The Dating and Relationship Group: 
The Necessary Creation of Tension in Relationships

In previous meetings of the Dating and Relationship Group, we have discussed narcissistic and codependent tendencies and explored how negative dynamics in romantic relationships frequently center around these tendencies.  On several occasions, I have made the point that both the narcissist and the codependent are essentially "two sides of the same coin," i.e., adapting to early childhood deprivation and trauma in one of two corollary ways: compromising oneself for the other or never compromising and only existing for the self.  In the next meeting of the Dating and Relationship Group on Saturday, July 16, 2016, 12:00 to 1:15 PM noon, I will discuss the key element involved in breaking down ongoing relational patterns and ending narcissistic/codependent dynamics once and for all.  Although the scientific and therapeutic literatures frequently stress the role of "setting boundaries" in this regard, I want to explore the more fundamental underlying component of boundary setting which is the creation of tension.  That is, the creation of tension purposefully and intentionally in the other who has transgressed you.  From my clinical experience, it occurs to me that "creating tension" is a critical skill that many adults are not able to manifest easily nor successfully, likely because they were not encouraged or allowed to in their own families of origin.  Yet in my view that the capacity to create tension in others when necessary and appropriate is an essential ingredient of healthy and adaptive adult living.  For background reading on the issues I will address in our meeting on July 16, I recommend Ross Rosenberg's YouTube presentation of the stages of overcoming codependence, a blog post on "tiny buddha" , and Jill Metzler Patton's compelling description of the most common codependent roles .

The Men's Group:
The Psychologies of Success and Failure

Ever wondered if you were wired for success or failure?  Recent scientific evidence suggest that there may be two separate and distinct psychologies involved in how successful our lives turn out to be. First off, to get started on this topic you may want to take this intriguing test ( Success Likelihood Test) available online for free.  It turns out there are damaging effects of failure and specifically failure that is never resolved; psychologists are now suggesting a range of strategies for overcoming failure quickly and efficiently.  This has given rise to a burgeoning interest in the nature of resilience and what it means psychologically and emotionally to engage your psychology of success.  In her acclaimed book "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success: How We Can Learn to Fulfill Our Potential," the Stanford scholar Carol Dweck describes what we have learned so far about success.  Her work is summarized in 10 major ideas and Bill Gates has even noticed the significance of Dweck's contributions, many of which are already being applied to industry.  In the next meeting of the Men's Group on Saturday, July 16, 2016, 10:45 AM to 12:00 PM noon, we will review the psychologies of success and failure and consider their implications for men and masculinity.  

Updated Website
I would also like to take this opportunity to invite you to review  my updated website! I hope you find the new features of the website including a blog page, archival newsletter forum, and a live coverage of postings to Social Media platforms informative and useful!

To register for the July 16th meetings of the Men's Group and the Dating and Relationship Group:   If you would like to attend the Men's Group (10:45 AM to 12:00 PM noon) and/or the Dating and Relationship Group (12:00 to 1:15 PM) on Saturday, July 16, 2016, please RSVP ASAP to Dr. Tobin at 949-338-4388 or There is a limit of 14 attendees for each group and registrants will be accommodated on a first-come/first-serve basis.  The fee is $25.00 and the location is The Water Garden Business Center, 23421 South Pointe Drive, Suite 130, Laguna Hills, CA, 92653.  Please note that these groups are educational in purpose, not therapeutic.  
James Tobin, Ph.D., PSY 22074 | 949-338-4388 |