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"The Me You Can't See": How To Stop Hiding Behind Your Hurt and Start Sharing Your Story

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Oprah Winfrey  and  Prince Harry have produced a new series on mental health - "The Me You Can't See"  If  the words, "the me you can't see" speak to you in any way, I encourage you to watch this powerful series. If you're feeling like an imposter or unseen because you are hiding behind your hurt, the stories of shared suffering in "The Me You Can't See" will connect with you in ways which you may not have felt before.   Inspired by the series, today's blog is a personal message to you. Because of the stigma and shame around the fragility of our mental health, many of  us walk around with emotional and psychological wounds thinking it is better to pretend that nothing is wrong than to admit our lives are not working for us in the ways we have dreamed of and desired. I hope today's blog will encourage you to share your feelings and allow yourself to be seen.  Although there are many reasons why individuals don't seek help or de

"Untamed" Teaches Us About The Cages We Live In: How Do We Break Free?

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During the past year, several of my adult female clients excitedly shared about a book they had read and how it had helped them in numerous ways. Because I want to be able to connect with teachings which are meaningful to my clients, I ordered and read  "Untamed: stop pleasing, start living"  by Glennon Doyle . Not only have I read it several times, but I have also listened to the audiobook, in full, twice.  Today's blog is not a review of  "Untamed." There are thousands of them on Amazon. The purpose of today's blog is to tap into the powerful message of how "Untamed" Teaches Us About The Cages We Live In, and to explore How Do We Break Free?  In doing so, we will highlight two important cages  -  the unhealthy relationships we have with others and the one we have with ourselves.  Because I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, my work is specifically tailored to the healing of relationships. When my clients come to me, most are in very b

COVID Pandemic: Grief and Gifts

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As we near the one year anniversary of the COVID Pandemic, our lives have been ravaged on every level. We have spent much of the last year grieving our losses: personal, relational, professional, financial, and of course, loss of human life. Although there is hope on the horizon with various vaccines, we can anticipate there will be more loss impacting us in the months ahead before we begin to reclaim and restore our lives more fully.  As tragic as all this is, over the past year I have had the privilege of witnessing how my clients have experienced a series of "shifts" during this difficult time of heartbreak, stress. and overwhelm. It has reminded me that even during the darkest days of this COVID Pandemic, there is indeed Grief. And, if we are willing to receive them, there are Gifts.   Gift One: Less Is More As soon as the pandemic hit, the brakes were put on our lives. Most of us were forced to come to an immediate stop or at the very least take our foot off the acceler

Brave Beautiful Men Shedding Toxic Masculinity & Sharing Truthful Messages

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For the past eleven years, Co-Founder of  Creative Change Conferences “It Happens To Boys” Carol Teitelbaum, LMFT, has   provided a safe platform for bringing healing to an invisible and deeply injured population in our societies - men who were sexually traumatized as boys. Male presenters of notoriety and men known only to those who are blessed to know them unveiled their narratives of past abuse and ensuing recovery, dismantling normative destructive life-messages of what is it “to be a man” and reconstructing new life-messages based on honesty, compassion, and self-love. As each presenter told his truths, each emphasized the importance of breaking through the cultural and societal barriers of toxic masculinity, unwritten norms which define adherence to male gender roles and restrict the kinds of emotions allowable for boys and men. Thus, on a warm fall day in October 2019 in Southern California, USA,   individual professionals in the mental health field, recovery organizations, a

For All Empaths: A Message of Comfort & A Call to Courage During COVID-19

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Entering into our eighth month of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is suffering. In the United States, we are not only fighting the virus, but we are also fighting one another. Our battle has played out in all aspects of our lives, dividing us even further. This is not a blog about who is right and who is wrong. This blog is drawing attention to how our current state of divisiveness is affecting a rather  invisible but remarkably integral part of our population - empaths.  Empaths are individuals who feel deeply.  They are highly sensitive to the feelings of others, especially those who need healing. Empaths connect easily with nature and are extremely aware of their surroundings. Although empaths enjoy solitude, strangers open up to them and others feel calmer in their presence. Empaths feel all pain, all around them. Thus, navigating an environment which has grown increasing angry, chaotic, and intolerant is extremely challenging for empaths . However, they do not respond with anger

Loneliness: Staying Well During COVID-19

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The United States and most of the world are entering into the sixth month of the COVID-19 pandemic. Re-openings and returns to "normalcy" appear to vary greatly from country to country, from state to state, and from one locality to another. And with folks embracing differing belief systems around the nature of the virus and how they choose to live their lives, there is significant variance surrounding the degree of suffering from mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse / addiction. However, with most of my clients as well as with family and friends, many individuals seem to be struggling with one painful emotion on some level - loneliness.   For today's blog, I was going to give you a few tips or tools for helping with your feelings of loneliness. But, I think most of you know what you need. In addition, out of respect for your beliefs and the COVID guidelines within your area,  there are no "blanket" recommendations which wou

Recognizing Gaslighting and Restoring Sanity Amidst COVID-19

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Over the past several weeks, a number of my clients who have been working really hard on their wellness issues began to falter. Of course, as the COVID pandemic rages on with uncertainties around jobs, money, schooling, etc., stress is being compounded. However, I noticed there was something different, something more serious. And then, during an intense session with a remarkable, successful, strong female client, she broke down. "Holli, I feel so confused. I don't know who or what to believe any more about COVID . I feel like I am living through my childhood again with my narcissistic mother who was constantly gaslighting me. It's scary....I don't like feeling this way. Why is this happening?" Suddenly, I realized that in the divisive political climate of the United States, many individuals are feeling incredibly distressed by the incessant stream of mixed and conflicted messaging . And with folks who have a history of  psychological abuse, they are being tr