Category Archives: therapy

Ch Ch Ch Changes

“Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.”
Watch the Ted Talk here.


Can your posture or environment change you?

Try curling into yourself, bring your knees in, cross your arms, look down. Portland Oregon Cognitive TherapySit like this for a minute. How do you feel in this position? Now try stretching your arms up, standing tall, looking up. What body sensations do you notice?

Changing your posture can change how you feel, how you interact. She does a much better job at demonstrating this, watch her video to get the full scoop on it.

I what to take this somewhere else: your environment. That may be your home, your organization, your clothes in your closet or even the clothes you wear. Think about when you wear sweatpants and an oversized sweat shirt. I think cozy, comfortable, ease of movement. Now what about going on a date, what clothes do you pick out for that? And it probably depends on how you want to feel. Some women will wear sexy underwear or a camisole to feel sexy even if they are wearing not so sexy clothes.

Posture affects you. Clutter in your home affects you. What you wear affects you.

Check in with yourself when you are feeling a certain way, (Not as a fix it, I don’t believe in fixing your feelings, more as a possible shift move.) and try changing your posture or your clothes. Play with it and notice what happens.

Like I say to many of my clients, life is like a science experiment: have a hypothesis, try it out, determine the next step. Go into this not knowing, being curious, wondering what will happen. And then gather data.

If you think cognitive therapy could help you, contact me for Portland appointments.

Appreciation for use of the photo go to Serge Bertasius Photography At

YES or maybe not


Head & Heart Life Coaching Tip

In the theory of work that I use for myself and my clients, there is a saying, Help with Life Coaching choices in Portland, Oregon.“If it isn’t a full body yes, then it is a no.” This is a very black or white way of looking at it and it hasn’t always sat well with me.

I had an aha with a client this week that shed a different light on that. We were exploring what she wanted and what appeared to be a divergence between her head and her heart. We then looked more closely at the different body centers (head, heart, gut). Each one wanted something, yet toward the end of the exploration we realized that the three centers really wanted the same thing. The what she wanted was the same, the how she would step toward her want was different.

If you are unsure what you are wanting at this time, perhaps feeling in limbo, take a moment to check in with each center. Take a breath, tune into your head, what does your head want? Once you land on something, check in and notice any body sensations around this want. Now, take a breath and tune into your heart, what does your heart want? Once the want percolates to your conscious, take a moment to bring your awareness to your body sensations. Simply noticing. Now repeat this with your gut.

Is there connection between the wants? Are they at odds or closer than you had thought?

Contact me for more information on life coaching in the Portland, Oregon area.

Photo compliments of Stuart Miles at

Finding a Therapist/Coach

Finding a therapist or a coach who is the right fit is important. How do you go about it? What questions to ask? How do you know if it is the right fit?

Are you looking for a cognitive therapist in Portland, Oregon?

Cognitive therapy in Portland, Oregon. Find the right therapist.First, I want you to do some insight work. What kind of therapist/coach do you want? Does gender or age matter? What about their approach (mindfulness, psychodynamic, feeling oriented, attachment based, solution focused)? What about personality traits (someone more direct, quiet, who asks a lot of questions, takes notes during sessions, challenges you)? Are you using insurance or paying out of pocket? Once you know the answer to these questions you can narrow down your search.

Some questions that I find useful once you have chosen someone:

This is what I am looking for (grief work, somatic experience, addiction, abuse, issues around adoption/infertility/ anxiety/depression, etc), is this an area that you feel trained in and capable of helping me?

If yes, then how would you work on this issue with me?

Are you on panel (if using insurance)? or

How much do you charge (if paying out of pocket)?

Then ask yourself, “Do I feel comfortable with this person?” This is a person who you are hoping will help you, guide you, support you, witness you. You may not have developed trust yet, that will ideally come in time. Do you see yourself being able to trust this person down the road. It is a relationship like any other, that requires time to build the trust.

Want to know more about me and cognitive therapy? Contact me to start the therapy process – Portland, Oregon.

Photos compliments of Idea Go at



Choice of Therapist/Coach

What Choice Do You Have for Portland Therapists?

Portland area cognitive therapist.I was talking with a client the other day and we had an interesting conversation. The idea of choice with therapy.

Yes, you choose the therapist you work with. You may interview a couple to find a good fit. You may work with one, something may happen and you go to another therapist.* You are the initiator of the process. You reach out to someone who you think may be able to provide guidance and support through something you are dealing with.

There is another side of the coin. The therapist also chooses. It may not be a good fit for the therapist for a variety of reasons. What you are dealing with may be out of their schope of practice and expertise. You may also be looking for something the therapist doesn’t offer and they refer you out. Things change through the time you are working together and someone else may be a better fit for what you are currently going through. The client may be pushing certain boundaries the therapist has set, for example cancelling more than coming in.

Therapy and coaching are a two way street. It is a choice on both sides.

Start the therapy process and choose to call for more information on cognitive therapy – Portland, Oregon.

*I do encourage you to talk with your therapist if something comes up that causes to to change therapists. I think there is a lot of value in you advocating for yourself. We are therapists and can pick up on a lot, and we also miss things and make mistakes. It may be hard to bring up the topic as conflict/disagreement is not something that most of us are taught. This allows a conversation (ideally the therapist would not be defensive or judgemental) adn the possibility of the bridge being rebuilt. And you may still choose to change therapists.

Photo compliments of Stuart Miles at

Boundaries-knowing your no (sneaking in anger)

How do you know what you want or don’t want? How do you let others know? How do you respond when others share their what they want or not?

Is Coaching for you?

This can cause a lot of disrupt in relationships. Often times people will see someone saying no as a rejection. Perhaps even sharing what they want could be seen by themselves or others as being selfish.

Portland area coaching for anger management.I see anger as a boundary emotion. It lets us know when something needs to stop or change. Yet, when we hold onto this anger/frustration/irritation/annoyance/etc, it festers and comes out typically as an argument or a lingering mood that can last several hours, days or months. I will also share this: yelling and anger are not the same thing. I think yelling happens when it festers.

What would life be like if that anger was noticed in the moment and something was either acknowledged by that person or even shared out loud. Now, wait a moment, if you are like a lot of people, you may say that is impossible or you simply couldn’t do that or what chaos would erupt if you allowed yourself to do that. Take a breath. I am talking about going inward and noticing and acknowledging. That in and of itself can make a huge difference. Wow, I feel angry (vexed, ill tempered, you use whatever word works) and noticing I had hoped you would do the dishes. Anger doesn’t equal blame, it can come out as blame, but they are not one in the same.

Homework if you choose to accept: take a moment when you notice yourself getting angry (agitated/ displeased/ huffy) to simply notice and acknowledge that. Then ask yourself what boundary have you or someone else stepped over. And what do you want around that? It may be an agreement with someone (your friend shows up late). A cultural agreement (a car speeds by you going 20 miles over the limit).

Contact for more information on Portland area coaching and talk to me about your desires for coaching.

This image is curtesy of stockimages at

Are you taking time for you?

I think our general culture here in the US tends to be get stuff done, go go go, be productive. With that mindset, it doesn’t really leave time for sitting and resting and rejuvenating the self. It can be labeled “lazy” or “selfish” to “do nothing.” The idea of sitting, resting, laying down in the shade/sun, reading a book as “doing nothing” is so connected to how the culture views certain activities.

This is something that comes up especially with parents. For a lot of couples, between work and kids, there is not a lot of extra time for the couple let alone yourself. Yet it makes such a difference. Even if it is five minutes. I see it as recharging that internal battery.

How Relaxing is Important in Couples Therapy

Personal time is important in couples therapy.I am married and am used to my spouse and their energy and movement. A friend has been staying with us for several months now and I noticed today, Sun, that when both my friend and spouse left, that I hadn’t been home alone for at least two weeks. Maybe it is having a different energy in the home. Maybe it is just having silence, knowing that I am here alone. And I also realized that it is something that I want to enjoy more regularly. And I don’t necessarily need the whole day, I just want to have my space, my time, with no one around.

Side note: I often tell the couples that come to see me as coaching or therapy clients to go on a date and not talk about the kids, money or their relationship. Go out and talk about topics that aren’t “business” related.  Here is a link to first date questions.

If you want to continue the exploration: Take a moment to think about what activities you consider to be productive vs unproductive. Where did these ideas of what is and isn’t productive come from?  How do you take care of yourself? Make a list of self care activities. And determine what you want to do and by when for your next you time.

Contact me today to make an appointment for Portland area couples therapy.

Photo curtesy of at

What Dogs can Teach Us: Lesson 1

Tips Learned from Man’s Best Friend

I was talking to someone recently about how much dogs can teach us and what they can show us about counseling.

Lesson one:

How to express anger. I think the American culture has an idea that feeling anger is either stewing or full on rage. What if anger is a boundary issue? Ie: “Don’t step on my tail!” when you Anger management tips learned from dogs for Portland therapy.step on a dog’s tail, typically the dog will bark or growl or yelp, jump up and move, and then come back and want to be pet.

What if anger was that easy to express as humans? Express and come back to connection. Let the other person know, “I don’t like that.” It doesn’t mean you bite the person’s hand off (say things that you don’t mean or intentionally say to hurt the other person). It also doesn’t mean that you sulk for hours or days.

Challenge: Play with noticing what are your boundaries. And how can you express in an easy, friendly way?

Contact me today to make an appointment for counseling in the Portland area.

Photo compliments of Gualberto107 at 

Frequency in Therapy/Coaching

I am an advocate of people empowering and listening to what they want. Here are some ideas to think about as you are thinking, “How often do I want to go in,” or “Can I cut back on my session frequency?”

What Are Your Life Coaching Goals?

What are your goals? How close are you to your goals? Have you accomplished them? What do you want to get out of your sessions? I see more frequent as powering your movement forward. So how fast do you want to move forward toward your goals?

And how intense are those goals? I am guessing if you are thinking of less frequent you are not in crisis, which is when many people want to decrease session frequency. My thoughts are that after a crisis is when you can really dig down and start working on what is really going on. You are not in crisis mode so have a different awareness; you are able to take a breath and notice.

How accountable are you to yourself? Are you able to practice the new tools or skills in that amount of time or do you wait until the night before or day of to do homework? Are you able to get the most out of the time in between?

Portland area life coaching sessions.What I have noticed is that once every week or two at the least is optimal to stay on track. Less is more of a “check in” vs digging down and making changes. And of course everyone is different, so this is not a blanket statement, just what I have observed and from talking with other people.

I would encourage you to talk to your therapist/coach about this. I don’t usually have people mention at the end of the session why they want less frequent sessions. This timing doesn’t actually allow for conversation in that session, it is a one way conversation, this is what I decided. I want you to actually have a conversation about it, bring it up earlier in the session, hear their thoughts vs just deciding because it is still a relationship and communication goes both ways.

To learn more about how a life coaching session can be a relationship for you, contact me today.

Photo compliments of Gratisography by Ryan McGuire.

Emotional Fitness

I was attending a friend’s conference on The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership: A new paradigm for sustainable success through Conscious Leadership Group. My friend, Deb Katz, mentioned the idea of emotional fitness instead of emotional intelligence.

Your Emotional Fitness Through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

To step back for a moment, what is emotional intelligence. IQ stands for intelligence quotient, measuring human intelligence. Emotional Intelligence, or EQ, is your ability to monitor your own emotions as well as others, the ability to discriminate between different emotions that you feel, and to use that information to determine thinking and behaviors.

I loved that she used the term emotional fitness. I think is resonates much better. It is not something that you have or don’t. It is something that can be continually explored to deepen the understanding of self. I also love that she used the word fitness because it shows that one can become stronger with practice.Emotional fitness with cognitive behavioral therapy.

Take a look at this guy. He is beefed up, very strong and can lift a lot of weights. He did not start out this way. I am guessing it has taken quite a bit of daily practice, discipline, and patience to get where he is in this photo.

How about giving yourself some compassion, some love for where you are right now even if it is not where you want to be with you emotional fitness. What goals do you have for you emotional fitness? What are a few steps that you can do, what practice can you start that will help move you toward those goals?

For me, I meditate every day and I practice deep breathing and listening to my body. I check in while I am eating to determine first if I am hungry, when I am full, asking if I want more or not. I also surround myself with people who honor emotional fitness so that I can be held accountable and see modeling as well as model for others.

Work on your emotional fitness with Portland, Oregon’s cognitive behavioral therapist Caroline Resari. Call me today at 503-961-3141 or contact me for more information.

Thank you for image


Contradiction, according to Google: “a combination of statements, ideas, or features of a situation that are opposed to one another.” Opposites, same source: “having a position on the other or further side of something; facing something, especially something of the same type.”

ID-10066173Sometimes we can have ideas, feelings, thoughts that feel totally at odds with each other. fFor example I can either accept the situation as it is and do nothing or reject it completely and make major changes, I can either have security or passion, I can either win or lose this argument, I can either be rigid or be in the flow. And we think, “How can these possible co-exist?” We feel stuck.

Try something out with me. In one hand put one of your statements. Feel it there. Does it have any movement, texture, color, sound? Be with it right now in this moment. Now in your other hand put the other statement. Notice the same. Now can your two hands holding these statements move and be in existence in each hand at the same time? Hold both simultaneously and notice what happens. Once you notice ease in this, perhaps have ID-100279435your two hands interact together. Move them closer together then farther apart. Have one hand try on the movement, feeling of the other hand and vice versa. Do you notice anything different in your experience of the two appearing contradictory statements?




Image curtesy of Ambro  and taesmileland from