5 Intention-setting Ideas to Celebrate Diversity

Celebrate Diversity Month!

Celebrate Diversity Month takes place each April. It was initiated in 2004 to recognize and honor the diversity of the world around us. It is a time to recognize and understand our differences, be it gender, race, ethnicity, faith, sexual orientation and other factors while honoring the common essence of humanity. By appreciating our similarities and differences, the month aims to encourage a deeper understanding of others, regardless of who they are or how they live. It’s also an opportunity to increase diversity in the workplace and various academic fields. Diversity Month pushes us to seek this knowledge so that we can build a tolerant world that welcomes everyone, regardless of who they are or where they come from. — Source: National Today.

Below are some intention-setting ideas for celebrating human diversity:

  1. Movie night.   Consider hosting a cultural movie night with friends and plan to spend some time afterwards discussing the impact it might have had on each of you.  Perhaps consider one of the following documentaries from last year:
    • Four Daughters
    • Beyond Utopia
    • 20 Days in Mariupol
    • Bobi Wine: The People’s President
  2. Cultural art.  Perhaps you explore a cultural art exhibit, either in-person or online, such as the Heritage Museum of Orange County or museums around the world.
  3. Food.  If you are foodie (and who isn’t these days!), consider exploring a local ethnic restaurant or market to sample food from a different culture.
  4. Music.  Music is a cultural universal form of art.  Although highly diverse in the structure and role, music is a common human experience.  Perhaps listen to music from around the world as it can provide an insight into another way of life.
  5. Shop.  Consider shopping with the intention to support a diverse business, especially one that might have been impacted by the pandemic.  Below are some options to explore in Southern California:

5 Intention-setting Ideas to Support Building Trust

If you have difficulty trusting others, you are not alone.  And, it might have more to do with a struggle to trust yourself.

Take a moment and think about why you trust someone else.  Did it happen over night?  Did it happen in response to one interaction?  Do you have faith in their abilities?  Do you feel that they care about you?  Do you feel they were being authentic with you?

Trust can be risky!  Trust is required for a healthy relationship and before we can have a healthy relationship with another, we must work on having a healthy relationship with ourselves.  If I were to ask you to remember a time when someone broke your trust, I imagine that most of us can quickly remember a time.  But if I were to ask you to remember a time when you broke your own trust, would it be so easy to recall?

According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, trust has three core drivers:  authenticity, logic and empathy.  Therefore, trusting ourselves requires us to connect to our authentic selves, have compassion for ourselves, and align our choices with what we know to be true for ourselves.  Unfortunately, many of us struggle in this space due to the fear of being judged by others (AKA the need for approval by others) and/or the fear of disappointing others.

If you find yourself caught in this common human struggle, below are some intention-setting ideas for building trust in yourself:

  1. Accept yourself.   It is mission critical to accept all parts of ourselves, fully and unapologetically!  If you find yourself saying to yourself that there is a part, or parts of you that you hate, consider sitting with these parts and having an open dialogue.  Give those parts a voice, without judgment.  Remember, all parts of us come in service.  They adapted and adjusted to keep you safe.  Perhaps try writing down the messages that these parts continue to repeat so they know you have heard them.  Doing so creates space for you to thank them and to consider releasing them from service as they may be ready to retire!
  2. Lean on your values.  Breaking trust with ourselves is tied to our core values.  For example, if one of our core values is honesty and then we lie, we just dishonored ourselves and broke our trust with ourselves.  Therefore, if you find yourself in a dilemma or need to make a difficult choice, consider turning to your top core values and let them guide you.  Making the decision might be difficult in the moment; however, if it aligns with your core values, you will sense that alignment for much longer.  Perhaps display your top core values prominently in your home as a reminder to you as to what is most important, so they are in your awareness in those more challenging moments.
  3. Identify your strengths.  To build trust in yourself, start with what you know to be your strengths.  Consider making a list of your strengths and then build on them by doing more with them.  The key will be to honor the work, by perhaps journaling at the end of each day to recognize how you demonstrated your strengths that day.  For example, if you identified creativity as one of your strengths, write down all of the ways creativity showed up including any out-of-the-box solutions to mundane daily problems.
  4. Keep promises.  This applies to keeping promising to BOTH yourself and to others!  This requires setting strong and clear boundaries, including saying no, so others grow.  If you can’t (or don’t want to) do something, it is better to say no (even if it makes you very uncomfortable to do so) than to say yes and later break your promise.  Consistency in the outcomes (both when saying yes and saying no) is what builds (over time) a trustworthy relationship.
  5. Practice compassion.  As humans, we will make mistakes or take missteps.  However, one bad decision or broken promise does not make you a bad person.  Failures are vital to our growth and to discovering our core values and strengths.  Therefore, befriending our failures, missteps, and mistakes allows us to learn and expand instead of shrink.  Consider exercising your self compassion muscle (AKA the heart) by listening to a meditation and/or writing down what you would say to a dear friend in this space.  Then, the next time you experience a space of constriction, perhaps offering yourself those same kind words!

5 Intention-setting Ideas for Individual Growth

Celebrating the Month of Love

When we think about the month of February, it often brings up thoughts of Valentine’s Day.  It is also a month to honor American Heart Month and Black History Month.  And this year happens to be a leap year as well!

I believe what ties all of these occasions together is an opportunity for individual (mental, physical, emotional) growth.  When world challenges loom so large, we might feel helpless or even hopeless, which hurts our hearts.  Yet, if we create space to turn inward, to look at what needs tending in our own gardens, whether our physical health or weeding out old beliefs that are choking our ability to flourish, then we can find some peace in knowing that our individual growth will contribute to the evolution of the collective consciousness of the world.

Below are some intention-setting ideas for consideration to support your journey inward this month:

  1. Be kind.   A good starting point for individual growth is to be more kind towards yourself.  Consider ways (i.e., thoughts, actions) that you might offer yourself kindness this month.  Perhaps write them down and put them in a place that you can see your list each day, maybe by your bathroom mirror or stuck to your computer screen.  Remember, the universe gets confused by the word “No” and all other forms of it (i.e., not, can’t, won’t, isn’t).  So when constructing your Be Kind list, make sure the statements are framed in a positive format.  For example, saying “I won’t criticize myself.” is interpreted by the universe as “I criticize myself.”  A possible reframe might be “I offer myself compassion more when I make mistakes.”
  2. What matters most.  If we know what matters most to us, it becomes the rudder in the storms of life.  Consider taking some time this month (maybe under the new moon on 2/9 or to celebrate the Year of the Dragon on 2/10) to sit and write down what matters most to you.  Perhaps expand on the items you might identify with the “Why” it is important to you.  If you might want a starting point to support this effort, a list of values (from Brené Brown’s Dare to Lead) can be found here.
  3. Make a difference.  Once you have a better sense of what is important to you, let it guide you towards spaces that support focusing your energy in making a difference, whether to others or the planet.  Those spaces can be any size, not just large spaces.  Remember, if we all focus on our individual growth, trust that the collective growth will be HUGE.  So consider taking small steps and know it is enough, you are enough!
  4. Express gratitude.  Taking time to identify those people, places, actions and things that you appreciate creates space for joy to present and grow.  Reflecting on those moments of gratitude allows you to savor the experiences.  Exercising your gratitude muscles on a regular basis begins to tilt the natural tendency of the brain away from the negative and towards the positive, so we are better equipped to deal with adversity when it arises.  Consider options of starting a gratitude journal or identifying 3 things each evening before going to bed that you are grateful for.  If you wake up in the middle of the night and have trouble going back to sleep because the mind gets active, perhaps try and give it a bone by focusing on the three things you were grateful for from your day.
  5. Celebrate.  If you do try any of the above, it is important to take time to notice your progress and change and celebrate it!  Consider visualizing how you felt in the past when you took a positive step forward on your individual growth journey, no matter how small it might have seemed at the time.  Maybe it was finishing that book you had been reading for awhile or it was after you spent the day volunteering at an organization you align with.  Can you now visualize how you might congratulate yourself for taking that step forward?  Celebrate you everyday, not just on your birthday!

5 Intention-setting Ideas to Sharpen the Skills of Connection

Happy New Year!

Almost a decade ago, when I was contemplating what to name my business, I knew that I wanted the word “connection” in it because of my personal transformation from connecting with my authentic self and then connecting with others.  Making connections, and maintaining the health of those connections, continues to be at the top of my new year intention list.

Neuroscience has shown that humans are wired for connection.  It is a basic human need that is necessary to thrive.  However, that doesn’t mean all of us experienced healthy role models on how to stay connected to our authentic self and/or initiate, foster and deepen connections with others.  For those of us that might think we are not good at connecting, not all is lost.  Connecting includes skills that can be learned, practiced, and refined over time.  It is definitely worth your time and effort!

Below are some intention-setting ideas for exploring and enhancing the skills that support connection:

  1. Be present.   Setting aside time to be with others is important.  Research has shown connecting with others promotes health and happiness.  Yet it is not just the time we spend together.  It is the gift of your presence that makes the difference.  To be present requires us to pay attention.  This means we need to eliminate as many distractions (AKA smart phones) as possible, let go of the myth that humans can multitask, and dial down our own internal dialogue maker that is trying to identify a follow up response before the person has finishing speaking.  Yes, conversations are a two-way exchange and yet, perhaps try to notice beyond the person’s words for an underlying purpose or meaning for sharing.  From there, consider simply expressing appreciation to the person for sharing with you.  Then, watch their response!
  2. Listen deeply.  This skill is tied very closely with being present, so bundling them together will make practice that much easier.  To listen deeply to another, consider making eye contact with them, checking in with your body language to ensure it is open (i.e. avoid crossing your arms and legs as this is a more defensive posture), focusing on what the other person is saying with the intent to ask questions that are relevant or appropriate to what has been shared.  By doing so, the other person will feel seen and heard and will prevent the “Oh, I had a similar experience” reaction from taking over the conversation.  Contrary to popular belief, sharing your similar story does not necessarily make others feel seen and heard and, instead, can leave people feeling like you are in a competition for the best story (leading to less connection).
  3. Modulate your tone of voice.  This skill is a bit more nuanced.  It requires us to utilize variations in our pitch, pace, volume and inflection of our voice when speaking.  Sometimes the conversation will call us to match the tone of voice of the person we are speaking with, such as when they are expressing excitement about something, and other times it will require us to soften our tone, especially if the emotion being conveyed might be fear, anger, or sadness.  I have found that the more present I am in the conversation and the more deeply I am listening, my voice tends to modulate more naturally, as if it knows what tone is most needed in the moment for connection.  Consider trying to match the tone of someone that is sharing something they found exciting to them to start practicing this skill.  The more skilled you get with these subtle shifts in tone, the more you will notice your enhanced ability to connect with others in diverse situations.
  4. Apologize for mistakes.  Being human means you will make mistakes.  Making mistakes is how we learn as humans.  And sometimes our mistakes impact other people.  Unfortunately, when they do, most of us have not been taught how to own up to the impact and apologize for any harm it may have caused to the other person.  Offering a meaningful apology is part of the formula for healthy and connected relationships.  Apologies start with “I’m sorry.”  Apologies that contain words such as “but” or “if” or “may” imply that the apology is conditional and does not reflect ownership to the mistake, increasing the likelihood of further disconnection.  Healthy apologies that deepen connections are ones that are specific and sincere, reflecting ownership to the mistake and the impact it had on the other person, while sitting with the discomfort that the other person may not accept your apology.  I know this intention might be a difficult one for many of us to implement.  Perhaps the next time you sense the need to apologize to someone, consider writing it down first to ensure it conveys unconditional ownership to the mistake and it specifically addresses the impact the mistake had on the other person.
  5. Share.  Deep connections with others require a willingness to reveal ourselves through sharing both our struggles and our joys.  Yes, I mean we must embrace our vulnerability and begin to see it as our superpower.  Sharing our vulnerabilities, including our fears and insecurities, allows others to experience us as fully alive humans moving through a complex world.  This type of sharing opens the door to genuine and meaningful conversations by creating space for others to feel safe to do the same.  Sharing vulnerable parts of ourselves builds trust, which, over time, deepens our relationships.  If you choose to dip your toe into the pool of vulnerability, consider first to whom you might want to practice this skill with and second, what it is you might want to reveal about yourself.  Take it slow and my suggestion would be to not dive into the deep end too quickly!


5 Intention-setting Ideas to Celebrate National Yoga Awareness Month

Let’s celebrate all things YOGA!

Yoga changed my life, literally and figuratively.  I now measure my life in terms of Before Yoga (BY) and After Yoga (AY), because it is so very different today.  I was showing all of the signs of having Metabolic Syndrome, which was a wake up call to start doing something different or end up on prescription medications for the rest of my life.  I knew enough that all of the signs and symptoms could be reversed by life style changes.  Easier said than done!

Then I discovered yoga, first the physical practice on the mat in group yoga classes, and then all of the other contemplative practices that are encompassed by the practice of yoga.  The most powerful aspect of yoga for me personally was the breath practices.  When I changed the way I breathed, it invited in so many other changes, including but not limited to what and how I ate, changing my reactions into responses, and making space for more compassion both for others and myself.  I’m proud to say that at age 60, I am part of the 15% of the US population NOT on any prescription medications!

Therefore, to celebrate this powerful lifestyle of yoga, below are some ideas for your consideration:

  1. Read about yoga.   If you have very little experience or knowledge of the practice, perhaps consider taking some time to read about the benefits of yoga, and not just the physical practice that includes poses, or asanas.  You might start with Yoga Alliance, which has a dedicated section on their website for research into the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of such practices.
  2. Try a class.  If you might be interested in attending a group yoga class, my recommendation might be to start with a gentle class.  There are MANY different styles of yoga.  Consider finding where classes are offered locally and reading about the class descriptions beforehand.  When taking any class, it is important to know that yoga is a very personal practice.  You are not in competition with the other students and can modify however feels good to you.  There is no perfect shape as every body is so unique.
  3. Post.  This month, while practicing yoga, consider taking and sharing pictures on your social media to spread the word.  Get creative and share ones of you meditating or practicing Ahimsa or Saucha!  Here’s a TikTok video of a woman saving a bumble bee with a broken wing for inspiration!
  4. Journal.  Did you know that self-study is part of the second limb of the eight limbs of yoga, specifically Svadhyaya as one of the Niyamas?  Compared to psychotherapy in its present form which came many centuries later, this ancient practice honored that to attain inner peace, it is critical to make time for introspection.  If you are not a journaler, perhaps consider giving it a try this month.  If you are a regular journaler, consider adding a little extra time to your reflections this month.
  5. Go green.  Another overall aspect of yoga is that it celebrates our connection to the earth.  In fact, many of the yoga poses are named after nature and animals, like cow, cat, mountain, downward-facing dog, crow, tree, lotus and eagle.  To celebrate all things yoga this month, perhaps consider how you might “Go Green”, starting with recycling and adding using reusable bags, water bottles and food storage containers, hang dry your clothes, and walk and bike more.

5 Intention-setting Ideas for Luvin’ Up Your Brain

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

The Alzheimer’s Association® suggests people around the world wear Purple this month AND continue to exercise their brains to fight Alzheimer’s disease.  Research into the causes of cognitive decline, including the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease, is ongoing because scientists still don’t fully understand the underlying process in most people.  Some of the latest research has revealed new evidence that a viral species, particularly the herpes viruses, may play a role in the biology of Alzheimer’s.  As with so many other human physical diseases, people worry about their risk of developing Alzheimer’s if there is a family history of the disease.  However, a family history doesn’t mean you will develop it too.

Several years ago, I began participating in an Alzheimer Prevention Trial (APT) online to support the ongoing efforts to figure out the underlying causes of this disease and, more recently, am participating in a study through UCI as well.  I’m hopeful that my participation will bring more light into the unknown, so we have more information to make choices to support the long-term health of our brains.

In the meantime, below are some ideas to reinforce the health of your brain, trusting that the human physical body is constantly working towards optimal functioning or homeostasis:

  1. Mental Health.   Research has shown that stress, anxiety and depression have a link to cognitive decline.  Therefore, if you experience these symptoms, consider letting someone know and ask for support.  One of the silver linings of the pandemic has been an increased awareness of how critical the health of our mental selves is and we are all susceptible to the traumatizing effects of our world.  Anxiety and depression are natural adaptive human responses to threats to our well being, so we are all in this together!
  2. Socialize.  Feeling isolated or having feelings of loneliness have also been linked to cognitive decline.  Research has shown that people with no social connections were 2.37 times more likely to experience cognitive decline when compared to people who had five to six connections.  So how might we increase our social circle?  Consider engaging in social activities that bring meaning or purpose into your life.  Perhaps connecting through your local community or neighborhood that organize such group activities.  Or volunteer at your favorite non-profit organization.
  3. Read.  Consider adding reading to your daily ‘To Do’ list.  You might even sign up for a course at your local community college or center, whether in-person or online.  Another option might be to start – or join – a book club!
  4. Lifestyle Changes.  Research has shown that there are several lifestyle changes that are options to protect and enhance our brain’s health.  Stopping smoking is one.  Exploring ways to include brain-healthy foods into your daily meals is another.  Daily physical activity is another as it increases blood flow to the brain.  If you ride a bicycle as part of your healthy life style routine, consider adding a helmet to your outfit, as head injuries from falls can raise your risk of cognitive decline.
  5. Learn something new. Research has shown that novelty is an important aspect of brain health.  So consider challenging yourself in new ways.  Some simply ideas to consider trying might be to listen to a different genre of music, take a different way to work or the store, learn a new skill, or rearrange the furniture in one of your rooms.  Novelty has been shown to enhance learning and memory, creativity and happiness, so why not give it a try!

Benefits of Integrating Yoga Into Postgraduate Mental Health Curriculums

As we find ourselves in a bit of a lull in the Covid-19 outbreak here in southern California, I have found my way back to teaching yoga in-person in a local yoga studio. My heart is full as I have greatly missed the opportunity to bring this healing modality back in-person to a larger audience. Yoga, including all of its contemplative practices, has been the largest tool in my self-care tool kit, even becoming my way of life over the years, and it is truly what kept me grounded in gratitude through the pain and chaos of the past two years. Although I may not have found myself on my yoga mat regularly, especially for those yummy 90-minute classes that include an extra long savasana shape at the end, I know how important these practices are for supporting our mind-body-spirit health. And, as a mental health provider, I know it is mission critical to prioritize our self-care practices in order to be fully present and prevent burnout. With increasing rates of burnout in mental health providers during the pandemic, the question becomes is it possible to integrate yoga into postgraduate curriculums for mental health providers to ensure the long-term wellbeing of such providers?

A recent research study took a look at including yoga into the curriculum for first-year mental health students to test the feasibility of such a proposal. Introducing such tools to all students in this setting ensures all mental health providers would have the first-hand knowledge and experience of the impact on their well-being before actually moving into the space of providing services to clients, where the stress level of the role only increases. Although the results of this research advocates for such a change to the curriculum, it only provided a brief, 15-day offering. It is my belief that offering longer curriculum based yogic interventions would not only provide more sustained self-care tools to the mental health provider but it would also equip the mental health provider with the skills to bring such self-care tools to their clients.

Can cultivating compassion improve the process of psychotherapy?

Prior to becoming a therapist myself, I spent a significant amount of time on the couch as a client.  I am forever grateful for the encouragement and compassion I received on those couches as the therapists supported my journey of growth.  However, for all of the compassion they may have offered me, none of them taught me about compassion.  I learned about compassion through the Eastern philosophies I studied as part of my yoga training.  As I began to practice compassion consciously, I came to personally discover its deep healing power.  So, when I began to practice as a licensed psychotherapist, I integrated Eastern and Western approaches, and teaching compassion to my clients is a tool I rely upon to facilitate healing and transformation.

Compassion guides us into spaces of acceptance of our limitations as human beings, to embrace our imperfections, and to comfort ourselves when experiencing suffering.  It soothes the inner critic and perfectionist, it reduces the amount of pressure on our overly developed responsible part, and creates space in our lives for more connection, peace and joy.  Until perhaps more recently, compassion – and specifically self-compassion – was not something that was taught to us as children, or even as adults.  So, by the time we are adults, we have been led to believe that the inner critic is our internal motivator to do more and better.  Instead the inner critic partners with the perfectionist to wear us down, telling us we will be enough and worthy once we, and everything around us, is perfect.  That is simply an impossible dream that we are chasing, inviting in exhaustion, anxiety, depression, shame, and isolation.

Through the years of not only offering compassion to my clients, but teaching them to offer compassion to themselves, I have noticed how it has enhanced the process of psychotherapy and made the effects more enduring.  A mantra I offer my clients is that self-compassion is the antidote to what ails them.  Easily said, but perhaps not so easily implemented.  Yet, when clients begin to loosen the grip of the inner critic and perfectionist and begin to challenge the myth that self-care is selfish, they begin to experience relief from their symptoms.  I don’t need any more evidence than that to know that compassion works!

However, for those that might want to read more about the effects of compassion, including how it creates structural changes in the brain, click on the link below for the most recent research in this area.

5 Intention-setting Ideas to Destigmatize Mental Health Challenges

Psychotherapy Day – September 25th

It might appear as an act of self-promotion, yet my intention is to share research, wherever and whenever possible, so everyone might move forward making more informed decisions when it comes to their own health, mind, body and spirit!

Psychotherapy works, especially when there is a genuine connection and deep understanding of the root causes to health challenges.  And that deep understanding grows from the knowledge that it is not what is wrong with you, but what happened to you!

As I share again in this month’s Blog (see below), the research is unequivocal when showing the link between what happened to us (mental health) and the leading causes of morbidity and mortality (physical health).  So, if we truly want to have a healthier world, we need to start with a focus on the mind and, if we do, the body will follow.  This focus on the mind – and what traumatizes it – is the only way to break the transgenerational transmission of what ails the world.

Below I provide intention-settings idea to start to destigmatize mental health challenges to help shift the collective healthcare mindset from treating the long-term physical effects of trauma to prevention by inviting in more nurturing, compassion, understanding, belonging and acceptance into our lives:

  1. TALK about Mental Health.  Do you remember the last time a conflict was resolved by silence?  Neither do I!  The only way to truly bring about collaboration and community is to talk things out.  The act of talking takes courage and strength as it also requires us to listen deeply and with curiosity.  Our minds want to make sense of the world, even when experiences may not be logical – we are meaning making vibrational beings.  And often what makes the vibrations uncomfortable are the emotions of relationships.  Human beings are wired for connection to others, as the pandemic has so clearly laid bare for us to feel.  It is only when we can hold our relational emotions alongside of the rational thoughts that meaning mine opens wide for us to look into for the gold.  Sometimes this is impossible to do without the support of another, who can welcome and hold the emotions with us, making space for the light.  So it is my hope that all of us can set an intention to talk openly about our mental health, without shame, to remind us that we are not alone in our struggles.
  2. WRITE/BLOG about Mental Health.  For those that are active on social media, I encourage you to set an intention to write or blog (or even vlog) about a small piece of your story, remembering that it is what happened to you, so you may begin to shine the light on any shame that you might be carrying.  I like to compare shame as Toxic Mold that grows and thrives (and slowly kills) in the dark.  If the light can reach it, it dies.  When writing/sharing our stories, we are opening a window to let the light shine in and let the shame out.  Remember the shame is not yours and no longer needs to be carried!
  3. Volunteer for Mental Health. If you always felt a heart tug to volunteer, yet haven’t found the “just right” organization or cause, perhaps consider mental health.  As a starting point, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness or Mental Health America websites for more information.  Support is needed in all walks of life and all stages of life.
  4. Donate for Mental Health.  If you find that you don’t have the time to volunteer right now, perhaps you might consider a financial donation.  You might even look into whether or not your company might match your donation, as many organizations have such programs.  Any energy expended with intention creates ripples in the universe far beyond what the human eye can see or mind can know, so every little bit counts!
  5. Read/Share Research on Mental Health.  And last but certainly not least (and my favorite!) is read the research!  And, after reading it, share it!!  Remember the old Faberge Organics Shampoo commercial with Heather Locklear where she shared her experience with two friends . . . who shared it with two friends . . . etc., perhaps we can replicate that today by sharing something vitally important to the health of the world. It is this intention that might have the greatest impact on cutting short the public mental health crisis we have been challenged by for so many years.  The research is crystal clear – work with the mind first to prevent diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and cancer.

As always, if you try any of these intention-setting ideas for holistic health, I would love to hear about the impact they might have had for you.  Please send me an email at to share!

Tame Your Dragon with Compassion-focused Therapy (CFT)!

Do you sense that you are your own worst enemy?  Is your inner critic’s voice loud and obnoxious on most days?  Are you challenged to accept your flaws as a human being?  Do you find yourself berating yourself when you make a mistake?  Is most of your energy and time spent on trying to be perfect in order to avoid making such mistakes?  Well, you are not alone and Compassion-focused Therapy (CFT) might be the prescription that the doctor orders!

Talk therapy, or psychotherapy, can take many forms, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Emotionally-focused Therapy (EFT), and Narrative Therapy, and Compassion-focused Therapy (CFT) is one of the newer kids on the block.  However, the research is very promising and CFT is making a name for itself within the field of psychotherapy!  It evolved as an approach to healing for people experiencing high shame and self-criticism that creates mental health challenges, such as anxiety, depression, and addictive, impulsive behaviors.  And, having been a perfectionist in the past that suffered from anxiety growing up in an environment born from chaos, I can personally attest to the peace that comes from quieting the inner critic and accepting my imperfections as a normal, natural state as a spiritual being having a human experience.

So if you are tired of trying to be perfect (whatever that is?!?) and feeling like a failure when you make mistakes, all hope is not lost.  If you are thinking that you might need some help in challenging the shame that your inner critic brings up, then you might seek out support from someone that will work with you to expand your ability to experience compassion through CFT.  As a psychotherapist that looks through such a compassionate lens, it has been my experience that it will feel awkward at first because it is something new and different.  Yet, it is exactly that feeling that indicates there is much room for growth and healing through compassion.

Although I have not done any research of my own, I can personally attest to the shift I have experienced as well as the shifts I have seen in my clients when our hearts began to open to the idea of our common humanity through compassion.  For those of you that need a little more evidence, click on the link below to read a review that summarizes the findings of research where CFT has improved the mental health in clinical populations: