Jan 19, 18 Dreamwork

Why do we dream?

Theories abound, but no one is certain. The enduring mystery of dreams is part of their allure. We do know that everybody dreams (all mammals), and that if we are deprived of dreaming, we will amp up our dreaming to make up for lost dreamtime. Rats deprived of REM sleep for an extended period lose the ability to regulate body temperature and die!

Dreams appear to be necessary for our bodies, although precisely why that is has not been settled. There are many theories, and it may be that dreams serve multiple functions. Research has shown that dreams may help regulate emotion, encode memory and consolidate learning, and that all of this happens whether we choose to work with our dreams or not. However, if we do delve more deeply into the fascinating world of our dreams and actively work with them, we are often rewarded with deeper insight, self- awareness and a larger sense of self.

Get a free PDF on what to do (and NOT to do) when working with dreams by joining my dreamwork mailing list

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Focusing: A way to deepen experiencing for more effective psychotherapy

Oct 27, 16 Focusing: A way to deepen experiencing for more effective psychotherapy

In the mid 1960s, a philosophy student named Eugene Gendlin started asking some hard questions about the process of psychotherapy: “Why doesn’t therapy succeed more often?… When it does succeed, what is it that those patients and therapists do? What is it that the majority fail to do?”

Over the next 15 years, Gendlin and his colleagues at the University of Chicago (including founder of the client-centered school of therapy, Carl Rogers) conducted a series of studies that concluded something surprising about psychotherapy: the key element to success is not the skill of the therapist, nor their methodology, but the therapy client’s own inner process.

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Women and Depression

Sep 19, 13 Women and Depression

For ten years, Gina suffered in silence with an illness that affects one in four women during the course of a lifetime. The illness affected her eating and sleeping habits, her ability to concentrate, her sense of self-worth, her sex drive and her ability to enjoy life. She felt tired all the time, and while she managed to keep up with her work duties, nothing was accomplished without tremendous effort. At times Gina’s illness was so severe, she felt like killing herself.

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Inspiring stories of transformation through Focusing

chardcloseI was just gathering material for the upcoming Advanced Focusing Course participants, a course that will focus on how to support real and lasting change within our clients. The personal stories from the latest focusing journal, the FOLIO are such inspiring examples of how focusing leads to transformation, I thought you might all be interested. Here is a link to FOLIO editor Paula Nowick’s dramatic story of how focusing helped her to come to terms with her son’s devastating addiction. The story illustrates well how sometimes when you can’t change a situation, the best thing to do is change how you are within it, and the the route to this kind of shift is not through things you might ordinarily try.

If you want to read more stories like this one, the entire issue is available for free on the Focusing Institute web site. Included are 47 personal stories of how focusing led to a major ‘aha’ moment.

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Depression…What You Can Do About It (plenty)

Jul 17, 10 Depression…What You Can Do About It (plenty)

Depression is a frustrating illness because it doesn’t always get better by itself. In fact, the symptoms that come with depression, such as low self esteem and lack of energy or motivation, are the very things that can make it both seem and get worse. And if you’re depressed, you’re not likely to be optimistic, so you may see taking any action as pointless. DO IT ANYWAY! YOU’LL FEEL BETTER FOR IT!

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Therapy by Skype

Jul 15, 10 Therapy by Skype

You can now do focusing oriented therapy sessions from the comfort of your home.
Leslie Ellis now offers sessions via phone or Skype, an environmentally-friendly alternative to meeting in person. While in-person sessions are usually preferable, phone sessions are a valuable and effective alternative for those clients who cannot travel because of bad weather or illness. Technology is now making it possible to have sessions with clients around the world.
Download Skype

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