My Blog

Can You Really Smile When Someone Spits In Your Face?

Of course you can! Here's How-...
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CRISIS MANAGEMENT

Sometimes we receive an unexpected diagnosis of a serious disease, or news about the death of a loved one or an unanticipated occupational change or a family relationship problem for which we did not feel prepared. I have had to deal with many of these issues and I want to share what I have learned about how to manage these things that can sometimes feel unmanageable.
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Five Ways to Lift Depression With Gratitude

When I don't feel smart enough to make our smart TV work, I groan instead of being thankful for having the TV. When we have a power failure, I kick up a fuss instead of feeling grateful for having power at all. When I have to pay a service person extra money for Sunday assistance, I grumble instead of feeling thankful that someone was willing to inconvenience a day to help me.
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Death

I remember making plans for dinner - Hamburger Helper or something more creative and healthy? I remember making decisions about dill versus fresh pickles. I remember the most important arrangement of my day...
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HI-TECH ADDICTION

The ways we are sharing perceptions and feelings about our lives have begun to require more technical support than the human warmth that has characterized our past. We text. We email. We tweet. We twitter. We blog.
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THE DOWNWARD SPIRAL OF NEGATIVE SELF JUDGMENT

One of the kids with whom I went to grade school won a national spelling bee, was known as a local genius and eventually became a writer for one of the most prestigious newspapers in the world. Another classmate was a concert pianist and another became a distinguished, influential surgeon.
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THE IMPORTANCE OF FRIENDSHIP

We often tell our patients to make contact with friends and maintain an active social life in order to help themselves cope with depressed moods and anxiety. This does work very well for many people who find that pals work better than pills for managing mood disorders.
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GETTING ALONG AT WORK

Let's face it. If you work with a crowd of people, there will be those whom you don't like and others who don't like you. What can you do to make these relationships easier to manage?

Make a list of the things you don't like. This will make it easier for you to deal with them specifically and one at a time. You will feel less overwhelmed by your workplace disagreements.

Address your complaints in writing. This will help you to avoid loosing your temper or unnecessarily hurting someone else's feelings. Read More...


FORGIVENESS

Forgiveness is to excuse people for something they have done to cause us pain. Excusing is not an easy action. It is difficult, but, it is a great deal easier than being filled with resentment. When you are able to forgive someone, you can let go of past pains. You will experience feelings of freedom when you decide to drop the heavy sack of anger, fury and bitterness. As you do this, you can move away from past agony. Read More...


CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE

As has been perpetual, reports of child sexual abuse remain in the news. This affects all of us and all of the children in our care. It is important for you to recognize that the perpetrators do not have the stereotypical images that many may suspect. They are not necessarily scruffy looking, unshaven men in dark raincoats. Read More...


DEATH, LOSS AND BEREAVEMENT

Most of you will lose someone to death during your lifetime. How do you make it through this and how to you help others to manage their own tragedies? Having recently known two friends who have lost loved ones, I can help you to understand what is happening and how you can handle it all. Read More...


YOUNG AT HEART

The more sophisticated I get, the more I think about what our lives would be like if we could be young again. There are, of course, many things that we could enjoy with more enthusiasm.........but - then there's always the worry of more algebra. Read More...


"I Don't Know What To Say" Syndrome

I have had a number of clients come to see me for counseling or therapy who begin a first session by saying some version of "I think I need to be here, but, I don't know why...Maybe coming to see you is a mistake."

Now what? Read More...


THE HEALING POWER OF HUMOR

If you are sad or tense or worried, you will absolutely improve your mood by laughing. If you are a room with ten other people and one starts to laugh, then the next and then again the next, you will soon be aware of the contagious nature of laughter. Even if your started off in a bad mood, you, too, will get bitten by the laughter bug and it will not be long before you are laughing your head off. Read More...


SUICIDE

We have heard about the recent deaths by suicide of several famous people. - Anthony Bourdain, Robin Williams, Kate Spade and others. We wonder how such successful, accomplished and wealthy people choose suicide. It seems paradoxical that such superficially happy people choose to end their lives. How can they be depressed enough to kill themselves in a sudden, unexpected way? We don't often know the answer to this one. When someone ends his (her) life, it may be at a time when there is an appearance of happiness and a relaxed ability to enjoy life. Read More...


CHANGE YOUR THOUGHTS, CHANGE YOUR WORLD

It is easy to get discouraged when depression and anxiety characterize your time. Focus instead on how personal counseling can help you to change the way you react to life's changes that are negatively affecting your mood. Instead of feeling pessimistic, your personal counselor can help you to identify optional ways to respond and show you specifically how to adapt your attitude." Read More...


GETTING DUMPED

Client question: "I have been dating 'my fiance' for over 2 months. He is in the process of divorce and I was so excited that he asked me to marry him. Now he tells me that he changed his mind and wants to break up. I can't handle this because I love him. What's wrong with him and how can I help him to change his mind?" Read More...


Self Care Guilt

Are we responsible for taking care of the people in our family? How do we manage the resentment we understandably feel when the needs of loved ones interfere with our own lives? Read More...


SAFETY DURING TIMES OF TERROR

Random shootings are now everyday broadcasts. BREAKING NEWS has become so customary that unexpected killings are no longer as shocking. It is, therefore, a matter of urgency that we learn to recognize the potential for harm by a sociopath, lunatic or mentally ill person. Personality traits involved may characterize a person of any age, any gender or any race who is determined to inflict psychological or physical harm on others. Read More...


Zzzzzzz, finally!

If you want to think clearly, feel content, maintain a healthy weight, have satisfactory memory and experience joy with some regularity, it is important that you take care to sleep well on a regular basis. If you have frequent difficulty with sleep , there are things you can do to better understand your insomnia so that you can get a full night's sleep on a regular basis. Read More...


MY SPOUSE CHEATED ON ME - NOW WHAT?

When a client tells me that there has been cheating in a marriage, it generally refers to some kind of sexual behavior - usually intercourse - that has occurred outside of the marital relationship. At other times, an accusation does not involve sex. It involves a complaint that a partner has been sharing intimate feelings with someone outside of the marriage or has been discussing heartfelt, warm feelings with someone else. Read More...


ANXIETY - SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT

As offered by The Beatles..."When you find yourself in times of trouble, there will be an answer - Let it be." When you have stressful events in your life, worry is normal. When someone you love is sick, you worry. When the doctor tells you a lump that you have is cancer, you worry. When you lose your job, you worry. When a disaster causes you to lose your home, you worry. When weather forecasts are terrifying, you worry. Read More...


DEPRESSION

We are often told to share our low feelings with others to get help with managing the load.  It is really difficult, however, to tell other people who have not suffered serious depression without knowing what depression feels like. Read More...


Loving and Being Loved: "The Giving Tree"

When you want to know more about the morality of loving and being loved, you can talk to your therapist, your pastor or your friends and family. You could also review religious texts. I suggest an all encompassing option ...Read "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein. It looks like a children's book...and it is. Read More...


IT'S NOT ABOUT HALLMARK

Thank goodness for the card aisle at the grocery store. It tells me what to celebrate next. After I bought bread, milk and eggs yesterday, I was reminded that Valentines day is on the way. I will call your attention to that as well. A short history lesson comes first. Contrary to popular opinion, Valentines day was not a promotion by Hallmark to increase profits by selling cards. It began, rather, as a Christian holiday around the third century. Read More...


IT'S ALWAYS SOMETHING

I was a little older than she was, but, she was much more popular. Few at Mumford High School could talk to her very long without breaking out in laughter. People wanted to be near her, her funky fashions and the hairdoes that only she could pull off. I was ordinary. She was extraordinary. She was into everything and she lit up every room she entered. Funny. She was really funny. I wasn't really a part of her in- crowd, but, we talked. We were friends. So many admired her humor...... even when she announced, "There is nothing funny about cancer." Read More...


LOVE LIFE AND IT WILL LOVE YOU BACK

As we approach the end of one year to begin another, it is resolution time. This impresses me with the urgency of making all of our time resolution time. This is written on November 24, 2017 and, the older I get, the more I recognize that this is the only November 24, 2017 that we will ever have. Tomorrow is the only November 25, 2017 that will ever be known to us. And the next time we have a snow fall may be the last one we will ever experience. Read More...


ABUSE - FEAR - ACTION

This is the age of abuse - by fanatic individuals, by groups, by counties. If you turn on any television news station, you won't have to wait more than 30 minutes before a reporter will be sharing the details about a person, family or a group that has been affected by malicious abuse. Today's discussion will focus on the abuse of one person by another. Please don't assume that I am only applying my concerns to female victims of male perpetrators. Men are victims of abuse too. Read More...


NEGATIVE ASPECTS OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

My children used to have little friends who loved them and with whom they could giggle. Little kids now have electronic acquaintances with human names and robotic artificial organs. I think that one of them is called "Alexa." Now Google has given birth to "Assistant," purposely given that name so that she does not appear to be human. I use her consistently and feel like I can't go on without her and like she couldn't exist without my desperation for her help. I guess this makes us a great example of codependency. (see my "treatment issues"). Read More...


HOLIDAY BLUES

Have your self a merry little Christmas because Santa Claus is Coming to Town. The malls are full of lights, glitter and music. We try to share our love with gift boxes, wrapping paper and ribbons by the yard. The holiday season is not so wonderful for everybody. It is fairly common for us to have to come face-to-face with friends, co-workers or family members whom we don't enjoy. And, sadly, some of us must recall a divorce or the death of a loved one during the cold and dark holiday season. Read More...


GAY AND LESBIAN COUNSELING

This blog is a stew of ingredients gathered from various internet sources, seasoned with many client reports as well as my own reactions to family members who have opened a closet door announcing, "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner." I recall the day that my child told me about a decision to "explore my sexuality." I remember denying such a possibility because I was, after all, a therapist...and what would people say? I went in search of another clinician to repair my child. Read More...


USING INSURANCE TO PAY FOR COUNSELING - PROS AND CONS

As I look back on my 35 years as a therapist, I recall working in public clinics, private clinics, and my current private practice. Most of my work has involved payment from insurance companies. Some of my work, including my current practice involves direct, private payment. Some of my clients ask whether or not they should submit their receipts for payment of fees to their insurance company for possible reimbursement. I give the information I have gathered over the years. Read More...


DATING AFTER DIVORCE OR A DEATH

Mitch Albom is one of my favorite sensitive authors. He has spoken about memory as a personal partner after loss, and he has specifically explained that "Death ends a life but it does not end a relationship." I agree with his recognition that life has to end, but, love is how we stay alive after a death, a divorce or a finale of any kind. So now that it's over, whatever "it" is, it is alright to begin a search for more companionship, more friendship, more closeness, more intimacy and more love. Read More...

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