talk therapy

What better time than the start of a new year to make change that can positively affect the rest of your life? Let’s assume you have made that brave decision, and talk therapy is part of your plan. What do you expect when you are expecting talk therapy? If you want to know how I do it, read on.

People that have never experienced talk therapy often feel a tad apprehensive about getting started. There are lots of reasons. Some wonder if it will do any good at all, and others have the odd fear they won’t be able to ‘do it right.’ Some people simply don’t know how it proceeds or what is expected of them, and they are anxious about that. Still others believe they will receive all the instructions from the therapist about how to change and be on their way—with no real understanding of the courage, persistence, and work that real change takes. And some believe a pill is the answer.

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grit

I am waiting to return safely to my home in Wilmington, North Carolina. We are currently cut off by flood waters. My husband and I evacuated from Hurricane Florence and the destruction it left behind. While I wait, I am reading the book Grit (2016) by Angela Duckworth. She is a psychologist and researcher at University of Pennsylvania who studies achievement, and has a TED Talk you may wish to hear on the subject of grit. It’s been on my list for a while, and this seemed like a fairly pointed time to dive in.

Grit sounds self explanatory, but if you think you have it, you may be engaging in oversimplification. I expect many who find themselves cleaning up and rebuilding in the aftermath of the horrific destruction by Florence are going to experience either its lack, or its presence, in their lives.

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talk therapy

It’s pretty standard knowledge that you go to therapy to change something. But changing a way of thinking or a behavior we don’t like is just not that easy, is it? And it is especially difficult to change our reactions to other’s mayhem. If it was we’d all do it and be on our merry way. Let me share three signs you need therapy.

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panic attack

I can’t stand feeling this way! My heart is racing. My stomach is churning. I’m sweating like a racehorse. I can’t stop! What if it never stops? Your thoughts are meanwhile trying to keep up with your racing heart at 160 beats a minute and you are well on your way to a panic attack.

This is what is happening in the more extreme moments of panic. And the first thing you must learn to do is neutralize these BIG feelings, and deflate the strength of those thoughts. It is the first step in quieting the limbic system, your central nervous system, so that you can stop a panic attack before it becomes full blown.

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ageism

You can call me honey—if you’re my husband. What is this about? I recently shared an article from Next Avenue on the harm it does to older persons when they are called honey or sweetie. These terms contribute to ageism according to the article. Boy did I get some pushback on my stance of avoiding those words! My readers contributed great insight on the topic, but many feel it is Southern custom, and that I should just lighten up 😉

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sarcasm

Sarcasm is an odd issue to tackle. The reason is that it is highly contextual, often subtle, and totally ubiquitous. My title says “Sarcasm is contempt” but that is 100% dependent on the context in which it is being leveled. Here is an example:

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procrastination

There are many reasons why people engage in procrastination. Here’s my opinion of the top five, and how to get off dead center when you’re “in the stew.”

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change

I was listening to a report on NPR news about street vendors in Los Angeles this morning. The city council recently voted unanimously to legalize this small business sector that has operated for years without licensing, receiving many fines, violations and sometimes more serious consequences like deportation. The street vendors themselves very much support having the change to operate as legitimate businesses, but an alternate opinion comes from restaurant and store owners who have retail storefronts. They explain that often the street vendors in front of their establishments charge much lower prices than they can afford to due to their obvious overhead expenses, and create physical and visual barriers in front of their storefronts.

Quite a conundrum. Read more

addiction

I feel so compelled to share this piece from the New York Times with you. Current brain research demonstrates the choices made by young addicts are made for reasons that demand much more compassion than relegating it to a moral problem or a progressive illness. I find it so hopeful for young adults in particular.

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buying time

Last week I hinted about the simplest way to start a habit change. This is a subject that has been written about extensively, and remains difficult for most people. Why?

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