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Posts made in May, 2016

The Problem With Worry

By on May 28, 2016 in Life Skills, Therapy & Change | 0 comments

  There is a conversation in the movie Bridge of Spies when Tom Hanks says to Mark Rylance “Aren’t you worried” and he says “Will it help?”. Unless worry results in action of some sort it is not helpful at all. In fact, just like guilt it is very unhelpful. One of the biggest health issues today is maintaining a relatively calm and balanced life. While that is a challenge in our increasingly complex and responsibility full  life, worry decidedly makes matters worse. Worry ups the stakes and causes high levels of anxiety.   We worry about our finances, our children, our work, our health, climate change, nuclear war, the government etc. etc. I have worried most of my life about things that have never happened or turned out to unfold in a much different way than my mind envisioned. What is the Mark Twain quote? ”I am an old man and have known a great many troubles but most of them never happened”. Yes, we worry about the future and regret the past so much that we forget the “oh so fleeting” present moment!   When I think of “worry” I think of the song by Eric Burdon and the Animals “War what is it good for? Absolutely Nothing” I think that way about worry. We can let it ruin our life or we can put it in its place. Worry comes with anxiety, rumination, sleepless nights, fingernails that aren’t, lost days and lost nights, lost opportunities, irritability, ulcers, cardio vascular issues, overeating and over using drugs and alcohol. It affects our relationships, family life and work. The main casualty is not being present for our life. Worry occupies our mind so much that we lose sight of what is in front of our face. In fact, the more we worry the more we lose out in precious life moments and what is really important in life.   Isn’t it time we put an end to worry or at the very least put it in its place? Easier said than done. For one thing we are bombarded by images and advertising that reminds us to take care of our health, to make more money, to love and be...

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Thera-splaining Therapy: What it is and What it is Not

By on May 3, 2016 in Life Skills, Therapy & Change, Uncategorized | 0 comments

This blog post is meant to unravel the puzzle that is therapy. In the past therapy was considered only for people with serious mental health issues. Therapy has become much more accepted as a way of changing one’s life, recovering from grief and trauma, relationship breakups and family and parenting issues. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that it can be very beneficial in relieving depression and other issues. It also is effective in reducing the need for pharmaceutical intervention in some situations.     What does the therapy process look like? Contrary to what some people think, therapy is an active process requiring work, openness and cooperation on the part of the person seeking therapy. The therapist does not change you, they are, in effect, a facilitator of change. How much you change (or even whether you change) is up to you.     Well what does therapy do? Therapy changes the brain as Norman Doidge the author of The Brain That Changes Itself” aptly illustrates. Having a skilled person validating your experience, listening with nonjudgement, and focusing on your strengths does wonders for most brains that have a tendency to focus on the negative side of any experience and produce emotions such as shame and guilt. Therapy can help you think differently about your situation and with understanding comes clarity. It also helps you remember who you truly are and encourages you to accept your strengths as well as your human flaws.     Knowing you are not alone and that someone really understands what you are going through has immense therapeutic value. Family and friends can be supportive too but most of us would rather not burden friends too much and usually most people just keep their feelings to themselves.   Therapy is also preventative. It prevents and/or mitigates conditions such as high stress, depression, anxiety, chronic pain and PTSD that left untreated can cause associated physical conditions such as stomach ulcers, cardio/vascular events, panic attacks, isolation, suicide, physical deterioration, musculoskeletal challenges and debilitating pain, and addiction addiction to opioid medication.   What therapy does not do? Most of us in our ever increasingly complex and fast-paced world are looking for a magic bullet or...

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