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     A Boy Divided
    

We can all probably easily recognize this story as a clear case of a child being put in the middle between divorced parents. But what can be done?...Children can have qualitatively different attachments with each parent. Research consistently shows that a secure attachment with a parent or other trusted adult can ameliorate the effects of troubled attachments and trauma, creating new experiences and new pathways in the brain...(Click for full article)

 
     Barriers to True Forgiveness
    

Well, forgiveness is not so simple. We cannot just decide to forgive and command ourselves to make it happen through sheer force of will...(Click for full article)

 
     Being A Grownup When Your Kid Hates You
    

This column tells a story based on a composite of real-life situations in therapy to represent both teen and parent viewpoints on anger and guilt in families during divorce.Sabrina, 18, was a freshman away at college. Shortly after she arrived at school she found out that her parents had just split up. Sabrina also soon discovered that her dad had been having an affair since she was in high school, and was still involved with the other woman...(Click for full article)

 
     Competing Family Loyalties
    

As the child becomes an adult, a mother with an anxious, insecure attachment style may refuse to let go, secretly needing to remain the primary love attachment. This may not become apparent until her son find a romantic love partner and devotes himself to her, allowing a competitor to enter the scene. The situation is then often enacted in full drama around family events and holidays when the mother’s explicit demands, and (unspoken) expectation of “loyalty” (e.g. exclusive love) from her son, conflicts with his role as a husband...(Click for full article)

 
     Coping With Trauma and Avoiding Misconceptions (aftermath of Sandy Hook shootings)
    

Most of us function by maintaining an illusion of control over life with only dim awareness of possible catastrophe. A basic sense of security runs in the background of our psyche - like a computer operating system - imperceptible until it crashes. When our security is ripped away by trauma, we’re shocked and catapulted into a different reality. Suddenly the threat of danger and loss looms large, making us acutely aware that life is fragile...(Click for full article)

 
     Daughters Growing Up, Mothers Growing Scared
    

Difficulties with separation often are activated during developmental transitions such as the first day of kindergarten, adolescence, high school graduation, leaving home and finally, marriage. At these junctures, mothers need to step back and let go, allowing their children to mature and transition to the next level...(Click for full article)

 
     Having a Smooth "Break-up" With Your College-Bound Teen
    

Casey, having just turned 18, is faced with suddenly being “grown up.” The more his mom tells him what to do and what he needs to learn for college, the less confident he feels, requiring him to put up a front of independence and bravado and having to argue the position that he already knows how to do everything. Unimpeded development of self-confidence and independence in children is contingent on mothers’ ability to provide a protective, but not over-protective, or obtrusive presence...(Click for full article)

 
     How to Be Protective When Your Son Thinks He is Gay
    

Parents don’t have the power to influence whether children are gay but do have the power to influence how children feel about themselves. A close relationship with parents has been found to provide the best insulation from dangers in the outside world...(Click for full article)

 
     Protecting Teens from the Spread of Suicide
    

Although we don’t usually think of suicide as contagious, one of the strongest predictors of suicide in youth is the suicide or suicide attempt of a friend or family member...(Click for full article)

 
     Relationships
    

Relationships and the ending of relationships are one of the most common reasons for talking to a psychologist. When relationships end, many people find themselves overtaken by powerful feelings...(Click for full article)

 
     Trauma, PTSD
    

Many people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder fail to seek treatment because of not having correctly identified or recognized their symptoms as trauma-related, and/or not knowing their symptoms are treatable. Also, the inherent avoidance, withdrawal, memory disruption, fear, guilt, shame, and mistrust associated with PTSD, can make it difficult to come forward and seek help. The process of integration allows the trauma to become a part of normal memory rather than something to be perpetually feared and avoided, interfering with normal life, and frozen in time...(Click for full article)

 
     Weddings, Graduations and Other Chapter Endings
    

Milestones such as weddings and graduations are complicated and not always filled with bliss...(Click for full article)

 
     When Your Kids Disappoint You
    

Parents may have a clear vision of their child’s “potential.” When this is discrepant from kids’ actual performance, they may fear their children’s futures. Even more unnerving is when kids don’t share these visions or worries. It’s enough to make any parent want to shake them into shape. “Potential,” however, must incorporate personality, developmental and emotional factors which impinge on resilience and capacity. For example, bright kids may get poor grades when they are unable to withstand pressure, or when energies are consumed by urgent concerns such as fitting in socially or fear of failing...(Click for full article)

 
     You Should Be So Lucky: Dealing with Tragedy
    

People often avoid and isolate those who are grieving or have terminal illnesses, either literally or emotionally. They don’t know what to say or how to act - staying far enough away to preclude being able to really relate. They change the topic to the luck of it all or steer clear of talking about the elephant in the room...(Click for full article)

 


 
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