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2011 Reflection/2012 Preview: Realizing Our Potential

I experienced a lot of change personally and professionally last year. My daughter was born last January. Being a first-time parent pretty much sums up the personal changes from the last year! Professionally, I continued my ongoing study of how people make positive, lasting changes. I fully believe everyone can make such changes. One theme from last year is that people have tremendous power to shape their emotional lives, but most fail to realize they have this potential. I am very impacted by the work of Brene Brown. She is a researcher who has studied important topics like shame and worthiness. Brown says that one of the keys to living a connected, “wholehearted” life (her term), is to believe in your own worthiness. Much pain and disconnection from others is caused by the mistaken belief that we are not good     . . . read more

New Year’s Resolutions Revamped

There is something really inspiring about opening a fresh, clean calendar. I can see why people make New Year’s resolutions. It’s a great time for reflection. It’s healthy to want to improve a thing or two in our lives and make this next calendar year better than the one before. However, I find people go about the New Year’s resolution in an unhelpful way. We tend not to know how to motivate ourselves to make changes. Here are some thoughts on making a better resolution for 2012: Choose something that benefits you on a daily basis. One mistake is that we choose to make a change that will only be felt months from now (I want to look great in that dress I’m going to wear next July.). Or we decide to make a change to please other people (I     . . . read more

Weekly Reflection: Emotion and Avoidance

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

What is EMDR?

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

Positive and Helpful Articles on Mental Health

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

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