Feel Free To Fantasize!

Perhaps you've heard about the value of imagining success - the idea that, if you "practice" something, then you're more likely to be successful at it. For example, if you imagine yourself running that half marathon and finishing, then you're more likely to actually DO it. And, do it successfully. Before the era of MRI's and brain scans, we thought this was just coincidence. But, now we know the truth: There's a scientific explanation behind the power of imagination. Let's say you imagine yourself finishing that half marathon. If you REALLY dig deep and allow yourself to REALLY feel what it would be like to finish the race, your brain actually believes you've finished. Which is to say that,

Do Your "Pillars" Stand Strong?

The age-old question, "What makes people truly happy?" has been around for as long as anyone can remember. And, it's a question that's stumped many a philosopher, much less a psychologist! But, it seems research has come to the rescue, and we may finally understand what leads to happiness. Turns out, the research points to two "pillars" of happiness: Sense of self and human connections. While this is hardly news, it's important to note what DOESN'T make us happier - money, things, a big house, a fancy car, worldly treasures (you get the idea). So, what exactly are these two pillars? Sense of self is a sense of identity. Do you know who you are? In the face of struggle, are you resilient and

What's Your "Theory"?

You may have heard about the importance of the "developmental" years (around ages 5-12) and wondered what they mean. What are we "developing" exactly?! Turns out, these years are when we develop our basic "theories" about the world - Is the world safe or scary? Are people generally trustworthy or untrustworthy? Are we capable or incapable of doing things ourselves? Are we in control of our lives or are others? Is conflict OK or not? What's so interesting is that these "theories" follow us through life. For example, if you learn the world is "scary" very early, you're likely to find "evidence" to support your theory in every experience you have. When you're presented with a new job opportunit

Why You Should Treat Yourself Like a Child

As a therapist, I notice a lot of recurring themes in my office. And, one seems to be popping up more and more lately: The idea that we're supposed be perfect/do things perfectly or else we're failures. Failing, it seems, isn't an option these days, and the fear of failure seems to be causing a great deal of distress. What's so interesting is that we seem to have a double standard when it comes to "trying" and possibly failing. One for children and one for adults. For example, my son is learning how to tie his shoes, and believe me, he's failing - a lot! Do I berate him and call him a "failure" as he's learning? No. Instead, I encourage him to keep trying. I encourage him to learn from his m

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