emotional health

4 Tips for When Positive Thinking Doesn’t Work

4 Tips for When Positive Thinking Doesn’t Work

By Jonathan Decker, Clinical Director, LMFT “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, sometimes it just does ...[Read More]

depression

Why Depression Makes Easy Tasks Difficult (& How to Fight It)

By Jonathan Decker, Clinical Director, LMFT THE WEIGHT OF DEPRESSION Could you eat a bowl of cereal? Of course you can, it’s so easy! Now imagine that I’ve strapped heavy weights to your arms. Could you still do it? If the weight were heavy enough, how long would it take before your arms started shaking and you gave up in exhaustion? In this scenario, no one would say that a person is ...[Read More]

guilt

Is Guilt Healthy or Harmful?

By Jonathan Decker, Clinical Director, LMFT 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 fire, guilt can be ...[Read More]

loved one

The Hidden Ways Refusing to Grieve Can Hurt You

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]

How to Balance Self-Care with Helping Others

How to Balance Self-Care with Helping Others

By Jonathan Decker, Clinical Director, LMFT 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 longer be taut. T ...[Read More]

public speaker

Can Anyone Be a Fearless Public Speaker? Even You?

By Jonathan Decker, Clinical Director, LMFT “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’d get ner ...[Read More]

exercise

Why You Should Exercise for Sanity, Not Vanity

By Jonathan Decker, Clinical Director, LMFT 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. What’s m ...[Read More]