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Dear Christine, Worried in Waterford

  • Posted on July 30, 2019 at 11:00 am

Dear Christine, I have been with my partner for several years but for the last few years, we’ve been more like roommates. We don’t share a bedroom, we do a few things together, but mostly we do our own things. A few months ago we talked and confirmed officially that indeed we are just roommates and not “partners”. I was not looking, did not even want to date, but I was at an event and there she was; this new person I had never met or heard of, and we instantly connected. We’ve only had two dates, and I’ve made it clear I want friendship first, plus she is aware I have an ex living with me. So far I like her and want to get to know her better. The concern I have is that I’ve told my roommate that I have met someone and I might want to date and now the roommate seems very depressed and even told me she’s thought of suicide; Not entirely because of our breakup, I think she’s been depressed for a while. I asked her to seek immediate help and she agreed but I’m not sure she will. What should I do?…

Art and Stress Relief, By Christine C. Cantrell, PhD

  • Posted on February 26, 2019 at 9:04 am

Sunday, February 24, 2019 There are a lot of life stressors these days, pushing our stress hormone cortisol levels higher, causing fight or flight reactions in our body:  high blood pressure, lowered immune system, tense muscles and upset digestive track, and insomnia to boot.  Sure, meditation is in, but how do you meditate if your mind is always racing? Art.  You do art to reduce stress.  No, you don’t have to be an “artist.”  All you need is a bit of time and some colored pencils, some clay or play dough, some paint and paper.  Or you could crochet or knit.  You could sing in the shower, or join a chorus!  It’s all art and you get to choose whatever you are in the mood for.  You can make something you would never show anyone, or you might even like the final result.  And you might just find one of your passions. This is from science!  A research study  by Assistant professor of creative arts at Drexel University, Girija Kaimal examined the effects of making art on stress-related hormones in your body.  The results, published in Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, titled “Reduction of Cortisol Levels…

Dear Christine, Snooping in Southfield

  • Posted on October 1, 2018 at 9:44 am

Dear Christine, I think my girlfriend is cheating on me. We have been together for 4 months, and everything is going well. But sometimes when I’m on her computer, girls message her about the great time that they had the night before, when it was supposed to be our apart night. I can’t help but see the messages because they pop right on the screen. The other day, I was sending an e-mail from her computer, and I accidentally stumbled on a hot and steamy e-mail from another girl, and I recognized her e-mail from the messages. I want to confront her but I’m afraid that she will think that I am snooping, and/or that I am over reacting. What do you think? Should I call her on it? How can I without her thinking I’m a snoop? Am I a Snooping? Dear Snooping in Southfield, This is all about boundaries. Has your girlfriend given you permission to go on her computer, and is she aware that when you or anyone does, these messages from other people pop up? If she has given her permission and is aware, then you are not a snoop and you have a legitimate right…

Dear Christine, What if in Westland

  • Posted on September 24, 2018 at 10:20 am

Dear Christine, i’ve been bi for 6 years… but have always been too nervous to date a girl (or maybe just trying to hide) i’m right now dating a boy. i’ve been with him for a year and a half and for a while we were inseparable, planning to marry and be together forever. the works. but about 2 months ago he dumped me out of the blue. i went crazy and after about a month convinced him to give it another try. but he doesn’t love me anymore. things are very weird and definitely not the same. as this goes on, i’m losing interest. i’ve been thinking about finally coming out to the public and giving up on hiding or whatever it is i’ve been doing. here’s my big problem. i’m madly in crush with this girl i know who i met last year right in the midst of the good part of my relationship with my bf. i thought she was super gorgeous then, but now it’s consuming my every thought. i think about her constantly and it’s driving me crazy not knowing what to do. i kind of want to break up with my boy and pursue…

Dear Christine, Curious in Canton

  • Posted on September 4, 2018 at 10:23 am

Dear Christine, I have enjoyed reading you articles but I feel a little out of place sending you a letter. It’s not the kind of thing I ever thought I would do but here goes. I have been in a good relationship for many years and I love my partner. I can’t think of anyone else I would rather be with, however lately I have been feeling very attracted to other men. In the past when another man flirted with me I would have never considered cheating. Lately, I’m not so sure. I don’t know why this is happening but the temptation is very strong. There is not one particular person I have in mind, I just want to go out and be with someone else. Boredom, mid-life crisis? Should I tell my partner I am having these feelings? I guess I’m just curious why I’m feeling this way when I never have before. Let me know what you think, Curious in Canton Hi Curious, I’m just wondering what your relationship has been like the past few years. Do you and your partner spend quality time with each other, focusing on each other without other distractions? Do you make time…

Dear Christine, My ex’s best friend.

  • Posted on May 29, 2018 at 11:08 am

Dear Christine, My ex’s best friend. Recently I have been having dreams of my former partner’s best friend. I am attracted to her….very much so, and if I am correct, she is attracted to me too. Here is the thing, I would like to see her whether it be for a short period of time or longer. How do I go about calling her up out of the blue and say hey! Want to go out some time? Should I go for it, despite the fact that she is my ex’s best friend? Ex’s Best Friend in Farmington Dear ex’s best friend in Farmington, Here’s an interesting situation! To answer your question, it all depends!   There’s no reason NOT to call her and ask her up, as your former partner, is just that, former. You are allowed to call anyone you want. Some thought questions: Are you still friends with your ex? Would she be upset, not care or be supportive if she found out you were dating her best friend? Would she need to hear it from you, rather than in gossip from others? Would the best friend be OK with dating her best friend’s ex? Are they close…

Dear Christine, Loving in Livonia

  • Posted on January 8, 2018 at 10:09 am

Dear Christine, I’m a gay man seeing a male therapist for issues I had after a bad breakup. Basically severe depression. After several months of therapy, I’m feeling pretty whole again but I don’t want to stop therapy because I have fallen in love with my therapist. My therapist is also gay and has never given me any reason to think he feels the same way, however, I guess I hope that he does. I’ve also never told him how I feel for fear he will ask me to stop seeing him. Question: should I tell him? I so look forward to my Wednesdays with… Signed, Loving in Livonia Dear Loving, I encourage you to talk to your therapist about this transference. You are in a relationship as a client with a therapist and there are legal and ethical boundaries that need to be in place to protect both of you. Your therapist will probably want to discuss your emotions, needs and expectations. And he will want to be clear about the professional boundaries of the therapeutic relationship you both have. It is not unusual for a client to have strong feelings of affection or love for a therapist, as…

Dear Christine, Sworn to Secrecy in St. Clair Shores

  • Posted on December 18, 2017 at 7:08 am

Dear Christine,  A gay male friend of mine told me in confidence that he was sexually assaulted by an older gay man who is a fairly well known member of the community. He made me swear never to tell anyone. I know as a woman, that feeling of sweeping it under the rug all too well, however, I’m older and less easily intimidated today. I guess I should keep his promise but what do I say to someone who shares that kind of story with me? And what is my responsibility, if any, do I have to report the abuse? With stories like this hitting the airwaves lately, I just don’t know what to do. Thanks, Sworn to Secrecy in St. Clair Shores Dear Sworn, I have been hearing versions of this question from my clients that past 6 weeks. Our society has ignored victims and survivors of sexual abuse and harassment too long! And not all of the survivors are women, as your gay male friend proves. I believe truth needs to come out, but being a survivor of sexual abuse, myself, I also respect the survivor’s process in coming to grips with the abuse. Telling anyone (you) is…

Dear Christine, Reasonable in Rochester, Part II

  • Posted on November 27, 2017 at 7:37 am

By Christine Cantrell, PhD, LP www.christinecantrell.com christineccantrellphd@gmail.com Dear Christine, I wonder if you have any good articles or references about transgender or more specifically, non-binary people that describes the uses of pronouns.  We have a situation in our Indivisible group that people have taken offense and some are not understanding about pronouns.  Sincere leaders are trying to mend fences and have withstood some kind-of mean attacks and their apologies weren’t accepted.  We can’t get anything done if we can’t talk to each other.  What would you suggest? Signed, Reasonable in Rochester, MI Dear Reasonable, This is a complicated topic, so I will answer in three parts. Part 1 is on Gender Identity Part 2 is on Transgender Issues. Part  3 will explore Pronoun Issues Part 2 By age 3 or 4, most children comprehend gender and identify themselves as a specific gender.  Sometimes a small female looking child might wish for a penis, not understanding what surgery would entail, but by age 13 or 14, children are mature enough to make decisions about their lives. This is gender dysphoria. One treatment decision might be to block hormones in puberty to give these children a few years more to decide what…

Dear Christine, Reasonable in Rochester

  • Posted on November 19, 2017 at 11:49 am

By Christine Cantrell, PhD, LP http://christinecantrell.com christineccantrellphd@gmail.com Dear Christine, I wonder if you have any good articles or references about transgender or more specifically, non-binary people that describes the uses of pronouns. We have a situation in our Indivisible group that people have taken offense and some are not understanding about pronouns. Sincere leaders are trying to mend fences and have withstood some kind-of mean attacks and their apologies weren’t accepted. We can’t get anything done if we can’t talk to each other. What would you suggest? Signed, Reasonable in Rochester, MI Dear Reasonable, This is a complicated topic, so I will answer in three parts. Part 1 Gender Identity Part 2 will explore Transgender Issues. Part 3 will explore the Pronoun Issues Part 1 Most of us go through life as male or female and never think anything more about it. It seems that the all creation divides in two, every species… well, most of them at least! However, there are about 2000 children born each year with genitalia that doesn’t look normal. Until 50 years ago, surgery was performed to “fix” these babies’ genitals to look “normal,” sometimes without the parents’ knowledge. The non-conformity was hidden. Sometimes those…