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.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Healthy Eating

Here is One Doctor's List of Reasons for Avoiding Too Much Sugar in Your Diet

 Daily Health Challenge and Question Of The Day
Copyright 2011 -
Daily Health Challenge: Daily Health Challenge: Skip the sugar in all of your drinks and meals today.
We have compiled a list of 25 reasons to skip sugar in your diet.
1. Feeds candida
2. Promotes wrinkling and aging skin
3. Makes your blood acidic
4. Can lead to osteoporosis
5. Rots your teeth
6. Raises your blood sugar level
7. Contributes to obesity
8. Is addictive (almost as much as drugs)
9. Can create the urge to binge
10. Provides 'empty calories' with no nutritional value
11. Contributes to diabetes
12. Robs your body of minerals
13. Robs you of energy
14. Contributes to heart problems
15. Can cause cancer
16. Contributes to ulcers
17. Can cause gallstones
18. Contributes to adrenal fatigue
19. Can suppress your immune system
20. Raises the level of neurotransmitters called serotonin
21. Weakens eyesight
22. Sugar can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels).
23. Can cause aging
24. Can contribute to eczema
25. Can cause arthritis
My assumption, in reading this is that the doctor is referring to refined sugar and to added sugar.  
It can't be entirely eliminated but, it can be chosen less frequently--I
don't advocate deprivation but, instead, conscious eating and remembering moderation as the guiding principle. 

Here is a link to a page that 1st has a nice essay about the psychological relationship to food and then goes on to analyze and suggest some natural sweetners that are a healthy alternative to sugar:

Do you have any healthy eating tips or healthy eating struggles?  You are invited to share here.

Monday, May 28, 2012


An inspiring video

  If you have 20 minutes, this is an encouraging video to watch.  Like many talks and books, it gets better as it goes.  Get past the 1st 2 minutes and then she, the speaker, starts rolling.  By the time you get to the end, you'll get to the good stuff.

I think that if you watch this, you'll find that it fits with my message here at the blog.

Let me know.  Did you like it?

Friday, May 25, 2012

The many factors which divide us are actually much more superficial than those we share. Despite all of the things that differentiate us – race, language, religion, gender, wealth and so on – we are all equal concerning our fundamental humanity

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Not Unrelated

Two separate, independent presentations at the Psychiatry Grand Rounds seem as if one almost answers the other.

The 1st was a review of the literature, by Robert Whitaker, Journalist and author of Anatomy of an Epidemic.  He looked at "the effect of psychiatric medications on long-term outcomes".  He challenged the notion that we've made great progress in treating mental illness with psychotropic medication since the introduction of Thorazine in 1955He noted that this belief has led to, for example, an expenditure of 40 billion dollars in this country alone in one year, 2007.  From 1957 to 2007 he noticed a soaring increase in disability in country after country.  He questioned this manner of care and concluded that the current standard of care of immediate and long-term use of anti-psychotics cannot be supported.
The disorders he was looking at were the psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia, and affective disorders such as bi-polar disorder, anxiety and depression.  He found no compelling evidence that there was improvement long-term.  And, yet, a study done from 1945 to 1955 found that of all diagnosed, 2/3 were discharged and achieved 50% employment and lived independently, 1/3 had some symptoms but were functioning reasonably well, and only 1/3 were chronically ill.  A paradox found in a study done in 1967 found that those treated with medication were more likely to be hospitalized.  Recovery from these illnesses, without medication, does take a long time---4 to 5 years.  But for those who achieved this without drugs, there was extraordinary stability (Martin, Harrow, 2012).  What works is intensive psycho-social care.
Some of the questions he posed were:  Do anti-psychotics make people more biologically vulnerable to psychosis (is the cure worse than the disease?); do the drugs exacerbate some of the metabolic problems, the atrophy of the pre-frontal cortex and the poor outcome of some of these illnesses?
He called for more tolerance in society of people who may have some eccentric behaviors; it might in the end, lead to less disability.
(Just gotta say, this guy has a lotta guts, presenting this material to a group of mostly psychiatrists who primarily prescribe these medicines.  It  was a stunned audience.)

The other presentation was on a brand new approach to quieting the mind, Neurofeedback, an outcome of biofeedback, being used and studied by Peter E. Newsom, MD. psychiatrist in Menlo Park, California.  So far, he has found that this method helps with bi-polar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.  It is a matter of measuring the amount of electrical energy being produced by the body, showing that on a screen and teaching the patient to keep their brain waves primarily in the Alpha  level which is, calm but alert.  This is the state most of us enjoy.
It is learning the ability to focus, concentrate, and calm.  It is learning how to navigate (within yourself), how to get to certain states of mind, how to cut down on distracting thoughts.  (it is mindfulness centered healing).

In addition, since it has also been found to help immensely with problems resulting from brain injuries, the department of defense is going to be conducting a huge study on this form of treatment which will be the first big money going into this idea.  He told the story of one of his patients, a 16 year old boy who had suffered a head trauma which left him with migraines, insomnia, some amnesia, a loss of his ability to read and, of course, mood problems.  These problems were successfully treated with neurofeedback.  Neurofeedback can be seen as a good alternative to other forms of treatment for mental health problems.

Please feel free to comment.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Fear of Success

This well-known poem was offered to me in a therapists' on-line discussion group.  It bears repeating, often.  So, here I share it with you.  

 Maria Popa Schoeffler "• Paula, I really liked your question, and I think  It is morally right and also liberating to be true to ourselves...

Can I add a short poem to this? Here it is:

Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate,
but that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?
                                                              Actually, who are you not to be?                                                                                You are a child of God.
                                                                               Your playing small does not serve  the world.  There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.
And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give
other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.  
  (Our Greatest Fear, 
by Marianne Williamson, and erroneously attributed to Nelson Mandela)" 
Does this poem resonate with you?  Please share your reaction in the boxes or comment section below.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Call For Participation

Asking Your Advice

This is  not a half-hearted offering.  This is not a neglected blog.  This is not something I do in an off-handed way.  I work on this blog every single day ( yes, really---every day).  It's a devotion.
Writing to you comes naturally to me.  The computer, I wrestle with.  I did not grow up with computers, so sometimes I spend a lot of time trying to get something changed or added or fixed, here.  Some blogs are snazzier than mine with things zooming across the page, pictures that can be moved by placing your cursor on it, and so on.  But even though my presentation is simple, I make no apology for my content.  It is solid.  And, I put my heart into that,---well, into the creation of the whole blog, really.  But, I just feel fine about what I am offering, in ideas, in sharing inspirational quotes, in offering summaries of seminars I attend, and in stories about the dear people who are my patients.  Even my photographs, which my daughter told me are "quirky", I like (quirky can be okay).  In fact, I believe they've gotten better over time.
 I think having healthy self-esteem means you can own your personal assets and be grateful for and proud of them  while, at the same time, not being afraid of recognizing your limits and weak points.  I mean to be a role model for that here.
When I began the blog, it was a full-out wish to give and to share.  I've written about benefactors before and about paying it forward and the butterfly effect.  I was wanting to be a benefactor to the world, in a way or, at least, to be a butterfly effect in starting something good.

It has been so much fun for me to see the map that Google provides me and note the different countries that my lovely readers are from.                  
Artist, Elisabeth Lecourt
  In fact, I have a paper map up on my wall with a colored stick pin in each country that has visited here.  I know what's in my heart---my intention is to help, to lift up spiritually, to introduce possibilities, to spark your imagination, and to create an alive space for you---in which you can grow, evolve, and learn.
That sounds awfully ambitious, doesn't it.  But, I do it at my office, in my psychotherapy practice. Some of the comments you have written have been such a great addition.  When I see that, I know that what I hope for is happening.  It's really wonderful and exciting for me!
Much earlier in the blog, I tried, briefly, allowing advertisers to place ads there.  That didn't last long!  Ugh!  Some of the ads were so inappropriate, it was almost funny.  When an ad came up that was exactly opposite to the intention of my post (maybe some of you saw it, it was on the post titled, Shyly), they were out!  I also just didn't like the commercial look of having advertising on here.
This is a professional blog, a loving, personal, professional blog.  It has it's own character.  I just couldn't stand compromising my message.  I had Amazon as an option for readers to use until they (Amazon) had some trouble with California laws.  When they got that straightened out, I didn't re-up with them as my readers had never used that option.

Recently I have been trying to notice how much time I actually spend on the blog.  It's hard to tell as I go to it first thing in the morning (yes, I first look to see who's come to visit! You are important to me); I work on it in the evening, on weekends (it is Saturday morning right now) and, once in a while, I get to work on it in the middle of the day.  Usually though, I am working at the office (most therapists refer to that as "the consultation room"...!) with my patients at that time.   I guesstimate it at, maybe 30 or more hours a week.
In 2011, I made an attempt in the other direction, instead of seeking support for the blog, I tried doing less for the blog; to make the blog less taxing on me, I reduced my frequency of posting-if you look at the archive on the right, you'll see the difference in the total number of posts between 2010 and 2011.  I am still on the new program, but it really isn't the answer.  For the blog to be what I want it to be, for my readers---high quality information, interspersed with some lighthearted offerings, and generally current, positive, and useful---it requires attention.
So, as I approach my anniversary of putting out this publication for three years, I have thought about how can I continue to sustain this on my own.  I know that there are a number of ways to generate some income from a blog, like pay-per-click, turnkey service, advertising and affiliate programs, paid subscriptions, EFT from reader to blogger, etc.  I really don't want to go the commercial advertising route again.  If I had one, or a few good sponsors who were selling something that was congruent with what I am trying to do here, that would be wonderful.  But, so far, they have not appeared...!
I don't want to do a paid membership blog because part of my vision for this offering is to make something available to people who may not have access to it otherwise.  

What do you think?  I am calling for your participation here.  Do you have any ideas about how I can generate some income to support the blog?
 This is, this time, writing to you not about what I've learned but, writing to you to learn.

  First post on this topic:

Please comment

Artist, Brian Kershisnik 

See What You Want To See

Be who you want to be

You can positively affect your own sense of well-being by managing your outlook on life.  Savor your positive experiences, re-visit them, relish them, remember them.  By emphasizing the  good that comes your way, you can internalize that positive emotion which will in turn, improve your mood
There will be worries, no doubt.  Just don't let yourself sink into them:  Be buoyant.
Setbacks will occur.  Don't let them determine your direction:  Support your own self-confidence.

Do you want greater happiness?  Better ability to cope?  Deeper relationships?  Shift your focus from the negative and emphasize the good feelings.  Make them last.  You can change your outlook on yourself and on the world.

Please join the conversation by commenting below.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Energy Healing in Bahrain

Why not?

 "The Ministry of Human Rights and Social Development in Bahrain has signed an MOU* with Bahrain Reiki Centre to provide 'energy healing' to its employees!!!"
*MOU means memorandum of understanding
I copied this from an on line discussion group I participate in. In the original, it was in bold---to express outrage, I think.
I  looked around on the internet and was able to find out a little about it.  Indeed, the provider of these treatments has found a lucrative spot.  But, so what?  Maybe it will help people.  And, if not, it does lead the way to integrating a more supportive environment in the workplace.  Here is a country with abundant financial resources and they are starting to use some of them to promote wellness.  That seems like a good thing to me.
What do you think?

Please comment below


Friday, May 4, 2012

A Therapist's Thoughts

A Personal Story

This morning, on my way to work, I stopped by the Peet's Coffee which is inside the bakery, which is inside the deli, inside the supermarket I don't have a way to make coffee at work, so, sometimes I stop there because the coffee is better than most.  They do a good job of brewing there.  Sometimes I stay, if I have time, and have my cookie (they give a free cookie with the coffee order and now, I get offered 2) and cup of coffee and read a magazine at one of the tables.  Today I only had time to take the coffee to go.  The women who work there have come to know me and I, them.  Today the manager served me; as she was finishing up the business transaction with me, as she does at times, she made a personal comment.  This was a bewildering comment.  She said:  "Don't get hurt."  I was a little surprised and I said something like, okay, thank you, and she said:  "Because if you get hurt, so will everyone else."  I think she meant, so will some other people.  It was about my work I think, the patients I care for in my practice and who depend on me and, probably, to some extent, my regular readers here.
I feel very responsible for the people who come to me for therapy but I don't think of myself as being particularly important to them or, special to them in some way.  The bakery lady, who looked incredibly tired today but, nonetheless, took the time to say something important to me, made me stop.  She made me think a little.  Maybe I am beloved to some of my clients in some way.  At first, right after she said it, I wanted to dismiss it in my own mind.  But, then, I thought, she made the effort to tell me that so who am I to devalue that sentiment?  So, I have tried to stay with it today, to let it abide within me and feel whatever I do about it.

 I am on the verge of re-decorating my office.  It looks good and most people, the first time they come, remark upon what a nice office it is.   But I thought maybe it was looking a little shabby.  So, I have started gradually and have pointed out the new things and told my people what I am considering doing.  Some have expressed personal attachment to some of the furniture or the rug.  It isn't very often though that a therapy client offers appreciation to the therapist, or validation, or affection.  After all, they are there about themselves so I figure that is as it should be.  However, knowing that, when I have been in therapy myself, I make a point of saying, thank you, and of, appreciating the relationship, and I remark upon points the therapist made that were astute or helpful.  I do this on-going when I have a trusted therapist.  But, as I said, it isn't usual.  So, here comes this person at the bakery, saying it for everyone. 
~The good moments in life sometimes come from unexpected/strangeplaces.~

(pay attention---so you don't miss them)
As I continued to hold myself  to staying with what she said to me, I remembered her saying a little while back, when I was there another time, "You are a treasure."
So, when I was with my last patient today, I told her that I had awakened recently in the morning and immediately written a letter for her in my mind, while still in bed, one that she needs to write to someone she loves but with whom she is in a problematic relationship.  At the end of the session, she said to me,  "Without you, what......Oh, I am so lucky."  Was I more open to receiving this kind of response because I had not let myself dismiss, out of hand, the bakery manager's kind words?  Is that why it happened?
What do you think?
I wrote this story for you because the title of my blog is A Therapist's Thoughts.  Of course, the posts I write ARE my thoughts.  These posts are the stuff I think about.  But, I can tell, from search words and so on, that there is some wish on the part of some of you to hear something more intimate or individual from me.  So, this is a sample of how I am.  My interior world is very full.