self-improvement

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]

dreams

Why Dreams Don’t Come True (and How to Make Sure Yours Do)

By Jonathan Decker, Clinical Director, LMFT I saw Jaws at entirely too young of an age. The film terrified me, but it also sparked a lifelong obsession with sharks, particularly Great Whites (the species in the movie). For decades I fantasized about climbing into a cage and seeing one up close. It was on my bucket list. I once had the opportunity to cage-dive in shark-infested waters, but passed i ...[Read More]

spouse

Are You Keeping Your Spouse from Changing?

Want your partner to change? You might accidentally be hurting your cause. Here's what to do differently.

New Year's resolutions

Failed Your New Year’s Resolutions? 5 Ways to Start Over & Succeed

By Jonathan Decker (Clinical director, LMFT) There are countless stories and jokes about abandoned New Year's resolutions, perhaps because the experience is so universal. When it comes to self-improvement, it seems that “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” So how do we overcome weakness to fulfill our goals? Allow me to share with you five keys which have helped my clients, m ...[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 benef ...[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. The wood would spli ...[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 nervous about t ...[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 more, I've tried to justi ...[Read More]

god's love

How God’s Love Can Help You to Love Yourself

By Jonathan Decker, Clinical Director, LMFT Billions of people worldwide believe in God in some form or another. One of the most universal doctrines is that God loves everyone. Sometimes people settle into the idea that “God loves everyone simply because He's God.” To me, this is a lazy, impractical theology. If God just arbitrarily loves everyone, vaguely and collectively, then there' ...[Read More]