Being a Counselor/Psychic

Flowers-Pink-In-The-Mountain-WallpaperI am a good listener. In fact, that’s one of the reasons I became a therapist. But I’m also a psychic and my main goal is to help people become the most fulfilled person they can become.

Often, when I am “out in the public”, people will begin to tell me how confused, angry, hurt, or upset they are about a relationship, their job, or specific person. It must be a vibe I have, but it never fails – people will just start telling me their life story without any prompting.  They tell me they don’t understand what’s going on, or that life seems to have swirled out of control. Or the biggie, “Why is this happening to me again?”

They continue expressing their fear, confusion, and share how they constantly feel overwhelmed. Sometimes they will even share that they don’t feel that good about themselves, or that they’ve made some “bad” decisions. Then they ask me what I do for a living and when they find out, all of a sudden they realize who they are talking to and make a hasty retreat. They get nervous because they think that I can read their mind, or are using my special therapist tricks to see what an awful person they really are.

People are so afraid that if they talk to a therapist, they’ll find out that all the bad things in their life are their fault or that the negative thoughts they have about themselves are actually true.

But going to a therapist is like going to a mechanic. If your car is acting up and you can’t figure out what is wrong with it, don’t you take it to an expert in that field? Or do you get in and hope that it won’t break down and still gets you where you need to go? Someone that works on cars all the time has a clue about what is wrong and knows how to fix it.

The same thing happens in life, so why not go to someone who can help you find the problem?

Don’t be afraid of a counselor. Their job is to help you figure out what’s going on in your life and how to work through the situations you’re facing. It’s like someone handing you a road map that makes life so much easier.

Therapy isn’t about judgement or blame. Sometimes people think that what they have done or said was horrible and awful. But by expressing those things that have been held in so long and sharing them with someone who is a good listener, the burden is lightened and you feel free-er.

Because you’re really not as bad as you think you are.



Journaling Can Be Helpful

Journaling is healingI have to be honest with you, I hate writing. And I used to really hate journaling. But when you go to counseling, your therapist usually wants you to journal because journaling helps you sort things out.

Writing  is like breathing, it is a way of absorbing an experience. It’s one of the most profound ways to express our self in life and it is a great window into ourselves. Sometimes you just feel antsy. You know something bothers you but you just can’t pin point it. Writing it down can help you figure it out.

At least there is no right or wrong way to begin, you just start jotting down your insights or feelings. Write anytime you feel like it. You can write down random thoughts or observations about yourself. You can keep track of your dreams if you want to. You can write about some of the emotions that are coming up for you at that time, maybe anger or sadness; happiness or hope.

You could also start by exploring your memories, personal image, sensitive times, or maybe you could start with your daily thoughts.

He are a few prompts and story lines you could use to get started:

I want change________  in my life.

I am afraid of________

I want to give up___________________ in my life.

I am afraid of change because ________

I am unhappy because _______

I wish my life was________________

I am sad  today because _______

I am so happy today because _____

Once you catch on the thoughts and emotions will begin to flow more freely and when they do you’ll feel more empowered. You’ll know yourself more. And you’ll begin to have a better understanding of what makes you tick.

What I found is “seeing is believing”. I realized I was much more honest with myself when I wrote it down, and I could go back and re-read it and change my thoughts or my belief about something or someone.

Don’t be afraid to write your feelings down. It’s one of the best things you can do to take care of yourself.

Reflection and Review

Lake at Acadia National ParkSorry, it’s been almost a month since my last post, but I came down with a nasty flu on New Year’s Eve and my head is finally clear enough to share some thoughts.

One of the things I like to do at the end of the year is reflect on what I accomplished or ways I have grown during the past twelve months. It’s a little like cleaning out the closet before I go buy new clothes. I need to make room for the new stuff by taking a look at the old. Here are three things I changed last year:

1) I love my practice and I have been counseling in one form or another for close to 40 years now but every once in a while I need a break. So two years ago I took that break – which really meant just reducing the number of people I see each week – and I went to work at a friend’s resort in their little store. I loved it! I could meet, greet, and help the people in the store and never once did I have to ask, “how do you feel about that?” If someone came in and bought two cases of beer, I didn’t have to worry about their drinking problem and I enjoyed myself very much. But I started to miss helping people, either by counseling them or giving them readings. Technically I was working in the store, but I really took the job to play and after awhile it wasn’t fun anymore. I realized that I really needed to get back to work in my own field. I also liked being my own boss and there were times when I wasn’t in control of my own schedule and I didn’t like that. So I decided to let go of the job – even if it meant letting go of a steady paycheck – and go back to my own  business.

2) Last spring, I had to go to court because the HOA where I live accused me of building on someone’s property. This had been an ongoing problem for years and I had already written letters, had my land surveyed and had other property owners stand up for me, but ultimately, this was about control on their part.  I was very nervous because the HOA has been known to lie in the past just to get what they want. On the day I was scheduled for court, I was very nervous and called every angel I knew of for protection and had friends and family all over the world praying for a positive outcome. I asked for guidance and protection and then I presented my case. When they presented their case, the judge admonished them for bad record-keeping and inconsistent stories, so I won the case. This was very scary for me to do, but I did it and I felt so awesome standing up for myself and saying, “no you can’t do this.”

3) I also (mostly) gave up sugar when I realized how much I was eating each month and was appalled. I threw every sweet bit of candy, cookies, etc. out and I began monitoring my diet. I immediately felt better and realized I wasn’t tired or sluggish anymore. I was more energized and I felt healthier. And there was one nice side effect this summer when I pulled out my warm weather wardrobe and everything was loose. Yes!

In what ways do you feel you grew last year? Changed? What did you accomplish? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

Change is Subtle

Purple ButterflyChange comes about as millions of tiny little acts that seem totally insignificant. Knowing this we shouldn’t  be so afraid to act.

But we are, right? Sometimes even taking the tiniest, teensiest, baby steps, feels more like scaling the Grand Canyon than making a small change. We get sidetracked by the overall goal and forget to honor ourselves for the little things we do everyday to affect change.

The trick here is to focus on one step at a time and not get overwhelmed with all the details, possible outcomes, and expectations.

But it’s not so easy, is it?

When I say, “focus on one step at a time,” what I mean is, devote your full attention to the current (tiny) task at hand. Let’s say you have a really hard time saving money but you want to take a vacation that will cost $5000. Instead of focusing on the total amount you wish to save – which can be totally overwhelming – and the fact that you are “horrible at saving money,” just start by placing whatever cash you have in your purse, wallet, or pocket every Friday in a jar or envelope. (I actually like to use an old Altoids tin.) Don’t count it, just put it in. At the end of each month, allow yourself a few minutes to calculate how much you’ve saved. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done and then move on. You’ll find that without focusing on the goal, you will eventually get there – probably quicker than if you had obsessed about it every day and done nothing but focus on your poor saving skills. You may even find that you put money in on Wednesday, too.

Because that one act of putting a dollar in an envelope reinforces your desire to save money and reminds the Universe that you are willing to change which then attracts positive energy and support for the change you are trying to make which then makes it even easier to change.

Phew! That’s a mind-bender. But I hope you can see my point.

The same advice is true whether you are trying to get sober, heal from an abusive relationship, or become a more confident person. It’s all the tiny little actions that add up to the major change.

Don’t be afraid. You can do it!

An Ah-Ha Moment

ocean, reflection, self-helpOne of the most exciting things about working with my clients is when they suddenly realize something that’s been staring them in the face for months. I call these, “Ah-Ha Moments.”

We may be discussing why a current relationship isn’t working or some issue with a family member and I may have had them journal or diagram the problem. Usually, we have been discussing reasons why they think it’s not working during our sessions together. We might repeat this process for months and then all of a sudden my client hears a song on the radio and suddenly it all falls into place, “Ah-Ha! Now I get it. This is what Susan has been trying to get me to see.” (Or more than likely, they come to their next session eager to share their most recent breakthrough, not realizing that this what I’ve been trying to get them to see, only for me to internally slap my forehead and say, “Finally! They got it!” “Yay Client!”)

My point being, that just because you don’t feel as though you’re moving forward, breaking down walls, or achieving the outcome you wanted from counseling, therapy, readings or working with a life coach, doesn’t mean that your subconscious has stopped working on your issue.

These wonderful breakthroughs can happen at any moment and they are proof that you are continuing to heal yourself, to improve yourself, and move forward. So don’t beat yourself up just because you don’t think you’re getting it.

Your moment of truth will come when you are truly ready for it!

Why Isn’t My Relationship Working?

reflectionMore often than not, this question is asked during readings I do for clients and often leads to multiple counseling sessions. It’s a very big question, with lots of answers, but we can always start with, “Commitment to a relationship requires facing the issues.”

I once counseled a couple who agreed on all the big issues: money, religion, child-rearing, family values, politics, etc. but they couldn’t agree on the little things, like who takes out the trash, who picks up the kids on Tuesday, and should we get a dog or not?

It all boils down to communication and how we interact with each other – both verbally and non-verbally – and whether or not there is a deeper issue at the core.

It turned out the female in the situation I mentioned above was having issues with a co-worker who was taking credit for her work, sabotaging the group project and blaming it on my client. As a result, my client felt out of control and her security at work was threatened. Rather than confront the co-worker or talk to her boss about the situation, she took her frustration out on her husband by demanding that he take care of the housework and help out more with the kids. He bristled at her demands, becoming passive aggressive and withdrawing.

Normally, her husband would have helped out, but his issue with his wife was in the way she was asking. He expressed that she always seemed to be on edge and snapped at any attempt at conversation. Both were willing to explore the change in their relationship and after some digging, we discovered the core issues for both that caused them to react the way they did.

Once the wife realized that her husband loved and supported her no matter what happened at work, she felt secure enough to confront the co-worker and the situation improved.

It was this couple’s willingness to look at the issues and dig deep to find solutions that both of them felt comfortable with that made their relationship work.