Life Beyond Therapy: Attracting love — or pushing it away?

Google said that the question, “What is love?” is one of its most popular searches; but I believe love is more easily experienced than defined.

I like how philosopher Julian Baggini defines love:

“Love is not one thing. Love for parents, partners, children, neighbors, God and so on all have different qualities. At its best, however, all love is a kind and passionate commitment that we nurture and develop. Without the commitment, it’s mere infatuation. Without the passion, it’s mere dedication. Without nurturing, even the best can wither and die.”

Life Beyond Therapy: A 'double testosterone' marriage

I am pleased to report that I recently signed a contract for my new book, “The Double Testosterone Marriage: Monogamy or Open Relationship?” with Rowman & Littlefield publishers.

I will turn the manuscript in this June and the book should be published later in the year.

About six months ago, when I first wrote the proposal for the book, the submissions editor at Rowman & Littlefield asked me a question: “Why do you want to write this book?”

This column is, in essence, the answer to that question.

Life Beyond Therapy: It's not the alcohol; it's you

Consider these:

Dear Michael:

I have been with my partner for several years now. Our sex life isn’t great, but everything else is good. Last week, I was out of town for work, went to a bar, and after too many drinks, ended up going home with this hot guy. I woke up the next morning in his bed, thinking, “If my boyfriend knew I did this, he’d leave me.” What do I do now?

Continue reading on SDGLN media partner Gay San Diego.

Life Beyond Therapy: A new definition of ‘peace’

Lots of people make New Year’s resolutions. I don’t recommend them. Usually, they are impossible to keep and make us feel worse about ourselves when we “break” them.

Instead, why not ask yourself, “What is it I really want in the coming year?”

For many of us, the answer is: peace.

Oh sure, we’d like more money and a better body and a great partner and the most fulfilling job possible, but, if you dig deeper, the reason we’d like most of this stuff is because we think that, if we had it, we’d feel a really wonderful deep sense of peace.

Life Beyond Therapy: Friendless in San Diego

Dear Michael:

I don’t seem to be very good at making — or keeping – friends. I’m kind of a loner and always have been, but I’d like a friend to hang around with, especially at this time of year. I’ve not been a very good friend in the past: I get impatient easily, frequently get annoyed with people and don’t like talking on the phone. What would you recommend?

—Friendless in San Diego

Continue reading on SDGLN media partner Gay San Diego .

Life Beyond Therapy: The power of silence

Recently, I was asked to co-facilitate a workshop with the above title. I wasn’t really sure I wanted to do it. After all, I thought, “What’s so great about silence?”

So, I did some research and was surprised at what I found out.

I discovered that silence has great power to make our lives calmer and better. No matter where we live, there’s a tremendous amount of “noise” in our lives: both internal (our racing, over-analytical minds) and external (the intense, crazy world that’s all around us).

Life Beyond Therapy: Fantasy sex

It’s so hard not to compare ourselves to other people. No matter how hard we try, somebody else always seems to have a better life than we do, a better partner, job, car, home or body.

This comparison thing also extends to sex. We imagine what other people do and we see — in videos and movies — hundreds of images of how other people have sex.

After seeing so many perfect-looking people having perfect-looking sex, it’s awfully hard to come up with our own definition of good sex. Instead, many of us fall into the trap of what I call, “fantasy sex.”

Life Beyond Therapy: Kind, flexible and forgiving- the keys to losing weight

Of all the problems in life, how much we weigh seems to be a concern for everyone I’ve ever met, myself included. In my work as a psychotherapist, clients typically don’t bring this up in the beginning of our work together. They usually wait until we’ve gotten to know each other better before they feel comfortable enough to talk about their weight.

This tells me that — for most of us — our weight is a very tender spot in our psyche. How much we weigh, how our body looks and how we feel about our body is a major part of our self-image.

Featured Listing

"Hunger Games" Jack Quaid lends his voice to mental health awareness

Hunger Games star Jack Quaid would like to bring awareness to the harmful prejudices so often associated with mental illness and economic inequality by lending his voice to Project UROK .

Using the Hashtag #MyHungerGames to tell your story on social media ensures that others around you may better understand your plight and what it means to live with the illness.

Life Beyond Therapy: The challenges of internalized homophobia

The other day I was talking with a client, a well-adjusted gay man, who told me, “I don’t think I’m homophobic anymore. I think I’ve worked all that through.”

My response was, “Really? Do you think that’s possible?”

He was pretty surprised to hear me say that. And that led us to a discussion of what homophobia really is.

Internalized homophobia is based on fear. A fear that who we are is not okay and that if we allowed how we feel inside to show outside, we’d never fit in.