General

5 Easy Ways to Improve Self-Esteem


Do you struggle with negative self-talk? Do you compare yourself to others and reprimand yourself for not measuring up to what you think you see? Do you believe that you are inherently worse than others? If so, you may struggle with poor self-esteem.

Self-esteem is defined as: a feeling of having respect for yourself and your abilities. I'm not talking about an inflated self-esteem, narcissism, or self-centeredness. Self-esteem is about knowing who and what you are,...
Continue Reading

Family

The Power of Kindness

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. "Aesop
I was a new mom, trying to manage a crying infant and two grumpy stepsons at the library.
One of my arms held the baby; the other balanced a stack of children's books and two DVDs. We were all tired and frustrated and ready to get out of there, and the kids were eager to watch their movies.
The librarian scanned my...
Continue Reading

Mental Health

10 Tips for Finding a Great Therapist

Making the choice to begin counseling can be difficult; finding a therapist that you connect with and can help you is challenging.
Google will gladly overwhelm you with thousands of counselors or therapists in less than a second.
Therapy sites such as or Psychology Today offer search tools for specific cities and states.
As a therapist, I've had people find me through my blog, a friend, newspaper articles or a TV appearance, and...
Continue Reading

Abuse

When Love Hurts


This is a story of two little birds, both cockatiels.

It's about a kind of love that is destructive. It's about when love hurts.

It's also about healing, growing, and changing.

Once there were  two cockatiels who came to a rescue from a hoarding situation. One was named Mama Bird, and one was named Pretty Boy. They were mother and son.

Pretty Boy was quite pretty. He was gorgeous gray, full feathered, and looked like a healthy cockatiel should.

Mama Bird was not...
Continue Reading

Family

The Power of “NO”

My mother says that my first word was no.

I’m not surprised that this was the first true word that came out of my  mouth.

Many children sing out the joys of no regularly and with enthusiasm. "Would you like more potatoes?" "NO!" "Put on your shoes please." "NO!" "Time for a nap." "NO!"

And why not? Children learn very early on that when they say no, something big and important happens. It could be that the food they dislike is...
Continue Reading

Depression

10 Things to Say to a Loved One Who Struggles with Depression

If you’ve ever been depressed, you know that awful feeling when well meaning people give advice that simply makes things worse.

There are lots of blogs that talk about what not to say to someone who is depressed.

Here are 10 positive things to say to help.

I’m sorry you’re struggling, and wish I could make it better for you. This phrase doesn’t imply that you understand what they’re going through or that they need to do something. It...
Continue Reading

Depression

True Greatness: The Pain of Hidden Illness


I had a very good friend named Mary who suffered from a disease called Lupus.

Lupus can be a mild disease, or it can be horrific and fatal. It can go from mild to severe, back to mild again.

My friend was very sick, and we’d often talk about how she looked fine on the outside, but her body was waging war on itself.

She was yelled at for parking in a handicapped space although she could barely...
Continue Reading

Family

Dear Daughter: 5 Life Lessons for My Child




As my daughter enters the middle of her eighth year, she is changing and growing rapidly.
She vacillates between the feelings and needs of a child, and the desires of independence of a young teen.
Eight years old is an age of rapid maturation for many children. She picks up on the nuances of relationships. She hears the news and is afraid sometimes. She is learning her own boundaries and setting limits, but still...
Continue Reading

General

3 Steps to Battle Self-Hatred


Dear Reader,

If I were to sneak inside your head, just for a moment, what would I hear?

At your darkest moment, when you’re all alone with your thoughts and your thoughts are the things of chaos, when you can’t sleep, and you are at your lowest, what words would slip into being?

Is your head full of hate to yourself? Do you chastise and berate your actions of the day? Do you hear anger? Chastisement? Disgust?

If I could magically give...
Continue Reading