Handling Emotional Crises during the Holidays

Although “seasons greetings” and “happy holidays” are buzzing right now, this time of year can feel subpar for many.

Desires are at an all time high and department stores don’t miss a beat feeding you full of reasons to buy this or that. The glamour of new purchases flirts with emotion, attaching a bigger-than-life fantasy that somehow buying something will magically lead to a greater state of happiness and satisfaction.

But you and I both know about the disappointment that comes after we’ve chased that thing and secured it. (more…)

Emotion in the Workplace: How to Talk & When to Balk

Emotion is a touchy subject. It can be written off as too touchy-feely, it can get very personal, and it can create vulnerability that is uncomfortable.

The problem with underestimating emotion is that it is a significant determining factor of the behavior of colleagues, family members, and ourselves. It creates conflict we want to avoid, and behavior that brings us together. (more…)

How to Innocently get in Your Own Way

Our brains are designed to self-preserve. When commuting down a busy highway and a semi-truck pulls into our lane, we don’t have time to consider, “OK, I’m going to either slam on my brakes or swerve here…which would be most appropriate?” Our brains automatically make the decision and put our bodies into action. Thank goodness!

In a life-threatening situation, we want our limbic system to kick in, to “save me”!

However, the hang-up of this perfectly designed process shows up in situations or relationships that are not necessarily life-threatening––when adrenaline pours into the body similar to the semi-truck experience, creating stress without resolution over long periods of time. (more…)

When You Feel as if You’ve Lost Your Way

I’m experiencing a pervasive inadequacy. This was the second line I wrote in an SOS email to a friend.

Are professionals supposed to confess stuff like this on a public blog? It’s risky, my ego tells me, but I feel I’m also risking something more dangerous if I don’t­–a belief that when looking at the life of someone else, it always appears good, or at the very least, somehow better than yours. (more…)

You Don’t See Babies in Therapy

Before humans think things about themselves – before we’re self conscious – we’re just conscious. In that state, all is well. There’s no separation being created through our stories and interpretations of events. Instinct and intuition guide and direct.

Think of babies. All is well until it’s not, and they make it known. This isn’t done not by conscious thought but by instinct, and they tell without words. (more…)