personal growth

A Female Call To Arms! Be Yourself

Throw away all the extras and show your boyfriend the real you. If you don’t: if you choose instead to hide behind fake eyelashes and reinforced hair; if you pump and prod in order to look as much as you can like Meg Ryan or Beyoncé, or Rihanna, remember that … if we’re lucky and… Read more »

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What is a Mentally Healthy Person? An Interview with Robert Firestone, Ph.D.

A few weeks ago at Esalen, a retreat center in Big Sur, CA, I co-taught a two-day workshop called “Conquer Your Critical Inner Voice.” As part of the weekend, I showed the participants a video clip of an interview I did with my father Dr. Robert Firestone. The participants found it inspirational, so I thought… Read more »

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4 Steps to Conquer Your Inner Critic

Most of us are familiar with those nagging thoughts that tell us we are not good enough, that cast doubt on our goals and undermine our accomplishments. These thoughts might be there to greet us when we first glimpse at ourselves in the mirror in the morning. “You’re so unattractive. You’re fat. What a slob…. Read more »

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Why It Is Good For You to Feel Negative Emotions

How can we best deal with our day-to-day emotional reactions? What can we do when our partner lets us down, when we have a struggle with our child, or when we feel provoked by a friend? Oddly enough, the first piece of advice is to stay with the pain. It turns out we expend much… Read more »

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Stress Counseling Can Slow Aging: Strengthening the Mind-Body Connection

In the stone age, tiny holes were drilled into human skulls in order to release evil spirits and cure an individual of a disease. These tiny holes, called trepanation, were a reflection of a belief in a relationship between the mind and the body, a belief that has been wrestled with throughout the history of… Read more »

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The Emotional Life of Students: An Interview with Dr. Daniel Zamir

Student counselor, Dr. Daniel Zamir, draws upon his experience working at UCLA’s counseling center and discusses common issues university students seek to address. He touches upon a variety of key topics, including  relationships, anxiety, body image, depression, sexual identity, and stress reduction. [SlideDeck2 id=13141]

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Self-Esteem vs. Narcissism

As a culture, we are highly concerned with self-esteem. And this is a good thing. How we feel about ourselves determines how we treat those around us and vice versa. In 1890, William James identified self-esteem as a fundamental human need, no less essential for survival than emotions such as anger and fear. And yet,… Read more »

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A New Look at Differentiation

Remaining undifferentiated renders one unable to fully accept the gift of life and, instead, leaves one merely living out the life of another. The Self Under Siege I believe a fundamental question for people to consider is whose life are they living? Are they pursuing the things that really light them up, that matter to… Read more »

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The Unselfish Gift of Going on a Retreat

As any of you still shopping for that perfect present for that certain someone knows, this time of year is designed for thinking about others. Thoughts of getting away or doing something for yourself seem, at best, foreign and, at worst, selfish. Odd as it may seem, taking real, quality time to “escape” from your… Read more »

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It Is Immoral To Stop People From Loving You

Some of the most destructive behaviors, commonplace in relationships, are those that people act out in an attempt to ward off loving responses from their partner. In The Ethics of Interpersonal Relationships, I wrote about the dynamics underlying this phenomenon, explaining why we often punish the very person who appreciates and acknowledges us for our positive… Read more »

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