Solution Focused Therapy,brief therapy,couples therapy, Life Coach,Life Coach Los Angeles,short term therapy,solution focused couples therapy,solution focused therapy

Solution Focused Therapy, the fast track to change

Solution Focused Therapy Techniques


Solution Focused Therapy was developed in a therapy setting and widely used for therapy since the 1980’s.

In the last decade it has become popular for coaching, so we now have solution focused coaching .

It is unlike many traditional therapies in that it focuses purely on the desired situation or goal.

People and especially therapists have been trained to look for the problem and to analyze it to bring about a change or the desired goal.

Solution Focused Therapy Techniques


Solution Focused therapy will not allow much discussion of the problem and only looks at what will be happening when the desired situation is already happening (the goal) and what will the client be doing to bring about these changes.  Once the client can see or visualize clearly the desired situation, the therapist then asks the client,”what small step will you take this week to achieve this goal.  The client always knows what is needed to achieve the goal, but maybe not in a conscious way.  The solution focused therapist helps to draw out this information from a position of being a half step behind the client.  The client always has the “knowing” but needs the therapist to focus him on  the desired state or condition and break it down into small doable goals.  The client then commits to a goal (tiny step) that he will accomplish by the next session.

This works to get results, or the desired change because we tend to create more of what we focus on. As explained in the law of attraction writings, our state of mind and focus draw to us that which we are dwelling upon. This causes viscious cycles of downward spirals which keep people feeling stuck and helpless, focusing on and analyzing their problems.

This focus on problems is particularly harmful with couples because couples typically come into therapy focusing on what’s wrong with the other person.  In fact, the main motivation for couples coming into therapy is probably to try to get the other person to change.  Focusing on changing the partner causes power struggles and the partner often will dig in his heels and become even more intent on not changing, because after all he is” right”.

One of the principles of Solution Focused therapy is that change is always happening. In solution focused therapy we direct the client to look at when things are better and exceptions to the problem.  Clients are usually surprised when asked to focus on what’s working, that there are actually times when the problem is not present.  By looking at the problem free times the client can start to become aware of what he/she is doing differently.  Once they are looking for these behaviors in themselves, the very act of looking for those times causes the mind to focus on and strengthen the positive aspects.

Want to Make a Positive Change Now?

Try this strategy out for yourself.

  1. Think of a problem that you want to eliminate
  2. Focus on the success you want instead.  Ask yourself, “What do I want instead of the problem?  How will I know I have this and what will be different? What will I be doing different when I have achieved this success?”
  3. Look for what is a situation where success has already happened in the past.  What caused this success ?  What were you doing differently?  How were you able to do that?”
  4. What is one thing you did to cause this success in the past that you could carry forward and do again now? Commit to taking one small step this week and see what happens.
Failure to launch, Family Therapy

Failure to Launch : When adult children live at home- what can be done?

Failure to Launch

Failure to Launch

Many adult children are coming back home to live with their parents after college. Some do this on a temporary to set up their their next job or internship.  Some, however fall into a comfort zone and loose their focus on their future. Beginning in the 20’s a child needs to thing about the future and strategies on what path to take for the rest of his life.  Having a concept of the future is an important part of development as is taking risks.  The failure to do this leads to low self esteem and sometimes depression.  The longer it lasts the more hopeless your child may start to feel. What can parents to to help their adult child to launch ?

  • Make some rules and requirements of your adult child, such as paying rent, having a job, contributing to a savings account, working out, helping with home duties.
  • Help your adult child to resolve any emotional issues they may have.  Psychotherpy that is goal oriented is often helpful.
  • Forbid drugs and alcohol use while they are living with you.  These things lower motivation and self esteem.
  • Setting up structure with small achievable goals leads to feelings of mastery which naturally leads to more confidence in taking on new tasks and jobs

Above all, don’t feel guilty for making demands on your child because this will help him feel like he can succeed. focus

relationship, Couples Therapy, Life Coach, marriage counseling, Relation Therapy, Relationship Therapy

Is your relationship feeling flat and unexciting? You must deal with resentments!

Most couples have resentments that they are not even aware of which destroy the intimacy in their  relationship.

In working with couples for 22 years in Los Angeles, I find that they become deadened to each other and the relationship over the years if they don’t put some effort into learning new skills.

Many couples come to me for marriage counseling wanting to put some passion and energy back into the relationship. They often say somethng like, “we have become like roommates, or ships passing in the night”.

This flatness in the relationship does not have to happen if the couple is willing to learn some new communication skills.

So what do couples need to learn to reignite the intimacy?


They need to learn how to give their partner attention, acknowledgement and affirmation. These are the things that couples often stop doing after they have been together for a while.

A new level of intimacy


I find that to get a couple back to a deeper level of connection I have to establish a strong base of support where each person agrees to be open to their own feelings and to those of their partner.  This leads the way to expressing vulnerability.  This takes some preparation but when a person can express vulnerability and have that accepted and acknowledged by the partner a new level of intimacy is introduced into the relationship.

relationship, Couples Therapy, Life Coach, marriage counseling, Relation Therapy, Relationship Therapy

Remove Relationship Fears with EFT to attract the Relationship you deserve.

Remove Relationship Fears to Attract the Relationship You Deserve


Relationship Problems Answers

 When to LeaveRelationships  After a breakup or a divorce we feel more vulnerable in attracting a person with whom to have a relationship.  I work with many women who feel that they are somehow flawed when a relationship ends. These feelings often keeps these women from trying to meet people or cause them to fail when they do. EFT  stands for Emotional Freedom Techniques and it is a wonderful energy therapy that is simple and easy to learn. Its purpose is to move fear and other negative emotions through and out of the body.

In EFT we tell the body what feelings we want to reduce by acknowledging them and then deleting them. This is similar to the way we highlight and delete text on a computer. We acknowledge our feelings by using this formula, ” even though I have this (fear, sadness..etc.) I deeply and completely love and accept myself.” This sentence is repeated three times as we tap our hand on the Karate Chop point.

 Step 1: Karate Chop Point and “Even Though” Statements


The Karate Chop point is below the little finger  and it is along the side of the hand. Once you have found the Karate Chop point, start tapping at this point and repeat after me:
  • Even though I often feel unworthy of having a loving intimate relationship, I want to completely accept myself anyway.
  • Even though I feel unlovable, I completely accept myself now.
  • Even though, I don’t feel like anyone would stay with me if they really knew me, I want to deeply and completely accept myself now.

Step 2: Tapping Around the points on The Face to Reduce Negative Emotion and relationship fears

This step requires us to acknowledge negative feelings, thus as we tap we are must highlight these negative emotions.

  • Now tapping on the inside corner of the eyebrow “EB” and repeat after me:  I don’t deserve to have someone I would want to be with.
  •  Next find the outside corner of the eye “CE” and repeat after me: “A great person wouldn’t want me.”
  •  Next find the area under the eye “UE” and repeat after me: ” I am only attractive to loosers.”
  • Next find the area under the nose “UN” and repeat after me:  “I’m afraid if I meet someone good they will find out that I’m flawed.
  •  Finally, find the collar bone “CB” and repeat after me : It’s pointless to even try because all the good ones are already taken anyway.”

Step 3: Acknowledgement of Positive Thoughts and Feelings

By now we have already acknowledge out negative feelings. Now we want to reduce and replace those thoughts with positive ones.

  • Start by finding the top of your head, “TH.” Ones you find it, repeat after me: What if a good person was able to really love me after all?
  • Under the arm “UA”  (Take a moment to inhale deeply here):  What if someone desirable was able to love me?
  •   Next find the eyebrow, “EB” then repeat after me:  what if that could really happen once or twice or even three times? (Keep tapping ) Is it possible?
  • What if they could like me with all my faults and negative traits? 
  • What if they actually liked my negative traits? What if I actually enjoyed the things about them that they didn’t like ? 
  • What if they found my negative traits delightful? 
  • What if they accepted all my shortcomings and I accepted theirs as well.What if they wanted me even thought I have all these challenges?
  •  What if they were accepting of their own problems and mine as well? 
  • What if I could see beyond their frailties and challenges and they could see beyond mine as well? 
  • What if I could accept their challenges and quirks and could see their spiritual being?
  • What if I could love their soul and we could just simply love each other in pure acceptance? 
  • Isn’t that what we all want anyway?

If you do this tapping sequence every day at least once you will change the beliefs that you have about yourself thus enabling you to  have the relationship you deserve and desire.

EMDR

EMDR: A Powerful New Therapy for Healing Emotional Pain

EMDR was developed over 20 years ago…


It was used and tested mostly on Vietnam Veterans who were suffering from intrusive memories from the War. Since then, it has become increasingly popular, due to its ability to move the process of psychotherapy along at a swift pace. Not only does EMDR take the emotional charge off a traumatic event from the past: also, the meaning of that earlier event changes, leading to new self concepts and behaviors.

As the process evolved and became more widely used, therapists realized that they could use it on any troubling event or memoryfrom the past. in my private practice, I work with many “everyday traumas” that cause people to have limiting beliefs about themselves. A child is so vulnerable to its environment in the first 5 or 6 years, that it often gets messages from events about itself; for example…I’m too big/small, lazy, stupid, the “wrong sex”, and deficient in some way, don’t deserve love, am powerless, am a disappointment.

All of these beliefs make sense to the child’s mind, and they need to be explored and understood in that perspective before they can be released to make room for more realistic perspectives and beliefs about the self.

Why is EMDR Psychotherapy so effective in unearthing trauma, and the resulting self-limiting beliefs?

Bessel van der Kolk in discussing the research of Martin Teicher (Teicher etal, 1997) points out that with the new brain imaging technology, we have found that trauma, and the recalling of traumatic experiences occurs in the right hemisphere of the brain and to the exclusion of the left hemisphere. Regular “talking therapy”, without EMDR uses language to process memories. Given that the left hemisphere becomes inactive when a traumatic memory is recalled, it is understandable that verbal therapies have not been able to resolve many issues. Part of what EMDR does is to provide a non-verbal body focus, which seems to stimulate inter-hemispheric activity.

What Is EMDR Therapy?


The client is directed to hold a troubling image in awareness, with its accompanying sensory experiences, and the distorted negative belief (i.e. I am bad, it was my fault, I’m powerless, and I don’t deserve love). Along with this is used alternate bilateral brain stimulation (by eye movements, sound moving from ear to ear or tapping). As the client follows this process, observing his feelings, he experiences a letting go of the feelings and the symptoms that developed as a result of this event. He then is free to live in the present, and feel safe again.

How EMDR Can Be Used With Pain And Healing?


I was using EMDR with a patient who had Multiple Sclerosis. To help her regulate her pain and emotional state. We began by focusing on the pain, along with a picture that represents the pain (from 1 to 10), 10 being the worst it could be. The patient hold all this in awareness, along with the belief about the self they feel as they look at this scene.

EMDR

She focused on the pain she felt in her ankle, and rated it at a level of disturbance of a 7. The picture was her collapsing onto the floor, when her ankle was too weak to hold her up. The belief she had about herself was “I can’t take care of myself”.

What do you experience with the EMDR Technique?


As we did the EMDR processing while she closed her eyes and tried to hold all these things in her awareness, she saw her self as a child being blamed in an angry way by her mother for not taking care of her younger sister when she was just age 6. Her sister fell out of her high chair and injured her face badly. As we stayed with all these parts of that experience, she had many new thoughts and awarenesses about what the appropriate responsibility roles of her parents and herself at that young age of 6 had been. Shethen began to release the feelings of her own “Badness” and the shame that she had felt from this. This shifted her feeling of unworthiness of having anything good happen to her.

We now needed to work on the pain again in her ankle. As she focused on it, using the EMDR stimulation it came down from a 9 to a 4, in intensity. As I would ask her the level of intesity of her pain, she would report what thoughts were gong through her mind. She pictured many scenes from growing up where she would stop herself from expressing what she wanted or felt, in order to please others. I asked her to step into the scene she was picturing as the grown up adult of today and to help that child (her younger self) by asking the child what would she have needed to make that painful situation a little easier. The chilld’s answer was to know that she was valued. This adult part of my patient was able to re-parent that chld part ofher in exactly the way the child needed it. The amazing thing I have found from working in this way for 18 years, is that when we simply ask ( in a sincere, caring way) those parts of us that are so needy, what is is that they needed then, they will tell us and then we can give it to them, energetically, through our intention.

As we kept reprocessing and desensitizing other incidents she reported a level of pain that varied from 3 to 7. She was much more aware of the pain levels she had, and we built in ways for her to reduce her level of pain with imagery that she could use at any time she wanted.

The other thing that can be done to reduce pain with EMDR is just to focus on the pain using the alternate bi-lateral simulation. This changes a person’s experience in their body.

There is much research to be found on EMDR on the web. Start with www.emdr.com .
Life Coach, EFT, EMDR

Therapist Or Life Coach: Which Do I Need?

A therapist deals with the treatment of mental and emotional disorders to help a person understand his psychological conflicts and emotional problems leading to personality growth and changes in behavior and attitudes.

Coaching deals with adjusting to life transitions, career changes, enhancing leadership and communication skills, and accountability for taking action.

Psychotherapy is performed by licensed mental health therapist.

Since Psychotherapy deals with a mental or emotional disorder it must be performed by a licensed Mental Health Provider, licensed by the state in which he/she practices. There are various licenses to do psychotherapy such as Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Marriage and Family Therapist, and Licensed Professional Counselor.

Psychotherapy consists of consulting with one of these Mental Health providers on an ongoing basis to remove whatever obstacles or problems a person is having. It often deals with habitual patterns of behavior such as withdrawal or submissiveness due to low self esteem, or aggression.

Coaching, also deals with improving a person’s life but it does not focus on deficits or diagnoses or mental/emotional illness, since a coach is not a mental health professional Instead it focuses on identifying the person’s strengths and helping to enhance them.

A Life Coach Focuses on Skills.

Generally coaching can help someone move ahead with goals by focusing on certain skills that the client is wanting to attain or improve. By using assessment tools to measure where the client is now, the coach and client develop a plan to reach the goal through small steps that the client will master.

I am a coach as well as a therapist and I often use assessment questionnaires that the client sends to people he interacts with at work and socially, to get objective feedback as to what skills need improvement. This assessment also indicates which leadership skills need developing.

Action steps are an important part of coaching


Once clear goals are established,each session sets forth action steps the client commits to perform. A session will consist of checking in the action steps from the past session to see if they were accomplished , or if they need to be refined, and the next logical step is set to be done the following week. A person is coached through these steps until he has accomplished his goals.

The coach acts as a mentor and will often send the client out to do research to gain information. For example if the client is trying to find his right career, the coach will have him interview 6 people who are involved in that career. He may also take “strengths assessments” as well as values clarification, and personality type indicators.

If the client can succeed in accomplishing the coaching goals then the process ends, or he may keep the coach for ongoing support.

Therapy may be needed.


There are situations when the coaching client is not able to succeed with coaching. Some examples would be that he is too depressed or anxious to carry out the action steps, or that he has an underlying fear of succeeding which is unconscious. A very common obstacle to success is the unconscious fear of achieving more than a parent. If these psychological issues are present the client will need to deal with and resolve them in therapy, or psychotherapy, as it is commonly called.

A good coach will be able to tell whether the client needs therapy and therefore to refer him out to a therapist.

Both therapy and coaching can be extremely helpful and can be used at different times in a person’s life.