Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles’

Daylight Savings Time Ending in LA: What Does Your Response Say About You?


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Daylight Savings Time Ending in LA: What Does Your Response Say About You?
The ending to daylight savings time in Los Angeles is here. For many the darkness connected to daylight savings time ending feels like a weight and not something to look forward too. But for some, the winter and its extended nighttime feel like something they have been waiting for all year. So why is it that as humans we can have so many different opinions about long sunny days versus longer nights? I believe that on some level it has to do with the continuum of mood, and where you stand on that continuum most of the time.

To put it simply, darkness and light affect our mood greatly. A therapist sees it dramatically when working with people living with bipolar disorder, and less obviously with those that experience depression and anxiety. Those that tend to be more depressive in nature typically dread the darkness. They are uncomfortable feeling sad and thus look forward to the sun and its inherit manic energy. Those that tend to be more anxious in nature typically look forward to the darkness. The amount of energy they have is exhausting, and they bathe in the calmness darkness can bring.

Paying attention to your thoughts when the time changes provides insight into your moods. Once you understand more about how the nature rhythm of the seasons affects you, precautions can be taken. Increase your coping skills during the time of year that is most difficult, set up structured activities to keep you energized or relaxed, and try to be extra mindful about staying in the present.


Overview of Mindful Parenting


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Patricia O’Laughlin interviewed by about.com on Teen Dating


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Patricia O'Laughlin interviewed by about.com on Teen Dating

In this about.com video, “Is my Teen Ready to Date”, I talking about teen dating and give three signs that mean your teen could be ready to date.  Click on the picture above to view at about.com.


Setting Limits With Your Teenager


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Adolescence Developmental Changes


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Perfectionism in Women


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Fathers Can Struggle Too: Dads and Postpartum Depression


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Dads Postpartum Depression

Over the years, more and more, focus is being placed on the mental well being of fathers. In the past, the parenting struggles of fathers have been largely ignored as the role of fathers has been mainly of financial provider, rather than primary nurturer. As part of the psychology of parenting (POP) services, I provide support to fathers individually, and in couples therapy.

Recent research shows that men can experience depression and anxiety during and after the birth of their child. The exact biological reasons are still unknown. It is hypothesized that men can experience chemical brain changes during the bonding process, and that sometimes this increases feelings of sadness or excessive worry. However, environmentally, it is generally agreed that lack of sleep, the extra worry the father carries during the birthing process, the pressure to support the mother and child in the early months, and the shift in household duties, all contribute to the depression of dads.

In addition, fathers are often expected to balance their primary breadwinner duties with caregiver tasks. As a result, the father often feels pulled between the demands and expectations of their employer and the new requirements of home. Not only can this increase depression and anxiety in the father, but it can often cause fathers to feel an increase in isolation, as lack of time infringes on the support network they previously created.

Since advice gathering and problem sharing is not a typical part of male communication, fathers can often feel insecure over their parenting skills and what their role should be at home. Most often, fathers in the current generation did not have stay-at-home male role models. Their fathers worked long hours and left the primary care duties to the mom. Things have shifted, and sometimes the father is now the person who stays at home. Whether it’s a full time care-giver job, or a part-time one, dads can feel lost and alone. They have no picture or memory to connect to in order to help guide them as they create their identity as a father.

I know many men feel hesitant to access help. I can help you feel like your life is back in balance, by guiding you while you formulate the identity you want to as a father, and support you through times of transition.


Transitional Women and Men – Your 20s and 30s


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Transitional Women and Men

Many women and men enter a significant time of transition in their 20s and 30s. This is the phase of life where differentiation happens. Differentiation occurs when a person is able to view him or herself as an individual, distinct from their family of origin, and assert these differences. During their twenties and thirties, women typically leave home and transition out of the educational system. Suddenly they are on their own, removed from the shelter their parents or college once afforded them. This makes differentiation more important, but it is far from easy. It comes with pressure to chose a career and make a living, redefine relationships with parents and siblings, and commit to a primary romantic relationship. It is a time when women are supposed to solidify their individuality…That’s a pretty tall order, especially when society and family are inadvertently insisting that you conform to the status quo.

Contemplating a different life than what is considered “normal” can be very stressful. Every decision can feel like it is a HUGE mistake with dire consequences. What are the next steps I should take with my career and degree? There are things I like about my relationship but there are things that bother me. Is this the right relationship for me? How will my history affect my ability to be happy in a relationship and to have the family I have always desired? Where do I want to settle down? Is Los Angeles the right place for me?

This phase forces us to engage in the process of differentiation like no other period of our life. During differentiation, a person separates out their expectations of themselves from the expectations placed upon them by family members. This process can be very difficult as people around us do not always like this change and may judge our decisions or be less supportive than we had hoped.

When we push ourselves to differentiate we are creating our own individuality. Being in therapy for transitional women and men is very powerful. Therapy can give a person the guidance and support they need to break free of the expectations placed upon on them, to develop a strong sense of self, and to take the pressure off of what you “should” be and make room for who you truly are.


About me


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Patricia O’Laughlin, licensed therapist and Art Therapist, providing EMDR and therapy to individuals, couples, teens, and adults. Silver Lake/Los Feliz, Los Angeles. therapy@patriciaolaughlin.com or (323)761-2221.