Friday, December 20, 2013

BTW: Site Update

Just FYI I have heard you and I agree. I have been frustrated to not be able to make paragraphs and fix the spacing issues. It all looks good until I hit the Publish button and it looks as you see it on the blog. I will do some research to fix it and more pictures with each post are coming too. Thanks for your suggestions and thanks for reading. Now go live well. Rich Panther, LCSW

It's All Me! A Recent History of Rich

You might know that I started this blog as a complement to my private mental health practice, Insight Associates, LLC, in 2007. At the time I had no goal for it at all. I only wanted a way to connect with those of you who might be interested in such topics.

If you ever worked with us in the past, you might know that I have had a small number of therapists join me occasionally. They actually took on the bulk of the work for a period of years with me seeing fewer clients to focus on my other business interest, Workplace Solutions, LLC, (getworkplacesolutions.com) providing a variety of business services.

Eventually these therapists moved on to other interests and opportunities as I worked as an Employee Assistance Program therapist to our corporate clients via Workplace Solutions. I let Insight Associates and this "Your Insightful Life" blog coast and did nothing to promote or grow either of them.

In December 2011, I decided to change my life (for reasons I'll write about later) and left the day-to-day operations of Workplace Solutions to a very capable manager while I took a year off. No exotic travels, just a reconnecting with daily life for me. And a lot of time to think about my past efforts and a conscious decision to get back to what I always loved, helping others find peace and fulfillment as a therapist.

I say all this to tell you that I have mostly left the corporate work behind and will focus on helping individual clients again. This all helps keep me grounded and I have recommitted to the one-to-one and couples focused work I have always prefered.

So, we are back! But, it's just me for the foreseeable future. I prefer it this way and I look forward to moving forward with all of you. There are numerous extra options coming in this first part of 2014. Get on my emailing list for my upcoming newsletter to stay up to date. Thanks for joining me.

Rich Panther, LCSW

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Undervalued in your relationship?

We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness. - Thich Nhat Hanh

Feeling chronically undervalued in your primary relationship is a subtle kind of misery that eats at the soul. It can be a withering process of uncertainty and self-doubt that can build to self-loathing if we don't take action to counter it. You are at the core of all you experience. Take action. Make choices that lead you in the right direction according to your own needs and values. You are the only one who can make sure you get all you deserve from your partner. Talk. Negotiate. Decide. Do.

Get out there and Live Richly.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Connection is Everything

A professor of mine once said, “every human being needs to get what they want from a relationship or they will leave”. At the time this sounded harsh, but over years as a therapist, the truth of that statement has been proven to me.

Think about all the people you know and who know you. You can measure each of them by the quality of the connection you share. You have some sense of how much they might help you if you needed it, how much you like one another. You also have some idea about how far is too far to go with them.

Some lucky and healthy people feel connected to others even without knowing them of course. Others can live entirely in the "us and them" model of relationships. Regardless, your connections are worth preserving and therefore you might consider making a conscious effort to make more and nurture those you currently have in place.

You can think of it almost like putting money in the bank when you give of yourself to keep your relationship vital and relevant. Not doing so risks that your connection will wither. Of course, this can happen even with your best efforts to avoid it. Others will make their own choices and they are not always the ones we would prefer.

If a Mother's love is as close to "pure" acceptance and unending devotion, at least in an ideal world, then everyone else needs some form of maintenance from you. Spend time with those you most enjoy and give the rest to others too. It matters and will likely be enriching for you both.

Live well

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Teach and Practice Empathy

Emapthy is one of the most useful tools in managing life and yet it is rarely emphasized directly. We all know that kids need to learn to share and understand the feelings of others but how many of us teach it?

Let your child see you practicing empathy by watching you ask and answer those questions that might be part of that decision making process. "How would you feel if you were in that situation?" How do you think that character (on TV or on the street or etc) is feeling about being in this situation.

Yes, the age of the child is a big factor in your approach but even young kids can benefit from your pointing out that you think this character might be feeling this way or that. Even stating how you might feel in a given situation could help illustrate the process for youngsters.

Think about all the ways we adults use empathy at least weekly if not daily. It is important and it deserves to be dealt with directly for the success of our kids.

Live well.

Monday, August 12, 2013

New Voicemail Feature!

We just installed our new voicemail feature that is always available on the right side of each page. It records a 90 second message that is emailed to us to access quickly. Leave us comments or ideas for more posts. We want to give you what you want. How often do you hear that! Thanks for reading.

Live Well!

Give Your Child Purpose

Its often not the first thing parents think of with all the hustle of daily life. But giving your child a purpose can help them feel connected to others and give them a responsibility that will serve them positively the rest of their lives.

This can be as simple as a statement like, "our family believes that we should each make the world a better place by helping others, therefore your purpose is to help others".

Everyone can make their own choice about how to fill in the blank in the statement. And starting early in the child's life is ideal. As is letting them see you doing such activities and enjoying them.

This issue has been raised many times with adults in our practice who report never being given a purpose and / or never having felt they had a purpose in their lives. Most often these folks would say they felt less responsible and less empowered to influence their own destiny or those of others close to them.

It might or might not benefit a child into adulthood, but it seems like a no-brainer to try to ground your child in your family's values by setting them a direction that cannot do anything but facilitate their connection to their world. This has been called being given a "Noble Purpose" and we would all be well-served to have one at the core of our lives as a decision-making element, a sense of personal responsibility for helping others, and a nugget around which to build a solid sense of self. Think about it.

Live well!