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When You Feel Powerless

Powerless. Helpless. Stuck. These are some of the very worst, most unpleasant ways to feel. Too often people experiencing these emotions are hesitant to get counseling, or even talk with friends, because they feel it will “do nothing.” This is based on the belief that the event or circumstance needs to change in order to feel better. The thought at the core of hopelessness is: The thing that’s already done must be different or else I will never feel better. This is not true. Getting unstuck is about navigating your responses and feelings more effectively- not changing external events. I’m not saying it’s easy, but I think it’s essential to our well-being to cultivate healthier ways to react when these gut-wrenching feelings strike. The following are some of my thoughts, that are on the surface quite simple, but take an     . . . read more

New Perspectives Make a Difference

Recently I heard a talk radio program where the host said (in reference to what, I cannot remember), “This is not like psychotherapy where they are trying to fix you…” I couldn’t hear the rest because I was in total shock. I knew this point of view existed, but I had never heard it said so succinctly: psychotherapists try to fix people. I could only think in little sound bites: Wait. Time out. FALSE. It took me a couple of weeks to recover and process. So now let me say in response that I’m not interested in fixing anyone. I don’t believe anyone is broken. At the heart of it, I actually think most people fear they are broken, but are not. It’s this fear that creates a lot of problems. As a therapist, I do not try to fix     . . . read more

More Info On EMDR and A Big Thank You!

I want to thank Dawn Clancy for having me on her terrific show, Growing Up Chaotic.  Her program is all about overcoming issues related to growing up with addiction, abuse, and overall chaos. I’m inspired by her empowering message and her willingness to share of herself to help others. It was truly a privilege to be part of what she’s doing! You can listen to episode on demand here. I talked about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and EMDR. For listeners and interested others I’ve compiled a list of resources. I’m also taking questions and will be writing a post answering these questions next week. Here is a great article by Francine Shapiro, founder of EMDR, answering questions from NY Times readers: “The Evidence on E.M.D.R.” A very comprehensive resource for all aspects of EMDR is the EMDR Institute website at     . . . read more

Does Therapy Need a Makeover?

I’m on a mission to convey to people everywhere that working on your emotional life is a positive and useful endeavor that yields good results. I may have my work cut out for me. I have a deep concern that most people have negative associations with words like therapy or mental health. Essentially, I worry that people think they are healthy as long as they don’t “need” to go to therapy. Therapy is seen as evidence of illness, instead of a way to accomplish wellness. I love what I do. My day tends to be uplifting, fun, interesting, inspiring and motivating. The fabulous clients I work with do come for depression, anxiety, trauma, anger, and other issues. I listen, empathize, and validate feelings. The work, however, is focused on finding ways to make life feel better and more fulfilling. Through     . . . read more

Stepping Back

One of the things I love about summer is that the pace of life slows down. There are more opportunities for recreation and leisure. It just feels right to sit on the porch in the evening, as if that counts as an activity. There is a little more room to breathe. I think summer is a good time for therapy. There is room in this season to sit back and reflect. Therapy is an opportunity to get a small time-out from regular life. It can be the pause button in an otherwise hectic schedule. Maybe it is not as fun as a relaxed summer vacation, but it can function as a little oasis for the self. We all need some time and emotional distance to survey our life. We benefit from having some time to see ourselves as reflected by     . . . read more

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