Tony’s Blog

Why People Stay in Unhealthy Relationships - You Do Deserve to Be Happy!

Why do people stay in unhealthy relationships? Many don't believe they are deserving of happiness. Tony tackles this topic using "When You Don't Feel You Deserve to Be Happy" by Robert Taibbi as his muse and a post from his women's private Facebook group. The article can be found at https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/fixing-families/201901/when-you-feel-you-dont-deserve-be-happy Find all the latest […]

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Eating Chocolate - An Emotional Control Strategy or a Way to Stay Present?

Exercise, meditation, prayer, and eating good food all sound like wonderful, emotional-baseline-raising activities. But depending on how you're doing them, they could also be a way to eliminate unwanted thoughts and feelings. Tony looks at "creative helplessness" and "emotional control strategies" and how they play into our search for happiness. Tony references Russ Harris' book […]

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When the Student Becomes the Teacher - One Mother Opens Up to Her Adult Children

What is the best way to support somebody beginning to “wake up” to the narcissism or the emotional immaturity in their relationship but still willing to wait for a miracle to occur? And what if that “somebody” is a parent in a relationship with a step-parent that you’ve never really liked? And what that miracle […]

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A Cornucopia of Narcissism! Switzerland Friends, Confabulated Memory, Sitting w/Discomfort, Family Roles and More!

Tony discusses the differences between false memories and confabulation. He then reads a message from the "women in relationships with narcissistic 'fill in the blank'" Facebook group that leads to a breakdown of "Switzerland Friends," as well as how we deal with discomfort, as well as how "family systems theory" could provide an answer to […]

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10 Predictors of a Bad Romantic Relationship Explained

Tony shares and responds to the article “The 10 Best Predictors of a Bad Romantic Relationship” by Seth Gillihan, PhD https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/think-act-be/202301/the-10-best-predictors-of-a-bad-romantic-relationship Tony also references the article “Attachment Woes Between Anxious and Avoidant Partners,” by Darlene Lancer, JD, LMFT https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/toxic-relationships/202008/attachment-woes-between-anxious-and-avoidant-partners And follow Tony on the Virtual Couch YouTube channel to see a sneak preview of his […]

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Narcissism Knows No Gender - When a Man Loves a Narcissistic or Emotionally Immature Woman

Tony reads two emails from men in relationships with more emotionally immature and/or narcissistic women, and he talks about the challenges a man faces in these types of relationships. Tony references the articles: "Why Men Are More Narcissistic Than Women" by Jeffrey Kluger https://time.com/3734329/narcissism-men-women/ and the often referenced study out of the University of Buffalo, […]

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Tackling Trauma - More Lessons from "The Body Keeps the Score"

"If you feel safe and loved, your brain becomes specialized in exploration, play, and cooperation; if you are frightened and unwanted, it specializes in managing feelings of fear and abandonment," says Bessel van der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps the Score (https://amzn.to/3QtMBPG). In today's episode, Tony explores what unresolved trauma can look like in […]

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Death By a Thousand Cuts IV (Part 4)

Tony shares the 4th installment in the "Death By a Thousand Cuts" series. He gives examples of how being in a relationship with a narcissist or extremely emotionally immature person can feel like "death by a thousand cuts." All of the examples used in this episode come directly from his private women’s Facebook group for […]

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The Psychology of the Churro - 8 Mental Health Lessons Learned from a Disneyland Christmas

Tony shares 8 mental health lessons learned from a Christmas spent at Disneyland. 1) You’ll never really know something until you experience it. 2) Churros provide an immediate but temporary dopamine dump. 3) How to come back to the present moment, over and over again. 4) How easy it can be to find yourself turning […]

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Don't Give the Narcissist the "Gift" of Your Anger - Button Pushing, Family Drama and More "Aha" Moments

Tony shares questions and answers from his forum for women in relationships with narcissistic or emotionally immature people. The questions deal with narcissistic family systems, whether or not to "confront" or air out the narcissist's drama to the entire family. Two forum members share their "aha" moments, one bringing more clarity (their narcissist having to […]

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