Friday, December 19, 2014

7 Reasons You May Be Anxious About Getting Help…But Don't Be!



Many of us love the holidays. Perhaps an equal number loathe them. Either way, they're filled with stress. Visiting one's dysfunctional family, or not seeing said family, giving or receiving the right gifts, being with a challenging partner or feeling alone, these are just a few of the issues that come up for us this time of year.

A surprising number of my psychotherapy clients tell me they worry that they won't have enough to talk about to fill the 45 minutes. My coaching clients sometimes have concerns about how well they're using the time. Many clients come to me saying how long they've waited before finally making the call to schedule an appointment.

These are some of the specific concerns I hear and the reasons they should NOT keep you from getting some help: 

1.      My issues are boring. Starting therapy or coaching does not mean you are entering a contest for who has the most interesting, exotic or unique life. Your difficulties, be they holiday concerns, boyfriend problems, problems with your sister, boss or children, are the stuff of therapy and coaching. Yes, people all over the world are fighting for freedom, suffering injustice and the like, but I'm there to guide you through your procrastination, insomnia or panic, not to end world hunger. During your session, your issues are the most important thing in the world for both of us.


 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Need A Boost Of Confidence? First, Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone



Why enter a road race? If I say, Because it's fun, I can hear the groans already. Another reason I do it is because it's out of my comfort zone. I've been running a long time and running on my own is easy. But entering a race, sitting in my hotel room alone the night before, checking my gear for the nth time, wondering just how much colder the wind will make it feel, anxiously trying to sleep and then waking up early, with nervous anticipation, sometimes I really wonder why I do it.

I've decided it's all about getting out of my comfort zone and becoming stronger—not just physically stronger, but mentally stronger. Here's how it works:

The Positive Mindset

As Olympic runner Jeff Galloway said, "The more you frame the marathon as a stressful experience, the more negative messages you will receive." Sitting in my hotel room I sometimes have a negative mindset, worrying about the potential problems and pitfalls of the next day's race. To shake that, I remind myself of how I'll feel walking toward the starting line with fellow-runners, talking about last year's race, those we've run recently and upcoming events, and my positive mindset kicks in. 

Read more here...


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The World According To Dunham.



Whether they're 20-, 30- or 60-something, my clients often bemoan the unfairness of life. They are frequently bemused, as in "I've been so good to him, how could he have lied to me for all that time?" or, "My boss has totally got it in for me…no reason whatsoever…I don't get it." They are shocked by the randomness.

The remarkable thing about Lena Dunham's memoir is that, at a mere 27, she seems to have totally gotten how the world works, as in, "There's a lot of crap around and you can't avoid that."

I've written previously about wisdom we can glean from Dunham's Girls series. At the risk of again being accused of suffering a girl crush, I simply must relate some Dunhamisms from the memoir, applicable to your relationships.

1. Not ready for prime time. Dunham notes that when you go for guys who aren't interested in you, it could be because you're not ready for sex. While she referred to her adolescence, this applies at any age and goes beyond sex. Focusing efforts on unavailable men means that, not only aren't you ready for sex, you're probably not ready for any type of intimacy, including the non-physical kind. Take your time.

Read more here...

Monday, November 3, 2014

6 Good Reasons To Be Facebook-Free



People are incensed about Facebook's manipulation of emotional content. Psychologist that I am, I wasn't too upset about it. Since my dissertation involved deception, how hypocritical would that be? And, I seriously doubt that Facebook's research killed anyone, as one Tweeter apparently wondered. 

Nevertheless, the controversy, along with my clients and friends who are regularly threatening to delete their Facebook accounts, led me to pull together these reasons to consider joining the FB-Free club.


1. Being an unwitting guinea pig

If you are furious about the FB content manipulation, you might want to consider, as psychologist Michael Ross said: "It's like undressing in front of an open window and then being outraged that someone watched." 

Be that as it may, not only would deactivating your FB account solve the problem of being subjected to future unwanted intrapsychic meddling, maybe you also get the satisfaction of giving FB a little payback by leaving…take that FB!