This is multi-tasking!
When You're a Worm in Horseradish, 
All the World is Horseradish ...Yiddish saying


Relief vs. Freedom

I recently heard a recovering drug addict talking about his journey from addiction. He shared how, at one time, he couldn't have imagined a world without craving and conflict. 
All he wanted was relief.
But, after some years of being clean and sober, he came to want more. He wanted freedom.
This is surviving vs. thriving in my language.
If we are surviving a challenging job, tolerating a tough environment, avoiding conflict in our marriage, that may not be enough to go the distance of a lifetime.
What we really want is growth, success, freedom to create - a sense of mastery and joy.


What is Good Therapy?

Good Therapy: "Change is the greatest when the therapist is skillful and provides trust, acceptance, acknowledgement, collaboration and respect for the client in an environment that supports risk and maximizes safety." 

Journal of Marital and Family Therapy (Wampold, 2001)

The two cornerstones of a healthy relationship are Honesty and Trust.
Can you imagine someone saying, "I have a great marriage! I just don't trust my wife?"

Or, "He really loves me, but he is not honest with me."
Of course, we would instantly know that any reasonable relationship must have, at its very foundation, honesty and trust. 
The relationship may have other powerful connections, or pieces that feel terrific, but without these two critical components, it will not be healthy: it may survive, but it won't be healthy.
If you have prior infidelities, they must be processed. There simply isn't the possibility that ignoring the past or brushing it under the carpet will make the relationship better, or even return it to its set point of comfort that existed pre-infidelity.
It's important to remember that any relationship that has persevered beyond any period of time (say, 5 years or more) will experience psychic injury to some extent. 
Human beings inherently let each other down - we will be disappointed by our partner at some point.
Processing a psychic injury can be done. A skilled clinician, with a motivated couple, can provide the space of discussion, actually hearing one another, facilitate meaningful amends (beyond "I'm sorry"), and allow for forgiveness, with room for the relationship to thrive. 
Most couples want to preserve their relationship (keeping the family together, maintaining the life that they have created) - but a couple in distress does not want more of the same.
"Would you like a new and improved relationship, with the same partner?" 


Military Personnel Numbers...

Over 2.1 million military personnel have been deployed during the ongoing conflicts of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Forty-four percent of these men and women, nearly one million individuals, are parents (Dept of Defense, 2010). The combat tours of OEF/OIF service members have been longer than in previous conflicts, and more service members will be deployed for multiple tours than in any other conflict (Tanelian & Jaycox, 2008). Of the one million military parents who have been deployed, 48 percent have served at least twice, and often three or four times (Dept of Defense, 2010). Resiliency, which is the ability to cope with and recover from adversity, is the norm within military families rather than the exception (Walsh, 2003). Journal of Marital and Family Therapy - Sandoz, Moyer, and Armelie


Book Recommendations for March:

The Iceberg

A Boy and A Bear

Walking the Himalayas


Civil War Re-enactment at the Antique Steam Engine Museum

Civil War Re-enactment at the 
Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum
Vista, Ca
March 5th & 6th. 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Civil War Re-enactment
(this event is very cool!)



Self-Injury Outreach & Support 

When you feel the urge to self-injure, instead of giving into the urge immediately, tell yourself that you will wait 15 minutes and set a timer.
During those 15 minutes try some of the coping techniques listed here.
After the time is up, how do you feel?
Has the urge diminished?
Is it gone completely?

Slowly relaxing different parts of your body can be very helpful when resisting an urge to hurt yourself. People who have self-injured often say that this type of activity can be very helpful in resisting urges and feeling better.
We are developing an audio file you can download and play from your phone, iPod, MP3 player or computer whenever you have an urge or need to relax. Please check back soon. 
In the meantime, click here for files you can download that walk you through some of these types of relaxation exercises.