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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.


An Unkempt Neighbor's yard with tall, dying grass

My Neighbor Doesn't Upkeep His Yard. What Can I Do?

My neighbor doesn't keep up his yard. In the winter, he never shovels the sidewalk and in the summer, it's the grass. I know it's not my business but it bothers me. Can I say something? How can I get over this when I have to look at it every day?
Photo of a young blond haired boy sitting on a couch angry

My Niece's Toddler Is Aggressive. How Can We Help Him?

My niece’s 4-year-old toddler has become so aggressive that daycare has put him on probation. It breaks my heart when she calls me crying, thinking that she is not doing enough. He is the only child of two military parents, and they have tried to work with him. She has requested an appointment for behavioral health, but the wait is too long. What can she do in the meantime?
Two Black females in their twenties. One is upset and the other is comforting

How Can You Best Support a Grieving Friend?

In this week's Dear Dr. Michelle, we switch things up! Last fall, Jaelyn Arndt's father unexpectedly passed away. Dr. Michelle K. Murray asks Jaelyn how friends and family can best support a loved one who is grieving a loss.
Photo of a trans teenage female

How Can I Best Support My Teen in Their Gender Expression?

My 15-year-old son recently told me he wants to be referred to as they/them. He has started experimenting with makeup and is interested in women's clothing. I'm having a really hard time with this one. I am uncomfortable, I don't understand and don't know how to handle it. I want to support him, but I worry about him being bullied and what struggles he will face. Where do I even begin?
Meeting of coworkers discussing a topic

How Do I Stay Private While Connecting With My Coworkers?

I work with a bunch of people who are very open. They talk about their personal lives and share quite a bit with the rest of the group. I’m very private and I try to keep my personal life and work life separate. As a result, I think they are feeling like I am cold and not interested. How do I handle this? I still value these relationships.
Woman who is anxious

How Can I Overcome My Social Anxiety?

I’ve always been a little nervous around people, but I’m 37 years old and I feel like I should have grown out of this problem. When I need to introduce myself or speak in a group, I get anxious, and my face turns bright red. I don’t understand it. It’s not rational and it really bugs me. What can I do?
Man working from home

How Can I Feel Connected With My Co-Workers When I Work Remote?

I started a new job 18 months ago. Our team works remotely and that’s new for me. In the past, I’ve always gone into an office. I am really struggling to build relationships with my co-workers without having that in-person interaction. Since I started, I have felt disconnected and it’s bothering me. I have never felt that way about my work or my coworkers. What do I do to make this better?
Family conversation at the dinner table

How Do You Have Conversations About Finances With Your Family?

My siblings and I have good jobs and each of us can take care of ourselves. We all pay our bills, feed our families, and enjoy some extra pleasures. The issue is that I make more money than my parents and my two siblings and this can become awkward at times. Whenever I buy something a little more expensive for myself or others, they ask me how much it cost. Sometimes they insinuate or try to guess my income level to see if I will confirm or deny their suspicions. How do I handle these uncomfortable situations? I don’t want to tell them how much I pay for things, or my income, and I wish they wouldn’t ask.
Women sad missing the holidays

How Do I Handle Not Being Able To Make It Home for the Holidays?

The holidays are really tough for me. I live far away from my family and this will be the second year in a row I am not able to make it back to see them. I can feel myself starting to push away from my family just to protect myself from feeling left out. I’m sad and I seem to cry at the drop of a hat. What do I do?
Parents taking son holiday shopping

How Do I Teach My Child Gratitude?

My six-year-old son doesn’t seem to have any appreciation for the gifts we get him. It’s especially bad around the holidays. He’s not grateful, pouts if it is not exactly what he wants, and sometimes even asks for more. I’ve tried to explain to him that his behavior isn’t polite and that he should be happy with what he has, which is plenty, but it’s not changing. What do I do?