(207) 553-2260

What Does it Mean to Be Self-Assured?

Can being self-assured help us to go boldly into unknown life territory? This is a question I’ve been thinking about lately. But what does it mean to be self-assured? To me, it seems like a very desirable quality, something to cultivate in oneself and in our children. In my curiosity, I did some research. According to Merriam-Webster Online, the term means “sure of oneself: self-confident.” It says that related words include: vain, egotistical, pompous. I partly agree, but I have some issues with this definition and with the “related” words. I guess this begs the questions: Who am I to take issue with the dictionary? Am I self-assured or really pompous after all?! In my mind, being self-assured means having a sense that one can make it through what life throws our way. It means cultivating helpful self-talk and being     . . . 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

There is No Failure

I believe that failure is an unhelpful concept. I’m not even convinced it’s a real thing. In my mind, it belongs in the category of make-believe creatures along with unicorns, dragons, and the Easter Bunny. Recently, Seth Godin (marketing genius and writer whose lessons surprisingly generalize to many areas of life), made a very wise point in his post, Just the good parts. He feels that when you hit bumps in the road, like a bad break or rejection, “It means that you’re doing worthwhile, difficult work, not merely amusing yourself.” I would add to this and assert that you can’t have success without so-called failure. In my assessment, there is no way to “fail.” Life is not graded. You can’t get an F. There is showing up and participating, making choices, being accountable, and doing our best. Or there     . . . read more

Can People Really Change?

I’m always a little surprised when I’m asked, “Can people really change?” Yes, people can really change. And if you’ll excuse the double negative, I’d say people can’t not change. While I’m not an expert on too many things, my humble observation is that everything changes. All the time. I don’t know about you, but I wake up older everyday. I know about homeostasis but I think it’s to keep us on some even keel as we experience change around us at every moment. Change happens, whether you believe you are in charge of it or not. If you don’t believe you are driving your own life, then change happens, you just didn’t give it much intention or direction. That’s a waste, because I really think we know what’s best for our own lives. So it bums me out when     . . . read more

I Wonder

I don’t have the answer. I really don’t think there is one answer to most complicated human questions. Often there are many steps that lead us towards better outcomes. This is true on the individual level and I think it must be true on the societal level as well. When people first come into therapy, I try to advocate for taking small steps that can’t hurt. Often these small steps make things a lot better. We tend to underestimate how helpful small steps can be. When the problem is bigger and more complicated, like when people kill innocent victims, I wonder if some of the same ideas can apply. What if we all did something that doesn’t hurt? Even if it’s not the answer, I have to wonder, what would happen if…. we chose to articulate each day the things     . . . read more