Monday, April 13, 2015

Who Are We?

Our experiences make us who we are, right? Well, not exactly. It isn't just our experiences that make us who we are, it is also what we learn from those experiences, the decisions we make because of them, the actions we take, the perspective we put them in, and the way we transform them.When I counsel my psychotherapy clients I find that more than expected are suffering, in some way, from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Children raised in families with alcoholism, sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect, and verbal abuse find that as adults they struggle to have the life they want because they are suffering from PTSD. It isn't just veterans from war who suffer with this psychological issue.
On this topic, I just received an amazing and powerful book by Linda J. Schupp, Ph.D. titled, Assessing and Treating Trauma & PTSD, second edition. I read Linda's first edition and I was so pleased to find a book that supported what I had been seeing with my clients for three decades.Now her second book has added so much more help for clinicians and the non-clinician and what I love most is that this is not a book just for clinicians. Anyone can read, understand, and make use of this book for his/her life.

To order Assessing and Treating Trauma & PTSD, second edition, go to:

To support my colleague Linda Schupp and this fabulous and well-needed book, please add a review on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, iTunes, and wherever else you find it.

Keep the pen moving!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Is Fear Running Your Life?

Fear rears its ugly head in so many places and it is accelerating due to acts of terrorism across the world. Should we be afraid of much of what we see humans being are capable of? Yes. There are many levels of fear and don't get me wrong, fear is a valuable way to monitor our environment. We have emotions for a reason and we need to honor that reason - but let's put things into perspective.

Look at simple decisions, for example, that you make at the grocery store. There are products out there on grocery shelves that are toxic. They poison the air you breathe. They poison clothing and furniture. They excite allergies. They excite emotional and hormonal disturbances.

Fear. Every marketing person knows that if you want to sell something excite fear in the person for not having your product. That line of reasoning sells products. Think about it. Commercials on TV set you up to be fearful that someone will walk into your house and turn up their noses at a smell, which most homes do not have, by the way. When was the last time you left a bucket of stinky fish sitting on your living room table or garbage spread out on your floor? Most people live in clean homes. They take out the garbage. They wash their clothes. They open windows. Fearing what others think can be irrational and makes you a target for being victimized.

Big companies spend millions of dollars researching how they can sell more. The result is that if they can excite the consumer to be anxious and fearful that something awful will happen if they don't buy their product, they organize their marketing strategy around that. They want you to be eager to buy their product to resolve a problem -- a problem you don't have. Buy products with fragrances, food with preservatives and just wait to see what kinds of problems you develop by smelling and eating toxins. Solutions come in natural and non-toxic ways too. Chemical companies how strong and powerful lobbyists. There is a huge amount of money behind what they can put on the shelves and legislation is not active in stopping it. There hasn't been regulations about the production and sale of harmful chemicals since 1976. And the power is in our hands. Stop buying and the companies will rethink what we want.

The next time you shop - buy organic foods. Eliminating pesticides, aspertame, and other chemicals from the foods you ingest will help your body and mental capacity.

Buy one organic product a month and within a six month period your home will be less polluted. Laundry detergents are a source of allergies and other physical symptoms. That 'smell good smell' is a combination of toxins to trick you into believing if it smells good it must be good. Wrong!

This change of lifestyle will not only help you and your family but the planet as well. People complain about big companies. They fail to see that we, the people, have the power and that power is the dollar. Spend it wisely, change the world, help the planet.

Until next time,

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

When Stressful Symptoms Won't Go Away!

Haunting and annoying symptoms of stress can persist for years and cause disruption in relationships, work, and health. Primary care physicians report that 95% of their caseload is due to individuals not knowing what to do with their stress and become prime victims for medication. Medication certainly has it usefulness but there are other ways to deal with stress.

For those with haunting symptoms such as nightmares, panic attacks, social fears, exploding anger for seemingly no reason, relationship issues that won't get resolved, a strong need to isolate, a stronger need to keep calm at all costs, substance abuse, these might be signs that this is not ordinary stress but stress that involves symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress.

Normal stress can be relaxed from a walk in the park, yoga, a hot bath but more intense symptoms need deeper healing. A course I have developed: Unveil the Wounded Self - Write to Heal is having stunning healing effects with my psychotherapy clients, writing students, and those who heard about me through word-of-mouth. I teach this 6-week course both on-line and in-person. The course involves two to five pages of writing a week. Some clients do more and some less. The amount of writing isn't the issue; the focus of the writing is the point.

Go to: and click on the link for Unveil the Wounded Self - Write to Heal link in the column on the right.

Please don't suffer any longer. Take this course.
Jan Marquart, LCSW, CAS, author of 11 books.