How To Make New Year’s Resolutions Stick— Achieving More in 2021!
It’s a new year, and for many of us we are thinking about what we want for ourselves, our family and the world in 2021. Having survived 2020 we probably want something different than what we endured for the past 9 months. Maybe we want health, travel, connection, stability, prosperity, or peace. For many of us it could be all of the above. But how do we go from wishing for these things to actually getting them?Being a research-based person I turned to science to see what researchers have […]
Emotional Regulation Coaching for Kids
Emotion Coaching for Social Emotional Development by Dr. Jamie LewisOne of the most important skills we learn as children is emotion regulation. A well-regulated child will not upset easily, and when upset, will learn to regulate and return to baseline relatively quickly. When we learn to regulate emotions as a young child, we are more likely to handle overwhelming experiences as adults. Adulthood is accompanied by a variety of stressful situations (e.g., finances, work conflict, relati […]
Why We Love Horror and True Crime
It’s that time of year again where we (pre-COVID) should be lining up outside of haunted houses, spending hours crafting scary costumes and hosting Halloween III movie parties. All to scare ourselves (and others) silly. But why? Why do we like being scared? What draws us to the dark side of things where people are stalked, maimed or even killed? This delight in discomfort goes waaaay back. Clearly the Victorians were having a heyday with it with stories of Jack the Ripper, Frankenste […]
Loving-Kindness Meditation (LKM) — Beating Stress, Loneliness and Isolation While Sheltering In Place
These are surely trying times. I have been in practice for 25 years and never seen the level of interest in therapy that I see now. Everyone is stressed, isolated, lonely and frustrated. Some folks are scared or worried.And yet access to our usual supports– churches, synagogues, mosques, neighborhood BBQ’s, family reunions, book clubs, bowling nights, even date nights are on hold or have changed so drastically that they are hardly recognizable. But as humans our need to connect persists […]
Why do people lie? Is Lying Normal?
When my son was little he told whoppers. And not just occasionally. At one point it seemed that every other sentence that came out of his mouth was pure fabrication. As a parent I have to admit I was a bit concerned. So I did some research. And felt a lot better…Here’s the good and bad news. About half of us lie. A study done in 2009 showed that lying does vary– some people don’t really tell any, some tell a few and some tell many. The good news is that the prolific liars are rare– ab […]
How to Manage Anxiety
Anxiety disorders are the most common psychiatric illness in the United States. Around 40 million people struggle with anxiety that is at debilitating levels. That’s one in five people! So what’s going on in anxiety? Basically your sympathetic nervous system, which is designed to help you fight or run from predators (think a bear chasing you in the woods) has gone a bit haywire. Things that should not provoke this response (racing heart, dilated pupils, cold sweat, massive amou […]
What is Narcissism?
Many of us have heard of the myth of Narcissus– the Greek hunter who saw his reflection in a body of water and was so overcome by his own beauty that he fell in love with the image and could not bear to leave it. He ended up dying, although the means vary from one version to the next. But the basic idea is that Narcissus could not love anyone other than himself.Fast forward to now, 2019, and we can all attest to the longevity of the Narcissistic character. So I thought I would try to shed some […]
Self-Talk: Does It Matter?
As a research-oriented person who spent A LOT of years in college I am a bit inclined to think that if something is simple it may not be very effective. I am often fond of saying to a new client “if your problem was easy to fix you would not be in my office!”. And while on the whole I do believe that to be true, I have had a humbling experience with one particular “intervention” that is, at least in practice, quite simple. That intervention is monitoring and changing “self-talk”. So […]
Highly Sensitive People- It’s In The Genes!
It should be no surprise with the rapid advances in genetics these days that they have identified a gene that may help to explain what a lot of folks call the Highly Sensitive Person. A researcher at the University of California Berkeley, Dr. Levenson, postulates that a variation of the serotonin transporter gene on chromosome 17 may may account for people who feel their emotions very acutely. This serotonin transport gene can have two common variations– the “short allele” or the “long a […]
How to Expand Your Emotional Capacity
First I need to give credit to the originator of this metaphor, a friend and mentor Dr. Stephen Finn. Dr. Finn is a psychologist in practice here in Austin, Texas and is on faculty at UT Austin. He has mentored many psychologists over the years and is a world-renown expert on psychological assessment. If you are interested in psychological assessment you may find his website, www.therapeuticassessment.com, of interest. Now that I have given credit, let me explain what “saucering” […]