Why Do We ‘Blank Out’ in Conversation?-

By | MyBlog, News

Your talking to you friends, boos, or children. It is a simple fact you are trying to recall and you go blank! “My goodness is this Alzheimer’s? Am I going losing my mind? Though frustrating, often this is a quite normal human experience and we will tell you WHY this is happening and what you can do to improve it!

Why does this happen?
We all have different levels of short and long-term memory and levels of attentiveness. People with diagnosis such as ADHD, Anxiety, or Depression will have a harder time because there system is having to work much harder to do the same job as everyone else. Outside of diagnosable conditions, we can only output in our brains efficiently in an imperfect manner. If this is a pattern it can mean we need food, rest, and quiet-time to reset.

Why do we recall it randomly later?
We are human, yet even computers freeze up. Once we cool down, have a mental break, take the pressure off, our brain is able to reboot and access the data again. It is in your hard drive, just takes the brain energy and focus to retrieve.

And what can we do to better access our info?
First of all:
Don’t Be Hard On Yourself. The more you shoot for ‘perfect recall’ the more stress you will have and the harder it will be to achieve.
You have to Self-Care. Rest, diet, and exercise can help you not to get overloaded and will boost your ability to be sharp and at your best.
Stand Confident in The Face of “Potential” Criticism. If socially you focus more on how you are perceived than focusing out on connecting you can easily get your stress level up and you will surely get the brain block that can make recall a nightmare.
Listen Actively. When taking in information be assertive with it. For example, repeat back in your head what people are saying, make eye-contact, and try not to multi-task when you are trying to retain information.

How to Beat Panic Attacks! – without going crazy!

By | Events, MyBlog, News

Panic attacks can be treated very quickly with good treatment. Panic attacks often start with physiological symptoms such as being sweaty, shortness of breath, dizziness, flushed face, pain in chest, trouble swallowing, etc. Everyday events like a hot day, physical exertion, a nightmare, anger or excitement can bring these symptoms about. The problem is at these times we have a belief these symptoms are catastrophic, i.e., fainting, a heart attack, going crazy, getting a tumor, etc.

It is important to see the catastrophic beliefs just as a “hypothesis I”…and there is a “hypothesis II” … for example, the way we are breathing can cause many of these body symptoms, i.e., holding air in our lungs and breathing on top of it can cause chest pains, over swallowing can make it difficult or painful to swallow, etc. There IS an alternative hypothesis (II) – which is scientifically proven and more realistic.

We need to “Test the Hypothesis” ..We have to test out Hypothesis II to build our confidence in the real truth. The problem is people avoid the triggers to these symptoms and this creates more anxiety. We have to actually conger up these symptoms to show ourselves we can cope for the attacks to go away. People make the error of avoiding increasing their heart rates when the heart is actually a muscle and how do you strengthen it? Speeding it up!

How to Practice

Looking at a stripped grid and trigger the worry you’re getting a brain tumor.

Holding air in your lungs and breathing on top of it to cause mild check pain

Breath like you’re having a panic attack to cause dizzy-light-headedness

Say words like “Dying” or “Ill” to conger up a rush of body symptoms as well

Wear a scarf to see what happens with sweatiness

Hold breath as long as possible to see if you stop breathing

All of these interventions with help you see the symptoms are just explainable symptoms and none which are a catastrophe. Treatment can be quick. An experienced CBT psychologist can help. 800.317.8010 or info@CBTIofSoCal.com

How to Quiet Your Inner Mother

By | MyBlog, News

The following is an interview with Dr. Paul DePompo on Mother’s Day.

  1. What do you mean by quieting your “inner mother”?

As a child we are helpless– the Mother is often the first protector.

Her voice was the loudest and it kept us safe – as adults the voice becomes part of our values – yet, once was “safety” can now have cost of “inhibiting” ourselves making us more anxious to make mistakes and we can turn quite critical.1.

  1. Why is it so important?

Society is becoming more “anxious” and there’s a discrepancy between what our parents want from us and the life WE want…when we step outside of “what Mom would do” we hear the critic: “Are you sure you want to do that?” “What if something terrible happens?

  1. So what should our goal be to combat this?

We have to move away from trying to “prevent” bad things from happening (because in life they will), and focus on our ability to be able to cope regardless of what happens. That anxious What If voice just means we are forging new ground in our adult lives

  1. What can we rewire ourselves to do this?

There are two ways to achieve this:

1st: We literally have to turn those “What If’s“(that only cause rumination) into “Then what’s!”

We need to hold that voice accountable and come up with our own plan for how we will handle it. I suggest you write the “What if” down, rate your anxiety on a (1- 10) scale and come up with the “Then What” of what you would constructively do about it if it did occur. Rerate that anxiety again – That anxiety ill go down when you have really worked that then what!

2nd: Look for ways to build confidence in dealing with the unexpected. Experiment with dealing with uncertainty. For example, decide in advance to get the third flavor of ice-cream in the store- regardless of what it is.  You come up with how to deal with it if it is not tasty to you…Get confidence in your ability to cope: a) eat it, b) throw it out if you don’t like it, or c) trade it with someone else.


  1. Anything else we should remember?

Know what your goals are in life. And, set aside worry time every day where you can practice putting those “what if’s” to “then what’s” – and challenge yourself every day with take steps toward dealing with uncertainty and moving forward in ways that you want to grow – this will help you become authentic you and live a life where you are living proactively and not defensively.

for more info sign up at www.cbtiofsocal.com to our e-newsletter

Top 4 Mistakes Parents Make at “Bedtime”

By | MyBlog, News

Children do not come with a handbook. Wouldn’t it be great if they did? One of the first pages parents would turn to is how to handle bedtime. It is a night when we are at our most tired and our parenting skills can go out the window as children often desire to fight through their tired eyes for more time with their parents.
The following are the Top 4 Tips for parents at bedtime!

Negotiating Bedtime Routine
Children are smart. They watch us and know our weaknesses. When it comes to their bedtime routines it should be set. If they get one story – let it be one story. Once we change that to 1 or 2 or 3 they will often push for more and this is more work for you at a time of day when you need to be working less. Keep it simple and stick to it.

Say what you mean and mean what you say
If you promise a story make it happen whenever possible, but, if they “lose” their story because of dragging getting ready, not listening, etc then always follow through or else you will lose your credibility.

Lay With Me
If you lay with your child, have it just for story time, NOT until they fall asleep. I know this may “help them fall asleep quicker” but it overall extends their bedtime for you! Remember this is not just about your child, it is the relationship and you being able to have time to care for yourself as well. Letting your child fall asleep alone helps them to build more confidence and independence.  

Getting Off the clock
Set a rule that after your child goes to bed you are “off the clock.” When they come out to seek attention through the various creative ways they do, stay calm, neutral and try not to reward this behavior. Say something to the effect of, “It’s after bedtime. Time to go bed” and bring them back with neutral emotion and very few words.

Though no personalized handbooks exist, child counseling can help decode the mysteries of how to turn your child’s behavior around. Feel free to call or email us for more information. Sign up for our email newsletter at www.cbtiofsocal.com