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Dr. Shannon Kolakowski
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Shannon Kolakowski, PsyD, is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice providing couples and individual therapy.

She is the author of Single, Shy, and Looking for Love: A Dating Guide for the Shy and Socially Anxious and When Depression Hurts Your Relationship: How to Regain Intimacy and Reconnect with Your Partner When You’re Depressed. She has contributed to publications such as Forbes, Redbook, Scientific American MIND, Men's Health Magazine, Shape, Salon, The New York Post, and Good Morning America online. She's made television appearances on New Day Northwest and ABC news.

She has served as an adjunct faculty member at the college and graduate school level. She lives with her husband and daughter in Seattle, WA.

Entries by Dr. Shannon Kolakowski

10 Rules of Fighting

(0) Comments | Posted March 11, 2015 | 6:17 PM

The workplace often brings out conflict. When you are passionate about your work and good at your job, you're not always going to agree with everyone. In fact, conflicting viewpoints are part of what makes a workplace creative and productive. But conflict doesn't have to ruin your day or damage...

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Your Biggest First Date Worries... Solved

(0) Comments | Posted October 20, 2014 | 9:57 AM

Most of us get a little nervous before first dates. When I was single, I would get so nervous before dates that I would lose my appetite completely. It made dinner dates hard.

Especially if you're shy or tend to be anxious, those first date jitters can translate into...

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5 Ways to Overcome Dating Anxiety

(1) Comments | Posted September 22, 2014 | 4:50 PM

Anxiety disorders are the most common psychological disorder in the U.S., affecting 18 percent of the adult population. Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is the third-most-common psychological disorder, affecting 15 million men and women in the U.S. The DSM-5 defines social anxiety as the "persistent fear of...

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The Surprising Key Element in Happy Couples

(34) Comments | Posted August 8, 2014 | 10:57 AM

Have you ever wondered if you and the guy you just started dating will make it long term? Or are you about to get married, and wish you could really predict if it will last? Do you ever wonder if you and your wife's relationship is as happy as it...

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5 Ways to Deal with Dating Burnout

(0) Comments | Posted June 24, 2014 | 4:17 PM

I hear the cry, loud and clear. The outcry comes from my clients, from readers who respond to my dating blogs and from close friends who are dating. I myself had the outcry during my long tenure as a single person. The outcry is resounding: Dating is discouraging. It's discouraging!...

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The Secret Thing Husbands Don't Always Ask for But Need From Their Wives

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2014 | 12:45 PM

As a psychologist, I am privy to the inner thoughts and feelings of my male clients. I hear firsthand the pressures and worries that they have, many of which they don't share with others. One thing I've consistently heard is that men feel a great deal of responsibility for their...

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5 Warning Signs That Depression Is Affecting Your Relationship

(0) Comments | Posted March 14, 2014 | 4:57 PM

If your relationship is struggling, depression may be the culprit. A resounding body of research has shown how closely depression is related to relationships in a cyclical fashion: Depression affects the quality of your relationships, and the features of your relationship can affect your level of depression (1, 2, 3)....

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6 Things You Need to Know About Dating With Depression (After a Breakup)

(2) Comments | Posted March 8, 2014 | 8:29 AM

A painful breakup can cause you to fall into depression. You miss your ex (even if you know the breakup is for the best), you're feeling miserable and crying often, or maybe you just feel numb and empty. You might be second-guessing yourself, feeling bad about yourself, having trouble concentrating...

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3 Steps to End Any Argument

(0) Comments | Posted February 26, 2014 | 3:36 PM

Much of the stress we encounter in life stems from conflicts that aren't resolved well -- or aren't resolved at all. Perhaps it's the argument with your wife that ended in a yelling match (or the silent treatment). Or maybe there's a recurring conflict between you and your boyfriend that...

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Valentine's Day Ideas That Will Improve Your Relationship, According to Research

(1) Comments | Posted February 9, 2014 | 9:51 AM

Valentine's Day is almost upon us, and you're not alone if you sometimes feel unsure of the best way to celebrate with your loved one. So this year I thought I'd share some ways to spend the big day that will not only be fun for you both, but that...

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The Best Love Advice I've Ever Received

(1) Comments | Posted December 10, 2013 | 6:03 PM

Most of us, at some point in our lives, have heard a great piece of advice about love. Perhaps it's something from your mother or father, a grandparent, a mentor, a friend, something you've read -- a piece of advice that has stayed with you and has helped you in...

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7 Signs of Emotional Wellness

(12) Comments | Posted August 9, 2013 | 2:39 PM

Have you ever wondered what it really means to be emotionally healthy? Have you ever wondered how your psychological well-being compares to others around you?

When I meet new people in social settings, the conversational question of, "What do you do for a living?" often leads people to ask...

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How to Make the Most of Your Life Transitions

(10) Comments | Posted June 23, 2013 | 10:39 AM

Major life transitions -- moving to a new city, becoming a parent, retirement -- can be an exciting and invigorating part of life. Yet transitions, even happy ones, can also be stressful and bring up mixed feelings.

Heidi always knew she would move to a new city after college....

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The Single Best Thing You Can Do for Your Relationship

(24) Comments | Posted November 19, 2012 | 11:40 PM

When we think of what we can do to nurture our relationship, we often think of tangibles. Buy her diamond earrings. Take her out to an elegant dinner. Surprise him by wearing sexy lingerie. Buy flowers and chocolate. Take a romantic trip together. While all of these things certainly won't...

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Is Anxiety Your Roadblock to Finding Love?

(10) Comments | Posted September 2, 2012 | 10:00 AM

Dating is a bit intimidating for most people. But if you are an anxious person, dating is more than intimidating -- it can be downright painful and terrifying. Most people with anxiety have difficulty dealing with uncertainty. And dating, for all its glory, is rife with uncertainty. After all, you...

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The Hidden Issue That Could Affect Your Relationship

(11) Comments | Posted July 26, 2012 | 5:40 AM

Did you previously have a strong relationship, and now feel disconnected from your partner? Research shows a link between depression and being unhappy with your relationship. Depression can take a happy, healthy relationship and create a cloud around your ability to enjoy the person you love.


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Are You a Perfectionist? Three Changes to Make Today

(6) Comments | Posted June 16, 2012 | 9:00 AM

As a perfectionist, you set standards for yourself that are far beyond reach or reason. You work endlessly to accomplish a goal and then measure your self-worth based on your level of success.

You may see your perfectionism as a motivator that propels you to do your best. But...

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Celebrity Apprentice: Teresa Giudice on What Really Matters in the Boardroom

(6) Comments | Posted April 6, 2012 | 4:31 PM

This season of Celebrity Apprentice has no shortage of drama. Apprentice player Teresa Giudice, star of Real Housewives of New Jersey, has thus far been relatively low key in the drama arena. As a psychologist, watching the conflict and tension that has been building...

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Is Your Self-Esteem Tied to Your Wedding?

(7) Comments | Posted March 1, 2012 | 3:56 PM

As I was planning my wedding, I found myself thinking about every decision carefully -- weighing not just what I wanted, but how others would view it. I felt I had something to prove to my fiancé's family, my friends, my frenemies who might see my wedding pictures on Facebook....

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Expert Dr. Serani on Valentine's Day Depression, Celebrities and Reducing Stigma

(0) Comments | Posted February 13, 2012 | 5:25 PM

Valentine's Day is upon us. Every year, hate it or love it, the event seems to trigger strong reactions in each of us. But can Valentine's Day cause you to fall into a more serious depression?

I spoke with the nation's leading expert on depression, Deborah Serani, Psy.D, about the...

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