Archives For Psychotherapy

Recently someone wrote and asked me the question, “Why do I have anxiety and depression?” I’m going to answer that question today. I’m also going to tell you what you can do to decrease your symptoms of anxiety or depression.

Overcoming Anxiety and Depression

Before I start, just let me say that I’ve been a psychotherapist for over 30 years, but I wasn’t always a therapist. I started out being very anxious and depressed, just like some of you who are watching today.

My most important lessons about anxiety and depression didn’t come out of the psychology books that I studied—they came from my own experience of struggling to overcome my own anxiety and depression.

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A few months ago I wrote a blog called “How to Heal Your Body, Mind and Spirit,” which included a book review of Dr. Lissa Rankin’s recent book “Mind Over Medicine.”

Today I’ve got a special treat for you. Dr. Rankin has given a TED Talk that I want to share with you. In it, she presents wonderful news for all of us about the fascinating connection between our minds and bodies.

The talk is just 18 minutes long. Find a time when you won’t be interrupted and then sit back, relax and ENJOY! I know you’re going to love it!

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Letting Go of the Past

September 19, 2013 — 4 Comments

Did you know that symptoms of anxiety and depression are the result of unresolved hurts and traumas from the past? I’ve found in my psychotherapy practice that when people regularly practice letting go of the past, their symptoms naturally decrease.

A lot of people have trouble letting go of the past. One of my readers asked me a question about that recently. The question was, “How do I let go of past hurts and traumas and become the person I want to be?”

That’s actually two questions, so I’m going to answer them one at a time. The first part is “How do I let go of past hurts and traumas?” That’s a big one, isn’t it?

Letting Go Isn’t Always Easy

Most of you have been told at one time or another to let go of the past and move forward. You’ve probably heard people say, “The past is past. You can’t do anything about that now. Just let go of it!” Does that sound familiar to you?

The problem is, if it was as easy to let go as they make it sound, you probably would have done it already.

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Someone wrote me recently and asked, “Why doesn’t my anxiety or depression ever get better?” That’s a million dollar question, isn’t it?

I’m going to answer that question today and I’m also going to tell you what you can do to overcome your anxiety or depression, so stay tuned!


So let’s get to your question: Why doesn’t my anxiety and depression ever get better?

What I’ve found in my psychotherapy practice is that there are generally 3 reasons why you’re not getting better.

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As a psychotherapist, I regularly hear clients tell me they don’t want to cry. Many clients believe that by simply talking about the challenges in their lives, things will improve somehow.

When I hear a client say she (or he) doesn’t want to cry, I know my job for the moment is to help her feel safe and comfortable. I want to help her open up and express her feelings, in whatever way those feelings need to be expressed.

Tears and Laughter

But even though I can’t tell my client what she (or he) is not ready to hear, I know in my heart that when I help her express her true feelings, her honest expression will almost always lead to laughter.

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The JoyIAm Process is an alternative treatment for stress, anxiety, depression or poor self esteem that brings you back in touch with your true, authentic self. It utilizes your body’s natural way of releasing the emotional pain from difficult experiences in your life.

How to Practice Emotional Healing

The JoyIAm Process involves learning to identify, express and release your feelings, so that you naturally come back to love and peace inside yourself. Usually it begins with getting in touch with tears or anger that you’ve been holding back and often it ends with laughing and having fun.

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One of the things I love to do is to share books that I find inspiring with people that I care about. That’s why I have a special treat for you today.

How to Heal Your Body, Mind and Spirit

It’s a beautiful book that just came out last week by a non-conventional physician named Dr. Lissa Rankin, called Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself.

Getting off of Medications

Dr. Lissa Rankin started by healing her own body. When she began her research, she was taking 7 medications, getting weekly allergy shots, and she had undergone surgery on her cervix.

Yet, despite all the medical interventions, her blood pressure was still out of control, her allergies were so bad she could hardly leave her home, her heartbeat was skipping and her cervix was still showing precancerous changes, even after her surgery. She described her condition as a “hot mess on the way to an early heart attack,” and says that her doctors didn’t know what to do with her.

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I attended a Counseling Training for Attitudinal Healing last weekend. As I listened to the speakers at the training and what they offered, I thought of you, the lovely readers on my blog. I thought that you might enjoy hearing more about Attitudinal Healing too.

Jerry Jamplosky

Dr. Jerry Jampolsky, a psychiatrist from Tiburon, California, founded the International Center for Attitudinal Healing (ICAH) in 1975. The center was based on the belief that LOVE is the most powerful healing force in the world.

Attitudinal Healing

Attitudinal Healing is a self-healing method that allows us to remove self-imposed blocks. It focuses on letting go of our fearful attitudes, like our judgments of ourselves and others, that hinder our experience of love, peace and happiness in our lives.

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People who have anxiety disorder often have sudden and repeated periods of fear that last for several minutes. These symptoms are called panic attacks. Panic attacks happen when someone has a fear of disaster or losing control, even when there is no real danger.

How to Overcome Panic Attacks

Panic attacks often have very severe physical symptoms. Anyone who has experienced a panic attack knows how frightening and overwhelming they can be.

Symptoms of Panic Disorder

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (http://www.nimh.nih.gov), people with panic disorder may have:

  • Sudden and repeated attacks of fear
  • A feeling of being out of control during a panic attack
  • An intense worry about when the next attack will happen
  • A fear or avoidance of places where panic attacks have occurred in the past
  • Physical symptoms during an attack, such as a pounding or racing heart, sweating, breathing problems, weakness or dizziness, feeling hot or a cold chill, tingly or numb hands, chest pain, or stomach pain.

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The Magic of Love

February 27, 2013 — 2 Comments

Love is magical! Love can open doors in your life, it can take down walls that have been there for many years, it can heal wounded hearts. Love is like sunshine; it brings light into the dark places inside of you.

Love is Magical

Love is talked about, written about and sung about more than any other word in our language. Yet, wherever we look, there still seems to be a lack of love in the world.

Longing for Love

When I was young, I had an intense longing for love. Even though I didn’t understand the true meaning of love, somehow I knew that love was the missing piece in my life.

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I was doing therapy with a beautiful young woman recently when she looked at me with tears in her eyes and asked “What happened to my happily ever after?”

I was struck with the intensity of her emotional pain, but at the same time I realized how commonplace her feelings are.

Happily Ever After

Most of us grew up hearing fairy tales about how everything will work out someday. For little girls, we believe that someday our prince will come and everything will be beautiful after that. For boys, it’s expecting that someday you’ll be that knight in shining armor and save the day for your beautiful princess, and then you’ll both “live happily ever after.”

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When I was 17 years old, I was asked to give a speech at my high school graduation on the topic of my choice. The topic I chose was “What makes people happy?” I chose that topic because at that time, I wondered if anyone was really happy or if everyone was faking happiness like I was.

Chasing the Dream of Happiness

I quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thorough, Abraham Lincoln and many great philosophers who wrote about happiness down through the ages, but none of them answered my own burning questions. I had no idea at that time that pursuing my own happiness and helping others find happiness would become my life’s work.

Positive Psychology and the Happiness Frenzy

According to Psychology Today (www.psychologytoday.com), there is a ‘happiness frenzy’ going on in bookstores today. Carlin Flora reports that in 2008, there were 4,000 books published on happiness, while only 50 books were released on that topic in 2000.

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Give Unconditional Love

December 10, 2012 — 1 Comment

Love is a topic that is written about and sung about more often than any other word, yet, unfortunately, it is still misunderstood by the majority of people we encounter on a daily basis.

Love is the energy

From the time we are very young, we desperately yearn for love and often we’ll do anything and everything to be able to receive it, even if it means giving up who we really are.

What is Love?

In the process of psychotherapy, many people will tell me they don’t know what love is. Often my clients ask me sincerely to define the meaning of love.

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Learning the skills of Emotional Healing can be very valuable if you want to be a healthy, happy person.

Emotional Healing for Beginners 

But like anything else that is valuable and precious, it can be difficult to know where to start when you’re doing something you haven’t done before.

What is Emotional Healing?

Emotional Healing is an alternative therapy method that brings you back in touch with your true, authentic self. It involves learning how to identify, express and release your feelings so that you naturally come back to a feeling of love and inner peace. Often it begins with getting in touch with tears or anger that you’ve been holding back and generally it ends with laughing and having fun!

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The primary method that has been utilized by mental health professionals to treat anxiety and depression since the 1980s has been prescription medication. These prescriptions include antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications and other psychotropic drugs.

Why Emotional Healing Far Surpasses Medications

For many years we, as consumers, have been programmed through TV and media that if we had anxiety or depression, it meant that there was a ‘chemical imbalance’ in our brain. Although researchers have recently found that the chemical imbalance theory was never based on factual evidence, these repetitive TV and media commercials have greatly affected our American culture.

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Anxiety and depression have become major issues in our 21st century American culture. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 56 million Americans, or approximately 25% of adults over the age of 18, suffer from anxiety or depression in a given year (http://www.nimh.nih.gov).

 Shocking Statistics on Anxiety and Depression

Please consider these important facts for a moment:

  • Approximately 40 million American adults ages 18 and older, or about 18.1 percent of people in this age group in a given year, have an Anxiety Disorder.
  • Major Depressive Disorder affects approximately 14.8 million American adults, or about 6.7 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year.
  • Dysthymic disorder (a less severe depression) affects approximately 1.5 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year. This figure translates to about 3.3 million American adults.
  • Major Depressive Disorder is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages 15-44.

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Are you a naturally happy person? Or do you often feel sad and depressed? Most of us have heard about the importance of seeing the glass half full instead of seeing it half empty. We all know that positive, optimistic people are happier, healthier and more successful. But how does one go from feeling sad and depressed to being happy and light-hearted?

If you are feeling depressed right now, you probably feel doubtful that you could actually change. I do understand! I became a psychotherapist because I was once depressed myself. After I got better, I became fascinated with helping others get better too.

September 2012

I want you to know that if you are willing to work at it, you can definitely overcome your depression. Just because you’re feeling sad and depressed today doesn’t mean you have to live that way for the rest of your life. In my work as a psychotherapist, I’ve helped many people overcome sadness and depression. I know that you can do it too.

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Your marriage is in trouble. You don’t know what is wrong. You want more than anything to make it work. Reluctantly, you make the appointment for marriage counseling. You show up for the first interview feeling nervous and scared.

Many questions run through your mind. Will the counselor attack you? Will s/he tell you there’s no hope? Will s/he blame you for everything that went wrong? Will your partner tell you it’s all over?

marriage counseling

Feeling Safe and Relaxed with Marriage Counseling

Your marriage counselor welcomes you. S/he tries to make you feel safe and comfortable. S/he lets you know there is nothing to fear. You can relax and let down your guard. It’s safe to cry if you need to.

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The JoyIAm Process is a natural, alternative healing method that brings you back in touch with your true authentic self. It can transform stress, anxiety, depression or abuse issues into joy, self-esteem, inner peace and light-heartedness.

Learning to be Authentic

With the JoyIAm Process, you learn to identify, express and release your feelings, so that you naturally come back to love and peace inside yourself. Usually it begins with getting in touch with tears or anger that you’ve been holding back and often it ends with laughing and having fun.

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The secret to the JoyIAm Process is simple. By helping you learn to identify, express and release your natural feelings, it takes you to the root of your emotional issues and helps you to permanently resolve and release them.

Emotional Healing Transforms Your Life

The JoyIAm Process is natural; it’s safe; it’s effective; and most importantly, it starts to work immediately.

7 Common Approaches to Psychotherapy

There are 7 common approaches to psychotherapy available today:

  1. Antidepressant Medications
  2. Behavioral Therapy
  3. Cognitive Restructuring
  4. Positive Psychology
  5. Mindfulness Therapy
  6. Emotional Healing
  7. The JoyIAm Process

Let’s discuss them one at a time.

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