With the suicide of renowned chef and TV presence Anthony Bourdain last month, more attention has been paid to the issue of suicide in the United States. There has been some recognition that suicide, and suicide prevention, needs to be understood better. It follows that a closer understanding of depression is also called for.
One thing I've learned, from my years of working with clients who considered suicide, and with those who had attempted it in the past, is that a suicidal crisis often indicates forthcoming growth and change. A suicidal person sees no hope or redeeming possibilities but it's usually because they still use their habitual frames of reference. Abandoning these frames can be terrifying and demoralizing, often to the point that it seems there can be no life worth living without them. Something does need to die, but it's not necessarily the person. Rather, it's some of their old ways, their old mentality: pain and despair can be signs showing they don't work anymore.
Pain and despair are messengers asking to be heard and understood. Suicide can be an attempt to avoid these messengers. I feel a key approach to suicide prevention is helping people understand that pain and despair are part of their own inner communication. We've all had false friends before: people who say nice flattering things and comfort us while they secretly try to harm us. What if pain and despair were false enemies? Apparently harmful but actually supportive and encouraging once embraced.
Hopefully, the dialog around suicide will expand to include these underlying issues and concerns.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
This relevant article discusses some well-meaning spiritual tropes and shows how they can be harmful when misapplied. Especially to victims of abuse and other forms of trauma. Click here
By Alex Chapunoff, LMHC
By now (pun intended?), you may have heard of “mindfulness” – living in the present instead of getting caught up in thoughts and feelings about past or future. Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now is a modern classic and a great book. But recently I started wondering about the Power of Here – living in the present instead of getting caught up in thoughts and feelings about elsewhere. Working with space (Here) as opposed to time (Now).
For most people, time is a more abstract quality than space; space is, or appears to be, more straightforward. So it could be an easier way for some to approach Presence.
Tolle makes many references to living in the Here: occupying your body fully, feeling all your emotions as they are, paying close attention to everything your five senses receive – really seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching. He just includes all this under the word Now.
Some writers and teachers refer to the Here-Now.
When you live in the Now, you check the mind’s tendency to think of past and future. When you live in the Here, you check its tendency to think of other places: the fantasies, memories, ruminations, and so forth, about other locations that keep you from attending to where you are: thus, you can stay present. Wherever you are, that’s the place to be. And you’re there (here) fully. Wherever you are is Here.
And you engage that place – being conscious, awake, present.
You are “in the building.”
The lights are on.
Your body is always in the Here, so this is about aligning mind with body so they work together, occupying the same space.
Here and Now complement one another, and living in the Here can make living in the Now that much more accessible.
Relationships can be challenging but this article shows how some things shouldn't be compromised. Instead, they could be communicated. Click here
This piece shows how hiking (walking in nature) can benefit both body and mind and help with stress management, mood stabilization, memory, and overall health. Click here.
Interesting article on the holistic benefits of exercising.
How Exercise Shapes You, Far Beyond the Gym by Brad Stulberg
This article explores internet addiction and suggests managing it in a balanced way.
Not Going Online Is the New Going Online by Andrew Harrison
Interesting little article from Psychology Today.
"It really helped. Got it off my chest. I flashed back and could see the event play in my head and it brought back memories. Different from just talking about it with friends. It's behind me now." --H.C.
TIR Testimonials are quotes from clients about their TIR (Traumatic Incident Reduction) experiences. Client initials have been changed to protect confidentiality.
Dr. Gail Saltz, in her new book, says the brain differences that cause learning and mental health issues may also bring more creativity, aptitude and visual skills.
A blog is a great way for us to share info with you.