The Top 10 Self-Help Books

Hi All,

Bill Strong Denver Therapist here!  Now that we are in full swing for our New Year’s Resolutions…let’s talk self help books.

I was looking at Amazon’s “Top Ten Self Help Books” and it sure seems like a good list.

  1. Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
  2. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
  3. Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David D. Burns
  4. Awaken the Giant Within : How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny! by Anthony Robbins
  5. The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard
  6. Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy
  7. How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  8. Organizing from the Inside Out, Second Edition: The Foolproof System For Organizing Your Home, Your Office and Your Life by Julie Morgenstern
  9. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  10. 50 Self-Help Classics: 50 Inspirational Books to Transform Your Life by Tom Butler-Bowdon

I’ve only read about half of them…so it looks like I have some work to do.  Email me your thoughts if you’d like.  Here is my webpage:  Bill Strong Denver Strong Solutions

Bill Strong

William Strong, LCSW

Please go here for: Counseling ideas for Children and Families

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Top 10 Self-Help Books

Now that 2012 is here, just what work changes are you going to make?

Hi All!

Bill Strong Denver Therapist here!

Now that 2012 is here, I’m wondering what we are all going to do about our professional life.  What goals do you have?  Less stress?  More productivity?  A different position or even working in different field altogether?

Go here to read more about dealing with work stress.  Please email me any ideas or questions that you may have.

I’m asking my clients and readers to make a list of what potential changes they’d like to make in their profession during this year.  Let’s shoot for the moon and plan for success and prosperity!  I’ll be collecting ideas from lists provided to me and posting them soon.

Let’s get to work on making 2012 a year of positive professional change!

William Strong, LCSW

To visit my web-page, to schedule an appointment, or to email me a question, please click here:  Bill Strong, LCSW Denver Therapist.

Please go here for: Counseling ideas for Children and Families

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Now that 2012 is here, just what work changes are you going to make?

Hi All! What do you do as a Family Activity?

Hello Parents!

If you’re interested in finding out  about family rafting, please go here: Bill Strong Denver on Family Rafting.

I really believe that families who are active and know how to have “fun” together, are healthier and happier.   It’s not just having “fun” though…it’s sharing experiences, creating a “group identity” and interactions where each family member establishes a “role” where they feel good and “competent”.

Growing up in Denver, my family was always very active in the outdoors.  My father was a huge fisherman (not much of a camper though), so we would head up for day and weekend trips all the time.  We were skiers too.  I feel lucky to come from an active family.  That said, we didn’t so as many “group activities” as I think we could have, or near as many as I do with my wife and kiddos.

We do a lot of river rafting.  Before you freak out and wonder how safe we are being with our kids, please know that there are all kinds of rivers to take your family on.  Now, we do indeed do some fairly technical stuff, but nothing that is out of line or beyond our skills or an extreme safety risk.  We love it so much that I’ve started a Blog about it to encourage other families to give it a try.

As you will read, there are all kinds of options for taking your family rafting.  Starting on a “Commercial Trip” is probably the best way to get introduced into what float trips are like.  There are suggestions on how to do this on my Blog.

I was lucky to start rafting as a teen on Outward Bound.  I now have my own raft and we do our own day and multi-day trips with other families.  We just did a 5 day trip on the Green River last September, and it was truly a family experience that brought us closer, and made memories that will last after we as parents are long gone.

I believe having something as a family as stated above is really important for the following reasons;  I went to a conference on acting out teens a few year ago and the speaker talked about how kids end up being pulled together socially in ways that often involve some type of “acting-out”.  The presenter identified 3 elements that attract teens (or all people for that matter) to being in a group that may be a bit edgy in their activities.

We as humans like:

  • Being in a group that has an identity (or identifying ourselves as a member of an interesting group)
  • Being in a group that shares
  • Being and group that is involved in some type of risk-taking

Please review the above closely.  Can you think of a group that you were involved in that shared all 3 of the above?  Could be a sports team, a group of friends who would cycle together, or a group that was involved in some type of illegal risk or acting out.

So, how about if we beat this to the punch and include those 3 elements in our “family culture”?  I grew up next to a family that was into auto racing.  They were very close, healthy and high-achieving.  On weekends they were at the racetrack, or working on their car getting ready for the next “big race”.  The son and daughter weren’t particularly interested in the pull of high risk behaviors with her peers because they already had that within their life and family.

I’ve probably made my point.  You don’t have to have be too intense.  Mountain Biking in Moab perhaps?  How about going to a rock gym, then branching out to a real mountain.  Hiking, racing, Taekwondo, skiiingyou name it.

What is going to be your family’s “thing”?

Bill Strong

William Strong, LCSW

To visit my web-page, to schedule an appointment, or to email me a question, please click here:  William Strong, LCSW Denver Therapist.

Please go here for: Counseling ideas for Children and Families

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Hi All! What do you do as a Family Activity?

More on Work Stress…

Hi all,

Thanksgiving week is upon us.   Please spend this time to think about the parts of life that you are grateful for!  And yes, work is one of them, even when it’s not going so well.

I’ve been writing about work stress and doing my best to help people get a different angle on it.  I wanted to write a brief post about some ways that we can avoid job-depression.

Be Positive! Don’t spend too much time at work venting your frustrations!  Focusing on problems at work not only gives you the wrong reputation, but it also feeds into negative thoughts about your job.  People are attracted to upbeat.

Don’t Isolate! Get out and about at work…meet co-workers for lunch and breaks, attend staff activities and office parties (no more than one drink please, ever-ever)…even if you have to make yourself.

Change Self-Talk! Keep an eye  on what you say to yourself in your workplace.  Turn negatives into positives, or at least laugh at the irony when possible (“yeah, this place sure values work-home balance…haha.  I need to work-out when I get off today).  Instead of obsessing about a work problem, make a plan to deal with it.  Don’t be a negative Nellie at work!  To read more about the effect of negative thinking, please go here:  Bill Strong Denver Therapist on Cognitive Therapy.

Don’t Push, Don’t Rush! Give yourself what I call “The Gift of Time”…knowing that when you get stressed out the first thing that goes out the window is creativity (think about why people get writers block).  When we are stressed we do not do our best work.  Allow increased time in the morning so your not rushing around starting the day stressed out.

Manage the Boss who “Hates” you! Work towards a more accepting stance re the fact that not everyone is going to like you.  It’s ok not to have a fantastic bond with your boss or a co-worker…focus on being professional.  Identify what your boss what’s and do it.

About the Workplace Bully! Work bullies, like all bullies are best to be ignored when possible.  A boss who bullies is best handled very strategically.  Regularly ask for clarification of expectations…saying that you want to make sure you’re on the same page as you boss.  Repeat back what you boss tells you, and create a written email record “to help clarify” what is being directed.  This creates documentation to be used as needed.  Also try and have others around when you two talk, if at all possible.

Decrease Layoff Anxiety! Do your best to prepare for possible downsizing by having your hear to the ground about any possible job opportunities.  Have your resume up to date and participate in educational, networking and volunteer opportunities.

Use Your Time Off to Decompress! Many of my work stressed clients struggle in identifying what activities help them Decompress.  I whitewater raft.  It’s not just the running rapids…but the floating along and even the planning of trips that helps me decompress. Play is HUGE in terms of having a high quality of life.  So…what do you do?

Life a Healthy Life! I want you to make sure you eat, sleep and treat yourself in a healthy and nurturing way.  Excessive alcohol use NEVER helps. Get enough sleep.  Do what I call “The Basics”…eat well, sleep well, relax and play!

I hope this helps!

 

William Strong, LCSW

To visit my web-page, to schedule an appointment, or to email me a question, please click here:  William Strong, LCSW Denver Therapist.

Please go here for: Counseling ideas for Children and Families

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on More on Work Stress…

Being Thankful this Thanksgiving

I thought I’d share some thoughts on the how important being “Thankful” is.    This is a time of year where I ask my clients to make a list of the parts of their life that they feel true gratitude for.

My family, friends and those who read this blog know that I love Thanksgiving.  It’s my favorite holiday for many reasons.  Getting family and loved ones together, without the agenda of gift-giving is very special in my opinion.

I’ve been blogging on Bill Strong Denver about what I like to cook as I just love that part of the holiday.

Let me take a moment to encourage all of us to focus on what we are THANKFUL about this Thanksgiving.   I recently ran across this bit of information.

Being thankful is good for the body and the mind.  People who practice being grateful:

  1. Are 25% happier
  2. Sleep 1/2 hr more per evening
  3. Exercise 33% more each week
  4. Reduce blood pressure by up to 10%
  5. Decrease their dietary fat intake by up to 20%
  6. Can live up to 7 years longer with frequent positive thoughts.

Let’s focus on what we are grateful for this Thanksgiving!!!

William Strong, LCSW

To visit my web-page, to schedule an appointment, or to email me a question, please click here:  William Strong, LCSW Denver Therapist.

Please go here for: Counseling ideas for Children and Families

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Being Thankful this Thanksgiving

More on Work Dissatisfaction and Identifying our “Primary Needs”

Hi all,

I’ve been writing and talking to my work stressed clients about a common dynamic where a person seeks the fulfillment of their “Primary Needs” from the workplace.  It is my opinion that our work isn’t the place to have most of our primary needs met, and that those who attempt to have them met at work usually end up dissatisfied.

I’ve asked my clients and readers to identify just what needs are reasonable to be met at the workplace.  To read that post, please go here:  Bill Strong Denver Therapist on Work Stress.

I threw out three needs that I think are reasonable expectation from our workplace:  Payment, balance and an ability to succeed at the job. I asked readers and clients to email me other needs that can be met at work.  I received over 60 emails…some with great ideas, and other which I believe are unreasonable or “Primary Needs” that just aren’t usually going to be met in the workplace.

Here are some of the responses with how I rate the likelihood of the need being met at work:

Feelings of Worth (I give this a 3 our of 5, some feelings of worth can come from work…but much comes from the life and relationships we have outside of the workplace)

Feelings of Accomplishment (4 our of 5 unless there isn’t an ability to truly succeed or  meet goals at work)

Being Liked and Valued (3 out of 5 depending on the work culture)

Being Respected by my Supervisor/Boss (3 out of 5, Sounds good…but what if the boss, like many, isn’t available to meet this need?)

Having Fun and Enjoying my Job (I give this a 4 out of 5, I’d like to think it’s not to much to ask that we like our work “most days”)

Feeling Heard (I give this a 5 out of 5 in importance…and a 2/3 out of 5 in likelihood due to the culture in many workplaces where employees do not feel listened too )

Feeling Loved (I give this a Zero out of 5, not going to happen in the workplace)

Ok, so I’m back writing this after a nice weekend and I’m trying to put into words what I’m really trying to say.  I’m want to point out that much of our work-stress and dissatisfaction comes from within.  Let’s “Get Real” about what we can expect from work…which will also cause many of us to look into what is happening (or not) within the rest of our lives.  Our relationships and how we spend out time outside of work determines so much of out life.  I’m not saying that work isn’t important…but for sure many of the people that I help with work stress benefit from increased perspective…and an increased focus on how they can become happier outside of the workplace.  When we do that we seem to need less from our supervisors and peers at work.

Just something to think about when any of us becomes frustrated at work.

William Strong, LCSW

To visit my web-page, to schedule an appointment, or to email me a question, please click here:  William Strong, LCSW Denver Therapist.

Please go here for: Counseling ideas for Children and Families

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on More on Work Dissatisfaction and Identifying our “Primary Needs”

How is your assignment regarding work dissatisfaction going?

Hi all,

My last post asked you to think about what your “Primary Needs” are.  In doing so, I’m hoping to increase your awareness about just what needs are reasonable to expect your work/job to meet.  To read my last post please go here:  Bill Strong Denver Therapist on Work Stress.

So…just what can we reasonable expect from our work?  Or, if we are dissatisfied, are we expecting certain needs to be met from our workplace, supervisors, and peers that just aren’t going to happen?

I see this a lot and have experienced it myself.  This will sound a bit psycho-babbly…but if you come from a family system that didn’t meet certain needs (there are gaps in need-fulfillment in even the most healthy of family systems)…then you might have a susceptibility to a pattern where you may seek certain needs (like validation) from a source that is unlikely to hit the mark.   I have seen many clients who are frustrated with their work situation or supervisor.  The question of “Just what are you seeking from work?” can be a difficult one to answer.

So, what’s reasonable to expect from work?

Let’s start with the basics…adequate financial compensation is a must!  The opportunity to succeed is also a requirement.  It’s amazing how many jobs are set up so that the employee feels unable to truly succeed within the job’s expectations.  More on that at a later time.  Ok, payment and the ability to succeed.  Perhaps we stop right there.  Or is there more?  How about some priority on the company or supervisor’s part to allow the worker to “have a life”.  I’d think we should add that.  More companies say “We believe in a healthy balance between work and personal life”…yet many fail to deliver.

There are my three to start with.  Payment, balance and an ability to succeed at the job.

What else do you have?  Please make your list and see if there is anything on there that isn’t a reasonable expectation.  Feel free to email me your list or any questions from the below link.  With your permission I’ll include your list or ideas on my next post.

I’ll write some more in a few days as we explore this further.

William Strong

To visit my web-page, to schedule an appointment, or to email me a question, please click here:  Bill Strong, LCSW Denver Therapist.

Please go here for: Counseling ideas for Children and Families

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How is your assignment regarding work dissatisfaction going?

Work Stress…Just what “needs” are you trying to have met at work?

Hi All,

If you talk to any professional therapist, you’ll hear that our clients often struggle with “work stress” or “burn-out”.  Not surprising, I know.  We all have struggled with this from time to time.

With the economy as it is, it’s obviously important to focus on the positive as there are less opportunities in the job market then years past.  I’m hearing, “I don’t have the luxury to be burned-out, I need to make this job work for me!”  Keeping an open mind about alternatives is away a good thing and “making my current job work for me” isn’t to negate the need to explore other fields of work or employment opportunities.  My work-stressed clients are more often than not asking for help in decreasing job stress at their current job.

With that in mind, over the next few weeks I’ll be writing about job stress and what to do to decrease and manage it more effectively.

In this post I’d like to ask something that seems to help my clients make a shift in their work stress:  What “needs” are you seeking from work that may be unreasonable or unavailable to you within your work environment? Or a similar question is:  Are you seeking to have what I call your “Primary Needs” met from a “Secondary” source (work)?

I’m well aware that when I start taking about “needs, Primary needs, Secondary sources” I run the risk of sounding like I’m speaking psycho-babble.  Please hang in there and think about this for a bit.

Assuming you’re struggling at work, just what are you seeking from work?  What “needs” are going unfulfilled so that you are dissatisfied, upset, feeling under-appreciated and/or unhappy? Or if it’s none of the above, just what is the struggle?  Are you bored or feeling unchallenged?

Whatever it is I want my clients to make sure they are being realistic and reasonable about what they are seeking from their job.  If a person is having an unreasonable expectation, or one that just flat-out isn’t going to be met at their current place of employment, then some of the issue will be resolved by changing what’s expected (until a time that a job change can take place).

Being bored at work, under-challenged, wanting job description changes etc. are all things that we can try to create change around in the work-place.  The challenge becomes when the answer (either overly or covertly) is “No”.   At that point it’s about accepting the job for what it is while making determinations re eventual changes (within the company or elsewhere).

The main topic of this post is to point out that sometimes people seek needs that aren’t going to be met at any job.  Our “Primary Needs” are met withing our most intimate relationships.  Feelings of being loved, truly accepted and appreciated, and valued are needs I’m wanting people to seek from their Primary Relationships…not their  primarily from their job or work.  I often see people who are unknowingly seeking needs from the workplace that are unrealistic.  Most therapists know the work of Virgina Satire who worked with her clients on what she called the “Five Freedoms”…that she used to describe full personal functionality.  Each freedom has to do with a basic human power…they are The Power to Perceive, The Power to Think and Interpret, The Power to Want and Choose, and the Power to Imagine.   We are all limited in these powers within the work place…that’s just the way it is.  They do exist in a healthy “Personal Life” outside of work…let’s have our focus of our “Primary Needs” be within this life, not our work life.

So, are you trying to get your personal and primary needs meet at work?  If so, I’ll bet you’re disappointed and at time hurt by the lack of how those needs are fulfilled.  Achievement is great and important…so is being able to pay our bills, support our families, and feel successful.  Those are reasonable goals for work.  Let’s just make sure we aren’t seeking needs/fulfillment from our workplace that’s unreasonable.

More on this in the near future.  I’m hoping this post is food for thought.

William Strong

To visit my web-page, to schedule an appointment, or to email me a question, please click here:  Bill Strong, LCSW Denver Therapist.

Please go here for: Counseling ideas for Children and Families

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Work Stress…Just what “needs” are you trying to have met at work?

Do you turn towards that light, or towards the shadows?

Hi all!

Bill Strong Denver Therapist here.

One of the similarities between Solution Focused Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is desire to assist the client in their ability to identify the positive (solutions) and decrease their over-emphasis on the negative (problem).

I call this “Turning Towards the Light” instead of the shadows or darkness.

To read more about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, please go here:  Bill Strong Denver Therapist on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

I’ve had the pleasure of supervising other therapists about Solution Focused Therapy and often hear the same observation: “It’s really difficult to get people to talk about solutions!  For some reason, they tend to go back to talking about the problem.  Why are they so resistant to discussing solutions?”

I believe it’s human nature to talk about “the problem” more than the “solution”.  For one, we want to feel understood, empathized with, and cared about.  Talking about the pain and disappointment of “the problem” is an attempt to receive these things.  Also, taking about “the solution” is very difficult!  It takes a forward focus and forces us to move past how we were hurt.  To discuss the solution, we often must look at our own part in the hurtful pattern.   Lastly, it seems as though people enter into therapy thinking the focus should be the “problem”.  It’s also common to hear “If I knew the solution, I wouldn’t be here!”  I love this comment as it allows me to respond, “Then let’s get started on you not needing to come here!”  This sure flies in the face of endless “problem focused” therapy.

I’ve told my students that helpful therapy must involve a process where the client feels understood, and is then guided towards realistic solutions.  Those solutions can take many forms.  A Cognitive Behavioral Approach involves a challenge/change in distorted, negative thinking.  It also involves changing behaviors with the result being positive shifts in the client’s life.

I like to combine a Solution Focused approach with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.   I call it “Turning towards the Light”.”The Light” is forward focused.  It involves solutions.

The “Miracle Question” can help clients begin to see solutions.   A general example of the miracle question is as follows:

“Let’s look forward to when our session is over, you drive home and go about the rest of your day. At bedtime you quickly fall asleep.  In the middle of the night, when you are sound asleep, a miracle takes place and all of the difficulties that brought you into therapy are solved.  Now…since the miracle happened as you slept, you have no idea the miracle happened.  As you wake up in the morning, how are you going to begin to become aware that the miracle happened? … What all the ways you notice that the problem has been solved?

You’d be surprised just how difficult it is to identify “what is different”.  Often people start with “I’d just feel better!” and become frustrated when they are pushed to identify what is different.  Eventually, with the help of a skilled therapist, they are able to identify specific changes that they can work towards.

So…turn towards the light!  If you’re therapist isn’t asking you about, and helping you find solutions, you might want to find one that does.

William Strong, LCSW

To visit my web-page, to schedule an appointment, or to email me a question, please click here:  William Strong, LCSW Denver Therapist.

Please go here for: Counseling ideas for Children and Families

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Do you turn towards that light, or towards the shadows?

How are you coming along in identifying your negative thoughts?

Hi All,

Bill Strong Denver Therapist here!

I wanted to revisit the issue of your negative thoughts.  As a reminder, our thoughts have a huge impact on how we feel.

To read more about how our thoughts (cognitions) influence our feelings, please go here:  William Strong LCSW Denver Therapist on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

As you review the above link I’m hopeful that the importance of our thinking made clear.  As you listen to yourself, what are the themes of your negative thoughts (we all have them)?  Have you worked on identifying them, determining their validity, and then disputing the thoughts where are inaccurate and hurtful?

I know this sounds like a lot of work…but the benefits are significantly helpful.  If nothing else, a simple list of your thoughts will allow you to explore this topic more closely.

So…let’s pay attention to our thinking.  I’m betting you’ll find that you’re “hard” on yourself in ways that aren’t helpful.  Changing that will change how you feel!

William Strong, LCSW

To visit my web-page, to schedule an appointment, or to email me a question, please click here:  William Strong, LCSW Denver Therapist.

Please go here for: Counseling ideas for Children and Families

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How are you coming along in identifying your negative thoughts?