Therapist Blogs

 

Fall is a Time of Transition

Transitions can be difficult for many people with anxiety. Consistency and routine can help make us feel like we are more regulated emotionally and transitioning from the comfortable predictability of one season we have become accustomed to another can bring stress and an increase in the symptoms of anxiety.

Throughout the summer we have become used to the warmer weather, which allows us to be outside more and have longer days of sunshine. Now, with the onset of autumn, the days are becoming increasingly cooler and that beautiful sunshine we love doesn’t last as long as the days grow shorter. For those of us living in parts of the world that experience all four seasons, we know that winter will be coming soon. The thought of having to be indoors more and deal with ice and snow can induce feelings of anxiety.

Fall also marks the beginning of the holiday season. Halloween will be here before you know it quickly followed by Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Year&rs...

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Spiritual Psychotherapy for Depression

Spiritual psychotherapy is an approach to psychotherapy that recognizes that we are more than meets the eye. A spiritual psychotherapist sees someone as existing on many planes of awareness at once. We see our clients as the physical person before us and also as multi-dimensional beings. What does this mean for sufferers of depression? Spiritual psychotherapy can help in the crisis of faith in life and oneself that often accompanies depression. Being guided to greater self-awareness, self-appreciate and self- understanding can truly help to shift some of the causes of depression. One of my main tools is hypnotherapy. For those who want to explore with this tool, it can open up awareness of one’s multi-dimensionality and therefore increase hope and motivation for creating a more enjoyable and meaningful life. For instance, in hypnosis, clients often receive messages from their guides, communicate with loved ones that have passed and even get glimpses into past life times. If any o...

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Spirituality and The Inner Child

Core spiritual therapy entails learning to go within and communicate with the inner child. There are several parts to the inner child which are largely submerged in the unconscious. As adults we have gotten out of touch with the feelings and memories attendant with this special child part which carries the potential for healing and deep spirituality. The reawakening of these parts of the personality is crucial to healing the rift between the numerous aspects of the inner child (e.g., the lonely, abandoned, worthless, abused, etc.) and the adult self.

Without inner child work the individual remains stuck in unhealthy relationships which bear the stamp of past learned beliefs about oneself. When one sympathizes with the parents’ traumas of the past, for example, it is a justification for the avoidance of dealing with the painful experiences of childhood and developing more kindness toward oneself. When the parents have spawned the child’s experience of neglect and rejection,...

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Healing Grief and Loss

The object of grief and loss counseling is to discover the deeper meaning of the loss you
have experienced. First, let us take an example of losing someone whom you loved deeply and who was ultimately the most important person in your life. This person has
died, passed away, gone to God; she or he is no longer in your immediate environment with whom to talk, hold, breath one, be breathed on, to nurture and be nurtured; only memories and a burning love in your heart exist for that person. This will never die, and is a testament, not only the this important person with whom you totally loved and felt totally loved by; it is also a testament to your own capacity to love, give, care, The object of grief and loss counseling is to discover the deeper meaning of the loss you communicate, empathize with, and nurture. That this kind of love was in your life, probably for a long time, is a wonderful thing in and of itself; and no doubt you feel lucky to have had this person in your life. So, you a...

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Couples and Marriage Counseling

When a couple comes in for counseling together, it usually means that they would like to find out if they can repair the relationship. For one thing, that means learning better communication. How do you learn to communicate well with your significant other? Each person will discover in the therapy sessions what “triggers” each other’s anger response. That is, we explore how much of it is ‘projection’ (e.g., he/she reminds you of someone in the past (perhaps a parent) and how much of it is real. It is usually a combination of both.

If one or both of you feel the relationship cannot work anymore, then the therapy will bring out why, and the validity of this will either be confirmed or transformed into a better relationship. Thus, the decision will become evident.

Each of the partners will explore who his/her partner reminds him of, and each will assess one’s own reactions to his/her partner. To optimize this process, role playing will be used in the mod...

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Anxiety and Phobias

Anxiety can be crippling, especially if it is free-floating anxiety, as if you were thrown into a state with no beginning and no end. Pay attention to wha your thoughts are that you were having that may have caused or increased your anxiety. Was there an interaction with a stranger in a store, or with a loved one, that has made you feel negative about yourself? Did you just think of a friend, your mother, father, or a sibling before the anxiety came on or increased?
In psychotherapy I will ask you to notice these things, and more, so that I can help you to discover a pattern of experiences that may be contributing to your anxiety. Over time, you will discover the heretofore unknown causes of your anxiety states.
When the anxiety is overwhelming, we must admit that it is a feeling state that has its roots in fear. I then ask the patient to explore underlying causes of the fear, and what it is about.
If you can pay attention to what has happened recently, or what you were thinking before th...

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Healing Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse: Men and Women

Over the years I have had many patients who knowingly or unknowingly come to my office with the issue of child sexual abuse. One out of every three women and one out of every six men have been abused as a child in our society.

When someone knowingly comes to me with conscious memories of child sexual abuse, it is more important to recognize that the symptoms of it is are what has caused them to seek help. There are many and various symptoms of child sexual abuse. Men and women alike have had their sexuality violated as children; that is it has been opened up in an unnatural way at too young an age. These symptoms vary with the individual, rather than gender. Some develop suicidal tendencies, eating disorders, addictions to alcohol, drugs, or even become sex addicts. Some react in the opposite way, avoiding sex, becoming fanatical about a cult religion to radify their prudish, avoidance. Underneath it all is a sense of shame and poor self-esteem.

Sometimes, promiscuity and addiction t...

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Depression

Have you been crushed by depression? Have you been in and out of it all of your life? Or has there been some situation or event that has triggered the depression? In any of these cases you may not know what to do to get out of it and lead a normal, happy life. In some cases you may have a vague feeling, or not a clue as to what has caused the depression.
Often there is unfinished business with someone from the past, or repressed feelings that are so painful and unable to bear unless you hid them away. How do we hide things from ourselves? It is by relegating them to the unconscious. Just because you block them out does not mean that they go away. Just the opposite! The unconscious is a part of your mind. It is where you place things that you do not want to look at, which is all too human. But just because you don’t think about these things consciously does not mean they are not there inside of you. In fact, when you are unconscious of something, it becomes bigger, growing in the d...

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Body Parts and Sex - Overcoming Dysphoria

Sex should be fun, sensual, erotic, hot, connecting. Highlight the word should. But it’s not this way for some people. Specifically, it is sometimes not comfortable for some transgender and gender non-conforming people. One of the main culprits is discomfort with what are supposed to be sexy body parts. But if these body parts – or at least the mainstream names for them – don’t align with your gender identity, then sex becomes less than fun. However, I recently attended a workshop, by a fantastic presenter – S. Bear Bergman – that helped us all reimagine trans sexuality.


One of the basic premises – a beginning point for trans people who are trying to become more comfortable with their bodies and their sexuality as well as those who love trans people – is that people should claim their bodies as their own. And one way of doing this is naming your own sexual body parts. We learned and shared some fun and sexy words to replace often scienti...

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Enough with tolerating

This afternoon I chose to leave work a little early and go down to the pool for some exercise and some mind clearing. After 30 minutes and with 64 lengths done and dusted (that’s a mile exactly if you’re wondering about the random number) I headed to the open showering area.

As I was washing my hair a woman with a young son and daughter pushed the buttons of the showers opposite. Whilst the mum and son quietly got on with their shampooing, the daughter felt the water on her back and said ‘burning, burning, burning …’. Strangely though, she didn’t step out from underneath the heat of the shower. She stayed in there chanting ‘burning, burning, burning …’ over and over again as her mum encouraged her to ‘get on with it, get your hair washed’ and re-pressed the water button for more.

Clearly the child wasn’t genuinely burning or anywhere near it, but it got me thinking …

How many of us tolerate ongoing disc...

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