20 August, 2011 16:10

Hope gives you the strength to keep going
When you feel like giving up.
Don’t ever quit believing in yourself.
As long as you believe you can,
You will have a reason for trying.
Don’t let anyone hold your happiness
In their hands; hold it in yours,
So it will always be within your reach.
Don’t measure success or failure
By material wealth, but by how you feel;
Our feelings indicate the richness of our lives.
Don’t let bad moments make a quitter
Out of you;
Be patient and they will pass.
By seeing them through
You will become a winner.

Don’t hesitate to reach out for help;
We all need it from time to time.
Don’t run away from love but towards love,
Because it is our deepest joy.
Don’t wait for what you want to come to you;
Go after it with all that you are,
Knowing that life will meet you halfway.
Don’t feel like you’ve lost
When plans and dreams fall short of your hopes.
Any time you learn something new
About yourself or about life,
You have progressed.
Don’t do anything that takes away
From your self-respect;
Feeling good about yourself
Is essential to feeling good about life..
Don’t ever forget how to laugh
Or be too proud to cry.
It is by doing both
That we live life to its fullest….

— Nancye Sims

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15 August, 2011 00:55

 

COMMITMENTS :  Cutting the Cord :  Saying goodbye to your therapist can elicit bad feelings–unless it’s handled right. Then the parting can be a chance for growth.

December 04, 1995|LIBBY SLATE | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
You’ve been in psychotherapyfor a while and feel your therapist just isn’t meeting your needs anymore, so you decide it’s time for a change. Or perhaps it is your therapist who is moving on–leaving town, going on maternity leave, retiring because of age or illness.Whatever the reason for bidding adieu, when the two of you part company, you’re not just breaking off with a mental-health professional. Therapy involves transference, in which you transfer feelings about important figures in your life onto the therapist. So you’re also saying sayonara to your mother, your father, significant others past and present, best friend, maybe a sibling or two–so many people it’s a wonder you can all fit into one office.

That period of wrapping up therapy and saying goodbye is known as “termination,” a word that evokes images of being fired from a job or being stalked by Arnold Schwarzenegger. But mental-health experts consider termination a crucial stage in therapy.

If handled properly, it provides an opportunity to re-examine the issues that led the client to seek help in the first place, to evaluate the therapy itself and to deal with feelings that might bubble up in the face of bidding farewell.

A so-called natural termination, in which the two of you agree to end treatment because your goals have been met, is difficult enough. Who, after all, likes to say goodbye, especially to someone who has helped you so profoundly and so intimately? But a premature termination, where a dissatisfied client leaves without much notice or a therapist departs before the patient is ready, can be downright traumatic.

“It’s always best if people can have time to pay attention to the process of saying goodbye,” says Carl Shubs, a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Beverly Hills. “If people leave too abruptly, it interferes with the process–they’re not able to deal with the sadness or anger, the mourning that occurs.”

Adds Sylvia Martin, a licensed marriage, family and child therapist in private practice in Sherman Oaks: “Termination is a time when people start to deal with all their losses. It can trigger feelings about old issues, or issues about the relationship between the therapist and client.

“If there is an old loss they have not grieved, they will tap in and experience the same feelings,” she says. “Maybe they had a feeling of abandonment when they were young and did not understand it. Or maybe they have not had the luxury before now of dealing with a loss–for example, going through a divorce with two kids.”

*

If it is the patient who says so long, a good therapist will try to determine if he or she wants out because the topics being discussed are becoming too painful. In those cases, the therapist will encourage the patient to remain, so as to work through the discomfort and resolve those issues.

Many times, though, the client is willing to slog through the hard stuff, but feels this particular therapist is less than able. Such was the case last year for Laura, 41, who works in the travel industry in Orange County and sought counseling for marital problems.

“I was therapy illiterate,” she recalls. “I had no basis for comparison. But I never felt I was getting help. I would drive home and think, ‘Why did I just go there?’ I didn’t expect a magic cure, but I was just begging my therapist, ‘Give me some tools to help me.’

“All she said was, I had to divorce my husband, which I wasn’t ready to do. I felt her attitude was, ‘You won’t take my advice, so I don’t know what to tell you.’ ”

Laura–who is still married and on better terms with her husband–found another therapist to her liking. But she stuck with her first counselor longer than she preferred to because, she says, “The last thing I wanted was to look for someone new to spill my guts to, to start over again.”

Indeed, for some people, leaving the current therapist is the easy part; it’s finding a new one that poses problems. Says Studio City writer Catherine Johnson, author of the book “When to Say Goodbye to Your Therapist” (Simon and Schuster, 1988), “Finding a new therapist is not like finding a new dentist. It’s extremely difficult to find a match.

“It’s a bit like finding a lover, or best friend, or a parent. You don’t just go out and find a new best friend. You have to find a real emotional fit, on top of basic competence.”

Lisa Moore, 34, a West Los Angeles advertising account executive, discovered that last year when she left the marriage and family counselor she had been seeing for 15 months because she thought the therapist had crossed the professional line and was becoming too friendly. After six weeks with a new therapist recommended by her physician, she decided to return to her former counselor.

http://articles.latimes.com/1995-12-04/news/ls-10124_1_bad-feelings

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14 August, 2011 23:20

When is it time to say
goodbye to a therapist?

By Alexia
Elejalde-Ruiz

Chicago Tribune

Posted: 03/29/2011 01:00:00 AM MDT

Maybe you don’t like your therapist. Maybe you do, but you’ve resolved the
issues that drove you to seek counseling in the first place. Or maybe those
issues remain unresolved, with few signs of progress. Maybe your sessions feel
as if they’ve morphed into very expensive chats with a friend.

For myriad reasons, people come to a point when they wonder if they should
break up with their therapist. And “break up” is the right term for it, because
quitting therapy can spur emotions as painful and complicated as ending a
romantic relationship.

How do you know if you’re ready to stop therapy? And how should you go about
it? First, any therapy that is abusive or destructive should be stopped
immediately, said Dr. Kenneth Settel, clinical instructor in psychiatry at
Harvard Medical School. Examples of abusive therapists are those who are
disrespectful or insensitive to certain issues; those who violate boundaries;
those who reveal too much about their own problems; and those who insist on
focusing on areas the patient didn’t come in for.

But assuming you’re not dealing with that, patients should approach ending
therapy as a chance to grow, Settel said. Rather than cut and run or avoid the
topic altogether — tempting routes for the confrontation-avoidant — it’s
important that patients, well, talk to their therapist about it.

In therapy, the relationship between the patient and the therapist is a
vehicle for understanding the patient’s issues, Settel said. So the way you end
therapy can be a way of examining how you say goodbye to people, and the
feelings involved in leaving and loss.

Ask yourself why you want to move on. When did you start feeling that the
therapy was no longer helpful or productive? What happened that made it
different? Was there a change in you, in the topics being discussed, in the
therapist? Confronting that tension can be a turning point because it forces you
to work through obstacles, Settel said.

“Ending therapy can be very therapeutic,” Settel said.

Though the patient-therapist relationship can have a weird power dynamic —
you’re paying, but the therapist is the expert and knows your every demon —
patients should feel they have control of the process, said Lynn Bufka, a
psychologist and head of the department of practice, research and policy at the
American Psychological Association. Patients should feel empowered to ask
questions, steer the sessions to focus on particular issues and let the
therapist know what’s not working.

The tricky part is making sure you’re not leaving therapy just because it’s
unpleasant or difficult, which oftentimes it has to be, Bufka said. More than
make you feel better, therapy is supposed to help you understand yourself
better.

On the flip side, therapy shouldn’t be some indefinite appointment you keep
as part of your routine. There should be regular discussions about what you’re
trying to accomplish and whether you’re meeting those goals.

“I hope that I’m going to work myself out of a job,” Bufka said.

There is such a thing as staying in therapy for too long. One warning sign is
if a patient has to run all decisions by his or her therapist, which can signal
dependency, Bufka said. Another concern is if the therapist relationship is
taking the place of building other relationships.

Another downside of staying in therapy for too long is that you don’t have
the opportunity to practice the skills you’re developing independently, Settel
said. If the therapy was aiming to help you build internal skills of
self-observation, stopping therapy can encourage growth because it forces you to
internalize the process.

Read more: When is it
time to say goodbye to a therapist? – The Denver Post
http://www.denverpost.com/lifestyles/ci_17720234#ixzz1YuUEWgne

Read The Denver Post’s Terms of Use of its content:
http://www.denverpost.com/termsofuse

http://www.denverpost.com/lifestyles/ci_17720234

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14 August, 2011 23:16

 

How to Figure Out When Therapy Is Over

Published: October 30, 2007

If you think it’s hard to end a relationship with a lover or spouse, try breaking up with your psychotherapist.

A writer friend of mine recently tried and found it surprisingly difficult. Several months after landing a book contract, she realized she was in trouble.

“I was completely paralyzed and couldn’t write,” she said, as I recall. “I had to do something right away, so I decided to get myself into psychotherapy.”

What began with a simple case of writer’s block  turned into seven years of intensive therapy.

Over all, she found the therapy very helpful. She finished a second novel and felt that her relationship with her husband was stronger. When she broached the topic of ending treatment, her therapist strongly resisted, which upset the patient. “Why do I need therapy,” she wanted to know, “if I’m feeling good?”

Millions of Americans are in psychotherapy, and my friend’s experience brings up two related, perplexing questions. How do you know when you are healthy enough to say goodbye to your therapist? And how should a therapist handle it?

With rare exceptions, the ultimate aim of all good psychotherapists is, well, to make themselves obsolete. After all, whatever drove you to therapy in the first place — depression, anxiety, relationship problems, you name it — the common goal of treatment is to feel and function better independent of your therapist.

To put it bluntly, good therapy is supposed to come to an end.

But when? And how is the patient to know? Is the criterion for termination “cure” or is it just feeling well enough to be able to call it a day and live with the inevitable limitations and problems we all have?

The term “cure,” I think, is illusory — even undesirable — because there will always be problems to repair. Having no problems is an unrealistic goal.  It’s more important for patients to be able to deal with their problems and to handle adversity when it inevitably arises.

Still, even when patients feel that they have accomplished something important in therapy and feel “good enough,” it is not always easy to say goodbye to a therapist.

Not long ago, I evaluated a successful lawyer who had been in psychotherapy for nine years. He had entered therapy, he told me, because he lacked a sense of direction and had no intimate relationships. But for six or seven years, he had felt that he and his therapist were just wasting their time. Therapy had become a routine, like going to the gym.

“It’s not that anything bad has happened,” he said. “It’s that nothing is happening.”

This was no longer psychotherapy, but an expensive form of chatting. So why did he stay with it? In part, I think, because therapy is essentially an unequal relationship. Patients tend to be dependent on their therapists. Even if the therapy is problematic or unsatisfying, that might be preferable to giving it up altogether or starting all over again with an unknown therapist.

Beyond that, patients often become stuck in therapy for the very reason that they started it. For example, a dependent patient cannot leave his therapist; a masochistic patient suffers silently in treatment with a withholding therapist; a narcissistic patient eager to be liked fears challenging his therapist, and so on.

Of course, you may ask why therapists in such cases do not call a timeout and question whether the treatment is stalled or isn’t working. I can think of several reasons.

To start with, therapists are generally an enthusiastic bunch who can always identify new issues for you to work on. Then, of course, there is an unspoken motive: therapists have an inherent financial interest in keeping their patients in treatment.

And therapists have unmet emotional needs just like everyone else, which certain patients satisfy. Therapists may find some patients so interesting, exciting or fun that they have a hard time letting go of them.

So the best way to answer the question, “Am I done with therapy?” is to confront it head on. Periodically take stock of your progress and ask your therapist for direct feedback.

How close are you to reaching your goals? How much better do you feel? Are your relationships and work more satisfying? You can even ask close friends or your partner whether they see any change.

If you think you are better and are contemplating ending treatment but the therapist disagrees, it is time for an independent consultation. Indeed, after a consultation, my writer friend terminated her therapy and has no regrets about it.

The lawyer finally mustered the courage to tell his therapist that although he enjoyed talking with her, he really felt that the time had come to stop. To his surprise, she agreed.

If, unlike those two,  you still cannot decide to stay or leave, consider an experiment. Take a break from therapy for a few months and see what life is like without it.

That way, you’ll have a chance to gauge the effects of therapy without actually being in it (and paying for it). Remember, you can always go back.

Richard A. Friedman is a professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/30/health/views/30beha.html

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4 August, 2011 13:40

There are 5 things in life you cannot recover: A stone…after it’s thrown. A word…after it is said. An occasion…after it’s missed. The time…after it’s gone. A person…after they die. Life is short. Break the rules. Forgive quickly. Kiss slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably. And never regret anything that made you smile, Enjoy Life.

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Trust & Faith Misunderstood

 

Trust & Faith Misunderstood.

Trust & Faith Misunderstood

August 14, 2008

I walked this path. I trusted her, I lost trust, I questioned trust and understood it.
Its been a long journey but I hope this helps.

I want us to think about the last time we put our trust or faith in someone and for some reason it ended up in a fiasco. I’m sure that we have all gone through this bit of personal regret while trusting others, and I’m even sure that somewhere we tell ourselves never to trust again, especially with matters very close to our heart. Somewhere and somehow we are losing faith in people and humanity in general. In all this, I ask just one question!

~what kind of a lesson is life teaching us about trust?~

The true reality is, we haven’t understood trust the way it really is, just as the many other things that we believe we know everything about. All that bickering, crying and sulking over blaming others might just go up in smoke after this read is complete. Let me make a quick analysis.

~what are we doing when we trust someone?~

We are placing our happiness in their hands. It could be something as simple as asking a friend to keep a secret from others; a rule that this friend now needs to follow. And when they do as we expect them to, we become or remain happy. The minute they let go of that rule or boundary we placed around them, we see them as letting us down and in turn we’re unhappy with them.
To begin with, is it fair that we put a boundary wall around people we care for as friends or family? Or is it us caring for ourselves and expecting them to care for us too? Trade places for a second now; how would we feel if we were made responsible to keep others happy most of the time? (or in other words carry their emotional baggage?) I know that most of us selflessly do it, but even carrying ones own weight gets tiring. Good friends think wisely before burdening others with their weight. When they do, they make it a point to pay back.

~true happiness and misconception of trust~

If we understand that true happiness comes from within ourselves, then we will also understand that the happiness that comes from fulfilling the ‘trust’ bestowed on others is highly superficial. Somewhere even though we may deny it, we are really seeking acceptance and attention from the ones we trust. It has everything to do with making us happy and not them. Further more, the truth of the matter is that we haven’t yet accepted ourselves for who we are. We lack healthy self esteem and we constantly need someone else to fill in our voids. Hence the ‘trust’ we think we know is a pure misconception.

~true trust & faith~

Trust in others is having faith that they will do their best even though they are vulnerable to mistakes like we all are. Its only human to err. We trust that someday they will learn from their mistakes (if they believe its a mistake) and do the best for themselves; and that’s all that matters. Trusting others with something important means that you are happily ready to accept failure when it happens just as much as you would happily accept success. It’s a package deal and anything less is hypocrisy and leads to the concept of forgiveness. Forgiveness is nothing a but an unhappy seed that arises when trust is misunderstood. More on this in a later post.

~trusting others trails trusting ourselves~

In reality, we need to first trust ourselves to find happiness through a deeper understanding of ourself and not through superficial means. When we lose trust in others, or claim that others have broken our trust, we are really saying that we do not understand the true concept of trust. We have in turn lost trust in ourselves. Its only when we trust ourselves completely, can we trust others with ease. Whatever wrong they do will not affect the true happiness we get from within ourselves. For the fact that every time we superficially trust and it fails us should ring a bell that somewhere we got something figured wrong. Trusting others must never define our happiness; just theirs. Trusting ourselves defines ours.

~what about trusting others to do something I don’t know how to do myself?~

If we want to do something right and its very important to us, its best to do it ourselves. The process of doing it ourselves has many hidden lessons of life. If we don’t know how, we can always learn. If we don’t have the time, we can pay a professional to do it to our expectations. If we just want to find excuses, it boils down to the fact that we don’t trust ourselves enough.

PS. I have faith in you because I have faith in myself. The time to learn is immaterial.