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Healing Stories: How to be Alone and Happy Over the Holidays

How to be Alone and Happy Over the Holidays

The holidays are right around the corner. The time of year when everyone is sharing joy, holiday stories, eggnog, fruitcake and more. And they’re doing it together. Except for you. And 20 million other people at the same time.

Depression increases dramatically over the holidays. But is it necessary?

For 28 years, number one best-selling author, counselor and life coach David Essel has been giving hope to people around the world who are in a current state of struggle. Depression. Anxiety. And being alone during the holidays for many is a fate worse than death.

But David has news for you. If you follow these tips, not only can you learn how to survive the holidays, but you just might be able to beat the depression, and enjoy yourself at the same time.

“Many people spend time alone on the holidays because they want to. They’re sick and tired of the chaos and drama from their family. Or their in-laws. Or maybe they’ve been single for such a long period of time that they’ve just become used to being on their own during the season of joy.

And then there’s you. And maybe another 19,900,000 people who feel quite the opposite. Many people feel like they’re losers. They’re unwanted. They are unlovable. And they’re not quite sure what to do.

The following four tips can actually help you learn how to make the most out of this season while you’re on your own.

Number One. Write down the emotions that you’re feeling. Are you lonely? Sad? Angry? Maybe depressed? Anxious? Next to each of these emotions write why you are feeling that way. The number one way to heal from these so-called “negative emotions”, they’re not really negative at all they’re simply emotions, is to try to figure out why we’re feeling that way. That could be the start of healing right then and there.

Number Two. Create a new ritual this year around the holidays for yourself. What would make you feel special? Happy? For most of us, this means getting out of our own isolation. Isolation by itself can create, for many people who are not naturally introverts, a feeling of hopelessness.

So let’s shatter isolation. If you haven’t put up decorations for your holiday of choice, get the hell out of the house, to your local drugstore at the very least, and load up on lights, bulbs, candles and more. Sometimes just changing the visual cues in your home can immediately release feel good emotions in the brain. Why not give it a shot?

Number Three. Let’s go back to when I mentioned in number two. Isolation. Isolation kills the spirit. So this year is going to be different. You’re going to go out and volunteer. At the rescue mission. At Goodwill. At Habitat for Humanity. At senior centers where you can talk to the director and see if you can go in and just sit and talk to the seniors. But don’t help them, ask them questions. Don’t give them advice, ask them questions.

You see, people feel so much better when they’re talking about themselves. And you, while in the past you stayed isolated, depressed, maybe you ate your way through the holidays, or drank your way through the holidays, or smoked your way through the holidays… This year is different. You’re going to get out of your negative self centered nature and be of service to the world. Now that is a great way to deal with the holiday blues.

Number Four. Forgive yourself in writing for not doing the above three steps before this year. Take out your pen and paper, get out of victimhood, and forgive yourself for being a sad sack. And I’m not saying that in a negative way. I’m just saying hey let’s be realistic. If every year up until now you’ve been the victim, everyone else has a great family, everyone else has great in-laws, everyone else has a great partner and you’ve been alone forever. We have to get out of our own way and shatter the victimhood in order to heal.

I know the above steps can help you immensely. But I can’t do it for you. Let’s make together a new resolution before the new year. Let’s create a different approach to the holidays which then will carry a positive mindset into 2018.”

If you need additional help in making this holiday season more enjoyable, contact David at this website www.davidessel.com

Healing Stories: Before You Join the #metoo Campaign Publicly Think About These Points.

Before you join the #metoo sexual harassment/abuse campaign publicly think about these important points.

Maybe, just maybe, the recent backlash against sexual abuse and harassment will finally wake up the world to the horrendous treatment of individuals that has been going on since the beginning of time.

To see so many celebrities, politicians and more being publicly scolded and hopefully penalized for their acts of sexual harassment and abuse has been a long time coming. The numbers of accusers is off the charts and now with the addition of Kevin Spacey it’s not just the heterosexual world that is being outed. The gay world is now publicly a part of the sexual harassment and abuse picture as well.

Number one best selling author, counselor and life coach David Essel has been working with individuals who have been mistreated in all walks of life, from marriages to the workplace as well as the family setting, for the past 28 years.

And in a large number of those cases he has worked with individuals who have been either sexually harassed or sexually abused.
And he is one of the many professionals who is currently working with several of these individuals who have decided to come out and to share their pain publicly but he has words of caution for many who may not be ready to be this open in the eyes of the public.

“It takes an incredibly strong person to be able to publicly admit that they have been sexually harassed or sexually abused . It’s the same type of strength it takes for someone who has been a closet gay, transgender or lesbian individual to come public with their true sexual identity.

In both cases, my concern is that if the person isn’t psychologically and emotionally ready for some form of backlash or even in regards to some form of support, coming out as part of the #metoo campaign could bring challenges that most people aren’t ready for.

Here are my recommendations to individuals who have not yet come forward to claim that they also have been sexually abused or sexually harassed before making the decision to come public with it.

Number One. Have you worked with a professional counselor, therapist, life coach or minister before you go public in order to deal with your anger, rage, shame, resentment or guilt? Many people that I have seen join the #meetoo campaign on social media are very far from ready in regards to the potential backlash that could happen when they join this campaign.

If they haven’t worked with a professional but they put on Facebook that they too have been sexually harassed or sexually abuse, some individuals may call them out to explain what actually happened to them. If you’re not ready to publicly declare what sexual harassment or abuse you went through it may push you back into the dark corners of your mind and make you feel actually more shame or guilt for coming forward before you’ve done the work to heal.

Number Two. If you do come forward and publicly claim that you have been sexually harassed or abused, are you ready to stand up to the person who did it? If it’s a family member and someone asked you to explain who it was and either on purpose or by accident you claim it was a member of your family… Are you ready to go through the list of those people that might ask you why you’re making this public knowledge?

If it’s a former boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife and you make a declaration in public about being treated improperly, are you ready and willing emotionally, and maybe even financially, to deal with the wrath of this person in public?

If it was a former boss, manager, or owner of a company and you make some type of hinted statement in regards to this, could that former boss, manager or owner come after you publicly or personally?

And what about your current employer? If they have seen that you’ve become public claiming that a former employer sexually harassed or abused you are you ready to answer questions from them? Are you potentially ready to be blackballed by your current employer from any type of advancement out of their fear that you may claim some statements against them?

I fully support individuals who have been harassed or abused in the past to do the healing first before they make their case public.

It’s the same thing when I work with alcoholics, drug addicts, sex addicts, spending addicts and more. I tell each of them, before they come clean to their friends, family and the general public, to make sure they have a very strong grounded healing program that they have been following for at least one year before making it publicly known of theirs struggles with addiction.

And that might be very good advice for the person who has been a victim of sexual harassment and or sexual abuse.

In the past I worked with a woman who was sexually abused by her own father from the age of 11 until the age of 21. It wasn’t until I worked with her for one complete year, at the age of 40, that she was ready to come out to her family and openly admit what happened.

After working with a woman who had been brutally raped, for exactly one year, she was then ready to lend her voice to other victims and then share what she had learned from the experience and what she and I had gone through during our forgiveness program to be able to release her anger and rage at the person who brutally raped her.

Everyone has the right to have a voice in their healing process. But not everyone is ready to share their traumatic past to the public at the same time.

There may be some individuals that need very little professional help because intuitively they’ve known what to do all along to help them heal and to release the anger, rage and resentments against the person who sexually harassed or abused them.

But I think these numbers are very small. I think most people who have gone through this kind of trauma need ongoing professional help, for at least one year, in order to be solid enough and strong enough to withstand either the support or pushback from society.”

If you need help overcoming any type of trauma in life, from sexual abuse or harassment, to PTSD as well as overcoming any and all addictions, contact David directly at his website www.davidessel.com

David has been verified by psychology today is one of the top counselors and life coaches in America and is a verified relationship expert through www.marriage.com

Healing Stories: Dealing With Loss – The First Holiday Without Mom, Dad or a Lover

The First Holiday Without Mom, Dad or a Lover: Four steps to take to ease into this transition in life.

Right now, millions of people who have recently lost their mom, dad, a partner or a family member, are heading into their first holiday season without their loved ones.

While many people struggle during the holidays with depression and or anxiety, this group can be especially hit hard because there is no pattern set in how to deal with the loss.

For 28 years, number one best-selling author, counselor and life coach David Essel, has helped take people through the grieving process to prepare themselves for life without a loved one. And during the holiday season there are certain steps that we can take in order to learn how to deal with such a tragic loss at this time of year.

Here are David’s top four tips on how to prepare yourself for the holiday season without your loved ones.

Number one. “If you haven’t gone through the grieving process with a grief support group, a counselor, minister or coach it’s never too late to start it. This in my opinion is the number one key to be prepared for learning how to deal with the loss of a loved one during the holidays.

You can Google in your area a professional to work with, or a support group to join, and don’t think it’s too late. Even two or three meetings, or two or three counseling sessions can help to alleviate a portion of the pain and discomfort that will be felt during your first holiday season without someone who had been a very important part of your life for probably years.

Number two. Remove the desire for isolation. If you’re heading into the season without your mom, dad, lover or family member who used to bring you great joy during the holiday season, this can be incredibly difficult and one of the ways many people deal with it is to increase their isolation.

They feel in many ways that it’s too difficult to bring their sadness or depression out to other family members or friends, so they would rather stay indoors, behind closed doors than to reach out for the support that may be around them right now.

I recommend to my clients to at least be active one day a week during the holiday season. They don’t have to attend every function during the holidays but I think it’s crucially important that they remove themselves from their homes and experience at the very least the joy that others are feeling during this time of year. This one step can help ease them into a holiday season without someone very important to them.

Number three. I encourage all of my clients to write letters to their loved one that is no longer with them, sharing with them their sadness, how much they miss them, and also recalling stories of joy that they experienced together during the holiday season.

This Yin/Yang approach allows you to deal with the reality of sadness and at the same time allows you to live through your memories the beautiful times that you shared together during this time of year.

Number four. Upon my recommendation, several of my clients actually set up small shrines, or alters if you will, with pictures of their loved ones and maybe their favorite holiday photo. This is a way we can keep our mom, dad, lover or family member close to our heart during the holiday season.

Again, I will recommend, that you reach out to a professional and sit down and open your heart and soul to one who will know how to walk you through the grieving process, as well as the recovery process during the holidays.

A client that I’m currently working with right now that lost her son at a very young age several years ago had swept her emotions underneath a rug for the last several holiday seasons. But this year will be very different.

As we worked through her grieving process for the first time since her son left us, she is now pulling out pictures, ornaments and more that he used to love as a young boy so she can remember him with joy. That doesn’t mean that the sadness is gone, because she feels that too during our sessions, but for the first time she’s balancing out the sadness with positive memories and it’s making a huge difference in her life.

And with the right help you can follow in her footsteps and do the same very thing.”

If you need help through the grieving process, or with your depression during the holiday season, feel free to reach out to David directly at www.davidessel.com

Healing Stories: Family – 4 Keys to Use in Order to Deal with Difficult Family Members During the Holidays

4 keys to use in order to deal with difficult family members during the holidays 

 The holidays are supposed to be times of peace, joy and good tidings. But for millions of families around the world, it will be anything but a peaceful, relaxing occasion.

From bickering relatives, to alcoholic moms and or dads, to siblings that have never let go of years of resentments… The holidays can be quite challenging – far from “The Hallmark card” description of bliss and inner peace.

So what are the patterns that you noticed in your past holidays that don’t seem to work for you? Most of us, if we look deeply enough, will see a repetition over the years of the same issues, the same challenges, the same problems… But we keep going back for more.

Too many times, we will not look at our role in the dysfunction of family holidays. We want to blame everyone else. But, the only common denominator in all of our dysfunctional holiday events is our return to these events expecting that this year something different will happen. It never does, and it never will, until we do something that will change our approach to the holidays ourselves.

Perhaps you might be imagining right now, running through your brain thoughts like “but I can’t do anything about Uncle Bill’s drinking… It’s out of my control that mom enables my dad to be angry and like Scrooge during the holidays. None of these things are in my control at all. So what’s my role?”

Number one best-selling author, counselor, life coach and radio host David Essel has helped hundreds of individuals to learn how to deal in a different way with family members that may not represent what the holidays are all about.

Below are four essential keys to help you deal with difficult family members during the holiday season.

Number one. The first problem with many holidays, when we return home, wherever home might be, is that we have unrealistic expectations of how this year might be different than the past. We have to stay in reality. No matter how all optimistic you might be – if family members have not done the work to heal their past you’re probably going to walk into the same environment this year as you have in the past.

So if you catch yourself asking “why did so-and-so have to get so drunk again” or “why did Uncle Sam or Aunt Pat had to continue bickering over dinner” or “I can’t believe mom cooked a main dish I love and forgot about my food allergy” then take notice and ask yourself was this a first time occurrence or was this a problem that you ran into before? Most likely it will be the latter

So why doesn’t it ever change or how come you thought this year would be the year that nobody gets into a shouting match at the dinner table or that you hoped at least you can make it to dessert without quarreling?

It might be that perhaps your expectations are unrealistic. You might be hoping for a “Hallmark card” family gathering, when in actuality, you have a comic book history of holiday experiences.

So before you go home for the holidays let’s get real. Have you struggled in the past with mom and dad? Sisters or brothers? Aunts and Uncles? Grandmothers and Grandfathers? In-laws? And if so don’t expect things to be different. Accept the reality that you’re from a dysfunctional family and if you choose to go home that most of the past will be repeated again.

Number two. Don’t stay in the house with everyone else! One of the biggest challenges we face is that we don’t want to offend people so we stay in the insanity where everyone else is staying. Get a hotel room! I don’t care if you have to stretch your budget. It will be one of the smartest things you’ll ever do. Then you can leave when you want to leave, arrive when you want to arrive, and skip all the chaos and drama that has happened in the past. You have an escape route. This is one of the smartest moves you could probably make this holiday season.

And what if people push back? What if your family members get upset because of the fact you’re setting boundaries by having a hotel room? The independent person, which is you, explains in advance what your plans are this year. You don’t surprise them by walking in and telling them that you have a hotel room. You let them know in advance. The best way to do this? Via a family e-mail. Include everyone. And tell them why, instead of staying in your home this year, you’re going to stay in a hotel. Can you be honest? Can you risk rejection? You see, this is the beginning of becoming an independent versus codependent person. The codependent person is more concerned about what everyone else thinks than taking care of themselves. The independent person understands they’re going to get pushback. There will be people who will be totally unhappy with this decision, but they do it anyway. They know sanity is much more important than anything else in this world. And they also know, that this year, they’re going to have the best holiday possible by removing the triggers from past holiday experiences that create so much drama and chaos.

This takes confidence. This takes self-esteem. And I promise you it will be more worth it then you could ever imagine. Even if people push back, and give you a hard time in the beginning.

Number three. So many arguments escalate because we have a desire to be right and we can’t let someone else be right we have to set people straight. Whether you’re talking about politics, religion, or why the economy is so good or so bad… If someone at your event has a different opinion allow them to have a different opinion. There’s no need to go to battle as you have in the past over conversations that in reality mean nothing. Bite your tongue!

David was confronted by someone who upon returning home every year would listen to her mom consistently berate her father who she divorced 10 years ago. It’s an unending series of dramatic conversations, insane conversations that she used to engage in for a number of years.

And she always loses. No matter how many times she tries to stick up for her dad her mom comes up with another experience proving that her father is deadweight unreliable and unkind. So this year it’s going to be different. She’s already made up her mind. After Essel asked her to do a series of writing exercises of what she needs to do differently this year to make the holidays more pleasant she decided that she’s going to just shut up whenever her mother brings up how terrible her father is as a former husband and even current dad.

She realizes that unless her mom decides to get help and counseling to let go of her intense resentments, the conversation is always going to go down the same path. And why do we follow that path? Why do we engage with someone who we know has a totally different opinion than ours? Well, read above. We want to be right. We want to set the record straight. In this case, she’s been trying to defend her dad for 10 years and the end result has always been intense arguments. Nothing but chaos and drama.

David also recommended that she email her mom ahead of time and tell her that this year she doesn’t have any desire to get into arguments or discussions about dad. She asked her mom to agree with her and to leave her father out of conversations while she’s at her mother’s house for the holidays. She never received a reply from her mom which tells us a lot about her mom still being in that angry, angry state.

If this is similar to how it goes in your family, then don’t expect your mom to change. Accept her as she is. She’s angry, bitter, and will not see any side other than her own until she gets help. And if she never gets help? Her opinion about this woman’s father will never change. Stop smashing your head into the wall and learn to let it go!

Number four. Forgive yourself and forgive others now. This is one of the most challenging things that people face. Forgiveness is powerful. It’s free spirit. It releases anxiety, resentment, anger, guilt, and shame. Forgiveness, as an action step, is an essential key to being able to live a healthy, productive and passionate life.

Before going home for the holidays you’ve really got to do some work to let go of the past. That means you! Not your parents, not your brothers or sisters, not your relatives, but you. If you do the work now to begin to forgive people from the past, you’ll go home with an open heart and you’ll be less argumentative in the process.

It’s not easy to forgive. If forgiveness was that easy no one in this world would ever carry resentments forward. But being a counselor for over 26 yeas and as a coach, Essel has helped thousands of people to forgive individuals who have raped them, parents who have sexually molested them, lovers who have cheated on them or stole money from them.

Forgiveness is not simply turning the other cheek. It’s much deeper than that.

Probably the most powerful form of forgiveness that David Essel believes in is done in the form of written letters that will never be sent to any of our family members, relatives or friends over the holidays.

So get out your stationary! It begins with writing about your frustration, your anger, or maybe even your rage over the years at the way people treat others or us during this time of year. It’s something in counseling called “desensitization” or rather that we continue writing about something that’s bothering us until we become bored… Numb… We become desensitized to the issue. In that state we have released our rage and anger to the point that we can probably see people who have upset us without having a knee-jerk reaction.

After we write about these people, and these situations that really bother us and we reach that point of feeling a lack of emotion to those experiences, then and only then do we begin to write letters of forgiveness.

Now when we write letters of forgiveness, just like our letters of anger and frustration, they are never sent to anyone. The reason for these letters is to be able to remove the anger and in it’s place put forgiveness. In the forgiveness letters we write to the same people and  we specifically forgive them for the things they’ve done in the past that have upset us.

We forgive people first by going deeply into our anger, resentment, rage, sadness…And once all of those emotions are cleared out, then, and only then, do we even begin the process of forgiveness.”

A number of years ago David worked with a client who was so frustrated with his parents because every time he went home for the holidays they reached out to all of his former friends to let them know that their precious son will be home. So he comes in the door just wanting to spend a couple days with his family= and there’s a list of people that his mom shoves in his face year after year and tells him to call them because they want to see him.

Now, from the outsider’s point of view this is cute. Precious. Thoughtful. Sweet. His parents were doing the best they could but he wanted nothing of it. He wanted family time not to try to resurrect friendships from 30 years ago.

But because he never put his foot down and told his mom 20 years ago when this started that he wanted nothing to do with these people he would just take the list and go into his bedroom and throw it away. When his mom asked him about calling his friends he would make up some excuse of why he couldn’t do it this trip.

But after 20 years of this nagging by his mom he finally one day just lost it. He blew up. Screaming, yelling, and telling his parents he would never return home again for the holidays.

See this is what happens when you don’t take care of the issues on your own, by standing up and talking to people in a calm voice about what works, or what doesn’t work for you during the holiday season.

So I took him through the series of exercises I stated above. First he wrote about his frustration and anger at his mom and dad. After that had been released from his body he went into forgiveness.

And then he sent them a loving letter before he arrived telling them that he only had two days to spend with this precious family and he would not have any time for his friends so please don’t reach out to them.

Mom and Dad got the message clearly. And they never again tried to push him into seeing his past acquaintances. He had done it in an extremely forgiving way after he had exorcised all of his frustrations that had been building up over the years.

But it’s not simply turning the other cheek. It’s much deeper than that. Work with a counselor, therapist or a life coach to help you truly understand how to forgive your self and others now and this holiday season will be much different than the rest.

About the author:

David Essel, M. S., Is a number one best-selling author, counselor, master life coach, and international speaker whose mission is to positively affect 2 million people or more every day, regardless of their current circumstances. David’s work is also highly endorsed by the late Wayne Dyer, chicken soup for the soul’s Mark Victor Hansen, as well as many other celebrities and radio and television networks from around the United States of America. Celebrity Jenny McCarthy says “David Essel is the new leader of the positive thinking movement”. www.DavidEssel.com

Healing Stories: Counseling – Did 2017 Exhaust You? Let’s get healthy for 2018 now

Healing Stories: Counseling – Did 2017 Exhaust You? Let’s get healthy for 2018 now.

The year 2017 will go down as one of the most stressful ones that many of us will ever remember.

Ethnic cleansing near Bangladesh. Massacre in Las Vegas. Hurricane destroys Puerto Rico and Saint Maarten. Hurricanes that severely damaged Houston and Florida.

And by now many people are both emotionally and physically exhausted.

Number one best-selling author, counselor, life coach and radio host David Essel says there’s a lot we can do starting right now if we want to 2018 to be a powerful year for us all.

David’s 2 keys to letting go of the past and preparing for the future:

Number one. ” I think the most important place to begin,n as we round out 2017 and go into 2018, is to try our very best and feel the emotions surrounding all the tragedies in order to let them go. This might sound like a strange step number one but without feeling the depth of our sadness, grief, anger and maybe even rage… it will get stuck in our bodies somewhere.

Several of my clients in the last several months have come in complaining deeply about the atrocities in the world. They’re angry. But unfortunately, prior to doing work together, they vented the rage and anger on social media. At their family. Even their pets, without taking responsibility to process these emotions inside. The most effective way to begin to process emotions so that we can let them go is in the form of writing.

If we write about the sadness, rage, anger, that has occurred at any of the above mentioned tragedies, we begin to release its grip on us.

After this step, we can go into another form of therapy which is being of service in our community. It does very little to continue to complain about the unfairness in life, without actually trying to do something positive about it.

Number two. Look deeply at your self-care, or lack of it. It’s very normal with the way we are bombarded by the media, social media, radio, television, the internet like blogs etc. to forget about the need to take care of ourselves.

What are you doing for yourself physically? Mentally? Spiritually? Relationship wise? Are you involved in an exercise program? Yoga? Meditation? As I mentioned above service in your community?

Several of my clients in the last 60 days of our work together have noticed that they’re drinking much more on a regular basis. Others have noticed they’ve gained 25 pounds as they continue to shovel sugar down their throats as a way to mask the emotions that they’re feeling.

In other words, both of these are poor emotional coping skills. Self-care is the exact opposite.”

For more information of how David can help you one on one to deal with the tragedies of life, visit his website at www.davidessel.com

Healing Stories: Sexual Harassment and Abuse. When Will It End?

Healing Stories: Sexual Harassment and Abuse.  When Will It End?

The news is filled with recent stories, as well as age old stories, about sexual harassment in the workplace. At home. College campuses. What will it take for it to end?

From accusations against Donald Trump, Bill O’Reilly and Harvey Weinstein… The list goes on and on and on. And let’s not forget Bill Cosby.

Women, with the #metoo symbol, are starting to stand strong in unification together. Is this the first time this has ever happened in the history of United States?

We wonder, why did it take so long? How come people in positions of power, both men and women, haven’t become more actively engaged to stomp out sexual harassment and sexual abuse before now?

Number one best-selling author, counselor, life coach and radio host David Essel has been helping women in particular heal from sexual harassment and sexual abuse for the past 28 years, and yet even he has not seen the attention given to it right now.

“It seems like we finally have reached a tipping point. The point in life and society where individuals are saying enough is enough. I applaud everywoman, every man, who has decided to take a stance against sexual harassment and sexual abuse.

But is it enough? When the president of United States, and leading power figures in the world of movies and television shows, as well as political talk show hosts are finally called out… Will this be what it takes in order to heal and move forward in life, to create a society where women feel safer?

In family counseling, just like in the world of business, we say everything is top down. And by that we mean that whenever there are problems in society especially when it comes to sexual harassment and sexual abuse, it starts from the top and trickles down. What does that mean? Well let’s look at the presidency. Bill Clinton went through it. Donald Trump bragged about his escapades with women before becoming president. That’s as high in society as we can get.

And the family is no different. The core family. Which is where my work has been for the past 28 years. Whenever I work with someone who has sexual challenges, either they are overly engaged in sexual activities, or they completely have shut down sexually, we always look back to the patriarch or the matriarch of the family for clues as to why their child, a son or daughter, is facing sexual dysfunction.

I’ve worked with countless women in their 40s, 50s and 60s who have suffered their whole life from sexual dysfunction, only to find out that it started with their father. Or their brother. Or their cousin, a male cousin who took advantage of them during something as innocent and simple seemingly as hide and go seek.

And when they finally open up to me in our sessions, which can often take 2 to 3 months of counseling sessions before they feel safe enough to open up about their childhood tragedies to a male, there’s a trail of distraction they left behind them. And the number one person destroyed? Themselves.

I worked with one young lady who was sexually abused by her father from the age of 11 until 21. That’s right age 21. She felt incredible shame, guilt, in saying no to her fathers advances even when she was in college. He had convinced her that she was dirty. She accepted it. And after 12 months of working together she finally rose up and shared her horrific story with her mother, Who dismissed it. Seriously, once again, damaging her daughters self-esteem.

But she didn’t give up. As we worked together she became stronger and stronger and stronger until she finally approached both her mother and father together and blew the door wide open.

Her strength was enormous. She shattered the family secret. And in doing so, protected generations down the road from having to go through the same abuse from another family member. She decided not to visit her parents in their house any longer, but rather stayed in hotels when she went home. The message was given. And on his deathbed, her father apologized profusely with tears running down his face as his life ended.

She is a born-again woman. Filled with strength and fortitude, and has use this to help others in life as well. She has encouraged me to share her story, over and over again, with some of my clients that are as young as 12 years of age who have been sexually molested. Her story has given them strength as well.

How about my interviews with Olympic judo gold medalist Kayla Harrison, who was sexually abused by her judo coach from the ages of 12 to 16? In my interviews with her she said it was one of the hardest things to do at that young of an age, was to point her coach out for what he had done. But she is at peace, and has become an incredible role model for young women in athletics everywhere.

Recently, I started working with a woman in her 40s, that openly shared her extreme sexual dysfunction that was manifested through promiscuity her entire adult life. When we looked at the core issue, her brother had sexually molested her for four years as a little girl, and had threatened her with harm if she said anything to anyone.

After our work together that lasted almost 12 months, she healed, and for the first time in her life became involved with someone who is healthy. A man who could listen to her past story, without judging her, accepting her as she is today… A powerful, confident, healed woman. Her shame and guilt gone, her desire to be free and do the work necessary has allowed her to become a role model in her community as well.

There are thousands of women who have come forward, and walked into the light of healing. It takes incredible strength. I hope that through all of the media attention that is now being given to the most prominent of names, that individuals from all walks of life will seek help, assurance, and assistance in healing any type of sexual harassment and or abuse that they have experienced .

When a woman is sexually harassed or abused one of the following can easily manifest if she does not do the deep inner work to remove the shame, guilt, anger and resentments:

Weight gain: which is a form of protection, being less attractive to men to protect yourself from any future harassment or abuse

Alcoholism: as a way to numb, and submerge the experiences

Drug addiction: the same is alcoholism, a way to mute the severe emotional damage

Anorexia/bulimia: form of control. Most women who experience on going anorexia and or bulimia do it because it’s the one thing they can control in life. Women who have been sexually harassed or abuse will also do the same. Here’s one way they can control their body after others have misused their body.

Depression: in our practice we see that most depression is caused by repressed anger and or resentments which makes sense in all forms of sexual harassment and or abuse

Anxiety: often created due to feeling out of control, and afraid to face the ramifications if they were to out the abuser.

If you or someone you know has been sexually harassed and or abused, reach out to David Essel who has been helping women in these situations for the past 28 years. David offers a free 20 minute phone consultation in which his desires are to help all women begin the process of becoming free from their past.

Number one. Ask for help. Whether you go to a woman’s shelter, a spiritual center or church, or to professional counselors, the time is now. Please don’t wait any longer.

Number two. Read about women like the clients I’ve mentioned above who have broken through incredible amounts of shame and guilt to become free. As women read more about others who have healed it will give them incentive to walk down the same path of healing as well.

I don’t believe that we can totally eradicate the dysfunction of sexual harassment and abuse from our society, but I do believe maybe for the first time in my 28 years as a professional, that we are on the brink of something big. A tipping point. Let us all hold hands, men included, to expose the dysfunction in our country in order to heal it for good.”

Contact David now or visit his website to learn more…

 

David Essel, Positive Thinking Will NEVER Change Your Life… But This Book Will, addiction, codependency, substance abuse, codependent, co-dependent, codependent no more, substance abuse counselor, codependent relationship, addiction

Healing Stories: Addiction. Opiate Overdose. The Four Keys To Turn the Epidemic Around

Healing Stories: Opiate Overdose. The Four Keys To Turn the Epidemic Around

Over 125 people die every day in the US from opiate overdose. From heroin to prescription drugs like vicodin, oxycodone, roxycodone and more. The tragedy continues in a country that has the resources to turn this problem around.

For the past 28 years, number one best-selling author, counselor, life coach and holistic addiction recovery coach David Essel has helped many people addicted to opiates turn the corner to lead a drug free existence. Is it easy? No, but it is worth the effort’s that David talks about below.

The four key ingredients to turn the opiate addiction tragedies around…

” Over 25 years ago I started to work as a holistic addiction recovery coach in the world of addiction and recovery. From alcohol, to street drugs, to prescription drugs, to food, sex, spending and so much more. But the one drug that is the most brutally difficult to watch someone go through withdrawl from has to be without a doubt opiates.

I have had multiple clients sit in my office, or let me repeat that, lay on the floor in my office during our sessions for the first 30 minutes in a fetal position, shaking, sweating and experiencing dry heaves.

It is been so sad to watch them for 30 straight minutes in this extreme state of pain, then to slowly rise, sit on the couch and do their best to begin the session of the day. It’s not easy for them, nor has it been easy for me to watch them riddled in pain.

But on the flipside, I have helped many many of these addicts get totally clean, and stay clean, through the points below that I think are crucial if we want to try to turn this epidemic around.

But first, how did we get in the situation to begin with? What has really caused this incredible addiction to opiates in our society? In the August 4 2017 edition of USA today, Dr. Marty Makary, a professor of surgery and health policy at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, claimed that physicians are the root cause of this addiction to opiates.

Interesting isn’t it? That one of the leading physicians in America will call his profession out as the major cause of opiate addiction. And how is that?

In his own words he talks about over prescribing, in his practice, opioid prescriptions for a number of years. “Take C-sections. One of the most common operations paid for by Medicaid tax dollars. Some doctors appropriately prescribe 5 to 10 opioid tablets after the procedure, in combination with non opioid meds as recommended by the American Pain Society. While other doctors are still doing what I did for years. Give every patient a bottle of 30 to 60 highly addictive opioid tablets. We need to take away the matches not put out the fires.”  That is from one of our leading doctors in society today.

So here are four keys I think we really need to look at in order to turn this epidemic around:

Number one. Medications and supplements to help in the withdrawal process. In the image I painted above, watching someone go through days upon days of intense withdrawl symptoms due to opiate addiction, we have found that there’s a variety of products available some medical, some over the counter, to help individuals go through, and work through the withdrawal phase.

The most well-known is the pharmaceutical called Suboxone, which must be prescribed by a physician, and if done correctly, can help decrease the cravings for the opiates as well as decrease the withdrawl symptoms my clients go through.

But there’s a catch. In my experience, I’ve seen way too many clients come in who are addicted to Suboxone. The doctors, whether they knew it or not, are having these individuals on long term use of Suboxone which in my professional opinion is uncalled for. Not necessary. But when they come in, and they’ve been on Suboxone for three, four, or five years… They start to feel both emotionally and physically dependent upon the drug. They’re afraid if they go off it they will not only experience withdrawal but they will start craving again the opiates that they been trying to get away from.

My advice? I think physicians should be responsible in the prescribing of Suboxone, because it does work, but only for a 3 to 6 month period of time where they should be working with their clients weaning them off this very strong pharmaceutical drug.

The other supplements that we use in my practice, since I am not a physician, would be the amino acid DLPA, or DL – phenylalanine, Tyrosine as well as the herbal supplement Kratom.

In our practice we have seen the combination use of these supplements, have helped people to decrease their mental and physical cravings for opiates, and begin to see that they can lead a life without these highly addictive and destructive drugs.

One of my clients, a 30 year on and off opiate addict, could not believe the power of DLPA. He mentioned to me many times during our months of working together that  he never thought he would be able to walk away from these powerful drugs but the supplement DLPA, which affects mood and pain regulation, is the answer he had been looking for.

But the supplements are not miracle workers. They are just one of the many steps we can take to help clients get off the opiate addiction cycle.

Number two. In my practice, the number one cause of all types of addiction, is the fact that we don’t know how to deal with emotions in society today. So let’s take someone who had surgery, they were prescribed opiates for their recovery, but then they found that not only did the opiate take away their pain, but it took away boredom, anxiety, nervousness, and even depression after surgery.

So once they are “healed”, and they no longer have access to their own prescription, withdrawl sets in. But, if they had learned as we teach in our holistic addiction recovery program, how to deal with the emotions of boredom, anxiety, stress from all areas of life, and they were weaned off the opiates appropriately with Suboxone, DLPA etc.… We give them a much better chance of learning how to live life drug-free.

Number three. Medical and emotional support versus law enforcement. A recent article, September 24, New York Times, described the incredible powerful response the country of Portugal has had in dealing with opiate addiction and overdose. Once they decriminalized opiates and cocaine use, and instead put their health department system in charge of dealing with opiate addicts, the number of overdose deaths dropped dramatically in this country. We need to follow their lead. We don’t need more policeman on the street. We don’t need more incarceration. We need a very viable approach to mental health and addiction withdrawal through our health departments not through law enforcement.

Number four. Education. This is a tough one. Most of the addicts I’ve worked with had no idea what they were heading into when they started playing around with opiates. There is not one addict I’ve ever worked with who said they knew at some point they’d be injecting heroin in their arms. There needs to be a greater amount of education, once again by our health department, in our school systems, and universities. Not just warning about the dangers of opiate use, but educating people on the correct use of opiates for pain relief.

And this goes for doctors as well. With the quote above out of USA today, I think every doctor in America needs to take an educational course on opiates, looking at the number of prescribed pills per health challenge, and making sure that they’re not writing prescriptions to keep patients happy, but writing prescriptions in order to keep people from being addicted.

In our holistic addiction recovery program we also teach people how to keep their blood sugar levels normalize through diet, so that they don’t hit the bottoms, lack of energy where they reach out for opiates to lift their moods. We also go over spiritual practices, emotional practices, cognitive behavioral therapy techniques, exercise to release endorphins in the brain so that these individuals have a chance to become healthy, and free of addiction for the rest of their life.

One of my clients wives called me several weeks ago after her husband had been clean through our program from his opiate addiction for four months. She was almost crying on the phone. She thanked me for bringing her husband back. Someone she had not “seen” in 20 years. To me, working as hard as we do on education, and holistic addiction recovery approaches, this call made it all worthwhile.”

For more information on how David can help you with any addiction issues please click here

 

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Healing Stories: Relationships – Overcoming the Affair – The Four Keys to Reclaim Love

David Essel, marriage, relationship, abusive relationship, happy marriage, healthy relationships, how to save a relationship, David Essel, Positive Thinking Will NEVER Change Your Life…

Healing Stories: Overcoming the Affair – The Four Keys to Reclaim Love

Almost everyone that enters into a romantic love relationship says that if their partner were ever to have an affair the relationship is dead. Over. Gone.

But is that really the case? Millions of people who face the prognosis of an affair will choose to try to save the relationship versus end it.

Number one best-selling author, counselor, life coach and radio host David Essel has helped hundreds of couples since 1990 reclaim love after an affair. But he’s also seen an equal number that during their attempt to save the relationship, actually sabotage it.

“For those of us who have been on the receiving end, or the giving end of an affair, the stress is off the charts. Do I want to stay with them? Are they worthy of me bringing them back into my heart? If you’re the one who cheated, you may be thinking very similar thoughts. In other words, there are no winners when it comes to an affair.

But I can tell you that there’s some really important keys to follow if you want to try to save a relationship after an affair. Here they are:

Number one: Whoever cheated must become more humble and vulnerable than they’ve ever been in their life. With my clients in this position I tell them that they’re going to have to basically be on their knees, asking for forgiveness, and be willing to do almost anything their partner asks to prove their serious about reclaiming the relationship.

This takes an immense amount of humility. And it’s not just doing this for 30 or 60 days, in my practice as a counselor, I’ve seen that it takes up to 365 days in a row of someone truly being humbled in order for their partner to trust them once again.

Number two: Now this next step is brutal. It’s for the person who did not cheat. After I work with this individual for about four weeks I ask them to get serious. To look within and see what role they had in the affair. Of course many times at first they balk. They claim they did nothing. But after deeper introspection, and answering the questions that we’ve created for people in this situation, 100% of the time they see a role they played in the affair.

They understand that they shut down in bed for six months which encouraged their partner to seek something from the outside world. Or they became highly passive aggressive in the relationship. Or they became workaholics, alcoholics, foodaholics. In other words they picked up an addiction so they didn’t have to spend time with their partner. Once they see the reality of their role the relationship has a much better chance to heal.

Number three: Going back to the person who cheated. I have them do an exercise where they write down all the reasons why they strayed from the relationship. Were they bored? Did they have deep resentments? Was there unresolved rage or anger at their partner? Were they simply following the role model in childhood, or mom or dad who had an affair? Were they afraid of speaking openly? Were they afraid of communicating their true feelings because they thought they might get shut down?

When the person who cheated goes through and answers all of these questions it starts to bring great insight for me as a counselor as to what we have to do to help the couple reclaim their love.

Number four: Forgiveness. The last step I take each of these individuals separately through is forgiveness. For the person who cheated, I take them through a series of exercises to forgive themselves for the error they made. For the person who did not cheat, I take them through a series of exercises to forgive themselves as well for what they did that may have encouraged their partner to look outside of the relationship for validation.

I will give two separate examples of couples I’ve worked with after an affair. One who was successful, and the other was not.

The successful couple. They did everything I mentioned above with 100% energy. Within 365 days of working with them individually they were able to reclaim their love, forgive themselves, forgive each other, that was 17 years ago and today their love is stronger than ever.

The unsuccessful couple. In this case, the husband who cheated, did everything I asked of him to reclaim the relationship. As I worked with him it was amazing to see the transformation of humility. But on the other hand, his wife never took him off of the cross. She continued to berate him. Even after nine months of him doing everything that she wanted him to do to prove he would never cheat again she constantly reminded him of what a loser he was. That she would never trust him. At that time in the counseling I let the wife go. I told her that I couldn’t work with her if she wasn’t willing to look at her role and to start the process of forgiveness.

I continued to work with the husband, but he had a very tough road to go through. Unfortunately, I don’t see this relationship healing unless the woman becomes extremely humble, vulnerable, and tries to risk the concept of forgiveness.

Millions of couples will go through this very same experience and the ones who heal will find a deeper love than they’ve ever experienced with each other in the past.”

If you need help in your relationship, before an affair happens, or after one occurs, reach out to David at www.davidessel.com

To read more stories like this and to find out how David can help you see David’s Blog

Healing Stories: Is Karma Absolute?

Karma? Is it absolute?

Healing Stories: Is karma absolute? A different look at a long held philosophy.

For years now people have talked about Karma as if it’s an absolute law of the universe. We reap what we sow. What goes around comes around. But is it true?

Number one best-selling author, counselor, life coach and radio host David Essel used to preach for years about the power of Karma. That if you mistreated someone it was coming back to you. That if you miss handled your money you would always be financially strapped. That if you gossiped about someone other people would absolutely gossip about you.

But times change as David explained below.

“For more years than I can remember I used to always say to people that if they are in a tough relationship it was because they mistreated someone in the past. Or if they were struggling financially it was because they had very little respect for money. In other words we reap what we sow. Was this absolute statement a lie?

Times have changed. And after 27 years as a counselor and life coach I’ve come to realize that karma may not be absolute at all. Isn’t that fascinating?

Many times on social media you’ll see people say, after someone gets dumped in a relationship, “don’t worry, Karma will bite them in the ass.” But I’ve seen quite the opposite.

Let me explain.

I’ve worked with people who had affairs on their partner and yet slept like a baby every night. They didn’t suffer the consequences that other people suffer. And these weren’t psychotic individuals. They were every day people who just had decided that at this time in a relationship they wanted to also be with someone else. After working with them for six months or longer there were no ramifications to their acts. When they would return five or six years later and I would ask them about how the last number of years went in the relationship they would be honest with me and say we haven’t had any problems at all.

But if Karma was absolute, as we’ve been taught, they should have suffered in someway. There should’ve been chaos and drama in their minds that created guilt and shame that would not allow them to sleep like babies at night.

I worked with a man who had stolen a large amount of money from his boyfriend. When his boyfriend found out he ended the relationship. But he wasn’t that distraught at all because he said it was time to move on anyway. He couldn’t take him to court, because he had spent all the money and had none. So when I asked him if he felt Karma was going to come back and bite him in the butt he replied no. It’s just life.

Four years later he came back to work with me on a totally different topic and I asked him if there were any ramifications from taking the money from his previous boyfriend. Answer? Not at all. Everything has been great. My finances are awesome, my new relationship is great as well.

I’ve also worked with people who have been very unjust and mean-spirited towards others. And they don’t think anything about it. And when I go into detail about their current business and friendships with people who may be treating them the way they treat others, often times the answer is that they are fine. That they’re not having any chaos and drama in any of their relationships.

Now this article is not condoning people to cheat on others, steal from others, or mistreat others. The whole purpose is many times we take these “laws of life” as absolute and they may not be. So what’s the take away from the concept that Karma may not be absolute? We need to quit wasting our time saying things like “they’ve got it coming. Karma is a bitch.”

That actually puts us in a negative state of mind. Wishing ill on another person is not healthy for us and I doubt if it’s going to have any effect on them, but it truly takes our energy away from living a positive life.

I think as a society we need to drop this whole thing about “people are going to get there payback, someone is going to screw around on them, someone is going to steal from them”. Because as I just mentioned it takes away from us being positive and progressive individuals.

If Karma was absolutely true then how do we explain when terrible things happen to great people?

A number of years ago I worked with a woman who was an absolute saint on earth. She was an individual who put everyone else in front of her. Almost mother Theresa like and made a huge difference in this world.

And when she was 50 she was brutally raped and left for dead.

If Karma was absolute we would have to say that she called this upon herself. That she must’ve done something so terrible. What goes around comes around and that she got paid back by being brutally raped. Do you see what I’m saying when I tell you that Karma is not absolute?

And there’s millions of more stories of clients I’ve worked with over the last 27 years that have faced great, huge, tragedies that had nothing to do with their past action. “.

You can read more stories like this on David’s Blog

Be careful of what you believe in. Many of the old “laws of the universe”, just like the law of attraction, or statements like “whatever you believe you can achieve”,  are not 100% factual either. Be careful. Be selective. Just because famous motivational speakers have told us that Karma is absolute does not mean it is at all.”

If you would like more information on all the coaching and counseling David Essel offers you can find it here.

Healing Stories: The Las Vegas Massacre…My heart deeply aches.

coping with tragedy in Las Vegas

Healing Stories: The Las Vegas Massacre…My heart deeply aches.

Coping with tragedy…

Disbelief. Rage. Anger. Hopelessness. Sadness. Grief.

As the word of the Las Vegas massacre reached the world the above emotions ran through almost every human being on earth.

Where do we begin? How do we process? Where do we direct our emotions to?

These are some of the questions that have flowed in daily to number one best-selling author, counselor, life coach and radio host David Essel. The answers for something so tragic are never easy.

Below David tries to offer some hope. Maybe some explanation into what we need to do now after another tragedy has hit our soil.

“My heart, aches deeply. Now. Still. I woke up in the morning to the worst news that I could ever imagine. After the hurricanes. After the earthquake in Mexico City. After the ethnic cleansing that has forced 400,000+ people into the country of Bangladesh who from all accounts is not equipped to deal with the Muslim population that is being persecuted beyond control by of all things a Buddhist nation. Reading about a mass killing in Las Vegas put me over-the-top.

I almost couldn’t catch my breath. Tears flowed. I honestly couldn’t stop crying for 15 minutes. I couldn’t shut it down. How? Why? What’s going on in this world?

I reached out to one of my best friends, James “Smitty” Smith. A Las Vegas resident who is one of the top radio and television boxing analysts in the world. I wanted to know if he was ok. Smitty and I have been friends for over 35 years and I could not imagine if something happened to him at this concert.

He got right back to me but his words I’ll never forget. These are words coming from a former boxer. A macho kind of a guy who also combines that tough guy image with a heart of gold. He told me he was shattered. He didn’t go into work. He couldn’t. The grief was way too heavy. I sat on the phone listening to him and tears were still streaming.

Then I thought of my friends DeBorah and Floyd Little. Melissa Roof. And so many others that live in Las Vegas. I reached out to all of them, holding my breath, praying and hoping that they are all ok. Thank God they were.

And then on my Facebook feed, something that still brings tears to me right now, I started reading about friends of mine that had lost a good friend to the sniper in Las Vegas. Another friend of mine whose daughter was there and got shot in the leg. I was overcome with grief.

I had no time for anger. Yet.

Overwhelmed. Numbness. Every client I worked with on that day was in the same mental and emotional state. Deflated. Absolutely numb .

Even those clients I work with over Skype from all over the world had the same emotional response. None of us were ready to be angry yet. There was so much work to be done in the world of emotions, Grief and sadness were at the top of the list.

So what do we do about this massacre? This tragedy? Regardless if we know someone who was personally affected by it or not?

As a counselor and life coach for the past 27 years I have helped people deal with all kinds of loss, grief, anger, rage, sadness. And we need to try to process the emotions beginning now.

Here are some thoughts, and I truly with my open, hurting heart, hope they may help you in the processing of tragedy .

Number One: Start to limit yourself from reading, listening to, and watching more and more information on this massacre . We need to take a break. Everyone. If you continue to follow every person’s comment, every congressman’s comment, every media personalities,…there is no healing to be done. This is pure fact. I work in the media, but I’m telling you people need to take a break from the onslaught of information.

Number Two: Quit posting on social media your opinion of what happened, why it happened, and how we need to change this world. I see so much anger, people directing anger at each other, the Democrats attacking the Republicans, the Republicans attacking Democrats, the atheist attacking the believers. Enough of the nonsense. Get the hell off social media if you’re going to make comments that you truly don’t know anything about. And as of right now we don’t have enough information for people to be getting angry at each other about such a tragic event. There is no benefit to this whatsoever. Stop it.

Number Three: Take the time to write about your emotions. If you’re grieving, write about your grief, what is the cause. If you’re angry, write about what you’re angry about. If you feel hopelessness, write about your hopelessness. Whatever you’re feeling get it out of your head, out of your heart, on to the paper. This is the first step to heal.

Number Four: Some of my clients are asking right now if there is a God, where was he? Where was she? How come she didn’t intervene and stop the killer? How could he let such a senseless tragedy occur? As an all faith minister these questions come to me even outside of tragedy. Find a professional, a minister, Rabbi, priest and work with them. Ask them these questions. Try to find some answers. They may, or may not, come right away but it’s our responsibility to look.

Number Five: If you come from a spiritual or religious background pray. Pray for those directly affected by this tragedy. Pray for yourself as you feel the depth of emotion of sadness, anger, rage and grief. Prayers do help bring people together, even people that may not know you’re praying for them. They work if you believe they do and if you don’t just skip this step.

Number Six: Donate. Time. Blood. Money. There are ways that you can actively become involved in this tragedy by going to your local blood bank. Or by becoming part of the solution. By following the above tips. By stopping your comments on social media and cutting back on how much time you spend watching, reading or listening to the news. Look in your community. Can you help any organization by volunteering? Think.

Number Seven: Ask for help. Reach out to a counselor, life coach, therapist if you’re still truly deeply struggling and ask for help. Don’t go this alone. This is the time to get guidance and ask someone to guide you through your grieving process.

I believe it’s too early to try to be looking for the “silver lining” in this massacre. I’ve read on social media people saying that “everything happens for a reason” and I think this is terrible advice right now. It’s premature. It’s way too early. I would never advise any of my clients, family or friends to start looking for the good in a massacre so close to the event having just happened. Don’t be foolish and wasting your time on this principle.

There will come a time down the road that you might want to explore the reason for this, the positive side of this equation, but I as a professional do not believe that we are anywhere near that time right now.

If you need help, reach out to me at www.davidessel.com, I want you to know you’re not alone. You are never alone.”

David is offering a one-on-one 20 minute counseling session over the phone at no charge to offer support at this time. Simply e-mail Davidʼs office at david@davidessel.com and one of his staff members will set up your time.
“I am reaching out to all affected and hurting from this tragedy and I hope to be part of the solution and will look forward to helping as many people as I can,” says Essel.
For more information on how David can help you  click here