Give

Escape, Return, and Finding a Balance

By Emily Phifer, M.S. MFT   Purpose of Escape As we regularly experience and manage stress in our lives, it is worthwhile to consider the vital role and even purpose that “escape” can play in helping us to balance our days. [perfectpullquote align="full" bordertop="false" cite="" link="" color="" class="" size=""]Within our relationships, our work and life circumstances, we often look for escape routes to offer us a much-needed detour from the constant stimuli requiring our response and engagement.[/perfectpullquote] Escape functions as a way for us to help regulate ourselves, take a break, or “numb out”....

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You May Be Grieving

By Emily Phifer, M.S. MFT     "Grief" Defined At its heart, grief is simply defined by pervasive and significant sorrow over the loss of someone, or something important to us. Grief can result from: losing a loved one, a pregnancy, a job, severed relationships, broken hopes and dreams, instability, shattered ideals, or the loss of abilities we once had. Grief can affect us in many different ways, including physical exhaustion and decreased energy, mental distraction and haze, decreased social energy to connect with others, sadness and loss of hope, and an inability to...

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Up in Smoke: Facing the Fire Threat on Top of the Rest

By Emily Phifer, M.S. MFT   Approaching Burnout How are we to manage the fatigue of yet another threat (that of fires), on top of the Covid-19 specter which has been looming large for the past 6 months, and the racial upheaval and political unrest fueling division in our country? If you’re approaching burnout right about now, wondering how to keep putting one foot in front of another, you’re not alone. With the recent added trauma of the devastating West Coast fires, this year has just served up yet another whopping stressor to...

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The Buy Nothing Project: Grace Given and Received

By Emily Phifer, M.S. MFT No Strings Attached During the quarantine and pandemic over these past 5 + months, I have found a new joy in giving and receiving.  In the course of joining a local “Buy Nothing” group, I found myself participating in the communal shared (virtual) space of stating needs or wants, offering up gifts for the taking, and expressing desire for certain items that would otherwise go to waste or simply take up space.  There is tangible excitement in finding items that I might need or want for my...

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We learn a lot from mistakes. But what about successes?

 Wendy Edwards, AMFT [perfectpullquote align="full" bordertop="false" cite="" link="" color="" class="" size=""]I reached a fairly ripe age without ever being called a risk-taker.[/perfectpullquote] And yet, 12 years ago, I decided to take a big one.  Many years beyond higher education, I joined a cohort of 20- and early 30-somethings in a Master’s Degree program at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena. I was warned the licensure process was a long one, full of much hoop-jumping.  But, ultimately, if I persevered,  I could become a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of California.   Seeds of...

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