Being Single Doesn't Have To Suck During The Holidays
The Holidays are here and your are still single. Well, that's alright. So many of my single clients ask me, 'why am I still single?' They feel they are doomed in relationships. I ask them, "are you truly being honest with yourself?" How open are they to their friends and family's constructive advice? How open are they to therapy and taking a closer look at themselves? Many of my clients complain that they repeat the same dating patterns. I have found that many single people, may be sabotaging their chances of happiness without realizing it. It's surprising how many single men and women feel they don't deserve a loving relationship. 

I live and practice in the Bay Area, and many people complain it's hard to meet single people. I tell them, they are in charge of their attitude and they are responsible for how they come across to people. They need to understand they are responsible for their happiness and who they allow into their lives. This may be hard to read, but you need to read it. If you are always attracting people towards you that are non committal it may actually be "you" that has the fear of a relationship actually working out long term. 

First Impressions and Things to Be Aware Of:

  • Being too available (coming across as desperate) 
  • Putting someone on a…

Read more: Being Single Doesn't Have To Suck During The Holidays

You Can Take The Day Off, & Everyone Will Live

'I'd really like to take time off, but I feel guilty."

'I just can't get motivated or stay focused."
'Life has been overwhelming."
Have you ever said any of those things? If the answer is yes, then you need to read this article. "We try to convince ourselves that feeling overwhelmed and stressed out and not having time to take a day off is normal -- but it's not normal," says Dr. Adam Perlman, executive director of Duke Integrative Medicine. "It's just your reality at the moment."
Unfortunately, we live in a workaholic culture. We must always be doing something or we aren't productive. This is the reason so many of us don't feel good. You can plan a vacation, a three-day weekend or just incorporate more breaks into your day. Remember, as human beings we are not computers and we need to take time to recharge our batteries. This is known as taking a mental health day.
Why You Need a Mental Health Day
We've all been there, you know that coworker that comes into the office with a cold. Even though, everyone insists she/he stay home, they don't. It's right before your vacation and you are worried you will catch it. Feeling mentally or emotionally down is not different. It's a legitimate reason to take a day off.
"I'm Me. Perfectly Imperfect." Anonymous…

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How To Get Through The Holiday Season & Not Kill Anyone


Summer is over and fall is here. This means change is near or has already started. For some, it may have never stopped. With busy work schedules and children is school, you may never feel like you have any time for yourself. Next, the holiday season will be here, and we will all be wondering where the year went. Here are ten holiday coping tips to get you through the season:

  1. Go outside and watch the birds and other animals. Nature is a great escape and a good way to clear your mind. Leave all gadgets behind and just enjoy being outside.
  2. Sign up for a class that excites you at a local college, adult school or online. Make sure it is something fun that will help you keep your mind off of work and family.
  3. Make a list of ten things you're good at or that you like about yourself when you're feeling good, and keep it with you to read when you're feeling upset. This will help you focus on the positive rather than the negative.
  4. Take photographs. Take pictures of the outdoors, a pretty sunset, friends and family. Keep them stored on your phone or computer and look at them when you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
  5. Read your favorite book, magazine, paper or poem. Reading is good for the brain.
  6. Write…

Read more: How To Get Through The Holiday Season & Not Kill Anyone

How Do You Know If He's The One?

I hear this all the time, 'is he the right one for me?' In a time where there are more single people than there have ever been, and there is more betrayal than ever. People have a hard time trusting that they will pick the right partner for themselves. The first step is loving and respecting yourself. Here are nine tips that will help you know you're in the right relationship:


You Don't...
  1. Fear it. You aren't afraid to commit and you put yourself in a situation with someone that, also, doesn't fear it. If you are afraid of commitment, it's best to work that out before starting a relationship.
  2. Snoop. If you trust your partner, why are you looking? Going through your partner's email, phone, Facebook account or journal, strongly indicate you don't trust your partner. You're also violating your partner's trust in you.
  3. Think you're superior. If your feel your partner is inferior in any way you know that matters to you in a mate - morally, intellectually, financially, socially or professionally - then you're never going to respect your partner the way you hoped to be respected. 
  4. Let any substance abuse or behavior come before the relationship. Anyone abusing a substance or behavior is cheating on you with his or her drug of choice. You deserve more.
  5. Depend on each other…

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3 Things To Stop Fighting About, & 3 Things To Start Talking About

Money, sex and the children. I have seen many couples in therapy over the 14 years I have worked as a Marriage & Family Therapist. I have found that many couples have problems on the surface and they need to address the problems underneath the surface. After being in a relationship it's easy to pick on your partner's faults and blame one another if the relationship is going south. 

Over the past five years I have been trained in and using The Gottman Method for Couples. This is a well researched method. The Gottman's have done over four decades of research in working with couples. They have developed a lot of great tools for couples to help with communication and building the friendship in the relationship. Which, by the way, the research has found that a good friendship is crucial in a relationship. This is reported by, both men and women.

One of my favorite tools that they have that helps with communication is Dreams within Conflict. This helps the couple have a guided conversation that helps build understanding in the relationship. One person is the speaker and one is the listener. The speaker is the dream speaker and the listener is the dream catcher. It's easy to want to fix or solve the problem. The purpose of this exercise is not to argue for your…

Read more: 3 Things To Stop Fighting About, & 3 Things To Start Talking About

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Lianne Avila, MFT
1510 Fashion Island Blvd.
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San Mateo, CA 94404

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