Who of us does not wish to feel at ease, able to express our fullest self wherever we may find ourselves. The counseling process is an invitation to grow, to remember who we are, to gain ways to fully express our true self and our potential. You will find my style to be both supportive and collaborative, and the environment in which we meet to be warm and welcoming. My education and therapeutic training is in cognitive/behavioral, humanistic and transpersonal approaches.

It is my hope that you may find these topics and stories rich with meaning. May they bring a greater understanding into your life with regard to a particular situation that you are facing. All the thoughts that you will find here are intended in a variety of ways to support you on your life’s journey. If there is a topic you are interested in and do not find it on this page, please feel free to email me and I will include it in these pages.

Ask Yourself: Is it True – Good – Useful?

In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem. One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher and said, “Do you know what I just heard about your friend?” “Hold on a minute,” Socrates replied. “Before telling me anything I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Triple Filter Test.” “Triple filter?” “That’s right,” Socrates continued.

“Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what you’re going to say. That’s why I call it the triple filter test. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”


“No,” the man said, “Actually, I just heard about it and…”

“All right,” said Socrates. “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now let’s try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good”


The man said, “No, on the contrary…”

“So,” Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about him, but you’re not certain it’s true. You may still pass the test though, because there’s one filter left: the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?”


  “No, not really…” the man said

 “Well,” concluded Socrates, “if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?


Fact and Opinion

In the same way, individuals can have many varied opinions about the same event or situation. If someone we know walked past us without saying hello, we might think, “s/he deliberately ignored me,” “s/he’s being snooty and rude,” s/he didn’t want to talk to me because they don’t like me” and so on. This might lead us to feel upset, and react in ways that are unhelpful. The only fact is that the person walked past. Anything else is opinion—our own personal interpretation of the event. We don’t have any facts or know the reality of why that happened unless we ask them. We could just as well think, “maybe they didn’t see me,” “maybe they were worrying about something.” Those are more positive thoughts—but they are still a personal interpretation of the event. Realizing that many thoughts are opinion rather than fact makes it less likely that we’ll be distressed by them, and more able to make wise and calm decisions about what the best action is to take.

Get into the habit of asking yourself: FACT or OPINION?

Perfectionism vs Excellence


Do you understand the difference between striving for excellence and striving for perfection? Let’s look at what these two very different concepts mean.

Perfection is striving for something that doesn’t exist. Because it doesn’t exist, it’s unattainable, and you’ll always be left feeling lack and as though you’re not good enough. When you think about it, what do we have that’s actually perfect? We often refer to something like “the perfect day” because we FEEL a certain way, but in and of itself, the actual day was not perfect.

Excellence, on the other hand, does exist. Striving for excellence means striving for YOUR personal best. It is a healthy mentality of wanting to improve that which is in your life that is not working while, at the same time, celebrating what is.

As you know, your body talks some serious wisdom and never lies. Notice how perfection and excellence feel in your body. When you are excelling at something, you feel relaxed, expansive, receptive, and accomplished. When you are striving to be perfect, you feel stress, tightness, constriction, and defeated. (Author: Teri Cole)


Perfectionism is the individual’s belief that he or she must be perfect to be acceptable. Perfectionism is black and white with no gray area. Anything other than perfect is failure. Perfectionism is an attitude, not necessarily a behavior. In other words, two people can engage in the same behavior such as trying to win an Olympic gold medal but one can be pursuing excellence and the other is demanding perfection. The difference lies in the thought process about the goal or behavior, not in the goal or behavior itself.

Excellence is the pursuit of excellence is the desire to attain a goal of excellence, to achieve at a high level, to be the best that one can be but without the demand attached to the goal or desire. Pursuing excellence may require tremendous effort and focus as well as other resources. But, unlike perfectionism, it does not demand a sacrifice of self-esteem, as it tends to focus on the process of achievement rather than the outcome. (Author: Monica Frank, Ph.D.)

Perfection vs. Excellence

Add any more comparisons in the empty boxes below, or use a blank sheet to create your own comparison table.


Death is certain

No matter how much we try to insulate ourselves from it, it cannot be avoided.  Furthermore, fighting it or fighting anything for that matter, will only increase its appearance in our lives.


Instead, learning to embrace the unknown will make it our ally and help us to realize that indeed there is truly nothing to be afraid of at all.  The process of releasing fear and more specifically, fear of the unknown will simultaneously bring us deeper realizations about the fundamental nature of reality and our true self, which will help us to understand how uncertainty is an integral and beautiful part of life.

Fear typically arises from (among a few other things) a lack of understanding and trust in our role as the creator of our reality.  If we don’t fully believe we are responsible for what we experience, then we may feel as if anything could happen to us at any time, not perceiving that indeed it is we who control what the universe brings to us.  Always preparing for and thinking about fear inducing scenarios and events will cause them to manifest in your life.  Instead, we must trust our role as a co-creator of our reality.  Have confidence in our vision and our abilities. Fear often signals that we may have self-worth issues as well, which is extremely common these days.

However, with the above being said, it is important to realize that fear is not to be eliminated, but rather understood for what it really is—it is to be observed rather than reacted to.  This is how one disarms it.  Our goal here is not suppression, but rather acceptance and understanding.  From this perspective we can extract the lessons and knowledge our emotional states offer us about ourselves.  (Author:  Tony Griffin)


Fear of the Unknown — Curiosity


To begin with, understand that fear of the unknown is basically an unwillingness to deal with or accept anything new or unfamiliar. Whatever the cause of our fear, one of the very first things that we will find helpful—whether we like this or not–is to confront the fear. Here are some specific steps that can be used to begin the process of confronting fear:

First, it is important to acknowledge that we have feelings of concern or fear about the thing that we must do. It does no good to turn from these feelings or to try and pretend they don’t exist. If we do try to submerge them without acknowledging them, they will only surface later and be much stronger. It serves us to realize that the feelings are there for a reason. We are about to enter an area in which we may need to exercise awareness and caution as we proceed. Notice I said, “…as we proceed.” Fear is not emotion that tells us to stop. It is far from that. Fear is an emotion that simply tells us to be very careful as we go forward. It tells that we are stepping out of what we know and are comfortable with. Stepping out of our comfort zone is the only way to truly learn and grow.

The next step to dealing with fear is to be able to feel it and do what needs to be done regardless. Everyone feels fear at some point or another or for one reason or another. It is the successful person who feels the fear and goes forward anyway. We can feel the fear of the unknown and transmute it into a positive energy to sustain to the other side of that darkness and by doing so, we become stronger in our own right. There is much to be gained and little to be lost by going forward despite our fear. However, we stand to lose so much by letting fear stop us before we get started. Moving forward in the face of our fear brings us to the next step in learning how to deal with fear…

Trust.  Trust that you were wise enough to get help from your chosen teacher or guide. Trust that you are strong enough to make it through the obstacles you are confronting in life. Trust that you are smart enough to be patient when things don’t appear to happen fast enough.

Fear of the unknown l comes to us all.  That is the nature of being alive Fear can be daunting, and seem insurmountable, and all encompassing, making us want to turn back. When faced with this fear, that is the time to proceed with heightened awareness, extended caution, and careful attention to process. Acknowledge the emotion of fear, and trust that a higher purpose is at work on your behalf. You will come to realize that fear—like any other emotion—does not control us unless we allow it to. In fact, we can use the fear to make us better, stronger, and able to face the next challenge as it arises.  (Author of this article is unknown)

Effective Appology

The Five Ingredients of an Effective Apology
Guy Winch, Ph.D.

Apologies are important in any society. As children we are taught to say “I’m sorry” pretty much as soon as we are able to construct a full sentence. Unfortunately, our skill level doesn’t improve very much from there. More often than not apologies made by adults are just as insincere and unconvincing as those made when we were children.

Why are we so bad at apologizing?


Ask yourself (or someone else) why you (or they) are offering an apology in a given situation and the answer is likely to be one or more of the following:

“I’m apologizing because I was wrong/mistaken/at fault”

“One should/is expected to apologize in such situations”

“It’s the right/mature/responsible thing to do”

And therein lays the problem. Because while such motivations are well and good, none of them reflect what the apology actually aims to achieve. Read more »

You Learn

After a While…




You learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
You learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
And company doesn’t mean security.


And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
And presents aren’t promises.
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open
With the grace of a woman not the grief of a child.


And you learn to build all your roads on today
Because tomorrow’s grounds is too uncertain for plans
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.


After a while you learn
That even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.


And you learn that you really can endure…
That you really are strong…
And you really do have worth.
With every day and every good-bye and every hello
You learn…and learn…and learn

(Veronica Shoffstall)


Each of us an artist, each life a canvas


“A writer – and, I believe, generally all persons – must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.” ~ Jorge Luis Borges



Which questions are more important to you?



What kind of fancy car do you drive?


How many times have you taken an individual to an appointment  who didn’t have transportation?


What is the square footage of your house?


How many people have you welcomed into your home?


How many fancy clothes you had in your closet?


How many of those clothes have you given away to those who didn’t have any?


What social class are you in?


What kindness have you displayed?


How many material possessions do you have?


Do these material possessions dictate your life?


What is your highest salary?


Have you trampled over any people to obtain that salary.




How much overtime do you work?


Do you work overtime for your family? Read more »

Four Steps to Success

When confronted with a difficult problem take a step back—literally…

It’s what a study conducted at Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands suggests.  Thirty-eight volunteers took a test that presented words written in different colors.  4stepsThe goal was to identify the colors, not the words—a task that was especially tricky when a word related to a color, such as “blue,” appeared in a different color, such as red.

As the volunteers stood by computers for the test, they were told to take four steps away in various directions.  Remarkably, their performance on the test was significantly faster after they took the steps backward, compared with forward or sideways, says psychologist Severine Koch, who headed the study.

She explains that because backing away “is usually performed in dangerous or problematic situations,” doing so apparently tends to prompt the brain to concentrate in order to meet a challenge.  This experiment corroborates a study that the researches published in 2008, which found that extending one’s arm —as if warding something off-enhanced cognition compared with flexing the arm in a beckoning position.