Recommended Book List

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John M. Gottman

What You Think of Me is None of My Business by Terry Cole-Whittaker

Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love by Sue Johnson

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David D. Burns

Victims No Longer by Mike Lew (for male survivors of childhood sexual abuse)

The Highly Sensitive Person in Love: Understanding and Managing Relationships When the World Overwhelms You by Elaine N. Aron

Meditation by Eknath Easwaran

Saying Good-Bye to the Pet You Love by L. Greene/J. Landis

Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself by Melody Beattie

Q & A

How does therapy help?

Oftentimes we repeat the same patterns in life without knowing why. As children, we may have felt ashamed of our feelings or encouraged to “tough it out” on our own when things got difficult. We may have learned to “avoid” problems until we lashed out or “lost it” at others, felt suicidal, or just stopped feeling altogether. We may wonder why we react as we do. We may get stuck, not pursuing jobs, relationships, or other dreams–because we fear rejection, failure, or even success.

I believe we have good reasons for what we do, even if we don’t know what those reasons are. Usually we are trying to get our needs met, whether they are needs for attention, love, belonging, or comfort. People usually enter therapy when the old patterns they’ve developed to get their needs met stop working.

People are at their best when they feel empowered and accepted, and together you and I develop a therapeutic relationship in which it is safe to examine and challenge those learned patterns which are no longer serving you well. In therapy, you have a chance to feel heard, understood, and challenged to be the person you really want to be.

What should I do if i become overwhelmed by angry feelings at work?

Coping with anger is like putting out a fire:

  1. First you recognize there is a fire.
  2. Next, you take emergency steps to put the fire out and make everyone safe.
  3. Finally, you investigate what caused the fire and how future fires can be prevented.

When you get angry at work, you don’t need to call the fire department, but the first thing to do is recognize you are angry. Maybe you are warm, your heart is beating fast, you are shaking, or you raise your voice. Acknowledging the feeling gives you a chance to choose how to act, rather than just reacting. Don’t do anything to “get even” while you are still angry; that usually makes the problem worse. Instead, take some deep breaths. If possible, take a break, even just a short walk around your desk or to the restroom. The physical activity of walking can help. Anger itself isn’t bad; it’s just a feeling. You can choose to handle your anger in a positive way.

Often anger is a signal to us that something in our environment isn’t right. Perhaps, when you are feeling calmer, you need to take action, such as talking with your boss about your workload, or approaching an inconsiderate co-worker. Problem-solving or role-playing with a friend may help.