Eliminated Self-Hating Thoughts

 Self-Hating Thoughts pic

Self-Hating Thoughts
Image: lifehacker.com

A graduate of New York University, Herbert Tannenbaum, PhD divides his time between private practice and serving as the executive director of the Center for Effective Living. Over the course of his career, Herb Tannenbaum, PhD has taught various workshops and training courses, including Imago Relationship Therapy workshops. Dr. Tannenbaum has also given a presentation on self-hatred.

Self-hatred can be extremely detrimental, but it is a problem that you can fix. Make an effort to think of yourself as if you are talking to someone you care about. If you have self-hating thoughts, those thoughts are most likely much harsher than anything you would say to someone you love. Instead of focusing on the extreme thoughts, try thinking of what you would say to someone with the same traits as yourself. Further, you must recognize that any negative thoughts you do think about yourself are not true. Each time you have a negative thought, challenge it instead of accepting it. This forces you to present evidence that disproves your original thought and helps you see yourself more positively.

Beyond changing your thoughts, you can try reading about people you look up to. Everyone makes mistakes in life, but focusing on mistakes in your past breeds self-hatred. Reading about the mistakes made by one of your heroes helps you accept your own mistakes and move your focus more toward the present.


Celebrate the Children’s After School Enrichment Program

Celebrate the Children pic

Celebrate the Children
Image: celebratethechildren.org

Licensed psychologist Dr. Herbert “Herb” Tannenbaum earned his PhD from New York University and has been in private practice for more than four decades. Working with couples and individuals, he assists with a wide range of psychological issues. Herb Tannenbaum, PhD also helps others outside of the realm of mental health through his support of such charities as Celebrate the Children (CTC).

As part of its mission to serve children with communication and relational difficulties, Celebrate the Children maintains numerous academic programs in addition to its regular curriculum. One of these programs is the CTC after school program. This enrichment program is made available to students at the CTC school, as well as students and peers attending other schools in the area. It is designed to help students with special needs find peer support and expand their education beyond the school’s normal academic hours.

Most of the CTC after school enrichment program classes are offered in three semesters. The school’s first semester lasts from September through December, while its second and third semesters run from January through March and from March through June, respectively. Each semester hosts classes for a wide range of ages and classes are available from Monday through Thursday. The actual length of each class varies, as does the cost of tuition.

The Greatest Yankees Pitcher of All Time?

Mariano Rivera pic

Mariano Rivera
Image: m.mlb.com

A member of the American Academy of Psychotherapists, Herb Tannenbaum, Ph.D., established his private psychology practice in River Edge, New Jersey, more than 40 years ago. Away from his practice, Herb Tannenbaum, Ph.D., enjoys following New York Yankees baseball. Dr. Herb Tannenbaum is an especially big fan of New York’s retired stars Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera.

Despite the franchise’s storied history of excellence, there are few New York Yankees pitchers who statistically can rival the cumulative impact of Mariano Rivera. Widely regarded as the greatest closing pitcher of all time, Rivera leads the franchise in wins above replacement value at 56.6, a great case for the pitcher’s long-term value.

At 2.21, Rivera maintains the second lowest earned run average (ERA) of any New York pitcher, trailing only Rich Gossage’s 2.14. It should be noted that Rivera pitched 1,283 innings compared to Gossage’s 533.

As a closer, Rivera does not rank particularly high on franchise lists, such as all-time wins. He does, however, lead all Yankees pitchers with 1.000 walks and hits per innings pitched rating.

Rivera ranks at or near the top of similar lists, such as hits allowed per nine innings, strikeouts per nine innings, and strikeouts to base on balls ratings. Rivera’s 0.70 ERA in the postseason is not only a Yankees record but the best mark in the history of professional baseball. The same can be said for Rivera’s 652 career saves.

Parental Considerations and Responses to Bullying

Bullying pic

Image: verywell.com

Though Herb Tannenbaum, PhD, has built most of his career on relationship counseling for couples, he has also established his expertise in child psychology. Dr. Herb Tannenbaum has served for several years as the director of a children’s day camp and has been invited to offer lectures and lead workshops on various aspects of child development, including the persistent problem of bullying.

Exact statistics can vary because of differing definitions of “bullying” and methods of reporting, but in general, traditional bullying has seen a decrease only to be replaced by cyberbullying. Regardless of its form, however, it’s a critical issue because those targeted by bullies are more likely to engage in violence, bring weapons to school, struggle academically, and experience both physical and mental health issues.

Parental response is a key element in addressing bullying. Helpful actions include informing the child that bullying is not uncommon nor the fault of the child, listening to the child’s concerns without offering judgment or reaction, and building the child’s self-confidence through developing extracurricular skills and talents. Actions a parent should avoid include scolding the child, assigning blame, or encouraging any form of retribution. In the event that it becomes necessary to speak to the parents of the bully, offering analysis or judgment of their child is almost certain to cause offense and exacerbate the situation.

For those who discover their child is the bully in this situation, several common factors need to be considered. Many children who bully others do so because they are subjected to disrespect or disregard at home, acting out in order to gain a sense of power or draw attention. Children who are accustomed to leniency and unused to strict restraints might bully out of a sense of entitlement. In some cases, the child has trouble feeling empathy despite coming from a loving home and active parenting. In any case, it’s important to remember that a bully is still a child in need of guidance.

Herbism of the day: IF YOU WANT TO BE LOVED, BE A LOVER by Herb Tannenbaum, Ph.D.

February is famously known for Valentine’s Day- a day to celebrate love and the importance and sacredness of our love relationships.

The importance of celebrating the specialness of our adult love relationships and the one we love is critical to helping keep relationships meaningful and full of a sense of aliveness and passion.

According to Imago Relationship Therapy founded and developed by Harville Hendrix, Ph.D. and Helen LeKelly Hunt, Ph.D. Relationships navigate through various stages in their evolution toward consciousness. The Romantic phase is the powerful elixir that allows us to bond and move forward into the magical mystery of adult love. It is often filled with a great sense of aliveness. There is a sense of familiarity, as if we know this person from another time in our lives. In addition, there is a sense of timelessness, as if we have known this person forever. Furthermore, there is a sense that we cannot live without this person in our lives as our sense of being depends on being in relationship with them. Finally, there is often a sense of wholeness that we get from being in romantic  relationship as if we are whole and fully alive. Ah, how sweet it is!

Inevitably, Romantic Love ebbs away and it is replaced by us not only seeing all the positives of our partners,  but we become aware of the parts of our partner that we don’t like or feel are  misattuned to our needs and that are re-wounding or hurtful to us. Often, folks reply with despair and a sense of hopeless tothis ienvitiable phenomenon. More importantly, often couples get stuck in this stage of the journey leading to less contact and connection. It becomes a power struggle in which each partner tires to will their way in the relationship or withholds in reaction to the hurt or pain they are experiencing. It is a dark time and leads to feelings of unsafety and defensiveness cascading to even more disconnection and despair.

The good news is that there is hope beyond the Power Struggle. In Imago Theory it is referred to as “the Conscious Relationship”. A conscious relationship calls for a tool for partners to stay in connection and to recognize that they are one as a couple and yet have a separate experience than their partner and that each partners world needs to be heard and validated.

In addition, partners need to refuel their relationship by consciously re-introducing caring behaviors form the past (that were lost in the power struggle) as well as being curious and finding out from their partner the ways they feel cared for and loved. Furthermore, by listening to your partner’s desires and surprising them with those behaviors helps shift the neuro-chemistry of the brain from reactive/defensive behaviors into a safer and less defensives ways to experience each other. Safety allows  partners to be more spontaneous and therefore experience more aliveness.

As Valentine’s day approaches, ask your partner how they feel loved and cared for.  Then,  do what you can, even stretch yourself, to help your partner know that you care enough to honor their needs. It is powerful step in creating a safe and passionate relationship with the one you love!

Herb Tannenbaum, Ph.D., contact me at drhtphd@gmail.com. or visit my webpage http://www.herbtannenbaumphd.com.




The Paradigm Shift of Imago Relationship Therapy is a critical determinate differentiating Imago from other schools of Relationship Therapy. It shifts the energy of the clinical interventions from the perspective of the individual to the co-creation of the space in between the partners. Thus, the relationship becomes primary, calling each partner to intentionality and shifting them away from their own sense of self to the expanse of the relationship. In short, Imago is a Relational Paradigm and the individual is a variable.

Focusing on the energy in the space in between and how to cultivate safety promoting connectivity based on validation and empathy is a profound shift asking the therapist not to be the judge or the referee stuck in the content or communication style. Instead, it stipulates that the therapist become a facilitator to help each partner cooperate in holding the others’ reality and making sense of their partners’ reality from their partners’ point of view. This minimizes reactivity and moves neuro-energy to the higher functions of the brain. It deepens the communication and transforms it from reactivity to vulnerable and authentic communication.

Historically, beginning with the Freudian movement the focus was on intra-psychic constructs and dynamics. The next wave of thinking was more about interpersonal constructs typified by Neo-Freudians such as Adler, Sullivan and Horney . This work was further developed by object relationship and attachment theory. However, Imago shifts the focus to the relationship as the foundation of where healing, growth and expansion of the self can occur.

Moving away from the self and ego shifts the focus to the connection that occurs in the adult love relationship. The underlying postulates of Imago Relationship Therapy pivot on the assumption that the purpose of adult love relationships is to provide an opportunity to repair the wounds and ruptures mitigated by a character structure based on defensive adaptations to a sense of a self integrated in attunement and validation. Thus, a sense of aliveness flowing from a balanced sense of pulsation is co-created for each partner.

Imago Relationship Therapy invites couples to stay in connection through safety that is tethered by the Couples Dialogue shifting the energy to the space in between which is a co-creation of each partner. It asks each partner to become more intentional about how they send to and receive communication from each other. This summons the couple toward intentionality, and consciousness by reflecting on and being aware of how they contribute to the space in between. Underscoring, that what is contributed to the space in between strongly influences the tonality, intimacy and energy of the relationship. The Couples Dialogue is paramount to intentionality which is a major touchstone on the journey to a conscious relationship.

The sacred space in between is where couples can share, process and connect. It is the essence of the relationship. Asking partners to shift the locus of control of the relationship to this space rather than their individual frames of reference is the fundamental shift allowing them to cooperate with each other’s unconscious agenda of healing childhood wounds and reclaiming and expanding their original essence confluently, rather than out of reactivity and adaptions to rupture and pain.

For more information contact Dr. Tannenbaum; drhtphd@gmail.com.


Relationship Realities: The safety and the challenge of adult love relationships! by Herb Tannenbaum, Ph.D.

Our romantic relationship are driven by many factors. Two of the most important dynamics that couples need to understand and appreciate are the need for safety and the need to grow and expand consciousness.

Imago Relationship Therapy was developed by Harville Hendrix, Ph.D and Helen LaKelly-Hunt. The underpinnings of Imago Relationship Therapy are expanded in the best selling book Getting The Love You Want by Hendrix and Hunt.

Imago theory postulates that the purpose of adult love relationships is to heal childhood wounds so that the psyche can utilize energy to expand consciousness and achieve a sense of full aliveness. So, what is needed for this to happen? Our adult love relationships need to have an aspect of security. A secure attachment includes a sense of reliability and warmth. Development psychologist have researched and documented the importance of secure attachment to an infant and child’s development and that need is timeless.

Romantic Love facilitates a sense of attachment as couples bond and experience a sense of timelessness, recognition and familiarity in their partner. What is really happening? The unconscious is sensing a recognition of the person with whom we are falling in love. The psyche is timeless and as it senses the familiarity of the character traits of our partners romantic love blinds us. It allows us to only see the positives in our partner and blinds us of seeing the character traits which we may find disturbing or rewounding.

The paradox is that the psyche is much more interested in the rewounding that we will inevitable experience. Not because we want to be rewounded, but because we are in a relationship of our choosing we can choose to learn more about our partners and them to learn more about us and our wounds and what we need for healing. When we receive the healing the behaviors we need from our partner the psyche because it is timeless does not discriminate the past from the present. It only knows that it is being healed and that is what it yearns for. It makes us very special to our partners and a unique source of safety

Thus, the challenge we all need to accept as partners is that in order to cooperate and help our partners heal, we will need to understand our partners needs and be willing to stretch are behavior repertoire to incorporate behaviors that will help our partner heal and feel safe.  The truth is, we can only feel as safe in a relationship as we make our partner feel. There is no negotiation on that.

We are challenged by our mission, yet it is this challenge that really makes our adult love relationships so special because in stretching to heal our partners and them us each partner reclaims lost, denied or disowned parts of themselves and regain the energy that has been used to repress or deny these aspects of our being.

This is a big deal! It helps provide a better understanding of the purpose and dynamics of adult love relationships and gives a road map for couples to cooperate with their partners’ and their own unconscious to help created the relationship of their dreams and move beyond the inertia and despair of the power struggle.


Herb Tannenbaum, Ph.D. is a certified Imago Therapist and a member of the faculty of the Institute for Imago Relationship Therapy. He can be contacted at drhtphd@gmail.com.