• Four Ways to Keep a Positive Attitude During Illness

      When you're sick, it can be hard to stay positive. If it's a cold or flu and passes quickly, things return to normal after a short time. If you have a chronic, long-term, or life-threatening illness, that can be a much different challenge. With every illness, there are good and bad days. Sometimes you'll feel better than at other times. Having good moments and staying positive … [Read More...]

    6 Ways to Overcome Panic

      Panic is an emotion that everyone has felt at one time or another. Feeling panic is normal, but if panic is taking over your daily life, it's time to take action to reduce it. Understanding what it is and what you can do about it can help immensely. Panic serves a clear purpose in life. It gets your adrenaline pumping and allows you to act quickly to save yourself when you're faced … [Read More...]

    When a Flower Doesn’t Bloom…

    As the seasons begin to change and my garden starts to bear it’s last vegetables, I often think about what gardening has taught me. With the recent start of school, I came upon this quote and realized how much gardening and children can have in common. How you ask? The quote above makes such sense to me – yet it is not typically how we address children who may learn differently. We all know … [Read More...]

    Love, Trust and Snooping

                      Love, Trust, and Snooping Technology may have changed the way we snoop, but the underlying reasons remain the same. How do you balance love and trust with your hunger for more information about the people close to you? Learn how to deal with snooping in your relationships with your children, romantic … [Read More...]

    The Make Up Miracle for Couples Who Argue

                The Make Up Miracle for Couples Who Argue Conflict is a natural part of every relationship. As much as you love each other, you sometimes find yourself at odds over how to raise your children, pay off your mortgage, or do the laundry. Try these tips for resolving and preventing arguments so you can weather the rocky times and enjoy … [Read More...]

    Are You Holding Yourself Back by Judging Others?

                      Are You Holding Yourself Back by Judging Others? To judge others is to form a critical opinion about them. For example, you may decide that your neighbor down the street is an ineffective parent because she’s known to indulge her children or chooses to avoid disciplining them. If you notice that you’re … [Read More...]

    4 Easy Ways to Develop Kindness

                4 Easy Ways to Develop Kindness In a world filled with misery, war, and anger, being kind to your neighbor can sometimes seem like a foreign concept. Whether that neighbor lives directly next to you or in a bus shed two miles away, it's easy to overlook brotherhood. However, it's improbable that you’ll achieve true happiness without … [Read More...]

    The Art of Decision Making: Tips on Making Decisions You Can Live With

                  The Art of Decision Making: Tips on Making Decisions You Can Live With Making decisions in our lives–whether it’s what to eat for lunch or where to find your next job– can seem overwhelming. Each decision carries with it a result and a chain of events that may dictate the course of our lives. For those of us who consider … [Read More...]

    Eight Ways to Give Your Self-Confidence a Boost

                  Eight Ways to Give Your Self-Confidence a Boost Are you suffering from low self-esteem? Do you feel powerless to change yourself into the confident person you deserve to be? If you answered "yes" to these questions, the good news is that strengthening your self-confidence is atask you really can accomplish with a little … [Read More...]

    Keeping Healthy Boundaries in Relationships

                  Keeping Healthy Boundaries in Relationships It's important to implement and maintain healthy boundaries in your relationships. Think of boundaries as invisible lines you draw around your feelings, wants, and needs in a relationship. Those limits delineate where your feelings and emotions end and your friend's or partner's … [Read More...]

    What is Co-Dependence and How Can It Stifle You?

                    Everyone has likely heard the term co-dependence. But what does it really mean? When you get into a relationship, chances are you depend on your partner for certain things. This is to be expected and it's part of the trust you build. However, you don't want to lose your independence completely. What Is … [Read More...]

    How to Banish Negative Thoughts

    Who doesn't have negative thoughts now and then? But what if you had a negative thought which was pervasive and constant? Would you know how to get rid of it? Fortunately, there are many methods available to get rid of incessant negative chatter in our heads. Here is an effective step-by-step process that will work if you use it regularly.As our ongoing example in this process, we’ll use the … [Read More...]

    Removing Indecision From Your Life

    Do you struggle to make decisions? You may feel so concerned about making the wrong choice that you don't make any choice at all. But by doing this, you actually do make a decision: you decide not to choose any path or destination! The typical way of coming to a decision involves attempting to compare the future consequences of each of the possible actions. The choice with the best-perceived … [Read More...]

    How to Achieve a Stretch Goal

    What is a stretch goal? For our purposes, we'll define a stretch goal as a goal for which you don't appear to be well suited, based on past experience. For example, if you've always struggled financially, the goal of becoming a millionaire would be a stretch goal. Getting in great shape would be a stretch goal if you’ve weighed over 400 lbs for many years. We all have dreams that would … [Read More...]

    Fill Your Life With Happiness

    Happiness is a funny thing. Many experts say that happiness comes from within. This may be true, but there are also specific experiences that make us happy. Maybe having a great day at the park with your kids filled you with happiness. Or perhaps that promotion you'd been working for finally came to pass. Bet you felt happy then!  However, you probably also know someone who seems happy all the … [Read More...]

    How to Banish Negative Thoughts

    Who doesn't have negative thoughts now and then? But what if you had a negative thought which was pervasive and constant? Would you know how to get rid of it? Fortunately, there are many methods available to get rid of incessant negative chatter in our heads. Here is an effective step-by-step process that will work if you use it regularly. As our ongoing example in this process, we’ll use the … [Read More...]

    Texting and Relationships: Good, Bad, or In Between?

    Even in our closest relationships, we’re often likely to talk by text rather than face to face these days. A recent study of these short messages shows their impact on how we communicate with the people we care about most. Researchers at Brigham Young University surveyed couples in committed relationships. They discovered that some things are better off being discussed in person. The major … [Read More...]

    Say No and Still Be Friends

    Many of us have a hard time saying no to friends. Who doesn’t want to help a friend who asks for your help? Unfortunately, there are times you simply need to say no when a friend seeks your assistance. Perhaps you’re way too busy or maybe your friend is asking you to do something that you’re uncomfortable doing. It can be awkward to say no to a friend. No one wants to risk a friendship. You might … [Read More...]

    How to Become More Compassionate

    Compassion brings both short and long-term happiness. Showing compassion not only allows you to feel better, but it helps those around you to feel better, too. Since we all want to be happy, showing compassion can be a common goal for everyone. Cultivating compassion is a worthwhile goal. It’s a significant part of being human and can make you more grateful for the many good things you already … [Read More...]

    How To Ask For What You Want…And Get It…

    If you are like many of the clients I work with in my 1:1 coaching sessions, asking for what you want is a challenge and often right up there on your list with going to the dentist.  In other words, you know you really need to...you just don't WANT to.    Well, here are seven sure fire action steps you can take that will make it easier to ask for what you want AND get it.   A quick way to … [Read More...]

    5 Tips to a Happier Relationship with Your Teen

    Having a teenager can be one of the most frustrating aspects of parenting but what are parents to do? We can’t keep them from growing up so that means we have to better our skills. As teenagers, kids start to think (and act) like they know it all but our job as parents is to constantly teach them. If you’re a parent of a teenager, brace yourself because you’re in for one wild ride, and heed the … [Read More...]

    3 Habits That Create Lasting Happiness in Uncertain Times

    Uncertainty is a large part of life and can make it seem full of what-ifs. But, we can’t live in the what-ifs; we have to live in the moment. Oftentimes, it can be difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but, trust me, it’s definitely there. Here are 3 habits that help you create lasting happiness in uncertain times. Connection is a Powerful Happiness Habit: As humans, we’re … [Read More...]

    25 Ways to Reduce Stress and Anxiety

    Let’s face it -- stress and anxiety aren’t going anywhere.  As long as we’re living, we’re going to experience these emotions in one form or another, and we all have different levels of anxiety and stress in our daily lives.  But, there are some ways to reduce these feelings in order to live in a more relaxed state of mind. Breathe.  Yes, it may sound like a cliché but it really works. Stop … [Read More...]

    5 Ways to Nurture and Love Yourself

    It’s Valentine’s week, and beyond giving love to a “significant other”, it’s also a great time to think about loving and nurturing ourselves even more. Nurturing yourself is, most likely, the last thing you do.  Most of us are busy taking care of our families and our careers before we get around to taking care of ourselves. In fact, it’s not uncommon to feel like you’re at the end of the line. … [Read More...]

    5 Tips To Help You Create a More Loving and Happier Family Life

    What does it take to have a more loving family dynamic? Focus more on what everyone does right. Instead of focusing on what displeases you, focus more on what you love. Your spouse and children love praise more than they love criticism. So, start looking for all the things that make you happy and focus on the positive. You might even get more of it. hhh Practice forgiveness. We all argue … [Read More...]

    EMDR Therapy: Healing from Disturbing Life Experiences

    By Maria Russell, MACC, LPC Hi. My name is Maria Russell, and I am a therapist at Southlake Counseling. I have recently returned from an intense 3-day EMDR training workshop, and I am excited to share my experience with you. You may be asking yourself, “What is EMDR?” EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. This therapy was originally designed to alleviate symptoms … [Read More...]

    Your Weekly Meditation: It is Okay to Trust Yourself

    It is okay to trust yourself. So often we look to our past for evidence that we can trust ourselves in our present. But we know more now than we knew then. We are stronger now. We are wiser. Our past has taught us valuable lessons we are now able to apply right here in the present moment. When you are not sure what to do next, start by asking yourself. Listen within. And remember – it is okay … [Read More...]

    Your Weekly Meditations: Emotional Sensitivity is a Strength

    Emotional sensitivity is a strength. There are so many levels of emotional sensitivity. Often, the most emotionally sensitive individuals are also introverts, but both introverted and extroverted people can be extraordinarily sensitive to the presence, depth and breadth of their own emotions, as well as to the same in others. While emotional sensitivity may initially feel like a liability, with … [Read More...]

    4 Things to Know About Communicating With the Opposite Gender

    If you are a female, communication is likely second nature to you. As a female, you communicate without even thinking about it. You use every faculty at your disposal to communicate and take great pleasure in doing so. You understand – without giving it your conscious attention – the complex interactions that can take place between body language, facial expression, tonal nuance, word choice, … [Read More...]

    Your Weekly Meditation: Feeling, Learning From and Releasing Emotions is a Skill to be Learned

    Feeling, learning from and releasing emotions is a skill to be learned.  It is quite tempting to assume that people who appear as “still waters” with vast reserves of inner calm were simply born that way. However, appropriately feeling, learning from, and releasing emotions is a skill to be learned, just like any other. When you find you are having trouble managing your emotions, this is a sign … [Read More...]

    Your Say Yes to Life Monday Motivator: Declaring Our Independence

    Each year on July 4th, I celebrate my independence from my eating disorder once again. It doesn’t matter how many years have passed, or how many other (and possibly even greater) challenges I may have faced since then. I still celebrate my recovery from “Ed”, as many eating disorder sufferers today term their disease, with all the gusto and force of the newly recovered, hardly believing my good … [Read More...]

    Your Weekly Meditation: Emotions, Like People, Often Need to Be Unfolded to Be Understood

    Emotions, like people, often need to be unfolded to be understood. Sometimes a person may appear quite reserved – even unfriendly – but then over time, with trust and consistency, layer by layer gets unwrapped and that person’s true personality and warmth finally shines through. In the same way, just because an emotion may initially introduce itself to you only on one level, this doesn’t mean … [Read More...]

    Your Say Yes to Life Monday Motivator: 5 Reasons to Love Your Male Brain

    My motto was to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was to keep swinging. –Hank Aaron Life takes on meaning when you become motivated, set goals, and charge after them in an unstoppable manner. –Les Brown In part one of this post, I shared 5 reasons to love your female brain. If you are one of my female readers, you … [Read More...]

    5 Reasons to Love Your Female Brain

    There is no freedom like seeing myself as I am and not losing heart. –Elizabeth J. Canham At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want. –Lao Tzu When I was developing the Southlake Counseling website, my team asked me to share some of the quotes that kept me going when I was working on my own recovery from an eating disorder. They planned to post … [Read More...]

    Your Weekly Meditation: Emotions Are Friendly Messengers

    Emotions are friendly messengers. In the same way that you might feel overwhelmed by the sight of a tidal wave coming toward you, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the experience of your own intense emotions welling up within you – or the strong emotions of others headed in your direction. Emotions are not the enemy. They also do not necessarily belong to you. Sometimes you may be … [Read More...]

    Southlake Counseling Video | Counseling in Davidson

    Kimberly Krueger talks about Southlake Counseling and it's offerings. … [Read More...]

    Your Say Yes to Life Monday Motivator: 5 Tips to Survive a Bad Day

    Bad days happen. Can three more trite but true words exist together in one sentence anywhere in the world? Bad days happen to good people. They happen to bad people. They happen to bugs (FWAP!), animals (POW!), and even electronic equipment (*#&$ DVD player – SMACK!) Yup. Bad days happen. But sometimes, a bad day well spent can also turn into one of the best days of your life. Why … [Read More...]

    Your Weekly Meditation: Love Begets Love

    Love begets love, no advertising required. Now that the month of February is over for another whole year, we can admit that it is no secret that February is the “month of love” for corporate marketing departments everywhere. But however over-hyped and overtly-marketed the sublime state of love may be each February, it is an excellent reminder that love begets love. The marketing, the slogans, the … [Read More...]

    Your Say Yes to Life Monday Motivator: Three Steps to Move from Wanting to Having

    Whether it is a better job, a more satisfying relationship, a long-denied vacation, or more self-love, the steps to move from wanting what you want to getting what you want are the same. Oddly, however, no matter how many times we see the process playing out in the lives of others, nature, American Idol contestants, or the birds and the bees, often the personalization of this process is not that … [Read More...]

    Your Weekly Meditation: Love Happens

    Love happens. Love is happening all around us, every day, in every way. But often it is also simultaneously struggling quite hard to find a way to get into our lives! Our own beliefs about love – how it can happen, when it can happen, whom it can happen with – can become barriers as strong and impenetrable as steel walls covering us from ceiling to floor and on all sides. Since love is as … [Read More...]

    15 Ways to Say “I Love You” to Yourself

    Depending on whom you ask, self-love is alternately over and underrated. In some circles, self-love can be viewed as bordering on narcissism, where a concern for self and self-needs edges out the ability to strike that necessarily delicate balance between one’s own good and the greater good. In other circles, self-love is all too often confused with self-critical behaviors that read like an … [Read More...]

    Your Weekly Meditation: Love Yourself, No Permission Needed

    Love yourself, no permission needed. Maybe this Valentine’s Day you have all the romance you’ve ever dreamed of coming into your life from the presence of another person. But whether you do or you don’t, you can have that same amazing, whirlwind romance any day, at any time, when you remember that you can love yourself that way, no permission needed. YOU are amazing. You are one of a kind. Before … [Read More...]

    Your weekly meditation: You Owe it to Yourself to Embrace All of You

    You owe it to yourself to embrace all of you. While we may not necessarily enjoy the moments when we are feeling grief, anger, irritation, unforgiveness, or other so-called “negative” emotions, the truth is that every single human being on the planet feels these things too, and often on a regular basis. So we are in good company all the time, no matter what we are feeling! Furthermore, these … [Read More...]

    Your Weekly Meditation: It is Possible To Embrace Change

    It is possible to embrace change. Sometimes, when we have been in crisis for some time, we feel like we are fighting everything. Whether the crisis is self- or other-imposed, after it has dragged on for awhile we can feel exhausted, worn out, out of options. Yet, it is what we tell ourselves about the change that matters the most, and also contributes to whether we feel drained or renewed when … [Read More...]

    Your Weekly Meditation: What We Can’t Control Can Teach Us

    What we can’t control can teach us. On some level, we can’t help it. We are human, and we are programmed with an innate primitive brain function called “fight or flight” that is continually roving out ahead of us, seeking for signs of doom and disaster. Luckily, however, our brains have evolved quite a bit over the millennia, so now we can see how we are biologically programmed, and work around … [Read More...]

    Texting: Is it helpful or harmful to your relationships? A therapeutic look at one of America’s most popular forms of communication

    Looking back over the past few decades, it is amazing to consider the ways in which technology and communication has dramatically evolved. My experience with the whole phenomenon began in middle school, when I discovered the bountiful gifts of the Internet.I remember it like it was yesterday... Spending a couple hours here and there in chatrooms while my mother periodically wandered in to read … [Read More...]

    Your Weekly Meditation: Life is Like a Bowl of Jello

    Life is like a bowl of jello. Taking Forrest Gump’s famous chocolate analogy a step further, life as it is most closely resembles a bowl of jello. We are constantly trying to steady our footing, hunting around for solid ground. But the moment we find it, it shifts again. Rather than continuing to struggle to change how life is, the beneficial approach here is to relax into the experience of … [Read More...]

    DBT: Finding the Purpose…

    Do things happen for a reason? Or is everything left to chance? Are there random occurrences? Does karma exist? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do things happen that just don't seem fair? How am I supposed to see the silver lining when I suffer? How do I withstand what seems to be pointless pain? I lost someone close to me last Fall. Not to death - he's still here on earth. We just … [Read More...]

    Your Weekly Meditation: Connection is Critical

    Connection is critical. When we think of connection, what often comes to mind is a busy career or social schedule, engaging in hobbies or volunteer work with others, finding a romantic partner, starting a family, and other types of social-focused activities or experiences. But the connection we are truly seeking in life can happen anytime, whether we are in the crowd or all alone. When we remember … [Read More...]

    Your Weekly Meditation: Rest In What Is

    Rest in what is. When we really stop to breathe in the moment, rarely will we discover that our world is actually falling apart, regardless of what we may have been telling ourselves. Rather, it is just a moment in time, followed by another and then another, and for each of those simple, single moments, we truly are okay. We can get through anything when we remember to come back to our breath and … [Read More...]

    Your Say Yes to Life Weekly Motivator: Who the “Beautiful People” Are

    The most beautiful people are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. The woman who wrote this, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, was one of the foremost medical researchers into the end of life stages. By the time she penned this quote, she had known pain and suffering both in her own life and through the countless lives her work touched as she … [Read More...]

    Declaring Our Independence

    Each year on July 4th, I celebrate my independence from my eating disorder once again. It doesn’t matter how many years have passed, or how many other (and possibly even greater) challenges I may have faced since then. I still celebrate my recovery from “Ed”, as many eating disorder sufferers today term their disease, with all the gusto and force of the newly recovered, hardly believing my good … [Read More...]

    Your Weekly Meditation: It is Okay To Feel Afraid

    It is okay to feel afraid. We often expect ourselves to leap towards every new goal or undone item on our to-do list with confident enthusiasm. But how often have we actually ever made any kind of change or progress while feeling this way? Most of the time, for most human beings, we feel some fear, some trepidation, some inner dissension, some reluctance, or some resistance to trying something … [Read More...]

    Your Say Yes to Life Monday Motivator: V is for Validation, Part Two

    This week we continue our series on Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). BPD is a brain-based emotion regulation disorder that affects an estimated 18 million Americans. Usually appearing first in early adulthood, by the time BPD is accurately diagnosed, many close relationships may already be irreparably damaged or destroyed. In our last post, I introduced you to one of the most powerful … [Read More...]

    Your Weekly Meditation: What Comes Down Eventually Goes Back Up

    We don’t often consider the “coming down” parts of life from this perspective. But with thoughtful reflection and a willingness to connect to our life as it truly is, we become humble and honest enough to recognize that even when we go down, we don’t stay down. Eventually, somehow, in a miraculous or mundane way, we eventually make our way back up again. We can count on it. For those of us who … [Read More...]

    DBT’s Interpersonal Effectiveness: Building Mastery and Self-Respect

    “Do you think it’s important to nurture genuine respect for oneself?” I would be shocked/stunned/mind-boggled if the majority of people to whom I asked this question replied with some variation of, “no, thanks, it’s been quite pleasant disrespecting myself and my beliefs and sincerely thinking that I am incompetent.” In fact, while it might be almost impossible to believe, most of the people who … [Read More...]

    Your Say Yes to Life Monday Motivator: V is for Validation, Part One

    This month we continue our exploration of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and its effect on BPD sufferers and their families. As you may recall from last month’s posts, May was Borderline Personality Month. BPD is now known to be a brain-based emotion regulation disorder that often begins to arise in early adulthood and affects more women than men. The disorder manifests in a devastating … [Read More...]

    Your Weekly Meditation: Fathers Matter

    Fathers matter. Whether our relationship with our own father was close or distant, the impact a father has in the life of a daughter is undeniable. And when we begin a family of our own, whether we share duties of child-rearing with a partner or shoulder the responsibility of both mother and father alone, our experience with our father goes with us. It serves us well to employ what Marianne … [Read More...]

    Your Weekly Meditation: Being a Work-in-Progress is Underrated

    Being a work-in-progress is underrated. Mother Teresa struggled with depression for most of her life and ministry, often wondering whether God even existed. Princess Diana struggled with an eating disorder even as she visited families suffering from AIDS. There are many more stories where those came from – of imperfectly great human beings reaching beyond their own insecurities, inadequacies, and … [Read More...]

    Your Weekly Meditation: Hard Work is Not a Substitute for Grace

    Hard work is not a substitute for grace. We live in a very industrious, hard working world. We do work so hard! Sometimes we work so hard that we forget to cut ourselves any slack at all. Hard work is not a substitute for grace. Grace is the small still voice inside of us that quietly observes, “You are so tired right now. Why don’t you take a rest.” Grace is the gentle unseen arms that move to … [Read More...]

    Your Weekly Meditation: There is Always a Moment of Pure Innocence

    There is always a moment of pure innocence. Sometimes we do things or say things that we regret. Sometimes we don’t say things or do things that we wish we had said or done. We are not going to live perfectly – nor will anyone else around us live perfectly. But we can always find that moment of our own innocence. We can know that we are doing the very best that we can do in that moment as we … [Read More...]

    Your Say Yes to Life Monday Motivator: May is National BPD Awareness Month

    This month, we recognize the power of education and awareness efforts to save lives. In 2008, May was designated as National Borderline Personality Disorder Awareness Month by the U.S. House of Representatives. H. Res 1005, spearheaded by Representative Tom Davis (R-VA) and Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), passed unanimously when put to a vote, and this year we celebrate the 4th year of … [Read More...]

    Your Weekly Meditation: This Too Shall Pass

    This too shall pass. It’s not clear whether anyone ever claimed that life would be easy, but somehow we are often tempted to believe it nonetheless. It is not supposed to be easy. It is supposed to be life. These are not one and the same. Part of life’s job is to produce challenges. From these challenges, we get to learn valuable things about ourselves – like how strong we really are, how caring … [Read More...]

    Your Say Yes to Life Monday Motivator: Good News – BPD Brains ARE Different!

    This month marks the 4th anniversary of May as National Borderline Personality Awareness Month. Borderline Personality Disorder, or BPD, is a serious psychiatric illness which affects an estimated six percent of the population – approximately 18 million Americans. BPD is an excruciatingly painful emotional dysregulation disorder that can be both debilitating and deadly. Affected individuals … [Read More...]

    Your Weekly Meditation: We Are All Mothers

    We are all mothers. As Mother’s Day approaches this Sunday, we can contemplate our relationship with our own mothers, but also all of the important connections we maintain, and the critical role our relationships play in easing not only our own loneliness and uncertainty, but that of others as well. In this way, we are all mothers. Seldom do we give our presence in this world the credit and … [Read More...]

    Your Weekly Meditation: Loneliness is a State of Mind

    Loneliness is a state of mind. Whether our days are full to overflowing or empty, we can always find room and time to feel lonely. Which means that we can always also find room and time to feel connected. When you begin to feel lonely, notice who is with you, experiencing that loneliness. Ask yourself if you are truly lonely, or if feeling lonely has just become a habit to escape into so you … [Read More...]

    Your Weekly Meditation: There Is Nothing Wrong

    There is nothing wrong. It is so tempting to survey our lives on a daily (sometimes hourly!) basis to assess what is going right, and what is going wrong. What are we pleased with, and what are we displeased with? What would we change, and what would we keep the same? But there is a bigger, much more peaceful perspective that allows all of these separate elements in our lives to stay connected. … [Read More...]

    Your Say Yes to Life Monday Motivator: Putting Fear in its Place

    Many of us have been shamed at one point or another in our lives for the simple expression of fear. Feeling fear – it is something that animals, small children, birds, express so naturally. They feel fear, recognize it for the messenger that it is, and do the next right thing. This is because in its primal state, fear is built into our primitive limbic brain – the part of the brain that is wired … [Read More...]

    Weekly Meditation: Emotions Are Always a Sign That I Need My Own Attention

    Emotions are always a sign that I need my own attention. We may think we want more attention from our spouse, more recognition at work, more visibility in our community, or more attention from our families. But what we always and ultimately are craving as we project these desires outward is our own attention. When we get too far away from ourselves, our own emotions let us know when and how to … [Read More...]

    Your Say Yes to Life Monday Motivator: The Importance of Following Your Dreams

    Marianne Williamson once wrote, “…as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” A few years ago, I received a note from a former client. In her letter, she wrote to me, “Kimberly, thank you for following your dreams, therefore providing me a safe place to recover.” When I first conceived the idea to use my own experiences recovering from an eating … [Read More...]

    I Don’t Need Others to Change to Be Happy

    It is a very painful place to live – on the edge of our seats, chair’s edge cutting into our legs, holding our breath as we watch those around us to see if they are going to change in the way we think we need them to change in order for us to be happy. Today, we can begin to perceive that it is not others who need to change, but we ourselves. Today, we can begin to ask ourselves, “Is it true that … [Read More...]

    Weekly Meditation: I Have the Right to Discover and Celebrate My Unique Beauty

    This week marks National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (February 20-26, 2011). During this week each year, we honor those who struggle to recover from life-threatening eating disorders, and we resolve to do what we can within our spheres of influence to create a space for all body shapes and sizes to be honored and appreciated for the unique beauty they convey. We can start with ourselves. We … [Read More...]

    Your Say Yes to Life Monday Motivator: Emotions and Food – Friends or Enemies?

    We all know what it is like to have a love-hate relationship with someone. Or something. One minute, this is the best thing that ever happened to us. Thank goodness for whatever-it-is. The next minute, we can’t imagine how we will survive another minute without changing everything about our situation as it relates to that someone or something. This is what it is like trying to introduce … [Read More...]

    Your Say Yes to Life Monday Motivator: Resisting the Urge to Surf

    Surf? You probably saw the title to this week’s Monday Motivator and thought, “What does surfing have to do with a blog about recovery, health, and wellness?” Not much, if we are talking about the kind of surfing that comes with an oblong flat board, sleek black wetsuit, and a bank of high, toasty waves. But when it comes to facilitating a continuity of wellness that exhibits consistent … [Read More...]

    Your Say Yes to Life Monday Motivator: Out with the Old, in with the New

    Well, it is just about over. The wonderful, the horrible, the forgettable and the memorable, all are about to be bundled up and tucked away for another year. And that is when it hits you. The New Year. It is almost here. Oh boy. Here we go again. Another set of resolutions. Another New Year’s diet (after all, more than seventy percent of women nationally resolve to lose weight each New Year, … [Read More...]

    Wake Up and Smell the…Snowflakes?

    Not every one of us lives in a region of the world where it snows. For those of us who are accustomed to snowfall, we may be so used to seeing this phenomenon that we turn an un-wondering eye to the infinite variety of snowflakes as they fall. And for those of us who rarely see snowfall, we may be too caught up in our wonder of the snowdrifts themselves to notice the role of each individual … [Read More...]

    Your Say Yes to Life Monday Motivator: Treating Yourself During the Holidays

    When you think of the word “holidays," the vision that comes to mind is of treats. Specifically, holiday treats. Specifically, those marshmallow chocolate sprinkled things your mother always makes….the ones with the mint centers and gooey tops. And the peppermint ice cream with hot fudge that your family always has as a Christmas evening tradition. And the spicy-sweet popcorn mix with extra … [Read More...]

    ‘Tis Always the Season for Forgiveness

    Forgiveness can be an un-gentle topic – especially in a time of year when we are striving with extra-special effort to feel charitable towards others and ourselves. We can be tempted to hurry ourselves along through the process of forgiveness in order to exude the kind of good cheer we think the season requires of us. But forgiveness takes the time it takes in any season of the year. So this week, … [Read More...]

    Your Say Yes to Life Monday Motivator: Self-Care During the Holidays

    Your spouse just told you that your in-laws are coming to your house this year. Again. But what is different this year than before is that your cousins have decided to caravan down with them and come to your home for the holidays too. Furthermore, since you have a large backyard, they have decided not to kennel their two dogs, one gerbil, and three cats. No need – your house has enough room for … [Read More...]

    Your Say Yes to Life Monday Motivator: Turning Holiday Woes into Holiday Wonders

    Oh boy. The holidays are here. Again. You are not sure whether you have been anticipating this moment all year, or dreading it. Or maybe a bit of both. Nevertheless, here they are again – upon us for yet another season, and once again before we are ready for them to come. So now the question becomes not “where can I hide?” but rather “what am I going to do differently this year?” That is what … [Read More...]

    You’re Talking, But Am I Really Listening?

    You're talking, but am I really listening?   Too often couples are seen in therapy due to communication problems. Phrases like, "he/she just doesn't understand me," or "I just don't feel like he/she is listening to me," are all too common phrases. Many times when we are in heated discussions with a loved one, we are thinking about what we are going to say next, or trying to jump in to get our … [Read More...]

    Your Say Yes to Life Monday Motivator: The Help We Need…and the Help We Don’t

    This month, we have been discussing the process of asking for help. So far, we have broken this process down into three discrete events – noticing when we need help, asking for the help we need, and accepting that help when it arrives. The fourth and final facet of asking for help comes as we learn to discern the help we need from the help we don’t. So in this final blog post in our “asking for … [Read More...]

    Your Say Yes to Life Monday Motivator: How to Accept Help

    In the first two blog posts in our “asking for help” series this month, we discussed how we can re-activate our felt sense of needing help, and from there learn skills to ask for the help we need. In this third post in our series, we will discuss the actual process of how we can get comfortable with accepting help when it is offered. We may have allowed ourselves to get so wrapped up in our … [Read More...]

    Your Say Yes to Life Monday Motivator: How to Ask for Help

    In the last blog post, we discussed how we can re-activate our felt sense of needing help, and from there begin to identify what kind of help is needed. In this second blog post in our “asking for help” series, we will discuss the actual process of how to ask for help. Asking for help can be problematic. Should we ask? Who should we ask? How should we ask? When should we ask? All of these … [Read More...]

    Your Say Yes to Life Monday Motivator: How to Know When We Need Help

    In the more than two decades I have spent assisting courageous individuals who come to me seeking help for how to transcend challenges and embrace opportunities, I have noticed over and over again how hard our culture makes it for us to ask for help. We may think that it is hard to accept help when it is offered, and that is often true as well. But that difficulty is nothing compared to how hard … [Read More...]

    Love and Support in Action

    On a recent weekend I had the great fortune of being at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Charlotte. Every year I'm amazed at the wonderful outpouring of support and love that I see at that event. I believe that 16,000 people participated and 1.6 million dollars were raised, of which 75% stays in the Charlotte area. As I was surrounded by all the love and support generated by all those … [Read More...]

    Has Your Grief Taken You Over?

    Grief can overstay its welcome. Grief is a normal reaction to loss. We grieve the loss of loved ones, loss of careers, loss of pets, loss of personal fortune and/or loss of physical abilities. Grief can be defined as a feeling of sadness, anguish, sorrow or regret over something or someone that is gone or lost. Sometimes, however, grief can become lodged into one's personality, changing how … [Read More...]

    Wednesday’s Weekly Inspiration: A Mountain is Just a Series of Steps

    A mountain is just a series of steps. It feels so daunting to write a book, plant a garden, climb a mountain. Most of us let our own preconceived ideas about just how hard our big dreams will be to achieve talk us out of even trying. But a book is just a group of long articles. A garden is just a collection of strategically-placed seeds. And a mountain is just a series of steps.   Viewed this … [Read More...]

    Your Say Yes to Life Monday Motivator: Fat Talk Free®Week – A Message of Hope for All of Us!

    Many women I speak with each week about disordered eating, body image, and eating disorders are mothers. Or daughters. Or sisters. Or best friends. Or all of the above. Each woman is grappling with her own perceptions of the obstacles that stand between her and feeling at home in her own skin. I notice that most are also concerned with how their inability to do so may be affecting those whom they … [Read More...]

    Are You Willing To Do What It Takes?

    I had an interesting conversation with a guy I know at a bicycle shop the other day. We started talking about my bicycle seat options and what might be more comfortable for me, so I asked him if it makes a difference that my pelvis healed into an uneven position after a car accident about 20 years ago. This led to a further discussion of lower back issues…neck and shoulder tightness, and he asked … [Read More...]

    Wednesday’s Weekly Inspiration: Nourishing Friendship is Closer to Home Than I Might Think!

    We expend so much time and energy worrying about our friendships with others. As women, we are especially programmed to fine-tune our emotional radar to pick up on others’ frequencies – are they happy ? Do they like us? Do we show them enough that we care? But how much time each day do you spend asking yourself the same questions about your relationship with yourself? Do you make sure you have … [Read More...]

    Wednesday’s Weekly Inspiration: Today is Always a Good Day to Persevere

    Our own perseverance is a quality we often both discount and take for granted. In so many tasks we persevere seemingly effortlessly, because we perceive that we have no other choice. For instance, no matter how much we worry or complain, bringing a child into this world will always take approximately nine months. We know this going in, so we are willing to persevere through the uncertainty, the … [Read More...]

    Wednesday’s Weekly Inspiration: Are You Choosy About Offering Your Support?

    As women, we often assume that we must bear the relational weight of the world on our shoulders. We are so accustomed to supporting everyone – from kids to pets to neighbors to colleagues to spouses to friends to family – that sometimes we forget we never gave up our right to say “yes” or “no”! As you go about your day today, make a mental list of everyone you offer your support to. Then make … [Read More...]

    Wednesday’s Weekly Inspiration: A Promise Is As A Promise Does

    We probably wouldn’t dream of breaking even the tiniest promise we make to our child, our spouse, or our best friend. We know how much it would hurt them – the pain it would cause when our words say one thing about how much they matter to us, but then our actions show them another. Yet we often think nothing of breaking promises to ourselves – the little promises like “I will take more me-time … [Read More...]

    Wednesday’s Weekly Inspiration: Defining and Experiencing “Beauty” is Up to Me

    We have all heard the saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." But how many of us have spent any time trying to figure out what image of beauty is in the beholder’s eye? If we look at ourselves and attempt to fit the unique portrait of beauty that we present into a cookie-cutter image in our mind’s eye, we miss perceiving the truly unique beauty we actually possess! So before we can … [Read More...]

    Lessons and My Yoga Practice

    "...each moment of my day offers me the opportunity to choose between pain or peace." ~ Rolf Gates in Meditations from the Mat People who know me are aware of my passion for yoga, and specifically for the lessons I learn on my mat that I am able to transfer into my life. One such lesson started last summer and has recently revealed itself to me in a new way. I began practicing at a different … [Read More...]

    Wednesday’s Weekly Inspiration: It is only a mistake if you don’t learn something from it.

    Human beings make mistakes. Yes, that means you too. We all make mistakes. What separates success from failure in recovery and life has nothing to do with the amount of mistakes you make and everything to do with what you learn from each mistake. So today, when you make a mistake (and you most likely will), instead of berating yourself, ask yourself, “Self, what can I learn from this?” You can … [Read More...]

    Acceptance and My Dear Friend

    In my DBT groups, I teach skills to help clients cope with challenging or distressing situations in their lives, without making things worse. One of the skills that we work on is Radical Acceptance, which means acknowledging reality, accepting it for what it is, without judging it good or bad.  I share with clients that I understand how difficult it can be to radically accept certain things, and … [Read More...]

    If you want recovery, then CHOOSE it!

    If you won a free shopping spree to your favorite store, would you hesitate to redeem your prize? Absolutely not – you’d head right on over to the store, award in hand, to start shopping away! But what if you were handed a free pass to recover from your eating disorder? Would you turn it in to collect your winnings or just leave it sitting on the kitchen table? You are intelligent. You are … [Read More...]

    Creativity and My Note Cards

    “You can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it.” ~ Albert Einstein Hmmm…Einstein was a genius, so perhaps we could learn something from him about solving our own problems. But how can I use a different mind, when obviously I only have one? One way is through creativity – stepping outside of our usual way of thinking. According to the IFS model, creativity is a quality of Self, and … [Read More...]

    From Frozen to Fantastic: Ten Tips for Tackling a Child’s Eating Disorder as a Family

    Eating disorders are bio-psycho-social illnesses. They are also very treatable. With the right treatment, in appropriate doses, at appropriate times, and for an appropriate length of time, they are even curable. But medical limitations, patient reluctance, or even media messages are not the primary deterrent to recovery. The number one reason patients do not get better faster is a plain and … [Read More...]

    Fear and My Bicycle

    When I was a little girl, I suffered a fairly serious foot injury as a result of a bicycle accident at the bottom of my grandparents’ driveway. Fortunately, I healed and have no permanent damage except for a nasty scar, but I spent that entire summer having to soak my foot several times a day. I was miserable being stuck inside with a gaping hole in my foot, and feeling left out that my friends … [Read More...]

    Family-Based Therapy: Three Steps to Anorexia Recovery, Part 2

    As we continue our exploration of the application of Family-Based Therapy for recovery from anorexia nervosa, it might be helpful if we first do a quick review. In Part 1 of this series we discussed why parental involvement in a child or adolescent’s recovery process is so vital to recovery success. Children need their parents. Parents want and need to be involved. Beyond these simple relational … [Read More...]

    Family-Based Therapy: Three Steps to Anorexia Recovery, Part I

    When I read the words “three steps to…” I usually think, “Oh, here we go. Someone is about to tell me that something very difficult is really very easy.” Rest assured, that is not going to happen here. I am a licensed treating professional with more than two decades of experience treating eating disorders, but I am first and foremost a parent too, and I know that all individual or family-based … [Read More...]

    Your Say Yes to Life Monday Motivator: The path to body peace is paved with good intentions

    In this final post of our three part series on examining body peace, it is time to acknowledge that our intentions have always been good. Your intentions have always been good. Not a one of us, when we were small, dreamed of growing up to hate our bodies. I know I didn’t! While in other blogs I may write from a more objective, clinical space to help you better understand medical complexities in … [Read More...]

    Your Say Yes to Life Monday Motivator: Without war, we wouldn’t know peace

    I know what you are thinking – where there is a will to avoid war, there is always a way. I couldn’t agree more. However, after more than two decades working in the clinical field as a trained health professional, it is clear to me that sometimes we are at war before we realize what war is. At that point, it is time to call a spade a spade and take the steps necessary to return ourselves to the … [Read More...]

    Your Say Yes to Life Monday Motivator: Making Peace with Your Body

    When I was struggling through the recovery process to overcome my eating disorder, the word “peace” was never found in the same sentence with the words “my body." Yet today, I am able to see and support my body in all ways with a feeling of peace and also with gratitude for all that my body does to support me. You may be reading this – or may even be tempted to skip reading this – for precisely … [Read More...]

    My Steps to Recovery – Saying No to ED and Yes to Life!

    I have been asked numerous times over the last twenty years about HOW to recover from an eating disorder and IF it is REALLY possible.  I am here to tell you that Recovery is not only possible, but can become a reality for you, too. In honor of Mental Health Month I wrote this post to answer that question and to give you some words of encouragement – I recovered from an eating disorder after … [Read More...]

    Your “Say Yes to Life” Monday Motivator: Staying Away From the Borderline

    May is Borderline Personality Disorder Month. This month, in honor of this important topic, we began a new blog series that focuses on the nuts and bolts of borderline personality disorder (BPD), and each week in May we will address a different aspect of recovery from this highly treatable disorder. This week, we look at the role of the professional in the recovery process. Perhaps no other … [Read More...]

    Your “Say Yes to Life” Monday Motivator: Making It Across the Borderline

    May is Borderline Personality Disorder Month. Last week, in honor of this important topic, we began a new blog series that focuses on the nuts and bolts of borderline personality disorder (BPD) and each week in May we will address a different aspect of recovery from this highly treatable disorder. This week, we look at the role of the family in the recovery process. If your loved one has been … [Read More...]

    Your “Say Yes to Life” Monday Motivator: On the Borderline

    May is Borderline Personality Disorder Month.  In honor of this important topic, we will spend the month of May addressing different aspects of recovery from this highly treatable disorder. This week we will focus on the nuts and bolts of what borderline personality disorder (BPD) is, what treatments are available, and recommendations for finding support for yourself or a loved one. Just hearing … [Read More...]

    Your “Say Yes to Life” Monday Motivator: The Price of Beauty

    When you think of the word “beauty," what….and who….comes to your mind? How comfortable do you feel applying the word “beautiful” to a new blossom, a piece of art, the ocean – or yourself? When I went to the dictionary to look up classical definitions, I was surprised by what I found – and then I felt surprised that I was surprised! One popular definition stated that “beauty is the quality that … [Read More...]

    Your “Say Yes to Life” Monday Motivator: the H.O.W. of Recovery (Honesty-Openness-Willingness)

    I first came across this powerful principle many years ago in my own recovery from an eating disorder. Long credited to the Twelve Step communities, H.O.W. nevertheless feels like a universal recovery principle, applicable to any individual at any age and in any stage of their pursuit of recovery, health, and whole-person wellness. In the course of my professional life, I am always delighted to … [Read More...]

    Your Say Yes to Life Monday Motivator: The Rebel Within

    We all like to think that we are not passive-aggressive. Even if we are not sure what that term means, we are pretty sure it does not apply to us. “Passive-aggressive” doesn’t sound like something a nice person, a loving person, a person like us, would do. Even as you are thinking this, however, a recent incident weighs on your mind. Last night your mom called asking if you could watch her twin … [Read More...]

    Your Say Yes to Life Monday Motivator: Couples in Conflict

    You love me…you love me not. I love you…I love you not. Whether it’s Valentine’s Day, an anniversary, or any other chance to renew our commitment to our partner, have we ever stopped to wonder why these reminder events are such a marketer’s playground, or why when they come around each year we are suddenly able to find the time, energy, and money to drop whatever we would otherwise be doing to … [Read More...]

    Your Say Yes to Life Monday Motivator: Who are you calling a “people pleaser?”

    To a certain degree, we all struggle with the desire to please others who are in our life. While usually our eagerness to please aligns more closely with achieving an advantageous compromise that benefits both the other party and ourselves, there are times we may find that, in the choices we make, the benefits to the other party far outweigh our own. When this happens on a consistent basis, we … [Read More...]

    Your “Say Yes to Life” Monday Motivator: Food is My Friend…or is it?

    One of the areas of life that seems the most problematic in today’s society is the issue of food’s role and purpose in our lives. Is food fuel for the body? Is it an emotional warm blanket when we’re feeling down? Is it an expression of celebration that reinforces and even creates relationships? Is it a treat at the end of a long day? To most of us, food is all of the above – and more. In past … [Read More...]

    Your “Say Yes to Life” Monday Motivator: The Critic versus the Champion

    Into every day a little criticism must fall. This could be the motto of the part of us we might label “the inner critic”. When we are listening to our inner critic, we may not feel much desire to go deeper in our connection with ourselves or go for our goals and dreams. We may hear messages like “I wouldn’t ask for that promotion if I were you – they’re just going to tell you ‘no’”, “He doesn’t … [Read More...]

    Your “Say Yes to Life” Monday Motivator: Just who do you think you are?

    Ask yourself this deceptively simple-sounding question, “Who am I?” and you may find that questions like these are easier asked than answered. For instance, who you experience yourself to be may change depending on who you are with. With your parents, you may find yourself dropping into some of the mannerisms, thoughts, and opinions you held as the child-you. With your spouse, you may experience … [Read More...]

    Are You Worried About Your Daughter?

    Adolescence is a tumultuous time, in which rapid physical, emotional and mental changes occur, along with profound environmental transitions. Over the past decade, parents, teachers and therapists have become increasingly concerned with the effects of this period of development, and particularly with how adolescent girls are managing this critical time. Research has shown that adolescent girls are … [Read More...]

    Your “Say Yes to Life” Monday Motivator: Interpersonally Speaking

    Welcome to week four of our discussion about Dr. Marsha Linehan’s Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). Over the last three weeks we have addressed three of the four core modules that make up the DBT Skills Training –Mindfulness, Emotion Regulation, and Distress Tolerance. For our final week of exploration, we will tie it all together with an adventure into the fourth and final module – … [Read More...]

    Your “Say Yes to Life” Monday Motivator: Dealing with Distress

    This Monday finds us kicking off week three of the New Year. For those of us who made New Year’s resolutions or intentions, this is the week when we may be starting to see cracks in our resolve, chips in our optimism, doubts where just a few days before, confidence was our daily companion. Enter “distress tolerance”. This technical-sounding term comes courtesy of Dr. Marsha Linehan, the founder … [Read More...]

    Your “Say Yes to Life” Monday Motivator: Making Friends With Our Emotions

    So here we are again, in week two of a brand new year! How is it going so far? How do you feel about those New Year’s Resolutions you probably couldn’t resist making a week or so ago? Is the New Year already shaping up into all that you hoped and dreamed it would be – or simply delivering more of the same? It is so tempting to study our outsides for telltale signs of change. We have grown … [Read More...]

    Your “Say Yes to Life” Monday Motivator: The Helping Hand Mindfulness Extends

    Well, here it is – the first week of a brand new year! Exciting, isn’t it! Or maybe a little nerve-wracking….stressful….already packed full of resolutions, expectations, old memories of what not to do from the barely-departed previous year (aka baggage), and more than a bit of fear. Enter “mindfulness”. Mindfulness is a powerful tool that can facilitate the kind of positive life change that … [Read More...]

    Your Say Yes to Life Monday Motivator: Saying YES to Life in the New Year!

    “Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful” is the opening line to a popular Christmas carol. 2009 has been a very rough year for a lot of us in an assortment of ways – financially, emotionally, physically….we have all been affected by the unavoidable shifts and changes in the world around us. So as we meet here together for the last Monday in 2009, we may be tempted to … [Read More...]

    Your Say Yes to Life Monday Motivator: “Fat” is Not a Feeling But I FEEL Fat!

    We all have “fat days”. Even if you are a man reading this, you probably are not scratching your head wondering what a “fat day” is. You know. We all know.  Fat days are like cold-and-flu season, garden weeds, or your dog’s next teeth-cleaning appointment – they are going to come. Inevitably. There is no sense trying to run and hide. But what can we do? If having “fat days” is more about … [Read More...]

    Your “Say Yes to Life” Monday Motivator: Finding a Reason to Recover, Part III

    I hope you have been enjoying this three-part series on Finding a Reason to Recover. To recap, in Part I, we explored what a “reason” is and how to decipher the reasons we have for the choices we make. In Part II, we looked at the word “choice” and how the very natural human emotion of fear factors into the choices we make to stay stuck or move forward. For the conclusion of our series, we will … [Read More...]

    Your “Say Yes to Life” Monday Motivator: Finding a Reason to Recover, Part II

    In the first part of our exploration of finding a reason to do the hard work of recovery, we investigated the meaning and purpose of reasons themselves. What is a “reason”? How do we begin to uncover our reasons for staying sick, and our reasons for getting well? Perhaps most importantly, what recourse do we have if and when we discover our reasons for staying sick conflict with our reasons for … [Read More...]

    Holiday Meal Planning

    Thanksgiving is over – but the Christmas holiday is only just beginning.  Stores are packed, UPS and FedEx are working overtime and holiday baking is in full swing.  Amidst this exciting, yet often chaotic time of year, it is important to remember to stick to a healthy overall meal plan, to keep your energy levels up and immunity strong.  Nourishing yourself with healthy foods, along with getting … [Read More...]

    Your “Say Yes to Life” Monday Motivator: Finding a Reason to Recover, Part I

    If you have ever found yourself thinking (or saying), “I don’t have a reason to recover”, “I can’t find a reason to recover”, “What’s the point of recovering”, “I don’t feel worth recovering for”, then the first thing you need to know is that you are not alone. Everyone who has ever tried to recover or emerge from some significant trial has felt this way at one time or another. It is part of the … [Read More...]

    Your “Say Yes to Life” Monday Motivator: How to Bounce Back (Developing Emotional Resilience)

    Resilience. We’ve all heard the word….but what does it mean? There are plenty of definitions out there, but my favorite is actually a very simple explanation credited to the world-renowned Mayo Clinic: “[to have resilience is to] improve coping skills so that you can handle life's hardships better.” Beyond that, something else that is less recognized about resilience is that it also allows us to … [Read More...]

    Recent Research Reveals Sugar More Addictive than Cocaine

    Hi everyone, Kimberly Krueger, here.   In a recent issue of the Los Angeles Times, there was an article about the addictive nature of sugar. I think the research findings are important and fascinating, so I'm going to share it with you. Researchers have learned that rats overwhelmingly prefer water sweetened with saccharin to cocaine, a finding that demonstrates the addictive potential of … [Read More...]

    Holiday Tips for Managing Your Weight and Hunger

    The holiday spirit is in the air.  And, for many people, just the thought of the holiday season brings on anxiety related to food.  Many worry about the upcoming holiday parties, extra treats around the office, gift baskets filled with chocolates and cheese and of course all the free samples of holiday fare at your local grocery stores. You can, however, take comfort in the fact that it is … [Read More...]

    Children and Divorce: Issues with Anxiety

    As a family moves through a divorce transition, the reality is that many problems and concerns may arise.  Their parents’ divorce or separation can be very difficult for a child, as well as for the entire family.  Issues with children may manifest themselves in different ways, depending on the child and the situation.  One common difficulty that may present itself for children is anxiety. Anxiety … [Read More...]

    Surviving the Holidays

    Like it or not, ready or not, once again they are coming. Before we’ve even processed Labor Day, we see the decorations going up for Halloween. Halloween is not even over and already there are stuffed turkeys and pilgrim hats lining the shelves. And about a week before Thanksgiving we find ourselves getting confused about which holiday to prepare for because everywhere we look, we see nothing but … [Read More...]

    Your “Say Yes to Life” Monday Motivator – The End of Overeating

    I hope you had a magnificent weekend. It's late Sunday night and I'm sitting in bed reading one of my favorite new books – The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite, by David Kessler, MD.  Dr. Kessler is the former FDA commissioner under presidents Bush and Clinton, and he has written a groundbreaking new book that will change the way you look at food – … [Read More...]

    Tips To Help You Manage Thanksgiving Menus and Appetites

    With Thanksgiving approaching, surely you have given some thought to your holiday menu.  Whether you are dining in or dining out, food seems to be the main reason we even celebrate Thanksgiving anymore.  Menus exist everywhere you turn.  From Martha Stewart to your internet home page, recipes and holiday tips abound, trying to either overdo or lighten your holiday food consumption. When … [Read More...]

    Going Through a Divorce? What Parents Can Do to Help Their Children NOW!

    A parents’ divorce or separation can be very difficult for a child.  The child may be confused, scared, angry, or sad, and be unable to express how he or she feels or have difficulty talking about what is going on.  This can manifest in many different ways, including problems at school or with friends, feelings of anxiety or sadness, difficulty concentrating or focusing, or physical illness such … [Read More...]

    Your “Say Yes to Life” Monday Motivator: Loving Yourself Unconditionally – If Not Now, Then When, Part III

    I hope you have enjoyed Parts I and II of this special three-part Monday Motivator series on practicing unconditional self-love. In Part I we explored the differences between conditional and unconditional love. In Part II, we examined how love becomes conditional, how regular doses of conditional love affect us in the short- and long-term, and how practicing conditional self-love limits us. Here, … [Read More...]

    Why Can’t I Ever Be Good Enough?

    Do you often find yourself thinking you are not smart enough, not pretty enough, not thin enough, not strong enough, not talented enough, not loving enough, not disciplined enough, not brave enough, not generous enough…fill-in-the-blanks NOT ENOUGH.  “Not enough” often begins as a simple quest to be a better you. At first it feels normal, natural, reasonable even. You want to excel, to achieve, … [Read More...]

    Your “Say Yes to Life” Monday Motivator: Loving Yourself Unconditionally – If Not Now, Then When, Part II

    What does “loving yourself” mean? How do you know you are doing it? How do you know you are not doing it? And what do you do if it doesn’t feel okay to love yourself, and you often catch yourself wondering “if I can’t love myself, now, today, then when? When will I finally be able to look in my own eyes and see someone worth loving looking back at me?" In last week’s Monday Motivator, we started … [Read More...]

    Your ‘Say Yes to Life’ Monday Motivator: Loving Yourself Unconditionally—If Not Now, Then When, Part I

    In her song “If Not Now….” songwriter Tracy Chapman sings,  If not now then when If not today then Why make your promises A love declared for days to come Is as good as none While we may have grown up listening to the adults around us exhorting us to follow the Golden Rule by “loving our neighbor as ourselves," how many of these adults actually spent time discussing with us or modeling for … [Read More...]

    What is IFS?

    The Internal Family Systems (IFS) model of therapy has been developed over the past two decades by Richard Schwartz and is based on the concept of self-leadership as the ideal. IFS relies on a client’s own intuitive wisdom and therefore offers a safe, nonpathological, and empowering approach to psychotherapy. Schwartz believes that any client can benefit from the techniques used in IFS therapy, … [Read More...]

    The Dangerous Downside to the DSM-IV

    For many who suffer from deadly eating disorders, the Diagnostic Standards Manual (DSM-IV) has become a bible of sorts. Let me explain. The DSM-IV is the official diagnostic tool that standardizes how to diagnose and address certain sets of symptoms for healthcare professionals the world over. So, for instance, if you are diagnosed with anorexia nervosa in Nevada, but then travel to Singapore, … [Read More...]

    The Power of Self-Respect

    Over the years, I have thought long and hard about why I “do what I do”. First, I fought through my own eight-year battle with an eating disorder, and the anxiety, depression, body image disturbance, and low self-esteem that came along for the ride. Next, I committed many years of my life to earning the professional education and clinical experience required to help others recover from their … [Read More...]

    The Shame About Shame in Mental Health Recovery

    Shame. Just thinking the word brings a powerful experience of shame into our awareness. We don’t even need to read the definition to know that shame is “a painful emotion caused by a strong sense of guilt, embarrassment, unworthiness, or disgrace” because we can feel it….feel its effects instantly. Like kryptonite, shame seeps into our being, sapping our sense of personal empowerment, our … [Read More...]

    Say, “Yes” to Life!

    Providing inspiration, motivation, and encouragement for doing the hard work of recovery so that you can “Say 'Yes' to Life!” Hello! My name is Kimberly Krueger, MSW, LCSW. I am the Founder/Director of the Southlake Center in Davidson, NC. I am excited about sharing my experience, strength, hope, and expertise with you through my new “Say Yes to Life” Blog. I have nearly two decades of … [Read More...]

    Infertility: When to Say When?

    Most couples facing infertility treatment never expected to have difficulty conceiving a baby. Month after month of trying leads to a trip to an infertility specialist and before you know it you are in the midst of infertility treatments. You begin with monitoring your basal body temperature then move into taking some medication and before you know it you are making difficult decisions about … [Read More...]

    Supporting a Loved One Struggling with Infertility Can Be Confusing

    How Do I Support Her Through Infertility? Supporting a loved one struggling with infertility can be difficult. How do I help? What do I say? When your spouse, friend or daughter is struggling through the ups and downs of infertility it is hard to know how to help. For the woman who is struggling with infertility the emotional toll, to say nothing of the physical toll, can be immense. Every … [Read More...]

    Food Allergies on the Rise

    More than 12 million Americans suffer from food allergies.  Young children make up the highest percentage by age, with about one in 17 children under the age of 3 (5.6% of that age group) currently dealing with a food allergy.  Children aged 1 to 18 represent about 4% of cases and adults represent a slightly lower 3.7% of cases, according to the Federal Register.  And, while no cure has been … [Read More...]

    Fight the Fear of the Freshman 15

    Many college freshman worry about gaining the dreaded “freshman 15”. What they fear, in fact is that they will somehow gain 15 pounds during their freshman year at college, unintentionally. When I counsel college students, I often encourage them to overcome the fear of weight gain and replace it with a sense of self assurance. When you understand your body does not intend to trick you or get … [Read More...]

    Fashion Industry Taking Steps to Promote Healthy Body Image Among Women

    In an effort to promote healthy body image, the French fashion industry has passed a charter of good conduct regarding the use of models in promoting healthy body size. The charter, supported and signed by the French minister of health, recommends the fashion industry to promote “diversity in the representation of the body, avoiding all form of stereotyping that can favor the creation of an … [Read More...]

    Healthful Weight Gain is Possible

    While many individuals struggle with trying to lose weight, others struggle with trying to gain weight.  Whether someone seeks to recover from an eating disorder, manage a long-term illness (such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease, an autoimmune disorder or food sensitivities/allergies), gain weight for sport or simply aims to try to gain a healthy body weight, healthy weight gain can often present … [Read More...]

    Managing Digestive Discomfort Possible with Good Nutrition

    Do you suffer from any type of digestive disease or discomfort? If you do, you are not alone. According to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, 60 to 70 million Americans suffer from some type of digestive disease or condition. Some of the more common include constipation, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, heartburn and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. As far as nutrition, there is a lot … [Read More...]

    5 Things to Consider When Creating a Chart System for Kids

    Children thrive on attention…. we all know the old adage, “negative attention is better than no attention at all.” Setting a Chore/Discipline chart is a great way to give your child the attention they crave, while creating clear expectations. To set a system may seem like a hassle to create, but it can be a time saver when the family gets the hang of it. Here are 5 tips to help you begin … [Read More...]

    The Disease Concept of Addiction

    For many addiction is a problem whether it be alcohol or drugs, pornograpy, gambling or shopping.. Many people strugging with their addiction also struggle with loved ones' negative judgements about their addiction. I have heard many times either addicts or loved ones talk about their addiction as a “lack of will power” or being "morally corrupt." Both these statements are not only harmful to the … [Read More...]

    What are you waiting for?

    Things aren’t going well for you, and you don’t really understand why. Compared to other people, your life isn’t all that bad, so why do you often feel like you are trudging through your days carrying a weight on your back? Do you ever really feel satisfied with anything? At times it can seem that we go through life struggling through the motions in an effort to make things better, trying to feel … [Read More...]

    
Learn to Love Yourself the Just the Way You Are

    But I Want Yours! “I wish my hair was curly like yours!” “No way!!! I wish I had beautiful straight hair like yours!” This conversation is almost universal. It seems that we all want what we don’t have—or perceive that we don’t have. Whether it be straight or curly hair, blonde or brunette, blue-eyed or brown-eyed, tall or short, full-figured or thin, everyone seems to want what someone else … [Read More...]

    Anorexia and Trauma: What Happens When Bad Things Happen to Good People

    Trauma and Stress are Culprits Though there is no one particular cause of anorexia nervosa, stressful and traumatic events can and often do play a role. Since events like this leave you feeling out of control, the need to regain control becomes paramount. For some people, overeating, or in the case of those who suffer from anorexia nervosa, restricting food intake, is one way to regain a feeling … [Read More...]

    The Importance of Taking Time for You

    Who is the Most Important Person You Know? You Are! Life can be a juggling act that requires a lot of practice. Everything is vying for your time—job, friends, family, social commitments, etc. The more you add to your plate, the more likely you are to “drop the ball” when it comes to remembering to make time for YOU in the midst of it all. The Cat in the Hat Syndrome Whenever I think of time … [Read More...]

    Just Say No: For Those With an Eating Disorder, 
It is More Than a Cliché

    Just Say No. If you are a teen or a parent of a teen, or even watch TV for that matter, you have heard the slogan. It refers to a person’s ability to say no to sex before marriage and/or no to drugs and alcohol. Since this slogan is so prominent, those wishing to say no to these things may experience that they have an easier time doing so, in that negative peer pressure is less evident in these … [Read More...]