Saturday, November 26, 2011

Family & Impermanence

An event happened this year that changed me.  Or maybe it didn’t change me, but it definitely reminded me of several things I’ve been told over the years. Somehow this event made it, life, so much more real.

Interestingly, the event that touched me so profoundly had nothing to do with myself, nor anyone that I’ve known or know in my life.  It didn’t involve family or friends.  I wasn’t attached to the situation in any way and in fact didn’t, and still don’t, know the family this happened to…they have no idea how far their story has reached for sure. Most likely we will never meet and they will never know who I am.

One weekend morning, around 8am, a mom, perhaps just only 30, was driving her three kids, seven years and younger, to meet up with their dad at one of their favorite family places.  It was really common for the family to spend the day together so this was nothing out of the ordinary.

Within minutes of their home, a home that had been decorated only a few days ago before Halloween,  this mom, …wife, friend, daughter, lover, niece, sister…drove into an intersection where her car was hit directly on the driver’s side by a man going between 40-50 miles an hr.

No one knows what made her pull out into the intersection or how the two ended up colliding.  The man wasn’t driving drunk.  Did he try to run a red light? Was she distracted by something happening in her car?  To date several other accidents have occurred here already.

She was killed within minutes. Her three babies in the backseat were wounded. The oldest died while the other two, a little boy and girl, were [are] in intensive care indefinitely.  

For days after learning about this story I searched for information about them on the internet every day.  I found myself praying for the father and husband who lost nearly half of his family.  I actually felt grief at the mere idea of something like this happening to someone.  It hurt me, tugged me, I even have a song I listen to that reminds me of this family.  [it is a popular song at the time of the deaths]. 

There are personal reasons, for sure, about why this story affected me so deeply out of the many tragedies that happen every day.  This story gives me strength and a sense of urgency to really enjoy my moments, the people I love,  the things that excite me, and reminds me to receive all life has to offer.   It is so hard for many of us to relax and receive from others or the universe.  To honor our lives, I believe we have to receive and cherish the love, the joy, the happiness and affections of others.  It’s all too easy to overlook and take for granted our relationships.  Put aside any resentments, anger, ill-will toward others and make an intention to enjoy them.  Everything is impermanent -- we if remembered this everyday how might your life and your relationships change? 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What to Look for in A Therapist

Yesterday I was asked about looking for a therapist.  Most of the time therapists are found by word-of-mouth.  In addition, location narrows choices as well.  It's likely that you are looking for a therapist within a convenient driving distance. That being said, these are some things everyone should consider. 

1. The very first phone call is SO important.  

Be aware of how you feel whether you leave a message or speak to the therapist. 
Do you feel as though you are being rushed off the phone or pushed to make an appointment?  
Does the therapist seem interested and do you sense he/she is really listening to you? 
Do they immediately talk about their fees?

2. You have the right to interview the therapist.  
Have a list of questions ready such as, 
Do you have experience working with this type of problem?  Note the tone of their voice. How do they respond? Do they some across as confident or tentative? 
How soon can I make an appointment? 
Do you have a website? 
You will want to be the one to talk about fees. Do they offer sliding scales or take insurance? What is their policy and how does this work? 
Think of other questions that might be important to you and be sure to bring them up.  

3. Give the therapy a chance. 
Some people feel comfortable during the first session, others take a little more time.  However, if you feel at any time, a violation of any sort, do not feel required to continue.

The therapist you want is one who creates a safe 'holding' space and really wants to get to know you.  In the end, the number one influence for successful therapy is the relationship you and your therapist create.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Connected Living

What do I mean by Connected Living? 
Connected Living is a way of thinking about the people and relationships we create in our lives. I believe we're interconnected and that we need relationships as much as we need food and water.  Our past experiences, belief systems, and personal philosophy all contribute to the way we approach relationships, including friendships, dating, marriage, parents and children. Therapy is one way of exploring the unique influences in your life that contribute to and take away from the relationships in your life.  


Welcome to The Center of Connected Living Blog.
The Center of Connected Living is S. Florida's location for optimal mental and emotional health.  We offer various therapies, including pet therapy, yoga therapy, adolescent therapy and more.  Our belief is that Connection and Community are two of the most important experiences for creating optimal mental and emotional health. With so many helping professionals including therapists and coaches it can be hard to figure out what will be right for you. I hope this blog will make that easier!