Mindset | Blog

How to Make Stress Your Friend

9.23.13

I recently discovered a talk given by Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist.  Her topic was stress.  I felt validated as I have been telling my clients who experience stress to make it their friend.  I usually teach them skills to change their attitude towards stress or anxiety.  It is their attitude that will make the difference. McGonigal reports that for the past 10 years she has been teaching that stress makes people sick.  However, she changed her approach towards stress after reading a study.  She discovered that indeed, stress is harmful, but only when people believe it’s harmful.  Below are the most relevant points in her talk. 1.  If we believe that the physiological sensations and feelings we experience when we are stressed are h

Some Quick Parenting Lessons for the Duchess of Cambridge

8.29.13

[View original article published in Psych Central here] I imagine that even Kate Middleton (the Duchess of Cambridge in England’s monarchy) will experience her son, Prince George, throwing temper tantrums when he doesn’t get his way or is asked to do something he doesn’t want to do. The prince, despite his royal heritage and training in comportment, might even be bossy with other children his age. Do you sometimes feel like you’ve tried everything, and aren’t sure if your child will ever attain self-control? Being a parent is challenging; when you have a strong-willed child it can be a source of serious stress and conflict. Here are some suggestions to help: Awareness. It’s been said that before you can change a behavior, you must first be

7 Ways to Help Your Anxious Child

8.27.13

When children are afraid about the unknown (new school, new grade, new house, etc), how do you handle it?  Do you reassure them and say, “it’ll be okay, don’t worry about it” or do you try to help them process their thoughts and feelings?  Our children need to know we understand how they feel.  Don’t try to fix the worry or dismiss it; instead, validate their feelings and empathize with them.  Here are additional ideas to help you with this process. 1.  Read: “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” to get your child thinking about caterpillars and butterflies. 2.   Invite your child to draw a caterpillar, a cocoon, and a butterfly. 3.  The other day I was helping one of my young clients with her fears.  I decided to use my caterpillar/butterfly puppe

Anxiety in the United States

8.12.13

Take a quick look at America’s state of mind:  Most likely you know more than one person who is suffering from anxiety. Are they doing anything about it?  Are they getting the right help? Show them this infographic from OnlinePsychologyDegree.net and encourage them to seek help. There is no reason to suffer in silence.

Got anxiety? Don’t relax!

8.6.13

As Sophia came into my office she said, “I don’t know what’s going on, but in the past few days I’ve been feeling miserable. My arms and legs are tense, my fingers and toes are numb, my stomach is in constant pain, and I feel like two walls are crushing my head on each side. My face feels like a dripping faucet of sweat and my heart is ready to jump out of my body anytime.” As I spoke with her, it was evident she was experiencing a severe anxiety episode that was lasting too long. She said she didn’t understand why it was happening; she denied having negative thoughts and was having a difficult time speaking. I had previously taught her some basic Mindfulness exercises and suggested we do them right then. We began with deep breathing as she

Improve Your Mood in a Hurry

6.6.13

[View original article, published in PsychCentral, here] One week not long ago, I found myself busier than normal and unable to do my daily workouts. I didn’t worry because I knew I would get back to my routine the following week. But something “strange” happened to me. The last time I ran on my treadmill had been Friday; five days later, I was not my typical self. You could ask my husband! Nothing that he said or did was “good enough.” Something had come over me. One day a stranger at the grocery store said, “You look exhausted.” I wasn’t sure how to respond. I seemed to unload all my frustrations on my loved ones. Before getting home I would do some positive self-talk: “Count your blessings. You have a wonderful husband. There is no reaso

“No one has what I have, so it must be me…”

6.1.13

Ron was on the verge of tears as he asked me, “Do other people with OCD have violent and aggressive thoughts? He refused to tell me what his thoughts were on the first session.  I told him he didn’t have to talk about it yet if he didn’t want to.  However, I reminded him that if he wanted the right kind of treatment, he would need to tell me about the thoughts that were distressing him. He said he had not been able to find much literature regarding OCD and violent thoughts.  He said that what he had found was so minimal that he believed he was unique with his particular obsessions.  He held a book in his hands and said, “I bought this book that talks about all types of OCD, and there are only two pages with the topic of violent thoughts.   

Mindset Family Therapy

The Power of Vulnerability and OCD….

5.27.13

Brené Brown’s presentation resonates with me in many ways. As I hear her words while wearing my OCD therapist hat, I believe individuals struggling with OCD could benefit greatly from her perspective. These are some of the points I’d like to emphasize: 1. She talks about the shame people experience because they believe they may not “be good enough.”  They fear that if others see their true selves, they won’t be worthy of connection. –In my practice, I help my clients who may be experiencing this shame and fear.  They have often formed negative core beliefs. I help them identify them and work through them so their treatment can be successful. 2. In her research she found that “whole-hearted people” have a strong sense of courage to be imperf

My Top 10 Most Recommended Books

4.8.13

When my young clients’ parents and adult clients wish to go the extra mile, they ask for book recommendations.  Here is my list: Children’s Books: 1.      Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes. This book has been one of my client’s favorites  Wemberly is a little mouse that worries about everything.  My client adults, teens and children smile as they read it because they can totally identify with Wemberly.  2.      My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss, Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher. I use this book to introduce the topic of feelings.  Children know Dr. Seuss books and enjoy seeing the pictures of various animals illustrating different feelings.  This is a great book to emphasize it’s normal to have different feelings.  3.     I Love You

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