While you may struggled with anxiety, depression, anger, and stress for many years I know what I'm talking about when I tell you that, through moderate effort, lasting change is really possible.
Maybe you're a young man who experiences overwhelming social anxiety when meeting women, resulting in profound pain and self loathing. Or perhaps you're a young career woman who experiences paralyzing panic that you have to hide from your co-workers because it's so humiliating. Maybe, too, you're a husband and father who gets angry too often causing the people you love most to be afraid of you. And maybe you're the older woman dealing with menopause or empty nest or a man facing retirement who feels depressed and exhausted.
In each of these situations, a common factor is often negative self talk: inner conversations, often subliminal, that are negative, self critical and pessimistic. It may be simply a continual stream of worries about "what if this happens or that happens' that prevents you from truly enjoying the present. Or it may be a steady stream of critical thoughts where you tell yourself that you- or others, are not smart enough, attractive enough, rich enough, or even relaxed enough to enable you to be happy or successful.
Many of the people I've seen as a psychologist over my career are not fully aware of how critical, controlling, and rejecting they are toward themselves or others for their moods and perceived flaws. They're always pushing or pulling themselves in one way or another. "Don't do this" Don't do that" The implicit belief, often times, is that if they somehow discover and do the right thing, they will finally be happy. They usually believe, too, that telling themselves to "snap out of it" when they're down in the dumps really helps them get control over their anxiety, depression, or bad temper more quickly. This couldn't be further from the truth! It takes them a while to really understand that such negative self talk not only doesn't help them become happier and more successful but actually exacerbates their bad moods. Recent research also shows that negative moods play a major part in generating physical conditions like weight problems and hypertension.
The simple paradox is that we feel better and achieve more authentically when we truly accept ourselves- including our anxious, stressed out, depressed, and even angry moods. By acceptance, however, I do not mean resignation. Acceptance is an attitude of understanding and compassion toward the source of our bad moods in our unique biological and psychological history and current stresses, that enables change to take place. During my years in practice in Boston, I've helped many people develop greater compassion for their unique stories and this has enabled them to live live happier and more fulfilled lives.
I began to wonder, though, whether some of the essential concepts and techniques from longer term therapy could be crystallized into an effective, but shorter term, approach. Over a period of about six years I experimented with different methods until I felt I had it right. I put these ideas together into a book called “Mood Shifting: Understanding and Transforming Your Negative Moods” I use the methods on a daily basis in my private practice here in the western suburbs of Boston Massachusetts.
The essential ingredients of Mood Shifting come from new advances in a field called Positive Psychology. While recognizing the effects of past experience in our lives, Positive Psychology is concerned with identifying and enhancing those positive resources within each of us that help us transcend the past. Mood Shifting combines three such resources: Awareness, Self Compassion, and Active Self Care in a way which can help you manage chronic issues like anxiety, depression, anger, and stress more effectively. I say manage because you and I both know that these problems are often stubbornly resistant to any notion of "cure".
What I am promising, though, is a shorter term approach to therapy which will truly help you “step up” to a greater level of happiness and peace of mind in your life.
In STEP 1, AWARENESS, you’ll come to understand in our sessions exactly where your negative, anxious, and self critical thoughts and feelings are coming from and what they're really all about. Now while you may think your anxious or depressed moods are simply a “biochemical imbalance” or that they seem to come and go for no reason, there’s really much more going on then you realize. When you learn in our sessions what you're shifting moods are really all about, I promise you, it may surprise you!
In STEP 2, you’ll gain a deeper sense of SELF COMPASSION. You’ll finally come to understand why your negativity, pessimism, anxiety or self criticism is not your fault! Many motivational speakers and even some cognitive oriented therapists will imply that it is. They'll tell you that you’re thinking is “irrational” and that you’re “100 % responsible" for your state of mind. While their intention is to motivate you to achieve more in life, the actual result is that you feel shame. You see others accomplishing more and seeming happier and you say “what’s wrong with me?” The truth, though, is that only by actively developing self compassion can you eliminate the negative thoughts and feelings that keep you unhappy.
In fact, once you fully recognize how and why you're not to blame for your negativity, you will become more responsible, happier, and accomplish more than you ever dreamed possible in your life. This is what the third step is all about.
I call STEP 3: AUTHENTIC ADULT ACTION. In your sessions, we will use a combination of well documented treatment methods like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Relaxation Training, and Hypnosis for self calming and self control to release the negative moods and negative habits that have weighed you down in your life.
If you don’t live in the Boston area or are simply interested in learning these 3 steps on your own, you can do so by purchasing the Mood Shifting Program. The 150 page easy to read workbook, and accompanying mp3 self hypnosis files, are divided into eight weekly step by step lessons which teach you such eye opening things as:
* Identifying what triggers your negative moods
* How your negativity may have protected you in your life
* Recognizing when you're operating from past experience instead of being in the present
*The crucial difference between self-blame and self-responsibility
*3 powerful steps to getting out of bad moods more quickly
*How to stay on a diet, stop smoking, lower blood pressure etc. more easily
*Ways to resolve couple conflict more effectively
*How to identify blocks to career achievement and move beyond them.
... and much, much more
Whether you become my client or do the program on your own, Mood Shifting will really make a difference in your life. Recently a client described her progress with the program in a way which, I believe, will mirror your own. She said,
"All my life I've been able to be nice to others. Now, I'm finally able to be nice to myself. Mood Shifting is really amazing!"
For information on scheduling an office visit please call:
Dr. Norm Ephraim 781-780-6964
(phone may take 5 or 6 rings to answer)
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You can also or write me at email@example.com
TO LEARN WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT MOOD SHIFTING,
CLICK THE BOOK BELOW.