Dr. Zoe Shaw, A Year of Self-Care

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Asked & Answered

Ask Dr. Zoe – I Struggle Making Decisions—Can I Get Over This?

‘Paralyzed by Indecision’ Asked: Dr. Zoe, I’ve always struggled with making decisions, both big and small. I’ve noticed this is a pattern in my family…both my mother and grandmother are the same way. I’ve gotten a little better, recognizing that indecision leaves me feeling paralyzed and telling myself that I can always re-adjust if a decision isn’t ideal. Why do you think making decisions feels so painful? I genuinely hate making them. And that frustrates me about myself because I know it’s not a big deal most of the time! What are some tips or things I can tell myself to work on this? Thank you! Dr. Zoe Answered: You hit the nail on the head when you mentioned the multigenerational pattern …

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Ask Dr. Zoe – My Boyfriend Retracted His Proposal—What Do I Do Now?

‘Debra’ Asked: I am a widow; I’ve been seeing him for nine months. He asked me to marry him a couple of times joking around and I just didn’t respond because I thought it was joking. However, he proposed the last week of February and I just stood there staring with no response. He caught me off guard. They was a lot of commotion going on at the job, so I didn’t answer him right away. Later I said I loved him and I would marry him but he said I didn’t answer him when he asked so he got his answer then. I told him I loved him and wanted to marry him and he said it didn’t work that way …

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Ask Dr. Zoe – How Do I Create Better Boundaries with My Boyfriend and His Daughter?

‘Marie’ Asked: How can I set up boundaries without generating turmoil between my boyfriend’s adult daughter who is 25 and myself? Her Dad always takes her side and she rules him/us when she comes and visits. Thank you, Dr Zoe. Dr. Zoe Answered: It seems to me that you need to create better boundaries with two people—your boyfriend and his daughter. It’s ironic that I often get the question, “how can I create boundaries without hurting someone’s feelings or without upsetting someone?” This is the very crux of the issue for pleasers. They are more concerned about upsetting anyone than they are about caring for themselves. As long as that remains the case, your boundaries will stay low. Unfortunately, setting boundaries upsets …

Ask Dr. Zoe – How Do I Create Better Boundaries with My Boyfriend and His Daughter? Read More »

Ask Dr. Zoe – My Step-Daughter Is Acting Out and I’m Ready to Give Up!

‘crvntsfam3’ Asked: Good afternoon; I’m a 39-year-old woman and my fiance is a 50-year-old man. I have four children from a previous relationship and he has one daughter (E). It is uncommon (but becoming more common) that his daughter lives with us. She is 10 and her mom left after dropping her off for her first day of kinder. She was constantly unfaithful and had/has no desire to be a mother. She hardly ever calls and never comes to visit (she lives around 700 miles away). I’ve been in E’s life for four years now and we are experiencing some growing pains recently. She has developed a lying habit and most recently, stealing from me. Now, don’t get me wrong, if she …

Ask Dr. Zoe – My Step-Daughter Is Acting Out and I’m Ready to Give Up! Read More »

Ask Dr. Zoe – My Friend Exhibits Hurtful, Toxic Behavior. Can I Help Her?

‘Meg the Muse’ Asked: Dear Dr. Zoe, My friend of 17 years behaves in strange, hurtful ways and I don’t know whether these things could indicate some sort of personality disorder or trauma. She gives the silent treatment, pushes her friends away, accuses other people of being out to get her or of disrespecting her boundaries without saying what those boundaries are, love bombs people and then cuts them off, holds grudges, cries and is embarrassed easily, has unrealistic standards and won’t accept criticism. This has been a pattern for many years now. She still lives with her parents, hasn’t dated in 5 years and refuses to step out of her comfort zone even a little bit. I love her and want …

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Ask Dr. Zoe — I’m Lonely and Feel Like the Black Sheep; What Do I Do?

(Listen to the audio version of this article here._ ‘Creativesoul’ Asked: Good Evening, I’m going through slight depression and I feel lonely. I moved from NYC with my son and don’t know many people. I have a few friends and I actually have a boyfriend, but I want him to do more with me. My older sister says I want him to fill my voids. I do activities with my son so he won’t feel lonely. I overthink, assume, and think the worst of things. If my boyfriend can’t make something and it happen more than once, I think the worst of him at times, and I feel like every time we try to go out he won’t make it. He’s treats …

Ask Dr. Zoe — I’m Lonely and Feel Like the Black Sheep; What Do I Do? Read More »

Ask Dr. Zoe — Why Does God Refuse to Heal My Alcoholic Son?

(Listen to the audio version of this article here.) ‘PetVet’ Asked: I am a 57-year-old mom of a 30-year-old alcoholic son. I feel that I cannot have joy/peace until he finds Christ/sobriety. This has created a loss of hope in me. I know God is all-powerful. I know He can heal him anytime. However, this means that He just chooses not to heal him. To be honest, I am tired. 13 years of hope and disappointment has left me in a pretty deep pit. How can I know God’s promises of an abundant life be true? Where can I find joy? I feel that my life is enduring. And that is it. Dr. Zoe Answered: My heart aches for you on the …

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Ask Dr. Zoe — How Do I Connect With My Defensive Teenage Stepdaughter as a Stepdad?

(Listen to the audio version of this article here.) ‘Love Life’ Asked: On the web I see a lot of what it is like being a stepmother to a teenager girl but not a stepfather. I’ve been in her life since she was two. She is now 14 and things have been tough. A lot of her behavior has become secluded, self-serving, and projects a defensiveness towards me in most things. It’s hard to strike up normal conversation. There is extreme bias to the mother, which is understandable in these situations but challenging. Her mother and I could say the same thing in the same tone and context but I’ll either get ignored or taken out of context negatively. There are dynamics …

Ask Dr. Zoe — How Do I Connect With My Defensive Teenage Stepdaughter as a Stepdad? Read More »

Ask Dr. Zoe — Going to Therapy Gives Me Anxiety, Please Help!

‘Sam’ Asked: Dear Dr. Zoe, I’ve been in therapy for going on two years now. I get anxiety thinking about what I should talk to my therapist about. He is nice and helpful, but there’s a few things that he just doesn’t get about my life and sees differently. I like that he challenges me to think differently, but there are parts of my life that I think you just don’t understand unless you’re living them. Sometimes I get anxiety just thinking about what I should talk to him about. I feel like I’ve gotten better enough, but I worry that I’m just lying to myself.   I get anxiety thinking about what I should talk to my therapist about. Why have …

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Ask Dr. Zoe – My Abusive Husband Received Clinical Help; Should I Go Back to Him?

‘Jennifer’ asked: I’m separated from my husband because he became abusive. He has gotten a lot of verified clinical help and is back to being the man I married. I have moved on and have a really great new guy because I felt totally thrown away, but my husband really wants me back now. What should I do? (Note, husband refuses to sign papers and COVID has had our courts closed anyway.) Dr. Zoe answered: Life is way more complicated than the basic rules of morality clearly state, isn’t it? I’m not sure if you are asking what’s your obligation to the marriage or what is in your best interest? My opinion is that the marital vows were broken when he crossed …

Ask Dr. Zoe – My Abusive Husband Received Clinical Help; Should I Go Back to Him? Read More »

Dr. Zoe Shaw is a licensed psychotherapist, educated at UCLA and Pepperdine University. She has a private practice in sunny California and a virtual practice working with people all over the world! She is a motivational speaker, podcast host, life coach, and fitness fanatic.

Dr. Zoe is also a busy wife and mama of five, which fuels her desire to help women attain the elusive balance between work, life, self, and relationships through cultivating healthy minds and bodies. Her passion is to help women find their strength, embrace it, and share it with the world. But sometimes, you just have to laugh at yourself along the way!

Do you have a burning question about yourself, your relationships, or your parenting? Send it in, and Dr. Zoe will give you spot-on advice as a life and relationship expert. But don’t worry, she’ll balance her honest answers with grit and grace.

DISCLAIMER: Not all questions will be answered. Due to volume, your question may be used at a later date. This website and its content (including any information provided by users) is for informational and entertainment purposes only and is not intended to replace or substitute for any professional medical, financial, legal, or other advice. The Company Parties (defined below) make no representations or warranties and expressly disclaim any and all liability concerning any treatment or action by any person following the information offered or provided within or through the website. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require professional or medical advice, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified specialist.
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