Category Archive: Awareness

Mar 11

I Am the Cosmos*

Our daughter Owen got married a few weeks ago. It was, by all accounts, a joyous occasion. It was the one cold, damp evening of the month, but her happiness was so contagious that it didn’t make a whit of difference. Everyone partied on until the wee hours—outdoors, mind you, in the limestone, twinkly-lit courtyard …

Continue reading »

Aug 25

Why I Left New York By Elizabeth O’Brien, LPC-S

I was keen to stay home and raise our three children. Happily, in New York City, where we were living in the 80s and 90s, it made more economic sense for me to quit work. But this choice was fraught: women in New York who leave their jobs to raise their children generally vaporize into …

Continue reading »

Apr 02

Armadillo

Armadillo By Elizabeth O’Brien, LPC-S I was already feeling fragile, having slept fitfully, rattled by disturbing dreams. Some part of me couldn’t shake a feeling of dread. I forced myself into my morning ritual, firing up my IPad, New York Times app, coffee by my side. The top story hit me in the face: a …

Continue reading »

Nov 09

The Problem with Positive Psychology

Positive psychology has come to the fore in our culture, giving rise to certain positivity performance anxiety. We are under pressure from television, radio and particularly social media to maintain an optimistic outlook, no matter what; believe that we can accomplish anything we set our minds to; learn to let things go; claim that everything …

Continue reading »

Apr 19

Readiness for Change

Readiness for Change By Elizabeth O’Brien, LPC Many clients come in for therapy expecting the counselor to “fix them.” Yet when the counselor explores the problem(s)—asking critical questions, gently challenging negative or irrational thoughts and beliefs, reframing the meaning of the presenting issue, and then suggesting specific initiatives—clients often resist. They say they have either …

Continue reading »

Feb 13

Congruence of Self

Congruence By Elizabeth O’Brien One of our main objectives as human beings is to reach a state of well-being—a state in which we are deeply comfortable in our own skin. To do this, we must become more fully congruent. What does this mean? Being congruent means embracing our true self and projecting it into the …

Continue reading »

Sep 12

Separation of Self

Separation of Self By Elizabeth O’Brien, M.A., LPC When human beings suffer trauma, large or small, they generally experience “separation” from themselves, from others, and from the meaning of life. But even when individuals haven’t had a distinct trauma but are simply depressed, anxious or otherwise off-track, the same kind of separation, or alienation, can …

Continue reading »

Jul 25

Social Reciprocity

Social Reciprocity By Elizabeth O’Brien, LPC Do you ever go to a party or dinner and spend the entire evening putting out a lot of friendly energy and receiving very little back? I always know when I’ve had a good social experience at a party or gathering when I don’t come home exhausted. I feel …

Continue reading »

Jul 25

The Dissociative Culture

The Dissociative Culture By Elizabeth O’Brien, M.A., LPC Our culture has become a population of “dissociators.” For much, if not all of our day, we are checking out on smart phones and computers or getting lost in mental to-do lists and daydreams.  Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, video games, shopping, television, movies, books, articles, meetings and projects …

Continue reading »

Mar 23

Procrastination Strategies

Procrastination plagues most of us some of the time, and some of us all the time. It is a recurring issue in therapy, and one of the main ways that clients sabotage their success. In order to confront the problem, it is important to begin by challenging some common cognitive distortions before we can alter …

Continue reading »

Older posts «