Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014: A Year of New Beginnings or "Shoshin"

In a very simple and profound book by Suzuki Roshi, Zen Mind, Beginners Mind, where the beginners mind is one of compassion. As Suzuki Roshi says, "when our mind is compassionate, it is boundless."In the beginners mind, there is no thought that you have attained something, rather when we have no thoughts about achievement, we can really learn something.

For 2014, consider being compassionate with yourself and others while approaching all challenges with an open mind, without judgement or attachment to results. In this way of approaching any project, relationship, problem, there is an openness, innocence and readiness to be open to all possibilities.

Wouldn't it be a great way to start any endeavor with openness, and readiness.
If you want to become an expert on anything, there is always a starting place of "not knowing." So the journey into 2014 begins with exploring the idea of change, newness, risk, and adventure. Personal knowledge may be one of the biggest risks to take to know yourself. Not knowing is an important part of learning. If you move forward into 2014 seeking, observing, learning, growing, staying mindful with a beginners mind, you may be surprised and delighted about the results. A "not knowing" mindset creates access to intuition, shakes off the "shoulds", and enables you to live more fully releasing creativity. It you want to explore compassion in your life, take on the role of a beginner with an open, receptive mind.
Learn to be mindful to decrease stress, pain, fear and enhance well-being. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Optimism & Happiness

Is your glass half full or half empty? Perhaps taking time to examine your attitudes and boost your optimism.
Optimism is the belief that things will turn out well. It is the expectations that good things come your way and that you have the ability to control the direction of your life. Very importantly, optimism is a way of thinking, not a permanent part of your character. Optimism motivates people, pessimistic thinking leads to helplessness. Also, optimism creates resilience both physically and emotionally. Where are you on this scale? What will it take to get you more positive or optimistic? This quote is from Dr. Seligman himself.

What are the benefits of Optimism found by research? Just to mention a few.
  1. Healthier hearts
  2. Increased levels of good cholesterol
  3. Improved problem solving
  4. Improved immune system functioning
  5. 9% lower risk of stroke
  6. Lower depression & PTSD
  7. 243 Centerarians had positive attitudes toward life.
If you want to know more about Optimism, read works from Martin Seligman, Ph.D. You can take an optimism test to see where you stand. You may want to also check out Seligman's book on optimism.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

30 Things to Start Doing for Yourself in 2014

Marc Chernoff published a great blog post describing 30 Things to Stop Doing for Yourself" then, what to START doing. So, pulling straight away from his list for the upcoming year......take stock of the items listed below to begin a new perspective and life. You have the green light to start a new way of being in the world to move you to happiness, engagement, pleasure, purpose and meaning.

  1. Start spending time with the right people.
  2. Start facing your problems head on.
  3. Start being honest with yourself.
  4. Make your happiness a priority.
  5. Start being proud of yourself.
  6. Start noticing and living in the present.
  7. Start valuing the lesson your mistakes teach you.
  8. Enjoy what you have.
  9. Be polite to yourself.
  10. Create your own happiness.
  11. Give your ideas and dreams a chance.
  12. Believe you are ready for the next step.
  13. Enter new relationships for the right reason.
  14. Give new people you meet a chance.
  15. Compete against an earlier version of yourself.
  16. Cheer for other people's victories.
  17. Look through a silver lining in touch situations.
  18. Forgive yourself and others.
  19. Help those around you.
  20. Listen you your own inner voice.
  21. Be attentive to your stress level and take breaks.
  22. Notice beauty of small moments.
  23. Accept things when they are less than perfect.
  24. Work toward your goals every day.
  25. Be more open on how you feel.
  26. Take full accountability for your own life.
  27. Actively nurture your most important relationships.
  28. Concentrate on the things you can control.
  29. Focus on the possibility of positive outcomes.
  30. Notice how wealthy you are right now.
Begin now making this holiday and 2014 your best yet.Link to article. Marc & Angel Hack Life

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Monitoring Your Stress: Biofeedback that Matters

Even if you are not paying attention to the stress you are experiencing, I guarantee that your body is noticing and attempting to communicate to you. You can choose to pay attention or ignore those signals. However, there will be physical, emotional, energy and behavioral consequences if you choose not to listen to these body feedback messages. What messages you ask? When you are in stress overload, a variety of signals will be present. It is important to learn and understand YOUR body's messages for your sake and those around. Some symptoms of stress include (but not limited to:

  • sleeplessness/insomnia
  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • high blood pressure
  • teeth grinding
  • pain
  • hives
  • panic
  • increased drinking
  • crying spells
  • loneliness
  • anger/irritability
What to do? RELAX & REST. Take an inventory of the balance or imbalance in your life. Find what is out of sync in terms of work/life/play/spiritual areas. Stress and pain are manageable, but you need tools to assist in managing symptoms. Engaging in life balance helps build resilience and reduce stress. Listening to your body and then making adjustments will help improve the quality of your life. Biofeedback is a therapeutic modality that "teaches" you about what generates or relieves stress. Give it a try. This is a photo of a Temperature Training for Biofeedback. There are 3 other methods of Biofeedback, GSR or Galvanic Skin Response or Skin Conductance, EEG or Electroencephalogram (EEG) Test to Measure Brain Electrical Activity. There are four brain wave types: Beta, Alpha, Theta & Delta. Beta is for our normal waking state, Alpha is the "relaxed" state or desired wave pattern. The last type of Biofeedback is EMG or Electromyograph or muscle training to relax specific muscle groups. The electrodes are placed on the neck, forehead, or area of pain or spasm and you can teach that particular muscle to relax by watching the EMG wave pattern. These different Biofeedback monitors and systems just help determine ways to measure relaxation or tension via "feedback" from your body to determine if you are relaxed. Once you learn the mental, emotional and physical markers in your mind and body, you can train yourself to alter them for relaxation, tension reduction or relaxed brain wave. For example, for Temperature training, the higher your peripheral skin temperature, the more relaxed you are. Warm hands and feet indicate increased blood flow, reduced muscle tension and thusly, reduced pain and stress. The training goal is the 90 degree range. Give Biofeedback a try. There are many applications that will give you relief and control.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Holiday Cheer or Not?

Holidays can be a wonderful or awful time. It all depends on how your family, culture and traditions were viewed and experienced. During this holiday season, you have an opportunity to create a new set of rituals or traditions that enhance your joy of the season. Are you able to be with family during this holiday time? What is it like for you to be with your family? Do you feel alone during the holidays? What is missing for you? What would help make this a special and happy time? Take a moment to reflect upon your best or worst holiday memories or rituals you retain from from Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and/or Christmas. Holiday time may be a time of loss, sadness, or unpleasant times due to family conflict, disappointment and unfulfilled expectations. On the other hand, holiday time may have been your best childhood memories. The challenge at this holiday time may be to create your own positive rituals that represent happiness, joy, or fun and pass along some new memories to your family or current life circumstances. In an article some years ago I wrote a brief article on Beating the Holiday Blues. The core concept was as follows: "The preparation for the holiday IS the holiday." Break free of trying to make everything perfect for this holiday season. Work to reduce stress, relax to enjoy this holiday time by incorporating friends, traditions and activities that will make this holiday full of cheer for you. Make this holiday a time to enjoy and remember.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Exposure Therapy Turns Off Anxiety Neurons

A new study in mice, published in the journal Neuron, reports that exposure therapy remodels an inhibitory junction in the Amygdala, a brain region important for fear in mice and humans. The findings improve understanding of how exposure therapy suppresses fear responses and may aid in developing more effective treatments.
Researchers at Tufts University report that a fear-inducing situation activates a small group of neurons in the amygdala. Exposure therapy silences these fear neurons, causing them to be less active. As a result of this reduced activity, fear responses are alleviated.The Amygdala is the main control center for anxiety and panic. So, how do you help the Amygdala? The simple answer, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT. The Amygdala is the "Fight or Flight" center of the brain. Its job is to protect you from danger. When you perceive something as dangerous, flying, public speaking, elevators, spiders, or anything that has caused anxiety or even a panic attack, the Amygdala instantly fires off stress hormones including cortisol, adrenaline and nor-adrenaline. These very powerful hormones prepare you for battle, even though there is no imminent threat. How does one calm down? There are 3 major pathways that can help you. 1) cognitive reframing the experience by positive thinking methods or reassurance can reduce the anxiety by about 45%, 2) exposure therapy or desensitization (gradual exposure) with calming or self-soothing tools, meaning taking small steps over time to the anxiety producing stimulus until you "accommodate" to the situation without an anxiety reaction and 3) anti-anxiety medications such as Paxil, Prozac, or Zoloft. There are very effective anti-anxiety medications such as Klonopin and Xanax, however, they are highly addictive and should only be taken for short periods of time.
So, what about the article in the journal Neuron by Tufts University? "Investigators found that exposure therapy not only silences fear neurons but also induces remodeling of a specific type of inhibitory junction, called the perisomatic synapse. Perisomatic inhibitory synapses are connections between neurons that enable one group of neurons to silence another group of neurons. Exposure therapy increases the number of perisomatic inhibitory synapses around fear neurons in the amygdala. This increase provides an explanation for how exposure therapy silences fear neurons. It may be time for you to control those synapses." 
CBT works, give it a try for your anxiety and panic. 
This link is for the article. Exposure Therapy

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Anxiety & Depression

Do you have anxiety around health issues? According to a recent article in The Lancet, researchers have found that "10-20% of hospital patients suffer from health anxiety, and this poses a substantial burden on health services since a patient's fear of having a serious disorder leads to medical consultation. The study authors note that previous studies have demonstrated that CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) - a therapy that aims to change a person's behavior and thought patterns - is successful as a treatment for other anxiety disorders. Therefore, the researchers set out to determine whether this therapy would be effective in treating health anxiety." Medical News Today Article. Health anxiety can actually CAUSE some people to experience physical symptoms such as chest pains, headaches and other somatic symptoms leading them to believe they are suffering from a more serious disorder, despite reassurance from a medical professional. How many times do you have a physical discomfort, pains in your chest and believe you are having a heart attack. You go to the emergency room to find out your heart is fine, but have anxiety with panic. Of course, you need to Take ensure that you get cleared medically, but then pursue CBT to help with your anxiety. Take a look at this chart to see what happens to your body when panic attacks. Remember, there is help. Anxiety is manageable. There are tools, techniques to quiet the mind and relax the body.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Qualities of a Good Boss

In an recent article in Scientific American, Sunny Sea Gold writes about the qualities that make a good boss. So what are the keys to being a good boss? According to her, there are three standout features that combined, make a good boss. "1) humility, 2) confidence and 3) using the right carrots." The most damaging qualities for a boss include arrogance, disrespect, blowing off feedback and blaming others. Since we know workers don't leave companies, they leave bad bosses and managers, it may be time to reflect on how to manage yourself in a difficult situation. Stress, morale, medical costs, turnover, lost productivity, anxiety, depression and absenteeism are just a few of the causalities workers experience due to bad managers. Ultimately, productivity suffers and the workers lose all sense of value. The remedy is multifaceted. Using a positive, supportive, engaging and validating style motivates employees. Employees need to feel a sense of control, challenge and growth to get engaged. Recently I found an interesting article on the concept of a "stay interview." As opposed to an "exit interview" when it is too late to save or retain a valued employee. There are several questions a manager can ask an employee to get to know them better,  understand their professional or career goals, aspirations, develop a sense of meaning and purpose to promote job satisfaction. This process just may help you keep valued employees. Like a doctor taking your pulse or blood pressure, being a good manager, leader and communicator will help you keep pulse on what is going on in employee minds, increase engagement and be motivating. Some questions you might consider asking include:
  • If you could change one thing about your job, company or team, what would it be?
  • What have you felt good about accomplishing in your job/career here?
  • What talents, interests and skills do you have that we haven't made the most of?
  • What kind of flexibility would be helpful in balancing your work and home life?
  • What opportunities for self-improvement would you like to have that go beyond your current role?
  • What kind of feedback would you like about your performance that you are currently not getting?
Job coaching can help. Check out my coaching website. Just click on the link. Coaching Website
Scientific American Article

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pain & Addiction: Why doesn't my pain medicine work anymore?

Last week, I attended a most excellent presentation by Dr. Boone from La Hacienda Treatment center on "Addiction and Medications." Dr. Boone was an engaging, informative and provocative speaker on topics including Pain, Anxiety, Insomnia, Anxiety, Colds, ADHD & Weight Loss. I will try and summarize some of his main points in this blog post related to addiction and pain management.
If you know someone with chronic pain who is not able to manage their pain and possibly addicted to painkillers, this information may be helpful. There are alternatives and help to manage pain, but not without learning new skills and acquiring proven techniques, which take time to develop and master.
Pain is a subjective experience and everyone has a different pain tolerance. As Dr. Boone pointed out, and I paraphrase, we need to move away from an "I feel..........I take........." mentality as patients to just use our doctors or medications to manage physical AND emotional pain. Instead of the medical model of "I feel......I take......." we move to adopt the "I feel.......I relax, meditate, stretch, do yoga, get acupuncture, manage my stress, do psychotherapy (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT), physical therapy, massage, hypnosis, imagery and biofeedback" to manage chronic pain without addictive medications.  Pain encompasses various states of discomfort including anxiety, depression, insomnia, stress with complications of increasing dependence on addictive pain medications. Therefore, pain tolerance and sensitivity actually increases with the use of pain medication. Subsequently, a condition known as "hyperalgesia", or hypersensitivity to pain develops.  Keeping pain medicated "coats the pain" and actually creates a lowered pain threshold due to the fact that the body no longer produces beta endorphins to manage pain naturally. The body and mind lose the ability to get relief. Pain signals persist and suffering increases. One objective is to break the pain cycle and close the pain gate sending the signal to the brain.
Addiction is also associated with a lack of stress resistance. When pain persists, most people seek immediate relief. Medication accomplishes this.....but only in the beginning. After a short time, tolerance to the medication develops, so you need more pain medication to get relief. Ultimately, no amount of pain medication really helps and by this time, addiction, tolerance sets in. 
A multidisciplinary team with alternative pain management is considered most effective. The best chronic pain treatment programs all strive to reduce and then eliminate the use of all narcotic medications and muscle relaxers, which are addictive and shut down the body's natural ability to manage pain. Examples of medications that should eliminated are opiates like Hydrocodone, Codeine, Oxycodone, Morphine, Tramadol, Lyrica and muscle relaxants like Soma and Flexeril.
There are pain programs and specialists that can help. Call or email if you want additional information. 713-621-2490 or click on my name to email for questions of comments.  Dr. Klaybor

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Does Wellness at Work Payoff?

A resounding YES is the answer. In a recent article Rahul K. Parik reports the following, "an 2010 analysis of 36 studies that looked at corporate wellness programs suggested they can be effective. Researchers calculated that employers saved $6 for every $1 spent: $3.27 saved in medical costs and an additional $2.73 gained due to reduced absenteeism. An earlier analysis had found that such programs reduced sick leave, health plan costs, worker compensation and disability costs by about 25 percent." So, the company saves money, reduces absenteeism, but you live a longer and healthier life. There are several aspects to wellness as you can see by the graphic. Mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, environmental and social. A balance of these various aspects and can help keep you healthy, but need to be measured. Rate yourself from 0-100 on each segment. Once you have a total score, examine each area to determine where you need to boost your score.
What is your company doing to help your wellness?  More importantly, what are you doing for your own well-being and wellness? It may be time to explore both areas as opportunities for growth, change and improving your life, longevity and quality of life.
The biggest culprits robbing you of a happy and healthy life include: diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, obesity and high cholesterol. If these diseases and problems are managed, your life will improve in immeasurable ways. Take time to look inside yourself to see what you are doing to help or hurt yourself. Explore with your corporate medical department, employee assistance program or human resources to see what incentives, programs and assistance you can get to help you on your way. If you wish to read the article, just click on the link below.
NY Times Article

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Do you have an addiction to the internet?

In this day and age, our "Digital Diet" or time online with all social media available on the internet is expanding to the point of being a problem for more and more of the population at all ages. What do I mean by this? Well, If you have to be online continually, perhaps you need to examine how you time on the internet may be affecting your life, work, relationships, family and mood. Warning signs to watch out for include:

  • Inability to control your time on the internet.
  • Lying about your time online.
  • Hiding your activities online.
  • Finding yourself "surfing" online, shopping gambling, accessing cyber porn/sex.
  • Feeling irritable, depressed mood, escaping, isolating yourself, losing sleep, &/or avoiding face-to-face social interaction.
The above indicators may be signs you are addicted to the internet. Clinically, addiction has three major elements: tolerance, withdrawal and craving. If you experience these feeling or are having these problems, it may be time for you to seek help. The internet can be a "reality" substitute. Certainly, there is healthy and unhealthy use of the internet. The problem categories are: 1) Cybersex addiction (Porn, Adult Chat, Fantasy, Role Play), 2) Cyber Relationship addiction (Chat rooms, Messaging), 3) Net compulsions (Gambling, Stock Trading, Auctions, eBay), 4) Net overload (FaceBook, Pinterest, Searching) 5) Computer addiction (games). Take a vacation and leave the social media behind. You will discover if you need to "detox" from the internet. Don't get caught in the net and lose contact with life and reality. Virtual reality is only a temporary substitute. If you would like to see a recent interview I did on Internet Addiction for Channel 39, just click on the link below.

Dr. Klaybor Television Interview on Internet Addiction

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Pain & the Brain: Is your pain all in your head?

The answer.........yes and no. What do I mean? The brain is the epicenter of pain in the body, natural & medicinal strategies to relieve discomfort often focus there. For example, when you stub your toe, skin receptors send electrical signals through nerve fibers to the spinal column and then up to the brain. Pain specialists note that genetics, upbringing, and cultural practices of various ethnic groups can all affect how pain is felt. With acute pain caused by minor aliments usually resolves itself after the affected region heals. Chronic pain is very different. It should be viewed similarly to chronic diseases like diabetes, since it likely will require the same kind of sustained, comprehensive treatment plan. Here is the good news. Research has shown that people can activate their descending pathways to block pain by "mind over matter" techniques.

The photo of the two brains shows how "mindfulness meditation" can change the brains reaction to pain. Hypnosis, biofeedback, yoga, relaxation techniques, mental rehearsal, visual imagers and CBT techniques help produce comfort and decrease activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, the areas of the brain that processes the emotional response to pain.

There is help. Call if you want to learn more. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Internet Counseling: What is in it for me?

There is a movement happening all across the globe, it is TeleMental Health and TeleMedicine. This shift is changing the delivery of Mental Health services in a profound way. Why choose web-based counseling? Busy schedules, traffic, being readily available and sheer convenience may be a few good reasons. There are security questions that need to be answered. For example,
  • Is the video conferencing platform encrypted? 
  • Is it HIPAA compliant for privacy, which is required for any licensed therapist. (iChat, FaceTime, & others are already compliant)
  • Do you have the comfort with the technology?
  • Do you have a good broadband connection for smooth video & audio?
  • Does the therapist have an informed consent describing the process?
  • Is there a backup plan in the event of a lost connection?
As it turns out, I love technology and social media. To that end, I have developed 3 blog sites, 4 websites, and have done employee assistance work and executive coaching over the internet in a total of 15 countries around the world. There have been many advances in the technology that make TeleMental Health Services viable. Research is now beginning to demonstrate the benefits and outcomes of TeleTherapy. The studies are coming out quite positive and encouraging. There are now Distance Counseling Credentials, Certifications in online therapy and forums for creating an online practice. As you can see on this blog, I have a special connection that provides a direct link to a video counseling session. The article below is a good example of the trend.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Biofeedback Practice with the Stress Thermometer

Biofeedback has been around a long time. If you are interested in some mental techniques to quiet your mind and body, biofeedback can help. Biofeedback is easy to learn and convenient to use to help you calm your mind and wind down to sleep better. relax, get in touch with your body and find the "relaxation zone." Biofeedback doesn't do anything to you, it only reads biological signs from you. Biofeedback can read temperature (see the Stress Thermometer), EEG or measurement of you brainwaves. We have 4 brainwave levels, Beta, Alpha (relaxation), Theta and Delta. Most of the time, we are in Beta. The goals, get to Alpha or relaxation waves. EMG measures muscle tension, and GSR or Galvanic Skin Response measures electrical skin conductance. All forms can help you learn to relax. 

Recently, I purchased a Heart Wave Monitor for my iPad and iPhone. This app helps you pace your breathing and heart rate, leading to relaxation. Since everything is essentially mind/body, the goal with Biofeedback is to obtain mental, emotional and physical harmony. 

#1 Factor for Success

What do you think it takes to be a success? It is luck, hard work, personality or connections? The experts say, it the willingness to make mistakes. Taking risks, trying new things are that actually facilitate success. If you are fearful, worried, holding back, chances are you won't achieve your dreams or goals. You can spend a great deal of time, money and energy "thinking" about success, or figuring out what you want, however, until you actually make attempts at discovery, practice and invest yourself in an activity or action, you will not really know or make any progress. Everything starts in your mind. Your mindset or way of thinking determines everything about the problems you face in life. A Positive Psychology makes all the difference in the world. Focusing on strengths can keep you going when the going gets tough. Work on developing an "invincibility mindset." So, whatever happens, you deal with it. This falls into the category of a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you are always waiting for the proverbial "shoe to drop," it will. Worry sets in, anxiety increases and these feelings can be debilitating. Once worry takes over, your world gets smaller, you quit trying things, risks and adventure disappear and then your changes for success in any endeavor diminish. Live from a position of strength, confidence and invincibility, then worry, fear and "perceived obstacles" disappear. CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) works!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Wellness Works!!! It is more than an apple a day.

Have you taken a look at what you are doing for wellness for your overall well-being lately? It may be time to take stock of what wellness entails for better health, enhanced resilience, emotional stability and longevity. The basics are important, but there is much more. Of course, diabetes, blood pressure, obesity, and other heart issues are crucial. Please consider emotional and mental health. With stress factors including, sleep problems, bully bosses, financial problems, long commutes, marital discord, problems with children, aging parents, an array of emotional problems can create havoc in your life. Anxiety, depression, low libido, avoiding people, panic attacks are on the rise. The AIS or American Institue of Stress shows the main causes of stress in this pie chart. Workload is almost 50% of the total, however, add juggling work and personal, lack of job security sections and work related stress constitutes about a whopping 72% of the causes of stress. Take a moment to see what happens to performance on the graph. As the level of stress increases, over time, performance decreases.  

Wellness means stress management. If you fit into any of these categories, help is available and works. Get into an exercise routine, see a nutritionist, start yoga, biking, get a hobby and get social. If you begin now, wellness can prevail.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Test Anxiety: Improving Performance & Scores

Anxiety has a cycle that becomes self-reinforcing generating more anxiety, stress, panic and poor performance. The graph at the left illustrates this concept. A test is viewed or felt as a threat, this threat releases stress hormones, reduces concentration, focus and retention, then hard work is compromised by anxiety and fear. It may be time for you to take control of anxiety regarding taking a test. There are basics that can make a tremendous difference in your score once you master the mental/emotional components of anxiety. Some of the best methods are as follows:
1) reduction of negative thoughts and feelings
2) improved emotional control
3) muscle relaxation techniques
4) mental relaxation
5) mental rehearsal techniques
6) reframing or positive self-talk
7) diaphragmatic breathing
These are all very reliable tools or techniques that can be used in conjunction with proper study habits, test taking strategies and practice. The goals are to teach a set of easy to use tools and techniques that enable anyone to reduce stress, and test anxiety while self-generating an optimal psychological state for improved learning, academic performance and better test scores. Whether it be the SAT, LCSW, LSAT, MCAT, GMAT or Real Estate exam, these techniques work to reduce and/or control anxiety. Anxiety does not have to control you, you can control it.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Six Essential Principles Necessary for Recovery to Take Hold

A book published in 2012 by Hazelden with the authors Shumway and Kimball provide some key elements for lasting recovery. I have highlighted some of their main premises about lasting recovery from addiction. Take a few moments to consider addiction in your life and see what might apply. They state, “First, we recognize the problems we have as adults that were caused by growing up in a dysfunctional family. Second, we learn how to recover from the unresolved pain that was caused by growing up in a dysfunctional family. Finally, we learn how to solve current problems in spite of the obstacles caused by how we were raised.”
The disease of addiction touches everyone in profound and personal ways. The individual, familial, and societal costs are staggering and are clearly understood by those who have been touched by this disease. The following three categories describe how addiction is represented in your life:
1. You are an alcoholic/addict--or think you might be.
2. You love an addict in your role as a family member, significant other, or close friend.
3. You are a professional in the addiction/recovery field.
No matter which category you identify with, you have been affected by addiction and the far-reaching pain and consequences that result. In an effort to help yourself and others, these authors have identified six principles to aid in the ongoing appraisal of what they describe as a "recovery walk." These principles include:
1. Hope
: The reawakening after despair; to expect with greater confidence.
2. Healthy Coping Skills
: The development of effective skills to manage the pain and stress of life. 
3. Achievement and Accomplishment: 
The movement beyond the limitations of addiction toward personal achievement. 

4. Capacity for Meaningful Relationships
. The positive support and connection with family and peers. 

5. Unique Identity Development
: The emergence of a unique and positive identity.
6. Reclamation of Agency: 
The internal feeling that you have choices in your behavior—including the choice not to use.
We can help. Call for an assessment to determine if you or a loved one can benefit from treatment. 

Why Worry? Recently, a reprint of the book  Why Worry  by friend and prolific author, Eric A. Kimmel was recently released. Gayle and ...