Therapist Blogs


Taking time

Too often people view time as a dangerous enemy. When time is actually waiting to befriend us. It's not uncommon to hear comments like, "I killed some time..." I recently asked a friend why he habitually arrived at movie theaters only minutes before the movie begins. He said that if he arrived any earlier he might not have anything to say to his wife. Then adding, "what would we do?" The word "do" implies action. The need for structure. Guidelines. Distractions. Predictability. Slowing down is perceived as a threat because it is unfamiliar and change can usher in anxiety. A kind of stage-fright or the "gap between now and later," as Dr. Fritz Pearls described it. Our zeitgeist which promotes easy distraction and quick fixes is no help at all.

However, it is by slowing down to take a stroll or to reflect that stretches and informs us. Our feelings serve as a conduit to clarifying our needs. It's far easier to get your needs met if you know what they are. Also, being passionate and trul...

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The Ice Bucket Challenge

The Ice Bucket Challenge

If you have a social media account, or have been watching the news lately, then you have probably heard about the Ice Bucket Challenge. The Ice Bucket Challenge, is part of an awareness campaign to inform people about ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and encouraging them to donate to the cause.

The popular trend began around the beginning of August, and has seen millions of people participate, including celebrities and politicians. People choose to either dump a bucket of ice water over their head, or donate $100 to the ALS Association, some do both. These participants then challenge a few of their friends to do the same, thus continuing the chain. This campaign has gained worldwide popularity, and according to the ALS Association, has raised $31.5 million in donations, compared to the $1.9 million they received in the same time period last year (1).

In addition to the donations received, perhaps one of the most ...

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Teaching Kids: To Pray

Teaching children to pray is a vital part of familiarizing them to Jesus and strengthening their relationship with God. Christ gave us prayer so we could connect with him directly. Making children comfortable with prayer helps them to understand that God is always close and available.

Part Two in our series on Teaching Kids: To.... Part One featured Teaching Kids: To Know God.

To listen:

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When Bitterness Invades

No one wants to be bitter. It creeps up on us. Bitterness is unforgiveness on steroids. The more we hold onto past hurts the more we become tanked-up on our pain; robbing us of happiness.

Bitterness happens when we hold on to the hurt in an attempt to remind ourselves of the unfairness we’ve experienced with an expectation that someone will save us and return what we’ve lost.

So what can we do to avoid bitterness in the first place or get out from under it if we’re already there?


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Teaching Kids: To Know God

Parents may at times feel overwhelmed by the responsibility of teaching their children about all there is to know about being a human being, no the less about being a Christian. There is teaching “about” and there is teaching “to blindly believe in; two different things.

When they seek guidance on the subject many just feel further swamped. Relatives and friends are often happy to pass on their suggestions, but is that the version of God you truly want to teach your children? When it comes directly from you the parent you’re more aware of your vocabulary and any innuendo being passed on.

The Bible, on the other hand, provides parents not only reliable counsel on what to teach their children but also direction on how to teach them.

Join us as we look at four Bible-based recommendations for parents to teach their children about God.




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Psychopath vs. Sociopath

Psychopath vs. Sociopath

Retired FBI profiler Mary Ellen O’Toole, Ph.D. poses the question, “Think you know how to spot a psychopath?” She then warns, “Think again.” Dr. O’Toole suggests not trusting your gut when it comes to strangers or those you don’t know well. Behaviors like normalizing or rationalizing or simply not wanting to appear overdramatic will prevent us from taking (or not taking) actions based on our judgments. Our creative minds can draw up worst-case scenarios and have us questioning what we think and feel. While instincts are important, when it comes to your safety and well being you can increase it and decrease stranger-danger. Most people are confused about the differences in a Psychopath vs. Sociopath. Having the ability to recognize someone’s behavior as questionable can help you to get a baseline feel for those with whom you or your family interacts. *

Commonly thought of as interchangeable are the terms “...

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Back to School & Sleep Depression

Back to School and Sleep Deprivation

With many children returning back to school in the upcoming weeks, one battle that many parents will be facing is getting their children to bed at a decent hour, and waking them before the school bus arrives. Sleep deprivation, especially in children and teens is a serious matter, one that can lead to many short term and long term cognitive and health issues.

Harvard’s Women’s Health posted an article focusing on the six reasons why everyone needs a good nights sleep. (1)
1) Sleep helps the brain commit new knowledge to memory
2) Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain and obesity. Children who sleep less than 10 hours a night are 3 times more likely to be overweight.
3) Sleep deprived people are more prone to clumsiness and accidents.
4) Sleep deprivation results in irritability, moodiness, and inability to concentrate.
5) Getting a good nights sleep helps boost the immune system, and may fight off diseases like cancer.
6) Sleep d...

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Catastrophizing - 5 Steps to Calming Calamity

Catastrophizing - 5 Steps to Calming Calamity (part 2)
Suggestions to help limit catastrophizing and to alleviate self-destructive tendencies.
(Part I of Catastrophizing, What If…@

If you were catastrophizing, would you recognize it? Could you spot catastrophizing in someone else? If you don’t know you’re doing it, you won’t be able to stop. Dr. John Grohol recommends recording negative thoughts on paper and to write down what happened as objectively as possible, what you thought about the situation, and then what your reaction or behaviors were. 

Over a week’s time, you’ll begin to see a pattern emerge of when you’re most likely to catastrophize and some of the thoughts or situations that most likely lead to it. 

Now (looking at your negative thoughts recordings) that you can see some of the direct cause and effects of your thoughts, you can begin the process of steering your thoughts in a healthy direction.* Stopp...

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Nine Charactertistics of Anger Behavior

Characteristics of Anger Behavior:

  • You don’t own or state your feelings directly—you slam doors, call people names, refuse to talk.
  • You may use sarcasm to express your anger and frustration.
  • You loose your temper and fly off the handle-have temper tantrums.
  • You intimidate others so they react defensively to you.
  • You insist on getting your own way.
  • You blame others or complain, things are always someone else’s fault
  • You hold grudges and vow to “get even
  • You make statements like “you make m"e mad”
  • You use explosive words and hand gestures

What is anger?

  • relates to a violation of one's standards; either you or someone else has violated these standards
  • sometimes these standards need to get re-evaluated
  • Anger is a secondary emotion- first you feel fear of loss (love, control, your integrity) then hurt, then anger.

Psychological Payoffs / Secondary Gains

  • Attention-getting behavior—people have to notice you
  • You feel a sen...

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Disappointment: How does it Happen?

What are some examples people have reported of experiences that led to feelings of  ‘disappointment?”

1- a love relationship collapses                                         5- no recognition for hard work you have been doing

2- you get turned down for job you really wanted               6- a friend, family member or date does not call

3- feeling misunderstood by a spouse or family member      7- a partner/family cancels a planned dinner

4- you just can't seem to reach a weight target                   8- poor performance and greades at school or s...

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