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Monthly Archives: June 2011

A predominant theme working with clients is how our thoughts  play such a significant role in how we feel about our experiences.  For some, this seems quite obvious.  But it can be a difficult concept to grasp, and often it is because thoughts and feelings are so inextricably linked that their distinction can become muddled.  It’s common for us to explain our reactions to something by saying,  “Well, I just feel what I feel and I can’t change my feelings.”  In a manner of speaking, that’s true.  But it’s not completely accurate.

For example, I ask a client how they feel about working in a hostile work environment, and they answer, “I feel like no matter what I do, my boss criticizes me and doesn’t appreciate a thing.”   Actually, that statement reflects a thought, rather than  a feeling. Any time you can replace the word “feel” with a “think” word, you’re expressing a thought.

A more accurate statement would be this: “I think that no matter what I do, my boss criticizes me and, I believe he doesn’t appreciate a thing.  Therefore, I feel sad, angry and abused.”  The way we think about, or perceive a situation – this creates how we feel about it.  And in order to feel differently, we must think differently about it or do something to change the situation.

Why is this important?  Because each person is responsible for their own thinking.  When you are responsible for what you think, you are much more likely to act in your own best interest.  And if the way you are  thinking about something causes you to feel uncomfortable feelings, you are more likely to either change your thinking or change your situation  – or both.  If you become overwhelmed by the way you are feeling and believe that the feelings you are having are due to what someone else is doing, you’re more likely to want THEM to change so that you feel better.

Knowing that  what you think informs what you feel, allows you to ACT.  Because we have the ability to think whatever we want, we can have more control over our own feelings, and therefore our own actions.

So, what do YOU think?

– Kevin M. Ross, M.S., LMFT

This is my first attempt at a professional blog.  By that I mean, my maiden launch of a voyage to all things psychological.  My goal is to  enlighten,  stimulate, provoke, and occasionally upset on subjects related to how we see the world, experience our lives, create our relationships, and live our dreams.

On a daily basis, my work as a psychotherapist exposes me to many views of how people negotiate their lives successfully and more often; not so successfully.  But through these various challenges, traumas, joys, and sorrows, I find that people are remarkably resilient – when they can finally access the one,  true source of all healing and strength – the human soul.

Soul means different things to different people.  To me, Soul, is the very essence of who we are, and this is the Source of all energy.  This energy may also be called The Self, God, The Universe, Divine Wisdom – the name is irrelevant.  But it is the animating force of all being.  And when it is felt – it is understood.  When it is felt – it makes all things right.

There are many theories and practices utilized in psychotherapeutic work.  The goal of all therapies is to find a path to correction; to healing.  Sometimes it is symptom that finds relief, and that is sometimes enough.  In fact, sometimes relieving symptom is the most important achievement for the moment.  Ultimately, I  believe that healing is the highest goal for the therapist to assist in achieving, and which is the desire of the each person seeking help.  And healing is the condition met when we realize the essence of who we really are as conscious, soulful, human beings capable of transcending our difficulties.

I invite you to join me and hopefully others,  in a healthy, ongoing dialogue here, where we can share our thoughts and stimulate a conversation that leads to some insights and promotes psychological and spiritual healing.

I may not be able to enter into each conversation, but when I am able may make some comments or encouragements.  I will be providing some topics for conversation or information and I hope you all enjoy and will feel free to participate.

Thank you all for stopping by.  Let’s talk.

— Kevin M. Ross, M.S., LMFT