Office, Insurances, More

I'm told my office feels "safe" and "warm"
image-623083-Office.w640.jpg
This is a panoramic view so it's a little distorted.
INSURANCES ACCEPTED:

At this time I am able to accept all major insurances.  To be certain (unless listed below), it is best to contact your insurance provider using the phone number on the back of your card.  It is also a good idea to confirm whether you will need a preauthorization.  (Unfortunately I am not able to accept Medicaid or Workers Compensation.)

Capital Blue Cross
Highmark
MHNet
Health America
Medicare
Carebridge
Coresource
Magellan
Independence Blue Cross
Mazitti & Sullivan (EAP)

<----- Click the @ to make a secure online payment.
More:

These are a few of the things that seemed to have helped people I've worked with and as a reminder for them and maybe a different perspective for others I decided to post them here.  They are just introductions or brief summations...more discussion/explanation might be required to fully benefit.  I'm hoping to continue adding new things over time (with the newest additions posted directly below this paragraph).
~Validation
For years I've shown The Still Face Experiment (see video near the bottom of this page) .  Here's a great article shared with me by a client that gives more specifics and examples of how to validate others (click the image below).
~How long does it take to change a habit?  Basically, if you are interested in change, you'll need to maintain change long enough for it to become habitual.   For example, adding exercise to your regular routine or quitting smoking.  Roughly speaking it takes at least 21 days up to 8 months.  More specifically, click the image below for the full story (includes a link to the original study)
~Most Relaxing Song
Reported in Daily Health Post in 2013:
"This eight minute relaxing tune is a beautiful combination of arranged harmonies, rhythms and bass lines and thus helps to slow the heart rate, reduce blood pressure and lower levels of the stress. The song features guitar, piano and electronic samples of natural soundscapes.

A study was conducted on 40 women, who were connected to sensors and had been given challenging puzzles to complete against the clock in order to induce a level of stress. Different songs were then played, to test their heart rate, blood pressure, breathing and brain activity.
The results showed that the song Weightless was 11 per cent more relaxing than any other song and even caused drowsiness among women in the lab.


It induced a 65 per cent reduction in overall anxiety and brought them to a level 35 per cent lower than their usual resting rates.

Moreover, sound therapies have been used for thousands of years to help people relax and improve health and well-being. Among indigenous cultures, music has been the heart of healing and worship. The song, weightless is ideal for unwinding and putting an end to a stressful day.


According to Dr David Lewis-Hodgson, from Mindlab International, which conducted the research, this song induced the greatest relaxation, higher than any other music tested till date. In accordance to the Brain imaging studies, music works at a very deep level within the brain, stimulating not only those regions responsible for processing sound but also ones associated with emotions. The song Weightless can make one drowsy and hence should not be heard while driving.


According to Lyz Cooper, foun
der of the British Academy of Sound Therapy, the song has been created using various scientific theories and make use of musical principles that are known to have individually calming effects. Hence these elements have been combined together by Marconi Union to make the perfect relaxing song ever.
The song comprises of a sustaining rhythm that starts at 60 beats per minute and gradually slows to around 50. Thus, while listening to the song, your heartbeat automatically comes to match that beat. She even adds that it is necessary for the song to be eight minutes long because it takes about five minutes for entertainment to occur. The gaps between the notes have been chosen to create a feeling of euphoria and comfort.


In addition, there are no repetitive melodies in the song which allows one’s brain to completely switch off since one is no longer trying to predict what is next. The random chimes in the song help induce a deeper sense of relaxation and the final element in the song is the low, whooshing sounds and hums, those like the Buddhist chants."

(click image below to watch the music video on YouTube for free)
(has an advertisement before it starts but it's worth it!!)
~The site below has a great interactive way to prioritize things and manage stress but you'll need to select "Home" to see everything else it has to offer. 
~Other quotes that seem to have impact

When you make a choice, you change the future. Deepak Chopra

Real difficulties can be overcome; it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable. Theodore Vail  ("imaginary" might be better replaced with "distorted" refering to cognitive distortions)

Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know. Pema Chodron

Sometimes your only transportation is a leap of faith. Margaret Shepart

Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy. Albert Einstein (to me, this means there often are more important things to worry about)

If you understand everything, you must be uninformed. Japanese Proverb

~Regarding loving yourself (shared by a client)


~Some more quotes from my bulletin board that have had a positive impact on people:

"If you are depressed you are living in the past.  
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present."  Lao Tzu

"If you don't get everything you want, think of the things you don't get that you don't want."  Oscar Wilde

"The sun shine and warms and lights us and we have no curiosity to know why this is so; but we ask the reason of all evil, of pain, and hunger, and mosquitoes and silly people." Ralph Waldo Emerson

~Facing Fear (a poem I was asked to share for other survivors of childhood abuse)
Hello Fear,
I know your name well
I have lived in your horror
I have lived in your hell
Always running,
tired of the race
So many times
I have looked you in the face
You feel like a death 
Even tho I'm alive
I never knew love
Nor did I know how to thrive.
Monsters in the closets
Monsters in the hall
Monsters in the basement
There was no one I could call
To comfort and to shelter
To hold me real tight.
I lived in your shadow
Never seeing the Light
A child has no voice,
Only fear in their heart
Wishing there was hope
That I could have a new start

It was only when I left
That terrible place.
I thought that the fear
Would never show its face
But it did I know
in so many ways
Scared and alone
For many a day.
Afraid of the dark
Of the demons within
I found the courage
To face where I've been
And yes there was fear
My world would fall apart
But I had to journey
To find a new start.
I still have fears
But I have courage to see
That those fears deep within
Will truly set me free.
I will face those fears
And I will overcome.
Only then will I know
My work has been done.

~The importance of breathing​

Click the image to the left for a fairly comprehensive article describing many different types of relaxing breathing techniques.  Near the bottom there's a PDF you can download that summarizes most of it nicely (let me know if you have trouble finding the link for it, it's not that obvious).

~First responder chain of survival

Me
We
They
Them

This hierarchy was taught to me by a first responder (EMT) who explained that they are taught to protect/save/help people in that order.  The reason is that if they don't take care of themselves they won't be able to help others, then they need to take care of their partner/other first responders for the same reason.  "They" refers to family/others immediately impacted by the situation and "Them" refers to everyone else (outside of the house or near the accident for examples).  Seems to me this is a good rule for everyone and it relates to the airplane instructions below.  
~Some quotes from my bulletin board

"Learning is experience.  Everything else is just information." Albert Einstein (Among many others, I see this often when someone is being told how much they are valued but their partner, parent, child, employer etc. isn't providing that experience so it can't really be learned)

"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." Dr. Seuss (Seems those are the main options, which makes life better?)

"If you always do what you have always did, you will always get what you have always got."  Jackie "Moms" Mabley (born 1894) (Similar to the Einstein quote below I know but she also said "Quit it if you can't do nothin with it" which is very relevant to so many situations/relationships people become stuck in for years and years (sometimes for the rest of their lives))

"Sometimes people love you the way a lion loves a gazelle." My postdoc advisor 

~The story of the warrior and fear (shared by a client)

“Once there was a young warrior. Her teacher told her that she had to do battle with fear. She didn’t want to do that. It seemed too aggressive; it was scary; it seemed unfriendly. But the teacher said she had to do it and gave her the instructions for the battle. The day arrived. The student warrior stood on one side, and fear stood on the other. The warrior was feeling very small, and fear was looking big and wrathful. They both had their weapons. The young warrior roused herself and went toward fear, prostrated three times, and asked, "May I have permission to go into battle with you?" Fear said, "Thank you for showing me so much respect that you ask permission." Then the young warrior said, "How can I defeat you?" Fear replied, "My weapons are that I talk fast, and I get very close to your face. Then you get completely unnerved, and you do whatever I say. If you don’t do what I tell you, I have no power. You can listen to me, and you can have respect for me. You can even be convinced by me. But if you don’t do what I say, I have no power." In that way, the student warrior learned how to defeat fear. ” ~ Pema Chödrön

Many people (including myself) comment on how the news always seems negative.  This site only posts good news.
~Guided Meditation
Click the image below for over a dozen free guided meditations
~Authentic Happiness web site
More focus on positive psychology and the book "Authentic Happiness" has spread to the internet.  Martin Seligman from Penn State wrote the book, along with several others.  The web site includes a ton of information about positive psychology and quite a few questionnaires (all free) that can be very enlightening.  Just click the banner below or go to www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu
~Waiting Room Music
Some people have asked about the music in my waiting room, here's a link to the singer:
~'I don't feel motivated'

I picked this up in graduate school and I still haven't found the source but it continues to help me do what needs to be done and has helped many others see the difference between motivation and discipline:

DISCIPLINE

The old saying “Nothing succeeds like success” expressed the importance of self esteem: as soon as you succeed you start feeling better about yourself.  Sometimes people think they are not successful because they are not motivated enough.  Typical thinking may be, “If only I could motivate myself, then I would succeed.”

People who think this way are confusing motivation with discipline.  There’s no way to motivate yourself to shovel the walk, do the dishes, or study for class.  These jobs can only be done through discipline: you must say “I am going to do this job for one hour--whether I want to do it or not is irrelevant.” 

This sort of discipline is what leads to success.  

~Medication
My concern about psychotropic medications is that often using them removes motivation/willingness to make other needed changes (like eating better, sleeping better, exercising, setting good boundaries, etc. etc.).  Research shows the most effective treatment includes both medication and psychotherapy.  The best psychiatrists I've worked with would not prescribe unless the person was also in therapy.  Of course if someone cannot function at all (and other extremes) then medication might be the only option or at least the first place to start.  In general it's harder to start taking better care of yourself (Mind Body Heart and Soul) than it is to take a pill, or use other substances to feel better but easier isn't always better.

~Boundary Setting
To me setting a healthy boundary is a loving thing...'I'm setting this boudary because I care and I don't want that to change.'  In other words, if things continue to be more negative than positive, eventually one or both can become resentful or just lose the love over time.

~Too Much on Your Plate
I hear this often and it seems useful to accept that when you have too much on your plate you either have to take something off or 'make the plate bigger.'  Making the plate bigger refers to taking better care of MBHS.

~Children and Discipline
We discipline our children because we love them and want them to become happy well adjusted people who enjoy and make the most out of their lives.  Unfortunately, sometimes we forget this in the moment.  All the other stressors in our lives can lead us to, instead, feel angry and as though they are purposely defying us (or the rules) just to see our reaction or to hurt us.   I've asked many parents why they discipline their children.  They always say because they love them and want them to be happy...but when I ask if that's how they felt in the moment, most say no.  It's easy to get angry when things we know as obvious seem to elude our kids at times (like actions have consequences).  If they had all the answers from the beginning, they wouldn't need us.


~PuRR More
Pause, Reflect, Respond instead of just Reacting which often gets us into trouble.

~The Porcupine and the Rabbit                 (Not referring to physical abuse)
If someone who you know cares about you is saying hurtful or insensitive things, consider this:  A rabbit and a porcupine are in a relationship, they hug and the rabbit says "Why are you hurting me?" and the porcupine says "Why are you being hurt?"  Sometimes if we don't feel hurt by certain things we assume others won't be either and vice versa.

~What is the opposite of love?
Many people say 'hate' or 'anger' but if you're feeling intense emotions toward someone your invested in them in some way, you care enough to have a strong response...indifference or apathy is the opposite of love (you don't care enough to have a strong emotional reaction).
~If you 'beat yourself up' maybe you're on the wrong side.
People closest to us are typically on our side.  But if we gravitate toward people who treat us badly it seems to be an unconscious desire to find someone to agree with our own self-image ( eg. I deserve to be mistreated so I'll find someone to prove that).  There are many people who 'beat up' those close to them in order to feel better about themselves.  If you're not on your own side, it is hard for others to be there with you and you will attract people who need someone to treat badly.
~Worrying about what other people think of you?
If you say hello to 100 different people will they all respond the same?  Probably not.  Some might be happy to respond, some might be suspicious of you, some might find you remind them of someone who they had a bad experience with and react to you based on the, some might not react at all, and some might want to engage in conversation or even become a friend.  How much of their responses are actually related to you?
~WTT? 
What's The Threat? (Use this whenever you're feeling anxiety, depression or other negative emotions.  Asking this simple question can help put the situation in perspective.)  


~MBHS
Mind, Body, Heart and Soul
To feel our best we need to take care of these.


~Whose opinon matters most? (Though I wish he had use "Person" instead of "Man") 

~The Still Face Experiment
This video has helped many people see how important empathy is, from birth we are wired to need this.  And it is also true with teens and adults (we never lose this need).

~Airplane Instructions
If you're in an airplane with a child and the oxygen masks drop, who do you put the mask on first?  Yourself or your child?  The flight attendants will say, put it on yourself first so you can then help your child.  This is true in life.  It also relates to first responder (e.g. firefighters) 'rules' of "Me, We, They, Them".

~Spinner Rings
Or "meditation rings" or "worry rings"
These help with picking (eg. cuticles) or pulling hair etc.  I've had numerous clients tell me they have helped.  These are rings you can wear that expend nervous energy (can be found on Amazon.com and I have a few in different sizes that I will lend out to see if they are helpful).

~It's not about the nail
You might have seen this one but it is relevant to many situations between couples can seem this way (and humor can be very helpful!)
~When ______ is all you're looking for, _______ is all you'll see.
If all you're looking for are bad drivers, that's all you'll see.  If all you're looking for are your own flaws, that's all you'll see.  If all you're looking for is evidence that someone is treating you badly, that's all you'll see.  Try looking for something else, you just might see it (if not then you'll know it wasn't your own bias).
~ More to come! (Added at the top)
(I started adding content in August 2015 and hope to continue adding something new about once a month or so.)