Something Finishes and Something Begins

ending beginningThis is my last post at It has been a lot of fun sharing my thoughts since my first post Facing Our Fears on June 1, 2010. That post talked about opening my private practice and dealing with fear versus risk. That doesn’t mean you won’t be hearing from me anymore. Like all things, and ending signals a beginning.

I’m again at the start of something new. It isn’t as dramatic as opening my practice, but still a change I’m excited about. I’ve completely re-designed my website at and will be hosting my blog there. So while you won’t find my thoughts and ideas at this location, they won’t be going away.

If you’ve been a reader I hope it is because I’ve challenged you, given you helpful things to think about or you’ve enjoyed my words. I also hope you’ll follow me over at My blog will be the featured item on my new homepage.

Thanks for reading and I hope I’ll see you there!

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What Others Had To Say This Week

Interesting blog posts and news stories from the past week…

I hope you find some good advice and interesting thoughts.  Have a great weekend!

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Two Therapists Talking: Logic vs Emotion

In this episode of Two Therapists Talking, Jasmine St. John and I talk about the confusion that can occur when one personal approaches something from an emotional perspective and the other from a logical perspective.

If you have questions or a topic you’d like to hear us discuss, write us at

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A New Awen Therapy Website Is On Its Way!

new websiteI’m excited to announce that I’ll be launching a new website – the scheduled launch is Monday, July 28th. The site is re-designed and has some new content available, including a mobile app for booking appointments through my online scheduling system.

For most of you it won’t mean much change, other than a fresh look. It will impact those of you that follow my blog via WordPress. I will begin hosting my blog on my site instead of at So, while my posts at will still be available, new posts will be on my site at

This won’t affect those of you that read my posts by going to my site, on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. My posts will continue to appear there. For those of you who use WordPress Reader, you’ll need to re-follow me at

I hope to see you all there!

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Tip of the Week: Increase Your Willpower

pathsRecent research using “game theory” (the study of strategic decision making) has come up with a way to increase our willpower. Researchers found that if you set out to accomplish something and view only one way of succeeding, you are less likely to succeed than if you imagine multiple paths to success. For example, if you focus only on limiting calories as the path to weight loss than if you recognize that multiple paths exist – you can eat less food, you can eat different food, you can go to the gym, you can go for walks or hikes, you can park your car further away, you can use the stairs and on and on. When our brains see more options it becomes more optimistic which in turn increases willpower. So don’t define the road to success narrowly, increase your willpower and give yourself the best chance possible.

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Alpha Doesn’t Have to Mean Ass…

alphaOver the past few months I’ve been involved in or have been told about several conversations about individuals that are considered to be Alpha’s. These conversations were specifically about alpha males, so I’m going to talk about that specifically. The term alpha refers to someone that is “the leader of the pack” or in this case has some set of characteristics where they want to lead, take charge, be assertive or are confident.

When the topic comes up, there is often a very strong, negative reaction by many of the people in the discussion. When they hear the term alpha male, they think jerk, arrogant, asshole or some other equally derogatory term. And while the can often be true, it isn’t always.

The confusion comes when there is an assumption that being alpha automatically means acting in a certain way. And those ways are often not very well received. Despite that, there are traits of alpha’s that people like. People are often attracted to leaders, to confident people, and to to people that are courageous enough to put their authentic self forward.

What people don’t like is when the alpha does those at the expense of others or by putting them down. Confidence becomes arrogance. Leadership becomes control. Authenticity comes without regard for other people.

Being an alpha doesn’t have to be like that. The characteristics of being alpha can be expressed in responsible, caring, compassionate ways. It can be about leadership, not dictatorship. There is room for vulnerability and emotions.

Our society is terrible about teaching men how to do be alpha in a positive way. Instead, it tells men that vulnerability is a weakness. Emotions are something to be avoided. And when you aren’t in touch with your emotions, compassion isn’t an option. It teaches men that they need to win at all costs, make the most money, don’t show signs of weakness. And, unfortunately, that often gets translated into being a jerk.

There are alpha’s that are different. Alpha’s that see leadership as responsibility to others, not control. They know that before they can lead others they need to be in charge of themselves. The understand that part of leadership is care and compassion. And they know their emotions are a source of strength and they are strong enough to handle the emotions of others. And they know failure is not shameful but rather is an acceptable risk of trying to succeed.

We need to change the messages we teach males. We need more role models of men who are actually strong enough to be alphas without being bullies. And one thing we can do is realize that being alpha doesn’t mean being a jerk. Untying actions from personality is a step towards changing our expectations of alphas. And besides, being a jerk is really about being a jerk…nothing else.

Posted in Alpha Male, Awen Therapy, Change, Compassion, Control, Emotions, Jay Blevins, Leadership, MFT, Psychotherapy, Relationships, Therapy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thought for the Week…

bikeWe often worry if we have what it takes to face a challenge or get through a tough situation. But if you’ve never found your limit, how can you know where it is? Don’t underestimate yourself.

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Two Therapists Talking: Sex Positivity

In this episode of Two Therapists Talking, Jasmine St. John and I talk about sex positivity.

If you have questions or a topic you’d like to hear us discuss, write us at

Posted in Advice, Awen Therapy, Jasmine St. John, Jay Blevins, JSJ Therapy, Psychotherapy, Sex, Sex Positivity, Therapy, Two Therapists Talking | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tip of the Week – Learn While You Sleep

sleepA new study suggests that listening to foreign language words during sleep can help you better remember those words. People who studied a new language during the day and had their vocabulary words played to them while they slept had better recall of those words than others who stayed awake and studied the words. Trying to learn something new? Get some sleep and learn it!

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Thought for the week.

tumblr_mxv0zxsuxq1r564xro1_500For many people the thought of spending time alone is not a pleasant thought. But when  we spend time alone it gives us the opportunity to know ourselves instead of shaping ourselves to the desire of others. Knowing your authentic self attracts people that want to be around you because of who you are. Know yourself…enjoy yourself…then others will, too.

Posted in Advice, Authentic Self, Awen Therapy, Change, Jay Blevins, MFT, Oscar Wilde, Psychotherapy, Therapy, Time Alone | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment