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  1. How To Deal with Toxic People in the Workplace

    How To Deal with Toxic People in the Workplace

    Anyone who’s ever worked in an office or served on a large, longstanding committee probably knows this scenario – when you find yourself getting overly aggravated, disrupted or distracted by an angry, dysfunctional fellow worker.  

    Check out this excellent advice from psychotherapist Phillip Chard, who suggests guided imagery.  When having a reasonable conversation isn’t an option, going inward with guided imagery is the way to go:

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  2. Hard Truths for a Worried Mom, Whose Oppositional, Tx-Resistant Son is Coming Home for Christmas Break

    Hard Truths for a Worried Mom, Whose Oppositional, Tx-Resistant Son is Coming Home for Christmas Break

    Dear Belleruth,

    We have had a difficult time with our 20 year old son from the beginning, and have sought help from various professional therapists since he was four.

    I've never really felt we were getting anywhere with any of them. Our son knew how to act like a good therapy patient and say all the right things, but he never changed. He now blames my husband and me for his misfires and failures.

    We had him tested here in Baltimore, and they confirmed much of what we already knew. He is very intelligent but there are big discrepancies in areas of functioning. We tried to get him into an intensive outpatient program for emotional help but were told he was not a good candidate because he would not cooperate.

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  3. Got Guided Imagery to Help with Co-Dependency?

    Got Guided Imagery to Help with Co-Dependency?

    This question came to us from someone in treatment for codependency issues (a kind of relationship addiction that involves compulsive caretaking, often with someone who is disabled, sick or alcoholic). She is looking for guided imagery resources that can support and complement the work she is already doing with her psychotherapist.

    Question:

    What do you suggest for getting help for myself with my codependency issues? Is there a particular guided imagery that would be a good addition to my therapy?

    Chris

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  4. Help for Dealing with “Head-Case” Boss

    Help for Dealing with “Head-Case” Boss

    Dear BR,

    This is a shoutout for your materials, especially the Relieve Stress, Confidence and Affirmations - I use one of them every day and have been doing so for the past month.

    I work in a high stress environment with a boss who is a complete head case. She critiques me and micromanages everything I do from the second I arrive to the time I leave.

    I cannot say anything back to her because she's fragile and starts crying and hyperventilating. The woman truly needs help.

    I am a problem solver and I have tried every sensible tack that I, my friends and my personal coach could think of. After a series of failed attempts at changing the dynamic, we determined that I have two options left: to quit, or tune her out and keep on doing my job to please myself and meet my own standards.

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  5. Co-Workers Contribute Sick Days to Man with Cancer

    Co-Workers Contribute Sick Days to Man with Cancer

    My inspiring story doesn't have to do with mind-body CDs, although I'm a satisfied user of guided imagery, yoga and meditation. This is about the people I work with.

    I'm a 42 year old husband and father, recently diagnosed with stomach cancer. I have worked for the same small business for the past 12 years. Currently I am facing several rounds of chemotherapy, with little sick leave left, because earlier this year, my wife had to undergo back surgery. I was needed to help at home. It never crossed my mind that I might need those sick days for myself. I never got sick.

    My co-workers got together with our manager and figured out a way to donate their own sick days to me, so I won't lose salary when I am too sick to work. I now have 34 extra days, if I need them. Each person gave whatever they could spare. The relief my wife and I felt was indescribable.

    Every time I think about their generosity and love, my eyes fill with tears. This kindness may be what cures me, more than any chemotherapy treatment. I post this story with you, because it reminds us all of the good we are capable of.

    Gratefully,

    Tom P.

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  6. Okay, So Remind Me: You Miss Your Ex because… Why??

    Okay, So Remind Me: You Miss Your Ex because… Why??

    Question:

    Dear Belleruth

    My former husband left me (we were in our early-to-late fifties, he being five years younger) after almost twenty years of marriage, saying he wanted to find his "soul mate."

    What he didn't say was that he had already found her about two-and-a-half years before that. They had been meeting in secret and also having phone conversations --- 90 in one year alone, that I counted on phone statements that I requested from the phone company.

    He and his "friend and confidante," as he referred to her, denied a sexual affair. They said their romantic relationship started two months after he left me, which, coincidentally enough, is also when he made his "friend and confidante" the beneficiary of his life insurance policy, removing our son from it. Is that the behavior of a man who has known a woman for only two months? Well, okay, maybe an imprudent, impulsive man of poor judgment who is impelled by hormones.

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  7. Whither Romance? Another Great Poem by Ellen Bass

    Whither Romance? Another Great Poem by Ellen Bass

    Ever have a fabulously, romantic, passionate night with the person you love, only to get shocked back to into the decidedly un-sexy reality of the tasks of daily living the next morning? It can be a little bit like getting doused with cold water.

    I love the way my favorite poet, Ellen Bass, describes this very human "morning after" experience. Check it out.

    The Morning After

    You stand at the counter, pouring boiling water
    over the French roast, oily perfume rising in smoke.
    And when I enter, you don't look up.
    You're hurrying to pack your lunch, snapping
    the lids on little plastic boxes while you call your mother
    to tell her you'll take her to the doctor.
    I can't see a trace of the little slice of heaven
    we slipped into last night—a silk kimono
    floating satin ponds and copper koi, stars falling
    to the water. Didn't we shoulder
    our way through the cleft in the rock of the everyday
    and tear up the grass in the pasture of pleasure?
    If the soul isn't a separate vessel
    we carry from form to form,
    but more like Aristotle's breath of life–
    the work of the body that keeps it whole–
    then last night, darling, our souls were busy.
    But this morning, it's like you're wearing a bad wig,
    disguised so I won't recognize you
    or maybe so you won't know yourself
    as that animal burned down
    to pure desire. I don't know
    how you do it. I want to throw myself
    onto the kitchen tile and bare my throat.
    I want to slick back my hair
    and tap dance up the wall. I want to do it all
    all over again–dive back into that brawl,
    that raw and radiant free-for-all.
    But you are scribbling a shopping list
    because the kids are coming for the weekend
    and you're going to make your special crab cakes
    that have ruined me for all other crab cakes
    forever.


    Ellen Bass


    From Like a Beggar

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  8. A New Variation on that Age-Old Kid Refrain: You Are Not the Boss of Me!

    I’m not sure you could call this video clip from the Ellen DeGeneres Show inspiring, but it’s pretty hilarious.  This little 3-yr-old is making the case to his mom to let him have a cupcake. The substance of his argument is that Grandma lets him have them.
     
    He’s buttressing his ask with a dazzling display of swagger.  I’d love to meet the person who’s been modeling this behavior for the little dude.  Or maybe not...
     
    In any case, it’s wildly comic to see this behavior in a little squeezer, but this mom, who’s sort of holding her own here, may need a team of parenting coaches in the future, just to stay a half-step ahead of her little litigator as he gets older.
     
    Seriously, if you do nothing else today, check this out - guaranteed comic relief.

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  9. Mom Asks for Tools to Help Reduce Anger & Impatience with Her ADHD Kid

    Ms. Naparstek,
     
    My name is Janie.  My 6-year-old daughter is currently being seen by clinical psychologist.  My daughter has been diagnosed with social anxiety and possible ADHD [attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder].  These things bring out some negative behaviors on a daily basis that can be very stressful for me to experience.  My therapist thought that some of your audio imagery might be very useful to me.
     
    As a full-time mom I am with my daughter most of the time. Therefore the stress can be prolonged on bad days.  I have tried psychotherapy to help cope with feelings of impatience, frustration, and sometimes anger.  The psychotherapy helped up to a point. Then I took up yoga and found it also helped, particularly the attention to breathing techniques.  I love yoga but cannot often attend.
       
    I viewed your CD selections on healthjourneys.com and was unsure which to begin with.  Basically I am seeking help to cope with the frustration and stress that I experience before they build up into anger, yelling, and so on.  I adore my daughter, and naturally I want to not only restrain myself from getting angry and yelling at her, but also to be a good role model.

    To add to my situation, I am peri-menopausal, so my roller-coaster hormones are a complicating factor.  Even on a low-dose contraceptive pill to regulate moods, I find my moods varying, based on where I am in my monthly cycle.  This often makes it more difficult to remain calm in the face of highly negative behaviors when they occur.
       
    Is there a particular CD that you recommend I begin with?

    Thank you in advance for your help.  I am ready to dive in.

    Sincerely,

    Janie D.

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  10. Is This Psychic Knowing or Is She Kidding Herself over Her “Dream Lover”?

    Question:

    Belleruth,

    I just finished reading your book on intuition and I feel like you were talking to me personally.  I relate to everything you describe.  I am a 42 year old empath, who has been psychic all my life.  I am blessed that my gift guides me in everything I do.

    My question has to do with a deep knowing that a man at work is meant for me. I knew from the first time I saw him that he was my true soul mate, but he is very shy.  He doesn’t respond to our connection.  I believe his shyness keeps him at a distance.

    How do I share this knowledge with him and allow him to see what I see? You talk in the book about how and when to share psychic information with others, but not regarding this situation.  I would appreciate your advice.
     
    Oleanna K.

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