Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center of Silicon Valley
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Finding Peace & Joy

In This Issue
Secrets of Successful People
Be A Happier Perfectionist
Positive Psychology for Depression
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April 2012

Happy Springtime! I hope you are enjoying longer, sunnier days. At my house, we have a joke about myFriendly sun warming a flower preoccupation with Daylight Savings Time. I literally count down the days until it starts. My mood lifts when I leave my office and it's still daylight. One of my evening clients told me she is a DST groupie too and expressed excitement at being able to see outside again through my big windows.

In this issue of the Finding Peace and Joy newsletter, I am highlighting several articles I've written recently about the skills successful people use to reach their goals, how to use perfectionism to your advantage, and a review of a new book on positive psychology for depression.

Earlier this year, I incorporated and named my practice the Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center of Silicon Valley, or "CBTSV" for short. With the new name, I hope to promote the availability of evidence-based CBT for anxiety and related issues in the south bay. In the next issue, I'll include a link to the Center's new website.

If you have feedback about the topics in the newsletter, feel free to email me at



Secrets of Successful People

Skills to Help You Reach Your Goals 

It's human nature to compare ourselves to other people. I call this the "comparing" trap. It's when we look at someone who's prettier, skinnier, wealthier, funnier or any other "-ier." Most of the time, we compare upwards, to people who we think are better off and this can make us feel inadequate. We ask, "Why is that person so lucky?," "What does she/he have that I don't?," or "If only I were (stronger, had more willpower, worked harder, or fill in the blank:_______), then I could have that too." Fortunately, there is a recipe for success. Reach your goalsResearch shows there are nine skills you can learn and develop to be more successful at achieving your goals. These include "Be Specific," "Act on your Goals," "Monitor your Progress," and "Be a Realistic Optimist," among others.


Be A Happier Perfectionist
How To Cope With Failure More Effectively

A recent research study found that positive reframing, acceptance and humor are the most effective coping skills for dealing with setbacks and helping people feel satisfied at the end of the day. In contrast, some of the least effective coping skills were venting, denial, behavioral disengagement and self-blame. 


If you have perfectionistic traits, you may have trouble coping with failure because you always strive to do your best, pride yourself on producing great work, enjoy beingClown on tightrope successful, pay attention to details, make fewer errors and you are someone people can count on. On the flip side, if perfectionism isn't in balance, you may find yourself working too much, beating yourself up for making mistakes, never feeling like you are good enough, comparing yourself to others and judging yourself on your performance and other externals instead of accepting and validating yourself. When perfectionism gets out of control, it can lead to anxiety and depression.


You can learn to be an "effective" perfectionist by keeping the advantages of perfectionism and minimizing the disadvantages by using the skills of positive reframing, acceptance and humor.


Click here to read the full article: "Be a Happier Perfectionist"



Positive Psychology for Depression
Book Review

Positive Psychology for Depression is a book specifically designed to help people with a predisposition toward depression foster and maintain a more positive mood. The book presents a concise overview of concepts in the field of positive psychology
peace vansuch as positive emotions, optimism, resilience, meditation, strengths, positive relationships, goal-setting, and the mind-body connection. The author, Miriam Akhtar, has suffered from depression herself. She includes many personal anecdotes that show how positive psychology has helped her to combat her depression and maintain a more cheerful mood over time.

I hope you enjoyed this newsletter and found at least one idea that will help you make some positive changes in your life. Feel free to forward this newsletter to others who may benefit. 


Warm regards,


Laura L.C. Johnson, MBA, MA, LMFT
Cognitive Behavior Therapist
Diplomate, Academy of Cognitive Therapy

Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center of Silicon Valley provides counseling and therapy for adults, children and teenagers with anxiety and related problems.