How to Rebuild Broken Trust in Any Relationship




Trust is the foundation that all relationships are built on. Oftentimes we think of the concept of “broken trust” only in the context of marriage, specifically infidelity. While that is a common example of broken trust, it is far from the only one.

Trust can be broken in any relationship - romantic, friendship, family, even a professional relationship. 


It can happen in an instant, as with the case of infidelity, or it can be slowly chipped away over time. Regardless of how the trust was broken or in what context, the process of rebuilding it is the same. It takes time, commitment, and hard work, but it isn’t impossible.


The exact journey is different for everyone, but here are a few steps that can help guide you through your path of rebuilding broken trust in your relationship:


  1. Commit to moving forward - rebuilding trust takes a long time and isn’t easy. Before you begin on your journey both parties need to decide that the relationship is worth restoring and commit to however long it may take to rebuild that trust. Without commitment, you won’t have the security you need to open up and be vulnerable.
  2. Get it all in the open - here comes the hard part, get it all out in the open. The offending party needs to initiate the healing process by opening up about the incident(s) that have broken the trust in the relationship. This is the ugliest part but once everything is in the light then the real healing can start - if things stay hidden then you’ll only prolong the process and it may end up hurting more in the end.
  3. Don’t stuff your feelings - pain always accompanies broken trust, there’s just no way around it. Whether you’re the offending party or the one who was hurt, there will be an array of emotions on both ends that may feel overwhelming. Try not to stuff your feelings, instead communicate them to your partner and give them the space and grace to communicate theirs as well.
  4. Get practical - request what you both need from the other in order to rebuild the trust that was broken. Are there boundaries that you need to set in your relationship? Do you need to commit to going to therapy together for a period of time? Or maybe you just need to create more transparency in certain areas of your life. Decide what you both need and take practical steps to achieve those goals.
  5. Practice forgiveness - this will always sound easier than it actually is. It takes more than a quick sentence to dive into this topic, so check out my previous blog post “Forgiveness: The Real F Word” to get some practical tips on how to practice forgiveness.
  6. Don’t Isolate - when you experience betrayal it can feel like it casts a dark cloud over your whole world. Resist the temptation to isolate and sit under that cloud by yourself. Reach out to trusted friends to walk this path with you and, if possible, find a professional to help you gain a better understanding of the situation and how to move forward. 

If you find yourself in a situation where you are experiencing broken trust and you need someone to talk to you can email me at leemiller.therapist@gmail.com or call my office at (310) 614-0323. I would love to help you navigate this journey to get to the other side healthier, happier, and with an even stronger foundation of trust than before.

5 Tips for Building New Habits that Will Actually Last



Have you ever tried to form a new habit? Whether it’s drinking enough water every day, working out more often, or eating healthier, building a new habit isn’t a small undertaking. And, unlike other things in life, it’s not just the “getting started” part that’s hard - it’s the beginning, middle, and follow-through.


On average, it takes more than 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic - 66 days to be exact.

It may be difficult and long, but building new good habits is far from impossible. Here are 5 tips to help you form a new good habit that will actually last.


  1. Do it for YOU - Don’t worry about all of the habits that you “should” have, if that is your motivation for change then it won’t last. Make sure the goals you are setting really motivate and excite you, that’s the only way you’ll succeed long term.
  2. Start Simple - Setting goals is very exciting and it can be tempting to bite off more than you can chew. Make sure you start small and build on your successes. For example, if you want to read for 2 hours a day, start off by making a habit of reading for 15 minutes a day and build on that.
  3. Get a Buddy - Everything in life is more fun when you do it with a friend and, in the case of building habits, it’s actually more effective! Find a friend who will partner with you on your journey to keep you motivated even when you feel like quitting.
  4. Replace Rather than Delete - If your goal involves giving something up try replacing it with a healthy alternative instead of deleting it altogether. For example, if watching TV was your way of relaxing but you want to cut down on how much time you spend in front of the screen, you could take up meditation as a way to satisfy that need.
  5. Manage your Expectations - The quickest way to fail is to expect yourself to be perfect. Building a new habit takes time and it will absolutely include a few failures along the way. If you expect yourself to be perfect right out of the gate then you’ll be disappointed the first time you mess up and you may be more want to quit altogether. Manage your expectations and don’t judge yourself for messing up. 

While building a new habit is one of the most difficult things you can do, it’s also one of the most rewarding. The feeling you have when you realize that something you have been consciously choosing to do for weeks is suddenly something you automatically do is exhilarating. But, the journey there can be hard to traverse alone. If you need someone to support you while you build a new set of habits, I’d love to help. You can email me at leemiller.therapist@gmail.com or call my office at (310) 614-0323.

What to Do If a Loved One Tells You They’re Suicidal





Earlier this month was World Suicide Prevention Day. It is an awareness day observed every year in order to provide worldwide commitment and action to prevent suicides. One theme that comes up every year is what to do if a loved one tells you they are struggling with suicidal thoughts.

Suicide is a very difficult subject to talk about, but it’s absolutely crucial that we learn how to talk about it in order to prevent it. 


Here are 4 steps to take if a loved one tells you they are thinking of committing suicide:


1. Celebrate Them for Opening Up - Let them know that you recognize how difficult it is to share their struggles with you and reassure them that you are proud that they decided to come out to ask for help


2. Assess the Severity of the Situation - Before you decide whether or not you need to reach out for help, find out if they are in danger of acting on suicidal feelings. Be sensitive but ask direct questions, such as:
  • Have you thought about harming yourself or have you harmed yourself before?
  • Have you thought about how or when you would do it?
  • Do you currently have access to weapons or things that could be used as weapons to harm or kill yourself?
If they have a plan and access to the weapons call the National Suicide Hotline to ask for help on your next steps (1-800-273-8255).


3. Encourage Them to Talk to a Professional - Reiterate that you are here to help them through their struggle but that they need to talk to a professional in order to get guidance. Calling a therapist can be a scary step, offer to help look at their insurance and even make the first call to a therapist if it feels like too big of a step for them.


4. Follow Up and Stay in Touch - Make sure you remain in contact with your loved one. Check-in with them to see how they are doing, offer to get together to talk or simply spend time together, and make sure they know that you are here for them throughout this whole process.


Most importantly, remember to stay connected, supportive, and engaged to make sure your loved one knows you’re not going anywhere.

Supporting someone struggling with suicidal thoughts is difficult and can add pressure to your life. If you need support as you navigate this process with your loved one or are struggling with suicidal thoughts yourself, you can email leemiller.therapist@gmail.com or call my office at (310) 614-0323.

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.