People Are Asking...

Join us here where Dr. Cochran will answer questions she has received from you and people like you.

Click on any question below to see Dr. Cochran's answer:

Q: Why do I keep picking the wrong guy, over and over? - Caroline

Ah, Caroline, this puts me in mind of a story… Are you sitting comfortably? Good, then we shall begin.
Once upon a time, not so very far away as you might imagine, and not so very long ago as you might suppose, there lived a capable, competent and attractive Woman. She could have anything that she really wanted, but sadly she did not know it.
Time passed, as time is want to do, and in the fullness of that time many of the woman's friends acquired benches. Oh, the benches were different shapes and sizes to be sure, but fundamentally they were all strong, dependable, comfy, cozy and good for cuddling upon. The Woman decided that she very much wanted to have one of these too.
Now it goes without saying that a good bench is something that must be selected with great care, as it’s a “big ticket" item and one that would hopefully last a lifetime. And during her shopping The Woman found several very attractive and dependable models. However, they all seemed boring to her way of thinking, "where's the challenge and excitement in perfect", she could be heard to say?
Then suddenly she came across a bench that she just knew was "THE ONE"! But when she proudly showed it to her friends and family they took one look and pointed out that the bench in question was weak, unreliable and made of rotten, worm eaten wood.
But our capable, competent, attractive Woman was undeterred. She just knew that all this bench needed was a little TLC, understanding, patience, a coat of paint, and it would be just as good as new, whatever that meant. So, to that end, she set about exuding TLC, outpouring understanding, being the "soul" of patience and finally she gave that bench multiple coats of paint in a color called, "Rationalization, Minimization And Denial". Lots and lots and lots of that paint, in fact.
The day came when it was time from her to rest from her labors and have a nice “sit down” and maybe, just maybe, even a cuddle. And so, she very gingerly lowered herself onto that bench, you know, the one she had given all her time, kindness and energy to. And, it promptly collapsed. At the time when she needed it most, her bench just wasn't there for her. No strength, no support and certainly no cuddle.
To say that she was broken-hearted was a gross understatement! She was devastated and felt that she could no longer go on. But, as time passed, to her credit, she pulled herself up, “dusted" herself off and vowed to go on with her life.
And so, she did just that. Once again she went off in search of "THE BENCH”, and once again she bypassed several "boring" benches that had no need of repair and instead selected ones that, well remember that can of paint I mentioned earlier, suffice to say, she made liberal use of THAT!
And suddenly it occurred to her, "there's a pattern here, and I think I may have a role in it,"
THE END and a BEGINNING… for endings always are you know!

The moral of our tale is:
You can't control the thoughts feelings or behaviors of others, so YOU CAN’T FIX ANYONE! And, you will FAIL if you attempt it.
If you find "nice" partners boring, you can "fix" yourself. There is a psychotherapist or counselor out there who can help, if you are ready.
And finally, if a person's words and behaviors don't match, you know what I mean, the individual in question says they love, love, love you BUT there's a BUT attached….
There are many variations on this theme and here’s one example, "The sex is great and I love you baby, BUT, I can't introduce you to my mother because she is very sensitive and still isn't over my last divorce…”
Bless your heart, Caroline.
And I wish you lots and lots of Wisdom, Love and Magic!

Q: Why is it so hard to talk to my kids about sex? How do I even start the conversation, what do I say? - Sharon

I get this question A LOT !!
It's funny isn't it, how discussing a simple and perfectly natural reproductive process with your kids, can turn the most confident and sophisticated adult into a quivering mass of anxiety?
Having said that, there are several reasons for your reaction, actually.
First, is the societal incest taboo we have. We do not want to think of our children as sexual beings and they most definitely don't want of think of us that way either! Your children are sure, when they figure out that sex is a " thing", that you've "done it" exactly once for each child in the family. And maybe, just maybe , immaculate conception was involved somewhere in the mix, preferably where their conception was concerned.
Second, you of course want to give your kids just the right amount and type of information.
You did not mention the age of your children but generally when they are preteens the best thing to do is be guided by their questions . Children are good at letting you know what they need in this regard and when they stop asking you questions you can stop giving them information, until the next set of questions comes up, that is. And later of course when they move into puberty , the level of detail and specificity about the body, how it works and all the sometimes confusing feelings and desires that come with it, increases dramatically.
It is important that you talk with your kids about their bodies' and sexuality in a calm, nonjudgemental and reassuring way.
They will take their cues from you, shaming them or refusing to talk with them about human reproduction or sexuality will not make the issues disappear, it will only force them "underground " and make your kids not come to you when they need you at an important time in their lives.
To help the process along find a good book with accurate anatomical illustrations to help you with talking points and so that you can show your kids how their bodies work. I strongly recommend the following two books by Peter Mayle. The first is "Where Did I Come From?" ( for preteens) and "Whats Happening To Me?" ( for those entering puberty).
You CAN do this!
Wishing you LOTS of Wisdom Love And Magic!

Q: How do I learn to trust my "gut?" It seems like my gut usually turns out to be the best response; however, I tend to struggle with trusting that feeling and make a different decision... Only to often find out that yep...should have gone with the "gut!" - Teresa

There are two main reasons why people do not listen to their intuition:
•Self doubt / Poor self esteem
•They don't like what they "hear".
The former comes from an abusive, dysfunctional upbringing in which you were told directly or indirectly, over and over that you were "wrong" or "stupid".
The latter is similarly sourced. In a less, rather than more, functional family you learn to constantly fear loss so you will convince yourself that ANY opportunity is your ONLY opportunity and you have to grab onto whatever is available. If your intuition, or your higher knowing says otherwise, you will likely rationalize, minimize or deny your way into NOT listening to yourself.
As an example, one of the most common rationalizations I hear for tolerating unacceptable behavior, when your intuition is warning you away is, "I'm too tired to fight/change/address ______________________(fill in the blank with the issue/ person/ behavior du jour).
When in fact its expending energy and time to tolerate that very issue/ person/ behavior that is exhausting you.
The best medicine is to talk back to those naysaying voices in your head, in a kind, loving and firm manner. Reassure the frightened, insecure parts of you that the act of saying no to something that's not good for you, opens the door for something that is.
And, check your track record, how many times has your "gut" been wrong anyway? Yup, that's what I thought.
Make a moment of stillness for yourself and give your wisdom voice, rather than your fear. You'll be glad you did.
Wishing You Wisdom, Love And Magic!

Q: I feel like I'm going crazy! I am getting married in one month from today! The invitations are out, I'm scheduled for the final fitting on my dress, I've got a cake, a venue, and a caterer, but don't think I want this. My fiancé is a good man and it will KILL HIM if I back out now. And my family, they all love him and they will KILL ME if I back out now! He's perfect for me "on paper", every girls' dream, stable, successful, committed, loves kids and animals, but something is wrong. Probably the thing that's wrong is me, right?' Isn't this just "cold feet" or something? Help, I'm scared of doing the wrong thing! - Torn To Bits

OK, take a breath!
Unless your real name is Helen of Troy or Juliet Capulet, all will be well.
I love cakes and parties as much as the next person but, that's not a reason to get married!
And nobody is going to have their life destroyed because you cancel a wedding . People do sometimes decide to have their lives destroyed by what happens to them, but that is their DECISION , NOT a foregone conclusion.
At this juncture you need to be asking yourself some important questions:
•How long have you felt this way? Was this a sudden revelation, or has it been a long time coming?
•Have you talked to your fiancé about your concerns?
•Do you want to talk to anyone else that you trust about your situation?
•Who do you become when you are in your fiancé's company? Do you like the person you become?
•Who does your fiancé become in your company ? Do you like the person he becomes?
•If he wasn't going to change one bit in the next 50 years , would you be content to marry him exactly as he is?
And most importantly........
•What would you do if you weren't afraid?
Marriage is, of course, a serious commitment that has all sorts of implications for you and many other people in your life. And it is important that you not go ahead unless you are sure. If you decide to end your relationship now there will certainly be some short term discomfort , but that pales in comparison to the much greater pain involved in breaking up a marriage "down the road", especially if children are involved.
You don't have to do this alone, why not take this opportunity to do some "reality testing" and discuss your concerns and feelings with a trusted friend, a mentor, a professional counselor, or maybe all three!
And, know this, whatever decision you make, it will be the RIGHT ONE to teach you whatever it is that you need to learn from this important, LIFE LESSON.
Please do keep me posted!
Wishing you lots of Wisdom, Love And Magic!

Q: How do I cope with pain and loss during the holiday season? - Sandy

First, let me begin by offering my sincere condolences on your loss.
Grieving is a challenging thing to go through. In fact it can take between 1-5 years to grieve the loss of someone that we've loved dearly. I'm sure that you've heard the phrase, "timing is everything". And believe me, grieving is no exception to that rule.
Starting around the end of October, in America at least, a series of holiday celebrations begin their course and people are , generally speaking, focused on family, celebration, gift giving and frivolity.
The process of grieving goes on however, no matter what else might be happening.
In fact if you've ever gone through it , the grieving process can make you feel as though you are numb, lost, and alone in your own world of endless pain.
So, given the added pressures and demands that the holidays bring, what are the DO's and DONT's?
While it is important that you not spend all your time in isolation, you don't need to attend every party and function you're invited to either. Be discriminating, choose events in which you will be surrounded by compassionate, understanding people who know of your loss so that you don't have to announce and explain it over and over again. Kind and loving friends and family can be an enormous support if you allow them to be.
Do not use alcohol or other substances in attempt to numb your grief. You are just delaying the inevitable, "you have to feel it, to heal it", and you may even begin a destructive spiral that will cause more hurt and pain for yourself and those you love.
You may not have much appetite but when you do eat, make healthy choices and be sure to drink lots of water to avoid dehydration. Exercise is a wonderful thing to do when you are in pain. You may not feel much like it, but movement will stimulate your body to produce its own "feel good" chemicals which will help you through your sadness.
And last but by no means least, if you are feeling stuck or are so overwhelmed by your grief that you feel you cannot cope, please seek professional help. There are many skilled and compassionate helpers available to you via counseling centers, hospitals, churches, county social services, and insurance company provider lists, among others.
And remember, after the holidays are over, keep up the good work! All of these things we've just talked about are not just short term "band aids" for the holidays, they are important practices that will help you as you continue your healing and move into the New Year.
Again, my heartfelt condolences for your loss.
Wishing you lots of Wisdom, Love and Magic!

Q: How do I live in a world that seems to be dominated by terror? I feel like it's all I hear about and all I see on the news. I am overwhelmed, sad and afraid as there doesn't appear to be a solution. Thanks for listening. - Alice

Yours is a common response to everything going on in the world right now.
And yes, the news is, and always has been, full of everything sad, bad or discouraging in the world.
There is a phrase in the news 'game', "if it bleeds, it leads". The media is convinced that they won't get our attention (read ratings) if their message isn't "sensational" (read full of pain and gore). Actually, I've always wanted to have my own news outlet called, you guessed it, "The Good News", although I've had no takers as yet. But, stay tuned.....
And yes, there ARE some scary things going on the world. Unfortunately, since the beginning of recorded history there have been uprisings, torture, extremists, genocide, murders and other atrocities. But, in this day and age, we are better at weaponizing ourselves and communicating about the details of our horrific behavior than we've ever been before.
It can seem pretty scary when we realize that we cannot control the thoughts, feelings and behaviors of others. And no matter what anyone tells you, it's the truth, we can't. However, what we DO have absolute power over, is our response to the thoughts, feelings and behaviors of those around us. Yeah, pretty cool, right! This time "it" really is about you and surprise, surprise, you are not a helpless victim at all. In fact you have COMPLETE control over any and all outcomes because, you control your reaction to them.
So here's how you do it:
Don't ever forget that that bullies and terrorists, ARE one and the same. Although we often label the people we "KNOW" as bullies and so called "OTHER" people as terrorists.
In fact, one of the major underpinnings of war and other unconscionable behavior , is the notion of "US" and "THEM". These terms are used to facilitate and justify the concepts of creating artificial separateness and barriers that make racial name calling, spouting pejorative judgements and objectifying our enemies acceptable. But in truth, no matter what, WE ARE ALL ONE.
Those who want to attempt to control us constantly try to keep fear in the forefront of our consciousness in an attempt to keep us "off balance" and stop us from THINKING and ASKING QUESTIONS. Don't give away your power, be PROACTIVE, not REACTIVE.
It is important not to "take the bait" when we are threatened as individuals or as a nation.
And while taking reasonable precautions is desirable and absolutely necessary, responding to terror domestic or otherwise by putting guns in the hands of the general population will do nothing more than play straight into the plans of the thugs who are trying to scare us "stupid".
The answer to terror and bullying behavior is not to try and "out" terror a terrorist or "out" bully a bully, because then, YOU become a terrorist and a bully.
In short, don't get into a pissing contest with a skunk.
All will be well.
Wishing you and all of us, lots of WISDOM, LOVE AND MAGIC!