June 2009 
Healing Matters
In This Issue
Conscious Aging
How to Make the Most of Family Time, Part 2
Clinician in the Spotlight
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Excuses Begone!: How to Change Lifelong, Self-Defeating, Thinking Habits   By Wayne W Dyer 

   As a therapist, I see people every day who are struggling to change aspects of their lives that are making them very anxious, unhappy or depressed.  They can often see what's wrong, but actually changing those lifelong thinking habits can be incredibly challenging.
Now, Wayne Dyer has written a book that describes how to change the self-defeating limiting beliefs that we have carried around with us since childhood.  It's these beliefs that keep us from living at the highest levels of success and happiness.  He describes 18 common excuses that we are all familiar with, including If I changed it would create family drama, I'm too old or too young, it would be difficult for me to do it differently, I don't have time and I've always been this way.  Dr. Dyer describes how we learn these excuses in childhood and then use them so frequently they become ingrained habits.  Worse yet, we teach them to everyone we come in contact with, just as they were taught to us. 
Yet, Dr. Dyer does not leave us in despair of ever conquering these habits.  Instead he tackles these excuses head on, presenting seven principles that can help us change the way we look at excuses forever.  He shows us how these principles can help us cast aside these conscious and sub-conscious crutches that we have been using for so long. 
But that's only the beginning.  Dr. Dyer goes on to offer a method to challenge each excuse and helps you to see it merely as a rationale for staying the same.  The experience of using his seven questions to create a new set of beliefs brings about a paradigm shift in your thinking.  As you apply this shift in thinking, the old excuses will melt away.  You'll ultimately realize that there are no excuses worth defending, ever, even if they've always been a part of your life.   When you eliminate the need to explain your shortcomings or failures, you'll experience a new joy and freedom that will change your life.  I highly recommend that you take the time to read and re-read this excellent book.

Reviewed by Marie Kish, Psychotherapist and Business Coach at Healing Circles Wellness Center


In each issue of Healing Matters, we plan on sharing information related to body, mind, and spirit and the importance of each of these in living a healthy fulfilling life.

We hope you enjoy this publication, and we welcome feedback on possible future topics that would
 be helpful for you.
  Conscious Aging: Recognizing the Beauty in Aging
" When grace is joined with wrinkles, it is adorable. There is an unspeakable dawn in happy old age."  -Victor Hugo
With each tick of the clock, our bodies age. Mainstream American society, with its emphasis on youth, beauty, and productivity, has had little tolerance or respect for aging. Fortunately, as the huge demographic of baby boomers become senior citizens, society's concepts about aging are changing rapidly. Creative, positive, successful, and productive aging have become buzz words in the media-highlighting how to maintain your brain, practice preventative health and wellness, and start a new career to allow "60 to be the new 40"! Conscious aging, while less covered in the media, is another path that elders are choosing as they aim to embrace aging as an opportunity to deepen spiritually and gain deeper insight about what it means to be human.
Positive aging movements bring much needed attention to and education about aging. However, even these movements allow some uncomfortable beliefs to persist about what it means to age. There seems to be a denial of the aging process as normal and a fear of talking about what it means to come to the end of life. This need not be the case. Conscious aging is a holistic concept of aging that encourages elders to embrace all that it means to age and to share what they know with the younger generations. To age consciously includes accepting the many losses that accompany aging; learning to let go of what no longer serves, and creating a larger capacity to share wisdom, compassion, and empathy. Consciously aging allows a person to come full circle in their life-to explore with curiosity and openness what life and death are and who one really is. It is a spiritual path that is ancient in its origin but refreshingly new in each moment of discovery for the individual.  Harry R. Moody, PhD, a leading researcher in the field of aging, describes the conscious aging journey as five stages. Perhaps one of theses stages will resonate with you:
The Call-You are drawn to listen to an inner voice that persistently calls for self-exploration;
The Search-You search for the authentic spiritual path/practice that fits your needs;
The Struggle-You must endure the distractions, challenges, diversions from the path and be willing to meet the obstacles head on;
The Breakthrough-You experience awakening, a state of transcendence, from which your life is transformed; and
The Return-You integrate awakening with your everyday life and give back to humankind in your unique expression.
If you notice that you are feeling increasingly dissatisfied with the labels society sticks on you as you age...If you notice a longing for living your life authentically at last...If you have a sense of knowing that this life is more than meets the eye...These types of thoughts may be calling you to the conscious aging journey. The journey is open to all and the rewards are the ultimate experience of being human.
"As we grow old...the beauty stills inward." -Emerson
Pamela McDonald, LCSW-C   301-712-9015, ext. 1022
Upcoming Massage Specials
  New Clients -$10 off a 60 or 90 min Session 
Wellness Wednesdays - $20.00
Day of Escape on October 10th 
Includes Foot Indulgence & Brunch - $60.00 
  How to Make the Most of Family Time, Part 2

   As your children settle into another year of school, summer fun, camps, and vacations give way to new activities - schoolwork, homework, and extra-curricular activities.  It is also a good time to re-evaluate your family time together.  The best way to make the most of family time is to let is happen - anytime and anywhere.  During a child's first few years of growth, the brain develops the most, so it is particularly important to have quality family time.  Teens still need involvement with their parents as they grow into adulthood.   The main ingredient for better family time is good communication.        
Some General Tips:
 Make sure family time is simple.  Be reasonable about the length of time spent and the intensity of the activity.  Take into account your children's age, mental and physical abilities.
 Involve your child or teen in the decision making process.  Make a list of the ideas and then decide as a family when or where to do the different activities.
 Have meals together.  It is the best way to stay connected.  Remember, no interruptions of TV or electronics.  Also, share the responsibilities of the mealtime, before and after.
 Make the most out of daily tasks.  Make up counting, guessing, playful games while doing the task.  This makes the task go smoother and you have easily spent quality time with your child.
 Allow your child to choose their own interests or activities.  It will be easier if they have an interest in the activity.  Discuss issues of concern or safety in terms that they can understand.
 Involve older siblings with younger ones.  This is not a time to have the older ones babysit the younger ones; it is a time for bringing the family closer together.  Some suggestions: reading a book to the child or the entire family, playing one of the child's games, helping the younger ones in preparing a meal for everyone.
 Go for a drive.  If they are learning to drive, take them some place to practice and be patient with them.  Let them know how it was for you when you were learning.  If they are not ready to drive, choose a place to go they have an interest in.  On the way, start a conversation about this interest.
Take one day a month and make it "their day".  Let them choose the activity and make their favorite meal for them.  Discuss the activity.  This can be done with one parent or both.
 The Best Family Time of all is Having Fun with your kids.  Remember, now is a time to enjoy them and help them to become happy and well-adjusted adults.
Sharon Govtsos. LGSW
301-712-9015, ext. 1012
Clinician in the Spotlight
Claire Wilhide, LGPC
  Claire provides psychotherapy for adults and couples. She is passionate about helping people whose anxieties, worries, and life stresses have compromised their wellbeing and helps them discover new possibilities for regaining greater peace of mind. Her studies to assist clients in this area include Guided Imagery and Hypnosis. She also specializes in issues surrounding pregnancy loss and termination; unresolved grief; self-acceptance and forgiveness; life transitions; family of origin concerns; depression; trauma recovery; and spiritual issues. She holds a Masters in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola College and received her Certification in Thanatology for Grief & Loss from Hood College in 2003.
When working with couples, Claire employs Emotion Focused Couples Therapy to guide couples in the process of mending broken connections and creating a more fulfilling and meaningful relationship together. Essential to her approach to therapy is creating a comfortable, safe, and trusting therapeutic relationship in which one can feel heard and understood. She helps her clients identify issues and old patterns of coping that may no longer be useful and explore new positive approaches that support growth, insight, and change. She emphasizes developing a curious, compassionate stance toward oneself that allows for greater clarity and deeper meaning to emerge from life's complexities.
Claire believes that "from the wound comes the gift" and so it is when we transform our past wounds and challenges into the gifts of growth and healing. The process of therapy invites us toward a greater sense of self integrity, resiliency and resourcefulness in engaging with life.
Claire Wilhide, LGPC
301-712-9015, Ext. 1020
Live well,

The Clinicians at
Healing Circles Wellness Center