10.14.19 - Recently have been seeing couples with young kids that are having difficulty with balance and family life stressors. School starting, sports and activity commitments and two career couples bringing lots of work home on the computer at night spell - problems. We need to set boundaries - say no to: too much sports, afterschool and night time activities, work to leave as much of your job on the job and spend more evening family time together - talking with each other. Couples also need to plan some date nights - get out and talk and listen to each other without distractions (shut the phone off!). What do you talk about? Thoughts, feelings, plans and some goals related to the family, your career and your relationship. Relationships that aren't maintained can get stale and become problematic. Prevention pays dividends in the family.

Feb. 16 - Reading a book today called - Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck, PhD. Has much in common with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, but does not add the Mindfulness aspect that we at the office highly encourage. Still, it essentially focuses on development of the cognitive process of being enlightened as to when we use a Fixed vs. a Growth Mindset. Or, sometimes we call the Fixed aspect the "Ego State or Monkey Mind" and sometimes the Growth aspect we call the "Common Sense or Rational Mind." She applies it to marital relationships, sports, musicians, business and parenting, but it can be applied to just about most any relationship. I highly recommend it along with the other bibliotherapy resources we often use !

Nov. 1, 2020 - I think it is likely that the most important psychological concept and skill we all need to weather this pandemic is ENCOURAGEMENT! Yet, if we looked at common emotions such as anxiety, anger and depression, we would find a large amount of psychological research on these negative emotions. However, this is not the case with encouragement. So, one way to build encouragement is to monitor our self-talk, and look to what the scientists are saying: Masks are our best low-tech defense at this time, stay away from crowds, wash hands well and frequently and be patient. If we listen to the experts, it appears that a vaccine will be available in the coming year and after all, if scientists can put people on the moon in the 1960's, we can certainly invent a vaccine that will prevent infection now. Now, that is an example of encouragement and a positive way of looking at the pandemic. Let's practice encouragement to self and others on a momentary basis in the NOW and listen to what the scientists are saying. Check out 10% Happier by Dan Harris and A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle -- both are encouraging reads during this time of discouragement.

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