Month: February 2011

Self Validation – How to Validate Yourself

From the time we are born, we need validation. Loving parents offer consistent validation to their children, validating their feelings, their perceptions, their gifts and talents, their particular form of intelligence, their interests, their kindness, caring, and intuition. You are very fortunate if you received this kind of validation from your parents. If your parents also validated their own feelings, perceptions, and so on, then you are extremely fortunate, as you likely learned to do this for yourself from their role modeling. However, if your parents did not validate you or themselves, then the chances are that you not...

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Recovery is Possible from Adverse Childhood Experiences

Tales of a Troubled Childhood One afternoon I received a telephone call from an anxious young man in his mid-20s. He wanted to see me for counseling regarding a relationship problem. I asked him the typical scheduling question – “Tell me what might work for you in terms of availability?” His response was “How about in an hour?” Fortunately, his urgent request worked for me. Alex was a massive-sized former Big-10 football player who came for the first time to therapy to find answers to his problems. After getting comfortable in my office, he said, “I’m so upset because...

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Holding Your Heart Through Sadness and Heartbreak

“I’ve finally learned how to lovingly hold my heart when my heart hurts from the pain of disconnection with loved ones,” said Meagan in our phone session. “I’ve discovered that it’s possible to feel peaceful even in the midst of loneliness and heartbreak.” Does it seem like a paradox to you to feel both peaceful and sad at the same time? Peaceful and Sad at the Same Time When life events are challenging – a loved one is angry at you, you’ve ended a relationship, you’ve been fired from a job, a loved one has died – your heart...

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If I’m Perfect, No One Will Reject Me – Healing Perfectionism

Do you believe that being “perfect” gives you control over how people feel about you?” If you do, then you are coming from 3 big false beliefs that are causing you much unhappiness. False Belief #1 “I can have control over how people feel about me.” Think for a moment whether or not others have control over how you feel about them. Can someone do everything “right” and be “perfect” in their own eyes, yet you don’t enjoy being around them or you don’t feel connected with them? Of course! Others may influence how you feel about them, but...

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Do You REALLY Want to Lose Weight?

If you asked almost any overweight person, “Do you really want to lose weight?” the answer is likely, “Yes, I would love to lose weight.” If most overweight and obese people would so love to lose weight that they spend billions a year on trying to lose weight, why is our country growing fatter? Why aren’t people losing weight when they say that this is what they want to do? Because, as much as they say the want to lose weight, there is something they want even more than losing weight: they want to fill their emptiness and avoid their painful feelings. The problem is that food works so well to fill up inner emptiness and cover over painful feelings of loneliness, aloneness, heartbreak, sadness, grief, hurt, frustration, anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, and so on. If you don’t know how to stop creating your own emptiness and aloneness, and how to manage and learn from your painful feelings, you have to find some way of getting filled and avoiding pain. Food is an available and easy way of doing this, but it is really no different than any addiction. All addictions are ways of trying to fill the inner emptiness and avoid painful feelings – when you don’t know how fill your emptiness and lovingly manage your painful feelings. While some people manage to force themselves to lose weight...

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