Signs of choice

How Do I Become Less Codependent?

If you want to change, you have to commit yourself to a personal changing plan. If you find things that get in your way ("blocks"), you have to do anything to understand why the blocks keep happening. However, you must look inside of yourself, not others, to find the answer. The following "laws of change" are designed to help you slowly grow out of codependent thinking patterns. They will allow you to enjoy life and "start living in the real world." 1. The Law of Personal Responsibility Stop looking to others for help, blaming them for problems, and look to yourself...
girl walking on side of road

How Do I Change?

In order to change from old habits of codependent behavior, you will need to abide by the Three Meta-Rules of Change.  These rules are the "rules about rules" that should govern any approach towards dealing with codependency and maximizing your impact on self-change. These rules allow you to gain self-respect, which is a way of being true to yourself. It allows you to focus on where you want to be at, and what changes you want to make, in life. 1. Respect Others The ability to accept diversity of opinion and feelings. Understand how your behaviors affects others. Know that there is...
fire explosion

Bottling Up Emotions: Time Bombs for the Future

We all tend to bottle up our emotions. We hope that with a little time and effort, we can figure out things on our own. The problem is that the more we hold things in, the more we feel like we are “just going to explode.” Even the slightest thing can set us off. When we finally explode, we over-react. We might feel guilty and sorry that we ever said anything, so again we try to bottle up our feelings. This only continues the vicious cycle of holding things in and exploding when it becomes too much to handle. Some of this...
axe cut

Rates Slashed for Regence Oregon Psychotherapists

Back in early 2015, Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield announced that they would be cutting provider reimbursement rates by up to 30%. This rate reduction would affect mental health practitioners across the board at both the master's and doctorate level. Now, Mental health professionals have always had a difficult time when dealing with insurance companies. Rates are not reimbursed at the same level as other medical services, and until the Mental Health Parity Law, sometimes counseling wasn't even covered at all. However, a decrease in reimbursement rates is just confusing. The most distressing issue with this change is how it will indirectly...

Is My Past Trauma Causing Issues in My Marriage?

We have a tendency to believe that our marriage will “always be there” and never be in crisis. We also realize that all relationships have their ups and downs, and this helps prepare us for difficulties down the road. However, when a significant crisis or traumatic event happens, the stability of any relationship can be put in jeopardy. Understanding a few key concepts can help us to “manage” these difficult times in healthier ways. Is it a Crisis? A crisis can happen when we experience a loss in our family, a loss of a job, the death of an important family...

What is my Purpose in Life?

Sometimes, we notice that we are lacking something in our lives. Our goals seems elusive and we feel stuck without.  Like all people, we want to live a life with meaning and purpose. How do we find the answers we are looking for? Finding Clues Interestingly enough, we can discover clues as to what our purpose might by examining our problems. As hard as it is to believe, difficulties actually serve an important purpose in our lives. By looking at the absence of meaning, we can infer our true calling. Our Legacy We may not want the problems we have in our lives....

How Can I Trust After an Affair?

Affairs happen for many reasons The main wound is that trust and comfort in the security of the relationship has been shattered.  The fact that we all search for security makes any violation of the relationship, either mental, spiritual, or sexual, much more upsetting. The fact that one is not expecting it, or that it was not part of the assumption about how the relationship would progress and operate, causes traumatic responding. It violates the hopes and expectations that one can be really who they are with another person. Affairs are not really about sex.  It is about betrayal and...

What’s Wrong With Me? The Logic of Panic Attacks

Panic attacks can be overwhelming and exhausting, leaving us feeling out of control. You can feel your own heart beating in your chest, you start feeling numbness or tingling in your arms or legs, and you suddenly find yourself afraid of going crazy, dying or possibly losing control.  This cycle can grow and become a vicious circle from which it seems as if there's no escape. Understanding what is happening and the fears behind panic can help us to better control ourselves. So, what causes panic attacks? As hard is it is to hear, you cause it! Nothing outside of you causes...
Love solving problems together

How to Solve Problems Together

Healthy families, and couples, know that everyone, and every family, has problems. We want to live in a society that tries to force us to believe that only bad people have problems. The reality is that we all have issues that we have to deal with and solve if we are to be functional and healthy. When one member of the family has a problem, it is critical to know that it is something that affects the entire family. If you really want to solve things it is going to take a joint effort by everyone concerned to resolve things. Here...
empty glass jar

Learning to Endure Conflict, Tension & Emptiness

One of the most important things that human beings can learn to do in life is to endure the hard times. This is not always easy because we are always hoping that things will be comfortable, easy or enjoyable. Other times, we just want to have something to keep us busy.  The reality of life is that these things do not always happen. As a result, it is important to think about a few issues as part of learning how to survive. Comfort Seekers We are all comfort seekers in life. We enter life as babies and hope that we can become...