I have the opportunity everyday to learn so much about the human experience. Not many people get to sit and talk about important topics with others for a living. I’ve decided that it might be helpful for me to reflect on some of the themes that come up again and again throughout my week. I hope that it’s also useful to anyone reading this to get a sense that they are not alone. While we all are individuals, the core struggles we have are very similar. This week I’ve been thinking a lot about emotions. I guess that should be obvious. What I realize is that feelings get a bad reputation. People talk smack about emotions saying, “feelings are a sign of weakness,” “feelings make me out of control,” “emotions lead to nothing good” or “it’s not fair that I . . . read more
I’m really glad you asked. Okay, maybe it was me who posed the question, but it’s still a good one. EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. Yes, that does sound quite sci-fi. What can I say? It was discovered when Star Trek: The Next Generation was newly popular. EMDR is a type of therapy that helps clients reprocess old information so that past events no longer cause distress in the present. That sounds impossible, but unlike teleportation, EMDR is real and the technology exists NOW. EMDR is highly researched and effective with a variety of presenting problems, most notably Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. However, when you think about how many learned behaviors, automatic thoughts, and intrusive memories come from some event or series of events from our past, you can begin to realize the true potential of EMDR. . . . read more
I recently came across some very good articles in the mainstream media about mental health issues. I’m particularly impressed with a series called, “Lives Restored” from The New York Times. It is a series featuring people who have struggled with serious mental health issues and have found success. The latest, the fourth in the series, is called “Finding Purpose After Living with Delusion” by Benedict Carey (you can read it here). The story features Milton Greek, who has been working to better understand his own psychosis and thus help his recovery from schizophrenia. I was struck by the way some people are taking an empowered approach to understanding their diagnosis and finding common-sense strategies that work for them. Gathering information, using self-reflection, and seeking the help of trusted professionals and loyal friends and family are wise courses of action for . . . read more
I spend a lot of my day talking with people about the foundations of good mental and physical health: quality food, exercise, and sleep. Yes, we all know about these things, but we dismiss them as too obvious or too difficult. So I’m the broken record reminding everyone (including myself) that these are the unavoidable essentials. Starting with sleep is always helpful because if that’s in line, the other things are more easily addressed. It’s the foundation. You must sleep to have good mental health. The good news is that some fairly simple changes are clinically proven to help promote sleep: fall asleep and wake up the same time each day, avoid light when trying to sleep, get into the light when waking, avoid caffeine after noontime, do restful activities 1 hour before bed. These recommendations work, but only if . . . read more
My tip today is for all of us who sometimes do too many things at once, speed more than we should, or gulp down food without proper chewing- slow down! It is the natural rhythm for late fall to get slower, quieter and more reflective. I’m convinced slower does not mean less productive or less accomplished- just more intentional, intuitive and relaxed. How can you slow down?