Thursday, December 26, 2013

This is the Most Powerful Relationship

We have many relationships in our lives but the most powerful relationship is the one we have with our families. Why is that when so many of us have conflicts and hurt feelings because of family members? Because there is familiarity, love, and a deep bond. In all the years I have practiced family counseling as an LCSW, I am inspired by the power in the family unit to help, heal, inspire, encourage, support, uplift, and love the members of its family system.

Too many times I have seen individuals take this sacred relationship for granted. Children especially haven't matured enough yet to understand the strength and fortitude that relatives evince as they stand by those who suffer. If not careful, the entire family structure can fall apart leaving members broken, hurt, outcast, alone, and powerless. With family therapy, family members can get support and assistance to put the structure back in place so its members can again be able to hold their own and increase the family strength.

If  you find your family going through a difficult time, do not hesitate to search for a family therapist in your community. All families can regain a healthy balance.
Until next time,

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Even These Healthy Plants Can Be Dangerous

When we walk into a health food store for supplements we expect to buy products that will help us. Still, there is no guarantee so know what you are buying and speak to the naturopath on staff if you have not taken the product before or have any questions. Some people are allergic to fruit, nuts or other food items, and supplements can give us negative reactions as well. Herbal formulas can be grown and sold by anyone and it is more dangerous to take them if you are buying them from an unlicensed or uneducated person. These products probably will not be sold in stores but even so, be cautious about taking something just because it was recommended. This post isn't meant to scare you but it is meant to make you more aware of taking a product just because a friend or family member recommends it.
In 1988 I bought a bag of herbs from a woman who claimed she was a nurse educated in the field of herbal concoctions. Turns out she had used another woman's identity, someone with the same name who was licensed and educated.
I was never in the habit of taking anything that came along but when I saw an ad in a popular health magazine I didn't question it. Three days after taking the herbal concoction as directed I was rushed to the hospital, awoke from a coma five days later fully paralyzed.
I still take herbal concoctions when needed but now I take them only when prescribed by a licensed acupuncturist, naturopath, or clinical nutritionist. Natural does not insure safety. Hemlock is a natural herb but I don't sprinkle it on my salad. Would you?
To learn more about what I went through with this experience check out my memoir, The Breath of Dawn, a Journey of Everyday Blessings,
Be safe, know what you are ingesting, and get educated.
Until next time,

Friday, December 13, 2013


Ah, the Christmas shopping and the race to beat the clock. It is unavoidable right? Sometimes this excited frenzy can be what we love about the holidays. Stores are filled with Christmas decorations, sentimental holiday music plays through the air, everything is festive and in celebration. It all seems glorious in some hectic kind of way until our credit card bills come in around the middle of January. Then we can find ourselves questioning if so and so really needed this or if we really had to buy that. We will not be loved less if we spend less. Love does not work that way, not true love anyway. So here are a few ideas:
1. In January open a Christmas account at your bank. Next December buy gifts that do not go over the amount saved.
2. Pick one item, say books, and buy everyone a book according to his interests. Each bookstore has a local section so you can buy books signed by the author. Books make wonderful and lasting gifts.
3. Use a grab bag system. Everyone picks one name from the grab bag and buys for only that one person.
Hope these ideas help to decrease holiday shopping stress. Remember, this is a season about love and relationships. So focus on that first.
Have a blessed holiday season and a new year of fulfilled dreams!

Friday, December 6, 2013

How to Think Positive Thoughts

Many people are going through major challenges. Seniors are out of work exhausting their savings. Cancer is becoming far too common an illness. Marriages are falling apart. Families are struggling. How does one stay positive? Can you change the fact of the circumstance? No. Can you make pain go away just by wishing? No. Here is the best way to do it. See yourself as a warrior. Set your inner vision to winning the battle with kindness and love so you can feed your enthusiasm to keep going with strength and vitality. Step away from anyone who blames you for the war in the first place. It is irrelevant who started it. Take a warrior's stance in mind, body, and spirit and then move into the next step on the front line. That is how you stay positive - not in battle - but with compassion and love and a moving through. We cannot change black to white and white to black. We can change our internal energy to strength from defeat.
Too many people say you have to twist the words in your mind until you find something positive to think. You can certainly do that if you wish. Our thinking does affect our bodies and emotions. But overcoming is a full body experience. Be the warrior that you are. You were born with internal strength. It is lying dormant inside you. Bring it up. Activate it. Stare into your eyes in the mirror and declare that you are a warrior of life and that you are able to get through your circumstances. Being positive is not a fashion statement. It is a state of being and believing. Popping pills will ease the distress temporarily but they do not build strong human beings.
Make a list of your warrior qualities.
Keep the pen moving,

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Importance of Family Mealtime

As a psychotherapist I often ask the families that come to me for help when they had their last meal together as a family. I am truly horrified by what I hear. Some of the parents cannot remember when they sat with their children for a meal. Sometimes the last meal was the past Thanksgiving or Easter.
Mealtime is a time to physically nurture our bodies, we can say that with confidence, right? But what else does it have to offer? Family mealtimes offer the following:
1. Parents and children can share what they do with their days. Parents can find out what their children are up to, who their friends are, where they go after school, on dates, what their children do to keep from getting bored with life. Children can get guidance from parents on how to behave with integrity and handle tough situations that involve confusing peer pressure.
2. Parents can find out how their children are doing in school and children can ask questions they might not feel comfortable asking in school.
3. Parents get to prepare and make sure their children are eating well and children get monitored to eat well.
4. Parents can discuss family plans for celebrations and vacations and children can feel as if they matter to the people they love the most.
5. Parents and children get to spend time enjoying each other, laughing, connecting, and believing that of all the places in the world, their family is the one place they can go to in order to feel loved, be forgiven, be accepted, and know they are special.
Life has a way of moving fast - don't let these precious times escape - you will not get them back - ever!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Are you Dealing With One of These?

When we think of a bully don't we usually picture someone who is probably younger than 20 and who just pressures adults to give them their way? That is the definition I've gotten from most of the people I've spoken to. However, the truth is that that mental picture couldn't be more wrong.
According to a study done in 2006, Schat et. al., uncovered that 41 million US workers described being bullied in their workplaces. That is outrageous. When I looked back on the many companies for whom I worked I remembered being harassed for several different reasons, e.g., not having sex with a co-worker and in a few cases supervisors, being harassed because I had more education than my supervisor when I had a job in real estate, and others I won't go into here.
There is no law against generic bullying and it takes place on a daily basis. I've witnessed co-workers being harassed on many occasions. I've had friends quit jobs they loved because the harassment they received on the job nearly gave them a nervous breakdown.
The literature on this topic is scarce so I wrote my own 30 page manual. It is full of specifics and outlines procedures for both supervisors/management and victims of this horrendous behavior. It seems childhood bullies grow up to be adult bullies. This is clearly a serious matter. Bullies in the workplace need to be addressed. Read this fact-filled manual and know what to do.
Stay safe. Until next time, Jan

Friday, June 7, 2013

Is Your Lymphatic System Happy?

Many people don't know what the lymphatic system does and this makes the cliche 'ignorance is bliss'  dangerous. Not knowing what your lymphatic system does can mean that you are not taking care of it. Your lymphatic system is the maid of your body. This system contains a clear fluid and in that fluid are white blood cells that are needed to keep the body free of toxins and other waste.

Why is this important? Because when toxins and other wastes remain in the body, disease is manifested. When we consider someone who eats a poor diet, lathers chemicals on the skin that reside in skin lotions and creams, breathes in approximately 80,000 a day, the lymphatic system needs attention.

You might be thinking that you don't have the time to spend studying up on how to take care of the lymphatic system  but it is easier than you think.

If you have about $9 to spare you can buy a dry brush which can be bought at Walgreens, Whole Foods, and Natural Grocers, to name a few places. If you don't want to spend $9 then get a loofa sponge which will only cost about $1.00 for the flat oval kind. And if you don't want to do that just use a rough wash cloth. In small circles rub up and around your body towards your heart. That motion will stimulate your lymphatic system to start activating a detoxification process and then take a hot shower.

There - you just stimulated and cleaned your body - on the inside. This doesn't substitute for a food fast, colon cleansing or other internal activities but it is wonderful. Afterwards your skin will feel smooth and silky and you will find a lightness in your mood.
Stay healthy - it really doesn't have to be such hard work. Here is a statement that is not a myth: Getting sick is much harder work.
Until next time,

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Pen is Medicine

If you think about your school days when you hear the word writing, try thinking of this. Try thinking of writing as medicine. Studies now show the effectiveness of writing to uncover roots of illness. When we write we enter a part of our mind that stores our experiences in an unconscious non-verbal language, such as the impact of a trauma, or plaguing thoughts from continuous stressful incidents such as being bullied at work or continually demeaned in a marriage.

According to research 60-90 percent of doctor visits involve stress related symptoms and since doctors no longer have the time to give patients that they used to, patients often leave without having the root of the illness discovered.

But what if writing uncovered the problem? What if just a 15 to 20 minutes writing exercise each day focused on feelings, symptoms, or thoughts had a way to resolve the problem? The good news is: writing does uproot the cause of illness and it does this by discovering the emotions and details of events taken in as non-verbal assaults on our mindbody. PTSD symptoms, the ones that present haunting and consistent disruptions have successful results with intensive writing.

Contact Jan Marquart LCSW Author at to find out more about her therapeutic writing programs.

Check out this site for more information:

Until next time,


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Got a Headache from New Carpet?

I've heard this story many times. It was time to change the carpet and instead of getting hardwood, tile, or slate flooring, carpet was replaced with carpet so the floor would be warm stepping out of bed in the morning. New carpet chemicals can cause twenty-two different disturbing symptoms. Put an infant on a new carpet and it is tantamount to their smoking 12 cigarettes. So - if your new carpet is giving you symptoms what should you do? Zeolite Powder!

What is Zeolite? Read for yourself how natural, organic and effective this product is.

Here is the main site to find out what other forms of Zeolite can be used to help with odors and toxic spills.

I just sprinkled zeolite powder on a new carpet that was off gasing chemical smells. I let the powder sit for five hours then vacuumed. Because I am sensitive to chemical smells I did two applications and am happy with the results.

I also have six pouches of the zeolite rocks and have used them to get rid of new car smells. I have loaned them to friends after their cars came back from the shop stinking of oils and solvents. Here is what you do: lay the pouches on the seats and floors. Then, after a few hours lay the pouches in the sun and let the smells off gas from the rocks so they can be used again. If it is not sunny where you are, use your hair dryer to heat up the rocks and off gas the chemicals they absorbed.

Until next time,

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Bullying in the Workplace

We work hard in our jobs and expect to be treated with courtesy for our participation in company teamwork. It is fair to assume that because we spend time in a professional venue that relationships will be fair and that policies support us. But read this:

In 2006, Schat, Frone & Kelloway did a survey and found that 41.4% of respondents to their survey reported experiencing psychological aggression at work. That represents 47 million US workers.

And in August 2010 two studies were conducted by the Workplace Bullying Institute to collect data of all American adults about bullying in the workplace. Maybe you were part of this study, if not, the statistics are higher.

 Here is what the study revealed:

  • ·         35% of workers have experienced bullying firsthand
  • ·         62% of bullies are men
  • ·         58% of targets are women
  • ·         women bullies target women in 80% of cases
  • ·         bullying at work is four times more prevalent than illegal harassment
  • ·         same-gender harassment accounts for more than 2/3 (68%) of bullying
In addition 15% stated they witnessed someone being bullied.

Although bullying in the workplace does not fit the standard HUD Discrimination policy, and is not illegal because of the lack of law, bullying is prolific in the workplace and causes an individual great physical distress and the company loss of productivity and  revenue. Bullying is any repeated pattern expressed through words or actions, intended to intimate, offend, degrade, or humiliate a particular person or group.

It is appalling that adults treat each other with such disrespect while we expect that bullying cease in school and other community settings.  Let's show our children by our example that bullying has no place in American society.

Respect for ourselves guides our morals; respect for others guides our manners.” – Laurence Sterne

Until next time,

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Winter Health

Everywhere I go these days I see people wiping their hands with antiseptic wipes or pumping jars of liquid supposed to keep them bacteria free. Using antibacterial soaps and hand gels are not healthy. I want to share an article I found on this. Please read this below link.

In addition cleaning supplies are made up of chemicals and these chemicals suppress your immune system. Winter is a time when we become more health conscious and want our immune systems to work at their optimal function. Off hand, it might not seem like a problem to use your usual cleaning supplies. After all, you've been using them for years with no seeming health effects. But know that chemicals build up in the fat in your body and accumulate. Over time they seriously contribute to many different health issues. The net is replete with information about this. Take ten minutes and read up on it yourself. Those who have gotten ill from an overexposure to these chemicals are trying to spread the word about the harm they are doing to our bodies, yet consumers buy these products by the millions. Somehow we got a message we need chemical solutions to keep our homes clean and germ-free. We have believed with no basis what companies tell us we need. 

Try white vinegar for your cleaning needs. It is an antimicrobial and antibacterial and studies proved that it is slightly more effective than bleach. It is non-toxic and edible. Isn't that a much for effective way to good health?

Let's be proactive with our health. Use environmentally safe products. Let your immune system strongly support your body's functioning.
Until next time,