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Latest Blog

The Love of an Aunt: Call me “Ellie”

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My Beautiful Aunt Gilda died on her birthday, yesterday at 2:00 PM. She passed with amazing grace, and my personal loss is deep. You see, my Aunt was a caring mother to me in every way. I was blessed to have her as a role model, a mentor, a confidante and a source of unconditional

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Mental Illness: A Communicable Disease?

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There has been an enormous amount of press and publicity about the Ebola virus and the lives this terrible communicable disease has recently claimed. The current statistic reports that presently the Ebola death toll nears 1,000 people worldwide. Thank goodness, steps are being taken to overcome this horrible killer. Lots of discussion, awareness, worry, work, research and

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JFK and I

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I was ten years old when a teacher whose name I do not remember barged into my fifth grade classroom and cried out, “The President has been shot. They think he is dead!” I can still feel that electric bolt of shock shoot through my body, I can still smell the severe scent of dread.

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Divorce and Defeating Anxiety

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I just returned from LA where, with my training team, I presented a three-day training in Collaborative Divorce. One initial observation I made from this training: many divorce lawyers who practice non-collaboratively are highly anxious and strung out about their work. Throughout the training, time and again, I saw and heard professionals express levels of

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You Tube: Transference and Countertransference

You Tube: Transference and Countertransference This video has received almost 10,000 views since I posted it to You Tube. You Tube is a great pathway to “show ’em what you got”. Please have a look. It speaks for itself.

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Linked In Think-Tank

Linked In is one form of social media that actually feels less “social” and more professional to me. It carries an air of being sophisticated, savvy and success-oriented. Navigating around Linked In usually feels like a worthwhile investment of my time and attention. I use Linked In to generate interest in and direct traffic to

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In Pace Pipio

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Tweeting is not really my strong suit. My nature is much louder and much more verbose than a chirp-here and a chirp-there. But, the times demand a tweeter and so I hesitantly take part and probably am not utilizing this form of media to a fraction of its  potential. Somewhat reputed for being redundant, I must

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Facebook and Mental Health

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I have the honor of serving as a contributor/administrator of a Mental Health Facebook Page. This page has over 13,000 followers. The irony is that the page does not usually give me any direct exposure. I sign the end of each inspirational post with the name “Doc Ellie” and choose to stay somewhat sequestered in

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Sorrow at Sandy Hook: One Path for Children’s Trauma Relief

I am trying so hard to find a way to deal with my own trauma and grief from the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. One way for me to feel better during a time like this is to try to help. As a mental health professional, one way to get through my own sorrow

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The Bystander Effect

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I believe that the Bystander Effect needs to be considered as seriously as leaving the scene of an accident or leaving the scene of a crime.

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Mean Girls at the Health Club

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It is hard to believe that mean girls are still around after high school. Don’t be too quick to breathe a sigh of relief that female middle-age brings with it an end to the days of dodging the mean girls. Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the gym or the

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A Mid-Century Man

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My baby brother is officially a mid-century man. He is turning fifty. How he got there is beyond me. Nine years my junior, it seems like only yesterday when he was a toddler, crawling up and down the narrow little hall-way of our modest home in New York. He sure has come a long way

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The Gender Revolution

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We are in the midst of a powerful sociocultural shift: a Gender Revolution. No longer can we ascribe the same old traits for purposes of defining gender.

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Mother’s Day and Mythology

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For many children, Mother’s Day is a myth. It is a fantasy; an idea or illusion a child wistfully carries in their mind, but never truly experienced. The population of these children who are older, are the ones who linger by the Hallmark cards for long periods of time: reading and replacing; reading and replacing. They finally settle for some benign message that ultimately says “Have a Nice Day”, but nothing more.

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Compliant Children of Divorce: Unwanted Lessons Learned

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Children of divorce probably watch their parents lead by example more closely than the general population of children. Why? Because they simply do not know what to do, what to say, or how to feel. They may have heard the word “divorce”, but may have very limited internal resources with which they can make sense of the concept.

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So, What’s New in Resolutions?

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Start with the inside job. Work on becoming a resolute person, rather than make resolutions. Consider the value in acquiring the characteristics of determination, faith in oneself, integrity and open-mindedness.

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Holiday Stress: Not Very Merry

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The American Psychological Association conducted a study in 2006 and found that while 78% of respondents reported feeling often happy around the holidays, about two-thirds sometimes or often felt stressed and fatigued.

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Divorce and the Target of Blame

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Collaborative Divorce is an efficient approach for working with a High Conflict Personality because there is the powerfully safe environment of the professional team to deal with the challenge from a multidimensional perspective.

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Steve Jobs: Think Outside of the Motherboard

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Steve Jobs is an Icon of Resilience. He refused to conform to the confines of what society deems “normal” and consistently believed there were a multitude of creative ways to get to a goal.

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Divorce: the Only Moral Choice is the Collaborative Model

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I believe it is the responsibility of every citizen who is considering divorce to opt for a Collaborative Divorce. This choice represents a moral and ethical decision for the integrity of our society.

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Conflict: In It for the Friction

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Have you ever noticed that some people are in it strictly for the friction? It seems as if they thrive on arguing and they like to turn most interactions into some kind of heated debate. They like to fight so that they can see themselves as right and justified in their bad behavior. Coined as “high-conflict” personalities, you will find these types everywhere you go.

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Cultural Diversity and Cruising Down the Danube

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I truly had an interesting personal experience in cultural diversity last week as I cruised down the Danube with some German friends. My husband, a real estate broker, sold these Bavarian  folk a home here in the USA over twenty years ago. At that time they spoke barely a word of English, yet we were

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9/11 Still an Issue a Decade Later

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Can you imagine that helping professionals and other caring witnesses are still suffering trauma responses a decade after the 9/11 tragedy? That certainly speaks to how insidious the effects of vicarious trauma can be! It also demonstrates a saddening lack of compassion and absence of resources for our heroes.

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Suicide and the Client Who Never Was

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If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please remember that suicidal thinking is the result of being in an extreme shame attack. The suffering person is grappling with life-issues or events that provide a context of seeing oneself as unlovable and worthless.

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Virtual Vexation: Is Social Media Endangering Your Health?

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Last week, I shut down my computer, packed a small bag and headed for the mountains to hang with my dear friends and let my brain stop aching. I felt like I was coming down from a serious binge and had to heal from a heavy hangover. What was the drug? Social Media; a “drug”

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The Mad Ramblings of a Pedestal Professional

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When I come into the door after a long day at the office, I am emotionally inverted. I feel as though my feelings have been sucked into a vacuum and I can hardly connect with my own family who needs my attention as well. Sometimes I feel numb. Sometimes I think that if one more person asks one more thing of me I will scream.

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Relationships and Attachment

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Some people make attachments with others that go from one extreme to the other: “I don’t want you; please don’t leave me!” They overshoot that midpoint of secure attachment and don’t get much joy or comfort from their connections with others.

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Divorce and Children: Protecting the Innocent

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Divorce can become a very self-centered time for parents. I do not mean this judgmentally. There, but for the grace of God, go I. During my divorce, which took place over 25 years ago, I became so anxious for my own future, I didn’t take the time to empathize with my children’s experience and I believed they suffered as a result.

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The Precious Spirit of Aloha

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Aloha is a commonly used word for “hello” and “good-bye” that we say when we are fortunate enough to visit the Hawaiian Islands. However, “Aloha” means much more than hello or good-bye. Aloha is an extension of your loving inner spirit and it leads us to a powerful way to resolve a problem, accomplish a goal, and to reach a peaceful state of mind.

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Stress andTrauma: Second-Hand Shock

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We think Second-Hand Shock Syndrome needs to be identified and treated as its own illness. Lots of folks are treated for illnesses such as arthritis, cancer, heart, disease, obesity, anxiety and depression, who we believe began their downhill descent with some form of Second- Hand Shock Syndrome.

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Love and the Long Hot Summer

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Sometimes our love-relationships are like the long, hot desert summer. Love can be intense and searing with hot passion. It can include dry spells that leave us, as partners, quenching for replenishment.

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Blended Families: “Growing Up” Together

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Statistics demonstrate that more Americans are living in step-families than in nuclear families. Blended families are clearly a key ingredient of our culture; so how can we make them more successful in the long haul?

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Relationships: Disappointment Redefined

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Disappointment occurs so frequently in the area of dating and love relationships; a person deserves to perceive it as a blessing rather than a burden.

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My Mother’s Father: A Deliberate and Gentle Life

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This Father’s day, my mind does not go to my late father who literally ran himself into an early grave by overdoing anything and everything he did. God rest his soul; he lived addictively and it cost him his life. Life with my father may have to wait for another blog because he is actually

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Cheating in Relationships: I Thought I Saw a Mouse!

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Remember that cheating is a symptom of some unaddressed issue in your relationship that deserves immediate attention. Carrying on about the affair distracts you from identifying this crucial relationship concern. Whether you stay in the relationship or not, you need this information in order to grow as you move forward.

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Road to Resilience Can Be Rocky

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Attending and graduating from the “School of Hard Knocks” plays a key role in how a person learns to be resilient. Studies show that kids who grew up in adverse living conditions seem to demonstrate a richer depth of resilience in adulthood.

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Divorce, Domestic Abuse and Brainwashing

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Women or men who stay entangled with aggressor partners do so because they have become brainwashed by the aggressor over time. The method of brainwashing in a verbally abusive domestic relationship is no different than the method of brainwashing used with POW’s.

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Bad Habits: Just Stop Doing That!

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When you realize that your habit is the tip of the iceberg and when you take a look at what lies beneath you can more easily navigate a course that will get you to a better and more satisfying destination.

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Have You Considered a Simple Apology?

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Elton John had it right when he sang ” ‘Sorry’ seems to be the hardest word”. There are so many divorces that get held up and go sideways because one or both spouses refuse to offer up a simple, yet heartfelt apology.

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Mothers Know Compassion as the Purest Form of Love

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Compassion is very dear, greatly valued and becoming so increasingly rare; people would pay high hourly rates to mental health professionals just to get some.

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Bin Laden a Has-Been in a Culture of Trauma

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Justice may have been done and we may have fought the good fight; but according to the news, Bin Laden is already a has-been and we will need to brace ourselves for whatever comes next.

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Statistics on Depression are Depressing

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Sounds like it is time to discuss depression as an occurrence that might be described as heading in the direction of an epidemic.

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Reality TV Triggers Form of Second-Hand Shock

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This study truly strengthens the perspective that those in the business of using their compassion and empathy to help others are affected; not only in their minds, but physiologically in their brains and in their bodies.

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Worry Wanes With Brainstorming

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It is common knowledge that most of the things we worry about never happen. Why then does worry take up so much of many people’s time and energy?

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Signs of Addiction Can Be Subtle Among Professional Helpers

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An interesting article appeared online regarding the more subtle signs of addiction. The author, Ms. Melanie Haiken claims that knowing whether someone you love has a problem with drugs or alcohol is not always as obvious as you might think. People tend to stereotype the typical alcoholic as someone staggering around with a bottle in

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9/11 Second-Hand Shock Still an Issue a Decade Later.

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Can you imagine that helping professionals are still suffering trauma responses a decade after the 9/11 tragedy? That certainly speaks to how insidious the effects of vicarious trauma can be!

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Expressing Emotions Increasing in Popularity

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I have long proclaimed that if you don’t have your feelings, they will have you. Sure enough, research demonstrates that suppressing emotions can have serious health consequences, both physically and psychologically.

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Impasse in Conflict Resolution Originates from Within

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In my experience, Impasse in any negotiation is an outward expression of an unresolved and unconscious internal impasse or historical conflict that exists within an individual.

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Does Divorce Qualify as a Traumatic Event?

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It appears that because divorce is such a frequent occurrence, many couples are simply opting out of marriage. Are some of these couples avoiding divorce because it is considered to be traumatizing? Can a commonplace occurrence such as divorce even be considered to be traumatic event?

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Devastation in Japan Traumatizes the World

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Let’s also send loving and supportive energy to all the helpers who are assisting the victims of the tsunami. They may be experiencing their own Second-Hand Shock as they work to provide relief while controlling their empathic responses.

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Second-Hand Shock Impacts a Generation

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I attended a sobering 60th birthday party yesterday evening. It was a large room full of  aging baby-boomers: the most disappointed generation. While everyone seemed to be having a good enough time, there was an unmistakable malaise in the air. We baby boomers have had a tough pill or two to swallow. Having been born

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Could James Arthur Ray be suffering from Second-Hand Shock?

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James Arthur Ray may very well be paying the price for working with untreated Second-Hand Shock. His job, which focused on helping people deal with work-related stress, probably put him at risk to hear lots of trauma content stories over time while having to control his empathic response; a perfect storm for contracting Vicarious Trauma.

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Helping Professionals Reduce Work Stress Through Collaboration

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I just finished training a great group of lawyers, mental health professionals and financial specialists in the process of collaboration. I had the honor of training the mental health segment for the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals in the launch of their first Basic Training. Collaboration is an alternative form of conflict resolution where an

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Journalist’s Lack of Compassion Due to Second-Hand Shock

An NYU professor came under intense criticism for tweeting rude comments about the female journalist who was sexually assaulted in Egypt. He is probably suffering from Second-Hand Shock. As a result of this trauma, he responded in an insensitive and inhumane manner and seriously crossed boundaries as he published his thoughts for thousands to read.

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Second Hand Shock

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Lately, we are being traumatized every evening as we watch the media blaring the violence and upheaval in Egypt. Our hearts go out to the Egyptian people and we pray for a resolve that brings peace and healing. They are suffering primary trauma. We are being vicariously traumatized every time we see the protests and

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Step Two: Recognizing Your Impasse

Break through to your power by Recognizing Your Impasse!

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Women and Divorce

Women more financially ready to take leadership role in their divorces!

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Step One: Reveal Your History

Everyone has a history. Your memories, your judgment of your memories and your judgment of yourself in light of these memories have contributed to who you are and how you are. Looking at your history is empowering in that the more conscious you become of it, the more able you become to re-frame painful aspects

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The Rapid Advance Process: 5 Simple Steps

Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? Are you stressed? Afraid? Hurting? Abandoned? Burnt out? Struggling? Depressed? Anxious? Come journey with me through the five simple steps of the Rapid Advance Process. Here they are: 1. Reveal your history 2. Recognize your Impasse 3. Release your past 4. Respond to fear 5.

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Just Stop Doing That!

Look for the Just Stop series utilizing the five simple steps of the Rapid Advance Process for getting rid of bad habits!

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The Rapid Advance Process

Find your path to power during tough times. The five steps of the Rapid Advance Process will bring you peace during turbulent times and shift your focus to finding strength and abundance. Come along for discovery of your true power!

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