emotional health

positive thinking

When Positive Thinking Doesn’t Work

By Jonathan Decker, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.” This satirical self-affirmation, made famous by Saturday Night Live character Stuart Smalley, highlights the type of thinking advised by many therapists, researchers, life coaches, and others. While there is much research to support the power of positive thinking, sometim ...[Read More]

Is Guilt Healthy or Harmful

Is Guilt Healthy or Harmful?

By Jonathan Decker, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist In my observation there are two schools of thought about guilt. The first is that it’s a healthy emotion that inspires us to change our behavior, while the second argues that guilt contributes to feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness that impede our growth. So is guilt healthy or harmful? The truth is, it can be either. Like fir ...[Read More]

“Everybody Poops” (the Importance of Regular Grieving)

“Everybody Poops” (the Importance of Regular Grieving)

By Jonathan Decker, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist It was definitely one of the stranger approaches I’ve ever tried in therapy. The woman in front of me (story shared with her permission) was struggling with the death of her husband several months earlier. Like so many widows, she tried to cope by immersing herself in child-rearing and work commitments, staying busy so that she hadn& ...[Read More]

balancing self-care with helping others

Balancing Self-Care With Helping Others

By Jonathan Decker, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist When I was young, my father and I bonded over archery. Dad taught me that I had to unstring the bow when I wasn’t using it, allowing the wood to straighten and the cord to dangle loose. If I didn’t allow the bow to rest, or in other words, if I left the cord tight and the wood bent, I’d ruin the bow. Over time, it’d no lo ...[Read More]

public speaker

How to Be a Fearless Public Speaker

By Jonathan Decker, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist “According to studies, most people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. This means, at a funeral, the average person would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy.” – Jerry Seinfeld About a decade ago I performed with a comedy group in college. Some nights I was “on,” but other nights I& ...[Read More]

exercise for sanity not vanity

Exercise: It’s About Sanity, Not Vanity

By Jonathan Decker, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist When I was younger, working out was all about how I would look in my swimming trunks. In my 20’s it seemed easier to find time for it. As I’ve gotten older, the challenges of balancing career, marriage, and parenthood have contributed to the mentality that I’m “too busy” or “too tired” to exercise. ...[Read More]