Heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury on his greatest fight

Tyson Fury was the heavyweight boxing champion of the world.  He was undiagnosed  with bipolar disorder.  He drank and used drugs and self medicated his depression.  He ballooned up to 400 lbs.  One year ago he made a decision to get better.  He is fighting again on December 1 to regain the title he lost, but MORE IMPORTANTLY is sharing his story in order to help others.

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Courage

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.

Nelson Mandela

 

Courage is a large and powerful word.  It is defined as “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.

Courage is a major trait that people need to use in order to make changes in their lives.  In my office, people need a great deal of courage in order to improve the quality of their lives.  In fact, the entire journey is filled with many courageous steps.  Let’s examine the process.

Almost all prospective clients start their counseling process by either calling or emailing.  They inevitably state three words that are hard to say “I need help.” They schedule an appointment. They need to show up for the appointment that they scheduled. (You may or may not be surprised, that there is a percentage of people who cancel that appointment and do not reschedule.)

During that first appointment the person now says out loud and face to face, what their particular struggle/ problem/difficulty/ is that they are facing. The person describes it in full detail, the duration, the intensity, the consequences and implications of this issue.  On one hand, this is overwhelming disclosure; on the other hand there is relief.  Someone now knows.

To illustrate how much courage is required, here is a small sample of some of the issues that came up in my office this past week:

  • A person who wants to stop drinking.
  • A person who wants to get out of a marriage.
  • A person who is dealing with an abusive ex-spouse.
  • A person who is dealing with family issues and lots of family dysfunction.
  • A person who is going to their first 12 step meeting.
  • A person who shares about a traumatic event. I am the first person to hear the details.

Yes I get to meet with some very courageous people!

The question that comes to mind is how do people find the courage and perseverance to make these changes?  Some people would say that they are just motivated to improve.  And while that is obvious, the bigger question would be how did they get so motivated to improve?

Tony Robbins states “Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.”  Courage to change would then occur when there is no way out; I will have to do something better than what I am currently doing.  Although immensely scary, the path of change has to be better than the path that I’m on.  If I keep walking on the path of change, I will recognize that the pain gets smaller, the intensity and duration are less. Does this happen instantly?  Of course not!  Nothing worthwhile is ever fast and quick—fast food may satisfy your immediate hunger, but won’t help you in the long run.  Your commitment to change will require a constant re-evaluation of your courage.

Two other components of courage, are a dedication to change and a hopeful belief system.  At times during therapy, there were opportunities where it would be easy for my clients to stop coming due to the myriad of life stressors (kids, jobs, cars etc), but they kept coming. When they were asked how they managed to keep coming in spite of their pain or fear or discomfort, they expressed the hope that they could and would be better. This belief about their futuristic change combined with their dedication led them to quality of life changes.

It seems to me that when you find your courage to change and believe that your changes are indeed possible, you change. Find your courage today in order to make the changes that you need to make!

 

Change is possible.

 

 

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Fear and Anxiety With Dr. Jeff Brandler

 

This podcast was recorded as an episode in the “Friends in Recovery Podcast” series

The Podfather Mike Miles is away in Fiji leaving Jeff Zeizel and Ed Chionchio Sr to interview Dr. Jeff Brandler about his practice, podcast, and blog at www.changeIsPossible.org. Dr. Jeff uses many tools to help his clients deal with fear and anxiety like hypnosis, acupuncture, and bench marking “What is the worst thing that ever happened to you?” and “How does this situation compare with that?” He reminds his clients that things are “inconvenient not tragic” and that Action alleviates anxiety. Remember you or your loved one do not need to hit rock bottom to get help. Thought stopping Remember you or your loved one do not need to hit rock bottom to get help. If you or a loved one needs help reach out to our panel at Help@FriendsInRecoveryPodcast.com. There are also many ways to help someone that is suffering from addiction. There are professionals here to help you from staging an intervention to getting counseling as a family member. This and every Friends in Recovery Podcast is recorded live at the Studio 21 Podcast Café, is hosted on the United Podcast Network and is brought you by Genesis House.

 

 

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Coming Soon! New Year New You Hypnosis Group

With the New Year approaching, it’s a good time to take stock of last year.

  • Did you have a good and healthy year?
  • Did you make all the changes that you hoped to make?
  • Did you follow through on the  goals that you  had planned?

If you’ve answered “no” to any of these questions, let me introduce you to something which may help you answer “yes” to the same questions for 2018.

HYPNOSIS

Through the use of hypnosis I have helped people make the following changes:

1) Anxiety–dramatic decrease.

2) Sleep–more restful.

3) Sexual Performance–A dramatic increase.

4) Depression– significant decrease.

5) Physical Pain– significant decrease in the intensity.

Many of these changes occurred in just one or two sessions.

Hypnosis is an amazing and powerful treatment.  For some people it has been a great addition to the “tools”  that they needed to be better.  For some people, it was their only treatment .

I would like to introduce you to this powerful change agent.  On the first Saturday of every month, starting on January 6, 2018, I will be facilitating a small group demonstration of hypnosis. You will get to see if hypnosis can work for you. The cost is $20 per group session.  Registration is required since space is limited.

To register go to: http://www.changeispossible.org/event/new-year-new-you/.  You can pre-pay at the Pay Pal link on the website.

If you  are not much of a group person, but are interested in discovering the benefits of hypnosis, feel free to contact me and we will schedule a  private consultation.

This can be your year of change–it can be a New You, New Year!

Change is indeed possible!

 

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What’s Going On

In memory of “Paula” for sharing pain, joy, and this song with me

Whenever I hear this song, I get an instant memory of Paula who played this song for me in my office one day. She strongly identified with the line “I scream at the top of
my lungs “what’s going on”- it was her tag line of the frustration with her life, her frustration with her lengthy to do list, her sense of being out of control.

Music does this. It evokes memory. Good times, bad times, happy times, sad times.
Think of a period of time in your life, there’s probably a song (or several) that are associated with that time. Think of something positive that happened in your life- wedding, graduation, or other life cycle event. Now think of the song that’s connected to it. That was pretty easy (and maybe fun). Now think of something painful, find that song……..
It’s the songs of our pain which are the ones we hear the loudest and the ones we grow from.

As we head towards the holiday season, some songs will be hardest to hear. The music amplifies our pain. I have noted this in a prior post . We recognize that our tables may have empty seats, may not have the same chatter or laughter as in years past. It’s painful to recognize this after working through loss. These families will have a “bittersweet symphony” . That symphony has its expectations built in: “It’s the holidays and I should be happy, but I’m not”. It’s the sadness of the season that gets to us.

Some families however may have joy and laughter at their tables over this holiday season. There may be great changes since last year’s holidays. These families may reflect back on the miracles of the past year. Tables may have new members, or have new and improved relationships. The songs heard in these households will have a bounce and rhythm all their own. They are in the moment, not reflecting back on past or worrying about the future. They are enjoying what they have; they have the gratitude of the season.

Whether you are sitting at the “happy” table or the “sad” table, remember that you have a seat. You are at this table, and will experience your feelings. It’s part of how we change. For people like Paula, their holidays ended. “What’s going on” is an anthem of awareness, it’s a statement of “trying to get up that hill for a destination”. To Paula, thank you for giving me a lasting memory. I hope that all families experience their lasting memories during the holiday season.

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The Traffic Light

Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future,

but from wanting to control it

Kahlil Gibran

 

If you live in NJ and commute you know that you will drive in traffic. You will stop and go and stop and go. If you have to do one of those jug handle turns in order to turn left, you typically race to make the light. Did you ever think what would happen if you didn’t make the light? What would you miss? Would you get a better song to listen to, would you make one more phone call?

One day I got stuck at the traffic light. (For the record, I listened to more music) I waited and waited and waited for the light to change to green. As I made the turn on to my next street, I saw a police car, lights flashing, zoom past me. I kept on driving. I saw where the police car ended up. There was a serious car accident right down the street. I thought, “Wow if I had made that light could that have been me in that accident?” The thought shook me and I continued my commute.

After arriving at my destination, I began to think about recent world events. What would have happened if I was on that New York street the day the bombs went off in Chelsea, or I had been on the platform the day the NJ transit train crashed in Hoboken? How do you explain the randomness of these bad things happening? How do we deal with this? If you think too much about these questions, you will never leave your house again. Your motto will be “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.”

Staying home however isn’t the answer. I mean bad stuff happens in people’s homes everyday—accidents, falls, fires, robberies. That doesn’t sound any better, in fact it sounds worse.

What is the answer to the craziness of our world, a world where tragedies happen to both good and bad people? I mean we smile and smirk when karma comes back around and the bad people get it, but at the end of the day it’s hardly a victory. When the tragedies happen to good people, we are stuck, we are without words, we are without anything. There is nothing left to say or do.

Our lack of control in our life is frightening. We desperately want control. We want to know when people will die, so we can say our goodbyes at the right time. We want to know when we will be laid off so we can get our resumes out to land that new job. We want to know when our houses will sell so we can find the new house that we want. We never know any of these things in advance. We get upset, we get frustrated, and we get angry when we have no control.

We need to figure out how to handle our lack of control and how we can live our lives in a healthier, less anxious way. Here is a musical example of our fear and anxiety. The band Incubus, released the song “Drive” in 2000. It appears on their third album Make Yourself. Enjoy the song.

“Drive” gives us a clue for handling this fear and anxiety “I should be the one behind the wheel”. We’ll address this topic in greater detail in part 2 of this blog.

Remember change is possible.

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What is Sexual Addiction

In this episode, we examine the most shameful of all addictions, sexual addiction. We will define addiction, identify how addiction impacts family members, and the addicted person. A case example is presented to highlight these issues

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The club

There are many clubs in the world. In a world with many self unaware people, here is a club that you wouldn’t want to belong to– the -100 club with a special section reserved for people with narcissism. Learn about narcissism and how it effects others. Also on the show, a special communication technique called “And Stop”

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