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Empower yourself to make necessary change in your life. When we are able to fully understand the connection between our thoughts and our behaviors, we can take charge of situations that used to cause feelings of helplessness and despair.

DEPRESSION

Over 19 million Americans each year experience some form of depression. If diagnosed and treated properly, depression can be successfully managed and in many cases, eliminated.​

People who experience anxiety often feel completely helpless. Cognitive behavioral therapy can offer strategies and techniques to drastically reduce these feelings.

Even the most positive of events can bring high levels of stress. Let's problem solve the challenges you face together.​

The Artist is Present / Therapy As Art

   A few days ago, I received an idea for this entry from a dear friend and monthly blog reader.  She shared the below YouTube video link with me about Marina Abramović, a Yugoslav Performance Artist who performed an exhibition entitled The Artist Is Present at the Museum of Modern Art in 2010.   During this exhibition, Abramović sat immobile while visitors were invited to sit individually across from her.  The artist sat silent, immobile and maintained eye contact with each individual who participated.  The exhibition was an amazing 736 hours in length.  Participants were visibly and emotionally moved by their experiences with Abramović; many noted the intensity of the eye contact and simply being in the present moment.  The YouTube link captures the intense connection between Abramović and her former collaborator and lover, Ulay, during this presentation. In a similar way, therapy can also be seen as an art form.  To me, the “art” of therapy is the collaborative work between the therapist and client, resulting in moments of clarity, of healing and even transformation.  It’s interesting that while most of us have any number of friends and family to share our problems with, there is something quite unique about being able to share oneself with a “stranger” who can provide a level of focus and objectivity .  In this age of technology where we heavily rely upon texting and emails to convey what’s happening in our lives, there is still no substitute for humans having face-to-face interactions and present moments with each other.   Enjoy! https://youtu.be/CAID_2iKO5Y 

Your Window on the world

 A tool I often discuss with clients is the Johari Window. The Johari Window was developed in 1955 by two psychologists (Luft & Ingham). The tool itself provides a perspective for helping people see themselves and others.Although the model is over 60 years old now, it has stood the test of time in terms of how applicable and useful it remains. It continues to be used in Corporate America for teamwork exercises. I learned about this window over 30 years ago in a Mass Communications class. It made an impression on me because it helped me acknowledge things about myself I had not considered before. For example, I did have a blind spot about how people were perceiving me. I often thought I was communicating accurately and precisely and found that people frequently misunderstood me. Through the hidden pane, I learned about the private part of myself that was necessary for my mental health and was too often taken for granted. The “unknown” pane is that mysterious, miraculous part of ourselves that we learn about every day. The things that surprise us in terms of our reactions and behaviors – those unexplained aspects of unconsciousness.    

Differences between privacy & secrets

  A question I often ask clients in therapy is if they can tell me the difference between privacy and a secret.  Why do I do this?  Because I've noticed that people are losing the ability to create and maintain healthy boundaries in regards to their personal information, especially as they interact in social media. Unfortunately, we live in an age where anything goes. By this I mean either we reveal things about ourselves to the world without considering the consequences or others reveal information about us with the intent to harm or humiliate. This does not even take into consideration "fake news" or libelous actions. Case in point - remember Tyler Clementi, the 18-year old gay student who killed himself after being publicly outed on the internet by a fellow student? This young man was in his own process of coming out and was not emotionally ready for this news to be broadcasted to the world. I admit, this is an extreme example of the harm that can be done - but many of us really do take for granted how important our privacy is. Simply put, privacy is the "condition of being free of being observed or disturbed by others", whereas secrecy is the "practice of hiding information". Psychologically speaking, I believe everyone needs a sense of privacy in their lives in order to be healthy. People who are able to maintain their privacy tend to have stronger boundaries and understand when and how disclosure is needed.  Secrecy on the other hand is much more complex. People keep secrets for a variety of reasons, both good and bad. Generally speaking, keeping some secrets are counterproductive and destructive in nature especially in therapeutic settings. Secrets that are negative often impact our physical and mental health. There is an old adage in the treatment community that says "you are only as sick as your secrets".  We all need the safe and confidential means to disclose personal information that causes us pain and upset while protecting our rights to privacy. That's what good therapy is all about. Please see the attached link to an article entitled 10 Reasons Why Privacy Matters  

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