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Can a Therapy App Help You?

I try not to take offense, but it seems that scientists are obsessed with eliminating my job. Some want to see machines replace trained therapists to help you with your emotional problems. That seems a little weird, since emotions are the only thing a computer cannot do at this point. At any rate, I’m a pragmatic person and I’ll support anything that helps people. The New York Times is reporting that apps may in fact help people with anxiety and depression. A recent article explains how a video game-like app helps people overcome ways of thinking that lead to anxiety and depression. So, today I’m setting up all of my clients with my iPhone and taking off for a hike. Okay, no, wait a minute… if you read the full article, you realize that they are less than sure about     . . . read more

Building Self-Esteem, Moment by Moment

I enjoy going to what I refer to as “the jungle gym for grown-ups.” It reminds me of recess time. I think adults need that kind of physical recreation too. Last night I was working on my clean (its a weight lifting move) and making good progress. Some of the ladies I work out with noticed. Several were appropriately congratulatory about my personal record. I said to them, “I feel good about that.” As a therapist, those are the moments I help clients identify. It’s about finding times where you feel both physically and emotionally good about something you have done. Many people want to work on self-esteem and confidence. I think the key is to take note of these moments and to be able to direct your mind back to them again and again. Next time I’m at “recess”     . . . read more

Starting Therapy Without Getting Spooked

Starting something new is almost universally scary, at least a little. Therapy is no exception. In fact, everyday I come to appreciate more and more how truly brave it is to make the decision to meet with a stranger for the first time to potentially discuss the most personal of matters. There just aren’t many forums for this type of talk in our society.  Frankly, there is not much encouragement to talk about deep and potentially unflattering emotional material in the “real world.” And yet, what I (and hopefully my clients too) have come to realize is that it is an absolute necessity to talk about hard stuff in a constructive way. Letting it circle our brains over and over again is generally what a lot of us do. That’s less than effective. All that spinning leaves us awake at     . . . read more

Easy Stress Relievers

Stress is a very normal part of our everyday lives. Probably everyone except especially pampered pets are subjected to some amount of stress. So becoming skilled at finding ways to knock it down a notch or two is incredibly important. We all know that chronic stress is terrible for our physical and emotional health. In the interest of your health, I’ve brainstormed some fun and easy ways to cope more effectively. Please share your ideas as well! Notice topics of interest and allow yourself some time to nurture these interests. It could be reading crime mysteries, watching documentaries on ancient cultures, or bird-watching. Having something that’s just for you because you like it is healthy! Laugh. I don’t care if you have to YouTube a funny video of a talking dog. Find something to laugh at and you’ll feel better     . . . read more

Emotional “Weight Lifting”

There’s a new gym near where I live. I’m feeling inspired by watching the very fit people walking in and out. Lately, I’ve considered hiring a personal trainer to help me out. I want to sleep better, have more energy, and be a little stronger. These seem like reasonable goals, right? A very astute person said to me recently that therapy is like personal training: its something you do to be more fit and well, not something you do because you are unwell or somehow lacking. I think this is a great comparison. It’s perfectly wise to hire a professional to help with your physical fitness. It’s similarly prudent to hire a professional to improve your emotional and interpersonal well being. Yes, there is some hard work involved, but with support and encouragement improvement is very attainable. Fall is a     . . . read more