Category: General

Empathy and Mirror Neurons

Empathy differs from sympathy. Sympathy reflects an understanding of another person’ situation- but viewed through your own eyes. In contrast, empathy is what you feel when you can step outside of yourself and enter the internal world of another person. You experience the other’s emotions and conflict without abandoning or losing your own perspective. It involves being able “to see with the eyes of another, to hear with the ears of another, to feel with the heart of another” (Alfred

Posted in Depression, Family & Parenting, General, Grief, Marriage & Relationships, Personal Growth, Stress & Anxiety, Therapy Tagged with: , , ,

Using Pop Culture to Impact Positive Change – Part 2

Welcome back! In Pop Culture Part 1, I discussed how, when connecting with children/youth, I utilize pop culture to: 1) develop and enhance rapport, and 2) gather information in regard to values, traits and indicators of resiliency. Please go to www.psychealth.com if you haven’t had a chance to read Part 1; it would be like watching the Empire Strikes Back without watching Star Wars! In Part 2 I will discuss the third way I have utilized pop culture: to help

Posted in Depression, Family & Parenting, General, Grief, Internet, Personal Growth, Stress & Anxiety, Therapy Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Problem with Pursuing Your Passion

Christine was a 24 year old university student graduating with a liberal arts degree from a nearby university. She was in a state of anxiety over the need to urgently make decisions regarding her future career. At times her anxiety was so pronounced she felt quite panicky, with frequent insomnia, digestive upsets and continuous worry. Although she had been successful academically, she was uncertain about how her education would translate into the “real world”. Christine had been given the advice

Posted in General, Personal Growth, Stress & Anxiety Tagged with: , , , , ,

Get More Out of Life

Do you want more out of life, something different, a new way of doing things and yet you do not have a clear idea of how to bring this about? Perhaps you have tried everything you can think of but things are not improving. You may be feeling overwhelmed by the events in your life. You may have experienced a catastrophe, loss or trauma (recent or buried in the past) and your coping skills have been stretched to the limit.

Posted in Depression, Family & Parenting, General, Marriage & Relationships, Personal Growth, Retirement & Aging, Stress & Anxiety, Therapy

Nature is Good For Us

How fortunate we are to live in a rain forest! Even as I’m sitting at my computer, looking out the window at the snow, sleet and grey skies, I’m grateful. Not for the grey skies, but for the trees surrounding us and a climate that allows us to get outside and be active year round. Regular physical activity is important at all ages, but as we grow older being active becomes increasingly important. There is a significant and growing body

Posted in Depression, General, Internet, Personal Growth, Stress & Anxiety, Therapy

New Possibility: Executive Coaching

Having trained in and practiced psychotherapy for 35 years, I have decided to apply my skills in a new arena. I have been undergoing training through the College of Executive Coaching, based in California, toward becoming a certified Business/Executive Coach. Business or Executive Coaching differs from psychotherapy, in that it addresses career issues in the present and future, and doesn’t treat emotional symptoms such as depression, anxiety, or trauma. Business Coaching also is different from Life Coaching, in that it

Posted in General, Personal Growth, Stress & Anxiety, Therapy

Using Pop Culture to Impact Positive Change

Seven years ago, a colleague and I attended an annual conference in Washington DC called the Psychotherapy Networker Symposium. We were excited about meeting one of the key note speakers, John Gottman, a marriage and relationship researcher and expert whom we learned about while in grad school. We kept seeing a man of similar stature walking through the hallways of the hotel but were disappointed each time to realize that he wasn’t John. Upon arriving home and looking at the

Posted in Family & Parenting, General, Personal Growth, Stress & Anxiety

The Gift of Failure

I recently watched a wonderful documentary, The Barkley Marathons, about an ultra endurance trail race that takes place in the Tennessee mountains.  Only 40 runners are accepted into the race each year.  Covering the entire distance of 160 kilometres (100 mile) or more also requires climbing and descending the equivalent of Mount Everest – twice.  To be successful, runners must complete the course in 60 hours.  In most years, none of the racers finish the race.  In some years, only one or

Posted in General

Secrets to Replenishing Sleep: How many sheep can you count?

The Question: ‘How are you?’. The Answer: ‘Tired’.  The Problem: All too common.  Whether it’s walking through a crowd or sitting in a coffee shop, I hear too many conversations starting just that way.  People are sleep deprived! Makes me wonder if Mr. Sandman is on vacation…so how does one start to improve sleep? Tip 1: Avoid caffeine 4-6 hours before bedtime. Caffeine is a tricky thing.  Some associate caffeine only with coffee or energy drinks.  It’s also in soda,

Posted in General

You Gotta Do the Work

  I woke up on a recent Saturday morning feeling tired and lethargic.  I thought of my list of things-to-do and decided that the best course of action was to enjoy my coffee in my easy chair. This plan didn’t require as much energy or focus. I waited to feel the motivation necessary to get on with the day.  It didn’t come. However, I knew that if I didn’t force myself to get “up and at ‘em”, the hours would

Posted in General