Like a Deer Caught in Headlights

 How do you deal with fear? Most people freeze, shut down or get defensive, or they blindly continue on the same path (words/actions) without considering it’s not working (even adding intensity to the dysfunctional pattern). Since our only true fear is the fear of the...

Is Divorce a Failure?

 Last month, attorney Steven Chroman wrote an article stating divorce isn’t failure. To reinforce his statement from a mental health perspective, he’s accurate. True failure is a failure to act. Obviously, if our failure to address issues eventually leads to divorce,...

Complications of a Relationship

 Relationships can be frustrating when we need to balance our own personal needs and desires with those of our partner. The following scenario can be used to address this issue. A couple discusses the results of the husband’s recent physical with his doctor. The...

Expressing Expectations or Preferences

Depending on the results you seek, there are differences between expressing expectations or preferences. Is your goal to control or influence? Expectations are generally used when people want to control others, while preferences are more likely used when we want...

Therapy In Advance… or in crisis?

 Often, people don’t think of therapy while life is going smoothly. People assume therapy is just to deal with major conflicts. Why rock the boat? Many people fear therapy complicates lives, so reluctantly seek it only when they feel they have to. This approach to...

View the Results of Your Choices

 It’s so easy to rationalize what we’ve done or place blame to explain results, yet where does that take us? Rather than maintaining familiar patterns that don’t give desired results, determine what changes you can make to improve those results. In therapy, it’s more...

Addressing the True Issues

A drunk crawls around under a street lamp. A man approaches, asking if he lost something. “I lost my keys,” he responds. “Let me help,” the man offers. After a thorough search, the man asks, “Are you sure you lost them here?” The drunk responds “No, I lost them down...

Denials

 Denials might be wishful thinking, but they’re usually lies. Are those giving them attempting to fool others… or fool themselves? We may want to believe we’re not something, but does declaring it make it so? The more people insist they don’t do certain things, the...

Choose What Works for You

 Commonly, couples come into therapy quick to lay blame. They blame themselves, others or outside influences. Unfortunately, people assume once blame has been placed there is nothing else for them to do. How often are you motivated by self-blame or see others...

Dealing with Disappointment

 Not everyone we are drawn to will be drawn to us. Though we may be disappointed, our hopes were dashed, it doesn’t need to be looked at as a negative experience, if we’ve learned from the experience. When we truly care about people, we’re more interested in those...

New Opportunities

 Each new year brings new opportunities. Do we choose to maintain our present patterns, ending with the same results, or do we choose to make subtle changes to fine tune the direction of our life? People make New Year’s resolutions, yet how many are kept. Usually,...

Variations on a Basic Recipe

 Can you survive on the same menu for the rest of your life? It’s possible (and even likely if you are male), but that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate variations. We can jump from one item to the next, or we can make subtle changes to the same item. We’re actually...

Seeing Ourselves Through the Eyes of Others

 We know what we see when we look at ourselves, but how accurate is that picture? Are we seeing more than exists or are we only seeing our perceived flaws and overlooking our true assets? What is a true asset? Is it something we value or something valued by others? Is...

The Fox and the Grapes

 Remember the Aesop’s Fable of the fox and grapes? The fox walked away after failing to reach the grapes, saying they were probably sour, anyway. This is about negative assumptions after failing to achieve a goal, but we can also apply the same thinking when we fail...

Choosing a Friend and Partner

 How does one choose a friend and/or partner? Too often, people dive in without knowing what they’re seeking. Before choosing, identify those qualities you’ve learned make relationships healthy for you. Understand that your qualities must work for the other person,...

Discoveries Over Time

 Last month I experienced another birthday. It’s interesting what we discover over time, both about time itself and ourselves. As we progress through time, we’re capable of seeing things more clearly, for we have more to compare them to. Hopefully, this knowledge and...

The Ideal Relationship

Ideal relationships exist when both partners feel safe enough to openly, honestly share their thoughts and feelings while freely, respectfully acting on their desires. We want to openly share and take action, proving both individuals are important to the relationship...

Do You Like Having a Helpful Partner?

 A helpful partner can come in handy, yet our responses can determine if that helpfulness continues or ceases. Helpful partners enjoy adding to their partner’s life and feeling appreciated. Knowing they are able to help is enough to maintain the helpful pattern, but...

What Have You Learned?

 The more we learn from our experiences, the more satisfying our subsequent experiences will become. Do you just move on and forget the past, or do you think about what you’ve discovered, allowing you to apply the new knowledge to future opportunities? When our eyes...

Taking Time to Hear

 A five-year-old girl runs into her home and asks, “Mommy, where did I come from?” Her mother pulls out the books and diagrams and explains the facts of life. After a half-hour, she closes the books and asks, “Now do you understand?” Her daughter scratches her head...

Establishing and Defining Relationship Priorities

 We enter relationships with priority expectations yet rarely create a clear picture of what they are for ourselves or share them with our partner. Here is a tool you and your partner can use to open communication regarding priorities. Arrange the following list of...

Learning

  ADVERTISE WITH US CLICK HERE A Note From the Publishers – June 2019 by Linda, Moe and Alexander Hafizi | May 29, 2019 | A Note From the Publisher   The Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons has a special place in our hearts, we are so...

Trust

  ADVERTISE WITH US CLICK HERE A Note From the Publishers – June 2019 by Linda, Moe and Alexander Hafizi | May 29, 2019 | A Note From the Publisher   The Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons has a special place in our hearts, we are so...

What’s Within Our Control?

One of the key components of stress management, self-esteem, relationships and accomplishments is to focus on what is within our control. Unfortunately, people are more likely to focus on what isn’t in their control, leading to frustration as they run on their hamster...

Compatibility, Safety and Vulnerability

 Most relationships tend to be superficial, due to people not prioritizing the above factors. Commonly, both men and women expect their entitlements without considering the impact on their partner. It’s hard to feel safe when actions are turned into obligations. We...

The Value of Criticism

 Everywhere we look, we observe people criticizing others. Since it’s so common, we believe it must be useful, but what is its use? What do we accomplish by being critical of ourselves or others? Parents often believe the quickest way to motivate children to improve...

Friendship

 Friendship is the foundation for connections between two people. As a result of each person’s words and actions, the other feels safe to openly and honestly share thoughts and feelings while taking action on desires. Each knows whatever is shared will be appreciated...

What is Love?

 What is love? Is it the hormonally charged intensity of adolescent infatuation, or is it shared deep caring, mutual respect and admiration? Is it about ownership or belonging? The definition is much like DNA; it’s unique to you. We lack the ability to make someone...

Student and Teacher

 After spending 12-20 years being educated, we often feel significant relief when the weight of schooling is lifted from our shoulders. At that point, the last thing we want to think about is learning. We did what we needed to do, and finally it was time to actually...

Feed Your Relationship

  To have a relationship that feeds us over time, we need to take time to feed our relationship. There are three things to prioritize if you want to feed your relationship: desire, appreciation and respect. By focusing on sharing these aspects, you will like what you...

Where’s Your Focus?

 Whatever we focus on is what we’ll get more of. If we focus on positive, we’ll see more positive; if we focus on negative, we’ll see more negative. Will criticism or appreciation give you more of what you want? When you watch a movie, do you focus on finding the...

Answers to Seek Before Choosing a Partner

Without judging them, discover whether you can see yourself compatible with potential partners.  Don’t settle or expect them to change for you.  Do you feel threatened by their differences, or they yours?  Here are some areas people often overlook yet can make or...

Thankfulness

It’s Thanksgiving again.  What are you thankful for?  What are you doing to increase the likelihood of those things continuing or multiplying?  By focusing on things within our control, we generally see more positive results.  Focus on what you can be giving rather...

Is Your Way the Best Way for Everyone?

One of my chores as a child was to water the outside plants with a hose.  Whenever my father saw me watering, he’d come out and criticize me.  He kept telling me to put my forefinger in front of the hose rather than my thumb, as it gave more control. No matter how...

How to Get the Most Out of Relationship Therapy

 I have observed patterns in people who are dissatisfied with therapy. Here is what I’ve discovered will increase your satisfaction with your results.  Have a clear picture of what you want to accomplish. Be an active participant in the therapy process.  Focus on...