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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Good Night’s Sleep

Posted on: July 12, 2019

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

“To sleep, perchance to dream – ay, there’s the rub.”  — William Shakespeare, from Hamlet

The National Sleep Foundation tells us that nearly half of us don’t get enough sleep. In modern-day society, because of night work, television, computers, and the profound stress we experience in everyday life, our sleep is often disrupted. Sleep is a basic biological need, like hunger and thirst. When we don’t get enough of it, our bodies let us know that there are consequences. Sleep is a regular, natural state of rest characterized by a reduction in voluntary body movement and a decreased awareness of the surroundings. Sleep is not a state of falling completely into unconsciousness, but rather an altered state of consciousness that performs a restorative function for the brain and body.

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

Why Do We Procrastinate?

Posted on: June 26, 2019

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.

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

To Forgive

Posted on: June 14, 2019

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

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”  
Mahatma Gandhi

All of us have been hurt, in one way or another, by someone else. While it is easy to forgive a friend for the slight distress we feel over a phone call that was not returned, it is not so easy to forgive those who have harmed us in a major way. The greatest hurt seems to come from those who play the most significant roles in our lives. The enormity of the hurt may lead us to conclude that we can never forgive the other person. To forgive or not to forgive is one of our life choices. It is important for our own emotional well-being to understand that it is a choice, and a choice with consequences.

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

Understanding Anxiety

Posted on: May 29, 2019

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

“The bow too tensely strung is easily broken.”
    – Publius Syrus (42 B.C.)

Anxiety is the body’s reaction to an event that is experienced as disturbing or threatening. Our primitive ancestors experienced stress when they had to fight off wild animals and other threats to their survival. Now, in the contemporary world, 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

Staying Healthy At Work

Posted on: February 26, 2019

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

Are You Working Hard or Hardly Working? (Or Both?)

The atmosphere of the workplace has changed dramatically in recent times. Ever since the exploitative practices of the industrial revolution were removed through legislation, work has been defined as a place where a person could find fulfillment through a job which was rewarding and paid a fair wage. But this definition has reverted in recent years to one in which the needs of the employee have become less important. Finding personal fulfillment through our work has become more of a challenge. Progressive occupational stress leading to job burnout has become a painful reality for many people. This is especially true during times of high unemployment – when the workers who are still employed are expected to carry the load of those who are no longer with the company. (more…)

Posted in: Individual Counseling

Loneliness

Posted on: February 12, 2019

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

Only the lonely

Know the way I feel tonight

Only the lonely

Know this feeling ain’t right

  – Roy Orbison

If you feel lonely, you’re not alone.

Loneliness is a subjective sense of isolation – a feeling of not being able to connect with other people, a sense of being apart. As humans, we feel the need to be with other people. We need to relate to others, to get involved in their lives, to work with them, and to express our emotions around other people. Our social needs are nearly as powerful as our other basic needs, like our needs for food, water, and shelter. (more…)

Posted in: Individual Counseling

Worry, Worry

Posted on: January 18, 2019

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

It’s a good thing that almost all of us worry. Think of worry as a built-in alarm device. When it is used wisely, it alerts us to danger and prompts us to navigate our way through a maze of solutions to life’s various problems. We need to think through our options when we are faced with problems, weighing the benefits and pitfalls of each alternative, and then come up with the best solution. From there we take action which, we hope, solves the problem. Worry is helpful when it is used at the right time and at the right level for resolving our difficulties. Like many things in life, however, too little worry, or too much of it, can be harmful. (more…)

Posted in: Individual Counseling

The Influence of Birth Order

Posted on: December 20, 2018

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

Birth Order Affects Our Behavior and Relationships

If brothers and sisters are raised by the same parents, how do they end up so different? How is it that one sibling grows up to be successful academically and professionally but with few friends, while another becomes the athlete with loads of friends? To the degree that one of the siblings is a responsible person, another will be attention-seeking or rebellious. One follows the ways of the parents and another looks outside the family for support. The strategies we learn in childhood for dealing with our parents and siblings has a lasting influence on our behavior, often in ways we barely recognize. (more…)

Posted in: Individual Counseling

Distortions in Your Body Image

Posted on: November 26, 2018

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

“What disturbs people’s minds is not events, but their judgments on events.”

Epictetus

In China, parents once bound the feet of their daughters in pursuit of beauty. In parts of Africa, both men and women elongate their earlobes and decorate their skin with minerals to look attractive, and this trend may be found in the United States now. At one time in this society, we found plump, rotund people to be the epitome of beauty. Old movies show us that the Tarzans and Supermen of past decades would hardly pass muster in today’s gyms. Today we define beauty as a thin, youthful, and muscular look. Today we go under the knife and on extreme diets to achieve a socially acceptable appearance – not to mention tattoos and body piercing – all practices that are similar to the early Chinese custom of binding feet. Strong social standards dictate, especially through the media, how we should look – and if our own bodies deviate from these expectations, which is the case for almost all of us, we feel inferior and ashamed. We hide. We cover up. We don’t like an important part of our selves. We feel depressed. We feel anxious in front of other people. We feel powerless – and we are apologetic when we show the world who we are.

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Posted in: Individual Counseling

Men and Depression

Posted on: October 29, 2018

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

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. (more…)

Posted in: Individual Counseling

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

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

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

Distortions In Your Body Image

Posted on: February 20, 2018

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

“What disturbs people’s minds is not events, but their judgments on events.” — Epictetus

In China, parents once bound the feet of their daughters in pursuit of beauty. In parts of Africa, both men and women elongate their earlobes and decorate their skin with minerals to look attractive, and this trend may be found in the United States now. At one time in this society, we found plump, rotund people to be the epitome of beauty. Old movies show us that the Tarzans and Supermen of past decades would hardly pass muster in today’s gyms. Today we define beauty as a thin, youthful, and muscular look. Today we go under the knife and on extreme diets to achieve a socially acceptable appearance – not to mention tattoos and body piercing – all practices that are similar to the early Chinese custom of binding feet. Strong social standards dictate, especially through (more…)

Posted in: Individual Counseling

A Good Night’s Sleep

Posted on: February 13, 2018

“To sleep, perchance to dream — ay, there’s the rub.”

William Shakespeare, from Hamlet

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

The National Sleep Foundation tells us that nearly half of us don’t get enough sleep. In modern-day society, because of night work, television, computers, and the profound stress we experience in everyday life, our sleep is often disrupted. Sleep is a basic biological need, like hunger and thirst. When we don’t get enough of it, our bodies let us know that there are consequences. Sleep is a regular, natural state of rest characterized by a reduction in voluntary body movement and a decreased awareness of the surroundings. Sleep is not a state of falling completely into unconsciousness, but rather an altered state of consciousness that performs a restorative function for the brain and body. (more…)

Posted in: Individual Counseling

Making The Most Of Our Life Transitions

Posted on: January 24, 2018

There Are Times To Let Go Of The Old And Embrace The New

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

Throughout the course of our lives we experience many endings and many beginnings. In nature we observe times when things move slowly without visible change – and then suddenly an acceleration occurs followed by a transformation. Daffodil shoots emerge from the cold ground, and then before we know it bloom in a dazzling array of perfumed beauty. Tree leaves which have been green all summer suddenly turn gold and within a short time are blown to the ground, the tree’s branches left bare. Transitions are as natural as night and day. And so it is with our lives. (more…)

Posted in: Individual Counseling

Healthy Pleasure

Posted on: January 24, 2018

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

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

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 common daily activities – are enjoyable. Our survival depends on engaging in these activities. And we define these basic actions as sources of fun or pleasure, and this may explain why we feel impelled to engage in them. (more…)

Posted in: Individual Counseling

Healthy Pleasure

Posted on: January 23, 2018

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

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

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 common daily activities – are enjoyable. Our survival depends on engaging in these activities. And we define these basic actions as sources of fun or pleasure, and this may explain why we feel impelled to engage in them. (more…)

Posted in: Individual Counseling