Community College Cuts, 9/11 Ten Years After, A Reporter's Journal, Hechinger Report

  • 43% of California College Students are attending a Community College.
  • 3 billion dollars was recently cut in the California Community College budget.
  • In subjects of math, reading, and science, U.S. college students rank 14th, 17th, and 25th in the world.

Hechinger Report (more here)

How To Get Someone You Love To Seek Therapy

While sitting by the community pool recently, I struck up a friendly conversation with another woman nearby. In discussing the type of work we do, she asked me something that many others ask when they learn I am a therapist, "How can I get my ______ to see a therapist?"
In this case, it was her friend who struggles with stomach distress. The friend had been away on vacation for several weeks, and didn't experience one day of stomach distress while on vacation! She whispered to me, "I think she's going through a hard time and needs someone to talk to, but don't know how to say it."

Well-meaning friends, partners, family members, usually have at least one person that they know would benefit from therapy - but how to present this issue to your loved one?

It all depends on the kind of existing relationship you have with someone...if it's your partner, and the relationship has been strained or high in conflict, you are not the right person to suggest therapy (your partner will hear this as criticism or blaming). If the relationship is that of parent and child, with issues of  past disappointment and unresolved anger or hurt, again, the individual presenting the idea will be rebuffed.
But, if you are a friend, neighbor, viewed kindly and lovingly by the other party, the news will be well-received.

So, how do we deliver the news to someone hurting, angry, defensive, scared, ashamed? There is almost always ONE person that the individual trusts...a coach, a sibling, best friend, a goofy aunt or aging beloved relative. This person is the ideal bridge to common sense and can serve as a life-saving reality check.
It saddens me to say that sometimes we get one crack at getting someone the help they best be used wisely. Take time to research therapy available prior to presenting the idea, find a nearby clinic or affordable counseling, if money is a concern. Find some websites, make some calls and get the names and numbers. Stay organized and FILTER the information into a manageable stream. People who are depressed are usually disorganized and easily overwhelmed. Offer to accompany the person for the first appointment...provide transportation. There are ways to make the idea more palatable.


What is intimacy?

     Intimate partner love is three-fold; Passion (sex drive, craving for sexual gratification, linked to testosterone in males and females), Romance (the giddiness, mental obsession, desire to please and possess) and Attachment (the sense of calm, partnership, long-lasting security).
     Attachment comes only after the test of time with an enduring and attentive partner, after numerous caregiving acts, trials of constancy and fidelity - each singular event evidence of deep affection for your well-being and thus earning your trust. 
     Many relationships never arrive at this juncture...having been kicked to the curb after the romance and passion (see above) has worn off. 


Louis C.K. on Fatherhood, Dads, Manliness

Louis C.K. on Fatherhood
Funny Tweets of The Week
Kevin Nealon, "Hybrid cars too quiet and pose threat to pedestrians. Drivers now required to continuously scream out window as they approach."
Samantha Bee, "When the hyper-intelligent apes take over, I pray that they are able to restore order to this Whole Foods checkout line."
And, children who eat breakfast perform one grade level higher than those who do not. Eating first thing in the morning helps regulate blood sugar and reduces type 2 diabetes.


Seek Fee-Only (Not Fee Based) Financial Planner & Prevent Identity Theft

"If you want advice that's free of such conflicts, you'll need to look for a true fee-only (not fee-based) financial planner. You can get referrals from the National Assn. of Personal Financial Advisors at or the Garrett Planning Network at"
(per Liz Weston, Sunday L.A. Times Money Talk  columnist. 

Five Tips to Prevent Identity Theft
For starters...remove your birth date from Facebook!


Free Yoga Class, Lululemon in Carlsbad, Saturday, 9:00am

Receive one email a day with a healthy nudge 
(e.g. Drink 8 glasses of water today!)
Lululemon in Carlsbad offers free yoga every Saturday morning at 9:00am, as well as a running group on Wednesday, August 31, at 6:00pm (you choose a 2, 4, or 6 mile route).


YMCA Family Luau Event, Thursday, August 25th, 2011

ECKE YMCA FAMILY EVENT say Aloha to family


Join us for hula dancing, luau games, authentic Hawaiian cuisine, face painting and much more island fun! Come dressed in theme to win the Best Dressed Wahini and Menehune contest! Cost includes all activities and dinner (age 3 and under are free). Advanced registration is required! You may sign up in person at the Registration desk or by calling 760.635.3050. For more information, please contact Christine Clarke at 760.942.9622 x1257 or
Thursday, August 25, 2011 | 4:30-6:30 pm | YMCA Courtyard
$6 Members | $9 Non-members (please register in advance)


Sandtray (Sandplay) Therapy...

The recent San Diego Reader just ran this excellent piece on Sandtray Therapy.
Sandtray is a well-known and effective style of therapy that is widely used with children, as a non-verbal, imaginative and powerful form of meaningful communication. It is expressive play therapy at its best.
Sandtray is equally effective with persons who have suffered a severe trauma (or multiple traumas) - individuals should seek out treatment from therapists highly trained and experienced in Sandtray. It is a rewarding process and I highly recommend it.


GI Distress and IBS Research Studies - Museum of Making Music, August 20, 2011 (kids free!)

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders 
Great site - addresses IBS issues as well as a nice section for kids and teens. Check out the on-going studies seeking participants.
Grand Re-Opening
August 20, 2011
$5.00 Admission 
Kids Free


Media Influence on Children

‎"I don't want my child to grow up thinking that happiness has to come from something bought."
~become an astute consumer - minimize exposure~
Advertising in classrooms and on school buses. Are characters, the omnipresent media influence, and commercial branding turning your children into little buyers?
Follow CCFC on Facebook


University of San Diego, Free U-T Talk, August 18th, 2011

From the front lines
of Afghanistan
U-T staff writer Gretel C. Kovach and
photographer Nelvin Cepeda will share
their firsthand accounts of the hardships
and bravery of the troops in Afghanistan.
Thurs., August 18, 7-8:30 p.m.
USD’s Mother Rosalie Hill Hall

Warren Auditorium
Suggested $10 donation for
the Wounded Warrior Project.
Space is limited.
Reserve your seat at


The Impact of Hoarding on Children

Listen here to an insightful interview with a child of a compulsive hoarder. Hoarding is a symptom of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which responds very well to a combination of medication and intensive therapy. Re-organizing and purging is not the answer-it's just a temporary bandaidRandy Frost, professor of psychology at Smith College explains in a video that the best approach for dealing with someone who compulsively hoards is to sit down and talk with them about it. He cautions family members from trying to get rid of possessions in an attempt to help.
"The worst thing you can do is to go in and throw things away while they're not around…in the long run these attempts are usually failures," he said.


Reasons to Keep Your Child Busy - Pros of Structure and Sports

After writing about the scourge of over-scheduling and the trend of busy-ness for children today, I thought I'd write the PROS of enrichment activities, such as organized sports. 
  • Kids who find a hobby that holds their interest will stay on track and focused.
  • Introducing numerous subjects allows a child to see the breadth of life and all that's available to him.
  • Children who learn to make good choices early on will most likely avoid drugs, gangs, crime, school failure, and negative influences.
    Sports encourages a child to eat healthy and exercise, as well as the value of team effort.
  • Doing things that involve some degree of "losing" help prepare a child for failure in reasonable doses
  • There's nothing worse than being a big fish in a small pond, only to find out that you are a very small fish when held against the normal (average) standards - teams and groups teach this.
  • Commitment...showing up when you don't feel like it is part of joining and following through.
  • Groups (and teams) work towards a common goal, requiring self-sacrifice, a rare virtue in our Western world but highly valued in the rest of the globe.
  • Compared to other cultures, our children are couch-potatoes.  Most industrialized countries work earlier, study longer hours, and test considerably higher in math and sciences. By high school, about 50% of American students are testing at sub-standard levels. Asian cultures employ tutors early on and require a musical instrument as a weekly extra-curricular activity.


The Atlantic on the Middle Class Squeeze, PTSD from 9/11

Michael Snyder - Michael Snyder is the editor of
16 Amazing Facts on the Middle Class Squeeze By Michael Snyder
Editor's note: The last three years have decimated the middle class, leaving behind a trail of foreclosures, joblessness and devastated wealth. To illustrate the range of suffering, Michael Snyder, editor of editor of The Economic Collapse blog, assembled a collection of statistics that paint a full picture of the crisis.
read more 16 Amazing Facts

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and 9/11
Ten years later, demons still haunt
"Running naked from her bath, she saw pigeons and paper flying through the air. “It’s kind of beautiful in a way,” she recalls on the recording she made and listened to over and over as part of her treatment. “There’s these silver pieces just floating in the air.”
Her gaze met the hole in the tower. “The flames get worse, and then I start seeing all these people hanging out there. The guy with this white towel, and he’s waving it.”
He jumps. Children at a nearby school scream.
“How are you feeling?” her therapist, David Bricker, is heard asking on the tape.
“I start crying,” she replies"


It's Good To Be Bored - Mitch Albom in Parade Magazine

"I feel sorry for today’s kids. Summer comes, they’re finally free from school—and bang! Band camp. Science seminars. Internships.

Instead of downtime, it’s get-up-and-go time. Chorus travel, archaeological digs, dance tours. My nephew from Michigan flew to Georgetown University for a summer medical program, replete with cadavers. He was 16."
Why are kids so scheduled and "busy" these summer days? Instead of more structured classes and groups, I'd like to teach my kids how to be bored this summer...there's value in tolerating boredom. I'm not a camp counselor - there's plenty of toys, books, paint, and legos around the house for them to muster up a little creativity. "Use your noggin, go do something" as my grandmother would say during those long hot days of my childhood, summers in Arizona, with no pool and no a/c. The car seat would burn yer bottom and the window sill fried the arm. 
Nothin' wrong with throwing a ball, showing your kids how to catch a frisbee, or bowl. And I'm not suggesting that sports camps aren't fun, but, like anything, in moderation. In other words, evaluate your goals for your children.
Hasboro has changed their games to better fit the modern-day more games where there's a loser or the ball takes a minute too long to drop. No! Our babies are not allowed to emotionally hurt, suffer, wait, or be unstimulated for two minutes.
While the typical parent is wonderfully loving and attentive, we often enroll our children in too many (albeit enriching) activities because we 

1)  don't want them to fall behind other children
2) want to offer a stimulating environment that leads to safety and success
3) feel pressure since everyone else on the block is doing likewise
4) believe that the parents are responsible for entertaining their child
5) come to view our child's talents and achievements as an extension of ourselves, or, just a sign of our own good parenting.

All I am asking, is, to what end?


Free CPR Class in San Diego, August 13, 2011

Free CPR Training

Parents and adults who care for children are invited to a free, city-wide CPR training on Saturday, August 13, 2011 from 10am to 2pm.  The free training will be held on the San Diego State University campus in the Alumni Center building (1897 Aztec Walk, San Diego, CA) and will also teach participants how to use Automatic External Defibrillators (AED).  By attending this free event you can learn how to save a life!

Neighborhood Beat

SDSU campus - Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center



How Trust is Developed - Erik Erikson's Trust vs. Mistrust

Trust versus Mistrust is the first stage of Erik Erikson's theory of Psychosocial Development. Newborn babies are completely dependent on others for every need as they grow and change, taking in the new world around them, absorbing all sensations and stimuli. For each and every need that is met and fulfilled (cries of hunger, wetness, discomfort, fear) - a thousand times a day, baby learns that cries will be heard and her distress will be resolved.
Ultimately, these repetitive acts of care, attention, met needs - love - form attachment, the glue for brain development, synaptic connection, and a building block for more complex relationships. 
For babies that are not cared for, or worse, harmed, this stage of Trust versus Mistrust is impaired and remains undeveloped (referred to as a psychic injury in psychotherapy). Attachment is critical for healthy and fully functioning relationships as a child moves through maturing phases of toddlerhood, latency, adolescence and adulthood. Can adults experience meaningful intimacy if they were neglected or harmed during those critical early years of formation? Yes!
~bent elbows are stronger than straight arms~


Museum of Making Music, Smokers Anonymous, Helicopter Parenting

10:00am, Saturday, August 13th
Museum of Making Music
Music Discovery For Kids
Free for kids K-5 and their families.

Music therapist Noelle Pederson


Want to Quit Smoking? Sunday Evening Smoker's Anonymous, 6:00pm, Scripps Encinitas
check out why quit?

Great OpEd Piece for Helicopter Parents
Leave Your Children Alone

"The irony is that these diligent efforts to ensure success and happiness are likely to do neither. The most interesting people I know have failed miserably at one time or another. To avoid flirtation with danger is to avoid falling in love with life. Human development requires unreasonable fits of passion, bad mistakes, stupid choices, daydreaming, utter panic, swaths of boredom, flights of fancy, fractured bones and broken hearts. Ask anyone you know to recount a few of the experiences that brought him or her the greatest joy or growth. I'll bet you won't hear anything of Advanced Placement courses, after-school Japanese lessons, organized soccer drills or test-prep for kindergarten."


Personal Account of Mary Gallagher's Sexual Military Assault

This is a first hand account of a military sexual trauma, written by Mary Gallagher. It is graphic and may be disturbing material to rape survivors. If you have not received thorough mental health treatment, you may prefer to print this article and discuss with a therapist, avoid this "trigger" altogether, or refer to it at a later date.

Mary Gallagher served in the Air Force and Air Force Reserves from 2001 to 2011. She is a plaintiff in "Cioca v. Rumsfeld," which is pending in federal court in Virginia.
Recovering From My Service to Our Nation


SWAN partners with law firms, legal clinics and other organizations to pursue military and VA institutional reform through the courts.


SWAN offers a variety of outlets for women veterans to experience creative and personal growth by learning new activities, acquiring new skills and connecting with a supportive network

Peer Support

National Peer Support Helpline:
Hours: 10am-6pm EST
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How to Insult Someone Wittily

  • "You should be women and yet your beards forbid me to interpret that you are so."
  • "I must tell you friendly in your ear, sell when you can, you are not for all markets."  
  • "Thou art a boil, a plague sore, an embossed carbuncle in my corrupted blood."

of course, the most insulting thing to do to someone is nothing...ignore them.

A wonderful "bridge" sentence towards connection with your partner, "How are we?"

(note how it's different than, "what's going on with you?" or "What are you thinking?").

...regularly and deliberately holding, hugging, kissing on waking, going to sleep, leaving home, and arriving...


    Where to Volunteer in San Diego County

    (specifically, needing help with their Oceanside garden and a few preschool clean-ups)


    Book Recommendations, On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society. And, Wonders of the Universe

    Grossman (psychology, West Point) presents three important hypotheses: 1) That humans possess the reluctance to kill their own kind; 2) that this reluctance can be systematically broken down by use of standard conditioning techniques; and 3) that the reaction of "normal" (e.g., non-psychopathic) soldiers to having killed in close combat can be best understood as a series of "stages" similar to the ubiquitous Kubler-Ross stages of reaction to life-threatening disease. While some of the evidence to support his theories have been previously presented by military historians (most notably, John Keegan), this systematic examination of the individual soldier's behavior, like all good scientific theory making, leads to a series of useful explanations for a variety of phenomena, such as the high rate of post traumatic stress disorders among Vietnam veterans, why the rate of aggravated assault continues to climb, and why civilian populations that have endured heavy bombing in warfare do not have high incidents of mental illness. This important book deserves a wide readership. Essential for all libraries serving military personnel or veterans, including most public libraries.
    Mary Ann Hughes, Neill P.L., Pullman, Wash.
    Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
    "Experience our universe as you've never seen it before 13.7 billion years old. 93 billion light-years across. It contains over 100 billion galaxies, each containing hundreds of billions of stars. This infinite, vast and complex Universe has been the subject of human fascination and scientific exploration for thousands of years. The wonders of the Universe might seem alien to us and impossible to understand, but away from the telescopes, the labs and the white coats, Professor Brian Cox uses the evidence found in the natural world on Earth to brilliantly explain the truth of the cosmos.
    Professor Cox will show how the vast and unfathomable phenomena of deep space can be explained, and even experienced, by re-examining the familiar here on Earth. He is determined to answer the most profound questions we can ask about ourselves and the world in which we live, but in a uniquely understandable way. The laws of light, gravity, time, matter and energy that govern us here on Earth are the same as those applied in the Universe. Using his expert knowledge and his infectious enthusiasm, Professor Cox shows us that if we can understand the impact of these governing laws on Earth it will bring us a step closer to an understanding of our Universe."


    Hideki Irabu Commits Suicide, Slate Online Magazine

    Pitching From Behind

    The sad road of Japanese pitcher Hideki Irabu.

    Last week, former New York Yankees pitcher Hideki Irabu was found dead in his Southern California home, having apparently hanged himself. The 42-year-old Irabu, a baseball sensation in his home country of Japan, had a short, tumultuous career in the United States. In his 2004 book The Meaning of Ichiro, Robert Whiting examined the Irabu's impact on Japanese ballplayers as well as the pitcher's struggles in the major leagues. The following piece has been adapted from Whiting's book and has been updated by the author to reflect events since 2004.
    read full article here


    Mental Diagnosis in Children, PFLAG in North County

    by Lisa Belkin

    How to Love, Support, and Accept Your Gay Adult Child
    PARENTS, FAMILIES & FRIENDS OF LESBIANS AND GAYS (PFLAG) NOW MEETS IN OCEANSIDE. PFLAG, a support and information group, invites all those dealing with issues of understanding or acceptance regarding gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender individuals to its meetings. Pflag has changed the meeting time and place for its monthly meetings. We now meet on the first Monday of every month at 7 PM in the choir room of First Presbyterian Church, 2001 El Camino Real in Oceanside, 1 mile north of the 78 Fwy. Call (224-2178). Monday, 01 August, 2011, 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM
    Come join North County's Food Bank, an agency of North County Community Services dedicated to providing wholesome food to the hungry in the San Diego County area. Our goal is “NO HUNGRY NEIGHBORS.” We also supply food and essential items to member agencies that feed hungry people. Volunteers will be sorting food items into predetermined categories, cleaning, and preparing food for distribution. North County Food Bank assists individuals, families, and organizations by providing essential services that lead to economic and social self-sufficiency. Signup required. Wednesday, 03 August, 2011, 01:30 PM - 03:30 PM, Abby,, Phone: 7604715483
    Meditation and Modern Buddhism
    Buddhist teacher Louise Ivy will give an introductory talk on meditation and Buddhist thought. Learn how meditation can reduce stress and establish an inner source of peace and happiness that we can use to positively affect all aspects of our daily life.
    Tuesday, 02 August, 2011, Cardiff Library
    06:30 PM - 08:00 PM

    Come and explore the magic and fun of painting watercolors! No experience necessary! This experience builds confidence and a deep sense of accomplishment, while stimulating the mind and creative talent. “Painting will change your life by creating a new way of seeing the beauty in the world”. Just come with an open mind and heart! All materials are provided! Class size is limited, so register early! Course Length: 6 weeks $130 (includes all materials). Held Tuesdays, July 26 to August 30; 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. Location: Heritage Hall, Carlsbad. Tuesday, 02 August, 2011, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
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