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The Resilient Personality – Bouncing Back from Hardship

Posted on: August 22, 2019

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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