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Friday, April 27, 2007

Humor Helps Us Heal

Just a little joke to make your day...

How many therapists does it take to change a light bulb?

~Just one, but the light bulb has to
really want to change~

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Future: A Kokology Prediction

Many of you told us that you like the little Japanese self discovery games called Kokology. So responding to your requests, we are sharing another little example and see how closely it defines your personality.

The doorbell rings at your house and to your surprise two animals are standing at the door (just go with me on this one). These animal messengers are predictors of your future. One of the animals has a letter that foretells your life of happiness and peace, and the other animal brings a message about crisis and despair. Which animal brings the glad tidings, and which animal brings the omen of doom? (pick different animals for each).

1. Tiger 2. Dog 3. Sheep 4. Parrot 5. Tortoise

Kokology tells us that our future is influenced by our selection of mates or life partners. The animal messengers corresponds to our perception of people that bring us joy and pain. In this example, the animal you choose as the bearer of good tidings represents your ideal spouse, while the bearer of bad tidings animal is the kind of partner that would pull you down.

1. The tiger:
glad tidings: You see yourself happiest with someone ambitious and powerful, with the desire to rule.
gloom and doom: You dread a tyrannical partner who acts like king of the jungle and growls at any request to be involved in doing shared tasks.
2. The Dog:
glad tidings: You unquestionably want someone who is loyal and gives you absolute devotion
gloom and doom: You are not compatible with those who try to please everyone and are people pleasers by nature.
3. The Sheep:
glad tidings: You'd love a warmhearted, nurturing spouse
doom and gloom: You fear winding up with a boring homebody and someone who rarely likes to do anything new or unusual.
4. The Parrot:
glad tidings: You'd love a talkative partner who is fun-loving and can make you laugh
doom and gloom: Living with a chattering partner who lays around would drive you to insanity.
5. The Tortoise:
glad tidings: Your perfect match would be serious, dependable and there at a time of need.
doom and gloom: You'd despise living with a slow-moving, slow-witted partner.

~ So how close was this prediction? We'd love to hear your response to this discovery game~

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Are You Impatient?

Are we a nation of impatient Americans? Have we really become a nation that wants everything right now and is unwilling to wait for anything?

What are the typical symptoms of someone who is impatient?
• Cutting people off mid-sentence
• Making quick decisions (without investigating all the options)
• Snapping at others in response to questions or requests
• High stress levels that tend to lead to impulsivity in actions
• Physilogical changes such as higher blood pressure, increase breathing rates, anxiety

What are the recent statistics on our nation’s impatience?
• Nervousness: American’s get antsy on the phone after five minutes of being on hold
• Waiting: ¼ people say their highest impatience level is found in the grocery checkout lane
• Time poor: The typical shopper who spends 25 minutes in a store believe it has been an hour
• Age: Older people are more impatient than younger people
• Location: City inhabitants have less patience than those in the suburbs
• Revenge: American’s tend to refuse shopping in a store that makes them wait
• Rudeness: 20% of people speak rudely to someone when they weren’t waited on efficiently

What are some tips for enhancing our impatience response?
• If you become impatient, remove yourself from the situation physically or emotionally.
• Count to ten. This may be an old adage, but there is something to counting and taking deep relaxing breaths
• Practice active listening. Give someone your full attention and allow someone to fully finish their sentences
• Slow down your responses. Force yourself to speak at a lower octave, slow down your speed of your words
• Reward yourself for patient responses (not with caffeine)
• Lower your caffeine intake and see if it makes a difference
• Look for the positives in every situation as well as the opportunities for growth

"We must be the change we wish to see in the world."

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Newlywed Quiz: How much do you know?

More women than men claim that they fell in love at first sight with their mate?
False. Actally two times as many men report falling in love at first sight.

On an average how often do newlyweds call each other during the work day?
Reports indicate that 33% call their partner once a day; 26% call their partner twice a
day;18% call three times a day. The most talkative are the couples with age ranges of

• What percentage of men do not wear their wedding rings?
Actually 26% of men report not wearing their ring while only 7% of women report not wearing the ring. The culprits are typically men over 40, earning large incomes, and
more than once.

• A woman typically says “I’m sorry” first after a fight?
False. It is usually the male who breaks down and says I’m sorry, and generally take the blame, while women will say it is both parties fault.

Most newlyweds say that they would rather go out with another couple than going out alone as a couple?
False. 78% say that that they would like to go out alone.

THE AGE OLD QUESTION: Will men ask for directions if they are lost?
85% of men report that they would ask for directions if lost--- but the women note that
only 23% of them actually do ask for assistance. The battle of the genders still wages on...

*Research from Just Married by Sinrod & Grey)

Eating disorders: A rising concern

Our society greatly value thinness, even though Americans are heavier than ever before. Today we are also seeing a higher rate of eating disorders with our adolescents and young women—and men.

What are the major types of eating disorders?
1. Anorexia nervosa- people with this disorder have distorted body image believing they are obesity overweight, even when they are dangerously thin. Many times they refuse to eat, exercise compulsively and utilize unusual habits about their eating.
2. Bulimia nervosa-people eat excessive quantities of food and then purge their bodies of the food and calories they fear by using laxatives, enemas, diuretics, vomiting or exercising. Acting in secrecy, they have high emotional shame.
3. Binge eater or compulsive over-eaters experience frequent episodes of out-of-control eating. These groups don't purge their bodies.

Who suffers from eating disorders?
According to the national Institute of Mental Health, 90% of the cases are related to adolescent and young women. But eating disorders are not limited just to young girls—men and boys also develop eating disorders and we are also seeing an increase in ethnic minorities falling prey to this illness. People with eating disorders tend to begin to withdraw from social contact, and hid and deny their problems.

What causes Eating disorders?
Dysfunctional families and relationships are one factor, and many with these disorders suffer from low self-esteem, feelings of helplessness and intense unhappiness about how they look. Anorexics tend to be perfectionists and bulimics tend to be impulsive. Family situations can perceptual the problems in homes where people tease someone about weight, eating, or their body image. Traumas such as rape, abuse, and death of a loved one can also trigger the disorder.

Why seek treatment?
ED doesn't go away on its own, there can be serious consequences. 1 in 10 anorexics die from starvation, suicide, or medical complications. ED devastates the body including anemia, heart palpitations, hair and bone loss, tooth decay, and cessation of menstruation. Also related is high blood pressure, diabetes and depression. As you can see this is a serious concern… if you or anyone you love suffers with ED it is imperative they seek an evaluation from a licensed mental health professional counselor or their family doctor.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Getting ahead at work

Is there really a gender gap as it relates to paychecks?
• The US Census Bureau reports that women make 25% less than men, and that Caucasian women make just 72% of Caucasian male coworkers.
• Black women make 82% of black male counterparts
• Hispanic women make 82% of their male counterparts

Does your occupation make a difference in the salary gender gap?
Yes, research indicates that women in the medical and health field make only 63% of what males earn. But, the counterpart is that women earn almost the same amount as men in engineering, police work, or legal assistants.

What are some Careerbuilder suggestions for winning a promotion?
1. Assess your potential. Do a self-assessment of your positives and weaknesses. Are there some areas that you might enhance to help you win that raise or promotion? Look at your abilities and increase your knowledge base
2. Step up. Volunteer for new assignments. Showcase your abilities and demonstrate your ability to take on a new challenge and meet the needs of the company
3. Be assertive. Show your enthusiasm, energy and passion for what you do. Look for opportunities to showcase your expertise.
4. Show your confidence. One way to do this is to speak positively about your accomplishments. There is a difference between bragging and gently blowing your own horn. Detail your accomplishments and pass it on to your boss in a weekly email.
5. Accept compliments gracefully. Don’t ignore compliments, but instead say thank you and that you are glad your dedication and hard work paid off.
6. Learn to just make small talk. Go to company picnics, get-togethers, and little informal things at the office. These are great ways to be seen, and to present yourself in a positive light.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

For The Love Of Harry

I admit it. I AM one of “those” people. I’m an adult who loves Harry Potter and is counting the days until movie #5 debuts on the big screen. And yes, I’m also the one who has a giant mark on my calendar awaiting our long promised finale book publication in July. Now, you might not understand, but that means you just haven’t picked up a copy and started to read…because if you did, you too would LOVE Harry!

When I explain my obsession with Harry to other “muggle” (if you don’t read Harry you might not get that one) adults, I tell them it is because of the magnificent writing style. I wave my hands and my face lights up talking about the creative characters that are almost alive as you read each and every page. Boosting about Harry Potter, I tell people it is the Wizard of Oz of our time. I tell my associates that it helps me create a connection with the children who come into my office for therapy.

But, I know those are all rationalizations. I love Harry because he is empowering. Harry faces his fears and goes for it, no matter what the cost. He believes in his friends, and his friends believe in him…and together they can triumph over any challenge. Harry doesn’t ever give up and always finds a means to achieve his goals, despite the obstacles.

No wonder I love Harry. He is the part of us, which is buried deep inside locked deep inside our soul. Harry is the child in us that holds the power…the potential…the purpose…the passion! Harry is the part of us that doesn’t fear what others will think. Harry is the part of us that believes we can do anything and trusts we hold the magic to make it happen. Harry sees himself as capable, as trustworthy, as honorable, as dedicated, as intelligent, as athletic, as scholarly, and worthy of being a wizard.

Isn’t it a shame that we have allowed our Harry to slip away and become unbelieving in our power, untrusting of our abilities, scared, fearful, lacking confidence and self esteem? But wait… you can find your Harry!
Here are some suggestions:
1. Write down all your positives on a sheet a paper (and ignore all the chatter in your head that judges what you write down).
2. Make a list of the amazing things you have accomplished
3. Make a list of the “monsters” (the adversity and challenges) you have conquered.
4. Create a list of the magical things you have created in your life… the people you have helped… the ways you have made a difference.
5. Become your own cheerleader. Speak of your accomplishments and
talk yourself “up” instead of tearing yourself down.
6. Investigate your positives, search out your talents, reach for your dreams, trust your heart, believe your brain, and make decisions that make your soul sing.

Do this and you too will be able to face any challenge, conquer adversity, and perform magical feats by just believing in yourself and trusting you can do whatever comes your way, just like Harry Potter!

Working in Tight Quarters at Work?

What are the most common annoying concerns of co-workers towards others in their group?
• Having a “know it all” attitude turns people off, and does nothing to bring people closer to you. It didn’t work for Cheers “Cliff Clavin, and it won’t work for you.
• Workaholic Wannabee. Do you show up late, take two- hour lunch hours, and then not get started really working until close to 3 pm? Workers who don’t pull their weight don’t make good co-workers
• The devil’s advocate. Do you always take the other side of every argument? Co-workers get tired of always having to deal with the challenge of working with you.
• The brown-noser. Laughing at the boss’s jokes, sucking up, and standing for nothing might seem to be appropriate, but it doesn’t help healthy work relationships.

Are there any general courtesy rules for creating a healthy work environment in close quarters?
• Never barge in unannounced. Pretend that cubicles have doors and signal or ask if you can disturb your co-worker (or should you come back?)
• Use your quiet voice. It’s hard enough to work in a close environment, and there is nothing more annoying than trying to work around someone who is distracting you with their loud voice.
• Ask before borrowing. Respect people’s areas and ask before you borrow a stapler, or take someone’s supply of paper clips. And remember, just because they have food on their desk, it doesn’t mean it is open game for everyone’s indulgence.
• Watch your conversations. Not everyone wants to hear about your fight with your significant other, your sex life, or your frustration with your children. Keep private phone conversations away from the office. If you must make a private call, take a break and take your personal call out in the hall.
• Cell phone interruptions. If you keep your cell phone with you, make sure your ring tone isn’t playing a whole refrain of a song every twenty minutes. If you keep your phone in your pocket, turn it to vibrate so you don’t disturb others
• Remember that being a good neighbor at work is just as important as being a good neighbor at home. These tips will help create and enhance a healthy working environment.