Getting Started

Thank you for visiting!

As a newbie to this site, some things can appear a bit confusing and maybe even overwhelming. So I started this page to help you navigate through this site.

On this site, you will also find information from blogs, podcasts/radio interviews, articles, etc. that may be helpful to you.

Schedule a therapy session

If you are interested in scheduling a therapy appointment with me, please click here:

If you are not quite ready to schedule a session and have questions, feel free to send me an email at:

You can also send me an online voicemail by going back to the home screen, scrolling down to the bottom of the page, and click on “record a message.”

Blog posts and articles

I cover a variety of topics including but not limited to:

  1. Specific mental health conditions:
    • Borderline Personality Disorder – primarily on the topic of adolescent borderline trait
    • Childhood trauma and its effect on growing individuals
    • Psychotic symptoms or features in children and adolescents
    • Depression and anxiety
    • Behavioral problems
    • Relational challenges
  2. Pursuing appropriate mental health treatment and locating services in your area
  3. Knowing the right questions to ask a mental health professional if a loved one is hospitalized or receiving mental health care.
  4. Protecting your loved one’s rights within the mental health system
  5. Confidentiality and HIPAA laws
  6. Mental Health challenges within ethnic minority communities

Content Curation

You will also find a series of inspirational videos, music, and posts from me. I love to pass the information along and share with my clients, online followers, visitors to this site, etc. I believe sharing knowledge leads to greater awareness and hope. Most of the information I share involves existential/philosophical/faith-based perspectives on:

  1. Life
  2. Self esteem and self-identity with adolescent girls
  3. Delinquency in adolescent boys
  4. relationships
  5. depression
  6. discouragement
  7. anxiety
  8. courage
  9. pain and sorrow
  10. growth
  11. change
  12. healing
  13. loss

You will get a mix of information for intellectual use and emotional/spiritual use as well.  Here is an example of what you’ll find!



Psycho-education involves the learning of information specific to psychology, counseling, or mental health. I will provide as much education as possible on just about every topic I write about. Please feel free to leave me a message below, on the front page, with suggestions on topics you’d like to learn more about.

There are also a few definitions on this site that you should be aware of. Some examples are:

  1. HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)
  2. Confidentiality (your right to privacy in a healthcare setting)
  3. Psychiatric Advanced Directives, also known as a “living will” (gives family control over a loved one’s treatment)
  4. Severe mental illness (anything that debilitates an individual and reduces ability to function in daily life)
  5. Involuntary commitment (being hospitalized against one’s will)
  6. Civil commitment (state law that allows individuals to sign themselves into a hospital or be committed)

There is a lot of information on this site! So please feel free to start out by going to my about page and navigate around the site.

Podcasts, radio interviews, etc not on this site

Lastly, you will see links to other blogs, organizations, etc. that I have partnered with to produce a podcast, an article, a blog post, etc. You can usually find this information under “media.”


Thank you once again for visiting. If you’d like to stay updated on other things I’m doing in mental health and counseling, sign up for my newsletter!



18 thoughts on “Getting Started”

  • Greetings to you.Thank you for taking time to read my story. I have been in my marriage for 43 years. I beleive God brought us together and promised to stay FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE. We both migrated to Australia in 1952. My husband grew up with a controlling mother and a father who was very “black white “with an anger problem. MY husband John has love self esteem. Was taken out of school before having completed year 8.Consequently his English writing skills were poor. Though I helped him on numerous occasions he was unwilling to improve his skills . In hindsight understand I have been caretaking him.This has been at the cost of my own mental health. I’ve taken for granted for many years. We are now retired however John is becoming increasing difficult to live with. Especially the last year he takes offense at what I say. He misscrews my innocent comments, is far more suspicious than ever before and is easily angered. He personalises thing I say that don’t even involve him. I cannot seem to say anything that even remotely gives an impression he has made a mistake and he jumps to an angry often incorrect conclusion. he is a workaholic and finds it e/tremely difficult to leave work unfinished and extremely argumentive. He is presently on Efexor 150 mg however I’m not so sure increasing this medication is the answer. I sometimes think he has 2personalities. He loves to help however when challenged becomes very angry. &finds it difficult to understand that what he thinks is help is not necessarily the help I am in need of at a given time. I have been away for 10 days which was helpful for my sanity, however he becomes angry when I suggest I might visit my sisters again.He believe me being away doesn’t help our relationship. I would highly appreciate if you give me some guidance or suggestions. With kind regards Willemina

    • hi Willemina, Thank you or coming to my site and commenting. It sounds as if you do live with someone who has 2 personalities. I have worked with and even lived with individuals who fit this description. It’s tough on everyone. Has your husband ever been in therapy? Does he believe in therapy? If not, I wonder if he would agree to marital therapy which is very different from individual therapy. Because I do not work with couples or adults, it would be difficult for me to suggest possible resources. But I have found that with most of my families, reading the book: The 5 Love Languages is often a great way to start to uncover some of the issues that often accompany a relationship where a spouse has mental health challenges. Your husband also seems to suffer from low self-esteem, high levels of uncertainty and fear, and high emotional reactivity (he reacts unnecessarily at small things). Has your husband ever been tested, as a child, for MR (mental retardation) or autism? Sometimes there is an underlying issue that has not been found by psychiatrists or mental health professionals that can cause a variety of issues.

      I wish I could offer you more information. Without knowing all of the details, I can only provide minimal information.
      But I wish you all the best. Consider yourself in this situation and please don’t overlook the fact that, while you may love him, you have to care for your own sanity. How can you help him if you are ill yourself?

      Take care

  • Tamara, so appreciate your article on touch for clients with mental illnesses.
    We are a training center, teaching therapists how to collaborate with bodywork
    professionals and bodywork professionals collaborating with verbal therapists.
    Where are you located?

    • Hi Susan,
      Thank you so much! I am actually located in Pennsylvania. I often call it the state that no one really knows. So glad you found the article helpful.

  • I am so DEEP in Anxiety, Deppression,Fear, Angered With Judiciary Sytem That Has Allowed My EX-HUSBAND To Ruin My Little Existing Life To .00.
    *By Using My Mental Health Against Me !
    * My Civil Rights Violated Countless Times…
    *Police Officers, Judges & CPS Workers ETC. All Bought Off By Ex (I even have witnesses, audio,photo,paper proof Evidence! ) AND…..
    …..I NEED HELP !!!!
    Yet, I’ve Been Unable To Find Anyone Who Is able/willing To HELP ME ( or @ least direct me to resources to Expose The Truth /Tell My Story /Get Justice ) ANYTHING ? ! ? “PLEASE, HELP ME !”
    Thanks, D.D.

    • Hi Dorothy,
      Thank you for your question.
      Is there anything specific that you are searching for? I would be happy to direct you or help you explore what specific challenge you have.

  • Dear Tamara,
    My daughter started this year ( year 10 in Australia) at an expensive boarding school. She has been happy there and her choice to attend. She has informed me that 7 out of 19 of the year 10 girls in her boarding house are leaving at end of year.

    My main concern is that there is an issue with a girl who chronically lies in her year. My daughter shared a 4 bed dorm with her last term.
    J. clearly has problems.She is away from school with her mother dealing with a court matter . my daughter felt angry that J had told them her mother was dead. She told everyone my pretty daughter had anorexia some time back E ( my daughter) has recently confided. That doesn’t seem to have fazed my daughter as she knew it wasn’t true and “everyone knows she lies”. My last call with her revealed that when my daughter walked into the dorm she could often say ” F xxx off Emma” if she didn’t want her there. She did the same with others!
    Before I realized the extent of the problem i was encouraging my daughter to be compassionate. E had rung in tears/extremely worried J was about to commit suicide because of how she signed off. I spoke to the head of the house and she was trying to encourage all girls to be compassionate so the girl could feel she could come back. Some girls are feeling betrayed, skme ferl sge has brought everything on herself.
    Apparently J says the older girls were bullying her. I think they tried to catch her in lies.
    I am a psychologist and was asking my psychologist friends and none had dealt with a chronic liar. My limited reading shows it is very difficult and if parents and adults find it difficult how will it be for a bunch of girls in a boarding school.
    my daughter says she doesn’t want this girl to come back and doesn’t want to deal with the lies (and the other rudeness). She says the girl is texting re the possibility of returning and some are saying to come back which my daughter feels is not genuine. She doesn’t want to have to mix with her.
    The head of house is talking to a school counselor but I wonder if that professional has your level of knowledge about this type of lying. The girls themselves have researched and decided she has a personality disorder and is a compulsive liar.
    The school may want to help her and feel compassion for her. I understand this but I wonder about the toll on the girls living with her and having to distance themselves which I note you commend as a strategy.
    Would you consider a boarding school an appropriate place for a girl assuming that it is true she is a chronic liar and has a personality disorder?
    Would many professionals like myself and my colleagues have had very limited exposure to people with these disorders and repercussions on those around them? I suspect so.
    Is it useful to simply say well in life you have to deal with many types so it’s good experience for my daughter and the other girls?
    Should I take it further with questioning the wisdom of encouraging the girl to return?
    Apparently she posted a video of herself masturbating on Facebook some time back and has to attend court for some reason at the moment.
    I think it is tough for teenagers to end up bearing the support and brunt of J’s problems. While tough on her parents the responsibility rests with them and a day school seems more appropriate.
    Do u consider it tough on young girls trying to study and in close living proximity with her?
    If she remains what support might be offered to those like my daughter who just want to distance themselves -difficult when only around 60 kids to a house?
    Thanks so much.

    • Hi Stella,
      Thank you for your email.

      Firstly, I am sorry that you have had to go through this as a parent. Very difficult. I understand your concerns as pathological or compulsive lying is a perplexing topic that many people lack knowledge about. Because of this lack of knowledge, schools and mental health agencies struggle to understand this topic and often view liars as attention seekers. My belief as a professional is that pathological lying is dangerous and evil. Many pathological liars have no empathy, no care or concern for others, and lack appropriate boundaries. Many do have personality disorders such as antisocial personality disorder (sociopathy) or borderline personality disorder. Mental health treatment is necessary for individuals who lie. If psychiatric treatment does not work, incarceration and legal trouble is likely to become a part of a liars future. This young lady truly needs treatment. But she will most likely refuse to participate.

      That being said, how can you save your daughter? My suggestion would be to speak to the boarding school yourself (due to having professional credential in the field of psychology) and express your concerns. The other thing to consider would be that your daughter can ask to be moved to another part of the boarding school, if possible, to put distance between them. Has your daughter considered talking to other females in the school who may have proof that this young lady is a pathological liar? If so, they can also express their concerns. There is power in numbers. I would use the video on FaceBook (if you can find it) and share it with someone in that boarding school who has the power to make decisions. I would express concern that this young lady is disturbed and is interfering with your daughter’s overall well-being.

      Sadly, there really isn’t much that can be done in a situation like this. I do believe that an unstable teen can certainly destabilize other teens. It’s sad that the boarding school will not do anything about this young lady returning. I encourage you to keep informing the school of your concerns. If all else fails, you may want to consider removing your daughter from this school. This young lady, J, will eventually self-destruct.

      I wish you the best Stella

  • I am very interested in learning how to treat my daughter with bpd she’s 24 recently diagnosed! But for years and still does she blames me for it! So most of the time we have a very
    Strained relationship

    • Hi Yvonne,
      Thank you for your comment. I am sorry to hear about your daughter. Please know that you are not alone as many people struggle with maintaining positive relationships while suffering from symptoms of BPD. Have you seen the documentary Back from The Edge? The founder of a type of therapy effective with BPD, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Dr. Lehan, provide a great overview for families on what the disorder is and how it affects the lives of many. I would encourage you to reach out to your loved one and encourage therapy if your loved one is not in therapy. I would pursue family therapy so that everyone can sit down and talk about how BPD is affecting everyone. Family therapy can also make your loved one more open to therapy as she will not feel like fingers are being pointed at only her.

      Let me know your thoughts. I wish you all the best

  • Tamara,
    I am in great need of your guidance. For many years I have suspected my husband is BPD. He is of course, a master at deception, therefore, appearances of everything being “ok” or promising after some huge catastrophe he has caused, have brainwashed me. My desire to “help” him has taken prevelance over all else. We have a 17 yr old daughter that is now displaying the effects of experiencing the truth of this messed
    Up Union. I need an intervention of sorts. I’m too afraid and financially tied (personal and we own a business) to just leave. I fear there’s not enough protection available to me, to keep me from legal suits, taxes leins and possible jail time. He has such serious anger and it destroys him and its attempting to destroy our child. I am very loving, caring, supportive and very open with our daughter when it comes to dad’s issues, but i may not be enough to save her from it. The man is a genius and so driven and has the possibility of being so successful, but he’s tormented by something. We are in NJ. Is there someone you can put me in contact with in our area? I’m ready for 20 years of hell to be over.

    • Hi Kimberlie,
      I am sorry to hear about your situation. Thank you for reaching out. Your story sounds very similar to the many people struggling with loved ones who have BPD. Therapy and counseling only seems to occur when anger becomes insurmountable and threatening. Have you heard of the documentary “Back from the edge?” I will include the link below as the leader of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (a treatment focused on emotional instability, anger, suicidal thoughts, and unstable relationships) and someone who experienced BPD herself is the lead of the video. Marsha Linehan is a psychologist who has not only experienced BPD but also treats many patients (male and female) with BPD.

      If you are interested in therapy, I encourage you to locate a therapist through or and click on “find a therapist.” Both sites allow you to enter your zipcode and locate therapists in your area. If you would prefer a more cost-effective approach to therapy you can check into Open Path Collective. I provide services through this company and my client’s often don’t pay more than $30 a session. It’s a great way to gain access to therapy at a cheaper cost if needed.

      Don’t hesitate to email back if you have further questions.
      I wish you well


      Open Path:

  • HI Tamara,
    I am single mother of 3, I have two girls and one boy. I am writing you about my son Alex he is 19 and is in his first year of collage.
    It’s been a long road with Alex from the divorce to his school work, he does have adhd. My on going concern I have with him every since he has been young is his lying. He is not a violent kid, never would hurt any body, physically or hurt with words. its more when u ask if he did something like his school work i.e homework he would say its done when its not. My concern is that even when I know he is lying and check out things he says and confront him with it he still keeps with the lie. Through the years I always find out and confront and I beg him to tell me the truth and he doesn’t. I have had him in counseling on and off since first grade with no results.
    I am very worried about him, he does say he is depressed and thinks of killing himself. when he says this to me it is usually when I confront him about a lie he told me. so its almost like he is trying to distract me from is original lie. and to gain sympathy from me.
    I am at the point of almost giving up on him. I need to know what kind of therapist he needs to see. Alex is a very sensitive kid . He obsesses a lot and worries a lot. what concern me about his lying is that I always catch him and he still holds on to the lie.
    We live in southern ma,
    Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you for your time

    • Hi Tracy,
      Thank you for your email. I am sorry you are going through this but please know, you are not alone. Many parents are struggling with the very same scenario. I work a lot with kids ages 6-20 who have a very long history of lying and manipulation. Because I don’t know the situation entirely and have no legal way of accessing his records, I cannot offer too much advice but there are a few things that come to mind.
      1.) it appears he has learned how to manipulate you which includes the “technique” of distraction. If he can distract you by anything (crying, exaggeration, playing the sympathy card, bringing up the thing most of us fear which is suicide, or guilt-tripping you) he has won. He knows this. He sounds like an intelligent kid who needs social skill and firm boundaries.
      2.) He might benefit from group therapy with other teens who are similar to him and maybe can challenge his behaviors. Sometimes if kids see other kids acting like them, they can see how detrimental the behavior is. Some parents, however, fear that their child may learn bad behavior in group settings so I would research the effectiveness of group therapy and the pros and cons. You can contact your insurance company (if you have insurance) and ask if they can give you a listing of mental health group therapy listings.
      3.) His lying may be the product of a behavioral or developmental disorder. For example, kids with autism will often lie and cannot see the trouble they are causing. They lack the social skills to understand fully. Other kids, with oppositional defiant disorder, lie because it is “fun,” makes them feel in control, or provides some sort of “reward.” Depending on what it is, his lying could be bigger than just a behavior itself. It could be a disorder that needs a therapist who can understand oppositional defiant disorder and other behavioral problems.

      To locate a therapist in your area, you can search through Therapytribe or and click on “Find a therapist” to enter your zip code.

      I also should mention that I will be starting, January 2017, a new online program (on this website) specifically for parents who would like to speak with me via Skype for suggestions, guidance, and resources. Stay tuned!

      I wish you all the best

      • Hi and thank you for your article it is exactly what I have been dealing with for the past 6 years in a relationship. I have a young daughter who has seen my emotions about her fathers lying many times since born. He is unable to tell the truth, even if he were telling the truth at this point I wouldn’t believe it. He has seeked therapy only to lie to the Dr. And released due to that. He says he currently has another who I used to join on the appointment but had stopped due to having no time. He has managed to loose jobs and not tell me for months and weeks on end and continue the web of lies and go great lengths to make it seem as though he is still working such as having phones forwarded to a cell number to pretend he is working. I always catch the lies. His emotions then run from sadness to anger and repeat. I am so afraid our daughter will have this trait. He has also been medicated but am not even sure if he is telling the truth about the medication. It has become so daunting on my life I feel as though he drags me down anytime I may feel things are going OK or better. Do you have any advice on where to go from here? I have attempted to have his parents step in and help but they seem to think useless and this is how he has been since they can remember and that it’s now in my hands. My life at times feels out of control and I am praying that by grace of God things will change. I have attempted walking away, consequences, etc etc and all lead back to the same road. I’m at wits end. Thank you for listening.

  • Hi Tamara,
    Male,23,currently in the fourth year of my med school.I have a personality that just abounds in pathological traits.
    Ever since I can remember I was an introvert,had skills in music ,acting and recitation,loved thinking,and rejuvenated by solitude.And I was a narcissist(NPI score 19 today,which I feel would be atleast 25 if taken about 7years back). Suffered a public(read high school)humiliation at 16 yrs age that initiated the social anxiety disorder.Few meaningful social contact and interaction but strong yearning to have them and a tarnished self image due to alopecia (that i was good looking was the reason narcissism infected me by its etymological route)which was a severe blow to the narcissistic ego,and a catch 22 thing that I need a love in my life (after a breakup an year ago) and that I can’t get a girl if I don’t get out in the society EFFECTIVELY has led to depression(decreased appetite,irritability,suicidal ideation).I fight all these without medication.I live in a hostel where socially anxious introverts would be isolated and overlooked by both seniors and juniors(I score 12 on Rosenberg self esteem scale today,it was 9 four months earlier),so my narcissistic self had to adapt to get some meaningful social interaction.I do CBT on myself,set tasks and do them,identify the 10 cognitive distortions as and when required,do aerobic exercise.All these to keep a face taut and tan that’s not mine.Want to just be,but can’t.
    It will be excellent if you could help me fighting,by your advice.And It is my wish not to be a case study of yours or anybody elses’,to be published,presented or discussed about, anywhere by any possible means,by you or anybody else.Sorry to lay that out that bare when you are doing this without a fee that you very rightly deserve,but I don’t trust many at this point.Maybe I’m schizotypal,I believe in magical miracles.If you couldn’t,at least tell me I’m a rare case..(hope you get the joke)!

    • Hi there,
      Wow! You certainly gave me quite a case study. Firstly, I cannot provide any diagnostic information as I have no background information about your upbringing, social interactions, genetics, etc. It would be impossible for me to gather all of the necessary details over social media. That being said, however, I would encourage you to pursue a therapist who can provide a “free consultation” and discuss some things that you may be struggling with. You can simply call a local therapist (not sure of your location) and ask if they could meet with you to discuss fees and the type of services they offer. You can explain everything you explained to me to them and ask if they do (or could refer you to) a professional who can perform a full evaluation of your “symptoms,” behaviors, personality traits, etc.

      After reading some of what you listed, I would not doubt that a personality disorder could be at the core of your issues. However, because you are so aware of your behaviors I do doubt that you are “narcissistic” as many do not see their blatant self-centered-ness. Many are so egoistic that they have to be told they are arrogant and uncaring. You recognize certain traits which makes me think it is not a personality disorder. However, have you considered reading about Avoidant Personality Disorder? You may find some information helpful on this topic. You may also want to consider early childhood development and the attachments (or lack thereof) that you experienced. Did you experience trauma? If so, what kind and how did it (or could it ) impact you?

      There is so many things that would be better discussed with someone who can see you and obtain a full history from you. In the meantime, I would do my own “research” and see what you come up with. Avoid self-diagnosis and try to find someone who can possibly guide you in the right direction.

      All the best

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