Do you want someone or do you need them? A question not commonly asked, but rather a statement most often made.

“I need you.” When hearing this, it is a common initial response to feel you are that individual’s highest priority or they have the deepest amount of love for you. Same concept with another popular phrase, “I need you like I need air to breathe.” These are highly romanticized notions. But have you ever taken the time to really understand what it would mean to need someone to that extent? It is one thing to romanticize this need, it is another to experience it.

If you need someone to this extent, that is a representation of dependence, a sign of codependency. If you need someone like you need air, then without them you will suffocate. Imagine, the same person attached to you like an oxygen tank, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Still feel like it is a sign of love and devotion to need someone?

Humans have basic needs. According to Maslow’s hierarchy there are 5 levels of need, beginning with food, water, etc…and ending with self actualization. You will notice, the first word is SELF. To be self actualized means to be self fulfilled and to know your own potential.

Wanting is entirely different. To want someone means you do not need them. You have met your basic human needs, as well as your emotional needs as an individual. At this stage, a partner is a choice; a decision one makes for the betterment of life. The goal is to have a partner that enhances the day to day and can be enjoyed for who they are.

This is not to say, because you want someone, life will be perfect every day. There will continue to be challenges, but it will remain a choice to continue the relationship or not. If the choice is to stay, then you know this person sees you for who you are and accepts you fully. If the choice is to terminate the relationship, there will eventually be peace in knowing you will overcome the loss.

Whereas, in a needed relationship, there is a constant fear to be alone. For if you are alone, your air supply will be non-existent. This shows up as entering into a new relationship immediately after one ends. Or staying within a relationship when you know it is not right for you. Both scenarios never allow you to know your own strength or potential. Instead, this constant state of need teaches people lessons or core beliefs such as feeling unlovable, unworthy, undeserving, etc.

Reflect back on your dating history and ask yourself again, do you want someone? Or do you need them? If you have a pattern of needing, but want to learn how to want, the Counseling Center for Sexual Health can aid you in that process. Thankfully, the brain is plastic and can be rewired and reprogrammed. Call us to learn how (805)308-9800.

-Darilyn Shano, M.S., MFTI

The Holidays


CCSH wishes you and yours a very happy holiday season!

Holidays typically bring a ton of emotions, especially towards the end of year. The people you see or do not see; the relationships that are missed; the family coming into town that you would love to avoid. The list of examples is endless and specific to everyone. But more often than not, there seems to be this overwhelming feeling of pressure and anxiety building up. It is important to have adaptive coping skills to help balance the equation out. Self care is unique for everyone (massage, a walk, spending time with friends or alone, quiet time, movie, etc.), and is especially important when the chaos of life is escalating.

With New Years right around the corner, ask yourself, “What do I hope to see for myself in 2016?” Reflecting back on 2015 and observing what worked and what could be improved or different is a great starting point. Once you find out what you would like to see change then ask, “How do I hope to accomplish this?” Then comes the most challenging part… follow through.

Creating a sequence of short term goals allows for progress and encouragement along the way towards a long term goal. Setting goals too large in the beginning can feel unattainable and discouraging. It is important to allow yourself the accomplishments of realistic short term goals to continue motivating you to the finish. Sometimes it is not always about the destination, but about the journey it took to get there.

If you need assistance with creating a plan, sorting through the holiday emotions, etc. CCSH is here for you. We have multiple therapists on staff waiting to help. Call or email today!

-Darilyn Shano, M.S., MFTI

Ashley Madison Scandal

ashley madison pic

First ask yourself, “What is Ashley Madison?” If you can confidently answer the question with anything but, “I do not know,” then you may have been affected by this site.

Ashley Madison is the second largest online dating website, second only to, with the slogan, “Life is Short. Have an Affair.” Recently a hacker group called, “The Impact Team,” threatened to release the “confidential” information for dating websites: Ashley Madison, Cougar Life, and Established Men. The goal behind the threat was to have these websites permanently shut down because the “cheating dirtbags,” according to the Impact team, were not worthy of discretion or confidentiality.

“Cheating dirtbags,” does not exactly insinuate the Impact Team is composed of men; and coincidently Christian Mingle did not get hacked. Does this information shed some light on who orchestrated the attack? Maybe, maybe not.

The more important questions are: What lead up to the affair?; Is there a history of similar sexually acting out behavior?;  What happens to the relationship now?; How do you cope with the onslaught of emotions ranging from fear to shame?

Millions of relationships and families have been affected by this threat of exposure. You are not the only one and you do not need to deal with this alone.

If you have been affected by the recent events involving Ashley Madison and other sites, the Counseling Center for Sexual Health can help. We work with individuals, couples, and partners of individuals affected. Contact us today (805)308-9800.

-Darilyn Shano, M.S., MFTI

Attachment Theory

neglectful parentsecure baby

Baby making 101- a sperm must fertilize an egg in order to create life and thus we have biological parents. But that does not tell you anything about a child’s mother and father other than their ability to procreate.

When a baby first comes into this world they have very few basic needs. They want to eat, sleep, and rid themselves of waste. The one tool they have to communicate all of their needs is crying. When a baby cries, parents have options. They can consistently come to the aid of their child (HEALTHY); chose to neglect the child’s needs (UNHEALTHY); or use a combination of the two (UNHEALTHY).

Although little one’s have three basic needs for survival, they also have needs to improve their well being and brain development which stem from the level of attentiveness their caregiver provides.

A healthy baby will get the love and affection from parents who care for the child on an emotional, mental and physical level. This is portrayed when a parent consistently comes to the babies aid; meets all of their needs; makes consistent eye contact regularly; soothes and comforts the baby; etc. This young one has learned they have dependable parents and their needs will be met appropriately.

In a different scenario, a baby will cry and may or may not get their needs met; limited eye contact will occur; the baby will become stressed releasing toxins in their body; and thus they will not be able to regulate themselves. This young one has learned the world is an unreliable place where they cannot count on their sole provider to care for them.

When this happens, the infant’s brain holds this information as factual while it is still under going development and adapts it as truth. As this baby grows, the belief will transfer into emotions of feeling unworthy, unlovable, undeserving, etc. When children believe this about themselves, it will then begin to transfer to their adolescent and adult self, that others must feel the same way about them. In relationships, a race will ensue on which partner can beat the other to the punch and sabotage the relationship first. Inevitably, until the brain learns of a new way, relationships will be doomed for failure. Luckily, there is a way to rewire the brain!

To help aid in this process, the Counseling Center for Sexual Health uses an Attachment Theory model identifying the behaviors and lessons learned from early childhood to understand the behaviors of adults. Using this understanding, CCFSH begins a collaborative approach with clients to introduce new ways the brain can interpret information and carry out relationships to be successful.

-Darilyn Shano, M.S., MFTI

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