Monday, January 30, 2012

Whats the Diff? How To Tell an Average Therapist from a Great Therapist

I get it! 

Looking for "help" to heal from dysfunction or abuse in any degree shouldn't be as hard as it is. Sometimes we can spend years in "therapy" wondering just when we are going to "get" it....
whatever "it" is. 
Sometimes we wind up in situations where it doesn't seem to be working out but we are afraid to leave because we might wind up in just another bad situation.
Sometimes these not-so-helpful therapy relationships don't feel....
quite right
but we don't know
whats wrong. 
Other times we hang in there because we are being told that its not working because, well...
we aren't working it.
And there is a balance to understanding when we are avoiding our issues or if the relationship isn't helpful.
Learning how to know if a therapy relationship is a good fit seems sooooo
But the truth of the matter is - there are a LOT of well-meaning people out there who are really unqualified to help trauma survivors heal from the invisible wounds that get in the way of creating our "best life".
And I've been mulling over just how do we begin to identify and access the kind of help that is actually helpful vs the years that can be lost in an unhelpful and sometimes unhealthy ''theraputic' relationship? 
And I came up with what I think is a good place to start.
Check it out...
The difference between an average therapist* and a great therapist?
The former will keep you as long as the insurance pays.
The latter ones focus is to help you learn to live without them.
The former will tell you that a treatment failure is because of something you did or didn’t do.
The latter  won’t blame you for treatment failure. They might tell you its not working out – but they won’t need to make their lack of expertise your fault.
The former doesn't seem to have a plan for you to get where you want to go or they make the plan and you are supposed to be "compliant" to it.
The latter will involve you in making a plan to get where you want to go and invite you to discover your own process and help you find you way along the way.
The former may tell you things or make implications that lead you believe you can't be ok without them.
The latter will tell you can and will be ok without them.
The former may tell you that therapy will take a lifetime (residual income is a nice perk).
The latter will be able to tell you that therapy can be a tool when needed but is not necessarily a lifetime commitment. 
In the former you may be told to call when in crisis.
In the latter you may be taught how to get through crisis.
I'm sure there are more indicators that I could come up with but...

I'd like to hear what you've come up with to be able to say "I"m in a therapeutic relationship that feels safe, I feel validated, I'm learning something about myself, I know my goals, the path I will take to get there and I can see I'm making progress".
Leave your notes in the comments below....
And then go rock your world today:)
Always always ALWAYS.....admiring your spunk!


*"therapist could as easily be doctor, psychiatrist or social worker - or even a friend or family member. 

Ya...sad but true....helpers sometimes are not so helpful but they aren't the problem....its up to us to figure out what kind of help we want and then its up to us to know how to move on when its not working. 

Truth hurts sometimes, huh? 

Sorry. :(

The good news?!

This empowers us to leave that place of perpetual victimhood that keeps us stuck in that place of perpetual powerlessness and become our most powerful and amazing self!


NOW you can go rock it! 

I'm seeing that spunky side of you again....:) 

 Seek Knowledge, find Wisdom, live your Truth!


Monday, January 23, 2012

Some just don't play nice

Photo Credit

Empowerment is not something that can be given to us by others - or taken by overpowering others. It comes from realizing that we have the power to create the life we want for ourselves - ourselves. ~Susan 

Uh huh...

You. Me. The whole bunch of us.

And the problem lies in that those who keep trying to discover their power by overpowering others is the same as for those who think someone else has to give them their power. 

They just don't know that they already have all they need....

...that it can't be taken and it can't be given. 

Kindergarteners are sometimes cute, sometimes messy, sometimes mean and - some just never do learn to play nice.

So let me say that again....

Sometimes it takes time for us to discover that the source of our power - is us.

And sometimes those who don't know they hold the power within themselves - don't get that they hold the power within themselves.

Sometimes some of us don't get or some of us don't get it right away and we still are operating from that beginning position of trying to take our power by taking others power. Or perhaps we are still waiting for someone to give us our power.  

Sometimes we just don't know that we already have all we need....

...that it can't be taken and it can't be given.

Its not necessary for anyone to "fix" us.

And we can't find what we are looking for by trying to control or fix others. 

Its when I realized that what I was looking for was within myself that...

I found what I was looking for.

Empowerment is not something that can be given to us by others - or taken by overpowering others. 

It comes from realizing that we have the power to create the life we want for ourselves - ourselves. 

Completely awed by your brilliance!



Seek Knowledge, find Wisdom, live your Truth!


Monday, January 16, 2012

Learning to Love the Journey

November 24 2011

We must learn how to "be" in order to "do" effectively. Without a clear sense of "self" and "being" in our space and world our "doing" often resembles a chaotic dance where the task is to catch and correct vs. that place of conscious creation. ~Susan 

In the issues faced by those who hail from a background of family dysfunction - be that dysfunction the extreme control of a dictatorship regime to that of having no clear limits and life is a free for all....we arrive at adulthood without a clear sense of self. 

Our dance with life becomes not one where we know and trust our own dreams and desires that guide our purpose and our passion but one of trying to "figure out" what it is that everyone else seems to know that we don't. Its sort of like showing up at the office and everyone else got the memo but we didn't. 

In the work of Bessel Van der Kolk and others who are looking at the long term effects of childhood trauma - one of the key components is that survivors grow up without a clear sense of self. 

Relationships are volitile. Life is chaotic. A perpetual sense of powerlessness prevails as does a sense of hopelessness for anything to ever be different. 

How do I know this?

Because I have lived it. 

And learned to live

beyond it.

And what I've discovered is that the place to begin is not that of viewing myself as forever broken but to view myself as fully capable and complete with the inner wisdom to create the life I want for myself.

The secret is not to focus on fixing what is "wrong"...

But to focus on learning how to "be"- and be ok.

To create what I want instead of avoid what I hate.

And in doing so I have discovered that if this is where I begin my days....

That all I do becomes not a validation of my worth...

But an expression of my being. 

You can do this.


It sucks.

A lot.

Very often.


the journey of a thousand miles...

or a lifetime....

begins with taking that first step and doing that again....


and over

and over.

The joy comes in learning to love the journey. 

Always, always in awe of your amazing courage to keep going when it really really sucks. 


Seek Knowledge, find Wisdom, live your Truth!


Monday, January 9, 2012

No One Could Empower Me - But Me

Changing how I viewed myself cleared the way for me to change my life

I found an empowering solution in understanding that no one could "empower" me - but me. 

Learning to recognize my dependence on others to provide me with my answers enabled me to begin to see that the reason I was still "stuck" was because I was constantly seeking from others to tell me what was "wrong" with me and then expecting them to somehow be able to tell me how to "fix" this thing that was "wrong". 

When I shifted from this to understanding that being and feeling empowered was about "learning" - is when I began to feel empowered to create the kind of change that would change my life. 

I learned that learning about myself and how my life experiences had shaped who I was and how I engaged with the world and those in it - was very different than seeking from someone else to define what was "wrong" with me and then expecting them to be able to tell me how to "fix" myself. 

I learned that empowerment came from learning for myself about myself.

Lesson 1: Understanding that nothing was "wrong" with me 

This was a hard shift to make at first. 

This for the simple reason that we live in a world where we are taught to see ourselves as imperfect and needing to be "fixed". And - there are plenty of people who know exactly what we need to do to do that fixing. 

The solution for me then was not in trying to change the world around me but in learning to change how I viewed myself and the world....

through the eyes of learning rather than fixing. 

Know you ARE enough. 


When I began to see life as my "teacher" instead of my "problem" ...
I became the student who was "ready". ~ #zebism

In lavish affection and admiration of your magnificence!


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Seek Knowledge, find Wisdom, live your Truth!


Monday, January 2, 2012

It only takes one....

An external focus often feels crazy, blurry and confusing

In traditional self help and therapy the focus was often on avoidance of the people, places and things that stirred negative emotions for me. I'm sure the intent comes from a desire to educate and inform but in the end - this approach left me still feeling terribly powerless and guarded. I was constantly wondering who I could trust and in the end what I learned is that what it came down to was learning to trust myself. 

I recall hearing about interpreting others thoughts, feelings and behaviors instead of understanding my own. 

I was taught and learned how to assume others intentions instead of questioning mine. 

I learned to identify and label others, making value judgements about an individual based on the label I attached to them. 

In the end I realized that this external focus was not so helpful and...

that this served only to keep me on guard and wary of others; constantly questioning others motives and intent. 

It was when I realized the power to live beyond the drama of dysfunction lay not in being able to "read" others intentions and label their behavior... 

but in learning to understand why I kept returning to it - so that I could learn to live beyond it.

Learning to look within with my questions empowered me to live beyond looking to others for my solutions. 

It only takes one to stop the dance.

Uh huh.

It really is that easy. :)

Always in hope and tickled pink to see you blooming the way you are!


Seek Knowledge, find Wisdom, live your Truth!