Get Paid! How to Ask Your Boss for a Raise




Money is everywhere. We deal with it every day, talk about it casually at parties, read books on how to invest it - money “makes the world go ‘round”. Yet, for some reason when it comes to talking to our bosses about money, we immediately become tongue-tied and frozen.


Asking for a raise can feel like being asked to conjure magic...impossible! However, asking for a raise is a very normal part of having a job and if you avoid asking out of fear you could potentially be giving up a significant amount of money.


Here are 5 tips that will help you confidently ask for the raise you deserve:
  1. Remember It’s Totally Normal - Asking for a raise does not make you greedy and entitled. Unless your boss has been living under a rock for decades, they’ve most likely had a salary conversation with many people before you and it will come as no surprise when you breach the topic. No one is going to think you’re a bad person because you’re asking for a raise - you work for money, and that’s ok.

  2. Be Smart About the Timing - Think about asking your boss for a raise in the same way you’d think about asking for something from your spouse - timing is key. Don’t bring up the topic on a day that they are particularly stressed or busy. Rather, wait until you’ve just finished a particularly great project and capitalize on that momentum.

  3. Prepare Prepare Prepare - Make sure you’ve done your homework ahead of time and walk into the conversation fully prepared. Know what your work is worth by researching your market rate online or asking others in your industry. Write down a few of your major accomplishments since your last raise and tie those successes back to the overall impact you’ve had on the company.

  4. Be Confident - I know “be confident” is cliche but it is actually incredibly important! The fear of rejection is one of our most basic human fears, and it runs deep. Don’t let that fear keep you from getting the raise you deserve. Walk into the room with your shoulders back, head high, and confidently communicate the worth of your work - you’ve got this!

  5. Know What to Say if the Answer is “No” - If your boss says “no” it doesn’t mean that they don’t like you or you’re doing a bad job. Look at their response as an opportunity to get the clarity you need to determine your next step. Ask them what they’d need to see from you in order to qualify for the raise - you can then assess whether you’re able and willing to follow that path or if you want to consider options at another company. 

Having a big conversation with your boss like this can feel overwhelming. While these 5 tips may be a good starting point, you might need a bit more coaching before you’re ready to take the plunge. If you want to talk about these tips in more detail or need advice about other issues you may be facing at work, you can email me at leemiller.therapist@gmail.com or call my office at (310) 614-0323.


Forgiveness - The Real “F Word”: 4 Steps to Forgive Someone and Truly Let Go






One part of being human and living in a world made up of humans is that being hurt by someone is almost guaranteed. There will probably be more than a few times in your life that someone you love will hurt you, let you down, or mistreat you. Our natural reaction is to want to retaliate in order to make them feel the same pain as you do, the “eye for an eye” concept.


However, holding onto a grudge and not practicing forgiveness can end up hurting you more in the end. 

What Is Forgiveness?

Forgiveness is hard to define as it is a highly personal process and can mean different things for different people. Generally speaking, forgiveness involves a conscious decision to let go of resentment or vengeance toward a person who has hurt you.

How Can You Begin to Forgive?

  •  Identify what and who you need to forgive - With the help of a professional, identify what happened to you when you were hurt and why it hurts so much.
  • Say It Out Loud - Forgiveness is a conscious decision that begins in your head before it makes its way to your heart. Choose every morning to say “I forgive you, _____” out loud, hearing those words enough times will eventually make them real.
  • Switch your focus - Whenever you feel pain or resentment, switch the narrative from what that person did to you to what can you do to help yourself heal. Mindfulness, exercise, and meditation are great places to start.
  • Remember it is a process - Forgiveness isn’t a straight line to healing, there are ups and downs along the way. Give yourself space to feel angry even after you think you’ve completely forgiven the person who hurt you, you’ll eventually reach the point where you can fully let go. 

The road to forgiveness can oftentimes feel like taking one step forward then two steps back. If you need to step into the process of forgiveness and want someone to help walk alongside you, I’d love to talk. To set up a time to chat, you can email me at leemiller.therapist@gmail.com or call my office at (310) 614-0323.

Never Too Old for Friends: How to Make New Friends as an Adult


Do you remember how easy it used to be to make friends? In grade school, the first person you shared a crayon with became your best friend. In college, between the group projects, sports games, and campus activities, it was practically impossible to have less than a dozen close friends.

At what age does it suddenly become difficult to make new friendships and why? 


Believe it or not, the amount of opportunities that you have to make friends doesn’t decrease with age. What does change, however, is your mindset. The older we get the more we get into our own heads about potential rejection and how others see us. That fear can cause you to isolate and never make the first step in initiating a new friendship - leaving you even more isolated in the end.


Here are 3 easy steps to follow that can help you make new friends as an adult.

1. Surround Yourself with Potential Friends - Put yourself in situations where you are surrounded by people who have similar interests or hobbies and become “a regular” there. If you love animals then take your dog to the same dog park each week, if you enjoy exercise then commit to going to the gym at the same time every day, or even just read a book at the same coffee shop once a week and see what happens.

2. Make a List of Potential Friends - After spending enough time at those places you’ll meet quite a few new people. Take note of who you feel a connection with, who do you find most easy to talk to and who do you think could be a good fit for a potential future friendship.


3.Make the First Move - Here’s the big scary part, it’s time to initiate! Give yourself a homework assignment to text each of the people on your list to set up a time to get together. It doesn’t have to be anything dramatic, it can be a quick drink at happy hour or a morning coffee near work.


The idea of simply asking someone to get coffee can feel as overwhelming as being asked to move a mountain. If you need someone to walk alongside you as you navigate the world of adult friendships, email me at leemiller.therapist@gmail.com or call my office at (310) 614-0323

Mental Illness and Divorce - A Podcast

I had the wonderful opportunity to join Amicable Divorce Expert, Judy Weigle, on her podcast “Constructive Uncoupling”. We talked about what mental illness is, the unique challenges that come along with mental illness throughout the divorce process, and how to communicate with a partner who has a mental illness during a divorce.


The process of divorce is difficult in and of itself but going through a divorce with a partner who struggles with mental illness comes with its own set of challenges.

It was such a valuable conversation that I felt it was worth sharing with you all here. Also, I am always curious as to what the voice behind the blog sounds like - here’s my chance to share mine with you!





Walking through the process of an amicable divorce requires expert guidance and care. And, the challenges don’t always stop after the divorce is finalized. If you find yourself having a difficult divorce process or are struggling with co-parenting after a divorce please email me at leemiller.therapist@gmail.com or call my office at (310) 614-0323.

Are You Even Listening? How to Talk So Your Partner Will Listen






We’ve all been there, you’re 5 minutes into a conversation about an important topic and you see your partner’s eyes glaze over; or even worse, you see the wall go up as they shut down and close off.


Communication is an essential part of a healthy relationship, but how can you learn to communicate so your partner will really listen?

1. Pick the Right Time -There’s a time and a place for everything. As much as it may feel like it’s absolutely essential to bring up that topic immediately - pause and ask yourself if your partner is in the right headspace and if it is an appropriate setting to have the particular conversation.

Hint: If you start talking and notice your partner isn’t listening ask, “Would there be a better time to talk?”

2. Name What You Need - What are you looking to get out of the conversation? Do you need a sympathetic ear to listen and validate your feelings? Or do you want your partner to help find a solution to a particular problem? Be clear about what type of conversation you’re looking for to set you both up for success.


3. Don’t Monopolize the Conversation - No one wants to have a conversation with someone who is bent on performing a monologue. Pause and ask for feedback during your conversation to engage your partner and ensure that they feel heard as well.


While these tips are a great place to start, establishing and practicing healthy communication isn’t something you can learn through a blog post. Great communication in relationships is nuanced, wonderfully complicated, and if you can get it right it’s incredibly rewarding. If you need help navigating the road to healthy communication, I’d love to be your guide. You can email me at leemiller.therapist@gmail.com or call my office at (310) 614-0323.

Practicing Mindfulness At Work




“Mindfulness” has been a big buzzword for the past decade. From yoga studios to boardrooms, practicing mindfulness has been shown to have benefits that go far beyond just physical health.


But, what exactly is mindfulness and how can you practice it in an environment that seems to reward the exact opposite?

In its simplest form, mindfulness means awareness. It offers a way to pay attention to the present moment with intention and without judgement. Oftentimes people think of practicing mindfulness as sitting cross-legged with your eyes closed chanting for hours on end. While meditation is a phenomenal way to practice mindfulness (and you should try it if you haven’t), it isn’t always possible - especially at work. Here are a few ways to introduce mindfulness during your work day.



Stop Multitasking - As much as you may like to think of yourself as an expert multi-tasker, it’s been proven time and again that “multitasking” efficiently is impossible. Your brain can only focus on doing one thing well at a time; so, when you’re answering your email while talking on the phone and prepping for that meeting all at once, none of those tasks are getting your full attention.


Most people know that multitasking is inefficient and yet we still do it because it makes us feel as if we’re being more productive.

Instead, try being a master single-tasker. Focus on one task at a time and write down what you’ve accomplished during specific chunks of time. Once a task is complete, take a moment to reflect on how it felt to finish it and absorb the sense of accomplishment achieved.


Embrace Stress - Studies have shown that the way you think about stress actually changes the physical effect it has on your body. That means that you have the opportunity to flip the script and make stress your friend. Next time something comes up at work and you feel your heart start to race, be grateful that the stress response is energizing you. Take a moment to thank your body for preparing you for the upcoming challenge by sending more oxygen around your body through your accelerated heart rate. Changing your relationship with stress through mindfulness can change your body - helping you stay more relaxed and focused at work.



Slow Down to Speed Up - Imagine you had to stay awake for 7 days straight prepping for a big meeting (some of you may have actually tried this before). With every additional day of no rest your efficiency drops, until eventually you aren’t productive at all. Our bodies need to rest in order to perform at our highest. It’s so simple when it comes to sleep and yet we don’t apply that same principle at work - I’m certainly not saying take naps at your desk, you know where I’m going with this.


Allow yourself to take a few moments throughout the day to take a break; go on a short walk, listen to a beautiful piece of music, do a bit of micro-meditation. Just watch as your brain becomes even more productive, focused, and effective at communicating with others.


I know that saying things like “make stress your friend” are much easier said than done. Work can be a major trigger for anxiety and you may feel as though the idea of slowing down to even take a breath at the office is laughable. If you need extra help slowing down or want a safe space to discuss your workplace anxiety, you can either email me at leemiller.therapist@gmail.com or call my office at (310) 614-0323.





The Benefits of Saying "No"




As we talked about in our last article saying “no” and setting boundaries can be a real art form and we also talked about why it’s sometimes difficult to have boundaries. I shared a few tips on how to get started establishing them, but now for the fun part - the benefits!


After you set your new boundaries and start practicing saying “no” for a bit, you’ll start noticing quite a few things changing in your life. There are many advantages that come along with maintaining healthy boundaries but here are a few of my favorites.

4 Benefits of Boundaries:

Your needs are met - By prioritizing your own needs you stop looking externally for others to fulfill them and starting looking inwards. YOU are the one who is responsible for your own self-care and having healthy boundaries is the first step to ensuring your needs are met.


You are more compassionate - When your own needs are met you are better equipped to recognize the needs of others and you have the emotional capacity to meet them. Having healthy boundaries and saying “no” is the opposite of unkind, it is the foundation for compassion and empathy.


You accomplish your goals - Establishing priorities and saying “no” to the rest opens you up to dedicate your time and energy to accomplish your goals. You’ll start to notice that bucket list shrink over time as you check off each goal.


Your confidence grows - As you continue to set your boundaries and stand up for what you need, you’ll feel more empowered and assertive. With each “no” your confidence will grow - yes, that rhymes and you’re welcome to steal that little mantra.


There are many benefits that come along with setting boundaries but just like anything in life, change doesn’t always come easily. As you start practicing saying the word “no” you may run into a few bumps in the road, whether it be with yourself or with others adjusting to your new boundaries. If you need someone to help you stay firm in your boundaries and see those benefits come to fruition you can either email me at leemiller.therapist@gmail.com or call my office at (310) 614-0323.