Inspiration & Hope

The Most Powerful Question You Will Ever Be Asked

I am a therapist. My job is to talk to people and help them to solve their problems. Throughout the course of therapy I ask clients many, many questions.

Questions are the heart of therapy, as they require an individual to think. That thinking process stimulates the brain and perhaps can provide a new way of seeing an old problem. Some questions are deep, such as “what do you believe is the meaning of life?” and some are not quite as profound, such as, “What is your favorite TV show?”

There is one question though, that I ask clients early and often. It’s a question that is pervasive in my sessions and becomes part of my regular conversations with my clients. I will ask a client within the first twenty minutes of the first session, “What do you want?”
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Habits

The Remarkable Power of Momentum: Using It to Change Your Life One Small Step at a Time

I’ve always been thrilled by the feeling of a plane taking off. No matter how often I fly I am amazed by the experience of the plane barreling down the runway with increasing velocity until it reaches such speeds that it begins to lift into the sky.

That feeling of becoming airborne, of the momentum of takeoff, is nothing short of incredible. But I have to go no farther than the local soccer field or basketball court to witness the power of momentum. As a spectator of many high school sports over the years, I find it fascinating to witness how powerful momentum is on the field. Sometimes all it takes is one goal, or basket, or home run, to completely change the energy of the game and send a team that had been struggling to score, to ultimate victory.
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Bullying

Transgender Trauma

Where did the idea come from that it is acceptable to hate or judge someone because of their gender identity? I spoke with a transwoman today who fears leaving her home since she has been verbally attacked and threatened with physical harm. She has also been criticized by others who are trans because she has not embraced a gender binary.

A few years ago, she began the transition to what she perceives as her true self and not the gender assigned at birth as male. She had lived as a man for much of her life, married and had three children; all of whom she loves and who are supportive. She is a professional who lost her job, once she came out and is now seeking other employment, albeit with trepidation.
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Children and Teens

‘Help Me Figure Myself Out’: The Paved Road to the Adolescent Mind

“What do I do? I don’t know what to do with him anymore!” This is one of the many scenarios of a frantic parent knocking on the therapist’s door. Teenage years are tough, let’s not kid ourselves. We have been there, we remember.

In my practice I’ve consulted numerous parents on teens’ presenting problems such as: indifference, apathy, resistance, verbal/physical aggressiveness, destructive behavior, mood swings and a complete emotional shutdown expressed by their teenage sons and daughters.
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Bipolar

How to Find Accurate, Evidence-Based Information on Mood Disorders


If I had to choose just one piece of advice to give to the person disabled by depression or any mood disorder, it would be this: Work with the right professionals and seek out accurate, evidence-based information.

In 2006, having spent years absorbing inaccurate information and working with amateurs, I needed a miracle. I was dangerously close to taking my life. I made an appointment with the
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Addiction

Repaving the Road

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.” - Lewis Carroll
Yesterday, I spent 12 hours sitting in my therapy office as I worked with clients who brought with them, a collective steamer trunk of challenges, trauma history, pain, triumphs to celebrate, healing stories, insights, and wisdom. Thank goodness for those last few items, since if all I saw were the first, I’m not sure how I could have continued my career for the 38 years I have logged. If calculated in dog years, that would equal 342 turns of the calendar pages.
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Anxiety and Panic

All Roads Lead to Therapy

December 2016 arrived, and I had given the year all that was left in me. Most of the year was spent cycling in and out of depressive episodes, battling severe loneliness, and questioning if moving across the country was a grave mistake. The pains of the year brought one realization to light, I could no longer go through life’s journey alone anymore. I needed something beyond that motivational speech from a good friend. I needed more than the insight that a caring coworker could provide. I needed help… I needed professional help. It was time to return to therapy.
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General

How to Mindfully Fire Toxic Friends & Loved Ones: A Shrink’s Guide to Setting Boundaries

"Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it" - unknown 

As a Manhattan-based psychotherapist working with a high-functioning adult population, I am always surprised to encounter a repetitive theme in my office. People, no matter how smart, successful, and savvy, find it impossible to break up with their toxic jobs, relationships, and friends. Clients repeatedly walk into my practice frustrated with their life-draining, dysfunctional relationships or jobs.
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