Beyond Mars and Venus: Relationship Skills for Today’s Complex World

As society evolves, relationships do, too. It's time to toward a new relationship model for modern couples. In Beyond Mars and Venus, John teaches readers how to strengthen their bond and grow in love together for lasting happiness and a fulfilling relationship.

The Power of Stubborn

When do you get stubborn? With yourself? With others? I notice that I feel stubborn when someone randomly gives me advice without my asking for it. It triggers a part of me that says, “Who do you think you are that you think you’re better than me.” I grew up in a culture that put women down, a lot. Is that the cause of my trigger, of my stubbornness? I don’t know. I know I have an insecure part of me that can feel like I’m less than others, not good enough. I get to be a work in progress, always caring for that wounded part.

Being with Helplessness

Living in a world of uncertainty, a world filled with violence and struggle, natural and human-made disasters, it can be easy to feel a sense of overwhelm and anger or perhaps a sense of collapse and helplessness in the face of such adversity. While some may set their feelings aside, maybe runaway by numbing out with food, drugs, alcohol, sex, etc., others may feel an intensity, a rage that compels them to fight against whoever or whatever stands in their way. Others may simply put their head in the proverbial sand or hang limp as if playing possum and yield to the dangers around them.

Being a Captive of Our World

Where do you feel like a captive of your world? is it that you cannot quit your job? your relationship? your way of being with your parents? Your health? Where does it feel like you have no power? Where do you feel like you can change everything else about your life, but this one thing and you’re stuck with it?

Therapy in the Moment: Dissociating to Make it Through the Present

What do you think of when you hear the word “dissociate”? Do you wonder what it means, or think “I never do that” or maybe, “that’s my go-to reaction”, or anything in between? What is dissociation? The dictionary tells us it is separation, disconnect of parts (dictionary.com). So how does it show up in our psyche? Dissociation can be any moment you might disconnect from the present moment. Generally, in psychology, it is discussed within the context of extreme trauma cases as a full separation from reality leading to disorders. Yet it is in our daily life as well.

Your Body Tells the Truth

When you are faced with high intensity stress, where do you turn for help? While processing problems with external support may provide a plethora of possibilities, an intelligent source within can also offer intuitive guidance. The innate wisdom of your soul often revealed through somatic experiences or what my colleague calls the “feelings of your feelings” can be your way out, or this case, in.

Stoic Reflection

The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius have provided inspiration, comfort, and counsel to intrepid readers for approximately two millennia. Having read through it yet again (for at least the twentieth time), I found myself puzzled by the fact that I had never undertaken a similar exercise. Keeping a journal of my thoughts about the vicissitudes of the human condition, and my struggle to understand its challenges, had not become a habit. Marcus, as far as we know, never intended to have his ruminations published. Those thoughts were not meant for the world at large. He simply kept a journal for his own use, for his own efforts at self-rectification and self-governance. The original title was To Himself, and the book in which he recorded his thoughts was not, to our knowledge, shared with family, friends, or staff. The last great Roman Emperor thought a great deal about the nature of the good life, the nature of virtue, the temptations to vice and weakness, and his own insignificance by comparison to the vast Cosmos and the power of the all-pervading, governing Logos (the organizing principle of the natural world).

Being with the Discomfort of Discomfort

I find it simply amazing how much we can build tolerance to being with the discomfort of our emotions and challenging/confronting our belief systems. Sure, the beginning is the hardest. It can even feel like you will die if you go there. That’s the young terrified child in you that used their mind to separate from the pain in the first place. Now as an adult, or even a teenager, you have the capacity to take care of those parts. It’s like the first time you go to a gym. If you’ve never been before, the machines are daunting, and the weights don’t mean anything because you don’t know what you can do.

Embodied Spirituality

I guess there might be as many colorful descriptions as there are authors attempting to define not only the term but the actual state of being, as there is no single, widely agreed definition for the concept. Related to me, I was blessed with a rather sudden consciousness breakthrough four years ago that totally transformed my inner and outer life and continues to form and transform my life in many positive ways. I am a doctor and Integral psychotherapist and mindfulness instructor and most of all I am a human being. My intention in writing this essay is to reflect on my personal understanding of embodied spirituality—of living my spirit.

Soul Wisdom

What does it mean to provide a somatically attuned and integrated style of psychotherapy? How can attunement to the innate organic wisdom of the body help us guide our clients to discover and use the healing resources within? Questions like these often guide the essential aspects of our clinical work. We leave our graduate programs, our modality trainings, our seminars and workshops and then consider, how do I bring it all in? Bette Freedson, LCSW, offers her first monthly blog: Soul Wisdom to discuss intuition, Self-wholeness and holistic integration of body, mind, soul in psychotherapy.

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