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Life is a Journey of Discovery

My Blog


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AEDP Theory for psychotherapy

Posted on June 15, 2019 at 2:17 PM Comments comments (112)
What is AEDP? It stands for Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy. Wow! OK !  So what is THAT? 

This is a type of therapy that is quicker than the original psychotherapy that used to take years and years. This therapy targets trauma and the self-concept.  You may have gotten messages about yourself when you were a child that shaped the way you saw yourself that were negative and false. 

Sometimes our experiences as children could not be processed without great damage to our self-esteem. The feelings about ourself got "stuck" and we keep trying to resolve them all our lives. 

With this therapy we can find those parts of ourselves that need healing and heal them by revisiting them with a therapist. 

People who have experienced  this therapy often feel a new and more positive self-concept and they know how to use this therapy for themselves whenever they have emotional turmoil that needs to be resolved. 

If you would like to try this therapy just call or email me and I will schedule an appointment.

Women Stereotypes

Posted on May 1, 2018 at 8:24 AM Comments comments (5)
There is a discrepancy in the way in which women are treated in society that seriously impacts their ability to find success and happiness. Merely because of their gender, they get a different set of expectations at birth than their male counterpart.
Why does this matter? It matters because the subtle ways in which women are often treated can have a terrible effect on how they see themselves and it influences every aspect of their lives.
The day before Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration in 1913, there was a women's march in Washington for voter rights.
It took seven more years before women got the right to vote.
That was over 100 years ago. 
How far have women come since they finally got to vote?

We can now use a hyphenated name when we're married and when we divorce we can use any name we want - we have an identity! We still don't get paid as much as men.  BUT regardless of how far we have come there continues to be a pervasive attitude of bias against women right under the surface. The New York Times had a poll by Perry Undem, a non-partisan research and polling firm. The poll found eighty-two percent of women said that sexism (bias based on sex) was a problem in our society today. And it is no surprise to me that most men and women underestimate the sexism and misogyny (contempt for women) that is commonly felt by most women. 
Negative stereotypes towards women shaped the decisions that were made for us throughout history, and those same stereotypes continue to influence current attitudes that men hold towards women and that women often hold towards themselves. Please read my book called "She Types: Identifying the Unconscious Stereotypes of women and howe to transform them"


Women in Bars

Posted on October 26, 2017 at 7:29 PM Comments comments (4)
One of my clients that I used to see complained about being propositioned for sex when she went to a local bar for a drink. 
Some people would say that she should not go to a bar because men would automatically think she wanted sex. 
Think about that statement and analyze it. This is the natural way of thinking, but is it justified? Should women stay away from bars because men may accost them? 
I totally disagree with that mentality. In my opinion a woman has every right to be respected wherever she may decide to go and a man shouldn’t automatically assume that she wants sex because she is sitting at a bar. It is this kind of  attitude that is still pervasive in our society today. 

It is subtle discrimination and women need to disavow such old-fashioned notions about what is  “Proper “ for them to do and what is acceptable behavior for men. 

Sexual Harassment

Posted on October 8, 2017 at 12:56 PM Comments comments (6)
I think there has been an awakening lately from women who have had enough sexual harassment and outright sexual abuse from men in power. The latest target is Harvey Weinstein, the famous American film producer who is being investigated for such treatment of women over many years. 

Ashley Judd, the  movie star and political activist, was one of his victims. He asked her to a breakfast which she assumed was a business meeting. But he showed up to see her in his bathrobe and asked her to let him give her a massage or watch him shower. It seems he had a reputation for promising to  boost women's careers for sexual favors.  

Ever since Trump's sexual harassment towards women was revealed, women have been speaking out against this kind of treatment. It is no longer a mark of disgrace when a woman reveals that she has been sexually assaulted or tormented by unwanted advances.  

This gives me hope that this kind of treatment will not always be ignored or tolerated even if the men who are perpetrating this sickening kind of behavior have money and power. 

Women have often  been taught to be the nurturers, the non-complainers, the giving and gentler of the sexes. They are often the caretakers of their children and other family members. Therefore, they can be easily exploited if they  consider themselves inferior to the men in their lives and have fear of their own voices. 

Once a woman finds her voice and is not afraid of men's  negative reactions towards her, she also finds her own strength and newfound energy and power to stand up for herself and other women who have been treated with disrespect.


Posted on October 4, 2017 at 9:15 AM Comments comments (121)
In regards to women, unhealthy helping and giving can arise from behaviors and traits that are culturally approved and encouraged for women. Females are expected to put others first and to be nice and considerate. Traditional feminine roles such as wife, mother, daughter (and daughter-in-law), direct women to take care of other people, make other people’s lives easier by doing things for them, and to care for those that are dependent (providing what is called care labor). Caring for others, and accommodating others, in and outside of the home, is often designated as women’s work and selfless service to others is sold to many of us as a defining feature of the good woman. The bottom line: The way some women understand and identify with their gender and culture promotes unhealthy self-sacrifice and martyrdom for others. They go overboard when it comes to enacting cultural values that emphasize taking care of others. They have trouble telling the difference between excessive caretaking and normal nurturing. They aren’t emotionally or psychologically sick for following this cultural prescription, they’re just trying to be good women in societies where women are expected to subordinate their needs to others. Psychology Today (2017)
Burn, S.M. (2016). Unhealthy Helping: A Psychological Guide to Overcoming Codependence, Enabling, and Other Dysfunctional Giving. Amazon: Create Space.
Chang, S-H (2012). A cultural perspective on codependency and its treatment. Asia Pacific Journal of Counseling and Psychotherapy, 3, 50-60.
Cowan, G., & Warren, L.W.  (1994). Codependency and gender-stereotyped traits. Sex Roles, 30, 631-645.

 "This is an excellent article and worthy of serious thought." Carol Guthrie

Impact of Family on Self-concept

Posted on August 14, 2017 at 1:53 PM Comments comments (12)
Most of us have heard that as adults we shouldn't blame our parents for our upbringing. After all, we want to be  mature and responsible and blaming keeps us stuck. That is good advice. But what if your childhood was marked by shame or blame or belittling. Or maybe you were beaten or sexually assaulted by a very sick parent. Do you think you can just suck it up and put it away like an old family album? There may be some really nasty pictures in your "family album" that show up when you least expect it. 

Let me give  you an example. You are meeting with a new colleague, date, friend, or group. You really want to meet this person or this group. You spent quite a lot of time and effort in planning this meeting. But an hour before your meeting, you get this nasty picture in your head. It may be just a terrible feeling of dread and anxiety. You may be nauseated or extremely tired. Or you may see yourself in a past scenario where you were treated badly. 

This horrible experience may be stemming from an inner belief system about yourself that you have kept all these years from your childhood when you were unable to discern the rightness of your parents' actions towards you. We absorb what our parents "teach" us when we are little and we don't distinguish whether these "lessons" are kind or cruel. So if we received shaming and blaming messages, we believed the messages.  They become part of our self-concept. They are hard-wired into us and we are unaware of them. 

As a counselor, I will sometimes ask my clients to describe their childhood. Some clients  who are dealing with serious anger issues or very negative self-concepts or are involved with physical and verbal abusers tell me that their childhood was normal. When further questioned, they often describe parents who were unable to support them emotionally. They may have never gotten what they needed to feel secure and loved. 

My job is not to start blaming the parents. Most of them did the best they could with the tools they were given. But the awareness of the negative messages my clients received will be crucial in unlocking the door to self-acceptance and freedom to make happier and healthier choices for themselves.

There are methods through counseling to free yourself from negative messages that are holding you back from fully loving yourself. When you gain self-acceptance you gain self-love.

Anger Management- What it is- What its not

Posted on September 7, 2016 at 2:42 PM Comments comments (6)
Anger management is not a form of suppression where a person holds in his or her anger. That causes ulcers and heart attacks and makes the people you are angry with either more angry because they can see through your "being good" behavior or they just keep doing what they've  always done to make you angry in the first place.

Anger management is also not a way of manipulating your enemies so that you get what you want in the end. That's why its called "anger management" instead of "people management".

Anger management is a way of being assertive rather than aggressive. It is a way of stating what you need without discounting the other's needs. It is a way of getting in touch with your "too strong emotions" so that you can figure out if you might be overreacting. 

There are proven methods that can change the way you show your anger so that you might actually be understood and respected by yourself and others. These methods are not hard to learn. They just take practice and the willingness to change.

You can learn those methods in my anger management class in a relatively short time depending on your individual needs and desires. 

If you are sick of being angry and are ready to change, give me a call.

Negative Self-talk

Posted on May 13, 2016 at 12:34 PM Comments comments (7)
What is negative self-talk? Any time that you scold yourself about something you did or said, you are using negative self-talk. When you do it to yourself, it feels so bad and it can ruin your day. It also promotes low self-esteem and makes you physically sick. 
   Here's a method I have used that really promotes instant relief:

1. Reaction: You find yourself thinking of something you did that was stupid. (in your opinion).

2. Realization: Here I go again with self-blaming!

3. Recovery: I don't like the way I feel and I don't want to stay in this place anymore!

4. Redirection: Think instead- these are the things I did right-everyone makes mistakes-this is a learning experience- at least I tried something-I am growing and learning- what doesn't kill me makes me stronger-I will laugh about this later.

Get the point? Why dwell on negative emotions? Our little time on earth is so short that it is worth a little effort to be happy in life. Try it! It is better than pouting!

Frustration and Anger

Posted on April 19, 2016 at 3:47 PM Comments comments (8)
What makes us so frustrated and angry in relationships? What pushes our button and makes us unwilling to see our part we are playing in our fights before we blow up at our significant other? It is often the unseen and unexpressed old messages we are hearing from our parents  such as "You are a loser and you are being taken advantage of " or simply  "You need to win this argument in any way you can."

Whatever the case may be our messages to ourselves are very often filled with directives to act now or else. 

This is exactly the time to decide NOT to act.  This is the time to listen carefully to the message that is telling you to act right now. Instead,  think about the consequences of your words and actions. Ask yourself, "Will my words or actions get me what I want or will they make things worse with this person ? " Chances are they will heighten the tension and prolong the suffering. 

Even if you find it very difficult to state how you feel, for example, "I am hurt, I feel offended, I feel lonesome, this is the time to express your real emotions. 

This is often all the other person needs to understand you. This is often the icebreaker that will defuse the bomb of escalating emotions. 

I challenge you to try it next time you are in a fight with someone close. 

Anger and Insecurity

Posted on March 21, 2016 at 10:01 AM Comments comments (9)
Why is it that so many couples get stuck in a downward spiral of suspicion and anger?    My contention is that we get caught up in wanting our significant other to meet our needs. But ask yourself this question. Can you, and do you have the desire to, meet  all the needs of your loved one ? I believe that it would be an insurmountable and frustrating task that you would ultimately give up in frustration. 

Each of us is responsible for our own well-being. There is no such thing as a free ride on the back of someone else's life. Even in marriage we both have to maintain our own happiness. If we find out our spouse is cheating or we discover that we have married an abuser, then it is our responsibility to end the relationship or decide to stay in it. One thing we will never be able to do is change another person. I know people who stay in  relationships for years and spend their days griping about how miserable they are because they are blaming the other person for their miserable life. 
How ridiculous is that! 
Compromise, understanding, and acceptance are necessary ingredients in any relationship. Relationships take time and a lot of love to sustain them. But each person in a relationship  is entitled and responsible to make choices that bring personal satisfaction.
If you are caught up in the blame game and need a little guidance, I can help. I've been there myself and know how it eats you alive. There is a way out if you are willing to risk real change in your life.