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Retreat Reviews: "I thought my dreaming days were over, but since leaving my teaching job, I have started a new career and my husband and I are exploring China for two years!! Dream Positioning works for both of us as we move forward together..." -Shulah S. Retreat Participant "My wife and I attended a retreat run by Dr. Lavi years ago. Things we learned still help us keep things exciting!" -Bill and JoAnn H., previous participant

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Does Professional Responsibility Include a Duty to Warn?

Please share this recording:  (
if you are concerned about the mental health and safety of our nation in the new political era. 

Silence in World War II Germany led to a holocaust. Hear from Robert J Lifton who studied physicians who helped the Nazis and studied survivors of Hiroshima and other world renowned professionals.

The Town Hall was held last Thursday at Yale University School of Medicine
Harkness Auditorium
11-12:30 Town Hall on Town Hall:
Does Professional Responsibility include a Duty to Warn?
It included a series of papers and open discussion--Robert J Lifton, Judith Herman, Lance Dodes, Bandy Lee and John Gartner speaking on Trump and The Goldwater Principle
This is an important discussion for psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, physicians, parents, teachers and any professional concerned about the mental and physical health of our nation and leaders.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Saturday's Song for the Soul: I Am Light, India Arie

Thought for the Day: I heard the song, for the 1st time during the cool down at the end of a Zumba class. It blew me away. I asked the instructor who it was singing. I have not shared a Saturday Song for the Soul for some time, but believe this one, I Am Light by India Arie,  is an important one for these divisive times. We all need to remember that we are the light that emanates from within. May the wisdom of this song strengthen you and give hope that we will find a way to heal the great divide in our nation. Be the light. Shine on your neighbors. Help one another. This too shall pass.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Is Your Personality Profile Being Used To Brainwash You and Undermine Democracy?

Thought for the Day: I have intentionally, with a heavy heart, been silent on this blog for some time now.  Followers of my blog know I usually have something to say about the psychological impact of significant events in the news. Throughout the contentious campaign and election, I avoided politics and wanted to be respectful of all political views. As a psychologist, I feel my political opinions do not belong in my practice as a therapist. However, current events make me feel it is my social responsibility as a psychologist to speak up. I feel it is imperative to warn people of the misuse of psychological research to usurp people’s privacy in an effort to influence their behavior in unethical and possibly illegal ways. I am also concerned about the impact of the political climate on the emotional health of my clients, America, and the entire world. I do not consider myself an alarmist, but am increasingly worried that the abuse of what should be protected psychological techniques and information is endangering the future of our democracy and the free world.

     I started writing this post in December, but found myself unable to finish it until now. Psychologists are not immune to traumatic events, misleading information or targeted advertisements. Like many people in our great country, the results of the election left me shocked, dumbfounded and frightened. For the first time in my life, I was reluctant to speak my mind publicly. Would I be black-listed like people in the McCarthy Era? Would trolls start posting on my blog, Facebook page or twitter feed? Would my professional credibility be questioned? Could my family be endangered?  

     Although I am still fearful that speaking my mind may lead to potential harm, I have come to realize that unprecedented times demand unprecedented actions. I saw a sign at a demonstration which said, "Nothing About This is NORMAL." As a psychologist who has lived through many transitions of power, I can attest that what is happening in our nation is not normal. As a child, I often wondered what I would have done if I had grown up during World War II. I hoped I would have been part of the resistance. As a Jew, growing up in Texas, although I was in a minority, I barely experienced anti-semitism but was well aware of the devastating impact of genocide of my ancestors who were unable to make it to the United States. My grandmother lost four siblings, her parents and most of her aunts, uncles and cousins in the Nazi death camps.

     I have always been proud to have the freedoms provided by being a citizen of the United States. I have supported and fought for civil rights of others and against injustice. My parents taught me to speak my mind, to cherish the right to vote and to accept the results of elections even when my candidate lost. Following the last election, I first took a wait and see approach. When I began to worry about the transition, I joined groups, made phone calls to congressmen, sent post cards to elected officials, demonstrated in NYC and at the Women's March in DC, and posted a few Facebook posts more privately. Even though I did these things, in many ways it felt like it could have been as anonymous as attending an AA meeting. I have been in a quandary as a clinical psychologist and author about daring to write and speak my mind more openly. These fears have been engendered by the current president and the Republican Party members bullying and challenging their opponents to simply "get over it." This is not due to being "sore losers." It is due to genuine fears of the tactics being used to undermine democratic safeguards and to destroy institutions designed to promote checks and balances in a democracy.

   Something changed for me since the Muslim Travel Ban was imposed. I spent the weekend with my husband, brother and two sisters-in-law in Vermont. The retreat had been planned since December and I was looking forward to a reprieve from post election stress. When the news broke about the Muslim Ban, I was shocked and upset to see the events unfold across the nation and around the world. We talked, commiserated, and tried to come up democratic solutions to resolve the state of affairs. We sang songs Saturday night hoping it would provide some therapeutic relief. However, even songs that had nothing to do with politics seemed to take on new meanings as we tried to cope with the madness unfolding across our great nation. 

     Perhaps having the support of family as we tried to cope with the constant barrage of the new president and the GOP’s plans to create chaos in our society helped me find the strength to speak up. In addition, an article I read online caught my attention also gave me courage. As a psychologist, I feel compelled to help the public understand how the invasion of privacy and misuse of personal psychological information by the Republican Party is endangering the democratic process. Read on to learn more…

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Wake Up and Dream Catalyst: The Power of One Positive Thought

Here's another shared post from my blog, where I share simple easy recipes to enhance your relationships.
     Today's recipe is slightly different. Current research in psychology has proven that resilient people tend to be positive thinkers. They tend to see the glass half full rather than half empty. One way to fill that glass is to practice thinking positive thoughts, one small thought at a time. Read on for the recipe...

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Are You Ready to Unfreeze Your Heart and Forgive Your Partner?

   One of our recent recipes for Humble Pie  encouraged you to cook up sincere apologies. However, you or your partner may need the next recipe before you are able to accept the apology. If you need to unfreeze a hurt or angry heart, this recipe for Baked Alaskan Forgiveness may be just what the relationship doctor ordered. If you have been carrying around resentment towards your partner, this recipe is not only necessary for the health of your relationship, it is important for your physical and emotional health. Read on to learn why your health is in jeopardy. It is well worth the effort to master this complicated recipe.
Baked Alaskan Forgiveness

*Note for this recipe most people need to have received a sincere apology from their partner before they can attempt to prepare this challenging recipe. Holding grudges puts excess stress on our bodies. People who hold grudges therefore, are prime candidates for ulcers, migraine headaches, heart conditions and other medical problems. They may also find that if they try to hold in their feelings, they may redirect their anger by suddenly lashing out on their children or other loved ones who have nothing to do with the grudge they are trying to contain. 

Prep Time:  Varies, for some people it takes years, but the sooner you start to prepare this dish the better it will be for your relationship. 

      1 Hurting Heart filled with resentment
      1 cup of Drop Dead Chocolate Ice Cream
      2 cups of Vanilla Grudge Ice Cream
      3 cups of Crabby Apple sorbet
      2 Teaspoons of rock salt 
      1 pound of sugar (to offset the negative feelings)
      3 egg whites
      Pinch of Cream of Tartar
      3 cups of forgiveness
      6 Tablespoons of Brandy Kisses (no alcohol is needed for this recipe)

Directions: Not all hurting hearts are equal, so this recipe will need to be adjusted according to how much hurt, anger and resentment have built up in your relationship.  If you use too much salt on the open wounds, it will not mix well and take longer to blend. People's ability to forgive also varies significantly, so the time needed to prepare this dish will vary. The more angry and frozen off you have become from your partner, the harder it will be to bake the dessert. Take the ice cream out of the freezer to soften the feelings before starting. 

Slowly start beating the egg whites with the cream of tarter, then gradually add the sugar and forgiveness and increase the mixer to it's highest speed until the whites are glossy and hold stiff peaks to form a meringue. 

Fold the meringue into a cake pan, pile layers of Drop Dead Chocolate, Vanilla Grudge Ice Cream and Crabby Apple Sorbet on the meringue. Then cover the ice cream layers with more meringue. 

Just before serving, melt and pour the brandy kisses onto the dessert. Light the kisses with a match. 

When prepared properly, the angry feelings and grudges will be burned off leaving a warm golden brown layer of sweet forgiveness meringue filled with cool ice cream. 

     In all seriousness, holding grudges not only destroys relationships, it also hurts the person who holds onto their anger. Take the time to find a way to let go of the negative feelings or the distance between you will continue to grow and perhaps become irreparable.
     Have you been holding onto a grudge? Has your partner had an affair, which you have only partially forgiven them for? Or did they fail to support you the way you wanted or needed through a difficult period in your life, after the birth or illness of a child or the loss of a family member? If you have only paid lip service to forgiveness and still hold a grudge, it's important to acknowledge the feelings and find a way to move on. What keeps you from letting go of your negative feelings? If you can't do it on your own, you may want to consider talking to a therapist about your feelings and find a way to move on.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Need An Intimacy Boost? Prepare Our Recipe for a Love Martini

Need An Intimacy Boost? Prepare Our Recipe for a Love Martini
July 1, 2016
Melissa Glaser, MS, LPC and Dr. Barbara Lavi

 Here's another post from my new blog. I hope you like it and will share with others! Have a great holiday weekend!
   I must admit that as a psychologist, when Melissa sent me the photo for today's recipe, I was a bit worried. I spend too much time in my practice helping families battle the impact of alcoholism to have ever written about martinis on my blog, The Wake Up and Dream Catalyst. However, when I looked at this recipe, it became clear that this martini needs no alcohol to produce the desired effect of intimacy, joy and pleasure. You can serve this Love Martini as often as you like without worries of addiction. read on for the recipe...
Love Martini

Prep Time: Make a date with your partner for a few hours of quality CoupleTime

  • 1 oz of Excitement
  • 2 oz of tenderness
  • 4 oz of passion
  • 4 oz of sexy feelings
  • Several pinches of tender touch
  • Your best glasses
     Fill a shaker with cool tenderness. Pour in excitement with thoughts about a long, sustaining future. Add in sexy feelings and passion. Shake all the ingredients together till you leave your stressors behind.
While pouring the martini, strain out any interfering thoughts andwatch your partner’s expression of joy. Garnish with your tender touch.
Enjoy sharing the sweetness of the moment with your partner

     Sometimes we need to leave the cares and responsibilities of the world behind, to clear our minds in order to enjoy fulfilling intimacy.  Giving yourself permission to focus on the physical connection with your partner is a great gift for both of you.  Relax, unwind, and get high on connecting with your partner.

     If you find this post helpful, please share it on social media with your friends. We'd also love to hear how this recipe helped you and your partner reconnect after a difficult day!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Passion Fruit Compote: Bring Romance Back Into Your Relationship With This Recipe!

Here's another recipe from the The Joy of Loving Relationships Soulmate's Cookbook. 
     If you and your partner have been lacking intimacy, it’s time to disconnect from the virtual world into which we constantly immerse ourselves. This scrumptious recipe will help you bring back the romance. Lock your IPhone in a drawer. Instead, of staring at the phone or the computer, lock eyes with your partner over a soothing, candlelit dinner.  Recent studies have shown that social media is destroying our society’s social skills because it reduces face-to-face interactions. Use the delicious, de-digitalized dish below to communicate and connect with one another the old-fashioned way!
Candlelight Passion Fruit Casserole 

       Prep Time: 1 - 2 hours of uninterrupted couple time
               * Candles, 
               * 1 tablecloth, 
               * Dinner,
               * Soft music,
               * No cell phones, tv, iPads or other    distractions,
               * No children (make sure they are in bed),
               * Heartfelt listening,
               * Sharing the highs and lows of your day, 
               * Element of surprise (optional) may help make this recipe more exciting
Schedule a date with your partner, prepare or purchase dinner, set the table with your best China, tablecloth, flowers and candles. Turn on soft romantic music and light the candles. After dinner slow dancing (optional). 

If you use this recipe, feel free to share a selfie and/or let us know how it worked. We'd love to hear from you! If you'd like to get more recipes like these, sign up to follow the blog. As always we hope you will share this with friends as well! Have a great week.