Faith in the face of fear

  She’s almost all grown up.  But I still worry.  And each time I do, she reminds me not to.  Really, I should know better by now.  Forgive me if you’ve already heard this story, but here’s the reason why.    Almost 13 years ago, I got the call I had always feared. She was five years old and they didn’t know where she was. As I drove to her school, all I thought was “if only”, and “what if”. In between I screamed and prayed for me. Then I cried and prayed for her. I begged God to bring her…

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Afraid of the dark?

  If you happened to be out and about earlier this week, you may have caught sight of how big and full the moon was in the night sky.  Waxing and waning through its phases, it seemed to be begging to be noticed.  I recalled childhood memories of riding in the family car, perceiving the moon illuminating our way as we headed home.  Without knowing why, I knew there was something comforting about that.  My daughter teased me, suggesting that I must have felt like the center of the universe, with the moon revolving around little old me.  Maybe, maybe…

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Seasons of Life

I’ve always considered myself to be a “spring girl”.  I always loved the chirping of the birds, the floral scents and the warmth of the sun returning to our longer days.  There is so much hope in spring.  Things are coming alive and are so brand new.  That sense of anticipation, hope and optimism leaves me feeling like everything wonderful is possible. But then last week happened.  Suddenly I was reminded that very soon I was going to be cold. Of course, I know it’s coming. If pressed, I might even admit that it’s probably time for it.  But I…

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Coaching: Email-Interview with yours truly

Normally I email-interview someone living and/or working a specific aspect of wellness and well-being.  However, due to some unforeseen difficulties, today that somebody is me. I am often asked questions about my work providing Psychological Coaching, so I thought I would share some of those answers with you. What is Coaching? I think of coaching as a dance. It is a chance for you to find your own rhythm and harmony.  People typically consider coaching when something in their lives is feeling off balance, uncomfortable or unmanageable.  As I see it, coaching is a way for a person to find…

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Nature’s Way

  This one stopped me dead in my tracks.  I had been hurriedly walking from one point in town to the other, rushing from one appointment to the next.  And then there she was.  Completely out of place, this praying mantis sat (or maybe she was standing) on the driveway of a Main Street business.  What was she doing here in the middle of all this hustle and bustle?  She should have been hidden away on a green leaf somewhere.  But instead here she was shining brightly in all her green glory against the dingy white of Culpeper’s concrete jungle. …

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Life Is But A Dream

  My son hurt his ankle, my back went out, the fish died, and the remote stopped working.   But worst of all, my little doggy was doused in hot tea.  And I’m so thankful. It really was a horrible scene.  She had been underfoot, enjoying the promise of a dropped morsel.  Thankfully she was ok.  In fact, while frantically trying to flush her body with cool water, my Merrily was distracted by the smell of cooked bacon.  Relieved to see that she had forgiven and forgotten what must have felt like a betrayal, I gave her the bacon.  I’m pretty…

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Being True To Yourself Is Not Always Easy

It ain’t always easy being me. You’ve heard this from me before, but I’m finding it worth repeating. This week, I have experienced what it feels like to do what I believe is in my best interest, knowing that a lot of people may be disappointed, frustrated or downright mad at me. It is a scary place to be, because I am bracing myself for the consequences of my choice. I am anxiously waiting because I know every decision has a consequence, positive or negative. But in my own life, I am learning to live without regret. What that means…

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Easy Does It: Email-Interview (Part II) with Dr. Joan Vernikos

  Welcome to part two of my email-interview with Culpeper’s own Dr. Joan Vernikos.  This month’s Wellness and Wellbeing segment began last week as she shared her research, both from earth and space to encourage us to move.  This week, it’s all about what she calls “the juice of life”.  Stress. As Joan explained it, stress is as much a part of us as breathing. It is a stimulus we need to energize us. But when there’s too much, it is the most pernicious cause of illness and pain, making every health condition worse, ultimately leading to early death.  Yet…

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Living is Moving: Email-Interview (Part I) with Dr. Joan Vernikos

“If you come upon someone who is not moving, your first thought is, are they dead?” Now that you mention it, she’s right. She is Dr. Joan Vernikos, a Doctor of Pharmacology, speaker, author, an inspiration, and great fun on the tennis court.  Culpeper is lucky to have her.  She was born to a 60-year-old physician who trained in Medicine before the use of most technological diagnostic tools and laboratory tests.  Instead, he used his hands, checking body temperature, asking questions, and listening to the patient. This approach is now what we think of as Functional Medicine and was foundational…

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The Gifts of Nature

Just call me Doctor Dolittle.  In the last two weeks, I have had the pleasure of being fluttered by two butterflies.  I have crossed paths with two bunny rabbits.  I have been up close and personal with two deer and witnessed a third nursing her two fawns.  I’m afraid to say it, but to see it on paper, this sounds less like Dr. Dolittle, and more like Noah’s Ark.   In either case, it is quite remarkable. Yes, I know, this nature has always been here.  It was here long before me, and God willing, it will be here long after. …

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Psychological coaching is grounded in the art and science of psychology and is in many ways very similar to traditional psychotherapy.  They both utilize knowledge of human behavior, motivation, behavioral change, and interactive techniques in order to help a client move from where they are to an improved state of being. The differences between psychological coaching and traditional psychotherapy are related to their goals, focus, and perspective. Traditional psychotherapy seeks to diagnose and treat emotional and behavioral conditions, with the therapist serving as "expert" in support of the client. Unfortunately, many have considered the pursuit of traditional psychotherapy to be stigmatizing, in part because of this perspective of the client being "broken" and in need of repair.  Psychological  coaching offers a different point of view.  The coaching psychologist is more likely focused on developing a collaborative relationship, with the client in the "driver seat", with the perspective that the client is creative, whole, and resourceful.  The clients' capacity for wellness and healing is assumed, encouraging them to move more quickly and directly through obstacles to their happiness, success, and life satisfaction.  

As a Coaching Psychologist, my goal is to support you in creating awareness so that you can access your own skills and inner resources in order to manage the challenges you face now and into the future.  While our work together may touch on past traumas and psychiatric concerns, they will be addressed from the perspective of your strengths, rather than with a focus on ill-ness or disability.  In our larger community, it is not unusual for individuals to experience mild to moderate mental health issues, making psychological coaching an accessible and viable option.  If, in the course of our work together, either you or I have reason to believe that your mental or emotional health concerns are better addressed by another service provider, a referral will be made.  

As a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, I have 20 years of ongoing training and experience providing, consulting and supervising others in the provision of psychological services.  However,  as of now, the life coaching field is unregulated, allowing anyone to be a life coach - even those without training in the behavioral sciences.  As well, the coaching field is considered to lack a solid base in research, creating disagreement on educational and training standards. The International Coach Federation (ICF) is working to change this.  In order to ensure that your coach is not counseling others beyond their expertise, it is suggested that when considering a life coach, individuals  should seek coaches who are trained or ICF certified.  Along with my license as a Clinical Psychologist, I am currently enrolled in MentorCoach® L.L.C., one of the oldest ICF accredited coach training programs, and one that will enable me to be an ICF certified coach.