Blog Update

GETTING BACK ON TRACK.

Slowly moving ahead. Please check my Amazon’s author page for updates.  Most of my books cost less than a latte and are healthier.

Revisions of Successful Family Meetings is now available in paperback as is  When Good Kids Get You Into A Gotcha War.

Should you buy this or any of my books please consider leaving a review.  Even bad reviews help.

Remember I have dysgraphia so if spelling and grammar are your things do not read me: at least until I win the lottery and pay an editor.

Thank you.

Katherine

 

 

THERAPY OR NOT

I want to make three things 100% clear:

  1. I believe in therapy, but only good therapy.
  2. Therapy, whether good or bad, is expensive. If something cheaper solves things, cheaper is the way to go. Why I discuss self-help, support groups, hypnotism, and coaching.
  3. Sometimes therapy is mandatory.  No dead person is helped by even the best therapist.

I don’t know everything, but I know a great deal about the difference between good therapy and bad therapy. Mainly, because I’ve been a patient as well as a therapist. 

MY FREUDIAN ANALYSIS

 It is strongly advised that when becoming a therapist, you deal with your own problems and strengthen your self-awareness. For three and half years I spent an hour four days a week on the couch, talking about anything that came into my head, and reporting my dreams.

Was it helpful? Yes, confessing your darkest thoughts, venting all your hurt feelings is cathartic. Also, I came to understand me better; finally, I learned to say the F-word.

The F-word story: When I was about eight or nine, someone had written F— You on the inside door of the girl’s bathroom at my school. I had never heard or seen that word before.

When I got, home I asked my mother: “What does the word ‘fuck’ mean.”

Instead of answering, she marched me angrily to the kitchen sink and poured Old Dutch Cleanser in my mouth. Traumatizing. For years I simply could not say “Fuck” or “Fuck You.”

In analysis I came to understand why, but what really worked was a bit of behavior therapy. In analysis, you are required to lie on a couch with your shrink behind you and say whatever comes to mind. In time the word “Fuck” kept coming to mind. I think there were four or five sessions where I must have said “Fuck” at least twenty times.  Behavior therapy forces you to do the thing you fear to do. Saying it became okay.

Why I don’t recommend analysis

When I had grown up in my dreams, my analyst said that was a clear sign I was ready to end my analysis. In our last session, I asked about handling some specific problems.

He said, “My job was to help you understand your conflicts; Your job is to figure out how to apply that knowledge to your life.”

Not helpful. There is a myth among some therapists that one should never state an opinion or give advice. Good therapists do both in ways that help.

Actually, the things my analyst did that were analytic no-noes helped me most. One example: he told me to be kind to my mother as she was at best “disorganized.” That lifted my belief I was the only one with a problem.

For many the ability to say anything and not be judged remains the lure of analysis. That is powerful, but also addicting, and expensive.

Apply analysis when appropriate, but keep it on a short leash…

Alan Cohen

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO

Katherine

These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.

BOOST YOUR EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE – CHECK YOUR PREJUDICES

Prejudice

What makes our prejudices evil, are when we act in ways others are hurt.

The first step in ending racism and other forms of prejudice is accepting it lives in all of us.

The most prejudiced people I know think they are tolerant or that their prejudices are justifiable.  Witness the name-calling and divisiveness in today’s political arena. Science knows we are hard-wired to fear the unknown. Doing so is a useful survival tool. 

I remember once returning from Lily-White Vermont and getting on a Philadelphia subway train to be greeted by only black faces.  Terror took over my brain, but only for a few seconds. I was greeted by people moving aside and someone offering me his seat.  The more we mingle the more tolerant we grow.

Because we were foster parents and the youngsters placed with us a diverse crew, I learned a great deal about the need to mingle.

I also learned to same from living with a diverse group of pets both growing up and as an adult.  Our birds, cats, dog, and raccoon were best of friends.  Go here for pictures of animals caring for other animals.   

Another link in our prejudices remains personal experiences with the “other,” particularly, if such experiences are harmful.

Once upon a time, I mingled in Harlem and the South Bronx with no fear. Then there was the more recent day, when in Harlem, I was chased and called names by a young angry black man.  I had asked him for directions and when I started to follow them, I realized he was mis-leading me. When he saw I got that, he started the name-calling and chasing.  I mingled less as a result. 

As a Facebook friend recently noted, “Being assaulted by a member of a group you champion in the name of tolerance is the first step to becoming a conservative.”

There is another more subtle way prejudices develop. The voices that surround you, and which of those you agree with.

My maternal grandmother was a prejudiced snob. Not uncommon for her time; how she was raised. She liked to pass herself off as a relative of Alexander Hamilton. She conveniently forgot he was the bastard child of a Jewish mother.

She hated my father, a  gentle and man from the South who fought the prejudices he had been raised to believe in.  I loved my father and identified with him. By the time I was seven or hate, I hated my grandmother and what she stood for.  So why you are thinking about your prejudices also think about your heroes and villains and what they stand for. 

HOW TO FIGHT PREJUDICE

1. Be self-aware.

2. Be understanding. One of my main prejudices is against prejudice. I can get self-rightous in judging others. Not helpful.

3. Read more about other cultures, other people.

4. Promote critical thinking. Prejudice is steeped in emotional reasoning and lots of hard brain work is needed to control it.

5. Mingle more

6. Make a daily effort to combat all prejudices. I do that be writing this blog; by calling out prejudice, but also by what I post on Social Media.  

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO.

Katherine

P.S. Practice kindness by reading, liking, commenting or sharing this post. Think about buying one of my eBooks. They cost less than a latte, last longer, and are healthier. Go to Katherine Gordy Levine’s Author Page in other to see what is available. 

P.S.S. These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.

BOOST YOUR EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE -PRACTICE GRATITUDE

Emotional Fitness Training poster coach about gratitude #emotional

Thank you for all you do.

Katherine

P.S. Practice kindness by reading, liking, commenting or sharing this post. Think about buying one of my eBooks. They cost less than a latte, last longer, and are healthier. Go to Katherine Gordy Levine’s Author Page in other to see what is available. 

P.S.S. These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.

BOOST YOUR EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE – FORGIVE

Grace is the way the universe forgives. Everyone needs forgiveness. Everyone has hurt someone; sometimes knowingly; sometimes inadvertently. Not forgiving the hurts done to you eats your heart and erodes your Emotional Intelligence. 

The essence of forgiveness involves stopping the wrongful behavior, not repeating it and making amends.  Not forgiving means carrying a painful memory around full time; some that to holding a hot ember in your heart. Not healthy.

Forgiveness does not mean approving of unacceptable behavior. Abuse can be forgiven, but never tolerated or permitted to continue. No one, child or adult can be allowed to hurt and abuse others. Forgiveness means stopping such behavior as well as ultimately letting go of the hatred and anger abuse creates.

Bishop Desmond Tutu, South African activist, said it best: “Forgiving is not forgetting; its actually remembering–remembering and not using your right to hit back.”

Part of being able to forgive yourself or another involves letting go of past pain.  Remember your brain does not want you to let go of pain because it teaches important lessons.

Pain reminds us to keep our hands out of the fire. Pain reminds us to enjoy the good when it comes. Pain reminds us to be careful about expecting more than we, or life, can deliver.

Pain also reminds us that we all make mistakes. We all need forgiveness for one thing or another. So pain hurts, but it also brings its gifts. Honor those gifts, let go of the rest.

A FORGIVENESS EXERCISE

Review the day. Examine a still painful negative from the day. Did someone treat you unfairly? Did another take without giving in return? Did someone break a promise? Betray a hope? Embarrass you in public? Say or do something cruel?

Perhaps the negative you need to let go of is some wrong you did. . Maybe you were angry or thoughtless and now regret your actions, Maybe you treated another person unfairly or too harshly. Perhaps the negative you need to let go of is some wrong you did

See the person who hurt you asking forgiveness. See the person you hurt forgiving you. Forgive all – if not completely, then as much as you can. To strengthen the power of this exercise, see the other person asking for forgiveness as a small child, chagrined and embarrassed.

If you need forgiveness, approach the person as a child. See the person you have wronged forgiving you and giving you a loving hug.  Promise to make an amends, to do better in the future and then let go.

The more you practice forgiveness and letting go the easier it will become to free yourself of past hurts.

Be assured that if you knew all, you would pardon all.

Thomas A. Kempis

Thank you for all you do.

Katherine

P.S. Practice kindness by reading, liking, commenting or sharing this post. Think about buying one of my eBooks. They cost less than a latte, last longer, and are healthier. Go to Katherine Gordy Levine’s Author Page in other to see what is available. 

P.S.S. These links are for those not familiar with Emotional Intelligence or the idea of Emotional Fitness.