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Monday, October 20, 2014

Psychotherapy Blog: Your Perspective About Relationships Can Affect If Your Relationship Survives

In a recent New York Times article by Anna North, Here's the Thing That Lasting Love is All About, she discussed how new research has determined that how you see your relationship--whether you see yourselves as "soul mates" or as two people "on a journey" who are facing obstacles and working together to overcome these obstacles--affects how you cope with problems in your relationship.

Your Perspective About Relationships Can Affect if Your Relationship Survives

According to the research that Ms. North cites in her article, people who see themselves as "destined" to be together, or as some people call it,"soul mates," often don't work as hard as people who take the view that their relationship is like a journey with its inevitable ups and downs.

The research that she mentions indicates that people in a relationship where they see themselves as destined to be together often feel their so-called soul mate is the one and only person and the relationship should be "easy."

This type of thinking implies that when things go wrong, as they invariably do, they often question whether this is actually the person that they should be with rather than working on their problems.

People who see their relationship as being part of a journey usually understand that there will be good times, bad times and in between times, and they will need to work on their relationship when problems arise.

Using the metaphor of a journey, helps them to take the long view rather than assuming that destiny will make for an easy relationship.

In many ways, the research that Ms. North cites in her article confirms what I have observed in my psychotherapy private practice in NYC working with individual adults and couples.

In addition, problems arise when each person in the relationship has different perceptions about relationships.

The following is an example of two people in a relationship where one person thinks in terms of soul mates and destiny, and the other person sees relationships as a journey (as always, this example is a composite of many different cases with all identifying changed to protect confidentiality):

Ann and Bill:
During the first three months of their relationship, Ann and Bill were very happy together.  They met through their political volunteer work and hit it off immediately.

Your Perspective About Relationships Can Affect If Your Relationship Survives

Bill had been in a couple of short relationships before that didn't work out.  But after he met Ann, he felt he understood why these prior relationships didn't work--because he was meant to be with Ann.  As far he was concerned, destiny brought them together and he saw Ann as being his soul mate.

Ann, who was a few years older than Bill, had been in a couple of long term relationships.  She had a different view of relationships.

Based on her prior her experience with relationships, she felt that after the initial stage of the relationship where everything is new and exciting, a couple will begin to confront issues that need to be worked on.  She considered her relationship with Bill to be new.

She knew they were still getting to know each other.  She also considered their relationship to be a long term process where they would deal with whatever issues came up along the way.

In their fourth month together, they got into an argument about how much time to spend together.  Until then, they were spending almost everyday together, and Ann was hardly seeing her friends.  When she told Bill that she wanted to have time to see her friends on her own, he didn't understand.

His feeling was that, since they were soul mates, they didn't need anyone else in their lives and they should be able to fulfill all of each other's needs.

So when Ann told him that she had certain interests that were important to her and that she knew weren't important to Bill, he began to question whether he and Ann should be together.

From Bill's point of view, soul mates shouldn't be having this type of problem:  The relationship should be easy and if they didn't see eye to eye about this, maybe they weren't meant to be together.

Bill's attitude upset Ann and she suggested that they start couples counseling.  But Bill wasn't sure that he believed in couples counseling.  He felt that if two people were meant to be together, they shouldn't need help from a therapist.

When he talked it over with his best friend, Andy, Bill was shocked to discover that Andy and his wife had been in couples counseling the year before for problems that they were having.

Bill always thought of Andy and Sally as being soul mates who were "perfect" for one another, so hearing that they attended couples counseling and worked through their differences challenged Bill's view of their relationship as well as relationships in general.

Andy encouraged Bill to keep an open mind and not look at relationships with such an "all or nothing" view.

Since Bill admired Andy and Sally, he decided to take his advice, even though it didn't feel right to him, and he agreed to attend couples counseling with Ann.

It took a few months in couples counseling before Bill became really open to seeing that relationships could be more complicated than he had imagined.

Your Perspective About Relationships Can Affect if Your Relationship Survives

Even after he began to accept this, part of him still wanted to believe that relationships were either "meant to be" or not.  He was giving up a romantic ideal that he had held for all of his life.

Over time, as Bill and Ann continued in couples counseling and Bill talked to other people that he knew in relationships, he realized that no one that he knew had an "ideal" relationship.  Everyone who had been together for a while had issues that they had to work on.

Gradually, Bill and Ann worked out a compromise over time in therapy.  Bill came to see, reluctantly, that he couldn't fulfill all of Ann's needs and she couldn't fulfill all of his needs.

Although Bill was disappointed about this at first, he also realized that this took a lot of pressure off each of them as individuals as well as the relationship.

Ann and Bill worked out a compromise that allowed each of them to have time together, time with their friends, and down time where each of them had time to themselves.

Rather than seeing their relationship as being part of destiny, Bill began to feel good that they were each choosing to be together because they wanted to be rather than feeling that a force beyond them was controlling things.

Your Perspective About Relationships Can Affect If Your Relationship Will Survive
Also, the tools that each of them developed in couples counseling helped them in many other areas of their relationship.

Having a Lasting Relationship
Most people who have been in stable long term relationships will tell you that their longevity is due in large part to their flexibility, the compromises that they have each been willing to make, as well as taking the long view, in realistic terms (as opposed to idealizing relationships), about their relationship.

Having a Lasting Relationship

Most of them would say that there were bumps along the road, but they didn't see these bumps as problematic in themselves.

What is most important, most couples would say, is how they go about navigating the bumps.

Getting Help in Therapy
Many couples benefit from attending couples counseling to help them negotiate the challenges that come with any relationship after a while.

If you and your partner are having difficulties that the two of you have been unable to work out on your own, you could benefit from seeing a licensed mental health professional who can help you to develop the skills and tools to be happier in your relationship.

About Me
I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist who works with individual adults and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website:  Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006 or email me:  josephineolivia@aol.com.























Monday, October 13, 2014

Psychotherapy Blog: Staying Calm During Chaos

"You are the sky.  Everything else--it's just the weather:" Pema Chodron

Staying Calm During Chaos

The ability to stay calm during chaotic times is a natural ability for some people who seem to be able to stay focused and centered despite the chaos that is going on around them.

For other people, it's a matter of developing and practicing this skill.

Staying Calm During Chaos

The good news is that this skill can be learned by most people, and practicing can increase your ability to use this skill.

Ideally, the best time to learn to develop the ability to stay calm during stressful times is when things are relatively calm in your life.

But it doesn't always happen that way, so here are some tips for how to stay calm during chaotic or stressful times:

Tips for Staying Calm During Chaos
  • Remember to Breathe:  This might sound strange, but it's often the case that when we're under stress or pressure, our breathing becomes shallow, and some people don't realize that they've stopped breathing for seconds at a time.  Also, breathing in a shallow way can make you more anxious.  So, remembering to take a couple of deep breaths can be very helpful (also see my article:  Learning to Relax: Square Breathing).
  • Take Breaks:  Often when we're going through chaotic or stressful times, we think that it's better to keep going nonstop. But making yourself exhausted will only add to your stress.  If you're not in a situation that's an emergency that requires immediate action (like leaving a burning building), it's important to take breaks--even if the breaks are 5 or 10 minutes.  Taking time to regroup can help you to approach the situation feeling refreshed.
  • Stop and Think:  Rather than leaping into action impulsively and working yourself and others into a panic, stop and think, even if it's for a moment, about what's needed in this situation.  Certain situations require immediate action, but many situations would be better handled by reflecting first on what's needed before taking action hastily.  
  • Recognize What You Can and Can't Control:  This isn't always easy to see.  But when it's clear that there are elements of the situation that are beyond your control, don't waste your time and effort on things that you can't change.  Try to solve what you can as efficiently and effectively as you can, and leave the bigger issues to those who are equipped and responsible for handling them.
  • Maintain a Balanced Perspective:  This suggestion goes along with Stop and Think.  During a chaotic situation, it's easy to lose perspective and panic.  Many people, who lose their perspective, end up making the wrong decisions and that makes the situation worse.  By keeping your perspective and asking yourself how you (and those close to you) are directly affected by the situation, you can approach the problem with a clear mind and make better decisions.
  • Maintain Your Healthy Routines:  Some people become so consumed with problem solving or "putting out fires" during chaotic times that they abandon the healthy routines that help them to cope.  Although you might need to modify your routines during stressful times (depending upon what's going on), you can make your situation even more stressful if you completely abandon the healthy routines that help you on a regular basis, like going to the gym, meditating or whatever you do to maintain a sense of well-being.
  • Maintain a Healthy Attitude:  Your perspective about life and situations at hand affect how you think and feel about these situations as well as how you react to them.  It's important to be able to take a step back, even if it's momentarily, to be mindful of how you're responding to the situation that you're dealing with at the time.  If you know yourself well enough to know that you tend to see "the glass as half empty" rather than "half full" most of the time, ask yourself if this attitude is affecting how you're dealing with the problem that you're facing and if you're seeing it in an overly negative way.
  • Get Emotional Support: It's important to stay in contact with people who are emotionally supportive.  Even if supportive friends or family aren't directly involved in the situation, just being able to talk it out can help relieve stress and remind you that there are people who care about you.

Getting Help in Therapy
At times, despite your best efforts, if you're overwhelmed, you might need the help of a licensed mental health professional to assist you emotionally.

A skilled therapist can help you not just to manage the chaos that you're in, but s/he can also assist you to develop healthy coping skills that would help you in any difficult situation.

Getting Help in Therapy

An experienced psychotherapist can also help you to see if the current situation is triggering emotions from old unresolved emotional wounds and help you to work through prior trauma.

About Me
I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist who works with individual adults and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website:  Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006 or email me:  josephineolivia@aol.com.

Also see my article:  The Mind-Body Connection: Mindfulness Meditation








Monday, October 6, 2014

Psychotherapy and the Mindful Self: The Benefits of Mindfulness in Therapy

In a prior article, Psychotherapy and the Mindful Self: What is Mindfulness?, I began a discussion about mindfulness by defining it, discussing its origins, describing some of the similarities between mindfulness and psychotherapy, and beginning to describe some of the benefits of combining mindfulness and therapy.

Psychotherapy and the Mindful Self:  The Benefits of Mindfulness in Therapy

As I mentioned in my prior article, many psychotherapists, especially therapists who value the importance of the mind-body connection, are now using mindfulness interventions as a resource with clients.

I often teach clients how to use mindfulness in therapy, and how to use mindfulness meditation to develop increased awareness of themselves and others.

Mindfulness meditation is usually associated with Vipassana, a form of meditation that comes from Theravada Buddhism.

The word Vipassana is a Pali word which means insight or awareness.  Vipassana is used to help develop awareness or mindfulness.

The Benefits of Using Mindfulness Interventions in Therapy

By using mindfulness in therapy, clients can:
  • increase their capacity for emotion regulation in therapy as well as in everyday life
  • decrease their reactivity to situations that would normally evoke a reactive response
  • decrease perseveration
  • increase their ability to be flexible in their responsiveness
  • increase attentional capacities
  • improve their interpersonal relationships
An Example of a Mindfulness Intervention in Therapy
An example of a mindfulness intervention, as it could be used in a therapy sessions, is as follows:

A therapist, who is working with a client who is processing a traumatic memory, is tracking what is going with the client during their session in terms of his emotions, breathing, facial expression, body language and overall demeanor.  

The therapist notices that as the client continues to talk about being physically abused by his father, the client has a far away gaze, his face has become pale, his jaw is clenched, his breathing is shallow and his body has become tense and rigid.

The therapist senses that the client is no longer in the here-and-now--he is back fully in the traumatic memory of being physically abused.

Rather than allowing the client to remain stuck in this traumatic response, the therapist helps the client to come back to the here-and-now by asking him to breathe and notice what he senses in his body.

As she watches the client increase his breathing, she asks him to slowly scan his body and notice what he is sensing.

As the client begins to calm down, the therapist reminds the client that he can use this mindfulness technique at any time when anything is bothering him.  This helps the client to feel empowered.

When the client is calmer, the therapist will ask the client if he wants to continue processing the traumatic memory or if he wants to stay in this calm state.  She leaves it up to the client, who is the best judge of what he needs at that moment.

Developing Mindfulness as a Skill
Like any new skill, for mindfulness to be effective, you need to practice it.

Many people find it helpful to use a mindfulness recording, like one of the recordings developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, to help guide them.

Developing this skill doesn't mean being "perfect" or judging yourself for not being where you want to be with your mindfulness practice.

In fact, practicing without judgment or attachment is a basic concept in mindfulness.

Getting Help in Therapy
If you feeling anxious, depressed or struggling with unresolved trauma, you owe it to yourself to get help from a licensed mental health professional.

About Me
I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR, and Somatic Experiencing therapist who works with individual adults and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website:  Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006 or email me.


















Saturday, October 4, 2014

Psychotherapy Blog: Psychotherapy and the Mindful Self: What is Mindfulness?

The use of mindfulness as part of psychotherapy has become increasingly popular over the last several years.  The popularity of mindfulness can be attributed, in large part, to the development of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) as well as mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR).

Psychotherapy and the Mindful Self:  What is Mindfulness?

But for many people who are new to therapy or to mindfulness concepts, mindfulness still remains somewhat of a mystery.  So before I discuss the benefits of mindfulness, I thought it would be best to first define it as well as look at its origins.

What is Mindfulness?
The word "mindfulness" comes from the Pali word "sati," which means having awareness, attention and remembering.

Being in a mindful state involves getting quiet and having an awareness of the present moment.

When clients practice mindfulness, they have an awareness of their own internal and reflective states without attachment or judgment.

Psychotherapy and the Mindful Self:  What is Mindfulness?

According to the Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, mindfulness enables a sense of connection with others.

He uses the term "interbeing," which is a Buddhist concept which says that by living in the present moment, one can experience the interconnection of all beings.

The Buddhist concept of "interbeing" is similar to the psychological concept of intersubjectivity.

In psychology, intersubjectivity refers to a relational form of therapy where the emphasis is on the intersubjective dynamic between the client and the therapist.

How is Mindfulness Similar to Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy and mindfulness can both:
  • help clients to develop the ability to understand their own as well as others'  behavior
  • emphasize the fluid and temporary nature of internal states
  • enhance emotional regulation and mental flexibility
  • allow clients to be aware in the present moment
  • emphasize the intersubjective dynamic between self and others
Mindfulness as a Resource in Psychotherapy
Since mindfulness can help clients to regulate their emotions, I often help clients to develop mindfulness as a resource in our sessions as well as in their everyday lives.

Mindfulness is especially helpful when clients are processing painful traumatic experiences in therapy.  It allows them to have a dual awareness of processing painful memories as well the present moment of being in therapy room with the therapist.

Mindfulness as a Resource in Psychotherapy

Rather than getting overwhelmed by difficult, powerful emotions, using mindfulness in therapy can help clients to experience these emotions at the same time that they develop an observing self.  This helps clients to manage their emotions.

In a future article, I'll discuss the benefits of using mindfulness in psychotherapy.

Getting Help in Therapy
Everyone needs help at some point in his or her own life.

If you're struggling with painful emotions that you've been unable to overcome on your own, you could benefit from attending therapy with a licensed mental health professional.

About Me
I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist who works with individual adults and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website:  Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006 or email me.






Monday, September 29, 2014

Psychotherapy Blog: Reacting to the Present Based on Your Traumatic Experiences of the Past: Part 2

In my last article, Reacting to the Present Based on Your Traumatic Experiences of the Past: Part 1,  I wrote about how past experiences can get triggered in the present and gave short scenarios as examples.

Reacting to the Present Based on Your Traumatic Experience of the Past

In this article, I will give a composite case to show how trauma therapy can help clients in therapy to overcome this problem.

The following scenario, as always, is a composite of many different therapy cases:

Ed
Ed began therapy because he was having a very difficult time at work with a supervisor who was a bully.

Reacting to the Present Based on Your Traumatic Experiences of the Past 

He was aware that many of colleagues also had problems with this boss, but he couldn't understand why he froze in fear whenever this supervisor bullied him.  Ed knew that he was considered one of the company's top employees, and that he wasn't going to be fired.  He also knew that  his supervisor often blew off steam at the expense of employees and after he blew off steam, he would calm down again, as if he never lost his temper.

But knowing all of this didn't help Ed, and he couldn't understand why.  He just didn't seem logical to him.

Ed discussed his early history, which included a father with an explosive temper, who often hit Ed's mother, Ed and Ed's siblings.

Even though he still resented his father for how he lost his temper when Ed was a child, Ed and his father began to get along better after Ed became an adult.

His father got help in therapy when Ed was in his late teens, and his father discovered that he had post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from his military experience.  Getting help allowed Ed's father to work through his rage and fear in therapy, so he no longer lost his temper with Ed and his family.

After hearing about Ed's history, I provided him with psychoeducation about trauma, including how past trauma can get triggered in the present as well how intergenerational trauma (his father's PTSD) might have affected Ed and his family (see my article:  Psychotherapy and Transgenerational Trauma).

As Ed described his reaction to his father when Ed was a child and his reaction to his current supervisor  in his current situation, there were obvious parallels.

Reacting to the Present Based on Your Traumatic Experiences of the Past

As we discussed this, Ed could see it, but his new insight about this wasn't enough to stop him from getting triggered whenever his supervisor lost his temper so, as a first step, we worked on developing the necessary coping skills to help calm himself during the supervisor's outbursts.

Developing these coping skills, which included mindfulness meditation and breathing exercises was a good first step to help Ed to calm himself after he reacted to his supervisor's outbursts (see my articles:  The Mind Body Connection: Mindfulness Meditation and Learning to Relax: Square Breathing).

The next step in therapy was for Ed and I to deal with his past trauma using EMDR, a mind-body oriented therapy that was developed by Francine Shapiro, Ph.D. to help clients overcome trauma.

Whereas talk therapy is usually a top-down therapeutic approach, EMDR and other mind-body oriented  types of therapy are a bottom-up approach (see my article:  Mind-Body Psychotherapy: The Body is a Window Into the Unconscious).

Gradually, Ed began to work through his early trauma related to the abuse he experienced and also the abuse that he witnessed as a child.

Once he worked through his personal trauma, although he found it annoying, he was no longer triggered by his supervisor's temper.  He also took positive action on his own behalf and found another job with a healthier work environment.

Getting Help in Therapy
EMDR isn't a "quick fix" and each person will process trauma in his or her own way.  However, EMDR and other types of mind-body oriented therapy, like Somatic Experience and clinical hypnosis, are usually more effective in resolving trauma than talk therapy.

Getting Help in Therapy

If you are struggling with unresolved emotional trauma, you owe it to yourself to get help from a licensed mental health professional who is a trauma therapist.

Once you have worked through your emotional trauma, you can be free to live your life without getting emotionally triggered by your past.

About Me
I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist who works with individual adults and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website:  Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up an appointment for a consultation, please call me at (212) 726-1006 or email me.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Psychotherapy Blog: Reacting to the Present Based on Your Traumatic Experiences of the Past - Part 1

All of us, without exception, are affected by our past experiences.

Sometimes, we're aware of how our past affects our perspective about the present.  But, often, we're not aware that we're reacting to the present based on our experiences of the past because these experiences remain unconscious.

Reacting to the Present Based on Your Traumatic Experiences of the Past

When the effect of past experiences, whether they're conscious or unconscious, has a positive effect, this isn't usually a problem.

But when the effect of past experience is negative, there are bound to be problems.

Why?

Because we're seeing current situations, which might not really be negative, through the lens of our own past negative experiences.

Instead of responding to current situations by reflecting on their meaning in the present, we respond in a negative way because we're getting triggered by the past.

Reacting to the Present Based on Your Traumatic Experiences of the Past

When this occurs, most people are unaware of it and confuse what happened in the past with what is happening now (see my article:  Working Through Emotional Trauma: Learning to Separate "Then" From "Now" in Therapy).

This makes it difficult to reflect on the current circumstances.  And, most of the time, it also makes it difficult to engage in self reflection about what's going on internally on an emotional level.

In a future article, I'll give a composite scenario of how this often plays and how trauma therapy can help.

For now, here is a list of examples of how this can occur in situations:

Examples of Reacting to the Present Based on Traumatic Experiences of the Past:
  • Tom is walking down the street when he sees a woman approaching with her German shepherd on a leash.  Suddenly, Tom's heart begins to pound, he begins to perspire, and without even consciously realizing what he's doing, he is running as fast as he can down the street in the opposite direction to get away from the dog.  When he gets home and calls his older sister to tell her about what happened, she tells him that when he was two year's old, he was bitten by a German shepherd who broke loose from his leash.  Tom has no recollection of being bitten at two and so he can't understand why he would respond this way now.
Reacting to the Present Based on Your Traumatic Experiences of the Past
  • Ray is veteran who served in Iraq and witnessed the atrocities of war.  When he walks down the street, he tends to be anxious and vigilant about what's going on around him.  Suddenly, a car backfires and, without thinking about it, Ray dives for cover.  He is trembling all over, afraid that he'll be hit by enemy fire.   Even after he realizes that he isn't in Iraq, he gets startled when a passerby tries to help him to get up.  He doesn't know that he has posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from his military experiences.
  • Jane gets into a cab to go crosstown to visit a friend.  She tells the taxi driver where she wants to go and she sits back and relaxes as they head in the direction to her friend's apartment.  But as the taxi driver begins to chat with Jane, she has a visceral reaction.  She's shaking and has an urge to jump out of the cab in the middle of the highway, but she doesn't know why.  She feels confused and she can't think straight.  All she knows is that she needs to get out of the car immediately, so she tells the driver to pull over and let her out.  Then, she gets out of the taxi as quickly as possible.  Later on that day, when she arrives at her friend's apartment by subway, she sobs as she tells her friend she doesn't know what happened.  As her friend listens to the story, she makes the connection that Jane didn't remember at that moment:  Jane was raped on a dark street when she was a teenager, but she never saw the man.  But her friend pieces things together and she realizes, based on what Jane told her, that the taxi driver had a similar accent to the man who raped Jane.  This was enough for Jane to have a trauma response.
There are many similar examples where a current situation triggers a trauma situation from the past.

Reacting to the Present Based on Your Traumatic Experiences of the Past

Whether the trigger is known or unknown, the person can have a visceral emotional and physical reaction to the current situation.

It often makes no sense in the present because there's nothing going on in the current situation that would warrant these traumatic reactions.

Even for people who can make the connection between the past and the present, they often don't understand why something from the past should have such a big negative impact on them in the present because they don't understand what it means to get emotionally triggered by the past--whether the past is as an infant or the past was last week.

Getting Help in Therapy
There are times when regular talk therapy isn't effective in helping traumatized clients to work through their history of trauma (see my article:  When Talk Therapy Isn't Enough).

If you suspect that you're having a traumatic response where you're getting emotionally and physically triggered by the past, you can get help in therapy from a licensed mental health professional who has expertise in trauma therapy, like EMDRSomatic Experiencing or clinical hypnosis.

Working through your trauma can help to free you from your history so that you can live in the present and no longer have responses based on your past.

About Me
I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist who works with individual adults and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website:  Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006 or email me.
















Monday, September 22, 2014

Psychotherapy Blog: Some Thoughts About Autumn and New Beginnings

My school days are long behind me, and yet, even as an adult, whenever autumn rolls around, I feel the same type of anticipation I felt when I was a student.

Autumn and New Beginnings
I can still remember the excitement and anticipation about starting a new school year and everything involved with preparation for the new year:  getting new outfits for school, buying new pens and pencils, and wondering what my teachers would be like and who would be in my class.

To this day, even though I have a Smart phone where I could schedule my appointments, I still use an academic appointment book that runs from August to September because that's how I still experience the year.

To me, September feels like the beginning of the new year--not January.

As a child, I experienced that last day before going back to school with a sense of wistfulness.  I still feel that way as summer ends and autumn begins.

Up until that last day,  summer seemed to go on forever.

It's interesting how we experience time as children as opposed to how we experience it as adults.  Now, of course, each summer seems to go by faster and faster.  

I had a cousin who would lay around brooding all day long on the day before school started because she wanted to make that day feel like it lasted a long time.

Autumn:  New Beginnings

Somehow, for me, Autumn still feels like it's the time for new beginnings.

After taking it easier during the summer, Autumn brings a sense of starting something new, whether it's new projects, new commitments that we make to ourselves or a new perspective that we hope to develop.

Starting Therapy
After being away for all or part of the summer, along with all the other changes that people anticipate, many people consider starting therapy in the fall.

If you're considering starting therapy, whether it's for the first time or you're returning to therapy, I hope you will enjoy reading some of these articles and that they'll be helpful to you:



About Me
I'm a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist who works with individual adults and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website:  Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006 or send me an email.