Power Pointers

Spend Time Recognizing Your Successes: Happiness Booster

I recently held a workshop on "Positive Psychology In the Workplace," and it was a wonderful refresher on research-based  happiness enhancers.

One of the exercises I had the class do was to spend time reflecting on their successes. When was the last time you did that?

Seriously, when?!

If you are like me, a "normal" woman just chugging along, juggling a million things, you probably aren't spending time picturing yourself getting a pat on the back, much less patting yourself on the back.

Do it now. See yourself walking across a stage, in an auditorium filled with hundreds of people you have known throughout your life: family, friends, coworkers, bosses. You are in a hot pink graduation gown, and the announcer is having everyone stand up as you walk across the stage. The crowd roars as you hear a list of your accomplishments resounding throughout the auditorium... "And then Kathy did _____. And then ______.

Men and Society

2 Common Mistakes Men Make In Relationships

People are gonna freak out when they see this title! "What? You can't make generalizations about men like this!" Well, no generalization about people are ever 100% accurate.

However, having been a therapist and social worker for 20-plus years, there are themes that occur repeatedly with couples. Sometimes these themes divide along gender roles.

If you see yourself or your partner in any of these generalizations, make a few shifts and you will see a big change for the better. Here are two big common mistakes that men make: First Common Mistake: Men Tend To Argue With Feelings


6 Big Reasons Women Don’t Report Sexual Abuse Right Away

With the Kavanaugh investigation impacting our planet, I keep hearing,"Why did it take so long? Why now?" Understandable questions.

Many people, especially men (and some women) assume that if one is attacked in society, you just go to the police. Just do it. Report and prosecute. They are confused and that confusion leads to skepticism and doubt.

Getting educated on trauma and the reality of what it is to be a sexual assault victim will help clear up...

Managing Stress

New Tool for Decision Making for Moms

Moms, how many decisions do you make in a day? A while back, researchers at Cornell University* found that people make more than 200 decisions about food alone. Just. Food.
How about an average mother on a daily basis?  

Women and the Workplace

Sexual Harassment: What One of the #Goodguys Did for Me

Sexual harassment.

I moved away from Mobile, Alabama, in 1988 to attend college at the University of Alabama. Before I left, I worked as an office worker and a part-time “runner” at a law firm in old Mobile. The office had a few lawyers and a legal secretary, and I believe the name of the firm was Patterson, McCleave, and Shields. We worked in an old house off Government Street. It was surrounded by law firms in similar houses, which were scattered throughout the gorgeous oak trees of the historic downtown. I was only 17, still in high school, and I barely said a peep to the lawyers because I was so nervous and intimidated by these accomplished professionals. It was my first introduction to a professional work environment. I learned a lot.


Is It Okay to Cut Off My Annoying Relatives for the Holidays? Here’s How To Do It

If only I could tell you, "Sure! Cut off Uncle Seamus and never talk to him again. Raise
your eggnog and laugh heartily at the joy of not having a stressful family interaction this year. Wahoooo!!!!"

Nope. I can't tell you to do that.

Life doesn't work that way, does it? There are no easy fixes, no scissors that we can use to cut the cord to a job we hate, a neighbor who annoys us, or a decision we don't like that affects us. Same with relatives, hon. But here are some pointers and a little Christmas story to help.

Managing Stress

I Don’t Feel Like I Fit In | What Does It Mean to Fit In?

When I saw this in a shop, it was called Recycled Ruby. I think it's a cool way of showing the many layers of each of us.

Suppose you are new, or you feel new wherever you are. What does it mean to fit in?

As moms of middle schoolers can probably verify, sixth grade brings waterfalls of tears for many kids. Adults sometimes don't know what to do about this and can feel...


5 Quick Tips To Manage All the Chaos and Anger Out There Right Now

Here's to peaceful places

This is a weird and emotional time in our country. People are really upset. Or, people are upset that people are upset. It is crazy-making for both sides.

What to do about it?

The first way to manage angry feelings toward others is to try to get in touch with how they are processing things. The old adage, “Put yourself in someone else’s shoes” still holds true.

Say you believe that the apocalypse is coming....


When Is It Okay To Cut Off A Relative?

When Is It Okay To Cut Off A Relative?

After the holidays, we therapists  are besieged with family drama stories. Family members fight, bad things happen, after too much champagne — talk about conflict and drama. Some of this is normal. However, when family members are repeatedly mean, nasty, and/or hurtful; it is time to have a serious think about whether it is appropriate or healthy to have contact with these family members.

What?! Cut people off? What kind of a counselor suggests that?

Well, normally I don't. I think that even extreme family dysfunction can usually be worked around with healthy boundaries, support, and a reframed attitude. However, there are exceptions. Obvious exceptions include: abuse, extreme addictive behaviors, sexual inappropriateness, and physical abuse. Other exceptions include toxic, mean and abusive language or behaviors towards others. These can be unworkable and harmful.