Friday, May 10, 2013

Even asleep, infidelity counts: Study finds dreams affect our relationship behaviour

Even asleep, infidelity counts: Study finds dreams affect our relationship behaviour:

Which comes first though? Does the Dream prime the behavior or is the dream telling us what is already present and simply informs what is behind the actions rather then causes it.  What do you think?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Are you experiencing a spiritual bypass?

Are you pursuing a spiritual path? Have you found yourself disappointed or frustrated? Either with the people or the work? Are you ready to give up?

Here is what I think is happening. There has been a great deal of interest in pursuing mystical, esoteric, spiritual mysteries. People have been jumping on the band wagon of spiritual pursuit, both traditional practices and "commercialized" versions of enlightenment. What I am suggesting is that one needs psychological healing in psychotherapy before spiritual work is effective.

What is a spiritual bypass then? It is when you are not recovered from your psychological wounding, and to heal you become involved in a spiritual pursuit. Thinking this is "THE" answer to everything that has been bothering you. The outcome often is feeling let down, one loses faith and trust.

The ability to trust, have faith and have discipline to practice true spiritual pursuits requires one to have a balanced psychological foundation. With out this you are bypassing work and jumping to spirit to find peace and balance. You have no foundation to support this work and it will collapse.

Here is one example of how this might happen. Early psychological wounding (first year of life) can result in an impaired ability to form healthy attachments. The wounding to early consciousness needs to be repaired in order to provide a balanced, solid foundation. Someone wounded in this way will attach to the people and practices of the tradition in a dysfunctional way. They might want to be controlled (taken care of), becoming dependent on, or becoming so disappointed by the humanness of their companions that they reject all.

Do yourself a favor. Heal yourself in the emotional and mental realms first. Do not try to climb the ladder to the divine until the lower rungs of your ladder have been repaired.

First make sure the basics in your life are handled. You have a secure home and way of maintaining your day to day living. Then heal your psyche. Seek a therapist or group to work through any wounds, patterns or beliefs that are destructive.Counseling can help you discern what is truly healthy for you. Now when you begin your spiritual journey you are prepared to respond to the wonderful fulfillment as well as the disappointments, and frustrations along the way.

THE GOOD NEWS IS: When you have a solid foundation of psychological health you can then fully enjoy the benefits of spiritual pursuits

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Seven ways to calm down quickly

Today we all have a great deal of stress. Unemployment, foreclosure, cutbacks at work, businesses closing, problems and so on. Your stress may be leading you into distress. This can be hard on your body and your mind. Try any one or all of these tips and see if you can help yourself to calm down quickly.

1.Ask yourself: "Is this a true emergency"? An true emergency means you are experiencing an imminent threat to your life. Most situations are not true emergencies. Everyday problems like a fight with your spouse, your car breaking down,  an unexpected bill or something else, often feels like an emergency. You feel anxious, your heart races, your mind gets foggy and you are overwhelmed.All of these  problems are false emergencies.  Although none of these problems are welcomed, they are not immediately life threatening. When you ask yourself if this is a true emergency and answer no, you will immediately start to calm down. Most daily problems are false emergencies.

2. Breathe. The first thing you do when a problem occurs is to tense is hold your breathe. When you hold your breathe you build up carbon dioxide in your lungs and you can not take in a deep breath. This increase anxiety.

 So start by breathing out  through your mouth. A long slow breath out, like blowing out candle on a cake. Then breathe in through your nose normally. You can do ten of these breaths, with a long slow exhale through the mouth and a regular inhale through the nose. This way of breathing will help you relax and calm down.

3. Go outside. Listen to the birds, look at the sky, smell the air, feel the sun.  Research tells us just five minutes outside helps you come into a state of balance.

4. Listen to music. Your heart rate and blood pressure responds to music. Put on soothing slower paced music that you enjoy and your blood pressure and heart rate will slow down and you feel better.

5. Imagery. Use your imagination to focus on a calming image. The secret is to use all your senses. See it, hear it, smell it, touch it, sense it, know it. The image you use is personal for you. Ask yourself what is your image for calm. Close you eyes, do the breathe you learned in number two above and focus on your calm place for 3-5 minutes. You will feel more relaxed.

6. Count to ten. This old advice hold some truth. When you count to ten you give yourself a pause between the feeling and any action,. During this pause you focus your attention on the counting. This focus and pause can help you to calm down before acting (action which may escalate the situation).

7. Write in your journal. Some people find that writing about a problems help to discharge the anxious feelings and gain clarity about a situation.

 THE GOOD NEWS IS: These tips work quickly and can be immediately, without any special expensive tools.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How to find Peace

Peace is the experience of those moments when “all feels right with the world and oneself”. You sigh in relief and relax in a treasured moment. All thoughts and feelings seem to be quiet and an inner joy and contentment comes with the silence. If you have experienced this then you will seek it again.

These days everyone is searching for peace. You may want a break from the pace and pressure of your life. From everyday stresses at work, home or simply the pressure you put on yourself. It takes a toll. How can you experience more peace in your life? Here is a list that can lead you to peace. The list is simple but the practice is a moment to moment process. The rewards are great.

1. Become aware, wake up instead of operating on auto-pilot. The patterns of behavior and your beliefs about yourself and the world create the experience you call your life.

2. Identify your feelings. Use this information as a guide to your hearts desires.

3. There is much beauty and harmony on this earth. Look closely at the trees, grass flowers, animals and people around you. Enjoy, savor, and appreciate with gratitude all that you have. Establish a relationship with the divine in the world. Watch the sky.

4. Everyday set the intention to live your life in balance. Eat well, move your body in ways that feel good (i.e. exercise, dance sports and so on). Treat yourself lovingly. If you fall back into old habits go back to the other steps and understand what needs to be different.

5. Get connected to your instincts and natural tendencies. Honor, respect, and acknowledge them, but do not let them rule you.

6. Find someone to be your guide, or work in a group as you make changes. Seek support until you become your own best source of guidance. You can become your own expert.

7. Start now.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Benefits of Dream Groups

You dream up to five times a night. Even if you don’t remember your dreams they are part of your mental health system and affect you daily.


1.     Give you a deeper understanding of yourself, your life, and relationships
2.     Reveal your feelings about current life events
3.     Clarify your fears and concerns
4.     Warn you of upcoming physical problems and consequences of current  choices
5.     Indicate solutions and advice about your problems
6.     Reveal habits and patterns that are present
7.      Open a channel to spirituality

What are the benefits of attending a Dream Group? You will:

1.     Receive assistance understanding the messages in your dreams
2.     Utilize the wealth of advice and solutions your dreams reveal
3.     Be surprised how much your dreams relate to your feelings and problems and daily life
4.     Learn to read the language of your personal dream symbols
5.     Open you to new ideas and behaviors
6.     Change and enrich your life in more ways than you can imagine

Dates: January 7, January 28, February 18
Location: 221 Greenwich Cirlce, Suite 100, Jupiter FL
Instructor: Debra Joy Goldman LMHC
Fee: $50 Each session will have a minimum of 3 participants, maximum of 6. Space is limited. To reserve your seat(s), please call 561-602-8041.

Debra is recognized as a leading therapist, writer, and educator for over twenty years in the South Florida area. Currently she has an office in North Palm Beach where she provides counseling for individuals and couples.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

How to Stop Your Thoughts from Keeping You Stuck

Have you begun a self -improvement project lately? How is it going? Are you feeling stuck, frustrated or confused?

Sometimes you start making changes with great motivation and energy and then stop. Sometimes it gets too hard, you get bored, or the old habit comes back. How can you move through these obstacles and develop the desired behaviors?

One of the things that you need to learn about is your thoughts. Your thoughts act like containers, they put a certain meaning on life for you. These meanings then create a feeling and this feeling fuels your choice of action (or inaction).

Here is an example. You have decided to begin an exercise program. You decide to go to the gym three mornings a week. The first week goes fine. Then, the second week you find yourself struggling and experiencing a civil war inside your head. It can sound something like this: I don't feel like going to the gym today. I should go to the gym , I am so lazy, I am really tired and did not sleep well last night, one time won't hurt to stay home , I am scared that I will not be successful here, I never doing anything right. You get the picture?

Now what is happening here? You are going from missing one morning at the gym to being scared and feeling like a failure, a lazy person who can't do anything right. This meaning that you have given the situation,this "thought track" can result in anxiety, low energy, low self esteem. Probably you are going to give up on this self- improvement project. I bet if you identified with this thinking that this is not the first time your thoughts have shown up this way.

Thoughts are like tracks you lay down. Our brain develops pathways of firing, similar to the idea of tracks. Once you define a life experience or yourself in one way and create these tracks they are going to color your experience of future situations. You can get caught giving the same meaning to new situations over and over again, following the same thought tracks. Your thoughts tend to follow it over and over. This can result in what is termed "kindling" which is a similar to a sensitivity. Your feelings become more intense, super charged when the existing tracks are activated. It will take very little to activate the thought tracks and the feelings and they will come very quickly, often intensely.

Others, your teachers, parents, friends, spouse, children, co-workers, boss etc. are ready to tell you what your behavior means to them and how they think of you. You get hypnotized. You believe what they say to be true. Then, it's as if you are wearing glasses that slant the meanings of incidents in life to line them up with these thought tracks.

What ever the meaning you give to the situation becomes real to you. It is your "reality". It may not be "true", but your experience it as real. For example I am lazy ). Then you act as if it is true and your choices are based on this reality. Often although it appears "real" it is not "true."
So what can you do?

First become AWARE of the familiar thought tracks that you have laid down. Notice your thoughts, there are patterns there. Journal, talk to a friend, learn skills of self awareness.

After you are aware, explore the thoughts. ACKNOWLEDGE the source, how they developed how habitual they may be. Often it is helpful to work with a therapist at this point to understand how these patterns of thought developed. If the thought is not one that you want to continue to hold, if it does not serve you well then CORRECT it.

How do you correct it? Well, thoughts are created by you. They are subjective, and if you create them you can de-create them.

Here are a few exercises for changing your thought:

1. Ask yourself what thought you would like to live by. In the above example, change the thought I am lazy and can never do anything right. What is a thought that will help you to feel the way you want to feel, one that would help you to act the way you would like act. How about I can trust myself? If this new thought feels too far away from your current" reality", try something else. For instance " I am learning how to trust myself." So when you become AWARE of the thought, the I am lazy and can never do anything right, thought, first ACKNOWLEDGE this familiar thought, and where it came from. Now CORRECT it by remembering the new thought, I am learning how to trust myself. Now every time you have the old thought you have an opportunity to change.

2. Take the same example above. This time when you think" I am lazy and can never do anything right" Imagine you see a blackboard in your mind with this written on it. See and sense yourself taking the eraser and erase this thought. Now see and feel and know yourself picking up the chalk and writing I am learning to trust myself". Now how do you feel?

3. Whenever recognize the old thoughts in your mind say to yourself "interesting, there goes that part of me making up those stories again".
Does this seem too simple? Well try an experiment and do one of these exercises for 21 days consecutive days. See what happens. What do you have to lose? What are your thoughts telling you now? Oh no, here you go again!
Go back and restart at the beginning and read this again!