ATAQ: How do I let go of the past?

Letting go of things you’ve done or things that have been done to you in the past can be difficult. Let’s start with a definition of letting go to make sure we’re all on the same page. To “let go” of something doesn’t mean that you say that what you did or what was done to you is okay or no big deal, nor does it give you or the offender a pass. Like forgiveness, what it means is that you’re … [Read more...]

ATAQ: How do I find peace?

Take a look at everything going on in the world these days, and it’s difficult to be at peace. Being at peace is a personal decision. It’s not necessarily a logical one, but it’s a decision nonetheless. There are several things you can do to find peace within, and I’ll talk about those in a minute. Ultimately, though, it’s a simple decision that gets you there. This is not to be confused with … [Read more...]

Help for Depression

According to the Mayo Clinic, depression is very common in the United States, affecting people of all ages at a rate of more than 3 million cases per year. According to the DSM-5, the diagnostic manual used by mental health providers, the symptoms of depression vary widely, with the primary identifying symptoms being depressed mood and/or lack of interest in activities. There may also be weight or … [Read more...]

How Do I Stop Being Afraid?

ATAQ: How do I stop being afraid? When we are blocked from doing something, however big or small, it’s fear that’s in charge. Fear is generated by negative automatic thoughts, or NATs, as I call them. These NATs are far more annoying and troublesome than the winged-variety gnats—even when they’re in a swarm! So, how do we overcome the fear that blocks us? Check out these 3 steps: Start by … [Read more...]

You’re Not a 2” x 4”: A Lesson in Dispensability

One of the best and most valuable lessons the Army taught me was that I was dispensable. You may be thinking, "Best--wait, what?" Though our inclination is to see dispensability as a bad thing, it can actually be a really good thing. Let’s take work for example. Maybe you feel like you have to take care of everything at the office. Maybe you feel like things will fall apart if you're not always … [Read more...]

Life Goal #467: Suck at hating.

If I have ever wanted to suck at anything, it is hating other people. No matter what a person does to you, living in unforgiveness is a choice--and an exhausting one at that! Not to mention that it only hurts you. The person you choose to forgive may not know--or even care!--that they need your forgiveness. Why continue to suffer at the hands of that offender by letting them remain in control of … [Read more...]

To Get Out, Go Through

"The best way out is always through." - Robert Frost As a therapist, I see these as words to live by. Certain things in our emotional lives we can let roll off pretty readily, "like water off a duck's back." "Suck it up and drive on," as the Army teaches. Other things, we will be upset about for a time and then come to see differently after awhile, such that they don't bother us as much. Very … [Read more...]

Female Empowerment: A Letter to My Daughter

Recent events and a friend’s very powerful post have me thinking a lot about empowering our girls to become women. We can protest, we can share feministic ideals, we can proudly declare our femininity, but what are we really doing on the ground level to teach our girls how to become strong, independent women who are respected, valued and taken seriously? Here are just a few of the things I hope … [Read more...]

Got Sleep?

According to the National Institutes of Health, 60 million Americans experience sleep problems, ranging from occasional to chronic. That’s roughly 20% of people in the United States alone. Needless to say, I treat a lot of insomniacs in my daily work. The causes of sleep problems are many and can be biological or psychological. Either way, sleep hygiene may be able to help. Sleep hygiene is a … [Read more...]

Stop Living in Fear

Fear comes from the Enemy, and it plagues all of us to varying degrees. There are at least as many things to be afraid of as there are people to be afraid. Here, I’m not talking about being afraid of snakes, elevators, spiders, bridges and so on. I’m talking about fear that keeps you from moving forward in your life. When we are blocked from doing something, however big or small, it’s fear that’s … [Read more...]