Pennick Family Therapy - What's New
Pennick Family Therapy - "a place for change"
I wrote this blog back in 2012; however, there were several things that I noticed in clients that prompted me to publish it again..  We are beginning of another new year.  With the new year, we will reevaluate where we are in our lives. This is just  a little food for thought, I thought was worth sharing, again..


"How Garbage Piles Up"

Yesterday as I began to prepare dinner I opened my trash container in the kitchen and was shocked to see that the bin was full, again. My immediate thought, “how many times do I have to empty this stupid trash?” Then I thought, “Where does all the trash come from?” With no children at home it is just my husband and I, but we still have tons of trash every day. The trash seems to multiple on its own. If we become distracted and forget to remove it, it will take over our lives.

When I am working with clients in my practice, I see their mental and emotional trash bins get fuller every day. I have been thinking about this problem and wondering what we can do to combat the burden of trash in our lives. You know that if you have assign the task of taken out the trash in your home to someone else, especially children; sometimes you have to constantly remind them to take the trash out. If it isn’t taken out in begins to pile up. It smells, it is unsanitary, frustrating, annoying, depressing, distracting and clutters your home. There are some people who take the trash and begin to feel that it is part of them. They incorporate it into their identity, fill a void in themselves and hoard the trash. They see the trash as a security blanket, an armor and comfort for the other issues or disorders that they suffer with. The trash becomes their way of self-soothing, self-medicating and numbing their feelings.

We can have mental and emotional trash accumulate in our lives and handle it the same way as a hoarder does with actual items of trash. The mental garbage that we have collected from the past has an impact on her experiences today. It disturbs our thinking, it has a bad odor, it distracts us from our lives, our future, from seeing the positive events of our lives and it is depressing and destructive to relationships, our health, and our happiness. It can define us. Furthermore, if we hold on to the garbage of our past for even a day it begins to multiply and grow on its own.

We become distracted by the many obligations and responsibilities of life and the trash that has begun to accumulate in our mental trash bin gets ignored. Trash breeds trash. Just as seeds of doubt grow, the garbage that we collect feeds itself on more emotional and mental trash. Eventually, after we have ignored it, we see this garbage as becomes part of the scenery of our lives. We no longer realize the impact of this heavy burden on our everyday emotional state.

A client that comes into session with issues of spousal abuse will report that they were physically abuse in a previous relationship whether with a parent, an ex or a stranger. Their trash bin is full of self-hate, failure, guilt, shame, anger, doubt, pain, depression and they are victims of their own garbage. In the same sense that hoarders see the actual clutter in their environment as a comfort or defensive armor; when we hold on to the mental and emotion trash of life we become addicted to the destructive behavior that is manifested by the garbage in our lives.

We do what we know.  We know the garbage and the destructive behaviors of our past. I have had so many clients who presented to therapy with problems with anger, overeating, addiction, conflict in the relationships, anxiety, depression and many other issues who will tell me that the garbage of the past does not have anything to do with their presenting issue. Hoarders will fight anyone who tries to remove or even touch their stuff. They become terribly upset, fearful and panic when they are confronted about the effect that their environment has on their health and safety. They do not believe that they have a problem and will deny that their homes are out of control. Similarly, clients will deny that the garbage that they are hoarding is a problem. They truly cannot see the clutter. Clients will become angry with me, defend their feelings and refuse to acknowledge that their mental and emotional garbage is having an effect on their relationships with others, their health or their safety. When you get the hoarder to recognize that the clutter is a problem, which takes time, patience and experts many hours of work; this is only the first step. However, it is the major step to recovery.

In treatment with my clients, getting the client to see the impact of the garbage collection of the past is a major step forward and it also takes time. Once the client reaches this point, the healing begins and the trash gets taken out. If you have symptoms of anger, depression, shame, grief, guilt, addiction, conflict, sadness, feeling of self-hatred, fear, anxiety, doubt or just want to improve the quality of your life and your impact on others call today for a free consultation.

I realize we have three months before we will be seeing the new year but I felt it was important to share this early. If you want to make changes you don’t have to wait until the new year to begin.  Take the garbage out of your life!

Do you need help with your New Year’s Resolution?

At the beginning of a new year we feel refreshed and like we have been given us a second chance to get it right. We look back at the previous year and feel regret for what we didn’t accomplish or how we spent those precious 365 days. The reality of seeing the New Year come is similar the feeling we get when we have another birthday. We realize that time is going and we reevaluate where we are in our lives to where we had planned to be at this time in our lives. We make a list or a plan for how we are going to change things for the better. We are going to lose weight, save money, start an exercise program, spend more time with our families or do something that we have been putting off for the past year. We start out with all of the best intentions and we follow our plan for a few days or even a few weeks; however, the excitement of the change begins to fade. It just starts to feel like another year.

The pattern happens for many of us over and over, year after year. We are not lazy or unmotivated. We do not lack willpower or self-control. Yet, every time this happens the behavior is reinforced. Each time we start to make progress and quit, get off track or distracted the behavior is reinforced so that the next time we start we follow the same pattern. We do what we know and we know how this goes. This pattern becomes ingrained in our brains. When I do X…I get X result.

In my work with clients, I help then by using treatments based on cognitive behavioral psychology to retrain and change those neuropathic brain patterns that control our ability to make changes. It is not an easy quick fix. As I said, I work with the clients. I coach them set up their lives for success and stop the pattern of what I call living “Ground Hog Day” over and over every year. The amazing thing is that getting unstuck from the pattern of your life in one area will reinforce our ability to make changes in other areas.

If you feel that you are at the place where you desire change; not where you are just contemplating change call for a free consultation and we will work on making 2015 the best year of your life.


.Announcing  Hypnotherapy

Have you attempted many times to a behavior that is adversely effecting the quality of your life?  Everyone has behavior that they feel powerless to control.  Hypnotherapy in conjunction with other therapy techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy can help to facilitate behavior changes.  There are many myths and misunderstandings about hypnosis.  You have probably heard and saw some of those.  However, in treatment with a certified hypnotherapy you are very safe.  The ethically guidelines that I uphold as a licensed therapist apply to all of my work.  I also am required to meet ethical standards as a certified hypnotherapist. 
Hypnosis is a "natural" state. You have been in a trance millions of times and just didn't realize it. Have you ever driven home on a long stretch of highway that you were very familiar with and sudden realized you had passed your turn.  You sudden realize that you were checked out for a short period of time.  You were operating in your subconscious.  You could still operate your car, stay on the road and you didn't do anything against your normal behavior.
If you would like more information and discuss coming in for an interview please give me a call.  I will be happy to explain how the treatment works and evaluate if hypnotherapy can work for you. There is evidence the hypnosis helps a great deal with issues such as stress, anger management, panic attacks, phobias, obsessive compulsive, weight loss, social anxiety and generalized anxiety disorder.  
Schedule a free interview to see if you are a candidate for hypnotherapy. Also go to the table of context for this website to view "Hypnosis Treatment Packages" which describes our intensive treatments that target specific habits and behaviors that you may be struggling with.  You pay once for each package and get the results you want.  
 Be sure & check out my book store for free sample of my new book!
Speaking at recent Couple's Retreat
Facilitated at couple's retreat for a non-profit.