Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Sunday, June 21, 2015

PARENTING: Does Your Teenager Use a Fake ID?

New research shows just how common it is for youth today to obtain a fake ID which can be used to purchase alcohol or enter establishments where alcohol is served. Arria and colleagues found that 66% of their youth sample had used a fake ID, and that’s a scary number. In addition, the researchers show that using a fake ID is also correlated with a higher likelihood of alcohol use disorders later in life.

What to Do: If you’re a parent of a youth, specifically ask your child if he or she has ever used a fake ID (and we know what they’ll say), and then explain some of the dangers of using one illegally. Specifically, do a little research online; read about teens who have recently been arrested; and show your child those articles online so that you can discuss them together. Say, “If, by some chance, you ever got arrested, what would that mean for your life?” Give them some prompts: “That would mean everyone at school might find out; you wouldn’t get to take that trip you’ve been wanting to go on; and you might not get into that college you’ve had your eye on.” Kids need specifics; otherwise, they will tune you out!

Check out the research here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131017173636.htm.


To all the dads out there who work so hard to make their kids feel protected and loved, Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

RELATIONSHIPS: When Your Partner Over-Flirts with Others

When you’re in a relationship, a little flirting is arguably healthy and normal. Those who say one should never flirt with someone else most likely unconsciously flirt (at least a little) when their partner is not present. We’re only human and our sexuality lives on, regardless of whether you are in a relationship or not.

What do you do, however, when you witness your partner flirting with someone else and you feel like it goes a step too far? What if it lasts a little too long or gets a little touchy for your liking?

What you do is address it. You check the behavior in the moment so that you clearly communicate that you don’t want the behavior to happen again. Rather than grab your partner’s arm and jerk him or her out of the conversation with the other guilty party, take a break and sit the conversation out for a few minutes. When you can be sure that you’ve regained composure and won’t cause more drama, ask your partner to talk with you alone for a minute.

When you address it, don’t make huge generalizations or call your partner names. Simply express what you observed and tell your partner how it made you feel. It always helps to add something like “maybe I’m just being extra-sensitive, but…” This technique is helpful because it makes your partner feel less attacked.

Finally, simply ask your partner that he or she not do it again. Don’t hold a grudge or let resentment settle in unless this behavior has become a pattern. Accept that we’re all human, that we all make mistakes, and that intimacy often increases in relationships when you work your way through problems together.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

THE WEEK: Hot Psychology Topics in the News

What a week it has been in the news! On Wednesday, I was on the Nancy Grace show when we covered the horrific Stavopoulos "D.C. Mansion Murder." This tragedy involved the brutal deaths of three adults and a 10-year old child who was tortured and then burned. The suspect is now in custody but there is no way to undo that kind of horror. What possesses someone to commit such horror? Was this individual a sociopath? Was this individual horribly abused as a child? I imagine that we will continue to learn more details about this case in the coming weeks. My heart goes out to the family of Veracilia Figueroa and to the remaining Stavopoulos daughters who were away at boarding school at the time.

Josh Duggar also made major headlines this week as he admitted to sexually molesting girls. The news sent shock waves to the world: Is this the man who moralistically condemned gays? I sent the following tweet on the subject: Are those who preach the loudest the ones hiding the darkest secrets? May we all learn to develop more of a live-and-let-live attitude.

Following the news on a day to day basis can be fascinating at times. What I appreciate most about the news is the way that it can trigger conversation and debate about very important issues. Let's see what happens next week...

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Sexual Vs. Emotional Infidelity

Though everyone may have a slightly different definition of what qualifies as infidelity, most people seem to believe that it involves sexual betrayal. This type of betrayal is incredibly painful for the partner who has been cheated on, and countless self-help books discuss ways to cope with this kind of event when it happens.

Much less is documented and discussed when it comes to emotional infidelity. I’m not talking about finding out that your partner follows pornographic websites or is connecting with others somewhere in sexual cyberspace. Even though those partners may not be actually having sex and may not ever meet, the nature of the infidelity is still sexual.

Emotional infidelity refers to behavior that one partner engages in that fosters emotional intimacy in the here-and-now and sometimes promotes the possibility of sexual intimacy in the future. Many people maintain secret or semi-secret friendships when there is a clear mutual interest or attraction, while others may not be interested but encourage others’ interest in them.

The sad reality is that emotional infidelity is often totally hidden to the extent that you may not know if and when your partner is emotionally cheating. Because the connection is not sexually based, there are fewer opportunities to detect the infidelity. For example, when there’s no need for a hotel room, it’s difficult for anyone to find proof of the betrayal upon review of your credit card bill.

Many articles and books will give you the top tips to tell you if your partners cheating, but what are the tips to tell you if your partner is emotionally cheating? The truth is that it is very difficult to tell – in some cases, next to impossible. The best indicator is to consider the character of your partner and to ask yourself how much you truly trust his or her integrity. How loyal is your partner to his or her friends? To his or her job? To his or her family? Is there a history of unfaithfulness in any form in the past?

Ultimately, we all have strong instincts that guide us. Your instincts will have a hard time telling you someone is emotionally cheating on you, but they will easily tell you whether your partner is inherently trustworthy or prone to infidelity. It never hurts to discuss this issue with your partner so that you can be sure you have the same definition of infidelity. It is my belief that your definition of cheating should include both emotional and sexual components.

Finally, one point I would like to emphasize is that couples often wait until they’re in a trouble spot to discuss uncomfortable issues. In my clinical work I always tell my clients that the best time to discuss problems is completely counter-intuitive – do it when things are going well!

PLUS: Check out my book about how to stop repeating the same negative relationship patterns, Dr. Seth's Love Prescription: Overcome Relationship Repetition Syndrome and Find the Love You Deserve! You can explore the book here: http://amzn.to/1e78z7q.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Can Rebound Relationships Be Successful?

The issue of rebound relationships is not as clear-cut as you might guess. It would be easy to say that all rebound relationships are unhealthy because you haven’t given yourself time to mourn the end the relationship you just ended.

If you’re starving for a good generalization, it’s safe to eat this one for breakfast: As a rule, rebounds are bad news. However, this generalization fails to take into account the fact that the relationship one just ended may have been over for a long time prior to the official end. In other words, a man can be in a relationship and be mourning the loss that it is ending prior to the actual end of the relationship. In some relationships, the love and connection died a long time ago, and the two people simply stay together to avoid the upsetting breakup words.

For these individuals, they may seek out another relationship soon after. That relationship is not necessarily going to be unhealthy provided that he or she did the work to make sense of why the last relationship failed. This work, I must emphasize, must be done prior to beginning the next relationship.

Looking at the picture from this angle, it becomes apparent that you must define what a rebound relationship is, because not all relationships that begin soon after the previous one ended are actually rebound relationships. What defines a rebound relationship is the fact that you have worked through the issues of your last relationship so that you can avoid bringing them into your next one.

As long as your next relationship is not a rebound relationship and you have learned from your previous relationship, you are poised to find a relationship that will actually work for you!