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Conquering Anxiety

Posted on: April 9, 2021

Individual Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

Almost everyone suffers from some level of anxiety at one time or another. That’s normal because anxiety is the body’s natural reaction to stress or threats. An anxiety disorder, however, is another matter. It can actually become chronic and affect daily life.

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

Leaving Loneliness Behind

Posted on: April 6, 2021

Individual Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

As more and more people are vaccinated, lockdowns ease and our social life begins to return to normal, many people are confronted by a feeling they may not have fully acknowledged: loneliness. But there are nuances to loneliness that are valuable to understand in order to ease the transition back to normal social interaction and regain the sheer joy of living.

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

How To Flourish Despite Adversity

Posted on: March 30, 2021

Individual Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the past year, it’s that adversity tests our resilience. The pandemic affected people very differently. While some people lost their jobs or even their businesses, other people simply shifted to working from home. On the other hand, everyone felt the pain of social isolation to some extent. But while some suffered anxiety, others took it all in stride. The question then arises — why are some people so resilient and others less so?

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

How Grieving Leads To Healing

Posted on: March 26, 2021

Individual Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

There is quite a bit of wisdom in the observation that love and grief are two sides of the same coin. If you love someone, you will eventually grieve their loss (or they will grieve you), because no one lives forever. The flip side is that you cannot grieve if you do not love.

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

The Secret To Great Sex

Posted on: March 23, 2021

Marriage Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

As many a couple can attest, sexual relations can be surprisingly and at times infuriatingly complicated. One complicating factor is how important intimacy is to sexual relations.

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Posted in: Marriage Counseling

A Little Secret To A Happier Relationship

Posted on: March 19, 2021

Marriage Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

Years ago a phrase came into popular use: Men Are From Mars And Women Are From Venus. It actually came from a book by the same name, and it taps into a common sense observation that men and women often think differently about some things.

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Posted in: Marriage Counseling

Sleepless Nights? There Are Simple, Effective Ways To Cope

Posted on: March 16, 2021

Individual Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

It’s been virtually a year to the day since America and, indeed, the whole world began reacting to the pandemic. Problems associated with lockdowns, social distancing and all the other efforts aimed at stopping the spread of Covid-19 have been well documented. One little discussed problem, though, is a mundane but very important one: how to get a good night’s rest when you’re filled with anxiety.

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Posted in: Family Counseling

Communicating With Your Teens – A Hidden Opportunity

Posted on: March 12, 2021

Family Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

The downsides to the pandemic — and there have been many — are widely talked about. But are there also opportunities hidden in our response to life during the last year? One may be the chance to communicate more often and more deeply with your teenagers. The stress that has arisen from coping with a restricted lifestyle may give parents a welcome reason to begin a conversation. Feeling bad? Let’s talk about it.

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Posted in: Family Counseling

Do Your Friends Like Your Dating Partner?

Posted on: March 10, 2021

Individual Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

If you’re dating, odds are your initial dates are a two-person event — you and your date out for dinner or some other activity. As time goes on, though, you probably have a very reasonable desire to introduce your partner to your friends or family. After all, socializing in a larger group is a lot of fun! Whether you know it consciously or not, you’re probably also sensitive to how your friends react to someone you’re dating. Basically, do they like him or her?

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

Do You Have Mental Health Questions About The Pandemic?

Posted on: March 4, 2021

Individual Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

What a year 2020 was. We may not have wanted to live through a historic event, but that’s exactly what we all did together. Have you felt the strain of dealing with the repercussions of the pandemic? If so, you’re not alone. Sarah Bourassa, writing for HuffPost.com, says “March 11 marks one year since the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. For many people, this has been one of the most difficult years of their lives. Therapists have seen that mental health issues are magnified because of it. Social distancing has led to loneliness and isolation. The uncertainty of the future has triggered stress and anxiety. And many have grieved the loss of normalcy, and the loss of loved ones.”

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

How To Improve Your Long-Distance Relationship

Posted on: March 2, 2021

Marriage Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

Long-distance relationships are more common than they once were. Young couples, especially, can find them themselves in a long-distance relationship when one partner heads off to grad school, or — just starting out in a career — accepts a job half-way across the country. Throw in the added possibility that the pandemic has steered some people toward a long-distance relationship, and you have the prospect of a lot of people heading into uncharted territory.

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Posted in: Marriage Counseling

Teaching Your Kids To Properly Manage Stress

Posted on: February 26, 2021

Family Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

Family dynamics are fascinating. Parents in particular have an effect on their children that they may not even realize. If they are experiencing stress, for example, their reaction to and methods of coping with that stress are probably observed by their children — and eventually imitated — even if the parents are not aware of this dynamic.

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Posted in: Family Counseling

Talking To Kids About Covid

Posted on: February 23, 2021

Family Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

With millions of people having contracted Covid-19, it’s very possible that you know someone personally who has been affected. Although adults generally understand the situation pretty well, it’s quite another story with kids. Depending on their age and their relationship with the person who has the disease, they may not clearly understand what’s happening. That may result in anxiety that affects them in different ways.

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Posted in: Family Counseling

The Timeless Benefit Of Unstructured Play

Posted on: February 19, 2021

Family Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

For the last year people have been coping with having their normal routines upended. A lot of people are adjusting by simply using their common sense. For those who prefer to seek out expert advice on ways to cope, there have been plenty of options — newspapers, TV shows and websites are filled with articles on adjusting to pandemic lifestyles.

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Posted in: Family Counseling

Tips For Women To Manage Work-Life Balance

Posted on: February 16, 2021

Individual Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

Depending upon where you live in the state, your local schools may or may not be readmitting kids back for in-person learning soon. As we’ve learned over the past year, this very may well place more of a burden on the woman of the household, especially if she is trying to juggle her own work responsibilities.

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

Five Ways To Cope With Economic Stress

Posted on: February 9, 2021

Individual Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

There’s a good reason that the new Biden administration and congress have made an economic relief package a top priority. It’s due to the simple fact that the economic impact from the pandemic and the resultant lockdowns has been huge and, unfortunately, affected some people far more than others. For many people that means an incredible amount of economic stress added to the initial burdens of dealing with social isolation, home schooling, disrupted exercise routines and, of course, possible health consequences of contracting Covid-19.

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

Do You Have Any ‘Harmless Habits?’

Posted on: February 5, 2021

Individual Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

If you browse through a book store or search online for advice on achieving success in business or enhancing your personal relationships, you’ll be overwhelmed with titles. Most of them focus on things you can proactively do to work more efficiently or live a better life. That’s a very helpful way to make changes in your life. But there’s another way to think about improving both your business performance and your personal relationships — identify habits that may appear to be harmless but are actually a hindrance.

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

How To Get Out Of A Relationship Rut

Posted on: February 2, 2021

Marriage Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

If you have an especially close friend, you may have revealed a little secret to one another: your relationship with your partner is in a rut. If so, take heart — you’re not alone. Relationships between partners have taken a hit during the pandemic, with predictable results.

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Posted in: Marriage Counseling

Dating At A Distance — Tips To Make It Succeed

Posted on: January 29, 2021

Marriage Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

There have been many casualties of the pandemic, of varying degrees. One little-noted consequence is its effect on dating. Social distancing, wearing masks and losing access to normal social gathering spots — from happy hours at bars to indoor dining at restaurants — has made normal dating seem like a relic of the past. 

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Posted in: Marriage Counseling

Feeling Post-Election Stress? Here Are Ways To Cope.

Posted on: January 26, 2021

Individual Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

An election, and dealing with the results of an election, is — as they say in a catch phrase of our times — complicated. But there’s more than a little truth in this simple statement. Cathy Casata, writing for Healthline.com, touches on some of the complications. “Post-election anxiety can be particularly difficult for people when the candidate they supported doesn’t win. In fact, they may face even more strain on their mental health if they live in a state that supported their candidate.”

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

Combatting Suicidal Thoughts

Posted on: January 21, 2021

Individual Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are truly heartbreaking. The number of annual suicides in America totaled 48,344, which placed it as the 10th leading cause of death.

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

The Ill Effects Of Racial Trauma

Posted on: January 19, 2021

Individual Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

From the death of George Floyd in May of last year to the Capitol riots of January 6th, there has been an onslaught of racially charged events that we all have to deal with. In fact, dealing with racism can involve trauma that needs to be addressed in order to heal. 

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

Suffering From Job Search Burnout?

Posted on: January 15, 2021

Individual Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

As if dealing with the coronavirus itself isn’t hard enough, a staggering number of people are also dealing with a side effect of the pandemic: job loss.  What’s more, the stress of looking for work increases the longer a search goes on.

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

Fighting With Your Spouse? You’re Not Alone.

Posted on: January 12, 2021

Marriage Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

The old joke about spouses entering retirement is that they signed up for life, but not for lunch. It’s a bit of humor that draws on the insight that spending too much time with anyone — even somebody you love dearly — can create a tension all its own.

Enter the pandemic. Now we work from home, manage our kids’ online learning, turn to Zoom happy hours — all in close contact sometimes 24/7 with your spouse. What could go wrong? As we’re finding out — plenty.

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Posted in: Marriage Counseling

Books To Ease Your Kids’ Anxiety

Posted on: January 8, 2021

Family Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

It’s a fair guess that back in March of last year not many people would have predicted we’d enter 2021 struggling with another surge in the pandemic and further shelter-in-place orders. Maybe that’s a bit of a blessing. How many people would have said, “That’s fine, I can ‘socially distance’ for a year or so no problem.”

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Posted in: Family Counseling

Six Tips For Comforting Your Kids In Trying Times

Posted on: January 5, 2021

Family Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

Now that 2021 is here, many people might have expected the stress they felt in 2020 to simply fade away. As we’re quickly discovering, that’s not happening. As a surge in cases of Covid-19 follows the holidays, and as people anxiously await the rollout of the various vaccines, almost everyone realizes we’re still living with daily anxiety.

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Posted in: Family Counseling

Prayer In Response To The Pandemic

Posted on: December 30, 2020

Individual Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

Do you know what one of the most common reactions was to the initial outbreak of the coronavirus? It was to research the concept of prayer. Some evidence to support this statement comes from a look at the volume of search on Google for the term “prayer.” From February to March of 2020 search volume surged dramatically, increasing 50% in 95 countries.

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

How To Fight The Holiday Blues

Posted on: December 23, 2020

Individual and Family Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

Just to cap off 2020 —probably the strangest year of most of our lives — most of us are celebrating the holidays with far fewer members of our extended families. This is having some predictable results. “A global pandemic with no end in sight means the impact of social isolation will be more palpable than usual, making more people susceptible to loneliness,” says Kenya Foy writing on HuffPost.com.

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

8 Ways Teachers Can Help Students In These Strange Times

Posted on: December 21, 2020

Family Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

It’s no secret that schoolchildren across the country are experiencing varying levels of success with online learning. One key to successful learning is teacher involvement and expertise — no surprise there. “Now more than ever, teachers are an important part of facilitating student learning, well-being, and growth,” according to an article on the website of the American Psychological Association (APA).

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Posted in: Family Counseling

Justin Bieber and the Cost of Fame

Posted on: December 18, 2020

How would it feel to be the most searched-for person in the world on Google? More amazingly, how would it feel if you were only 17 years old at the time? You might ask Justin Bieber to answer those questions. According to Microsoft’s search engine Bing, more people searched for Bieber in 2011 — when he was 17 — than any other person in the world.  His manager, Scooter Braun, in barely an overstatement, says “No one has ever grown up in the history of humanity like Justin Bieber.”

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

Do You Have Family Members Taking Covid Risks?

Posted on: December 15, 2020

It may be hard to believe but here’s one more issue creating divisiveness among families: Covid safety precautions. It might be extended family members gathering for a Sunday dinner shoulder to shoulder. Or a college kid out partying while still intending to come home for the holidays. Or an otherwise level-headed relative who simply has a terrible case of quarantine fatigue.

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Posted in: Family Counseling

Six Tips For Some Much Needed Self Care

Posted on: December 11, 2020

In the aftermath of the election, there is one thing we can all agree on — it has been a long, hard-fought path to the White House. It’s time for a time-out, and some self-care for ourselves and our communities.

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

Can We Cross The Bridge Of Our Political Divide?

Posted on: December 8, 2020

Individual Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

Does it seem like the presidential election was ages ago? It just might, especially as new state-mandated restrictions are in place in response to an increase in Covid-19-related hospitalizations. But political tensions remain, and are likely to take center stage again.

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

Have You Heard Of Agoraphobia?

Posted on: December 1, 2020

Individual Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

Have you heard of agoraphobia? It’s a type of anxiety disorder that leads you to fear and avoid places or situations that might cause you to have a negative reaction — a bit of panic or a general feeling that you’re trapped, helpless or embarrassed.

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

Feeling Better After The Election?

Posted on: November 24, 2020

So, now that the election is over, are you feeling better? If not, rest assured you’re not alone. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), the vast majority of Americans did anything but breathe a big sigh of relief.

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

For Families Torn Apart By Politics, Election Fallout Is Just Beginning

Posted on: November 19, 2020

Family Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

Are some members of your family on one side of the political spectrum, while others are on the opposite side? Welcome to family life in America, 2020. Brittany Wong, writing on HuffPost.com, has an insightful article on this exact subject.

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Posted in: Family Counseling

Relationship Conflicts – Where Did the Love Go?

Posted on: November 10, 2020

Marriage counseling insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

Relationships are seldom as simple as we would like. They bring out our needs, anxieties, and conflicts with people from our past – parents, friends, and former partners.

When we enter into a relationship we expect to be loved just for being who we are. A relationship should provide a safe zone where our partner values us for expressing our own uniqueness. This is a simple expectation. Indeed, this is the way most relationships start out. Why, then, does it seem so hard to maintain this ideal, blissful state of unconditional love over time?

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Posted in: Family Counseling, Marriage Counseling

Problematic Personalities

Posted on: October 12, 2020

Individual counseling insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

We all have our own unique ways of feeling and thinking and expressing ourselves. Most of the time, our uniqueness is seen simply as an individual difference – or something special about each of us. In fact, this is what brings interest and variety to the people in our lives. This is a positive thing. One of the healthiest things we can do is to achieve a fairly objective understanding of just how we are unique or different from other people. Then we can understand how our behavior impacts other people and adjust the way we act accordingly. That is, we can problem-solve our way through situations when we have a good understanding of our unique personality characteristics. We are talking here about personality style – and all of us have our own styles.

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

Freedom From Verbal Abuse

Posted on: September 23, 2020

A home should be a happy place, or at least a safe place. Dealing daily with the outside world, with its tensions, pressures, and surprises, can be difficult. The home is a place to come back to, a place to feel free, relaxed, and comfortable. The home should be the place where we feel loved and accepted just for being ourselves. This is, of course, an ideal description of what a home can be.

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Posted in: Marriage Counseling

Are You Feeling Socially Isolated?

Posted on: September 21, 2020

Quick question: When was the last time you hugged an old friend you happened to bump into at the grocery store? More than likely, you answered – “Well, certainly before last March.”

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

Are We All Becoming Socially Awkward?

Posted on: September 17, 2020

There have been obvious ramifications of the pandemic we’ve all been enduring since March of this year. Job losses. Cancelled vacations. New exercise routines. The list goes on.

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

Managing Chronic Pain

Posted on: August 12, 2020

Pain can be seen as the Body’s Messenger Telling Us That Things Are Not Right – And Let’s See How to Make Them Better

Estimates based on research indicate that from ten to thirty percent of the American population suffers from chronic or recurrent physical pain. Pain sufferers often feel that their doctors are not able to give them the treatment they need to alleviate their pain. They may have been told that it is all in their head, and they feel very alone when nobody can seem to give them support for being in pain. They feel helpless, anxiety-ridden, depressed, angry, frustrated, and out of control. They often turn to prescription pain medication, drugs or alcohol for relief – only to find that these quick fixes can cause more complications and devastation in their lives than the original pain.

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

Loss Can Bring Gain

Posted on: July 6, 2020

Individual counseling insights brought to you California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

Loss Can Be Painful – But It Can Open the Door to New, and Even Better, Life Experiences

Loss is embedded in the process of living. It happens to everyone and it is inevitable. There is no such thing as constant gain in our lives. Despite our wish to live in the security of abundance and perfect health, we necessarily must lose something, over and over again throughout our lives. Time itself eventually creates loss. We come into this world with everything to gain and leave it with everything to lose. And in between we go through a series of gains and losses, ups and downs. Learning to accept both is a sign of wellness, maturity – and even wisdom.

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

Self-Reflection and the Inward-Looking Person

Posted on: June 19, 2020

Individual counseling insights brought to you California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.”
Joseph Campbell

We live in a world of extroverts. Our social norms are geared to people who are “out there” – those who achieve, compete, socialize easily, and are energized by the external world. Society encourages us to describe ourselves in terms of what we see externally (like TV ads) and we try to match the models provided for us. Our idea of success is to achieve a life that’s prescribed for us by the social sphere. The extrovert’s idea of happiness is to have lots of friends and to enjoy talking, even when they don’t put much thought into what they say. They like activity and being around excitement. When so much of our attention is directed outwardly, however, we can lose track of our own authentic needs. 

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

The Aftermath of Trauma – Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Posted on: May 15, 2020

Individual counseling insights brought to you California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

Most of us build our lives around the belief that we will be relatively safe. Granted, normal daily life involves many stressors, especially in these hectic times, but we expect these pressures to happen and we become accustomed to handling them. The more flexible we are and the more we know ourselves and are in touch with our abilities, the easier it is to deal with normal everyday stress.

Posted in: Individual Counseling

What About Depression?

Posted on: April 8, 2020

Individual counseling insights brought to you California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

Timely information about mental health during the pandemic.

Everyone feels sad from time to time. It’s only natural. Most people go through blue days or just periods of feeling down, especially after they experience a loss. But what experts call clinical depression is different from just being “down in the dumps.” The main difference is that the sad or empty mood does not go away after a couple of weeks – and everyday activities like eating, sleeping, socializing, or working can be affected.

Posted in: Individual Counseling

Family Dysfunction – The Children of Substance Abusers

Posted on: March 4, 2020

Family counseling insights brought to you California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

Countless millions of adults in this country had a parent with a drinking or drug problem. A brief look at some of the history of the 1900’s can clarify this phenomenon. Prohibition was repealed in 1933, and this tended to validate, or at least give some justification for, the consumption of alcohol by the World War II generation. Alcohol was associated with good times and the good life for what is sometimes called the “drinking generation” who lived through WWII, the survivors of whom are most gone now or at the very last stages of the life span. Their children, the Baby Boomers, who are now in middle age and entering older age, tended to use not only alcohol but drugs as well. And again, they often associated the use of these substances with good times. This substance-abusing legacy was often passed to their own children, who are now in the their thirties and forties. Unfortunately, and estimates of the numbers involved are vague, a certain proportion of those who use alcohol or drugs become addicted to these substances.

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Posted in: Family Counseling

Surviving The Life Crisis

Posted on: February 25, 2020

The Bleakest Times of Our Lives Can Give Rise to Remarkably Positive Life Transformations

A life crisis is one of the inevitable features of our lives. Learning how to survive a crisis is a crucial skill, and one that we will probably need more than once throughout our lives. A crisis can occur when things begin to fall apart around us. The things that shape us – our marital status, job title, relationships with family and friends, health, or financial security – have disappeared and we find ourselves adrift without any clear guidelines that tell us what to do next. We feel lost. Do we hide? Do we deny this is happening? Do we rage? Do we fear the world? The answers may not be obvious. Nobody ever told us that the world would turn out this way. But one thing is clear – this is a crisis.

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

Eating Disorders

Posted on: February 14, 2020

An Eating Disorder Is a Very Serious Problem That Demands Immediate Attention

The Chinese used to bind the feet of women to make them smaller. So tiny and fragile were their feet, in fact, that some women were left essentially crippled, barely able to walk. To the Chinese, this was a sign of beauty and social status. But to us it seems a cruel and bizarre practice. 

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

Depression In Men

Posted on: January 24, 2020

The incidence of depression in our society seems to be on the rise. Recent estimates suggest that as many as one in three of us will experience some form of depression within our lifetimes. Others claim that depression may even represent a symptom of our times which are characterized by alienation, lack of strong community bonds, and hopeless economic situations for many.

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

Looking For Love In All The Right Places

Posted on: January 17, 2020

“This above all – to thine own self be true.” – Polonius in Hamlet (William Shakespeare)

Although some people prefer to remain single throughout their lives, most people strive to connect with and live in partnership with one special person. There are many obvious advantages to finding a relationship partner – physical, economic, social – but there is another significant advantage in that working through the ups and downs of a relationship allows us to come to terms with many of our own personal issues. In fact, these personal issues may make or break a relationship, depending on whether we choose to work on them. If you are single now, you can use this time to learn more about yourself and what makes relationships work.

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Posted in: Marriage Counseling

Working On Your Relationship – By Yourself

Posted on: December 13, 2019

Marriage Counseling insights brought to you by Westlake Village-based California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

You Can Create a Successful Relationship – Even If You Must Do It Alone

Conflicts can be expected to arise in even the strongest of relationships. Two people who attempt to create a relationship always bring their own issues, backgrounds, expectations, personalities, and inner difficulties into the interplay that occurs between them. It is not at all unusual that the two people might find themselves, at times, in a deadlock. They see no way to break the impasse and to recapture the spirit of good will that they once had and would like to have again. Each party’s personal conflicts come into play and stifle the communication, sharing and love that seem necessary for harmonious interaction. Rather than confronting our own part in the problem, we may resort to blaming our partner – “If only she (or he) would change, then we could be happy.”

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Posted in: Marriage Counseling

Communicating When You Have Conflict

Posted on: November 27, 2019

Marriage Counseling insights brought to you by Westlake Village-based California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

Conflict between people is a fact of life – and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, a relationship with frequent conflict may be healthier than one with no observable conflict. Conflicts occur at all levels of interaction – at work, among friends, within families, and between relationship partners. When conflict occurs, the relationship may be weakened or strengthened. Conflict is a critical event in the course of a relationship. Conflict can cause resentment, hostility and perhaps the ending of the relationship. If it is handled well, however, conflict can be productive – leading to deeper understanding, mutual respect and closeness. Whether a relationship is healthy or unhealthy depends not so much on the number of conflicts between participants, but on how the conflicts are resolved.

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Posted in: Marriage Counseling

Handling Stress In Everyday Life

Posted on: November 12, 2019

Individual Counseling insights brought to you by Westlake Village-based California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

Stress happens when we perceive an event as disturbing or threatening. Our primitive ancestors experienced stress when they had to fight off wild animals, invaders, adverse natural events, and other threats to their survival. These days we are more likely to feel the anxiety that emerges from stress when we face overwhelming responsibilities at work or home, experience loneliness, rejection, or the fear of losing things that are important to us, such as our jobs or friends. When we are exposed to such events, we experience what has been called the fight or flight response. To prepare for fighting or fleeing, the body increases its heart rate and blood pressure. This sends more blood to our heart and muscles, and our respiration rate increases. We become vigilant and tense. Our bodies end up on full alert – and this allows us to take action. When these anxiety-inducing conditions continue over a long period of time, however, and have a significant impact on how we live, we may begin to suffer from one of the anxiety disorders.

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

Resisting Violence in Children

Posted on: October 28, 2019

Family Counseling insights brought to you by Westlake Village-based California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

Families Can Do Their Share to Address Violence in Their Children and Emerge Stronger in the Process

Violence in children is a complicated issue with many causes. It is easy to point fingers at some of the more obvious potential culprits. For example, television provides a steady diet of violence. It has been estimated that by the time children turn 18 they have been exposed to 40,000 deaths on TV, usually with no mention of the grieving that families endure when a loved one has died. Similarly rock music, and rap music most of all, often contains lyrics explicitly promulgating killing and other violence. Video games seem to go a step further – they not only are violent but the player of the game is also the shooter. Movies glorify violent deaths and revenge. The Internet is filled with websites carrying violent themes and even sites that tell the viewer how to make bombs. Guns are easy to get and have become a symbol of rebellion and power among some youth. Our schools have become segregated with cliques who intimidate each other – the jocks versus the goths, for example – sometimes in brutal ways. Bullies make some children afraid of going to school.

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Posted in: Family Counseling

Handling Personality Conflicts

Posted on: October 10, 2019

Relationship Counseling insights brought to you by Westlake Village-based California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

Some people are easy to be around and some are not. All of us seem to have at least a few difficult friends in our lives. They can range from those who are a mild annoyance to those who can make life seem nearly intolerable at times. People at this negative end of the continuum, especially if we have contact with them on a daily basis, can jeopardize our mental and emotional wellness over time – particularly if we lack the tools for responding to them in an adaptive way.

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

Pets and Emotional Wellness

Posted on: September 25, 2019

Individual Counseling insights brought to you by Westlake Village-based California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

What a revolutionary breakthrough it would be if we found a way to lower blood pressure, lessen the ravages of depression, boost our immune systems, enhance our sense of emotional well being, decrease our feelings of loneliness, increase motivation, elevate our self-image, and promote our ability to trust! These are only some of the benefits of pet ownership. Under most circumstances, having a pet is a healthy and healing experience.

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

Experiencing Grief

Posted on: September 9, 2019

Individual Counseling insights brought to you by Westlake Village-based California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

Grieving comes to most of us at some point in our lives. In fact, statistics show that each person can expect to experience the loss of a loved one once every nine to thirteen years. The resulting sadness may be the most painful of life’s experiences. Because it is painful, however, our eventual adaptation to the loss can bring meaning and integrity to our lives – and this, ultimately, is a gift to us from the one we have lost. It is a reminder to us that the circle is unbroken.

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

The Resilient Personality – Bouncing Back from Hardship

Posted on: August 22, 2019

Individual Counseling insights brought to you by Westlake Village-based California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

All of us experience major disruptions at certain points in our lives. In fact, this is an expected and predictable hallmark of the human condition. For some, these hard times come frequently – the impact of the trauma is overwhelming and recovery, if it comes at all, can be painfully slow. Others show resilience and are able to glide through these times fairly easily, bouncing back to a normal life again quickly. Resilience – the strength required to adapt to change – lies at the heart of mental and emotional health.

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

Understanding Anger

Posted on: August 13, 2019

Individual Counseling insights brought to you by Westlake Village-based California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.

“Let us not look back in anger or forward in fear – but around in awareness.” – James Thurber

We all get angry. Many people choose not to believe this, but anger is a universal human emotion that can help us survive and solve some of life’s problems – or, conversely, it can create further trouble. Anger is an emotion that can occur when there is a threat to our self-esteem, our bodies, our property, our ways of seeing the world, or our desires. People differ in what makes them angry. Some people will perceive an event as threatening, while others see no threat at all in the same event. Our responses to anger differ as well. Some people are able to experience angry feelings and use them as a way of solving problems. Others turn their anger inward and engage in self-destructive behavior. Other people strike out when they feel angry. And some refuse to acknowledge their anger – or they confuse anger with other emotions such as vulnerability or fear.

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Posted in: Individual Counseling