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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 someone sitting on the couch stressed with his head in his hands

How Do I Stop Blaming Myself for a Loved One’s Death?

I feel like I have caused two deaths - my sister who overdosed on heroin and my best friend who took his own life. For my sister, I just feel I could have been there for her more and been a better brother. With my friend, we went out drinking one night and both got very drunk. I dropped him off, he got in a physical fight with his girlfriend and then he took his life. I feel like I shouldn’t have invited my friend to drink and should have recognized the state he was in. How do I stop blaming myself?
Picture of a woman scrolling through her phone with a worried look on her face

How Can I Stop the Constant Worry and Just Enjoy My Life?

I can't stop worrying. Little things, big things, everything! How can I stop the constant worry and just enjoy my life?
Picture of a father helping his daughter with homework.

My Daughter Is Failing Her Classes – How Can We Help Change Her Behavior?

My 7th grade daughter has failing grades in several classes. This has been a problem for several years. We have taken her phone away many times, and while that does persuade her to complete her homework, it does not last, and the bad grades continue. It’s a constant battle. What can we do to help her manage herself and change this behavior for good?
A Mother Who Is Worn Out

My Family Is Struggling

My family has been struggling as my husband lost his job due to COVID, my daughter has been acting out, and I feel like I am going to lose it. We have never been to family therapy, but do you think it would help?
Picture of a husband and wife arguing with the mother-in-law.

My Mother-in-Law Is Critical of Me. How Do I Get Support From My Husband?

My mother-in-law is very critical, and she makes negative comments about things I say or do, and this really bothers me. My husband is aware and even though he agrees that she is inappropriate, he never sticks up for me or says anything to stop it. It makes family events very uncomfortable. What can I do to encourage my husband to come to my defense?
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?