Thursday, June 21, 2012

Resiliency II

There are some resiliency secrets.
Resiliency secret #1 is," Do something you enjoy everyday."
Resiliency secret #2 is that the things you enjoy should be in two major categories. 

One will be those items, which are fun (that is why you like them) and the second category are items that may not be fun. You enjoy them for a different reason. You enjoy them because they give you a sense of accomplishment – things like, maybe, cleaning the toilet. It is not much fun but you feel good when it is done and the toilet is sparkling clean.

Life will challenge your resiliency resources everyday. You must replenish them everyday by taking time to do things you enjoy. Each night when going to sleep, ask yourself two questions. First, "Did I have any fun today?" The answer should also be yes to at least one thing. Second, "Did I get anything done today?" The answer should be yes to at least one thing. If you can answer both questions positively then you have had a good day and are on the road to resiliency. If you can answer with more than one item so much the better.

author unknown

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Resiliency I

Resiliency is the ability to bounce back from the ups and downs of life. How resilient are you?

How resilient you are "today" depends on how you were taking care of your resiliency resources yesterday.  These resources can be support systems, loving relationships, healthy diet, positive attitude, exercise, being in the present moment, hope, and spirituality. 

Resiliency is the energy that allows you to enrich in life. It is something we all have. 
We are born with resiliency, but we can also lose it.  Think about the areas of your life that energy tends to get away, and the areas of your life where energy sustains you.  Be very conscious of where your focus in life tends to be ... what we think is what we see.  Remind yourself of the times when you felt brave, courageous, inner strength..and build on these memories!   

author unknown

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Center of Connected Living: Loneliness & Love

The Center of Connected Living: Loneliness & Love: I must conquer my loneliness alone. I must be happy with myself or I have nothing to offer you. Two halves have little choice but to j...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Loneliness & Love

I must conquer my loneliness alone.
I must be happy with myself or I have nothing to offer you.
Two halves have little choice but to join; and yes, they do make a whole.
But two wholes when they coincide…that is beauty. 
That is love. 

author unknown 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Lost & Confused On Life

Dear Corinne, 
I find myself lost and confused on life, and it's becoming stressful to be around my family to the point where I just leave the house everyday just to get away.  What is that about? 
Dear Alexis,
I think most of us have felt this way at some point or another - I know I have for sure!   Usually feeling lost and confused is felt during times of transitions.  Are you going through change in your life, relationships, schooling, work, loss?  I know when I've had to make major life decisions uncertainty has played a role.  Is there a specific situation presenting itself in your life?
I think that your strategy of leaving the house when you feel stressed is one way of coping.  Where are you going most of the time?  You have developed self-awareness to know when you need some distance and have created a -hopefully- safe way to find it.  Sometimes we need silence and personal space in order to tune into ourselves and figure out what we need and want.  Your feelings of being lost and confused can actually be a positive experience because they signal that something isn't working for you any more, and may help propel you toward change and growth.
This may sound very different, but give it a try.  This is definitely not the last time you will feel confused in life.  Instead of making confusion a problem, get to know your confusion.  What I mean is, if your 'confusion' had a voice, what would it tell you?  What type of conversation would the two of you have?  When do you feel most confused?  Do certain people, conversations, environments trigger this?   
I firmly believe having a safe place and person to talk with is one of the best ways to find support for yourself.  You don't have to figure it out alone...believe it or not, none of us ever do. 
Please follow up at any time.  It will be interesting to hear about what happens to the confusion in your life.  
*Adapted from

Saturday, June 9, 2012


Healthy Relationships

In the simplest terms, a healthy relationship is one that makes you feel good about yourself and your partner. Not only do you enjoy being together but you can express your true self - and allow your partner to do the same.
All relationships are different, of course, but healthy ones have at least five important qualities in common. 

The acronym S.H.A.R.E. can help you remember these qualities.

·       Safety: In a healthy relationship, you feel safe. You don't worry that your partner will harm you physically or emotionally, and you don't feel inclined to use physical or emotional violence against your partner. You can try new things (like taking a night class) or change your mind about something (like engaging in a sexual activity that makes you feel uncomfortable) without fearing your partner's reaction.

  • Honesty: You don't hide anything important from your partner, and can express your thoughts without fear of censure or ridicule. You can admit to being wrong. You resolve disagreements by talking honestly.
  • Acceptance: You and your partner accept each other as you are. You appreciate your partner's unique qualities (such as shyness or emotionality) and don't try to "fix" them. (If you don't like your partner's qualities, you may want to examine your motivations for being with that partner.) 
  • Respect: You think highly of each other. You do not feel superior or inferior to your partner in important ways. You respect each other's right to have separate opinions and ideas. This is not to say that you have to tolerate everything your partner does or does not do (such as refusing to get help for a drinking problem). Setting limits is a sign of self-respect.
  • Enjoyment: A healthy relationship is not just about how two people treat each other - it also has to be enjoyable. In a healthy relationship, you feel energized and alive in your partner's presence. You can play and laugh together. You have fun. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Who We Are Is Who Others Take Us To Be

The word communication is Latin and literally means to make common.  This takes place whenever two or more people interact in order to negotiate meaning.  In marriage, this may take the form of continually redefining and negotiating what is happening within the relationship.

According to Barnlund, there are actually six people involved in every two-person communicative situation!!

·      How you see yourself;
·      How the other person sees him or herself;
·      How you see the other person;
·      How the other person sees you;
·      How you believe the other person sees you;
·      How the other person believes you view him or her.

Very important – How we say something is at least as important as what we say! 
Tone of voice can make all the difference!

Sources: The Family Journal – Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, Gottman. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Do therapists have 'perfect' lives? NOPE!

Hi Everyone,
I've been thinking about this lately.  Sometimes there is an assumption about therapists...well, actually there are many assumptions made about therapists and what they do.  Some pursue therapy because they hope the therapist has answers to solve their dilemma.  Clients come into the office, explain their lives, hurt and pain and hope that the therapist will tell them something magical to solve the problem.  As though the therapist has 'expert' knowledge that the client isn't privy to.

I've heard so many times that unless a therapist has what appears to be a 'perfect' life with fulfilling relationships and success, their competency as a therapist is implied to be lacking.  'Who is this person telling others what to do when they can't even fix their own life!' Does this sound familiar to anyone?  

Therapists are trained not to tell clients what to do, nor do they have the 'secret' to having painless relationships and success.  Many times therapists will become divorced, have less than satisfying relationships, struggle with challenges and faced with obstacles that come with living life.

I think that a therapist's contribution is best measured by their ability and willingness to listen...deeply listen to the stories the clients bring into therapy.  A great therapist will ask you wonderful questions that challenge you to reflect and further knowledge about your motivations, values, feelings and emotions.  A great therapist will show up and be authentic with you...will be human with you and not hide behind a veil of 'secret' knowledge.  We are trained to understand universal laws of relationship, the power of language and the potential of having conversations that will most likely never occur outside of a therapy room.

You are the expert on your life.  The therapist is an expert at asking questions and provoking meaningful conversation about the problems you are facing.   It's within relationships and conversation that change takes place.