January 2010

Trees in a forest with sunlight streaming into a clearing

“How do I choose the right therapist for me and get the support I need?” When you or someone you know is hurting inside or needs additional support, there are people and resources that can help. The questions I would like to address here are: how do you find the best mental health assistance during a difficult time? What criteria do you look for in choosing a therapist?

The truth is a good therapist is not necessarily measured by her or his training, degree, license, orientation or official listing. While all of these factors do matter, the ultimate test for who is the best match for you depends primarily on the connection felt during the initial meeting. A good therapist should have trained listening skills, be nonjudgmental, be patient and have an accepting attitude. It is important that you feel a sense of comfort and trust. Your gut reaction is probably the truest barometer for knowing if a fit with a particular therapist is a good one. [click to continue…]

Magician David Blaine in Times Square to raise money for Haiti - photo: ABC News

Yesterday, a crisp, blue-skied day in NYC, my daughter and I strolled through the streets. When we reached Times Square, David Blaine, the famed magician, was mesmerizing thousands of bystanders to raise money for Haiti. There were also several college students holding signs “Free hugs here.” They would put their signs down as people came up to them in need of the tenderhearted contact. Those who were not spellbound by the magic, were drawn in by the warmth and caring that pervaded this enclave. [click to continue…]

Earthquake victim being helped in Haiti

Everyone is talking about the disaster on Tuesday night that struck the capital of Haiti and the surrounding areas where approximately two million people live. The 7.0 magnitude earthquake essentially destroyed the capital. The death toll may reach tens of thousands of residents and those visiting the island nation. One geophysicist said the earthquake’s power rivaled that of several nuclear bombs.

Correspondents in Port Au Prince and its suburbs reported whole blocks of collapsed buildings, with bodies lining the road as Haiti awaits assistance. People are disoriented and desperately seeking medical attention, water, food, shelter and electricity. [click to continue…]

 Lit  memorial candle

Last night I went to yet another shiva. In the Jewish tradition we practice the ritual of shiva when somebody dies. Family, neighbors and members of the community visit the person in mourning – in this case it was a close friend whose father died. We sit together, say prayers, share memories about the lost beloved and eat. We eat to remind us that there is still sweetness and pleasure to be derived for the living. Invariably the shiva turns to reflection, conversation, and sometimes laughter. The energy shifts to one of connection and love. Community is at the core of sitting shiva.

My friends and I have entered a new phase of life. We are a group of friends that evolved over the years from the countless carpools, school committees, fundraisers, sports activities, and back-to-school nights that we shared in raising our children. Most of us also shared the passages of our children as they went through religious rituals. Together we celebrate the happy occasions and blessings in our lives, help each other through difficult transitions and we mourn our losses together. [click to continue…]

Three women laughing

At a motivational seminar three women are asked to come up to the stage.

They are all asked, “When you are in your casket and friends and family are mourning, what would you like to hear them say about you?

The first woman says, “I would like to hear them say that I was a great wife and the best doctor in my field.” [click to continue…]

Celebratory woman

What I love about the new year is that it always feels like an opportunity to prioritize goals, reclaim sources of inspiration and get a fresh start. In December I spent some time creating a vision for the coming year.

In a previous post I told you that my resolution going forward is to create more fun in my everyday life. Mostly that means spending more time with the people I care about and playing outdoors. Creating a vision means seeing the “big picture” and then getting specific about prioritizing goals and dreams. The greater the clarity about our intentions, the better positioned we are to live our lives more fully and successfully. Ordering goals requires an awareness of what we value most personally and professionally. [click to continue…]


Meet Marla Greenfield

by Dr. Kamen

Color headshot of artist Marla Greenfield

Meeting Marla for the first time you would never guess that this successful watercolorist traded a lucrative career in finance for the sake of her creative muse and family harmony. Now the risk she took seems like the right decision but at the time it was far from a sure bet. How did Marla make the transition from high-heels and power suits to paint brushes and canvases?

"An Apple A Day" by Marla Greenfield, watercolor on paper “An Apple A Day” by Marla Greenfield, watercolor on paper

Marla entered the predominantly male investment business directly after receiving her MBA from Boston University in the early 1980, joining the ranks of a small institutional investment banking firm specializing in emerging growth companies. She stepped up to the challenge with gusto, grew fabulous accounts, and became a star on the team. Marla was young, smart, and passionate about her work.

[click to continue…]

Woman hiking through canyon at Red Mountain Resort and Spa

Every year I am blessed with the opportunity to present workshops and seminars at the Red Mountain Resort and Spa.  The workshops and seminars cover a wide range of women’s issues like resilience, building healthy relationships, happiness, gratitude and forgiveness, parenting concerns, building supports systems etc.

This year my talks will be about love, romance and fostering healthy relationships in celebration of February, Heart Health Month and of course, Valentine’s Day. [click to continue…]

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Photos directly above by Laura Bergstein, all rights reserved; Portrait Photography of Dr.Randy Kamen by Janet Wolbarst Photography www.janetwolbarst.com