Counseling

The Basics of Effective Communication Skills

What passes for effective communication skills has changed dramatically. Or has it? Sure, the methods have become increasingly high tech. This means more than a few communication tweaks. But the basic guidelines remain the same. However, the basic guidelines remain the same. The Basics of Effective Communication Skills 1. Active listening Listening is more than waiting for your turn to speak. To listen actively is to incorporate the following practices: Concentration Focus Your full attention An intention to respond with understanding 2. Body language This is one of the most underrated aspects of communication. It can be as simple as sustaining eye contact or making interest noises. The idea is to show the speaker you’re listening. Also, a welcoming and open posture makes the speaker feel more comfortable. 3. Asking questions (without interrupting) It’s very important to connect to those with whom you’re communicating. But don’t forget- timing matters. 4. Desire Effective communication skills start with desire. We have to want them and want to do what it takes to improve them. Like anything else, that means commitment and practice. The Benefits of Effective Communication Skills 1. Less misunderstanding Yes, this sounds obvious but it bears discussion. How many disagreements and arguments are caused by poor communication? To say “most” would be an understatement. 2. Deeper and closer relationships Communication is a process. A relationship is a process. When they develop together, the results can be very enriching. 3. Less anxiety How often have you wondered and worried about being misunderstood? Do you blame yourself when conflicts happen? Give it your all while listening and speaking. This won’t guarantee agreement. But it can ease your mind and help you develop your skills further. 4. Financial [...]

By |2017-08-24T18:51:17+00:00July 18th, 2017|Brain Training, Coaching, Counseling|0 Comments

Hypnosis Overcomes Negative Subconscious Programming!

hypnosis   What are your current beliefs? To help answer that question, consider the following topics and feelings: Health Relationships Money Happiness Success Fear Love What do you believe about each of them? Better question: How did your childhood shape your beliefs? For most of us, our subconscious programming occurred before we were 10 years old. Most of us haven’t explored or worked on this reality. Such beliefs may still be in charge of our lives. This is because our subconscious mind is pretty much who we are. Before we move forward, let’s discuss a few terms. The Subconscious Mind Our subconscious programming is to us what an operating system is to a computer. Among many, many other things, our subconscious mind contains our: Beliefs Habits Memories Control over our bodies To put it as simply as possible, our subconscious programming creates about 95 percent of our personality. Hypnosis At one time or another, most of us have swung something in front of a friend’s face and declared: “You are feeling very sleepy,” pretending to bring him or her under our control. In reality, people undergoing hypnotherapy are in full control of their own behavior. They will not do anything they would normally be unwilling to do. Hypnotherapy is a method designed to change our subconscious programming. Over time, it can help patients create new reactions, behaviors, thoughts, and feelings. Four decades of research has found these techniques to be safe and effective. They are used to treat a very wide range of issues and conditions. Here is a small sampling:\ headaches and other common sources of pain addressing addictions, e.g. smoking support during childbirth increasing concentration and focus reducing depression and trauma [...]

By |2017-06-28T23:00:50+00:00June 27th, 2017|Counseling, Hypnotherapy|0 Comments

Boost Brain Power! Train your Brain for Optimal Function and Balance

This mission can begin with some basic self-care suggestions: 1. Aim for regular sleep patterns Optimal brain function is impossible without enough sleep. This is as fundamental as it gets! If you don’t already have a regular sleep routine, make it a major priority. 2. Get active Of course, this means routine exercise. But it definitely does not stop there. Being active relates to more than your daily workout. Consider your lifestyle. Do any of the following apply? • You work a desk job • “Couch potato” describes your free time • Your cell phone posture is hunched or slumped • Long periods of driving or commuting are common Many of these circumstances lead to sedentary lives. Our brains are not pleased. 3. Create healthy eating habits There seems to be a new diet fad every week. But through it all, some truths endure. What and how we eat plays a major role in brain function. If you’re unsure about the quality of your diet, consult a nutritionist or dietician. Your brain must be nourished well to serve you well. 4. Find ways to manage the stress in your life It becomes increasingly difficult to concentrate when you’re stressed out. Developing relaxation techniques is a huge step towards brain power. Common stress-reducing options include: • Yoga • Breathing exercises • Tai chi • Meditation Once you’ve got your self-care basics established, it’s time to get creative! 6 Ways to Train your Brain for Optimal Function and Balance 1. Scale back on usage of tech devices Continual staring at tiny screens can dull your brain’s functionality. Exercise your imagination and diversify your brain activity. Enjoy your brain’s power. Delegate less  to machines. 2. Have deep and [...]

By |2020-02-16T21:50:54+00:00June 13th, 2017|Counseling|0 Comments

Subconscious Sabotage? How to Change Unhealthy Relationship Patterns!

No one wants to be in a dysfunctional relationship. Or do they? Unhealthy relationship patterns are so easy to fall into. It may almost feel like we welcome them, even subconsciously go out of our way to create them. Then, they can feel impossible to change. Let’s identify some of the ways we undermine the nuts and bolts of a healthy relationship and get a clearer idea of what's happening, and how we subconsciously sabotage our close connections. Avoidance What do you avoid? Pain, conflict, change? Avoiding relationship challenges results in repressed emotions. From there, it can be a slippery slope towards strife. Communication problems These problems may include the following: Silent treatment Passive aggression Yelling and blaming Dishonesty When unresolved communication issues take root, they can slowly destroy trust and a sense of safety in your relationship. Lack of self-esteem Is your inner critic telling you lies like these? "You’re not good enough." "He (or she) is losing interest in you." "You don’t make enough money." If you lose faith in yourself, your closest connections will suffer. Jealousy Nothing erodes the foundation of trust, intimacy, and relationship growth like insecurity, jealousy, and controlling behavior. Codependency When the line between compatibility and codependency is blurred, your relationship may become strained. 7 Ways to Change Unhealthy Relationship Patterns Communicate When you first met, could you finish each other’s sentences? Are the sentences between you now just one or two words long? One of you must take a stand and address your communication. Make a date to talk about how well you are or are not talking. You probably understand by now that healthy communication does not happen by accident. It requires work. Always make time to [...]

By |2017-06-14T02:15:02+00:00June 6th, 2017|Counseling|0 Comments

When Hope is Hard to Come By… Brain Training for Depression

Everyone feels sad at one time or another. This feeling may even linger for quite a while. Clinical depression, however, is much more. It’s not a temporary experience. It is a diagnosable condition that impacts as many as 15 million people. That’s almost 7 percent of adults, at any given time. Overall, roughly one in five adults suffers from depression at some point. And this number continues to rise. Common Depression Symptoms Physical changes may include: Drastic change in sleeping habits Sudden increase or decrease in appetite Low energy, frequent fatigue Unexplained pain (particularly headaches and back pain) Emotional issues may include: Bursts of extreme anger A sense of emptiness or hopeless Overwhelming sadness Easily becoming agitated Lack of concentration Memory loss Recurring thoughts of death Thinking and talking about suicide   There is also something called “Walking Smiling Depression”, where the individual disconnects from sadness, grief or depression and appears to be emotionally balanced to others while disconnecting from their feelings and perhaps making unhealthy choices. Current Treatments for Depression We’ve learned so much about the brain and its many conditions. Over the years, effective treatment options have been discovered and are evolving. These include medications, talk therapy, and a combination of both. Some common medications (e.g. Prozac, Lexapro, and Zoloft) have become household names. As for therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common treatment choice. Results are often quite positive. However, as much as 30 percent of patients suffering from depression do not respond to these treatments. That's where brain training comes in. What is Brain Training? In simple terms, brain training for depression treatment involves the following: Positive Imagery or Self-Hypnosis Neurofeedback In a recent study, people with depression were asked [...]

By |2017-06-14T02:15:15+00:00May 30th, 2017|Brain Training, Counseling|0 Comments

Wired for Worry? “Rewire” Your Brain to a Healthy Default Setting!

Most of us know the parables about looking back on a long life. An elderly person or someone on their deathbed is asked about regrets. Invariably, each person wishes they had worried less and lived less burdened. Yet, when the story's done, we keep worrying. It’s even become cliché to talk about how few of our worries ever come true. Ironically, this cycle may promote more worry. We worry. Nothing happens. Our brain may wire itself to believe that worrying prevented the crisis. We may tell ourselves that worrying keeps us prepared or shows others that we care. Some of us may see it as a form of motivation. There are plenty of worry stories but we tend to ignore the ones about worry making us sick. Too much worry can cause: Physical issues like ulcers, poor digestion, hives, high blood pressure, and more. Emotional issues like anxiety, depression, etc. But since worry is inevitable, we’re left in a bind. We must find healthy ways to channel it or it will overwhelm us. It’s time to rewire your brain Our brains evolved to keep us safe and alive. Thus, it’s no surprise that worry comes naturally. Healthy worry, of course, is not the issue. But try telling that to your brain. It evolved in the Stone Age. Now, we’re navigating the Space Age. This means attempts to “rewire" your brain are tricky. Tricky, but definitely not impossible. With diligence and focus and maybe a little guidance, you can change our emotional default setting. 5 Ways You Can “Rewire” Your Brain to a Healthy Default Setting 1. Learn acceptance We are wired to worry. Therefore, we will worry. Step one is acceptance of this fact. A [...]

By |2020-02-16T22:25:06+00:00May 23rd, 2017|Brain Training, Counseling|0 Comments

Need Balance? How to Identify What Matters & Achieve a Balanced Optimal Life!

Many of us have lost sight of what matters. It’s a cliché, but for a good reason. These days, too many of us feel “balance” in life means simply splitting our time between Facebook and Instagram! Yet, true imbalances in life may pertain to the following areas: Emotional Social Financial Physical …and much more. As a result, few of us are living an optimal life. How do we know we’re out of balance? Achieving balance is not as easy as it seems. Imbalance creeps in slowly. One day, you look around and realize that things have been off kilter for a very long time. What are some of the tell-tale signs? Edginess Difficulty sleeping Digestion issues General feeling of dissatisfaction   You may feel too tired or overwhelmed to get anything done. A social invitation seems like a threat. You can’t get rid of that nagging injury or chronic sniffle. Making a career move seems exhausting. Soon, hiding under the covers sounds like the solution to, well, everything.= An imbalanced life may also feed a vague sense of emptiness. We may eat to fill the void. Perhaps we binge on social media. Usually, the choice involves empty calories—real or metaphorical. Finding your way back to balance starts with taking stock. Who are you? What are your values? How do you want to live your life? Get out your pen and paper and get busy! 5 Ways to Identify What Matters Most to You 1. Keep a diary for at least one week. What did you eat? How did you spend each minute of each day? Where did you spend your money? Be brutally honest. 2. Study your habits. Intentions are great but what are you [...]

By |2017-06-14T02:15:36+00:00May 16th, 2017|Brain Training, Counseling|0 Comments

What is Hypnosis? Debunking the Myths

When some people think of hypnosis they become concerned that they will be controlled to do what the hypnotherapist tells them to do, but in fact this is not true.  No one can make anyone do anything that they do not want to do.  Each person has a part of their mind that tells them what they are comfortable doing and what they are not. Everyone has free will.  In fact, when a person is in a hypnotic state they are in a hyper-attentive, conscious yet relaxed state.  Clients are free to ignore, give themselves a different suggestion, or explore what is being suggested. The difference between meditation and hypnosis is the latter is directed as one might direct a play.  Both meditation and hypnosis help you to become mentally and physically calm, but it is hypnosis that can delete negative programming and replace it with positive programming. When in a state of relaxed hypnosis, the conscious mind steps to the side to observe while the subconscious mind becomes more accessible.  It is here in the subconscious mind, where programs are stored that may be sabotaging a person’s life.  With access to this part of the mind, positive suggestions for a variety of needs can be given to replace any negative programming. We all go through a state of hypnosis approximately every hour and a half when our brain goes into a circadian rhythm cycle.  You might notice this cycle when you are reading a book, or watching a movie, and become focused on one thing tuning out other things in your environment.  In this state, you are relaxed and capable of heightened imagination and suggestion.  This part of your mind never sleeps; it runs [...]

By |2019-11-21T22:16:31+00:00May 9th, 2017|Counseling, Hypnotherapy|0 Comments

How To Create Healthy Relationships

(Read below the highlighted areas for the additional information that wasn’t able to be covered in the North Shore News article) Effective communication is key for successful living, keeping stress low, and for the healthy foundation for all relationships. With effective communication misunderstandings and conflict can be avoided; bridges can be created between differences that enhance relationships for success with your partner, children, family, friends, co-workers, and the public. There are four long-term lifestyle traits that support emotional well-being in any relationship. One of these is the communication “Talking Styles”.   There are two that people unconsciously use to express themselves, “Figurative Talking Style” (FTS) and “Structural Talking Style” (STS). The “FTS” communicators use words to express their feelings, using a stream of consciousness to express and release emotional states. They may have a logical nature but this is different from their talking style. The “STS” use words according to their dictionary definitions. They lay the words out so that it makes sense to them, asking many questions to make sure they understand, and avoiding loose ends or assumptions. The background or circumstances of a situation can be as important as the event itself to them, as they are natural born problem solvers. They may have an emotional or sensitive nature but this is different from their talking style. The two talking styles communicating together over a period of time can experience a significant energy drain that widens the gap until there is superficial communication. The following are some of the conflicts that can arise between the two talking styles “Figurative Talking Style” (FTS} and the “Structured Talking Style” (STS):  The “FST” can have issues with questions from the “STS”, as they often stop the other person [...]

By |2017-06-14T16:23:24+00:00October 20th, 2015|Counseling|0 Comments

Your Son Has Been In An Accident

Back from the Brink Following a terrible accident, a mother uses neurofeedback brain training on her comatose son to help him recover from TBI (Tramatic Brain Injury). Attending doctors and nurses are amazed at how rapidly her son recovers. In this powerful new video, NeurOptimal® trainer Joan-Marie Lartin uses NeurOptimal® on her son while in a coma after  a serious motorcycle accident. Call for a free ½ hour initial consultation

By |2017-06-14T16:25:03+00:00December 19th, 2014|Brain Training, Counseling, Neurofeedback|0 Comments