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See Options, Make Changes

Change. That’s what’s on my mind. This week I have been really inspired by stories of change all around me. People always presume that my job is kind of a drag. They think that all I hear about is stuff that would ordinarily bum anybody out. Honestly, it’s truly the opposite on most days. What’s really going on all day is people showing up in my office with a lot of will to have things go better in their lives. There are certainly ups and downs and rough situations that people have encountered. However, the majority of people stick with coming to see me and they succeed with their goals. That’s incredibly uplifting. My job is pretty awesome. In a recent post, I talked about how people have to decide to make changes. Then, with intention and attention, changes can     . . . read more

Motivation, Momentum, and Play

I’ve been inspired lately by someone who works tirelessly to grow and change. She wakes in the wee hours of the morning practicing new skills for hours at a time. Everyday there are profound differences from the day before. It sounds quite tiring, and it is (occasionally naps are required). But since she is not quite a year old, we call this dedication to change play. Play. That’s right. Learning new things and forming new neural networks in our brain to support these changes is the very stuff of child’s play. So if my infant daughter has this much ability to change, to work, to be dedicated to new tasks like walking, talking and feeding herself, is this true of all humans? Or do we out grow it? It appears that we actually get a little complacent. Once we have     . . . 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

A Season for Gratitude

Thanksgiving sneaks up fast, at least it always does for me. This year I’m determined to give it more attention. That’s because I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of gratitude and how it can be vitally important in promoting wellness and fighting both anxiety and depression. Thanksgiving is a perfect holiday for exploring the idea of gratitude and how it can improve our lives. How we perceive the world has a dramatic impact on our mood. This is the foundation of many types of therapy, most famously Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). The philosophy is: change how you think and you’ll change how you feel. One of the big challenges is that most Americans live very deficit-focused lives. I would assert that we have been trained to over-focus on information that is critical and negative. We see what we     . . . read more