This Blog Is About

This blog is about---You! Each and every post is about you. Use it to challenge your usual patterns, as a tool for self-discovery, to stimulate your thinking, to learn about yourself and to answer your questions about others.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Find Me

My practice is located in Pinole, California.  The phone number is, 510 724 4711.  Session fee is $120.  Sessions are 45 to 50 minutes long.  Most patients attend therapy once a week; some come more frequently.  Usually it is once a week and when nearing conclusion, the sessions may drop to once every other week.  Sessions are by appointment only; there are no drop-in office hours.  You are welcome to call me to discuss any questions you may have and the possibility of entering therapy yourself.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


The Fountain project is a group of health care providers from various disciplines (dentists, chiropractors, doctors, acupuncturists, and others) who volunteer their time to treat people who have no health care coverage-no insurance and not enough ability to pay for these services.

They currently care for 1000 patients.

Their goal is to be able to treat 6000, the number they estimate will remain uncovered in California even if the President's health care reform initiative
A kind and generous effort.

Left in the Dark?

If you find that you are often 'the last to know' the reason may be your way of receiving information.  
Some people, if they have found, with experience, that a particular person in their life, is rather reactive, will simply not tell that person things.
If you tend to be instantly expressive, it can be delightful when  it's  positive, happy news;  others will truly enjoy imparting good news to you.  They may look forward to your childlike enthusiasm and  they will enjoy your reaction.  On the other hand, if you are easily excited, quick to anger, abrupt, impulsive, many people will choose not to deal with that.
It seems unfair and, yet, I've heard this so often in my office:  "I didn't tell her because I didn't want to hear it." or, "I was afraid of what he'd do if I told him.", or "I knew what she'd say and I just didn't want to go there with her", etc.
A simple lesson:  If you are the expressive, excitable  type, try to learn to choose when and in what circumstances you share your reactions.
Think for just a few seconds before you speak---give yourself a chance to make a choice.
Respond rather than react.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Being a Fly On The Wall

You will probably enjoy the film, This Is It, if:

1.  You would appreciate the chance to have a behind-the scenes look at the creative process.
2.  You are interested in  observing leadership styles.
3.  You've been following the blog posts about empathy.

This film is a study of the creative process.  Here are some of the world's finest artists and technicians, at work and incredibly focused on a joint project.  You can almost see the 'wheels turning' in their minds as they problem solve, experiment and develop the production.  I found that aspect, unexpected, and fascinating.
One could view this movie as an exposition of a particular leadership style.  There is a leadership style that Michael Jackson was using and teaching which is an uncommon one.  It was low-key and always respectful.  While this concert was clearly his vision and he was definitely going to be the star, he also generously wanted the others players to "shine".  Even though he seemed perfectionistic in his attention to detail, he did not  lash out at  others when they didn't meet his standard.  He made corrections kindly and he also tried to elicit their best from the other performers. He tried to reassure them, to calm them, and to offer them meaning for what they were making together.
Also, watching some of the one-on-one  interactions, they seemed to me to be empathy in action.  These people,--- choreographers, musicians, engineers, designers, etc. were all working so closely together, toward a common goal, that they had become very in tune (not to make a pun...) with each other.  In some instances, you could imagine that you saw one person's mind going through each note as a musician played her instrument or each step as a dancer practiced his part.

In addition, if you are not necessarily a Michael Jackson fan, but like to watch wonderful dancing, there is an improvisational dance by M.J. toward the end of the film that is wonderful.
If you go to this  movie, be sure to stay through the credits, there are a few extra bits at the end which most people in the theater where I saw this, missed, because they had already left.

In my view, an unusual and engaging film.


At a ceremony today in Fresno, California, celebrating the addition of veterans' names to the Wall of Honor, the main speaker expressed gratitude. He talked about the "luck of the draw" in being fortunate enough to have been born in the United States.  He was lucky enough not have have begun his life in a country of poverty or oppression.  He looked to be in his late 50's, so this is a long-standing fact.  But today, at this Veteran's Day event, he expressed his gratitude that he is fortunate enough to be an American.
There are fads in the world of psychology.  For awhile, doing so-called gratitude lists has been a popular suggestion.  However, some have taken this idea seriously enough to conduct research and have found there to be, it turns out, a beneficial effect.  In addition, in practice, trying it myself and observing the results with others, I can see that it is helpful.
  It is usually suggested as a mood elevator or stabilizer.  Not that this, in itself, can control one's state of mind.  But, it's worth adding to your box of tricks.  If you remember in the post, Wise Words, I quoted a client as stating her belief that we each create, to a large extent our own happiness.  It often seems easier to look outwardly for solutions, for getting fixed, or, for an emotional boost.  However, it will be more enduring and reliable if you develop some ways to support your mood yourself.

  The standard suggestion with the gratitude list is that each night , before you go to bed, you write a short list of things that you are genuinely grateful for.  The items on the list can be new, have a long history, be permanent or transient.  These can be grand changes that have manifested in your life, but they can also be the simplest of things.  For example, I am grateful that I have a comfortable mattress to sleep on, or I am grateful I didn't get loaded up with too much work today, I am grateful that the dentist didn't find any cavities in  my teeth,---I am grateful to have a dentist!   ~ Anything. ~                                                                                    
  Besides the pleasure that your brain experiences as you create this list, it also has a relaxing effect for some people.
  Try it.  See what you can come up with that is good in your life, in you, or in those around you.

What happened when you made your gratitude list?

Thursday, November 5, 2009


I invite you to become a Follower of my blog.  It's easy to do.  You can choose to  have your picture posted or not.  You also choose to keep it "private" if you like.  If you select the other option which is "public", when a reader clicks on your link, all sites you follow will be listed---it's a way that you can promote blogs you believe in or, just share something you like with others.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Making Hard Choices

"I have to take care of my own things before I can help anyone else."
He isn't the first one to say this.  But my client was entering the office
just at the point of receiving a call from his  s.o., crying on the phone.
He was clearly concerned.  I said, " seem pre-occupied, do you want to call her back right now?"
He answered, as written above.
We proceeded and he called her back, immediately, at the conclusion of our session.