Category Archives: counseling in pittsburgh

4 Reasons You Can’t say “NO”

4 reasons you can’t say NO, and people please:

  1. Worry about how others will perceive you.
  2. To avoid feeling guilty or bad.
  3. To prevent loss.
  4. To make yourself feel valuable

Let’s break these down!

Often, as a therapist, I hear people tell me that they can’t say no when they want to.  It is one of the top 5 issues that keep people from being free and happy. 

Number one… Worry about how others will perceive you… you might say to yourself, “what if they tell others and then they think I’m a bad person.”  Why is this such a worry?  Because of what your programming says you “should”do.  Outside, learned expectations of what/how people should be/do.

Number two…following through with something you don’t want to do in order to avoid something you don’t want to feel… is most commonly associated with guilt.  But what is guilt? Where does it come from? Guilt is associated with doing something “wrong,” especially in a court of law.  Why would we think we are “wrong” in a relationship? Go back to #1… Something we “should” be doing or being. 

Number three…If you don’t do this, and say NO, then that person may distance themselves from you.  You could lose a connection.  This could trigger abandonment feelings.  Even though that connection might not be healthy and you are hiding your true feelings, you might rather keep someone than lose them.  Also, you may think, “If I don’t do this, then they won’t be there for me when I need it…” which is codependency.

Number four…last but not least… You don’t say No because you are getting something from it.  You may fulfill the need to feel like “I am always the one everyone can depend on.”  And that makes you feel valuable.  Wanted.  Needed.  If you say No, they might not ask you again.. Then where would you get your value fix?  They might not come to you again.  Which ultimately leads back to #3, loss of connection. 

See how these are all intertwined!! 

You can’t totally separate them out.  Just as you can’t totally separate the mind from the body.  Although I see so many people “in their head” 95% of the day, it is causing them misery and suffering.  Just watch someone when they talk.  What is their body doing?  Are they looking away from you a lot?  Looking around to different eye positions is necessary to disengage from the moment and to recall with the mind.  The body is forced out of engagement, via the eyes, from the person in front of them. 

Also, you may see someone touch their head a lot.  I often see people put both hands up to each side of their head when they are trying to utilize all head.  They are forcing all the focus and life force energy to the mind, by using their hands to hold it.   

So how do you stop people pleasing and start saying NO???????

You dig into these 4 areas and write out what is specifically happening inside of yourself.  You sit and breathe while you do this.  You stop, close your eyes, ask your body where do you feel this.  You reconnect body with mind so they can work together.  You ask yourself questions.  Am I really ok with this belief I’ve identified?  Why am I worried about being seen differently?  What would that mean about me?  Am I willing to choose to live differently?  Am I willing to feel uncomfortable, temporarily, to set myself free and live more authentically?

Get someone to help guide you through this process if you need it!!!! Click here to work with me.

Sweet Surrender

I’m in complete gratitude right now, and Joy. This is the first time since last summer that I have been able to do a full boxing high intensity workout without any repercussions.
Last summer I was at the Academy and I was doing a one on one session with Chris and I never felt so sick in my life. After class, I had to wait for an hour before I could even leave the building. I am grateful for my family at the Academy who helped me to get through it after that workout. After that, I continued to physically decline and was broken down to the point of not being able to even eat this past fall. I had to give up all of my workouts aside from some squats and some dips on a chair.
I have worked really hard to get back to where I’m at, but the thing that got me there was God. And my surrender to God completely.
Yes I took supplements, yes I did reevaluate my entire diet. But I spent hours per day meditating, praying, surrendering my past, my future, everything to God. Over and over.
It wasn’t just one time and a miracle happened. I continued to surrender over and over. Today I listened to Iyanla Vanzant talk about surrender being the one most important thing you can do as a spiritual warrior… And it’s so true.
I wanted to cling so tightly to the things that I had, the lifestyle that I had. But I had to be willing to let it go completely. I had to be willing to accept where I was at. Period.
I had to let go of past trauma and fear. I had to open myself up in a different way. I had to let go of beliefs and illusions of control. I had to be completely uncomfortable… feel utterly miserable.
In the past two weeks I have reached another level of surrender. This quarantine has given me an opportunity to go way deeper than I ever thought I would go. To surrender more than I ever thought I would. And to change my entire DNA. My genetic make up. I have healed completely. Mind body and soul.
I’m so grateful to have been shown the way to complete and utter peace and freedom. Of course I’ll not take for granted anything in life. I will strive to always be flexible, be aware, and practice surrender, the art of surrender, every day. Whether that has to do with relationships or money or physical health or home life whatever the case.
This is not to say I will not have goals. Because the entire time that I was doing all of this healing I had a goal which was to be able to do exactly what I did today: full rounds of boxing with high intensity.. full force.. with out feeling one repercussion or symptom in my body!
I am in a state of bliss. I just cried tears of joy. I am so grateful for my connection with the Lord. Blessed Trinity. Sacred Heart of Jesus. I’m a fighter. And in order to win this battle I had to stop fighting… Completely surrender.. it is Your will not my will. But I can tell you what I want and I can tell you what I’m going to strive for. Our wills  happened to match up LOL.
I did three 21 day meditations with Oprah and Deepak Chopra, I did hundreds of rounds of tapping, I did centering prayer daily, I listened to Iyanla Vanzant for the past 46 days every day at 10 am and did the exercises she offered. I have done daily affirmations, brrain retraining, Reiki, probably more that I can’t think of right now.
I had no idea when the day would come, or the hour, that I would reach this place
that I am at today.
Many moments I cried and thought I was going to be permanently sick. I was too sick to do much of anything from October to February. I was already in quarantine. LOL. I would drive up and down the road some days and wish to just die.
Truth… I have suffered more this year, May ’19-May”20, more than I have suffered in most of my 41 years of living. Actually the past seven years has been pretty intense. All of the physical issues, super intense and “gut wrenching” relationship lessons that were harder than hell and literally contributed to my gut imbalance… and the loss of my mother, my best friend, my codependent life line..AND, I had just started a business while she was dying… striving for the past seven years to live that life purpose. I had to stop and cry several times while voice texting this. Because you know I don’t have a thumb to type it out right now, plus I’m still impatient LOL
I let go of my addiction to being sick.
I let go of the root causes of the addiction to being sick.
I let go of any need to be sick.
I let go of any expectation that sickness has to happen.
It was all tied to my childhood, mass amounts of physical medical traumas. Tied to my mom’s fear and worry, tied to PTSD from strep throat and pandas.
I have healed so much stuff… tears again here… And I don’t share a lot about these things because I share it was just a select few people and I don’t like to broadly and openly complain about things because I don’t want that type of energy back to me.
Do I still have work to do yes do I have to continue to surrender, yes… are there going to be challenging moments, yes… but they’re not going to be seen from the same viewpoint that they used to. These are new eyeballs… these are fresh perspectives…. I’ll strive to not worry again about what if I get sick. Because that worry is what created all this in the first place. I trust. I trust God. I trust myself. God lives within me. Holy Spirit guide me. I will be still and listen. I will let go. I will allow that unconditional love to flow. I am a Spiritual Warrior and I will battle not fight.
Click here to read about Iyanla Vanzant. Click here to work with me one on one.

Narcissist and Emotionally Wounded Love Addict

A Narcissist, a wounded love addict. THE JOKER & HARLEY QUINN: A Therapist’s view….Emotionally wounded and broken Harley  Quinn is vulnerable and desperate and is wide open to be swayed by any charm or what appears to be intense feelings of love since she longs for that. And the joker is a twisted, sadistic, manipulative, narcissist/ sociopath who can prey on the weak and then mold them into what he desires. But guess what folks.. that’s not love..But some people think it’s romantic and think that they are a love story. lol if you actually read the comic you will see the truth of it. And guess what, joker is not in love with her, his true love is unattainable…Batman. The epitome of using dark and turning it into the light.. But suffering, still suffering… and joker is attracted to what he cannot turn into a relief of pain. Batman stays in his pain. But still works for the good of humanity. Joker is obsessed with him , Harley is just his possession, ego boost, and  he’s already conquered that. But if he loses her who will he have?  And that’s weak.. true weakness .. it’s possible to see her kind show up in therapy but not stick to it.. but he never will.

The sociopaths, narcissist persons may show up but they’re never going to do the work. If the emotionally wounded broken ever decide to get out of their past patterns and jump out of a hamster wheel they could get help. Or die.. one or the other.. It’s kind of sad that people romanticize this relationship. But it just goes to show how many people out there are coming from an emotionally wounded place. So they can relate to this.. they think it’s normal they think this is what love is. They may never truly know what love really is because this is all they know ..this hamster wheel..this loop that they are in. They will just keep being miserable, or they’ll have some kind of breakthrough and understand that this is not real. I can help you to step off the hamster wheel, click here

I would say there’s hope for Harley but I’m not really sure. She seems to have went to the Darkside and is fully submerged  into it. She may just have to get killed over there LOL. Why did he go through great lengths to save her if he doesn’t really truly love her? Well because she’s his food. Fuel for the narcissist. If he doesn’t have something to feed on then what does he have? In the comic, she eventually stands up to him and leaves him and then had a romance with poison ivy lol. Onto the next toxic relationship!!!  batman had deep pain, watching his parents die. Tried to avenge their deaths… his love is in the pain. Which can be compared to the show Dexter. But that’s a whole different analysis.! Good day folks! click here for help with breaking the pattern of toxic relationships

Patterns, addictions, victims, dependencies.

Super self realization!!!! I wanted to make a video because it is way cooler and more raw, but I know many won’t sit through a video and some hate to read and won’t read all of this.. but those who are meant to see this and need to see this will read it.   Well I know I should be out on my bike right now because it’s so nice out, but I felt a bit inspired and thought I should write.  I had some realizations and awareness I wanted to share.  I realized a good while back that I had issues with codependency.  It started to develop as a child with a mother who was very overly protective and anxious.  The relationship we had was intensely enmeshed and codependent.  Therefore as an adult I played out the same thing in friendships and relationships.  Since I have known this for a while I have been working on it for quite some time.  But there are always more awarenesses inside a bigger awareness it seems LOL!    More layers to uncover.

So I was talking to a friend of mine about different things last night and woke up this morning to a video that really created a full realization for me!  I was like holy shit that’s what I have done!! I will post the video, by Richard Gannon,  but I want to mention the things that stood out for me:  The first couple minutes he discusses how we justify things..”it is my fault she acts this way,” “it only happens when” etc.   Then from 2mins to 4mins or so, he discusses fake morality.  We see it as taking the higher road, being the better person, and saying that the person is wounded and need our help.  But in all actuality it’s a fake morality.  It’s just something that has been playing out since childhood as an addictive type of adult role play game.  This is due to the way we were raised and our experiences with parents.  Emotional neglect, lack of attachments and bonds, over attachments and bonds, parents that abused substances, and the list goes on!! The fake morality of the people pleaser is what holds abusive relationships in place.  The other person needs your fake moral structure to continue the dysfunctional relationship.  It’s not that you  are “doing the right thing” it’s just that you are a trained victim and codependent!  He says this “the people pleaser is a slave, an addict, and feels the most comfortable, warm and cozy when there is a thick black boot resting on their face!  It is not moral, you are a victim and an addict!”  He goes on to say that to fix this, the first person you set up boundaries with and say NO to is yourself.  Then you have to say NO to “that sick, perverted, addicted, instinct inside of you that leaps forward to try to help somebody when perhaps, you aren’t really even helping yourself.”  Then he goes on to discuss things he calls emotional flashbacks and guilt.  Guilt causes you to do a lot of people pleaser things.. He mentions codependency and uses an analogy of little zombie slaves LOL.  When he mentioned about staying in a relationship because he was a therapist and that was the brave, and right thing to do because this person needed help and was wounded.. that hit home for me!  He also  mentions staying in a relationship that is high drama with reaction seeking people who are abusive because it’s exciting to you.  He referenced a woman who stayed with a war vet who had ptsd because she was trying to fix him.  If the relationship is not tearing out your guts and is painful then it’s not love.  I also like the reference to the friend who asks for a ride, but you are busy.  You feel guilty about it, so you promise the person you will make it up with extra rides.  Instead of just saying no, I’m busy.

The video made me realize that I am a work in progress and am still working on some of these things and others of them I have already moved past. I have moved past the anger at my mother because I know that I chose her on the soul level and chose the experience with her. We co created that together as souls for our life purpose.  I would not be where and who I am today without that experience.  I don’t feel sad anymore or bad for myself.  I have forgiven her and myself completely.  That was the first major step.   Being a recovering codependent I must keep on top of things and realize when I sink back into patterns.  I still have a hard time saying no to people when they ask for something.  At times I go into that therapist I can save you mode.  But the point it to just be aware of it!  The biggest point I am trying to make is to be aware because I will say this:  Once you are aware, you can’t turn a blind eye.  You can’t go back.  You can’t unsee it.  You know those weird shapes tests they have you look at and they say what do you see?  Well you may see a butterfly, but when they point out there is also a face there, you can’t go back to just seeing the butterfly. You will always see the face too.  Well that’s what I am saying, you can try like hell to unsee the damn face, but you always know it’s there.  Eventually with that awareness, you will have to face it LOL..  He mentions that it takes a year of therapy to heal this shit.. well I say each person is different, maybe the awareness is all you needed, maybe you write about shit and it heals you, maybe you go to therapy, maybe you go retreat into the wild woods.. whatever it is.. but once your eyes are opened you can’t shut them again.. you can try, but the universe will force those eyelids open again and again til you address it. My other important point here is to love, accept and forgive yourself and people from your past that helped to create this YOU.  Remember on the soul  level you chose this experience for your personal growth as a soul. Not just a human being, but a soul!!  You are truly not really a victim at all. Thank you all for reading this.  I love you.  Here is is video that inspired me: 

Codependency Facts

Just an FYI for anyone who was wondering, This is how google defines codependency.

 a codependent is someone who cannot function from their innate self and whose thinking and behavior is instead organized around another person, or even a process, or substance.[12]

intense and unstable interpersonal relationships,

inability to tolerate being alone, accompanied by frantic efforts to avoid being alone,

chronic feelings of boredom and emptiness,

subordinating one’s own needs to those of the person with whom one is involved,

overwhelming desire for acceptance and affection,

external referencing,

dishonesty and denial, and

low self-worth

“Unresolved patterns of codependency can lead to more serious problems like alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders, sex addiction, psychosomatic illnesses, and other self-destructive or self-defeating behaviors.[30] People with codependency are also more likely to attract further abuse from aggressive individuals, more likely to stay in stressful jobs or relationships”

“Sometimes an individual can, in attempts to recover from codependency, go from being overly passive or overly giving to being overly aggressive or excessively selfish.[15] Many therapists maintain that finding a balance through healthy assertiveness (which leaves room for being a caring person and also engaging in healthy caring behavior) is true recovery from codependency and that becoming extremely selfish, a bully, or an otherwise conflict-addicted person is not.[15”

Chakra Healing-Heart Chakra

heart chakra image

The Heart Chakra is the 4th of the seven chakras, and it is represented by the color green.  It involves the circulatory system, diaphragm, heart, lungs, arms, shoulders, ribs, breasts and thymus gland.

The heart chakra can be affected by situations that have emotionally stressful aspects, or as some say, “matters of the heart.”  Some examples are divorce, or separation of intimate relationships, loss of loved ones to death, or a betrayal of trust by another person.

The heart chakra is meant to give and receive love, but when it is out of balance, it cannot do its job effectively. One reason for being out of balance is trapped emotions.  When feelings get hurt over and over, or many losses occur, a person can build up a protective wall.  It is no longer desirable to open up to love for fear of betrayal, loss, grief, heartache, or loneliness.  A person can become defensive, and then the heart can be protected by a wall of energetic material along with trapped emotions in the energy field.

In the Emotion Code, Dr. Nelson calls this the heartwall.  Thankfully, the heartwall can be removed by Emotion Code therapy and Reiki.

The Heart Chakra-Effects

A person can actually feel emotional hurts in a physical way in the chest area.  The chest may feel heavy, tightness or pressure.  Many anxieties and fears are felt in the heart chakra area, even if they originate from another chakra. If the heart chakra is too open, a person could be ruled by their emotions.  There are many people out there who give way too much and receive very little.  They never take any love for themselves, or give themselves any self-love.  The opposite end of the spectrum is a closed heart chakra.  The hear is in total protective, defensive mode and will not give or receive love.  It is now just like a castle with a very large moat around it with no bridge or any access to enter it.  Creating a balance in the heart chakra is ideal! The key to balancing the heart chakra is first giving self-love. Without loving yourself first, giving and receiving any other love is hard to achieve.

Heart Chakra Healing

Here are some ways to balance and heal the heart chakra: There are many techniques that I enjoy utilizing to balance the heart chakra.  Contacting me for an Emotion code or a Reiki session for heart chakra healing would be very effective.  Here are some things to do in the meantime on your own:  Mirror work by Louise Hay.   Louise tells us to talk to ourselves in the mirror daily and tell yourself “I love you” and other positive things like “you are magnificent.”  Even if it feels strange at first, just give it some time.  Also Chakra toning is an effective way to help heal the heart chakra.  Allowing your voice to make the AH sound for as long as your breath allows, then repeating it a few times until the heart chakra area feels lighter and more clear.  Also, asking angels for help is really useful!  Archangel Raphael is always there to assist in healing the heart if you call upon him.

Chakra Healing – Sacral

chakra healingThe second chakra is called the Sacral Chakra, and is located in the lower abdomen below the naval.  It has also been referred to as the womb chakra.  The sacral chakra is the center for creativity and sexuality, and is associated with the color orange.  This chakra affects the reproductive organs, intestines, lower vertebrae, pelvis, hips, and bladder.

Sacral chakra-Effects

Symptoms of weakness or lack of balance in this chakra: unresponsive emotionally, longer periods of grief, wallowing in misery and being ruled by emotions in general.  Inability to create or manifest what you desire in life, not creativity in the sense of art and music, but just creating what you want for this life: A good career, money, a healthy relationship, or a family. Inability to have fun or find things pleasurable is also typical of a weak sacral chakra.

Over activity in this chakra could include: selfishness, arrogance, overwhelm and a sense of being overburdened.   All of the above could be affected by issues with the sacral chakra.  Also some physical issue could occur: lower back pain, reproductive organ issues, or bladder problems.

In doing psychotherapy along with Reiki, I have noticed correlations with sacral chakra and behaviors and interpersonal problems: intimate relationships can often appear to be enmeshed and dependent; or the opposite often happens and one might be distant, cold and unable to connect to others.

This is usually in connection with how someone was raised. For example a person may come from a big, ethnic family where everyone was very close and had little boundaries.  When that person tries to have a relationship and family of his/her own, they may run into issues with healthy boundaries and dependency. The opposite also applies for parents that were cold and standoffish.  That makes it hard for someone to connect emotionally to have a successful intimate relationship.

In one of my sessions, I was performing Reiki on a woman and noticed that I focused much of the time on her sacral chakra.  I suggested some post-session healing for her sacral chakra and explained what that chakra entails.  We figured out that this woman had been hiding her true self and desire by denying her sexual orientation.  When issues like this come up during a Reiki session, I am then able to utilize psychotherapeutic techniques that assist in processing the new ideas or realizations that have surfaced.

Sacral chakra Healing

When the sacral chakra is balanced, one will experience healthy boundaries in relationships, will be in touch with true emotions, and will manifest desires and achieve goals.

Ways to balance the sacral chakra include yoga, eating healthy fruits and vegetables, exercise, and repeating affirmations.  Also, visualization of the chakra spinning clockwise and writing/journaling about emotions will be therapeutic to the sacral chakra.  Contact me for chakra healing sessions!

Chakra Healing – The Root Chakra

chakra healingWhat is a chakra? Well, the word itself means disk, or wheel and has a Sanskrit origin.  There are seven main chakras in the human body.  They begin at the base of the spine, and continue to the top of the head or crown.  Each major chakra is a center of spinning energy which may be spinning in different directions.

Each chakra is named after the area of the body that it covers: the root chakra, the sacral chakra, the solar plexus chakra, the heart chakra, the throat chakra, the third eye chakra, and the crown chakra.

Each chakra can influence the organs of the body that are close in proximity, but also can influence the muscles, ligaments, and all other body parts within its energy field.  Chakras may also affect your psychological and spiritual health.  There are also colors associated with the chakras.  Light and color move through them and may change colors while spinning, but there are colors that typically correspond with each chakra.

In this blog post, I will be focusing on the first chakra, the root chakra.

The Root Chakra- Effects

It is said that red is the color of the root chakra, and it is located at the base of the spine.  The root chakra influences the hips, spine, legs, bones, adrenals, and could affect the kidneys and intestines as well.   This is the chakra that connects us to the Earth and its energies.  Early experiences in life are imprinted on this root chakra as well as past life memories.  If a person’s root chakra is closed, or under -active, he or she may not feel grounded or safe and may experience fearfulness, lack of confidence, issues with anxieties and phobias, or feel disconnected.  They may have a poor immune system, irritable bowel syndrome, or feel generally  sluggish. They may also have trouble with finances.

When the root chakra is overactive, a person could experience feelings of anger, aggression, or frustration.  They may depend on security from others, and may not deal well with change. They may have unhealthy habits, be very controlling, greedy, or even have an overactive sex drive.

Root Chakra Healing

Balancing the chakra is the goal!  When the root chakra is balanced, one will experience stability, security, healthy boundaries and confidence.  How do you heal the root chakra?

You can begin with walking around on the Earth, stomping on the ground, or even dancing to generate a connection to the Earth energy.  Kundalini Yoga is also a popular way to bring balance to the root chakra.  Also, some oils are used in connection with healing the root chakra: sandalwood, cedar, clove, and ginger Both ways are equally as powerful and effective.

Reiki has been known to bring balance to and promote chakra healing with comfort and ease.  Reiki removes negative energies from the root chakra that prevent it from being in total balance.   To take your root chakra healing to a deeper level  you could schedule a Reiki healing session with me in person , or at a distance.  Click here to schedule a chakra healing today!

The Benefits of Using Reiki in Conjunction with Psychotherapy

reiki pittsburghReiki is a subtle stress reducing and relaxation technique that can help people who are participating in psychotherapy.  During psychotherapy session, there is much dialogue and communication between the therapist and the client.  It involves much conscious thought and verbal depiction of the symptoms that the client is experiencing.

Reiki can help the client become more in touch with the physical body and how the emotions relate to the physical symptoms.  Bringing awareness to the connection of the mind and body and how one affects the other is a very important part of the healing process.

How Reiki Helps Destress

Reiki can assist in bringing up the symptoms that a client has been experiencing so that they may work on them in a calm, relaxed atmosphere. Reiki creates a peaceful space where a client will feel more comfortable talking about and dealing with traumas, or other uncomfortable experiences that have brought them to seek help in moving forward.

Reiki naturally puts a client in a state of mindfulness where it is easier to observe and assess thoughts.  In this state, a person can detach from thoughts and realize that they are not their thoughts.  The thoughts are a result of a conditioned way of thinking due to past events.

Reiki may help the person realize that current circumstances are different and that those thoughts are rooted in the past.  Reiki helps to put the body in a relaxed state, therefore when painful memories are recalled and emotions are brought to the surface, the client can more easily and effectively process through those emotions and release the energy surrounding those memories.

Reiki Assisting with Psychotherapy

Reiki is not a substitute for psychotherapy but it absolutely helps move the therapeutic process along more quickly and comfortably.  There are always emotion and physical sensations running through the body every minute of the day, and even during sleep.  Some people feel the need to detach or run away from these sensations due to feelings of shame, embarrassment, or fear.

Some people are experiencing anger, depression, or anxiety due to chronic physical pain, therefore they attempt to detach from the body as if it were an enemy.  Turning away from these symptoms only intensifies them.  Reiki helps people to be present in the body and go with the symptoms from a loving, compassionate, kind, and peaceful way. Contact me today for a session!