January 2012

Down To Earth Newsletter
Volume 11 – Issue 1 – January, 2012

Now Forming – Psychodrama Group for Therapy Professionals – Therapists need to work on their own issues, too, but where are they supposed to go? If they join a group, they risk running into their own clients and developing inappropriate dual relattionships.  Problem solved!  Grayce Gusmano, LMFT and Marlo Archer, Ph.D. are forming the 2012 Professionals Psychodrama Group. Call 480-705-5007 to reserve your spot. Group will meet every other Friday afternoon for 2 1/2 hours.

Debunking Myths – Thinking About That Will Make Me Sad

When bad stuff happens, it is best to just put it out of your mind and move on. If you dwell on something, it will only make you sad.

Fact: Bad Things happen all the time. You get fired or laid off. An inattentive driver rear-ends you at a red light. The store runs out of your favorite product. A beloved family member passes away. Your child comes home from school with a project that is due tomorrow. Your purse gets stolen. You break your eyeglasses. Life is full of things that cause us to have negative emotions ranging from sadness to anger to frustration to irritation to deep, deep, heart-wrenching sorrow.

While it is true that if you let every little thing bother you and wallow in your negative emotions, you will waste a lot of time you could be engaging in other interests, it is also true that the really big, really bad stuff requires our attention in order to get better.

By all means, ignore the guy who cuts you off in traffic. Move on when you lose your favorite pen. Take a deep breath and exchange information cordially with the youngster who smashed into you because they were texting instead of watching the road. But when it comes to the things that really matter to you, and only you get to decide what those are, when it comes to the big important things, you cannot just put those things out of your mind and expect that you will get to avoid experiencing the feelings.

When your family dog of 17 years dies, when the porcelain bowl breaks that used to belong to your great-great-grandmother, when a loving relationship breaks up, or when any other true sorrow crosses your path, it requires you spend some time on it for it to transform from a deeply negative experience to a more positive, coping outcome.

However, when the worst of the worst happens, it tends to make us feel so badly that we think we will break into a thousand pieces if we were to experience the pain, and so we run and hide. We might over drink or over eat, throw ourselves into work projects, volunteer extra hours at church, sleep too much, take up extra hobbies, or go out bowling several nights a week, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing to hide or cover the pain, whatever it is isn’t going to work, at least not long-term.

It will work in the short term and that’s why people keep on doing it, but the effect it has in the long term is to alienate you from your feelings and you’ll lose access to both your pain and your happiness. The very avoidance of pain will eventually prevent you from happiness as well.

Thinking about it and talking about it won’t MAKE you sad. You’re already sad. Your task now is to acknowledge it, deal with it, and feel it so that it can move along.

Previous Discussion Question: What thing, when it happened, were you not thankful for, but you have since come to appreciate? 

LLA, from the Midwest, offers this uplifting answer:

I have been let go from 2 different  jobs because of downsizing. At the time, it was devastating. I always considered myself the type of person who would work on one job for my whole entire life. If that would have happened, I would not have the wonderful job I have today. I would not have been forced to get the education I received to put me in a position that I can expand in my job, move to different states to work if I had to, share my experiences with others. Being without a job…even for a couple months…is very scary. Understanding it is God’s will and he always has you “right where you should be” at all times, is the acceptance.

Great attitude!  Watch your mailbox, Dr. Marlo Sunglasses will help shield your eyes from the blinding snow.

January Discussion Question: What discussion question do you want the readers of this newsletter to answer?

E-mail answers to: discussion@drmarlo.com and answers will appear in the next newsletter. Your state of residence, your first name and last initial will be used unless you tell us not to use them.  Anyone who responds and also includes a mailing address will receive our Dr. Marlo Sunglasses!

Thought For The Day: Got a challenge? Find a way or find an excuse!

To spotlight our E-Coaching services, our newsletter includes a personal growth exercise.  These exercises illustrate the kinds of activities our clients are asked to complete when they are using our E-Coaching services.  The exercises printed here are quite general in nature, but the exercises sent to our E-Coaching clients are individualized to meet each client’s specific needs.  E-Coaching Sessions are available for $50 each.

101 Things in 1,001 Days

A couple of my aunts turned me on to a goal-setting website that I think has great merit.

The Day Zero Project is a place to record your goals, discover new challenges, and gain motivation to achieve them. It is a unique challenge-based goal setting community that goes beyond the regular to-do list to get you achieving your personal goals in life. Best of all, it’s FREE!

Essentially, you write a list of 101 things you’d like to do over the next 1,001 days. That’s about 2.75 years. What I like about that is that it extends the timeline over traditional New Years’ Resolutions and allows you to really think about achieving some things that would take multiple years to accomplish.

The website also allows you look at other people’s lists for ideas. Goals range from completing law school to trying a new recipe every month. You’ll find that some people’s challenges (singing karaoke in front of 5 friends) might be your weekly entertainment, while your challenge (cleaning out my closet) comes easily to others. Some goals are frivolous, but would still take time and effort (watch 26 movies, each one beginning with a different letter of the alphabet), and others might sound silly at first, then appealing, the more you think about them (write a letter to myself to be opened in 10 years.) Some people even set the goal of influencing another person to make a Day Zero Project list!

You can use the website to make a list of any size. You don’t have to actually do 101 items. You can designate some items as private if you’d prefer others not be able to see those. Each item allows you to list it as not started, in progress, or done and you can add notes to each item. For example, if you aspire to get rid of 100 household items, you can track what you’ve released in the notes section.

You can actually designate tasks that you want to complete in the next 1,001 days, or tasks you just want to complete “sometime.” This feature allows you to dream big about long-term goals while also working on concrete goals for the short- and mid-term. You may find that short- or mid-term goals lead smoothly into long-term goals. Just putting your goals into a concrete form, typing them out, writing them out, saying them, and sharing them, makes them that much more likely to occur. Your brain will start scanning the environment for opportunities to fulfill goals you acknowledge to yourself that you actually have.

You can enjoy this with your friends by sharing your username. You can use your real name or anything you want instead. When asked for your name, you can either use your real name there, leave it blank, or make something up. It is difficult to find someone you know is participating unless you know their username.

For a FREE 5-Session Trial of E-Coaching, send us a report of how this activity worked for you!  We may share your report in our next newsletter with your name, last initial, and state of residence (unless you tell us not to).  Send to FreeSessions@drmarlo.com.  (Offer Expires 2-12-12)

E-Coaching!  Try it Now!
Not every problem is a mental illness.  Not every issue is a trauma.  Not every botherment is an emotional disorder.  For life’s daily issues and for personal growth, now there is E-Coaching!  Dr. Marlo Archer offers a 10-session consultation package for people who are not diagnosed with any mental illness who would just like some coaching, some guidance, or some personal growth.  We are offering the 10-Session package for $500.  Begin by calling 480-705-5007 to make a $500 payment, then send an e-mail to DrMarlo@drmarlo.com, expressing your specific area of concern to begin!

Publish Your Work – Promote your Practice – Two ways to publish – for free as a semi-anonymous author (your state of residence, your first name and last initial will be used), or, for $25, as a professional promoting a mental health practice (your full name, with credentials, address, phone number, and e-mail address will be included).  We reserve the right to decline to publish any submissions.   Send creative contributions to:  articles@drmarlo.com. Currently 2681 subscribers.

Dr. Marlo in the Media

Making Marriage a Success - Jaleh Donaldson

Making Marriage a Success” by Jaleh Donaldson – a complilation book in which Dr. Marlo Archer is quoted.

Join us on Facebook! Click here – Information on Dr. Marlo’s Practice and other resources that are available.

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Fun Products

2012 Wall Calendar – Jon Archer’s stunning photography can help you organize family events in 2012.

Grand Canyon NotecardsGrand Canyon Note Cards – 20 blank notecards adorned by a photo of the Grand Canyon can help you express love and kindness to family and friends throughout the year.

Journal – Wild Burro from Oatman, AZ will guard your innermost thoughts, recorded in this helpful journal.

I look forward to 2012 being the best year ever! –Marlo J. Archer, Ph.D.

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