Sometimes you need someone to talk to, someone who can help...

When you feel you can't do it alone...
When you feel trapped, like there's nowhere to turn...

When you worry all the time, and never seem to find the answers...

When even the advice offered by family or well-meaning friends
doesn't really help you feel any better,

I can help.

Recognizing the need for professional help is a good first step towards improvement.

Getting help can be of real benefit, providing help for a wide range of problems such as depression, loss, marital strife, parent-child concerns, or emotional distress. It can also help fulfill aspirations for personal growth or self-improvement. I have one clear and definite purpose: that something of positive value and constructive usefulness will come out of it for you.

    Anxiety is a normal response to stress that everyone experiences during traumatic life events or particularly worrisome times.

    Most people overcome these normal levels of anxiety when the situation passes. When the anxiety becomes pervasive, though, individuals often need the help of therapists that can provide effective treatments to help them reduce their levels of anxiety and learn to cope with situations that make them particularly anxious.

    The essential characteristic of anxiety is excessive uncontrollable worry about everyday things. This constant worry affects daily functioning and can cause physical symptoms. Anxiety can occur with other anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, or substance abuse. Anxiety is often difficult to diagnose because it lacks some of the dramatic symptoms, such as unprovoked Panic Attacks, that are seen with other anxiety disorders; for a diagnosis to be made, worry must be present more days than not for at least 6 months.  
    The focus of anxiety worry can shift, usually focusing on issues like job, finances, health of both self and family; but it can also include more mundane issues such as, chores, car repairs and being late for appointments. The intensity, duration and frequency of the worry are disproportionate to the issue and interferes with the sufferer's performance of tasks and ability to concentrate.

    Physical symptoms include:  
    Muscle tension;
    Cold, clammy hands;
    Difficulty swallowing;
    Gastrointestinal discomfort or diarrhea; 

    Sufferers tend to be irritable and complain about feeling on edge, are easily tired and have trouble sleeping.

    Anxiety has often been called the "common cold" of the emotional disorders. Most people experience anxiety in one stressful situation or another, while many of us have experienced or will experience anxiety at some point in our lives that is intense enough that it interferes with our daily activities.

    One of the biggest problems in dealing with anxiety for most people is that admitting that you experience anxiety is not socially acceptable in many circles. Males particularly have trouble admitting to symptoms of anxiety because many of them view anxiety as conflicting with their view of masculinity. Not owning up to symptoms of anxiety, however, does not make those symptoms go away. One simply becomes "anxious about being anxious" and resolving the problem becomes more complicated.
    However, the good news is that we can learn to manage anxiety, not to let it overtake us and eventually recognize its warning signs and take action before it takes hold.

    Life CAN be different. You CAN live anxiety free. You CAN make your life what you want it to be. You can choose to grow, learn, become the person you aspire, and master your life. Or you can choose to stagnate, to hesitate, and remain fearful and doubtful and live in mediocrity. You are responsible for your improvements and success as well as your frustrations and lack of progress.

    I'll assist you the best I can in helping you find the answers. You decide what's useful. It's up to you to choose what's valuable and important. It is your choice.
    Contact me for your FREE consultation and we will begin the journey together.

    Depression – What It is and How to Treat It

    Laymen often confuse depression with the type of sadness that everyone feels from time to time when life events create loss or worry. This can cause those suffering from depression to think that they should have the willpower to pull themselves out of their emotional state and confront the world with a fresh perspective without professional help.

    Self-reliance, however, usually does not work for those with depression. Instead, they need effective therapies that will address their specific symptoms and learn techniques that will counteract the negative effects of stress, trauma, and other mental states.

    Using Counseling to Diagnose Depression
    Common symptoms include persistent sadness, irritability, difficulty concentrating, restlessness, insomnia or hypersomnia (sleeping too much), and thoughts of suicide. One of the reasons I offer a free half hour consultation is for us to meet and for me to discuss your situation and come up with a plan of action perfectly suited to your needs.

    Therapy as a Treatment for Depression
    One of the most successful therapies for treating depression that I use is cognitive-behavioral therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on the connection between thoughts and feelings. From the perspective of this therapy, negative thoughts create depression, which in turn feeds the negative thinking patterns with more fodder for depression. Those with depression are essentially stuck in a cycle of negativity. Cognitive-behavioral therapy gets at the root of the depression by addressing the thoughts that cause it. The therapy also helps you learn healthy behaviors that will encourage them to cope with negative feelings.

    Using Cognitive Therapy to Treat Depression
    In using a cognitive-behavioral approach to treating depression, we often start by identifying distorted thoughts that are degrading your mental health. Distorted thoughts include unobtainable expectations, irrational beliefs and fears, catastrophizing, and pessimistic thinking.

    We work together to challenge these thought distortions and help you recognize that your fears, pessimism, and discontents are often unfounded. For instance, I might ask someone with aerophobia (a fear of flight) to write down what they fear will happen if they get into an airplane. The person usually believes that something catastrophic will happen such as going insane from fear or crashing into a building. I might then ask you to challenge these projections with realistic data such as the low number of plane crashes per year. This helps to change distorted cognates (thoughts) so that you can approach the fear from a logical position.

    Life CAN be different. You CAN live depression free. You CAN make your life what you want it to be. You can choose to grow, learn, become the person you aspire, and master your life. Or you can choose to stagnate, to hesitate, and remain fearful and doubtful and live in mediocrity.You are responsible for your improvements and success as well as your frustrations and lack of progress.

    I'll assist you the best I can in helping you find the answers. You decide what's useful. It's up to you to choose what's valuable and important. It is your choice. Contact me for your FREE consultation and we will begin the journey together.

    We generally use the word "stress" when we feel that everything seems to have become too much - we are overloaded and wonder whether we really can cope with the pressures placed upon us. Anything that poses a challenge or a threat to our well-being is a stress. Some stresses get you going and they are good for you - without any stress at all many say our lives would be boring and would probably feel pointless. However, when the stresses undermine both our mental and physical health they are bad.

    Fight or flight response
    The way you respond to a challenge may also be a type of stress. Part of your response to a challenge is physiological and affects your physical state. When faced with a challenge or a threat, your body activates resources to protect you - to either get away as fast as you can, or fight. If you are upstairs at home and an earthquake starts, the faster you can get yourself and your family out the more likely you are all to survive. If you need to save somebody's life during that earthquake, by lifting a heavy weight that has fallen on them during the earthquake, you will need components in your body to be activated to give you that extra strength - that extra push.

    Our fight-or-flight response is our body's sympathetic nervous system reacting to a stressful event. Our body produces larger quantities of the chemicals cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline, which trigger a higher heart rate, heightened muscle preparedness, sweating, and alertness - all these factors help us protect ourselves in a dangerous or challenging situation.

    Non-essential body functions slow down, such as our digestive and immune systems when we are in fight-or flight response mode. All resources can then be concentrated on rapid breathing, blood flow, alertness and muscle use.

    So, let's recap, when we are stressed the following happens:
    • Blood pressure rises
    • Breathing becomes more rapid
    • Digestive system slows down
    • Heart rate (pulse) rises
    • Immune system goes down
    • Muscles become tense
    • We do not sleep (heightened state of alertness)

    Most of us have varying interpretations of what stress is about and what matters. Some of us focus on what happens to us, such as breaking a bone or getting a promotion, while others think more about the event itself. What really matters are our thoughts about the situations in which we find ourselves.

    We are continually sizing up situations that confront us in life. We assess each situation, deciding whether something is a threat, how we can deal with it and what resources we can use. If we conclude that the required resources needed to effectively deal with a situation are beyond what we have available, we say that that situation is stressful - and we react with a classical stress response. On the other hand, if we decide our available resources and skills are more than enough to deal with a situation, it is not seen as stressful to us.

    We all respond differently to a given situation for three main reasons
    1. We do not all interpret each situation in the same way.
    2. Because of this, we do not all call on the same resources for each situation
    We do not all have the same resources and skills.

    Some situations which are not negative ones may still be perceived as stressful. This is because we think we are not completely prepared to cope with them effectively. Examples being: having a baby, moving to a nicer house, and being promoted. Having a baby is usually a wonderful thing, so is being promoted or moving to a nicer house. But, moving house is a well-known source of stress.

    It is important to learn that what matters more than the event itself is usually our thoughts about the event when we are trying to manage stress. How you see that stressful event will be the largest single factor that impacts on your physical and mental health. Your interpretation of events and challenges in life may decide whether they are invigorating or harmful for you.

    A persistently negative response to challenges will eventually have a negative effect on your health and happiness. Experts say people who tend to perceive things negatively need to understand themselves and their reactions to stress-provoking situations better. Then they can learn to manage stress more successfully.

    Some of the effects of stress on your body, your thoughts and feelings, and on your behavior:

    Effects on your body:

    • A tendency to sweat
    • Back pain
    • Chest pain
    • Cramps or muscle spasms
    • Erectile dysfunction
    • Fainting spells
    • Headache
    • Heart disease
    • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
    • Loss of libido
    • Lower immunity against diseases
    • Muscular aches
    • Nail biting
    • Nervous twitches
    • Pins and needles
    • Sleeping difficulties
    • Stomach upset

    Effect on your thoughts and feelings

    • Anger
    • Anxiety
    • Burnout
    • Depression
    • Feeling of insecurity
    • Forgetfulness
    • Irritability
    • Problem concentrating
    • Restlessness
    • Sadness
    • Fatigue

    Effect on your behavior

    • Eating too much
    • Eating too little
    • Food cravings
    • Sudden angry outbursts
    • Drug abuse
    • Alcohol abuse
    • Higher tobacco consumption
    • Social withdrawal
    • Frequent crying
    • Relationship problems

    What are the causes of stress?
    We all react differently to stressful situations. What one person finds stressful another may not at all. Almost anything can cause stress and it has different triggers. For some people, on some occasions, just thinking about something, or several small things that accumulate, can cause stress.

    The most common causes of stress are:
    • Bereavement
    • Family problems
    • Financial matters
    • Illness
    • Job issues
    • Lack of time
    • Moving home
    • Relationships (including divorce)

    The following are also causes of stress
    • Abortion
    • Becoming a mother or a father
    • Conflicts in the workplace
    • Driving in bad traffic
    • Fear of crime
    • Losing your job
    • Miscarriage
    • Noisy neighbors
    • Overcrowding
    • Pollution
    • Pregnancy
    • Retirement
    • Too much noise
    • Uncertainty (awaiting laboratory test results, academic exam results, job interview results, etc)

    It is possible that a person feels stressed and no clear cause is identified. A feeling of frustration, anxiety and depression can make some people feel stressed more easily than others.

    Diagnosis of stress
    A good primary care physician (GP - General Practitioner) should be able to diagnose stress based on the patient's symptoms alone. Some doctors may wish to run some tests, such as a blood or urine, or a health assessment.

    The diagnosis of stress depends on many factors and is complex, say experts. A wide range of approaches to stress diagnosis have been used by health care professionals, such as the use of questionnaires, biochemical measures, and physiological techniques. Experts add that the majority of these methods are subject to experimental error and should be viewed with caution. The most practicable way to diagnose stress and its effects on a person is through a comprehensive, stress-oriented, face-to-face interview.

    Self help for treating stress
    • Exercise - exercise has been proven to have a beneficial effect on a person's mental and physical state. For many people exercise is an extremely effective stress buster.

    • Division of labor - try to delegate your responsibilities at work, or share them. If you make yourself indispensable the likelihood of your feeling highly stressed is significantly greater.

    • Assertiveness - don't say yes to everything. If you can't do something well, or if something is not your responsibility, try to seek ways of not agreeing to do them.

    • Alcohol and drugs - alcohol and drugs will not help you manage your stress better. Either stop consuming them completely, or cut down.

    • Caffeine - if your consumption of coffee and other drinks which contain caffeine is high, cut down.

    • Nutrition - eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. Make sure you have a healthy and balanced diet.

    • Time - make sure you set aside some time each day just for yourself. Use that time to organize your life, relax, and pursue your own interests.

    • Breathing - there are some effective breathing techniques which will slow down your system and help you relax.

    • Talk - talk to you family, friends, work colleagues and your boss. Express your thoughts and worries.

    • Seek professional help - Heightened stress for prolonged periods can be bad for your physical and mental health.

    • Relaxation techniques - mediation, massage, or yoga have been known to greatly help people with stress.


    Most people manage their grief using the love of their families and friends. We know it's normal to grieve so we anticipate that it will take some time. This normalizing factor plays a big role in why most people don't seek counseling for bereavement, however a counselor can help us understand and deal with our grief in ways that family and friends can't.

    Not Moving Beyond Your Grief?
    Receiving comfort for a loss is not the same as resolving that loss. If someone is not moving on with his or her grief, counseling is often helpful--but not for the reasons most people assume. For these folks the comfort of family and friends may not be sufficient. Instead, what they need is to resolve their loss. They need to move through or work through their feelings of loss in order to move on. This means they must allow the feelings to flow through them. This is how counseling is beneficial where the words of a kind friend often fall short.

    Loss is experienced to the degree to which we have experienced other losses. Bottom Line: the more loss you have experienced in your life and the earlier you went through it, the more difficulty you will experience moving through grief later in life.
    Experiencing a loss easily triggers other losses especially those losses that have not yet been fully resolved. The reason that this happens is due to the interconnectivity of the brain and how our experiences are mapped out via neuropathways.

    The reason why it is important to consider how early your loss occurred is that the brain is more impressionable during our formative years. This is especially so when the nervous system is growing in the first 3 years of life. We are learning more at this stage of our life than the next 13 years. So this learning has greater impact. "I can't feel but I think I should be feeling."

    A loss, sudden or otherwise, is sometimes flooding to the nervous system. It can increase your physiological arousal so much so that you move outside your Window of Tolerance (or also known as the Zone of Comfort). One way the nervous system responds to an influx of energy is to cap it. We subsequently feel numb. The brain couples up our experiences and because our experiences form neuropathways it is easy to see that the interconnectivity of the brain makes us tap into other losses.

    (If you have a hard time seeing how this works, imagine a time when you were really angry at your brother, or your sister, or your friend or your partner. Many people start to experience anger that was left unresolved: "And I remember the other time when you…!" One moment of anger triggers another and suddenly we remember all the other times when we felt that way.)

    We need the comfort of others.
    As I may have suggested elsewhere, being around others who are more grounded helps us to regulate also. In other words, we affect each other more than we realize.
    And thankfully, science is catching up with what many of us already know in our hearts. That is, we know that it's a comfort to have others around. But some of us don't always know that we know--if you know what I mean. It sometimes takes the progress of science for us to believe what is real.

    For an interesting article on what neuroscience has found about the effect we have on each other, read a recent essay in the New York Times by the well-known Daniel Goleman. As you may already know, Dr. Goleman wrote Emotional Intelligence, a ground breaking best seller.

    Dr. Goleman cites research for instance, that suggests the physical presence of loved ones can lower our blood pressure. You probably already knew how the opposite feelings can effect us...
    Friends for Life: An Emerging Biology of Emotional Healing

    Just imagine the last time that your partner was angry--even if the anger wasn't directed at you. You no doubt felt some of that distress in your own body.

    How Can I Help You To Say Goodbye?

    "Mama whispered softly, Time will ease your pain Life's about changing, nothing ever stays the same And she said, How can I help you to say goodbye?

    It's OK to hurt, and it's OK to cry Come, let me hold you and I will try How can I help you to say goodbye?"
    -  By Patty Loveless


    Self Renewal: Dealing with Life Transitions

    The only thing that is constant is change. – Heraclitus, Greek philosopher
    Life is made up of a series of changes, transformations, and movements. These changes are what force us to develop and grow as individuals. But even when we know that these life transitions are for our own benefit, can they can stiff be very difficult to deal with emotionally.

    Most of us cringe at the very idea of change. Maintaining the status quo is something we all strive to do. Life transitions, in many people’s eyes, represent loss, abandonment, and uncertainty. But the fact is that those very changes hold the potential for a better future. Seeing the positive in every transition is the key to being a stronger, more well-rounded adult at the end of it.

    With every life transition, there can be a sense of grief at the loss you are experiencing. Even when you have been expecting, or even welcoming, a life transition, it’s still perfectly normal to feel sadness for what you are leaving behind. That sense of loss, along with the fear of the unknown and unexpected have to be dealt with before you’re ready to embrace your new surroundings.

    That’s where the importance of a strong support system comes in. Friends, family, partners and spouses all play a pivotal role in helping you cope with life transitions. However, when your regular support system isn’t enough (or when you find yourself without anyone who supports your decisions) it may be time to seek professional help.

    An objective therapist or counselor can help you move past self doubt and fear; allowing you to sort through all of the aspects and possible outcomes of your choices.
    There’s nothing wrong with admitting that you need a little help dealing with the adjustment of a life transition. In fact, counseling, therapy, and support groups are all geared towards helping people work through some of life’s most emotionally difficult moments, including (but not limited to):

    Marriage or Remarriage
    The Birth of a child/ post partum depression
    Empty Nest Syndrome
    Career Changes
    Midlife changes/crisis
    Dealing with the aging process
    Caring for elderly parents
    Identity/Gender questions
    Spiritual/Moral questions
    Death of a loved one

    The goal for anyone going through a major life transition is to adjust, grow and learn from the experience. Alone, or with the help of a counselor or therapist, it is possible to not only survive these life changes, but thrive from them.

    Happiness is a choice.

    Many people come to me saying how unhappy they are and how powerless they feel to make a change. They believe that somehow their boss, finances, parent, partner, etc., etc., must change in order for them to become happy. This belief renders us helpless and frequently leads to depression. The truth is that happiness comes from within and that it starts with us being able to recognize what WE want and need to make us happy.

    I like to invite my clients to start by simply thinking of their “preferences” as they move through the day. From the simplest choice of what to have for breakfast to the more complicated like do I want to accept that invitation to - - - (fill in the blank). The instructions include not needing to change anything (initially) but just to start “noticing”. It’s an easy exercise to help us become more aware of what we’re feeling. How frequently do we respond to what we really want/need/feel? How frequently are we even aware of what we really want/need/feel? We have to identify and be able to answer these questions for ourselves before we can begin to move towards making ourselves happy.

    There is also a belief that happiness is a state we “arrive” at and that we should feel this way all the time. In fact, life is full of ups and downs and true happiness lies in being able to ride the waves and hold a solid center despite the turmoil swirling around us.

    In the words of Daisaku Ikeda, a well-known international buddhist leader: “It is vital to have a resilient spirit so that without complaints or feelings of disaffection, one is able to always look on the bright side of a situation and find in it a source of hope and happiness. Such wisdom makes it possible to lead a thoroughly fulfilled life.

    Personal growth begins when you make a firm decision to...

    • Understand yourself
    • Improve your awareness
    • Work on your attitude
    • Believe in yourself and your potentials
    • Develop your skills
    • Set your goals
    • Begin with the end in mind

    Awareness of our feelings is the first step to personal growth.

    When I identify my negative feeling, I have identified an area for improvement. -- For example, when I am feeling impatient, I have an opportunity to work on my patience. When I am feeling inflexible, I have an opportunity to work on becoming more flexible. Here are a few more:

    When I am feeling Judgmental, I have an opportunity to become more Accepting and Compassionate.
    When I am feeling Confused, I have an opportunity to become more Educated, enlightened, informed.
    When I am feeling Needy, Weak, Dependent, I have an opportunity to become more Strong, Confident, Independent.
    When I am feeling Pessimistic, I have an opportunity to become more Optimistic.
    When I am feeling Self-blaming, self-destructive, I have an opportunity to become more Self-accepting, self-compassionate.
    When I am feeling Insecure, I have an opportunity to become more Self-secure.

    When we label people, places or situations, we rob ourselves of a growth opportunity. When we label our negative feelings, however, we identify our unmet emotional needs and the areas we need to work on in ourselves.

    Unmet Emotional Needs, Substitutes and Fulfillment:

    When we have unmet emotional needs, we often seek physical substitutes.
    For example, if we need emotional intimacy and acceptance, we may seek sex, alcohol or drugs. For some it means spending a lot of time in chat rooms on the internet, yet still not feeling fulfilled. Suddenly there comes a realization that the real, natural need is for was actual human connection, but trying to fill it with a substitute. You may be filling up time, but not filling the real need. Others try to meet their unmet emotional needs through buying things, controlling others, seeking status from their titles and positions in organizations or from memberships in groups, etc.

    I find it helpful to remember something I heard once: You can never get enough of a substitute.

    Constructive Thinking, Positive Thinking, Cognitive Distortion:

    Cognitive therapy basically promotes taking control of our feelings by our thoughts. For example, it basically uses this model:

    Event---> Thoughts---> Emotion

    But the new brain research shows that our feelings actually precede our thoughts by a few milliseconds. Thus, it is only after our amygdala has reacted to the event that our upper brain then directs our feelings from that point forward. We all make these Cognitive Distortions and we would be happier if we became aware of them and broke these bad habits.

    Recently the term "constructive thinking" is being used by some to refer to what is very similar to the principles of cognitive therapy and positive thinking in general. Whatever we call it, the way we think definitely impacts our feelings and lives.

    Emotions have the ability to distort our vision of reality. Hence the following common expressions:

    He sees the world through rose colored glasses. He was blinded by his rage. She always expects the worst.

    At such times we are making what have been called "cognitive distortions" since our thoughts, or our cognitions, are being clouded by our feelings. When this happens we are thrown off balance from reality. Consider these examples:

    Emotional reasoning: This is when we allow our emotions to lead us to faulty conclusions. An example of this is someone who believes that because he feels like a failure, he is a failure. Or a person who has been told they are selfish, then they start to feel selfish, and then they believe they actually are selfish.

    Emotional imprisonment: This is where we become a prisoner to our feelings. We feel trapped or we feel locked into a certain course of action, even when our better judgment and all the evidence is against it.

    Mental coloring or filtering: We may either see everything in an overly positive or overly negative light. We may for example, see any sign of trouble as "a disaster." Or we might allow our emotions to trick us into converting a positive into a negative. An example of this would be someone who feels so bad about herself that she thinks people who compliment her are lying out of pity.

    Over-generalization: This is where we mistakenly think that because something happened before, it "always" happens. This is similar to black and white thinking. High EQ people refrain from making themselves feel worse by their distorted "self-talk." Some examples of over generalizing negative self-talk are:

    I always screw up. I am always forgetting things. . I always get lost. . I will never be happy. My partner is always late.

    Awareness of these common distortions may help remind us to try to remain realistic, to try to see in a more positive or at least neutral perspective, as opposed to seeing things based on largely negative perceptions, which often are actually distortions resulting from many years of negative social influences influences in our families or society.

    Someone said "Man is not troubled by events, but what man tells himself about those events." But I think man is trouble by both actually. If we weren't troubled by events we wouldn't try to change anything. For example, if someone is abusing you, should you feel troubled by it, or just try to talk yourself out of it? The answer to this, though, depends partly on how much freedom you have.

    Constructive Thinking
    Our thoughts and our interpretation of events do affect our feelings and that changing the way we think can change not only our feelings but our lives. Many of us have been taught dysfunctional models of thinking. Or we could call it negative thinking or destructive thinking.

    Here are a few examples of constructive thinking:

    Everything and everyone is my teacher.
    Every negative feeling is an opportunity to work on an unmet need.
    When I feel frustrated by one approach, it helps to remind myself I might find another way which works even better.

    Additionally, we each need to feel free to:
    Feel what we actually do feel rather than what we "should" feel
    Not need to defend, debate or explain our thoughts, feelings or actions
    Be our own judge of our thoughts, feelings, actions
    Change our minds
    Say no
    Follow our feelings
    Be "irrational"
    Follow our own conscience and become morally autonomous
    Make mistakes
    Say "I don't know"
    Say "I am not responsible for you."
    Say "I am sorry."
    Say "Thank you" and accept help, a compliment, etc.
    Say "I forgive you"
    Say "I forgive myself"
    Say "I was wrong."
    Say "I understand how you feel, but this time, my needs are more important than yours."

    If , as children, we were not given this freedom by those who had power over us, then we must give ourselves these freedoms as adults. And sometimes, we must fight for it.

    Where and How to Start?
    You need to have a self improvement plan and a system for your personal development and growth. And then take consistent and continuous actions.
    When you know in which direction you want to go, you will work on yourself, do all that you can and do your best. This is self help. And you will change and grow.

    Ask yourself these few questions.

    Do you like where you are and what you have become?

    Have you ever wished that your life was better?

    Is your relationships with others working the way you want it to be?

    Are you producing the results that you want?

    What makes you feel good?

    Why do you do what you do?

    What have you been telling yourself about you?

    How do you go from here to where you want to be?

    When you begin to ask yourself these types of questions, you will start looking for the answers within you. And your journey to heal, improve and grow will begin.

    You can choose to grow, learn, become the person you aspire, and master your life. Or you can choose to stagnate, to hesitate, and remain fearful and doubtful and live in mediocrity.

    You are responsible for your improvements and success as well as your frustrations and lack of progress.

    I'll assist you the best I can in helping you find the answers. You decide what's useful. It's up to you to choose what's valuable and important. It is your choice. Contact me for your FREE consultation and we will begin the journey together.


    The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed. - Carl Jung

    Many people face interpersonal relationships problems. They have difficulties with family members, close friends, spouses, lovers, working colleagues and superiors.

    There are good days and bad ones. Arguments, misunderstandings and disagreements are part and parcel of human interaction but too much, too often, and getting violent are unhealthy for the individuals involved.

    Most people take the shortest route to settle their differences. They walk off, break up, quit, stop talking, and go separate ways.

    That's why you see siblings fight each other and never talk to one another ever again. Communication gaps show up between parents and their kids, couples divorce by the droves, lovers split, close friends snub each other, and animosity is created at the workplace.

    Of course there are certain situations, like being in an abusive relationship, that you shouldn't tolerate or put up with.

    What Causes Relationship Problems?

    • Neglect and taking people and things for granted.

    • Being judgmental and critical.

    • Possessiveness and jealousy.

    • Lack of trust.

    • Communication breakdown.

    • Demanding and needy.

    • Financial problems.

    • Sexual and intimacy issues.

    • Lack of commitment.

    • Carrying baggage from the past.

    • Unresolved personal issues.

    This list can go on and on. But if you look at each one and contemplate on it, doesn't it reveal that that you are partly responsible?

    This is where responsibility comes in. By responsibility, I do not mean fault or blame, like when your mother asked you who was responsible for the spilled milk. That is a different meaning of the word, like ball means something you throw and also a place to dance. Taking responsibility in relationships means acknowledging that the only person who has the power to change the situation and to make things better is myself. It means realizing that I am the creator of my world. It means knowing that I am the chooser of my actions and nobody else can make me do or say anything. It is not about being harsh or vicious, but being in control of my own life.

    The moment one person considers their partner to be the cause of the suffering, they are abandoning their responsibility. B may be doing all kinds of strange or crazy or harmful things to A, and it is still the challenge for A to figure out what to do about it. This may involve washing the dishes themselves or filing for divorce, but either way, A is the one who needs to take the action. Taking responsibility is a stance of empowerment.

    The opposite of taking responsibility is playing victim, being caught in the Blame Game. So long as A assumes that B is the one causing the troubles, A is abandoning his/her sense of capacity and strength and seriously affecting the possibility of finding a way out. There are situations in life where all the choices are bad, but to play victim is to ignore the fact that choices always exist and pretend that the other has all the control.

    Another way of saying the same thing is to understand that instead of 100% responsibility in a relationship that needs to be divided 50/50, there is 200%, and each partner needs to take their 100% of it. Taking more is being co-dependent and taking less is being a victim.

    The basic question that emerges from this position is “What are you going to do about it?” When you are ready to ask yourself this question, you are ready to begin to do the real work.