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General

How to Cope After Acts of Mass Violence

After acts of mass violence, including the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas, we may be left without words and with diminished hope. We might ask ourselves, “Why is this occurring? What is happening to the world? What does this mean for our future?”

It's difficult for our minds and hearts to process our thoughts and feelings about horrific acts of violence that happen throughout our world. As a psychotherapist who has been practicing for more...


Grief

5 Tips for Dealing with Grief


Whether you lost a loved one to sickness, tragedy , divorce or even a significant break-up, loss is a trauma. Losses can create identity challenges, lifestyle changes, financial problems and even have social implications.

After 20 years of counseling clients through grief as well as experiencing my own losses, I recommend the following:

1) Be patient with yourself.  There is no timeline for grief.  It is different for each person.  Honor your feelings and your own experience. ...


Family Life

5 Ways to Be a Less Anxious Parent


As a therapist who has counseled parents for 20 years and as a mother of two daughters (ages 14 and 11), I understand that parenthood is a rollercoaster of highs and lows with many opportunities for learning. A friend with older teens recently advised, “Hang onto your hat!” I am sure the lessons will

Parenthood can be an anxiety-provoking experience from in utero (“Is everything going okay in there??”) to grandparenthood (“How can my baby handle...


Career

15 Ways to Live Authentically & Amazingly



Anxiety, depression and unhappiness occur when people are not living their lives in a way that is congruent with their authentic selves. This is what I have learned after providing psychotherapy to a diverse clientele for over 20 years.

Also, I've noticed many people get stuck on the proverbial “hamster wheel” of life---an endless cycle of work and household responsibilities and obligations. Seldom do they pause to reflect about who they really are or why they do what they do. The lack of deeper meaning or connection to their work and life roles causes them to shift into autopilot---a state of unconsciousness and stagnation. They become disconnected from their true selves, their relationships and even the world around them.

A man came to me recently for counseling---an educated, articulate, likable guy in his 40's. He'd never seen a therapist before and wasn't quite sure what to expect. He hated his lucrative job but felt stuck in a pair of "golden handcuffs" because he has a family to support. He reported his wife was unhappy that he doesn't help more with tasks at home---they bicker and had become emotionally and sexually disconnected. He felt badly about himself at work and home. Some bright moments with his children seemed to keep him trudging along. Having cocktails with colleagues a few days a week was apparently the way he coped with his stress, disappointment, and loneliness. It seemed hard for him to even identify his feelings, let alone express them in session. He appeared boxed-in by fears, self-limiting beliefs, and all the thoughts of what he "should" be doing and feeling... It was if he had shut down and lost his voice years ago---twenty years ago, to be specific...

Sadly, I see this scenario frequently in my practice. It's my deep honor and pleasure to help people:

Reconnect with their true selves through "mirroring" how I see and understand them, their strengths & unique gifts.
Re-engage their important relationships via empathy, authenticity, vulnerability & open/effective communication.
Rebalance their lives with hobbies and leisure through the setting of healthy boundaries and time management.
Refuel themselves through self-care practices and making them a top priority.
Realign their work with their greatest gifts and life mission through positive thinking, tapping into their courage, and engaging in proactive behaviors.
Revitalize their passion for the great gift of life by practicing gratitude and connecting with their essence or spirit.

What a gift to help people recover and awaken! I love my life's work....

I recommend the following to free yourself and live an authentic and amazing life:


General

20 Ways to Choose Happiness


I love when I notice I’m smiling when I’m alone. The smile isn’t falsely constructed to please anyone else. Rather, it’s naturally powered by my inner bliss, which radiates and beams through my being.

After many years of deep, inner work, I’m at a place in my life where I seem to have found greater peace and more bountiful joy. My mind is free to dream. My heart sings. My spirit dances. My body feels all that is sensual and good.

My parents told me they named me, “Joyce” because they were rejoiced by my birth. I’m grateful for this life and to my parents for choosing my name which means, “Happy." For happiness is most certainly the path I choose.

After 20 years of counseling clients and working on my own psycho-spiritual journey, I recommend the following ways to choose happiness:

1. Don’t attach your happiness to anything external. We run into problems when we make our happiness dependent on our relationships, jobs, finances or  bodies or on anticipated outcomes. Recalibrate your expectations to zero. Happiness is an inner experience that is yours to claim. Everything else is impermanent.

2. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Identifying with your mind exacerbates stress, anxiety, and pressure.  Our egos use anger to preserve and protect themselves, causing disconnection and displeasure. Detach from your ego and get over yourself.

3. Give freely. Give and share what you can, whenever you can. Give compliments, love, affection, help, resources, time, consideration, thoughtfulness, respect, empathy, etc. It feels delightful and karma will bring it back to you, threefold.

4. Receive openly. Accept compliments, help and gifts. Embrace touch and praise. Absorb love and affection. Remember that the act of receiving allows other people the experience of giving.

5. Drink in the love. Hard to explain, but let me try...


General

Ignite Your Inner Fire: 25 Inspiring Intentions

Life is a miraculous gift. Yet, as many of us move through time, we seem to have forgotten.

We’ve grown weary, disconnected, distracted or detached. We’ve lost our connection with our inner fire---our unique experience of being alive and belonging in a greater sense to others, and the world around us.

Over the past 20 years, I’ve counseled individuals and couples seeking therapy for anxiety, depression, addiction, relationship issues, etc. Regardless of the presenting issue, I’ve felt it my deep honor and profound responsibility to reignite their inner fire. I do this by knowing them, mirroring back to them all of their strengths and gifts, and then inviting them to align their lives with who they truly are as their highest and best selves.

One client recently said, “Thank you for making me embrace my life and my light and step into who I truly am.”

If your inner fire has dampened from the stressors and challenges of living in today’s world, I recommend the following inspirational intentions:

1) I intend to surround myself with people who see me as my highest and best self and light my inner light.

2) I intend to connect with my deeper self through creative activities that refuel my energy.


General

How to Get Out of a Bad Mood: 12 Tips



Large and rapidly moving, ominous clouds of negativity roll into my mind, infuse my thoughts and deeply darken my mood. As I exhale, I feel the irritability fume from my nostrils like fiery smoke from a dragon’s. As I bristle with defensiveness and hostility, I feel the energetic spikes of anger jet from my spine, creating a non-verbal warning to others to steer clear. My eyes narrow and shoot lasers of fury. My tongue sharpens and my words become cutting and biting. As waves of anger ripple through my body, my energy and power grows. My walk becomes a stomp and I can almost feel the slash of my tail as I move, determined to defend myself and survive anything that comes my way.

“I’m in a bad mood today," I said to my dear friend and colleague.

I feared she could see the dragon, was ashamed of my rage, and wanted to give her warning of my mood-state to protect our relationship.

“Really? You seem totally fine," she said.

Interestingly, more often than not, others do not see the dragon. I have spent a lifetime hiding her and have apparently gotten quite good at it.

“Anyway, you are entitled to be in a bad mood with what you have going on," she added.

What? Entitled to be in a bad mood? This was a radical new concept to me, and one that changed my life.