are you trying to find a good codependency definition? Maybe you’ve read Codependent No More or you’ve got a copy of Facing Codependence on your nightstand—highlighted and earmarked. Maybe you recognized yourself in those pages.  I know I did. Whether you’re a fan of Pia Mellody or Melody Beattie, or even if you’ve never read anything by them, it’s okay.  You’re beginning to put words to what you think is going on—and that’s a start.  There are many different codependency signs and symptoms, and it can be confusing trying to get a clear codependency definition. So, you’re wondering:  Am I codependent?  What is codependency? I’d argue that a...

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Codependency Therapy in Austin: Where to Get Help

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If you’re reading this article, you probably don’t need to read this one. You already know about the signs and symptoms of codependency.  You may already realize you’re in a codependent relationship. Perhaps you’ve already made up your mind to seek codependency therapy. If you’re looking for codependency therapy in Austin, you’re in the right spot.  I’m a therapist that specializes in codependency therapy in Austin, and I’ve been doing this work for over a decade. Even so, I’m going to spend some time talking about other ways to get help for codependency in Austin.  And, I’ll give you an idea about what therapy for codependency looks like from the...

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