How To Navigate The Self-Help Jungle

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

70689_3772In Promise Land: My Journey Through America’s Self-Help Culture, author Jessica Lamb-Shapiro explains that the world of self-help is a mix of helpful and decidedly unhelpful. Without writing an expose, she reveals the, well, let’s face it, tacky world of those self-help gurus who are in it for the bucks alone, and whose promises of salvation, or even maturation or actualization, are as thin as the dollar bills shelled out for them.

She also identifies some possibly helpful self-help programs

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Travel Standing Still

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski
Reconnecting by Karen Hollingsworth

Reconnecting by Karen Hollingsworth

I created the painting titled “Reconnecting” after returning home from a trip to New York. While I was there I couldn’t help but notice that this is the view from practically every window in the city, and having seen a number of other artists versions of the urban landscape at galleries in Manhattan, I wanted to give it a try myself. The idea of the New York Times crossword puzzle and a cup of coffee came pretty easily.!cid_F91F896C-4090-49AF-9BDD-DB1181296DDE@hsd1_ga_comcast_net

The next painting titled “Viewpoint” is a fantasy for me. I’m thinking location is somewhere in Tuscany. The style of the windows are distinctly European, and to make the room even more inviting, a kitty. Clearly this is a place I hope to visit one day!
I don’t vacation often, and admit I do have some anxiety about traveling. My Windowscape paintings may be my way of seeing the world without the necessity of leaving my house!
See Gazing At Calm and Shifting Emotions, two Therapy Soup posts featuring the work of artist Karen Hollingsworth.
See more of the artist’s work at





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Gazing At Calm: The Work Of Karen Hollingsworth

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski


Unwind by Karen Hollingsworth

Unwind by Karen Hollingsworth

If I were to psychoanalyze myself, I would probably interpret the calm interior spaces as my inner self, with the windows representing my eyes bridging the gap between me and the outside world. 

—Karen Hollingsworth

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Shifting Emotions With The Paintings Of Karen Hollingsworth

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

Karen Hollingsworth’s beautiful paintings of rooms, windows, chairs, tables, and birds appear to be simple still-lives, but the powerful moods they evoke range from calm to mournful to bemused and beyond—sometimes even in the same picture. When we came across her work, 

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Faith & Recovery From Mental Illness & Addiction

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

595702_14433699PsychCentral reported on a study that shows when workers are very involved in their faith, it leads to more job satisfaction.

To me, it seems obvious that you don’t leave your faith at home. In fact, the idea of separation of faith and life seems strange.

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Drinking Alcohol Can Make Your Medication Ineffective

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

321px-Red_Wine_GlasShe’s a twenty year old college student majoring in social work. She works part time at a bakery to supplement her income and lives at home with mom. Her father has been out of the picture since she was eleven. She’s been taking a highly-prescribed antidpressant (a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) which has been hailed as one of the most effective medications for depression, for the past year. Before that, she was on another medication, and before that others. She reports that they seem to work for a month or so, then stop working.

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Top 5 Dangers Of Being A Perfectionist

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

999295_29470621Whether you can’t tolerate your own faults or others’, demanding perfection can poison your life.

Here are the top 5 dangers:

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How To Survive A BBQ, Party, Or Other Work Event

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

1299806_22026527Some people love office parties. They can’t get enough of socializing with the people they work with all day, even that picky person in accounting.

Others genuinely care about the people we work with, but when we come home at the end of the day, we want to spend time with family and friends. We want to do something that has nothing to do with work whatsoever.

Going to an office party is something we “have” to do, a duty or chore. We make an appearance for the sake of office politics.

For the shy, private person, or one with social anxiety, though, office parties and events are a nightmare. Aside from using your anxiety-management techniques such as breathing exercises and visualizations, what can you do to get through the next office bash?

Some simple tips:

1. Help out. If it’s a non-catered affair, offer to help set up, serve beverages, clean up. If it’s a catered party, offer to hand out name-tags, compose the invitations, do the decorations, get involved in the organization, make phone calls, etc.

2. Invite one or more people to travel to and/or from the event with you. Offer to pick them up and/or take them home if you’re driving.

3. Unless it’s a formal event, offer to be the photographer. Bring a real camera if you have one, rather than a phone. Bring a tripod, if possible, too. The camera is a great prop and conversation starter. You become “the photographer” and people relate to you in this capacity.

4. Ask if pets are allowed. Bring your dog, parrot, or chameleon.

5. If you’re brave, wear a truly ridiculous mask and/or a costume. Walk in and say, “Hey, who sent me that email saying this was a costume BBQ?” (Someone I know did this a long time ago, as a joke. We all laughed, and she became the star of the event. Most of the employees barely knew her name before.)




10 Incredible Quotations About The Power Of Your Thoughts

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

1113685_34682217You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.

— Marcus Aurelius

Man’s mind is his very essence. Wherever your thoughts are, that is where you are – all of you.

— Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.

— Plutarch

Guard your thoughts very carefully, because thought can literally create a living thing.

— Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

Change your thoughts and you change your world.

— Norman Vincent Peale

Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.

— Willie Nelson

The truth is that stress doesn’t come from your boss, your kids, your spouse, traffic jams, health challenges, or other circumstances. It comes from your thoughts about these circumstances.

— Andrew Bernstein

Think good and it will be good.

— Yiddish saying

The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.

— Marcus Aurelius

Except our own thoughts, there is nothing absolutely in our power.

— Rene Descartes



A Collaborative Approach To Pediatric Depression, Anxiety

By Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

miri compressedWe’re following up with pediatric occupational therapist Miriam Manela, who specializes in behavioral issues, whom we interviewed earlier in the week.

Tell us more about how you collaborate with mental health professionals.

Sure, I’ll give you an example. Recently I worked with a social worker in private practice. We worked together with a client I’ll call Jake. Jake is sixteen and in a special ed school. He’s challenged by learning disabilities and social delays.

He was very depressed and suicidal, making threats of killing himself. He gets very angry and either shuts down, which presents as not talking, or moaning and complaining repeatedly. He also has anxiety.

The social worker has been working with Jake on

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Therapy Revolution
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Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better, and
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by Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

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Recent Comments
  • Mark Noo: Trial and error. This is like anti-depressant meds. I guess the payoff, if it ever comes, is worth it.
  • disequilibrium1: I never find reductionist labels like “help rejecting complainer” useful and can serve...
  • Randy Aho: Can i have a role playing buissness? Is it possible to do so? What kind of certification is required?
  • parisxxx: This is just and only my opinion. I am no doctor. BPD’S like to deceive others to a fault. To make up...
  • A.H: Sorry so long, but this is a picture of WHO you are dealing with when you deal with an extreme case of BPD.
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