New Beginnings

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Happy Easter Weekend.

Spring is here at last – a time of new beginnings, of the earth awakening, flowers and trees blossoming, blue skies and new possibilities. Our old winter selves and coats are ready to be shed so we can burst forward, new like the daffodils.

Who would you like to be when you Spring clean your house and yourself?
You can have a fresh start, you can begin a new chapter and renew yourself.

Focus on loving yourself and on giving yourself the change possible that comes with the Spring because one day you will understand. Happiness was always about learning how to live with yourself, that happiness was never the job of, and was never in the hands of other people.

Who would you be, how would you improve and change if you believed you could this Spring?

Sometimes the smallest change starts the ball of momentum rolling in the strongest of ways.

Sharon Valentino, LMFT, Psychotherapist, Behavioral Health
Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.
Valentino Therapy
CA LMFT, Masters RAS, CATC level IV, ChT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (51746)
Serving individuals & couples in the San Francisco Bay Area
Psychotherapist, Registered Addiction Specialist, Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor, Masters Counseling Psychology,
Stress, Anxiety, Relationships, Depression, PTSD, Pain, Family & Couples Issues, Memory Issues, Adult Children of Alcoholics / Substance /Anger Abusers, tech execs & engineers.
PRIVATE ONLINE THERAPY AVAILABLE FOR CALIF. ONLY
p: 415.215.5363
a: 3030 Bridgeway, Suite 108, Sausalito, CA 94965
w: www.valentinotherapy.com       e: sv@valentinotherapy.com

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Dreams vs. Goals

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Dreams vs. Goals

It’s important to set goals while going through the process of addiction recovery.
So we have a new month, April, upon us. Thirty new days of new chances. Thirty new days this month for new happiness, and more happiness, more moving, more health, more sleep, more laughter – less stress, less stuff, less waste, less plastic.

Several clients have asked what’s the difference between dreams and goals?

If we don’t have a goal, it is incredibly hard to get what you want and need out of life, let alone fulfilled and happy. We can’t dream about what we want and our goals cannot conflict with one another…and most importantly of all, our goals cannot be in conflict with our core values.

When you consider these issues, what you are sorting out is: Who are you, really? At your very core, what are your values? What are your non-negotiable needs and values? What will you not even agree to compromise (or shouldn’t)?

In my field, this is called “Integrated Thinking”. We, therapists, work on this with our clients so that conflicts won’t sabotage the time and work put into figuring out your goals. If your daily conversations, actions, and thinking are not carefully integrated, then your life, employment, and relationships can be chaotic and may be going nowhere.
When your actions, thoughts and even your words take you closer to what you really want, while staying true to your values of who you are and who you want to be, then you are closer every day to a truly happy life – if not living it already.
If they are not, then you know what to do.

But…it helps to review your actions every day and assess if they’re in line with who you need to be, to be happy. “The unexamined life is not worth living.” – said Socrates, in Plato, Dialogues, Apology, the Greek philosopher in Athens (469 BC – 399 BC). This is a truth known and taught centuries ago.

Often, figuring out your core values takes as much time and careful thought as listing the goals you want to achieve.

Sharon Valentino, LMFT, Psychotherapist, Behavioral Health
Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.
Valentino Therapy
CA LMFT, Masters RAS, CATC level IV, ChT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (51746)
Serving individuals & couples in the San Francisco Bay Area
Psychotherapist, Registered Addiction Specialist, Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor, Masters Counseling Psychology,
Stress, Anxiety, Relationships, Depression, PTSD, Pain, Family & Couples Issues, Memory Issues, Adult Children of Alcoholics / Substance /Anger Abusers, tech execs & engineers.
PRIVATE ONLINE THERAPY AVAILABLE FOR CALIF. ONLY
p: 415.215.5363
a: 3030 Bridgeway, Suite 108, Sausalito, CA 94965
w: www.valentinotherapy.com       e: sv@valentinotherapy.com

Depression and Therapy

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Depression and Therapy

Many people have come face to face with depression at some point in their lives: feelings of sadness, unhappiness, loss, and frustration.  It is when these symptoms persist for longer than a couple of weeks and interfere with your quality of life that normal depression becomes clinical depression.  

Depression can manifest itself in countless ways.  Some of them are:

  • Feelings of being “less than” and intense insecurity
  • Loss of energy
  • Ongoing irritability
  • Sudden onslaughts of anger and anxiety
  • Feeling overwhelmed by a relationship, job or life in general
  • Not being able to enjoy the things you once did, including companionship, activities, hobbies, and sex
  • Compulsion and risk-taking to block out these negative emotions and to feel something other than “numb”

These manifestations of depression can be troublesome or represent a serious danger if untreated.  It is safe to say that most people would rather feel good instead of bad.  So when these negative feelings don’t go away on their own, people might choose very unhealthy ways to deal with them.  Many an addiction (to alcohol, drugs, food, sex, spending, gambling, etc.) can trace their roots to depression.  And ultimately most addictions lead to more depression.  People whose symptoms of depression stay the same or worsen may begin to lose hope in anything getting better leaving them vulnerable to suicidal thoughts.  

Some Causes of Depression:
Depression can attach itself onto its host (you) in a myriad of ways, wreaking havoc and causing chaos in different aspects and stages of life. Depression can sneak up on us because of:

  • Biology: Chemical imbalances in the brain and things we choose to put into our bodies.  
  • Situational circumstances including changes in your life structure.  
  • Trauma and Grief
  • Postpartum 
  • Seasonal
  • Interpersonal relations, including sexuality, divorce, and loneliness.
  • Health conditions
  • Substance abuse 

Serious Clinical depression rarely dissipates by itself.  Some may have experienced discomfort for so long they mistakenly believe “it’s just who I am.” 

What We Can Do About This:

Many times we don’t see what’s right in front of us. By discussing your situation in a safe and non-judgmental environment with a trained clinician, we can shine a light on the root cause of your depression. I believe that every person is unique and do not subscribe to a one size fits all approach.  During our initial consultation, we will work together to find a therapeutic approach and solution that works best for you and makes you the most comfortable.  

The therapeutic process can be one of the most life-affirming and proactive ways to regain control of your life.  By understanding where you’ve been, you will be better able to see where you could be going and claim the life you want to have.

Do you feel depressed?  Please talk to someone soon.

The Best Way Out is Always Through.

 – Robert Frost

Sharon Valentino, LMFT, Psychotherapist, Behavioral Health
Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.
Valentino Therapy
CA LMFT, Masters RAS, CATC level IV, ChT
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (51746)
Serving individuals & couples in the San Francisco Bay Area
Psychotherapist, Registered Addiction Specialist, Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor, Masters Counseling Psychology,
Stress, Anxiety, Relationships, Depression, PTSD, Pain, Family & Couples Issues, Memory Issues, Adult Children of Alcoholics / Substance /Anger Abusers, tech execs & engineers.
PRIVATE ONLINE THERAPY AVAILABLE FOR CALIF. ONLY
p: 415.215.5363
a: 3030 Bridgeway, Suite 108, Sausalito, CA 94965
w: www.valentinotherapy.com       e: sv@valentinotherapy.com

Start 2019 Off Right

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Start 2019 Off Right – New Years Resolutions

Happy New Year.

This year you’ve been through a lot and there have been enough ups and downs to say it was a good year – or a bad year depending on how you choose to look back on it.
However, you are still here when some aren’t.
You are still able to help yourself and others, smile, be kind to a stranger, eat better, learn, grow and you are still able to count your blessing.
You are also so blessed to be able to tell everyone that’s still in your life – Thank You. I appreciate you.

If you are inclined to make Resolutions for the New Year… here’s a secret.
In order to be able to achieve them with much more certainty, instead of listing what you want to have or to do – list WHY.

Example: I want to lose 15 pounds.

Better: I want to live longer.

How:

  • Eat more produce
  • Move more
  • Count calories and nutrients
  • Find a sport/activity that is so fun it must be enjoyed.

What are your Resolutions?

Visit the below sites for a great deal of helpful information about a variety of subject.
Author: Sharon Valentino, MFT
Valentino Therapy – CA LMFT, RAS, ChT, CATC IV (#51746)
Visit my web: www.valentinotherapy.com
Facebook: Valentino Therapy and Ask This Therapist
Pinterest: Ask This Therapist

Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year! 
What do you want this year to be? It’s up to you!

12 new chapters, 365 new chances.
May the next few months be a period of beautiful transformation.
More happiness. More love. More laughter. More sleep. Less stress.
More plant-based eating. More moving. More joy.
If you don’t like where you are, move.
If you don’t like how you are living, change it.
You are not a tree!
When we find a cause of value we believe in, our lives take new meaning and a whole new happiness and contentment become our daily companions.
I’ve never yet met a truly unhappy person who was paying rent through a worthy cause for the space s/he took up on this earth.
What is your cause – what is your passion?
What is your plan for 2019 to make your life what you want it to be?

Visit the below sites for a great deal of helpful information about a variety of subject.
Author: Sharon Valentino, MFT
Valentino Therapy – CA LMFT, RAS, ChT, CATC IV (#51746)
Visit my web: www.valentinotherapy.com
Facebook: Valentino Therapy and Ask This Therapist
Pinterest: Ask This Therapist

New Years Resolutions

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There are 168 hours in a week.

40 At work or school
56 Sleeping
72 Leftover

And you really can’t find:
3 hours a week to exercise?
1 hour to make healthy foods and drink?
1/2 hour a week to focus on gratitude?
3 hours a week to go to AA (Alcoholics Anonymous)?

Focus on what is important this new year.

Visit the below sites for a great deal of helpful information about a variety of subject.
Author: Sharon Valentino, MFT
Valentino Therapy – CA LMFT, RAS, ChT, CATC IV (#51746)
Visit my web: www.valentinotherapy.com
Facebook: Valentino Therapy and Ask This Therapist
Pinterest: Ask This Therapist

My 30-Day Holiday Challenge to You

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My 30-Day Holiday Challenge to You – Make this holiday season different.

Yes, it is everywhere – even before Thanksgiving – on television and social media, in stores, and magazines, on the internet, and all the outdoor decorations. We can’t escape it. The holidays are here! It seems that everyone else has a wonderful family time…..except you? But is that true?

Perhaps a minority of people are fortunate enough to have a lovely family time.
The majority have some good family times mixed with quite a lot of work, stress and financial burden. Family stresses can be greatly exaggerated and become intolerable over the holiday period when everyone is forced to spend time together, trying to keep things cheerful.

For others, it is a very lonely time.  A reminder that we are alone, out of contact with, or without family.
If we have friends, then they will probably be spending time with their families and have little spare time for us.
Everything seems to be closed on the day itself: shops, libraries, cafes, and all other meeting points or places where we might be in contact with others.
So, what can we do? How can we get through this time? Maybe even change things so that we can feel better about it?
If we change the way we think about it or change what we do – then we will change the way we feel.
If we carry on thinking and doing what we’ve always done, then nothing will change and we will have a miserable holiday time.

What about this? Right now is the time to think about it and address these holiday issues.
a.) How can I think differently?
b.) What can I do differently?
c.) How will I really feel if I think and act differently?

I’ve made a little “Holiday Calendar for Change and Self-Care”.
What if you select a change or specific self-care action each day and see if that doesn’t make a huge difference in your holiday season this year?
What have you got to lose?
I’ve given you a few ideas at the bottom and would love to hear yours which are probably even better.
Just fill out one each day or fill out 2 or 3 actions at a time to do over the next couple of days or fill out a week at a time of plans that are healthy for you. Start today or tomorrow. But start.

Day/Date
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30

Comments?
Better ideas?

– The best way out is always through. Robert Frost
– Do one push up. Then one more. Do wall push-ups every time coffee or tea is brewing.
– Drink 8 oz. of pure fresh water. Do it again later.
– Start paying toward one debt.
– Delete an old contact for your list.
– Contact one old friend you haven’t connected with in a while.
– Walk 1 lap.
– Donate to one animal shelter.
– Attend 1 holiday event.
– If you know you can do better, why not do so today?
  Remove 1 thing in your life that is hurting or not helping you.
– Speak up politely and say what you want – or don’t want. Set boundaries. Don’t back down.
  Your mental health is as important to you as your physical health.
– Stop touching your wound so it can heal.
– How people treat you decides their karma. How you respond decides yours.
– Stop checking on those who don’t check on you.
  Silence isn’t empty. It is full of answers.
– Your day is bad? There are folks out there wearing their ex’s name tattooed on them.
– Use the healers: music, the ocean, stars.
– People show how they feel about you. Pay attention.
– I hate to spoil the outcome…but you are going to be OK and work through this holiday.
  Meditate daily – 3 minutes is all it takes to be quiet breathe in fresh air, breathe out tension & negativity, correct your posture & put both feet down on the floor to center yourself, let thoughts go on by as they come up and continue to breathe, paying attention only to your breath & the calm you are feeling. Go on with your day and be kind to yourself. Repeat a few times each day.
– Make your bed. Everyday.
– Love yourself.
  Dream big – don’t sell your life short.
  If you are tired, rest, don’t quit.
– You DESERVE everything you want.
– Dump anyone around you who is rude to a waiter. They will do the same to you.
– Anger is the punishment we give ourselves for someone else’s mistake.
  Make your life worth living. What’s the first thing you should do?
  Happiness starts with you – not relationships, money, jobs, friends, activities – just you.
– FRIENDLY REMINDER: You only have a limited time on earth. Today is a good day to do something great.

Happy Holidays, Sharon Valentino, LMFT

Visit the below sites for a great deal of helpful information about a variety of subject.
Author: Sharon Valentino, MFT
Valentino Therapy – CA LMFT, RAS, ChT, CATC IV (#51746)
Visit my web: www.valentinotherapy.com
Facebook: Valentino Therapy and Ask This Therapist
Pinterest: Ask This Therapist