General Articles

5 More Tips for Increasing Your Self-Confidence

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

6 Famous People with Depression Who Inspire MeIn a previous post, we discussed five tips for increasing your self-confidence. Here are five more.

1. Speak your mind.

Being clear about what you want and need makes it much easier to set personal boundaries. Saying “no” sometimes gives the “yes” more meaning. Speaking up and setting boundaries does not necessarily mean you will never do anything to help others. It simply means that you are able to assess whether someone’s request is urgent or reasonable, and respond accordingly.

It is not necessary to become aggressive; there are acceptable ways to say what you need to say. Being truthful in a kind way shows a healthy sense of self-regard without unduly alienating others.

What is it Like to Be in Love?

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

hoffman-artI created this piece in 2004 as part of a heuristic research project in my second year of grad school at Southwestern College in Santa Fe, NM. The objective was to perform this qualitative research study to gain understanding about a topic of our choosing. My research topic was love. I specifically wanted to know what it was like to be in love. Looking back, my time in grad school was a period of falling in love with myself.

Each class I painted while considering the question, “What is it like to be in love?” Through the act of creating and witnessing the mirror image of my implicit beliefs I understood the experience of loving. I don’t remember any of my exact thoughts that arose while I painted. However, I do recall joy while working on this painting, peace upon its completion.

4 Ways a Child with Autism Affects Family Life

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

family grass blue skyAn autism diagnosis not only changes the life of the child diagnosed, but also that of family members. Parents of an autistic child have to bear a lot of stress owing to complicated therapy schedules, home treatments, and juggling job responsibilities and family commitments. There is also financial stress coming from the expensive therapies and treatments.

Such stress may affect family life in various adverse ways. Parents of autistic children need to meet the needs of their children, as well as address the needs of their family. Coping with the stresses involved in being parents to an autistic child can strengthen families and marriages, but this requires a great support system and a lot of hard work.

Why Healthy Relationships Always Have Boundaries & How to Set Boundaries in Yours

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

Families Engaged In Tug of War: How to Drop the RopeIn romantic relationships we often think of boundaries as a bad thing or simply unnecessary. Isn’t our partner supposed to anticipate our wants and needs? Isn’t that part of being in love? Aren’t boundaries callous? Don’t they interfere with the romance and spontaneity of a relationship?

Many of Ryan Howes’s clients assume that having boundaries means not having loving feelings toward their partner. But it’s actually the opposite.

All healthy relationships have boundaries. Howes, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist in Pasadena, Calif, defines a boundary as “the line where I end and someone else begins.”

How Personal Writing Can Positively Affect Mental Health

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

The Power of Writing: 3 Types of Therapeutic WritingWhen I write, I aim to get my work published and share my stories with others, hoping that it could leave an impact of some kind. If I can touch at least one person with my writing, I deem the whole process worth it.

“If I can string words together to explain life, in some small and meaningless way, that’s what I feel most authentic doing,” Abby Norman wrote in her essay on Medium. “Even if it’s nothing profound, even if it’s just a good joke — if someone reads the words they need for a moment, that’s enough.”

That sentiment instantly resonated.

Getting Over the Fear of Taking Medication for Depression

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

emergency-medicationsNine years ago I decided to wean off all my meds and take natural supplements instead.

One evening I was fixing a magnesium concoction, chatting with a friend. We were talking about my depression, and this new holistic route I was taking.

“You have everything you need inside you to get better,” she said.

Yeah, I suppose I do, I thought. I mean, why would God create you with some missing pieces?

Remembering ‘Parenthood’

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Parenthood TV showThe TV show “Parenthood” recently ended after six seasons and viewers bid goodbye to …

Introducing Practical Psychoanalysis

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Introducing Practical Psychoanalysis

The world of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic theory is one steeped in the very history of psychiatry, with some of the most recognizable names practicing it.

But modern psychoanalysis is different than psychoanalysis from a century ago. The process and techniques have been updated, so it’s not at all what is typically portrayed in old Hollywood movies.

6 Tips to Help You Through a Depressive Episode

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

How To Get Things Done When You’re Depressed So you’re doing okay, cruising right along. Suddenly you realize that you’re slipping into a depressive episode. Once that depressive state starts to hover over you like a dark cloud, remind yourself that it’s only temporary. You will get out of it.

It’s so much like a rollercoaster ride that it can make you physically ill as well.

Here are six helpful tips to get you through on not just a daily basis, but an hourly basis. Don’t look too far ahead too often — that can be overwhelming.

How to Multiply Your Time

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

green hourglass bigstLately whenever you ask someone how they’re doing, they likely mention how busy they are. That’s what I say. I’m guessing that’s what you say, too.

“I’m busy” just rolls off our tongues. And you probably are busy. All of us have long to-do lists, which only seem to swell and swell.

In his book Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time, Rory Vaden, bestselling author and co-founder of Southwestern Consulting, encourages us to stop talking about how busy we are. He used to do it all the time.

As he writes, “Your problem is not that you are too busy; your problem is that you don’t own your situation.”

Practice these Steps to Make More Heart-Centered Choices

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

Heart Shape

Often in my work I encourage people to create a target of all the things they want in their lives and we post them on one side of the room. These usually include words like: love, happiness, peace, health, adventure, abundance, spirituality, joy, family, travel, etc. I then invite them to create an equal target of all the things they don’t want and post those far less desirable experiences on the other side of the room. This list generally includes hatred, prejudice, jail, divorce, anger, fighting, disease, unplanned pregnancy, and addiction, to name a few.

I then ask my participants to self-observe and notice which way they spend most of their time “walking” with their words, thoughts and actions.

Funny as it may sound, it is shocking to discover that most of us unconsciously do things, say things, and think things that lead us the opposite way from where we want to go. We tend to create drama in our relationships when what we really want is peace, love and harmony.

Is ‘No Problem’ a Problem?

Saturday, February 21st, 2015

Relationship MaintenanceMany people seem to have replaced the gracious phrase “you’re welcome” with the expressions “no problem” or “no worries.” Sales clerks, food servers, resort personnel, and others say these phrases in response to being thanked for doing their job or a kind act.

What’s wrong with this?

The unconscious does not recognize a negative.

To prove this point, try this experiment: Imagine yourself being told right now, “Don’t think of a pink elephant.” Immediately, what do you think of? A pink elephant, of course. The unconscious does not recognize a negative, which in this case is the word, “don’t.” You hear, “Think of a pink elephant.”

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