Dr. Zoe Shaw, A Year of Self-Care

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Asked & Answered

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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Ask Dr. Zoe – I Don’t Feel a Bond with My Newborn; Is this Normal?

‘First-time Mom’ asked: As a new mom, I sometimes feel guilty not having that initial bond with my newborn and miss my before-mom self. Is this normal and how or what is the best way to get rid of these thoughts? I love my little one a lot. Dr. Zoe answered: Dear Momma, Somehow society has created this often unspoken consensus that a good mother is all sacrificing and perfectly content to lose herself in motherhood. I don’t believe this, nor have I seen that it is healthy or creates a better outcome for children. I really despise the word “normal” and prefer to use “healthy” instead. There are many behaviors that are “normal” in our society that are not healthy and …

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Ask Dr. Zoe – My Husband Is Never Home; How Do I Tell Him I Want to Leave?

‘Deceived in Dallas’ asked: My husband and I met online and dated for two years before getting married. We often had long weekends together before we married and I thought I knew him well. We have been married two years now and I feel deceived. For two years he has been building a lawn care business (which I knew he had before) and working full-time at a retail job, which means his schedule is chaotic. Long story short, my husband is never home. When he is, he sleeps from exhaustion. He has been telling me for two years that things will level off once the business gets bigger. But I found out recently from his old friends and family that he has …

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Ask Dr. Zoe – My Blended Family Is Taking Separate Vacations—Should I Be Upset by This?

‘Tammy’ asked: So I have been married for four years, and between my husband and I, we have six kids whose ages range between 12 and 29. We have not really had any major issues blending our family, just the normal bumps you come across. However, this one has come up that I need some advice on. My husband’s 21-year-old daughter, who lives on her own, asked him to take her and her two younger siblings (the 12 and 17-year-old) on a vacation…just the four of them. I have had some really mixed feelings about this. My husband and I discussed this and we agreed that maybe they just needed some time with him and a weekend trip would be good. Next …

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Ask Dr. Zoe – Is My Partner Gaslighting Me?

‘Nikki’ Asked: I’m currently in an argument with my partner, and I don’t know if he’s gaslighting me. Lately he’s been snapping at me over little things, then when I finally can’t take it anymore and snap myself, he comes out with why he’s upset and it turns out he thinks I stepped out of the relationship, which is completely untrue. I love him so much, I would never do that… This hurt me badly, especially since I’ve given up so much, like sharing my vehicle so he can go to work, leaving me at home stranded everyday. I am a business owner, which requires me to speak to men, and sometimes they say things like how pretty I am and “Hi, …

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Ask Dr. Zoe – How Do You Make Friends as an Adult?

‘Taylor’ Asked: How do you make friends as an adult? Dr. Zoe Answered: No one tells us that it’s so much harder to make friends as an adult than when you were a kid. Rest assured, you and a trillion other adults have the same problem. In adulthood, friendships tend to be pocketed, consisting of different circles of interest. And then there are those that stand the test of time, which can be few and far between. Making new friends really isn’t much different than dating. I know dating can be nerve-wracking, so let’s go with a shopping metaphor instead. If you want to find a new BFF, you have to first put yourself out there and then be willing to try …

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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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