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Social Support and Friendship

Posted on: May 15, 2018

Good Friendships Depend Less on Who They Are Than On How They Make Us Feel

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

Since 1985 the number of people who say they have no one to talk to has doubled. The lack of social contacts and social support, despite our technological advances over the past decades, is one of the downsides to the huge transformations that have taken place in our society. Despite the advent of e-mail and mobile phones, people today have fewer meaningful social contacts than they had in the past. We have traded our face-to-face contacts for technological forms of communication. We tend to drive alone, work alone, eat alone, and live alone more than we did in past years. Our public presentation may reflect less about who we are on the inside than on our ability to conform to the latest look that we pick up from the all-pervasive media. We go to the gym and work out alone to the beats stored in our devices. We go for coffee and immerse ourselves in our laptops. And we don’t talk to strangers, who may, as many believe, pose a danger to us. Yes, we’ve changed. Friendships are harder to come by. It is more difficult these days to get to know who another person really is – or for them to get to know who we are. (more…)

Posted in: Individual Counseling

The Healthy Pursuit of Pleasure

Posted on: April 24, 2018

Engaging in Simple, Healthy Pleasures Can Restore Balance to Our Hectic Lives

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

Pleasure guides us to better health. When experiences are enjoyable, we want more of them. Our bodies tell us that sleep, reproduction, eating, companionship, and exercise — to name just a few of our more common daily activities — are enjoyable. Our survival depends on engaging in these activities. The brain has several pleasure centers which are activated by chemicals which speed satisfying sensations from one nerve to the next. Children the world over, when they are left alone to do what they choose, engage in endless hours of play. They pursue fun. Childhood may be the time in life when our brains are trained to experience pleasure. If we accomplish this task well as children, we may have healthier lives as adults — as long as we don’t lose the ability to play that we acquired in childhood.   (more…)

Posted in: Individual Counseling

Weight Management

Posted on: April 17, 2018

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

Obesity is at epidemic proportions in the United States and most Westernized countries. If you are overweight, you are hardly alone, as you can see by looking around you. About two-thirds of Americans are overweight and the statistics climb by the year. Even children now are heavier than they have ever been – and this is happening during a time in our history when the thin look continues to be defined as the ideal (although this is gradually changing). Type II diabetes and hypertension (or high blood pressure) are two diseases associated with obesity, and the rates of these diseases have been increasing steadily over the years. Obesity is also linked to heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers. (more…)

Posted in: Individual Counseling

Distorted Thoughts… Getting Back to Reality

Posted on: April 10, 2018

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

One of the best tools we have for living a healthy life is our ability to think. Our world is composed of a large number of events that happen constantly. Some are positive and some are negative, and most are neutral. We interpret these events as they happen with a series of thoughts that flow continually through our minds. This process is called our internal dialogue. We constantly think about present and past events, and sometimes about things that will happen in the future. And here’s the important point – these thoughts need to be accurate. We need good reality testing in order to live effectively. (more…)

Posted in: Individual Counseling

Relationships and Manipulation

Posted on: April 3, 2018

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

We are all vulnerable to being manipulated in relationships, whether between romantic partners, friends, parents, children, employers, coworkers, or neighbors. When we allow another person to manipulate us, we are colluding with their desire to control our feelings, motives, and even our thoughts through deceptive, exploitative, and unfair means. A manipulative relationship is one-sided and unbalanced, advancing the goals of the manipulator at the expense of the person being manipulated. These relationships become troubled over time. If you want to change this kind of relationship, you must first recognize the features of manipulation and then look within to understand your contribution to the manipulation. There are effective ways to stand up to manipulation and bring balance back into the relationship. (more…)

Posted in: Marriage Counseling

Obsessions and Compulsions

Posted on: March 27, 2018

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

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder was once thought to be a fairly rare but serious mental problem. Specialists saw it as serious mainly because the behavior of a person with this disorder appears quite abnormal to other people. About one in forty people suffers from OCD, and many cases go undiagnosed, so we now know that it is not so rare a condition. The more researchers discovered about OCD, the more they saw that people with this disorder are normal in most respects. (more…)

Posted in: Individual Counseling

Why Do We Procrastinate?

Posted on: March 20, 2018

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

“Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” The Earl of Chesterfield — December 26, 1749

Almost everyone has been afflicted by procrastination at one time or another – that nagging menace that compels us to put things off for another day, another time. For some people this is a persistent problem, and for others it appears in only some areas of their lives. The result, though, is the same for everyone – increased anxiety, wasted time, poor performance, missed opportunities, guilt, excusing ourselves, and avoiding people who depend on us. There are better ways of dealing with the demands of our everyday lives. Procrastination is not a trivial problem – it causes suffering for many people. (more…)

Posted in: Individual Counseling

Arising From Codependence

Posted on: March 13, 2018

Emerging From Dysfunctional Childhood Experiences Can Lead to a Journey of Self-Discovery and Independence

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

The households we grew up in can have a powerful influence on the way we deal with life as an adult – often in ways that we never stop to think about. We simply keep on living, repeating the same mistakes and enduring the same conflicts over and over again. We may wonder why the same old patterns keep repeating themselves even when we change friendships, jobs and relationships. The answer may lie in a less-than-nurturing childhood characterized by neglect and other forms of abuse. (more…)

Posted in: Marriage Counseling

Looking For The Right Partner

Posted on: March 6, 2018

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

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. (more…)

Posted in: Individual Counseling

Finding Happiness

Posted on: February 27, 2018

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

Most people seek a life filled with meaning, contentment, gratification, and pleasure. In moments of reflection, we may wonder what we can do to direct our lives not only away from anxiety, anger, stress, and depression – but toward a state of personal fulfillment. We may realize that the typical markers of achievement in our society – a graduation, a marriage, a job promotion, the completion of a project, buying a home – don’t always bring us the happiness that we expected, and often they increase our stress levels. (more…)

Posted in: Individual Counseling