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6 entries from June 2013

How your expectations shape everything

I have a new post up at the Creative Solutions Counseling webpage regarding our expectations and how they impact our life.

Many times, bad expectations lead to bad experiences. Often because our expectations are just impossible. Here's an excerpt from the post:

I so firmly believe that one of the most important questions we can ask is what do we expect from life?
If I expect life to be easy, it will be immeasurably more difficult.

If I expect life to always go my way, the numerous times that it does not will be so much bigger and more painful.

What do you expect?

Four simple words and yet, four words with so much potential.

You can read the whole post here.


Do something for 30 days: What will you change?

I stumbled across this video recently. I really like it. In fact, I'm going to do random things for 30 days at a time as experiements.
I've started today with watching 1 Ted video or reading one transcript for the next 30 days. I think as time goes along I will update how I'm doing on my various thirty-day experiments. I have some that are percolating in my head and I imagine some more that will come as we move forward. I've even created a new category called 30 days.

What about you?
Is there something that you want to try for the next thirty days? If so, tell me in the comments and we'll do the journey together.

Have you ever wanted to ask a Therapist a question?

Have you ever wanted to ask a mental health therapist a question? Well, now you can! We are excited to announce at Joe Martino counseling that we are starting a series called, Joe Knows.

We are currently collecting questions that will be chosen at random by us with no real method to the madness. The question will be scrubbed as much as possible of all identifying marks to protect the identity of the person asking the question. Then we’ll put it up on our Facebook wall, (you’ll need to like the page to see what’s happening) and give our friends there an opportunity to share their thoughts regarding the question.

Then after a few days, we will post a video of our answer.

So send us your questions via Facebook message, or feel free to leave a question in the comment.

Death sucks. Why June is often hard for me and a question for you

June is a hard month for me.

It is both the month that my mom was born (the 7th) and the month that she died (28th). To be honest, I don't remember much about the month that she died.

I was vaccuuming the house when my Dad called to tell me that she had died. I knew as soon as he said my name. At the time, I was working at a restaraunt to supplement my rather meager income and I still went to wait on tables that night (my wife and I were living four hours away from my parents at the time and my wife as actually at her job).

I didn't last the whole shift.

Now, almost every year, I am torn asunder inside when the end of school comes. I walk around with this low level fever of depressed/grumpy. Stress that I normally tolerate fairly well in the other eleven months sits up inside my emotional head that is difficult for me to describe and for the most part, that's what I do for a living.

When my daughters do something amazing in school, I want to call my mom.

When my son crawls down the hallway at work and begins to indignantly bang on my door because he can't believe I would close him out of a room, I want to call my mom.

I miss her.

I know it's life. I do. People die. It's up to the living to get on with living because death comes for us all. I get that.

But man, do I miss my mom.

Sometimes, I'm afraid I'll forget what her laugh sounded like or that my only memories of her will be those last seven months in hospitals and other medical facilities.

To be sure, I have been blessed with an amazing family. And I am far from dejected. But I think sometimes, it is easy to think that helping professionals don't have any real emotions or pain to process. Believe me, we do. We are human. We bleed. We hurt. We laugh. We have to have mechanisms to process pain, loss and depressions.

So here's my question. How do you handle loss in your life? How do you handle grief and depression? What are your "pick me ups"? Tell me in the comments, I'd like to know.

Pain is a path, maybe the path to wisdom

Most of us are not so wise. Fearing the pain involved, almost all of us, to a greater or lesser degree, attempt to avoid problems. We procrastinate, hoping that they will go away. We ignore them, forget them, pretend they do not exist. We even take drugs to assist us in ignoring them, so that by deadening ourselves to the pain we can forget the problems that cause the pain. We attempt to skirt around problems rather than meet them head on. We attempt to get out of them rather than suffer through them. This tendency to avoid problems and the emotional suffering inherent in them is the primary basis of all human mental illness. Since most of us have this tendency to a greater or lesser degree, most of us are mentally ill to a greater or lesser degree, lacking complete mental health. Some of us will go to quite extraordinary lengths to avoid our problems and the suffering they cause, proceeding far afield from all that is clearly good and sensible in order to try to find an easy way out, building the most elaborate fantasies in which to live, sometimes to the total exclusion of reality. In the succinctly elegant words of Carl Jung, “Neurosis is always a substitute for legitimate suffering.”

Peck, M. Scott (2012-03-13). The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth (pp. 16-17). Touchstone. Kindle Edition.