Wait, I’m The 3rd Best PSYCHIATRIST in Pensacola?!?

Posted Posted in Other Cool Topics

So we have an “alt-weekly” newspaper here in Pensacola that I love called the inweekly. Every city needs one of these to stir the pot, by the way. And they’ve actually stirred up some major scandals and such over the years that the main paper here missed. They’re also way into arts and culture and all that, too, as most of these alt-weeklies are, so it’s a good publication. Anyway, they give out their annual Best of the Coast Awards, and this year I won 2nd runner-up for best psychiatrist. Woohoo!! Except… I’m not even a psychiatrist… Or a medical doctor of any kind… So what’s up with this? Also see my recent post about counseling versus psychiatry to understand the different job titles and who does what. And if you’re interested, you can see my post about how my counseling style, which I just call fast growth, is a different way to do it. And I think it’s a freaking evolutionary shift, with the results to back it up! And it’s time to get louder about it, not because I’m anything special but because I’ve found a way that works better and I really, really, really want people to have the option of being happy. I’ve had excellent teachers and training, and I want to share it, that’s all. Back to the story…

So someone from the inweekly emailed me a month or so ago telling me that I’d won something. I’d already asked them to have a Best Counselor/Therapist category, but it was too late for this year’s edition. So I emailed back saying what did I win? Because I didn’t fit any of the categories. They said runner-up psychiatrist. Really?? I swear I was not behind any voting scheme to do this, by the way; total shocker. So I said that’s great, but I’m not a psychiatrist. They said the people have spoken, so we’re cool with it if you are. And I said hells yeah, let’s do this! Because to me, this represents a message from the people that they’re ready for a better way. If I have anxiety, I’m unhappy, I have an anger issue, I count random things a lot, etc., then please don’t put me on meds right away. Send me to someone to talk to first. And send me to someone that can explain how our thinking works, and how the body is always responding to it. If I think in a frantic way, the body will feel frantic. If I think more calmly, the body will feel more calm. It’s the law. And since I’m a human, I have a totally calm source of thinking built-in. And we can all absolutely learn and practice this; you don’t have to be born super chilled out. I sure wasn’t! And I’m getting better at it all the time.

So here we are. Pensacola’s third best psychiatrist is someone that is a big believer in meds being the last resort. He is a big believer that we want people to be on the least number of different meds. He is a big believer that we want people to be on the lowest dosage of each med. He knows at least one person that almost died because she was on so many pills, and they knew this because when they switched doctors and the new one reduced the pills immediately, the person magically came back to life. “We thought we were losing mom, but when the meds were cut in half, she came right back to life pretty fast.” That happens more often than you think. So with people that really need to talk to someone first, let’s please send them to someone. Don’t try putting them on this pill or that pill; that can totally be done later. This is a big deal, folks, and people are starting to figure it out. Let’s change this!

So I took out a big ass half-page ad describing how I talk to people to help them feel better naturally. It’s posted on the Facebook page for A Clean Mind. And it was a nice ad, very positive (and much nicer than I’m talking now). But some of these shrinks piss me off! It’s like they don’t have a clue. It’s like they think their patient is a lab rat. And I’m sure they don’t, I really am, but I can’t help but get that feeling when I hear the stories in my office. And the worst ones are the vets going to the VA. Wow. And they risked their lives for this country. Okay, rant alert… Backing down off the ledge… Whew, I’m back, that was a close call…

So let’s finish with a nice warm fuzzy. If meds help you, then I’m all for it. But if not, you might have another option. There might be a real “you” in there that is way more awesome and powerful and wise than even the best version you could ever imagine. And you might just need to learn how to get out of the way. Hey, I’m learning all the time. And I’m judging myself less and less, too. It’s a work in progress. But this stuff works, it really does. I don’t know what’s stirring in the air now, but it’s Thursday afternoon as I write this and this week has been off the charts with the transformations, it really has. It’s been blowing me away.

And it’s just the beginning, too. We need to get this information in schools so we can put counselors and psychiatrists out of business, expect in extreme situations. That’s what they should really be used for anyway. But so many of the people that see them are fine, and they just don’t know it. Because nobody told them. And they listen to this crappy voice in their head (that nobody else even hears or cares about) that makes them feel otherwise. When people hear this stuff from me and then things happen in their lives that they handle SO much better than than ever thought they could, it’s pretty awesome. It’s amazing. I’ve already teared up once today, in fact, sharing this with someone for the first time and inviting her to go out and live some life and see for herself. Then come see me again next week to discuss, to compare notes. So cool.

So thanks, whoever voted me for this award! One friend came clean and said he wrote me in, but certainly it must take more than one vote to get third place. And of course the Best Psychiatrist category must be one of the least popular categories… But still, thanks to whoever did this. Because I think the message is awesome, and I think it very clearly represents the way that things are headed in the future as humans evolve. Because the results are in, and this works. It just does. Because it’s all true stuff that I’m sharing. You are not what you think you are. And you sure as hell are not small. And I’d love to join with you in our mutual awakening to the awesomeness that we are, built-in, right now, without having to lift a finger. So thanks, and as always, let me know if I can help!

How Is My Approach Different?

Posted Posted in Essential Topics, Other Cool Topics

I’ve often said that what I do with clients is a different way to do counseling or therapy. I don’t even really call it counseling or therapy, in fact; I call it fast growth or transformation. And is there any stigma associated with fast growth or transformation?? Thankfully, NO! Quite the opposite, in fact. And know that I definitely haven’t invented anything; I’ve just had good training and good teachers, and I always put it together in the best, most natural way for me. I hear all the time from clients that have been to other counselors, and they say this is totally different and much more effective. Why? In short, the word is “transformational.” My goal is to help you to understand that what you really are is probably way more amazing and powerful than what you thought you were. And when that shift happens, life can never be the same.

For one thing, what I do is mostly education. But it’s education that changes your life! It’s what would be taught in middle school in a more evolved society. Sure, I hold a safe space for people, I listen, and I don’t judge them and all that. But there’s lots of education. Education about what? About the fact (yes, fact) that there’s a good feeling already inside of you and that there’s an intelligence behind all things, pushing everything. I help people learn to get out of the way of something smarter that can not only handle life’s stressors but can also thrive. We get very specific about how people get in the way of this intelligence. The main way is by listening to a crappy voice in our head that, get ready for this, nobody else even hears or cares about! And they learn that there’s a better voice that’s always there, though it’s usually quieter. We call this our wisdom, or even our plain old common sense. Listening to the chatter creates feelings that layer on top of the deeper feeling of peace and contentment. So we have to learn how to feel, burning through those layers. Can you see that this isn’t even very complicated? It just takes practice. And we end up carrying a much lighter load. A client told me this today, in fact, after only one session. She’s getting out of the way to what’s already there. Awesome!

A big part of this is also major self-love and total worthiness. This gets into what we think we are, also known as our self-concept. Am I really a body that’s going to die? Well, there happens to be a mountain of evidence – yes, evidence – that says hell no! And there’s more coming out all the time. Read (or listen to) something like Dying To Be Me by Anita Moorjani, or watch the hour-long documentary Afterlife (on Netflix if you have that). Or read Soul Survivor by Bruce and Andrea Leininger. There’s a ton of this stuff out there, a freaking ton. And it says very clearly that you are not what you think you are. You are ridiculously magnificent, innocent, unlimited, infinite, loving, etc. Literally. Right now! So I help people with this “Self-concept,” and notice the capital ‘S’ this time. Pretty sneaky… And Self-love and worthiness are all built-in. Even if someone gets freaked out by the thought that they might be an eternal, amazing soul (or whatever word you choose), that’s fine; I’ll still help them with self-love. Because why not love yourself?? Have you ever really sat down and thought about it? Has the whole “being totally hard on myself” plan really worked? So we talk about that sort of thing.

Can you see how I might have a pretty cool job? I’m certainly not perfect at it, and there have been plenty of clients that I haven’t been able to reach. There have also been some that I saw once and assumed I didn’t reach, and then I ran into them or heard from them them six months later and they said that one session changed their life! That happened this weekend, in fact. So I’m always getting better at casting a wider net and being able to help more and more people; that’s how anything works, you get better with practice. But the transformations are happening at a pretty awesome rate, I’d say. This is not normal counseling, and thank heavens for that! Because if you talk to the people that go see counselors, you get the feeling that it can be really hit or miss. Much of it is lame, unfortunately, and the people say they just don’t learn anything. And I can’t even say it’s the therapists’ fault, because the training isn’t that great in general. It’s mostly a bunch of theories from the past that probably didn’t have that great a success rate to begin with. So why are we still studying that stuff?

Uh-oh, we’re teetering on the edge of a rant… Sorry! I don’t want to do that, I really don’t, so please accept my apology. It comes from a really good place, though, and that’s the desire for people to be happy if they truly want to be happy. And the desire for the “happiness experts” to be super effective at helping their clients reach this goal, and in the shortest amount of time. So I don’t want to put other counselors down personally (and a lot of them are amazing), because that’s not at all what this is about. What I am very clearly saying is that it’s time for an evolutionary leap for the entire counseling field. And I think the way I’m doing it is absolutely, clearly one such leap. The results are in, and it’s improving all the time. And there are many others out there doing phenomenal work as well. And many that are WAY better than me, too! Seriously…

So there we go, I just wanted to give you an idea of how this way is different in case you were wondering. And if you or anyone you know is looking, let’s do this! I’m ready for more!! More peace. This way tends to be faster overall (but of course not always), so there are often open slots. And we can do video or phone sessions if you’re not in Pensacola. I’m here to help if I can. And either way, I wish you the very, very best. Because the very, very best is what you ARE. Right here, right now, without having to lift a finger.

Counseling vs. Psychiatry

Posted Posted in Other Cool Topics

Hello good folks, today let’s talk about counseling versus psychiatry just so everybody is clear about who does what. Psychiatrists are full-on medical doctors, and they typically prescribe medications to their patients to help them feel better. Counselors, on the other hand, talk to their clients to help them feel better (and just for the record, a psychologist is basically a counselor with a PhD in psychology rather than a masters degree). Now, I’m not anti-medication at all, I’m really not (and I know I often don’t come across that way). It’s just that they’re not being used properly much of the time. For most people, it is simply not the first line of defense when there’s depression, anxiety, OCD, or something like that. For major stuff like scizophrenia, it is absolutely something to try immediately! Let’s be smart. But I see totally normal people that have been put on pills when all they needed to do was talk to someone. They needed to learn about how the mind works and how the body is always faithfully responding to what’s going on in the mind. So if the mind is freaking out, the body will freak out; it’s the law. And we have a perfectly calm source of thinking built-in (inner wisdom/common sense). Use that more of the time, and your body will feel better. Done.

When people learn this, the symptoms usually take care of themselves. So I help them get off the pills if that’s what they want to do, and I’ve noticed that most of them definitely do. I just can’t believe, though, that these people go to see a doctor they trust and are put on pills without the doctor saying to talk to someone first! That is very, very unintelligent and ignorant. I know, strong words. But I see these people, and they really are fed up. Because talking and educating is all about finding the cause of the problem. Pills are all about masking the symptoms. Not a long-term solution. And again, I’m not talking about major mental illness. So these people that don’t have any major mental illness are often given pills as the answer, as if it were the long-term solution. And for these folks that are coming into my office, that is not even close to the case. Many of them have an awful time getting off these pills, too, with all the various side effects. Some of them have gained a ton of weight, which they don’t like. Or they feel drowsy. Or they feel like a zombie. Or they’re super edgy, and then they need more pills to sleep. Yuck. We can do better. We are ready to do better. It is time to do better. Now.

Psychiatrists used to talk to people, and I know that some still do. But for the most part, their job description has morphed into straight up medication management. Again, with people that are not seriously mentally ill, this amounts to treating the symptoms and not the cause. Let’s be smarter and go for the cause, people! Also I don’t want to condemn the whole field, because many, many psychiatrists refer their patients to counselors to work together. But many do not, and that is a tragedy. Again, big words. This stuff really pisses me off, though! Because we’re messing with people’s bodies and minds. We are in the dark ages in many ways, totally unadvanced, and people in the future will look back in disbelief about our lack of understanding of how to treat certain things. They will literally laugh at us. These pills are just so clunky, and mixing different ones together can create another set of problems. The patients think they’re getting fixed, when that’s not the case at all. And they finally come see someone like me that can better explain that they’re not broken and they’re probably not even whatever label they’ve been given, either. For example, the clients I see that have been given labels like general anxiety disorder, panic disorder, OCD, agoraphobia, etc. are given a new label by me: you don’t understand your thinking, you don’t understand how the body-mind works. Probably because nobody has told you. So it’s not even your fault! In a more advanced society, this stuff would be taught to children in schools, but hey, we’re not there yet. Well, let’s get there!

I have one client that was labeled with anxiety and depression when she was a late teenager. She interpreted that as “broken,” as if there were something inherently wrong with her. She was put on meds as the answer, and nobody told her how to get off of them, or if she ever could. Well, it’s been over a decade now, and she’s in her late 20’s. And she’s been tired of this for a while. Thankfully she found me, and she has absolutely kicked ass learning about her thinking. Also note that she saw another therapist first that did counseling the old way, not really teaching anything, and it was nice to visit and chat but it didn’t really help. With me, she’s basically learned two simple things: that she’s feeling her thinking (i.e. feelings are an inside job), and that she has a good source of thinking built in. Not broken, not even close! Now she’s off most of the meds. There’s one left, and she’s in no rush. She has learned how to relax into waves of feelings that had been suppressed by the pills for so long. And they pass and leave her system entirely! It’s pretty amazing. Isn’t this a better way of doing things? The side effects of these pills can be terrible, as I said, and the body lets us know this very clearly when we stop taking them. You have to be careful to taper off of most them quite slowly or else it can be rough. Do you have a terrible experience of the same magnitude when you stop taking a vitamin? Nope. You might feel different or you might feel off, but you don’t think you’re losing your mind. Big difference. Folks, we can do better than this.

So that’s the deal with psychiatry versus counseling or therapy. Or as I call it, fast, amazing growth. A much better name… For most of the people out there, talking to someone to get cool with life and to learn the rules of the game is the best first step. These pills can be pretty nasty. But I’m all for it if they work, I really am. I’m not in charge of what someone else wants to do. I do want them to know their options, though, instead of being presented with only one option that might not be the best. Can you see how this is a major philosophical difference? And to add to that philosophy, we should always want people to be on the minimum number of different meds and the lowest dosages of each, right? That seems pretty basic, doesn’t it? Like, kindergarten-level basic? Some doctors don’t seem to get this, though, and that can be really frustrating for me. But their patients are starting to figure it out, and they’re getting tired of it. And they’re coming to see people like me. So here’s to all the amazing doctors out there! And to the others, it’s time to get with the program because you aren’t helping. And I really don’t want to be bashing doctors! Because honestly, it’s more the state of their training. Doctors stopped being healers long ago, and they’re so specialized now that they don’t see the body as a whole as much as they should. And since what they’re doing is more and more often not working, people are looking for more effective options. And psychiatrists are one type of doctor. The training will improve eventually, because people are going to go with what works. And of course they talk to each other. Supply and demand is still at play, and people want results. It just seems to take soooo loooong. It’s speeding up, though.

Anyway, that’s my take on things! So if you or anyone you know is interested in reducing your psych meds, I’d love to give it a shot. Long-term view, super relaxed, no rush. None. I can’t make any promises, and there’s NEVER any pressure from me! I know it doesn’t always sound that way 🙂 But there’s really not, true story. That’s not my job. But it’s so cool when a person learns that they can not only handle life without the meds (or with less of them) but actually thrive, and that this ability is built-in. And they feel much better, in a more natural way. And they can’t even believe there was a time when they couldn’t! Yep, that’s pretty rewarding for me to see. So as always, all the best to you, and let me know if I can help.

P.S. This is HUGE… When you start to live from your wisdom more and you don’t need the meds as much, your body will let you know. The side effects might increase, or you might just feel over-medicated. This is the body saying, “Hey, I got this. You can reduce to the next lowest dose and see how that works.” I don’t think doctors are taught this, though, because they’ll often interpret these new symptoms as another problem that needs another pill to fix. Ouch, wrong answer! It really is an ingenious system, isn’t it, how the body communicates to us? So cool. So I thought I’d share that. Okay, peace out.

After One Session, Client Doesn’t Cry During a Math Test!

Posted Posted in Client/Friend Stories

I love the times when a client has a major accomplishment after only one session. And not crying or freaking out during a math test for the first time in your life is absolutely a major accomplishment! And this is someone that’s beyond high school, so we’re not talking about a first grader that’s only had to take a handful of math tests. This was our second session, one week after our first, and our exchange went something like this:

Me: So how’s it going?

Her: Pretty good. For the first time, I didn’t freak out during a math test. [very nonchalantly]

Me: Wow, that sounds good to me! Wait… for the first time? I mean, you’re in college now…

Her: I’ve always freaked out during math tests. There’s never been a math test that I haven’t cried on. My anxiety goes through the roof.

Me: Wait, so you’re telling me that you’ve ALWAYS cried during math tests, every time? And then you talked to some random dude (me) once, only once, and you learned how the body-mind works, and then you didn’t cry during a math test a few days later? For the first time ever??

Her: Yep.

Me: WOOHOO!!! [freaking out and jumping around and high-fiving – hey, I get kind of excited about these things…]

Isn’t that awesome? I just love it! As I’ve said many times, I love a good measuring stick. Something that used to cause a certain feeling that doesn’t anymore. When I asked her how this test was different, she said she just told herself, “Even if I fail it, there are plenty more options down the road.” Perfect! I always talk about the two radio stations on the dial, only two, and she chose her wisdom/common sense. And notice this is not rosy thinking that’s not really true. Because she said she did horribly on the test! So she wasn’t lying to herself and saying, “I’ll do great, I’ll do great,” when in reality she knew she wouldn’t. She was honest that she might not do great, but it won’t be the end of the world. This will not keep her from getting a college degree. And this will not cause her to be homeless or dead.

But the other radio station, the chatterbox, pretty much goes right to that kind of ridiculous conclusion – “Oh my god, I’m going to be homeless or dead because of this!!” And since we’re feeling our thinking, the body actually feels like it’s about to be homeless or dead. And it’s all a sham. When you think about it, believing that failing a math test is the end of the world is like believing that 1 + 1 = 17. It’s just not true. But when people don’t know the rules of the game, they have all kinds of these ridiculous thoughts floating around. And since the body is always responding to our thinking, it’s no wonder that they don’t feel good. Well, this person knows the rules of the game now, and after only one session with some random dude. Great job!

The mind is very, very powerful, folks. So powerful. I’ve talked people down from suicide and from the edge of a nervous breakdown and seen them the next day in my office and they were pretty much fine. Like, fine. And this was not being in denial. We owned it and talked about it very seriously, but they were NOTHING like the day before. Their whole demeanor was different. They were themselves again, and you could see it instantly. And they are still fine today. We also followed up very seriously and kept our sessions up, but they learned a very powerful lesson from their experience. They learned that the mind is incredibly powerful, and that the body can feel all kinds of crazy ways as a result. And this might be the most important thing, they learned just how temporary even the strongest of feelings can be. If strong feelings sometimes rule you, then read that again and let it sink in. Understanding this one simple fact would prevent a ton of suicides, folks, a ton. There’s never been a permanent feeling in the history of the world, and these people know that once and for all now. And that can be very reassuring in the moment. And when we stay in our wisdom, sticking to the facts as my client did, we don’t even get to that point in the first place.

So there we go folks! Good stuff. And please don’t send a bunch of teenagers to me, because I really prefer adults. College students are usually okay, though. Maybe I’ll develop an online program someday that could be used to teach this to younger folks. And finally, I used to be a math teacher, so maybe I’ll help that client with her homework sometime. Because she said she definitely bombed the test… And if an insurance company person is reading this, just kidding!

Update: Sports, Race, Death Threats, and Your SOUL!

Posted Posted in Other Cool Topics

So I just wrote about the whole kneeling during the national anthem thing that’s been going on in sports here in the US, particularly in football and soon to be basketball. Well, I saw yesterday that some of these athletes have been receiving death threats. Death threats? For kneeling during a song? Yay, America!! That’s pretty intense. The article I saw mentioned Seattle Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin, who is a native of my awesome hometown of Pensacola. I always have to get that shameless plug in there… “I had a few,” Baldwin said. “A couple of people told me to watch my back. If something was to happen to me, I think that would just further prove my point that there are issues in our culture, in our society that need to be changed.”

Baldwin also said that the threats will not stop him from speaking up. Remember the amazing and transformative book that I recently wrote about, Dying To Be Me by Anita Moorjani? One of the main things she learned while in the out of body state (and before her miraculous cancer comeback) was that the power of what we really are, call it the soul or whatever – and this is true for everyone, without exception – is freaking immense. Immense. And it needs to come out to play; I guess that’s why it’s here. She learned that since she didn’t allow herself to simply “be herself,” always thinking about what others expected of her and what she thought she should be, this power was stifled. And power has to move, energy has to go somewhere; it’s the law. And so it expressed itself in the form of cancer. So we must be ourselves and live! And these athletes, and many other people in this country now, are the same way. They just aren’t able to keep quiet anymore.

Recall that the one that started all of this, Colin Kaepernick of the San Fransisco 49ers, who has also received death threats, said he’d been thinking about this for months, trying to figure out what he could do. Finally, he could not “sit on the sidelines” anymore, so he did sit – during the national anthem. And look what it has caused. But he could not be silent anymore. He felt such a huge movement inside of him that he had to do something. That’s the soul speaking up.

Anyway, I just wanted to write a little update when I learned of the death threats, and how these people still can’t be quiet. Think about that for a moment. And you might remember a time when something was so important to you that could no longer be silent. Their soul, their heart, cannot sit on the sidelines anymore. Because if it’s stifled, they might as well be dead. And we all know that there are so many people here on earth now that are pretty much the living dead. And I know earth isn’t the easiest place to live, so it’s certainly not a judgment. I’ve been that way plenty, just going through the motions. But we’re starting to wake up to what we really are, which apparently is amazing and unlimited. I’ll take some of that! And in the meantime, maybe you’ll notice a force inside of you that can’t be stifled anymore. If so, then feel free to experiment with letting it out of its cage. Hey, you can always put it back in. Or maybe not, ha. Baby steps are just fine. And if you’re not ready to stand up all the way, you can always kneel.

P.S. From an article I read: “Baldwin has spearheaded the Seahawks’ ‘Building Bridges Task Force,’ which is composed of players who are meeting with local law enforcement officials and politicians to promote social change.” Things are happening, folks! Changing big stuff like culture can be like turning the Titanic, but it has to start somewhere. So this really is cool. And it all started with one dude sitting down during the national anthem and not even telling anyone about it. Because his soul, his heart, could not stand.