Therapy and the Upside of Anger

Anger has a bad reputation because people equate feeling angry with doing angry things. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Feelings are not facts, nor are they a call to action. Feelings are not good or bad. They’re just comfortable, uncomfortable or neutral. The art of anger is to be so angry that you can hit someone in the head, but you don’t hit anyone, or cause any harm. Instead, you find a healthy way to express your anger, where nobody is harmed, including you. The art of anger is to experience it, and still make good choices.

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Child Sexual Abuse - The Warning Signs

Since my last blog, some people have asked about the possible warning signs that a child may be being abused or is at risk. Children and adolescents may show signs they are being sexually abused. No one sign means a child was sexually abused. But if several appear, it may be time to ask questions or seek help. It’s also important to remember that some of these signs can show up as a result of other stressors in a child’s life, including parental divorce, death of someone close, or other anxiety-provoking or traumatic events.

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Inspiring Courage, #MeToo and Shining the Spotlight on Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse was in the news again last week. A parade of remarkably courageous women testified in the sentencing hearing of former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who was convicted of sexually abusing scores of teenage and pre-teen female athletes over decades. Nassar also worked for the U.S. Olympic Committee, and his victims included Olympic Gold Medalists...Tragic though it is, this is not an unusual story...With the rise of the #MeToo movement, we’re beginning to witness just how prevalent this social epidemic really is.

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Self-Compassion and Kindness for Healing and Motivation

So, here’s the question: If someone you love is struggling with depression, anxiety, falling short of their own expectations, would you offer that person compassion? Might you offer something like, “you’re doing the best you can, it’s ok. I’m here for you.” But what if you're the one who's having a difficult passage. Can you offer yourself the same compassion and kindness you would offer to anyone else? What would that be like?

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Taming the Mind - Improving Self-Esteem

Let’s start by being kind to ourselves, by remembering that we are good people. Perhaps we have been wounded somehow. That is not a referendum on our character or ourselves as human beings. The negative thoughts we have about ourselves are simply the waste byproducts of difficult or traumatic experience. We can train ourselves, train our minds to remember we are good and whole and well, even when we don’t feel that way. We can start by directing our thoughts to our wellness and affirm that we are good people.

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Breathe Easy for PTSD and Stress Relief

During a meditation retreat I attended, one of the teachers read a teaching in which the Buddha reminded us to "breathe easy."

It's easy to forget about our breathing. In fact most of us never think about it at all, unless we're having trouble with it. But if you pay attention to your breath, you may be surprised by how much it changes as your state of mind changes. You might also notice that you can change your state of mind by changing the way you breathe.

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Mindfulness-based Therapy for Trauma and PTSD

Anxiety and other symptoms that accompany trauma and PTSD come in many forms - from manageably low levels of agitation to high levels of stress, intrusive memories, panic attacks and flashbacks that can make life feel unmanageable. Mindfulness can be an effective tool in trauma treatment to help manage these difficult episodes, and help sufferers learn to stay grounded and recover more quickly.

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EMDR and Trauma Therapy

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a comprehensive approach to trauma treatment. People who have been traumatized experience profound and disturbing symptoms, including anxiety, depression and disturbing and disruptive memories. The relationship between trauma and memory can be difficult to navigate. We don’t always know what triggers a traumatic memory. But for trauma survivors, such memories can feel intrusive and re-traumatizing. It can feel as if the traumatic incident is happening again.

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