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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 reg...
Spiritual Psychotherapy for Depression
Spiritual psychotherapy is an approach to psychotherapy that recognizes that we are more than meets the eye. A spiritual psyc...
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. ...
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 inn...
What to do when your spouse/partner won't come to counseling with you?
Are you someone who values your relationship and wants a loving and commited soul mate and partnership? You don't want to get...
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When I was young, it was a taunt to say to another: "You love yourself, you love yourself". So much so that I believe several generations of us grew up avoiding any sign whatsoever that we might actually care about ourselves and what happened to us. Thank goodness that is changing, and there is a group of poised, thoughtful young people emerging who love themselves so much that they have enough love for others, who can then love themselves and others, and so on. Anita Moorjani had a near-death experience that led her to realise her self-disparagement was causing significant physical and emotional problems. Here's a link to a blog Anita wrote today, and I hope her message spreads a long way! Please share if you like what she says. It's so important.
Many people are scared of the word “exercise.” Oftentimes when we hear from the doctor, health professional, friend, family member, etc that we “should really start exercising,” we immediately flash to the vision of the woman in the neon leotard or the man in the tank top with rippling muscles. Couple this image with the sound of a beefy personal trainer yelling, “give me one more! No pain, no gain!” and it’s no wonder we want to say “no thank you!” to that whole exercise thing!
The primary reason that we retain this particular image when it comes to exercise is due to the significant rise in fitness facilities in the 1980s… and it just kinda stuck. So then, when it is suggested that we begin exercise we can’t help but think that that means we have to buy a gym membership, new clothes, a gym bag, a water bottle, and new shoes and on top of that, have to start running on a treadmi...
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...
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 ...
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…@ alexxehelp.com)
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...
You go through life automatically, not feeling quite right but not knowing why. You go to a job you hate, come home, make dinner, watch TV, and start all over again, waiting for your vacation to forget the emptiness of your life for one or two weeks. And you ask yourself, “This can’t be all there is”. And you’re right…this isn’t all there is. And, believe it or not, you always have a choice to continue to live on automatic pilot or to make the effort to become more aware of who you are and what you really want.
Socrates is reported to have said, “The unexamined life is not worth living for a human being”. Mindfulness is a powerful tool for becoming aware of our own thought processes and, eventually, of your erroneous beliefs. Daily meditation helps to quiet the body and mind and reconnect with your heart and its yearnings. While this can be scary, the rewards are unestimable. There is always the risk that this increased awareness will b...
The most difficult thing in the world for many of you is to love yourself. No matter what your issues might be: Addictions, emotional eating, impulse control issues, anger, depression, intense unexplained sadness…you carry with you an inner condemnation of who you are and of your intrinsic goodness. Your self-talk reflects that lack of self-acceptance. You tell yourself, “I should have done this, I’m an idiot”, “Why can’t I get it together once and for all? What’s wrong with me?” “Why bother trying? I’m going to fail anyway. I always do”.
Every time you set a goal for yourself and you do not follow through, you beat yourself up. If you talked to your friends in the same way as you talk to yourself, you wouldn’t have any friends left. You condemn yourself for past behaviours, carry guilt, regret and resentment like badges of honour. “At least if I feel guilty,” you tell yourself, “that shows that...
By Matt W. Sandford, LMHC
I don’t mean to stereotype (too much), but do you think that husbands or boyfriends come in “types”? Although I not a fan of labeling people, I do believe that there are categories of issues that people struggle with. And by taking a look at and understanding a type, which in this case is just a description of a cluster of issues, we can gain perspective on our spouse and we can learn how to be involved in their lives in more helpful ways. My goal is not to start a bash-fest on certain husbands, but rather to equip wives (and girlfriends) to be able to engage with their partner in a way that moves him towards his best self. You see, it is true that you cannot change another person directly and that we cannot control people. But, it is like my friend says to me, “Yes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink it. But you can sweeten the water.” Let’s see if we can understand what would be ways to influe...
Cell Phones and Relationships
Time Together & Apart
Both the quantity and quality of time we spend together influence the well being of our friendships, family interactions and intimate relationships. Spending time apart, participating in other activities is also of great value and influences a relationship, especially a romantic one. A healthy relationship needs balance: time to interact with family, friends, colleagues, self and definitely quality time with your significant other. Balance in the relationship is a necessary rung toward success.
Researchers from the University of Essex found that people who engaged in personal discussions when a cell phone was nearby, even if neither was actually using it, reported lower relationship quality and less trust for their partner. They also felt that their partner was less empathic to their concerns (Kerner, 2013). Among the complaints: “he doesn’t look at me when I’m talking;“ “she’s always nagging...
When I talk to people about meditation or how to be “mindful,” I often hear “I can’t do it”, “its too difficult” or “I can’t focus long enough to do it right.” It is called a “practice” for a reason! You can’t expect to try it once and feel like it won’t work for you. It is something that involves lifelong practice and just like anything new, it gets easier the more you do it. The key is not to judge yourself when thoughts begin to filter in your mind. Recognize them and let them go. Gradually you will find that fewer and fewer thoughts enter your mind during meditation. The great part of meditation is there is a number of ways to engage with it. This increases your chances of finding a way that works for you. Guided visualization is the easiest way for beginners to start because you can put on your headphones, close your eyes and follow the imaginary journey given to you.
Another way is to...
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