Being Shy Can Be A Good Thing

A little over a decade ago, I was consulted by a young couple regarding their nine-year old son. The school had recommended counseling. They felt his shyness and lack of participation in class was concealing a deeper problem, perhaps abuse, depression, or other issue.

The boy had once participated freely in class, but by mid-year, he never raised his hands and looked like he was daydreaming. The parents took him to a specialist who felt he might be on the autism spectrum and recommended therapy. They wanted another opinion.
Continue Reading


The Summertime Blahs & Blues

For many of us, summer is the time we feel the most upbeat. For those with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), the long days packed with sunshine can offer blessed relief from depression and low energy.

Outdoor walks and other activities and a more relaxed approach to time are things both of us really look forward to and enjoy.

But for some, the summertime is emotionally difficult. The very things that make summer appealing to one person, make it seem negative to another. You can end up with the blahs or even the blues. Here are a few, plus some quick fixes:
Continue Reading

God in Therapy

A Spiritual Approach To Dealing With Regrets

*A God in Therapy post

We all have them.

Minor regrets, such as: I wish I had learned how to play the clarinet. I wish I hadn't goofed off quite so much in college. I wish I...

And, major regrets, such as: I wish I didn't do (fill in the blank) because it really hurt someone/myself. I wish I had been a wiser parent, more caring spouse, more respectful child...

There are many schools of thought out there about how to deal with our regrets from the don't-pay-them-any-mind school to the beat-myself-up-black-and-blue school.

There are also a variety of spiritual and religious approaches to regrets, especially regrets about actions taken that we feel have left painful imprints on our souls.
Continue Reading


Why Bucket Lists Are Kind Of Depressing

C.R. writes:

A recent Mayo Clinic study on happiness concluded that happiness is a learned trait, something to be cultivated. The Mayo Clinic also reports that most if not all happy people exhibit these five behaviors/traits:
1.Devoting time to family and friends
2.Appreciating what they have
3.Maintaining an optimistic outlook
4.Feeling a sense of purpose
5.Living in the moment
For some people, number 6. is Having a "bucket list."

The concept of a bucket list is based on a movie (I didn't know this until I researched its origins) about two terminally men who create a list of things they want to do before they "kick the bucket".

My Introduction to Bucket Lists

I remember exactly how and when I became familiar with the term. A few years ago a friend of mine told me that she really wanted to visit Morocco. It was, she said, at the top of her "bucket list." I asked her what a bucket list was, and she said a bunch of things people want to do before they die. Her bucket list included mainly adventures in foreign lands and a few glamorous activities (something to do with celebrities, five star hotels, perhaps.)

I found this stunning.
Continue Reading