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Dr. Michelle Advice
 
Dr. Michelle K. Murray, CEO of Nexus Family Healing and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, answers questions about family relations or mental health. Submit Your Question.

 

Picture of a teenage boy playing video games.

How Do I Boost My Adult Son's Motivation?

Help! I have a 22 year-old son who lives at home and plays video games all day. He has no motivation to get a job or go to school, and I can't tell if he is being lazy, or something more. It's like he's afraid or he doesn't know what to do with his life, so he does nothing. Friends of his from high school have seemed to move on, found jobs, or started living their life. I thought that might motivate him, but it hasn't. How do I help him find his motivation and get off of the computer?
Picture of a couple filling out a divorce agreement.

What Is the Best Living Arrangement for Our Kids After a Divorce?

My husband and I are getting a divorce, but we are amicable. We have been having problems for quite some time and after a lot of couple’s therapy, he came out that he is gay.  As hard as this is, we both know that he needs to be true to who he is. We have two younger children ages 8 and 6 and we want to keep things as normal as possible for them so we have decided to keep the children in the house and he and I will rotate staying at the house every other week. We are going to share an apartment and rotate living there as well. Is this type of arrangement good for children? 
Picture of a teen daughter refusing to listen to her mother.

How Do I Enforce Rules With Our Kids If My Husband Doesn't Follow Them?

One of the rules with my children is no swearing. But my husband frequently curses which I feel sends mixed messages to our kids! How can I enforce the no swearing rule when it seems to be: do as I say, not as I do?
Picture of a woman sitting alone on the floor with her head down.

How Do I Ask My Family for More Information Regarding My Mom’s Health?

My mom is very sick. She has cancer and other serious medical conditions. She is still able to care for herself and is highly capable, but she and my dad are horrible about sharing information. I never really know what is going on with her medical condition. My sister can visit them more in person and tends to get more information about the situation, but my sister and I don’t get along and are not currently speaking. My mom has a serious procedure coming up and I really want to know more, but there is just no way I can talk to my sister. I am so upset with my sister for not keeping me in the loop and driving a wedge between us. What should I do to deal with this situation if talking to my sister is not an option?
Picture of a man sitting at his desk, holding his head out of frustration with his co-worker sitting in the background.

How Do I Communicate With a Sensitive Co-Worker?

I work with someone who is very sensitive and I always feel like I'm walking on eggshells because I don't know what will set her off. When I ask questions or suggest doing things in a different way, she gets very defensive. It makes working on projects together difficult. How do I navigate this?
Picture of a woman holding a wine glass contemplating taking a drink of wine.

Is It OK to Resume Drinking if You Have a History of Alcohol Abuse?

My wife has consumed alcohol throughout her adult life without having any problems. Three years ago we went through some life changes and became really depressed. Her drinking began to increase to the point that she ended up having significant liver damage. Since that event, she stopped drinking entirely. We would like to enjoy a nice drink on special occasions. We both don’t believe that she is an alcoholic, so we don’t think there would be any harm in her having an occasional drink. Would be safe for her to resume given that she has not had a single drink in the last three years?
Photo of a man repairing a door

How Do I Create Boundaries With My Ex-Wife?

My ex and I have been divorced for several years now and it's amicable, but I'm frustrated -- she still turns to me for help with things around the house all the time. I want to do what's right for my kids and I like helping but I'm starting to feel taken advantage of. How do I say no without rocking the boat?
teenage girl sitting crouched holding her knees with a sad look on her face

My Daughter Has Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). How Can I Best Support Her?

My daughter is a twenty-two-year-old bio engineering student. She is a hardworking girl, but she takes care of her hygiene poorly and her room is not walkable. Everything is on the floor. She gets mad when I talk to her about hygiene. A little background, my daughter has PCOS. I have spent a lot of money on laser hair removal, with not great results. When she was younger, she was bullied because of her condition and would come home crying. She does not want to go to a therapist. I’m not sure how to help her or what to do for her. 
a woman talking in a therapy session

Do I Need Therapy?

I've had a lot of change and tragedy in my life recently. I'm not perfect but I think I'm handling it ok. But others in my life are encouraging me to get professional help. How do I know if they are right or if I really do need therapy?
Photo of a sad young adult female, holding her head in her hands

My Friend Died by Suicide. Is There Any Way I Could Get Through This Pain?

My friend committed suicide a week ago and I can’t stop blaming myself. Three weeks ago, he told me he wanted to commit suicide, but he was too scared. I did not think he would do it. He also wrote to me saying if we would meet, he might not want to kill himself. I keep reading those messages. I can’t get it out of my head. I am someone who suffers from depression and have been suicidal as well. I can’t do this anymore. Is there any way I could get through this pain? Are there any other realities other than depression? I’ve lost all hope.