23151 Verdugo Drive, Suite 201
Laguna Hills, CA 92653


Relationships are messy + delicious. Learn about how Robyn D'Angelo, The Happy Couple Expert uses science to effectively help couples in Orange County, California to master the messiness of relationships while learning how to love + be loved, better.

The Blog

Filtering by Tag: emotions

Be Free

Emily Porta

We allow many things in life to bind our hands. We become victim to the world, loosing our voice and our will to take a stand. "I can't" "What if" "There is no other way" are phrases that can tie us up into knots, leaving us unable to move forward in our lives. Do you feel stuck?

I have said before and I will say again, therapy is about options. You always have a choice. You may not like your choices, but there are other options out there if you take the time to explore them. But if you want to know your options, then that makes  you responsible and no longer the victim. It also makes you empowered. To explore, imagine and play with the possibilities is like saying "wait a second, this is my life, not yours." 

So what are you bound up by in your life? Is it the "woulda, coulda, shoulda" phrases that keep you in the past and not in the present? Is it the fears of what other people think? Let them think. They don't have to be in your shoes day in and day out. Once you explore the ties that bind by playing with the options, you become FREE.

FREE to decide which roads you traverse. FREE to allow people in your life and ask people to leave your life. FREE to sit in your emotions and know that fear and anxiety have no place in your life now. FREE to be yourself. FREE to love yourself.

May you find freedom from the victimization. Take back your life and be FREE. 

Lessons from Infancy: Cry Baby, Cry

Emily Porta

From time to time, people sit in my office and cry. But then, they apologize for it, feel embarrassed, overwhelmed and insecure by the tears streaming down their face. Tears have a voice. They are saying something too. Infants have no troubles crying. It is how they communicate. There are different cries for different needs or emotions. And just like infants, we cry differently depending on the emotion. Have you ever laughed with a friend until you cried. Oh! What a wonderful feeling! Or have you ever been so overwhelmed that words could not express and so you cried, relieving so much tension. That is a good feeling as well. 

The other day I heard a little boy say to his father, "you know you are tough if you don't cry. I am tough." His father kinda blew him of. What an opportunity to teach! Actually, it is brave to cry as an adult. We feel childlike often when we cry, but it is a primal thing to do. This comes back to being comfortable in our own skin with our own feelings. 

If you ever come to my counseling office, I have 3 boxes of tissues, because I am comfortable with the tears. Being a therapist means listening to them, as they each fall and understanding what they are trying to convey. So next time you need to cry, do it. Don't apologize. Feelings are feelings, they don't need an apology, they need to be expressed.

Guided Imagery: Creating a Place of Your Own

Emily Porta

I have been using guided imagery more and more in my practice. I find it is a great way to create a safe place for you to go to when you are stressed and overwhelmed. You can bring a mental image to mind of a place that is calming and peaceful, noting the sounds, smells, tastes, and colors around you. Your body automatically responds as if you are there - breathing slows, heart rate normalizes, and muscle tension releases.

However another great way to use guided imagery is to process your emotions. Often if a person has unresolved conflict with someone with whom they no longer are in relationship with, guided imagery can help them go to that place with a person and tell them what they feel and what they need. And just like in the safe place, your brain responds as if it is actually happening. Resentment can dissipate, fear will no longer be prominent, and sometimes even forgiveness arises.

Effective counseling is about using the tools that help the person. There are many tools and many different styles of therapies. Not all of them are for everyone. But you might be surprised what happens when you do seek out to change your brain - it will change your mood, your heart, your soul and your life. 

​​​​​​​Lessons from Infancy: Emotions are meant to be shared!

Emily Porta

How many times do you stuff down what you are feeling? Or maybe you don't even know what you feel sometimes. I can't tell you how often I hear (and sometimes from my own mouth) people excusing their feelings and rationalizing their way out of embracing themselves and their truth. Ever heard "well it could be a lot worse," or "it wasn't THAT bad, at least I am not as bad off as this other person"? Those are red flags that we aren't just accepting of our simple emotions. I say often: they are just emotions, they won't kill you. 

Babies get this...to the core. If they are sad, they cry. If they are happy, they coo or giggle. If they are scared, they show it. These are feelings, simple feelings and they understand the importance of sharing them. If they don't share them, then their parents won't know how to respond to them. A healthy parent and child relationship looks something like this: Mommy tickles baby, baby laughs so mommy continues to tickle baby as long as baby shows enjoyment. There is an expression and a response. With unhealthy attachment, their is a lack of expression OR a lack of response. While as adults, we know we cannot anticipate the response of others or have control over it, we can choose our own behaviors and expressions of emotions. We also can choose who is safe to express our feelings to. When baby cries, Daddy holds the baby, comforts the baby and listens for why the baby is crying. If you are a parent you know that not every cry means sadness. Sometimes babies cry out of tiredness, boredom, fear, or hunger. 

That brings me to another point, the shades of emotions are important. How often do we cry and say we are sad. In reality we might be WAY more than sad. There can be layers of emotions and they are nuanced. The more we express them, the more we understand ourselves. If you don't give a voice to your emotions, your body will speak for you - which is why we get upset stomachs, random pains, headaches, increased blood pressure or nightmares. Babies don't want any of that. They know the importance of expressing emotions. 

The reason I started this series is because I want you to know, we all used to be babies and we were born with a lot of wisdom and greatness. Sometimes therapy is a way to awaken us back to what we were originally born with. So the next time you want to dismiss your feelings, STOP and really think - what is the harm in saying "I am angry, lonely, scared or frustrated?" These are your emotions, that need to be shared and heard and typically when they are...they lose their power over us and we find ourselves, valuing who we are and what we feel.