Books Articles

3 Insights from Artists on the Creative Process

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

3 Insights from Artists on the Creative Process “Creativity is a gift, from life to us,” according to Tom Sturges in his book Every Idea is a Good Idea: How Songwriters and Other Working Artists Get It Done.

It exists in various forms and flavors, but all of us have it. And when we tap into our creativity, he writes, it is then that “we are most human.”

Owning Our Dark Sides

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Owning Our Dark Sides All of us have a dark side. This dark side includes qualities we don’t dare reveal to others. It’s the traits we are ashamed of and embarrassed about. It’s the traits others have rejected. It’s the traits we believe deem us undeserving or unworthy of love.

You may be judgmental, weak, angry, lazy, selfish or controlling. You may hate this about yourself. Or you might’ve buried these traits so deep you don’t even realize they exist.

Powerful Questions to Inspire Positive Change

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

Powerful Questions to Inspire Positive ChangeGood questions can be powerful in life-changing ways. They can spark exciting ideas and inventions. They can spark personal discoveries, which lead to fulfilling, meaningful lives.

According to historian David Hackett Fischer, questions “are the engines of intellect — cerebral machines that convert curiosity into controlled inquiry.”

Author and journalist Warren Berger includes Fischer’s quote in his fascinating book A More Beautiful Question. In it, he shares inspiring, interesting stories of people who’ve asked powerful questions and created innovative businesses and changed their and others’ lives for the better.

The Power of Curiosity: 3 Strategies for Staying Curious

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

Flickr Creative Commons / James JordanAs kids we’re insatiably inquisitive. Everything — from cups to cupboards to dirt to our own hands — fascinates us. But for many of us, as we start getting older, we lose our appetite for curiosity.

And yet curiosity is powerful. It adds color, vibrancy, passion and pleasure to our lives. It helps us solve stubborn problems. It helps us do better in school and work. And even more so, it is our birthright, as Ian Leslie writes in his book Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends on It.

You Have the Right to Say No

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

You Have the Right to Say NoSo many of us end up saying yes to activities, events and even ideas only to regret it. We end up answering questions that are too personal or downright rude. We let people into our lives who don’t deserve to be there.

Or we say no, and then worry — endlessly — if we really have the right to decline a request or invitation, to stop spending less time with a friend.

According to authors James Altucher and Claudia Azula Altucher in their new book The Power of No: Because One Little Word Can Bring Health, Abundance and Happiness, not only do we have the right to say no, we have an entire Bill of Rights for doing so.

Overcoming Shame to Connect with Your True Self

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Overcoming Shame to Connect with Your True SelfEach of us experiences shame.

“[I]t is part of our human condition,” writes author and therapist Darlene Lancer, LMFT, in Conquering Shame and Codependency: 8 Steps to Freeing the True You.

Without good coping skills, we may feel like failures when we don’t meet our own or others’ expectations, she writes. In fact, shame can even prevent us from being our true selves. Shame often starts in childhood. It can even get passed down from generation to generation.

Dealing with Depression: Mindfully Turning Toward Negative Thoughts & Feelings

Monday, August 4th, 2014

depression-have-an-upsideDoes this sound familiar?

I don’t want to feel this way. When I’m anxious, I start thinking of ways I can be in control. So many little things have been bothering me lately, which only makes me madder at myself for letting them bother me. I wish I were different. When I get upset, I start thinking about what I did wrong. About what’s wrong with me.

These are all examples of aversion. “Aversion is the drive to avoid, escape, get rid of, numb out from, or destroy things we experience as unpleasant,” according to authors John Teasdale, Mark Williams and Zindel Segal in The Mindful Way Workbook: An 8-Week Program to Free Yourself from Depression and Emotional Distress.

What Really Works in Disciplining Your Teen

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

What Really Works in Disciplining Your TeenParenting teens is tricky. Some parents, worried their teens will make bad decisions, micromanage their behavior. They set a slew of rules and parent with iron fists, lectures and fear-based tactics.

This, however, tends to drive teens away and disconnects them from their parents. In the second edition of his book The Available Parent: Expert Advice for Raising Successful and Resilient Teens and Tweens, clinical psychologist and parenting expert John Duffy, Ph.D, advocates for a different approach.

Of course, discipline is important for teens. It provides structure and boundaries, writes Duffy. But he distinguishes effective discipline from punishment. Punishment triggers arguments and cuts communication. Effective discipline, however, “comes from a calm, centered, loving place.”

10 Ways to Boost Your Energy

Monday, July 21st, 2014

10 Ways to Boost Your Energy“Energy is your most precious resource,” writes Susannah Seton in the introduction of Everyday Energy Boosters: 365 Tips and Tricks to Help You Feel Like a Million Bucks, co-written with Sondra Kornblatt.

“Without it, you simply go through the motions of your life.” With energy, she notes, we’re able to engage in our work and relationships, and bask in the joy of being alive, “our birthright.”

3 Mindful Ways to Navigate Anger

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

3 Mindful Ways to Navigate AngerAnger is a natural and normal emotion. It’s also a valuable one. It lets us know when our boundaries have been crossed in all areas of our lives.

However, anger also can distract us. We may become lost in our anger, blind to the blessings around us.

How Depression Damages Your Relationship & What You Can Do

Friday, July 4th, 2014

How Depression Damages Your Relationship & What You Can DoDepression is a difficult illness that darkens your thoughts and feelings. It saps your self-esteem, energy, motivation and interest in anything. It’s also tough on romantic relationships.

According to psychologist Shannon Kolakowski, PsyD, in her book When Depression Hurts Your Relationship: How to Regain Intimacy and Reconnect with Your Partner When You’re Depressed, depression diminishes your ability to connect with your partner and creates doubts about your union. Symptoms such as anger and irritability can create tension between partners.

3 Unique Techniques for Navigating a Negative Inner Voice

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

3 Unique Techniques for Navigating a Negative Inner VoiceEveryone has a negative inner voice. For some this voice speaks up occasionally. For others the voice is a frequent visitor.

According to Steve Andreas in his book Transforming Negative Self-Talk, “An internal voice may remind us of past failures, sorrows, or disappointments, torture us with criticism or verbal abuse, describe frightening or unpleasant futures, or disturb us in other ways.”

A negative inner voice can make us feel hopeless and helpless, because we can’t control the demoralizing thoughts brewing in our brains. However, there is something you can do — many things, in fact.

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