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Living From Happiness

The Happiness Doc, Dr. Melanie Harth, and guests share thought-provoking convos every week on Living From Happiness. From mindfulness and neuroscience to positive psychology and creativity, the show's all about living well in transformational times.
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Now displaying: May, 2022
May 19, 2022

Feeling sad and feeling anxious are two common signs of ambiguous loss. Dr. Pauline Boss, one of the world's leading experts on ambiguous loss, shares insights and research in The Myth of Closure: Ambiguous Loss in a Time of Pandemic and Change, her newest book.

Dr. Boss is a psychologist, thought leader, emeritus professor, and author of the seminal books Loss, Trauma, and Resilience: Therapeutic Work with Ambiguous Loss, and The Myth of Closure: Ambiguous Loss In A Time of Pandemic and Change.

She's known worldwide for developing the theory of ambiguous loss and as a pioneer in the interdisciplinary study of family stress management.

And at the age of 87, she's having a moment!

A delightful guest, Pauline freely shares some of her personal journey and how her experiences of loss changed the scope of her newest book even as she was writing it.

She says that ambiguous loss is "an unclear loss." And that many people don't realize they're grieving. The result can be that the grief then becomes frozen.

When we understand that how we're feeling and why we're feeling it is because we're grieving an unclear loss, our lives can begin making more sense.

Examples of ambiguous loss include

  • the Covid pandemic,
  • leaving one’s home and/or country as an immigrant or refugee, romantic relationship breakups,
  • divorces,
  • family disintegration,
  • adoption
  • caretaking an elderly spouse, partner, parent, or adult child with physical and/or mental health issues.

Pauline Boss makes it clear that most caregivers are not depressed. Nor should they be labeled with a pathogizing diagnosis they don't deserve.

What many caregivers are is sad. And it's a sadness that's very normal and understandable given the circumstances.

Closure on normal grieving is a myth. Grief does not end. Further, if we've loved someone or something, we want to remember. Because we're remembering with love.

Pauline offers thoughtful, and helpful counsel for how to increase our tolerance for ambiguous loss, and continue moving forward with our lives, even as we hold what's dear to us in our hearts.

 

If you're feeling sad, depressed, confused about how to move forward after a traumatic change, or if you'd like to explore grief counseling in Santa Fe, please reach out to the Santa Fe Therapist for a free 15-minute phone consult.

Send an email to melanie@melanieharth.com and schedule a session, won't you?

May 5, 2022

Self-awareness and self-compassion are the touchstones of this fascinating episode.

Silvia Stenitzer is a licensed psychotherapist in Santa Fe, NM. She's gathered an eclectic array of well-researched techniques she uses to help her clients, and to train the trainers.

Silvia "trusts the deep wisdom of the body, our innate self-healing abilities, and the magic of interpersonal connection. Movement, action, psychodrama, improvisation, art expression, dreams, play, meditation are our allies on the journey to Self."

Melanie and Silvia share thoughts and experiences of the importance of the mind-body connection, and the deep wisdom that we have available to us all the time when we know how to hear it.

Self-awareness is an interesting phenomenon. You'd think we'd all know how we're feeling, and why -- what triggered us -- to feel what we're feeling.

But most of us don't. At all. We're such a "neck-up" culture, meaning that we believe that our brain lives in our heads, with our bodies and energetic hearts somehow just along for the ride.

Being self-awareness means that you know who you are in this moment. You're not afraid of your emotions. You can feel them and name.

You understand that how you're feeling isn't necessarily something to act on, or react to.

You recogize your thoughts and beliefs, and accept that your thoughts are just thoughts, and your beliefs aren't necessarily objective Truth with a capital T.

From this place of self-awareness, you're then able to think more clearly, feel more deeply, and make much better decisions and choices for you and your loved ones.

Another powerful practice to cultive is self-compassion. The truth is that, once you begin developing self-awareness, you'll be seeing and feeling some things about yourself that aren't always pretty or pleasant.

That's OK. You're human. When you can feel compassion -- kindness, gentleness, and tenderness -- toward yourself, you'll begin experiencing such delicious and healing things as inner balance and inner harmony.

 

If you're feeling out of balance, anxious, sad and lonely, or confused about self-awareness and self-compassion can help you, please reach out to the Santa Fe Therapist for a free 15-minute phone consult. Send an email to melanie@melanieharth.com and schedule a session, won't you?

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