Wednesday, May 24, 2017

This morning working with a group, we looked at a depiction of the marshmallow study with children from years ago. A large marshmallow was placed before each child, then each child was told that they could eat it now, but if they waited 15 minutes to eat it, they would receive a second marshmallow. It turned out that only about a third of the children were able to wait the 15 minutes and receive the second treat.

This demonstrates an ability in some to postpone instant gratification toward a larger, more fulfilling reward. The nurture of this ability in our lives can manifest itself in many diverse ways and will be a blessing to us as we face adversity, challenges, and hardships.

In this morning's discussion, my mind reverted to joining of the wrestling team in high school. I remember thinking that I was in pretty good shape, having just went through the football season and participating in all the conditioning that we had achieved. Was I ever wrong!!! The first order of business on the first day of wrestling season was to run 5 miles. To this day I remember that first 5 mile run. My legs feeling like rubber, my lungs burning. I have to admit that postponing the desire to stop and rest or to get a drink along the way was very difficult. In fact, I know within myself that had I not the companionship of two friends who gave me positive support and encouragement, I would surely have fallen to the desire for these immediate gratifications.

As time went on, I came to know the importance of this daily conditioning, because when on the wrestling mat, in my first few matches, that 6 minutes was the longest six minutes I had ever encountered in my life. My lungs burned and fatigue set in much too quickly, yet over time my body responded to the daily conditioning and my ability to weather these rigors increased greatly.

In my work as a therapist, I have come to know that in mental/emotional conditioning, there are two roads traveled. A road of negative outlook about one's self-worth, competency, and abilities; or a positive understanding of such attributes. Daily conditioning through self-talk brings either a positive sense of self, leading to unlimited success and achievement or a negative view of personal attributes and abilities, which spawns self-sabotage, bringing on a perception of personal incompetence and worthlessness, a view of one being somehow broken without any hope of being repaired.

Remember, what you focus on in your mind, you will move toward, you will eventually act out in your behavior. Your brain has an ability to validate whatever you actively and consistently process within it. In other words, it will make you right about such perceptions by adapting your behavior toward their validation. Therefore, as a student, if you deeply process the idea that "I WILL NEVER PASS THIS TEST, THERE IS JUST TOO MUCH TO REMEMBER," your brain may block your memory to validate your perception. If as a romantic partner or spouse, you deeply process the understanding that "I AM NOT DESIRABLE AND DO NOT DESERVE THIS PERSON OR SUCH A HAPPY RELATIONSHIP," your behavior may turn toward creating conflict aimed at sabotaging the relationship, therefore making your perception right.

Please take inventory of your daily thought patterns and make changes toward positive thought. Challenge your perceptions and where they came from, where they were created. Your happiness depends on it.

Thursday, August 13, 2015


Often, when I begin meeting with a new client, they will share events during previous therapy and how they have helped them, or not. I find it valuable to hear the different perspectives of others on what has been more or less effective for them when working on their personal struggles. As a therapist, it is important for me to look at my efforts with each individual or couple and detect where a change in procedure may be necessary. Everyone has personal preferences derived from their life's experience and view the world differently from others' perspectives. This is why I believe that an accepting and non-judgmental approach is the best. Personally, I don't consider myself worthy of being a judge, we all have our personal struggles and none are perfect.

I would be interested in your experiences with counseling and therapy, whether successful or less than helpful. Please respond freely and start a dialogue.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

At times a person will express being offended by friends because they have had little or no contact with them. I seek to offer a different point of view, having friends that I have not seen or heard from for years, yet I can never see their absence as offensive. These are people that I can only identify as eternal friends, friends that I have been so blessed to know and associate with for a time, to be the recipient of their love and service, that close proximity in the present is not necessary to continue this friendship. The love and caring we have shared in the past burns bright through my memories in the present. As we get caught up in our daily routines and sometimes struggles, sometimes feeling loneliness, we can ever reflect on such friendships solidified in the past, never to be forgotten. When I tell people of my eternal friendships, one stands out clearly in my mind. A wonderful loving family who spent a few short years as my backdoor neighbor. Our time together will always be cherished, and if and when we see each other again in this life or the next, our friendship will bless me once again.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Rules for a Strong Positive Relationship

Rules for a Strong Positive Relationship
Remember that this person you have chosen is the love of your life, your best friend, your soul mate, your trusted confidant, your highest hope, your fondest dream, and there is no one you would rather spend the rest of your life with as equal partners, while sharing and fulfilling each others' dreams and desires.
 If at any time in your relationship, you feel offended, distrustful, irritated, vengeful, angry, sad, defeated, overwhelmed, betrayed, belittled, competitive, abandoned, lonely, tired, attacked, jealous, envious, fearful, inadequate or threatened, follow the instructions below.

     (Find your capacity for humility and forgiveness)

Monday, February 3, 2014

Are you often bothered, kept awake, or troubled by negative thoughts that you can't seem to avoid? What goes through your mind when it is not occupied with a specific task? In other words, WHAT DO YOU SAY WHEN YOU TALK TO YOURSELF? The answer is often referred to as SELF-TALK.

Development of some of our tendencies toward self-talk begin during childhood, when many of life’s perceptions and attitudes are formed. Other adaptations occur throughout life, especially around significant events which invoke intense emotional responses. These emotions may reflect immense pleasure or happiness, yet others indicate immeasurable pain, sorrow, or regret.
I compare the resulting self-talk to the default on a computer. Just as the computer reverts to the default automatically, our self-talk similarly becomes an automatic response. It becomes the precursor to success and happiness or toward self-sabotage, failure, and hopelessness. Understand that even if a negative mindset becomes the prevalent default in your thought process, it can be challenged, positive thought (self-talk) can be consistently learned and practiced, and the defeatist default can be reversed, allowing future success and happiness. Remember, what your mind focuses on, visualizes, and then is reinforced by strong emotions, is what you will communicate, move toward in your behavior, and can eventually become your reality. WILL THAT REALITY BE POSITIVE AND FULFILLING OR NEGATIVE AND REGRETFUL?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Have you ever asked yourself: WHO AM I, REALLY?    I once led a group in which we pondered this question. Many of them struggled to let go of the perception, WHAT I DO IS WHO I AM. They judged themselves harshly for whatever mistakes they perceived theirs. I happen to disagree with this premise. Not one of us has made it through this life without committing errors that even we don't believe in, that we understand within ourselves to be wrong for us and others. With the understanding that these mistakes, sins, errors, or whatever you want to term them are wrong, the last thing that we would want to do is assign them identity status and allow our misdeeds to define who we are. SUCH IS A FALSE IDENTITY. What really defines you? (See my thoughts at

Saturday, April 6, 2013

A great conference today. It had a lot of counsel toward self-understanding and healing. I look forward to tomorrow's sessions.