Leaping Over the Assertiveness Hurtle

Asserting yourself can be one of the most challenging communication skills to master, especially if you’re dealing with a defensive person or someone who verbally agrees with your requests, but never actually follows through.

In response, people who have unsuccessfully asserted themselves often give up or become angry. They react by ignoring issues, fixing the problems themselves, or losing their tempers. The first two approaches may seem to work on a short-term basis, but not in the long run. When people push down their own needs, anger and resentment often follow, which can lead to physical and emotional problems (such as headaches and depression). And when people react by losing their temper by shouting and/or calling someone names, the other party will often become even more defensive and uncooperative.
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Ketamine: A Miracle Drug for Depression?

A team of researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently discovered why the drug ketamine may act as a rapid antidepressant.

Ketamine is best known as an illicit, psychedelic club drug. Often referred to as “Special K” or a “horse tranquilizer” by the media, it has been around since the 1960s and is a staple anesthetic in emergency rooms and burn centers. In the last 10 years, studies have shown that it can reverse -- sometimes within hours or even minutes -- the kind of 
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I Matter Too: Self-Compassion in Action

“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.” - Jack Kornfield
Raise your hand if you are a caregiver, either personally or professionally. Do you spend your days looking after the wellbeing of family, friends and/or clients? At the end of a long day or an even longer week, do you feel "all gived out"? As a therapist and consummate caregiver in most of my relationships, I would often admit that my compassion meter was running a quart low. I would find myself feeling impatient and annoyed with the drama that swirled around me. That’s when I knew I needed to examine the areas in my life in which I was neglecting that which I was showering on others.
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Can You Forgive Yourself?

“My problem stemmed from not forgiving myself.” – Shannon A. Thompson
Each of us has done things we’re not particularly proud of. It could have been something major that brought great harm or pain to another. Maybe it was some trivial matter, an action we didn’t think all that much of initially but later learned had consequences. The human tendency is to internalize the
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Grief and Loss

To Succeed in Marriage, Clear the Decks

Do you have unfinished business? Most of us do. It’s important to gain a sense of closure about a past relationship in order to succeed in a new one.    

Closure, in the psychological sense, means “the state of experiencing an emotional conclusion to a difficult life event.” 1 Typical situations that call for closure are the loss of a romantic partner, spouse, or parent. Another can involve grieving the absence of a healthier home environment in which one was raised.  
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Inspiration & Hope

Can You Have Too Much Self-Esteem?

The time, place and culture we grow up in affects everything we experience going forward.

For those who came of age when obedience ranked supreme - when “what do you know, you’re just a kid” was a given, when harsh external censors (that subsequently became our own internal censors) destroyed one’s self-confidence -- the self-esteem movement was welcomed as a breath of fresh air.
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13 Reasons Why … You Should Stay Alive

The Netflix show 13 Reasons Why has definitely caused some recent controversy. Some feel that the show encourages teens to think about suicide as a viable option to deal with their problems while others feel it spotlights the issues of youth suicide, bullying, and sexual assault which plague our society. What’s important is that the show has people talking, especially about the taboo subject of suicide and we’re overdue for this discussion.

There’s a stigma to suicide which is perpetuated by the silence surrounding it. We need to break this silence so those suffering will feel safe reaching out for help.
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Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: May 23, 2017

How much energy do you spend on your physical health? Many of us devote a lot of time to fixing our outward appearance, but neglect our emotional health.

It takes but a simple mind-shift.

The next time you decide to go out to get fit, think about the emotional benefits. Spend less energy on worrying about your thighs and more about how you feel. Instead of taking an intense class to get fab abs, consider a hike or walk with a friend. And change your attitude about food by becoming less obsessed with how much fat and calories are in what you're eating and more aware of how the foods you eat make you feel.

To be emotionally well, we simply need to tune in. Stay awake while reading our posts this week and you may even discover the answers to your questions like whether your love interest is a narcissist, your co-worker is exhibiting traits common in bipolar disorder and if you're in a toxic relationship.
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Anxiety and Panic

Slow Down for Quick Stress Relief

“For fast-acting relief try slowing down.” – Lily Tomlin
It sounds much too simple and easy, but slowing down really does work like a magic pill to help reduce stress. Think about it. When you’re in a hurry, you’re much more likely to be anxious, trying to cut corners, looking for the quickest way to get the job done, and worried that you might not get everything finished that you have left on your list to do. This ratchets up the pressure you feel to perform, increases blood pressure and elevates heart rate -- and produces added
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How to Be with Sadness

The thought of going to a funeral used to be a terrifying prospect for me. Walking into a room filled with sadness and grief evoked -- well -- an intense desire not to go. Anxiety was all I could feel. It obscured the feelings I wanted to have like sadness and compassion. And, I secretly felt ashamed that I didn’t have “the right” feelings.

Core emotions, like sadness, are evolutionarily designed survival programs that all of us have. They are hard-wired deep in the middle part of the brain and arise involuntarily depending on what is going on in our immediate environment. 
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