Musings From a Psychotherapist About the Effects of Secrecy and Shame in Our Lives

Last night, I had the privilege of leading a talk-back following a production of Neil LaBute’s “In a Dark, Dark House.” I read the script for the play last month and thought the playwright brilliant for his ability to comprehend what actually goes on as a result of childhood sexual abuse. Himself a survivor of child sexual abuse, LaBute crafted a play that asks the audience to bear some pain, experience some confusion and appreciate some of the complexities involved when a person grows up living with being sexualized way before they’re even old enough to know about sex.

I woke up today thinking about the play. I thought about how…

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Outsmarting Stress and Negativity

A number of months ago, I had the good fortune of traveling to India with my family. I wasn’t so keen on taking this trip, fearing that I’d get depressed from seeing the country’s massive poverty. Having read many novels written by Indian authors, I was primed to witness people living in conditions that I’d never before set eyes on.

For a number of months, I had a nagging sense of worry that got me feeling way more stressed than I wanted to be. The Inner Worrier would beckon me from out of the blue, telling me to worry about how I was going to feel while in India. It got me doubting whether I would feel OK or not — and got me squirming…

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Overcoming Doubt and Fear in Order to Foster Self-Confidence

There’s a surge in conversation about the challenge for women to claim confidence and counteract self-doubt. The newest book on the topic, The Confidence Gap, shows, yet again, that women are less self-assured than men, and to succeed in the work world, confidence matters as much as competence.

Let’s dispel the mystery behind the scenes so that we are not so shocked by what the headlines tell us. Females, by and large, grow up playing the game of life with different rules than our male counterparts. I remember many years ago walking into my daughter’s day-care center and noticing how the boys…
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Dr. Beth Weinstock at an event for AWE (Alliance for Women Entrepreneurs)

Wake-Up Calls Inspired My Change From Overdrive and Sleep Deprived

Wake-up calls come from many sources and, at their best, incite us to transform the ways we live. Recently, I heard Arianna Huffington speak about her realization that she needed to make concrete changes in the number of hours she worked and slept. The co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group broke her cheekbone and gashed her eye as a result of a fall brought on by exhaustion and lack of sleep. Surrendering to the realization that something had to change (and then making changes), Arianna is now inviting us to challenge assumptions we hold about what’s needed to live well and succeed.

Promoting her latest book, Thrive, Arianna shared with a Philadelphia audience, “We’re all living under the collective delusion that to succeed, you need to work 24/7.” She went on to say that wherever she’s speaking, she…

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Arianna Huffington Calls Upon Us to Turn Inward for Wisdom and Wonder

When was the last time you listened to the sweet sound of silence? When was the last time you decided to close the door and just let yourself be, with nowhere to go and nothing to do?

Arianna Huffington gave a talk last week in Philadelphia promoting her 14th book, Thrive, in which she implores us to slow down and make the time to renew ourselves. After years of international productivity, over drive, sleep deprivation and now at the height of her success, Huffington is convinced that too many of us have shrunk ourselves down to to-do lists and are overly focused on power and money as the markers of success rather than internal aliveness.

As an executive coach and psychotherapist, I work with the burnout and disillusionment that Arianna talks about. Too many people in our culture are wearing their long hours at work as badges of honor, believing that climbing the corporate ladder will lead to fulfillment and that what they produce is the measure of who they are. I, too, have been guilty of feeling like the barometer of my goodness is how much time I put into my work. When I was in college, I took pride in how many hours a day I read, as if the hours spent were a reflection of my moral superiority over my classmates who were playing frisbee on the quad. Only years later did I identify my learning differences that make my reading slower than other people, and that my time with my head in the books was more about my slow brain rather than my greater intellectual prowess. That was too bad; I lost out on a lot of fun.

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