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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

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom: Dr. Lavi on Being a Psychologist

Thought for the Day: It's only Wednesday and I have been very busy. So much so that I did not post yesterday. I looked at an earlier post today to reshare and found a quote that I created a while back. It was inspired by a Carl Rogers quote on optimism. I decided to make a new "moving" image for my quote that better captures the privilege of being a therapist. I hope that you will find your calling and be as energize by your work as I am. Have a wonderful day.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Motivational Monday: What We All Can Learn from a Three Year Old About Giving

Thought for the Day: There are many things we learn from our children. However, young teachers like three year old Emily James are rare. Today, I am sharing a video showing how Emily can teach all of us about caring and giving generously. Surely little Emily was only able to teach this lesson because her parents taught her the importance of giving to children in need. Many parents would be reluctant to speak with a small child about a life threatening disease. However, Emily's parents seemed to understand that the psychological benefits of teaching a child about helping others outweighed any fears they may have had. They were able to explain cancer in a way that even a toddler could understand and empathize with other children's challenges. See how they helped her grasp the concept and want to help. Could you be missing opportunities like these to teach your children about giving and being empathic? Take a look... 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sunday's Comic Strips: A Freudian Slip and Vara, A Blessing

Thought for the Day: Today is usually devoted to comics & the above photo is a classic Freudian slip. I have no time to write, since I am heading to the last day of the Tribeca Film Festival #TFF2014. So far, the best movie I have seen was "Vara, A Blessing." We were fortunate to get in to see it last night. We were literally last inline for Rush tickets when someone offered to sell us two tickets. It is a beautiful glimpse into life in rural India. The cinematography is exceptionally beautiful. The Indian music, dancing, costuming and art work are wonderful. When we came out of the movie we learned that it won best online film at the festival. 

Today, while we were waiting in line for another movie we met Shahana Goswani, the star of Vara, A Blessing! She was gracious enough to let us take her photograph. That's what makes this film festival special. If the picture is not clear I will fix it at home! Have a great day!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Saturday's Songs for the Soul: Gone, Gone, Gone by Phillip Phillips

Thought for the Day:  I heard today's Song for the Soul recently at the end of a Zumba class.  I try to exercise 4 or 5 times a week. Usually I swim, but have been adding additional types of exercise lately. For those of you who have never tried Zumba, it is an exuberant, fun mix of Latin dance moves and exercise to very loud uptempo music. I can only do about 30 minutes of a class and, therefore, don't always arrive at the beginning. It was the first time that I was present at the end of the lesson for a "cool down." As I listened to the lyrics of this powerful uptempo song (not really cool down music, but compared to the previous melodies, it was a bit more subdued), I was impressed. I knew I had to find out the name of the artist to share here. I found out that it was written and performed by American Idol season 11 winner, Phillip Phillips. The song is a testimonial to everlasting love.

Friday, April 25, 2014

#FF Friday's Fabulous Finds: #TFF2014, Blind Pole Vaulter, Lego Building Career, NYC World Fair Photos

Thought for the Day: I have some wonderful finds for you today from Flipboard. I am still haven't figured out how to add something from outside flibboard, but want to mention that the Tribeca Film Festival #TFF2014 is ending this Sunday. If you are in NYC this weekend, it is well worth catching some great films. Even waiting in the rush lines for tickets is a fun and interesting experience. You can meet people from around the world, including aspiring actors and film makers. If you come early, you can get into the screenings. This week I saw "Art and Craft." It is a surprisingly funny, albeit touchingly sad and insightful documentary. The film exposes the life of an emotionally disturbed exceptionally talented artist. who donates his forged replicas of classic art to museums around the United States. I spoke briefly (and exchanged e-mails to continue the conversation) with the filmmaker, MARK BECKER,  who edited this film. It raised multiple questions for me as a psychologist about developing more creative treatment options for the mentally ill in our nation. I also saw "Below Dreams," a portrait of three twenty-something transplants to New Orleans in their search for their dreams. It is a cross between a documentary and narrative looking at the challenges three young people face in today's world.

My flipboard picks this week include a long, but well worth the read, cover story about a teenage blind pole vaulter. As those of you who have been following my blog know, I have been working for several years with the Blind Judo Foundation, which is featured in my book,  since they encourage blind athletes to reach for and accomplish their dreams by pursuing the sport of Judo. This young woman's dreams are literally taking her to new heights. If your dream is to build with legos for a living there's an article on how to be paid to play. (At the Tribeca Film Festival there is film about Legos, too, "Beyond the Brick: A Lego Brickumentary.") Other posts include photos from NYC's World's Fair which was held 50 years ago, some very creative lunch boxes, and packaging that sells itself. I hope you like my picks.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tuesday's Psychology Tips: With Hope, The Odds Don't Matter

Thought for the Day: Today, +Heather Von St. James, one of the people connected to me on Google+ asked me to share her story. She told me that although Mesothelioma Awareness week is over, she would like me to share this on my blog. After I viewed her story, I decided to share it here on Tuesday's Psychology Tips. Her message, "With Hope, The Odds Don't Matter," is a wonderful tip for anyone struggling with a difficult medical diagnosis. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Monumental Monday: Proud to Support Boston on Marathon Monday


Thought for the Day: I just came home from Boston. While there I had the privilege to sit at Mile 20 of the Boston Marathon in Newton MA in the middle of Heartbreak Hill. I watched as the wheel chair competitors passed, the female front runners, the male front runners and then the waves of runners from around the country and around the world who came out in full force to support Boston as they took back the Marathon.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday Celebration: If You Celebrate Easter, Happy Holiday! If not, Happy Spring!

Thought for the Day: Finally, spring seems to have arrived. I hope you are enjoying this beautiful day! If you celebrate Easter, Happy Holiday! If not, Happy Spring!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Saturday's Songs for the Soul: "Brave" by Sara Bareilles with a Video That Will Touch Your heart

Thought for the Day: I have heard the song "Brave" on the radio and found the lyrics inspiring, but when I searched for the song on YouTube, I found an even more inspiring video that gives the song an even more powerful message, which brought tears to the eyes of singer/songwriter Sara Bareilles, who created the hit song. 

#FF Friday's Fabulous Finds: #TFF2014, Secret to Learning Anything, Wikipedia Predicting Flu & More

Thought for the Day: Yesterday I saw two great movies at the #TFF2014 the Tribeca Film Festival. If you are in the NYC area it is well worth the wait in a Rush line to catch some films. We saw Gabriel and Goodbye to All That. I would recommend both. In Lou Howe, writer and director's first feature film, "Gabriel," a glimpse of life from the perspective of a teenager struggling with mental illness is portrayed in a stellar performance by Rory Culken
     The movie, "Goodbye to all That," is Actor/Writer, Angus MacLachlan's (the writer of Junebug (2005)) first time in the director's chair. I was embarrassed to learn that the therapy scene in the movie was based on one of MacLachlan's friends actual experiences. I had assumed that it was fantasy designed to get laughs. Trust me, most therapists do not behave the way you will see in this film. If you encounter a therapist who takes over someone's life and speaks for a client like the one in this movie, find another therapist. The lively discussions following the both films were interesting and thought provoking, giving a glimpse into the creative process of film making.
Today's other finds generated through Flipboard include some amazing photos of the Northern lights, The Secret to Learning How to Do Anything with tips from martial arts, a tweet by Karlee Silver about a study that finds kindergarten teachers can make up for deficits in children's mothers' education, a study that found that Wikipedia can predict flu season, an article on the importance of surrounding yourself with challenging people.

Thursday's Psychology Trivia Question: IQ Counts 4 What % of Success In Life?

Thought for the Day: Today I am reposting an older trivia question and adding some additional information. Here's Thursday's Psychology Trivia Question:

Psychologists generally agree that among the ingredients for success:

        a)  IQ counts for roughly 10%, 

        b)  IQ counts for roughly 50%,
        c)   IQ counts for roughly 80%, or
        d)  IQ counts for roughly 90%

What do you think the answer is? Read more for the answer.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Words of Wisdom: Parenting Teens in a World Filled with Violence

Thought for the Day: I'm still catching up and posting late in the day, but taking time off always puts things a bit off schedule. Today's quote arose from a session with a client about their 16 year old daughter. My client and his wife were having a difference of opinion on whether to allow their daughter to take walks to town and back in the early evening by herself. My client feels they live in a safe community with a few stores, coffee shops, a library and a small movie theater less than a mile from their home. He could not understand why his wife was worried. I played devil's advocate and asked my client what he thought his wife's fears might be.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tuesday's Psychology Tips: How to Be a Healthy Mom

Thought for the Day: Still celebrating Passover which has led to a very late posting today, but I wanted to post a Psychology Tip. Mothers often put everyone else's needs before their own. Many women have been taught that self care is equivalent to being selfish. However, it is important the take care of yourself so that you will have the energy to care for others.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday's Comic Strips: The Joy of Tech: Not the Best Marital Communication Technique

Thought for the Day: Here's a funny comic for your Sunday enjoyment from Joy of Tech. As a psychologist, I would not recommend this as the best communication technique for couples. 
Have a great weekend!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Saturday's Songs for the Soul: PBS, Tom Hanks & The Dave Clark Five's Glad All Over

Thought for the Day: This week I viewed a PBS special showing of the induction of the Dave Clark Five into the Rock and Roll Music Hall of Fame. On the show, Tom Hanks presented the award to the band. The entire show was wonderful and if it is broadcast on your PBS station I would highly recommend it. Because of the show I chose a song that I might not have chosen before hearing Tom Hanks speak about this group. I remember the excitement surrounding the British Invasion of The Beatles and The Dave Clark Five, but realized while listening as an adult and a psychologist, that their songs were truly songs for the soul....

Friday, April 11, 2014

#FF Friday's Fabulous Finds: Amazing Photos, Video of Hypnotic Patterns, Battling Ebola Outbreak & Mental Illness Crisis

Thought for the Day: I am still learning how to maximize the power of Flipboard to bring you some wonderful finds. Today's magazine brings a mix of stories, amazing photos and one hypnotic video of designs drawn on a spinning wheel. The story from Africa shows pictures of how they are fighting the spread of a deadly attack of Ebola in Africa. It is striking how courageous the doctors are as they battle a deadly image in such remote place with minimal supplies. Another story explains the dire conditions for the mentally ill in our country. Hopefully, ObamaCare may help turn around and end the trend of warehousing the mentally in our jails. Have we returned to the dark ages? What can we do to stop this trend? I hope you like the photos of nature and architecture as much as I did. Take a look...

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thursday's Psychology Trivia: T or F: Analytical People Are Left-Brained while Creatives Are Right-Brained?

Thought for the Day: Here in New England, everyone seems to be basking in the rays of sunlight which have been doled out in small doses over the past week or two. Somehow Mother Nature has not been convinced that we have had enough cold wintery weather for the year. Hopefully, the frequency of sunny days will increase and spring will take over. Hopefully today's Psychology Trivia question will help you pass some time and ignore any remnants of wintery weather that are still around. Here's the question:
True or False: Logical, methodical and analytical people are left-brain dominant, while the creative and artistic types are right-brain dominant. 
What do you think the answer is?  

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom: Henry David Thoreau: Our Truest Life Is When We Are In Our Dreams Awake

Thought for the Day: Although author, philosopher, and naturalist Henry David Thoreau lived from 1817 -1862, his work was clearly ahead of his times and bears relevance to our times. When I lived in the Boston area, I visited Walden Pond and the homes of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Louisa May Alcott, Thoreau's contemporaries, many times. Many people did not understand or agree with his then revolutionary ideas and saw him as an idle dreamer; however, today his ideas feel contemporary.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tuesday's Psychology Tips: Your Kids Are Watching You: Be the Best Role Model You Can Be & You Will See the Results

Thought for the Day: I've been sharing tips on Tuesdays that I wrote for HealthTap. This one is on parenting school aged kids. Yesterday, I also posted a comment on a great Parenting Forum on Our Parenting Spot. Since it is clearly related to the Tip below, I am sharing the question and my response from there as well. Be sure to check out the raffle at the end of this post for your chance to win a free copy of The Wake Up and Dream Challenge.

TipTap: School Age Kids Health


Your school aged kids are watching you Be the best role model you can be and you will see results.
Dr. Barbara Lavi

Clinical Psychology

However, be careful since the quote above, "Your school aged kids are watching you. Be the best role model you can be and you will see the results," is true for both positive and negative results. It works both ways. Positive role models produce healthy, supportive well behaved children. Negative role models will see results that that may not be as flattering. On Our Parenting Spot the question was raised: "Should a parent try to fight a child that has bullied their child?"  What do you think about parents intervening in their children's arguments?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Monumental Monday: Thank You for 100,000 Page Views

Thought for the Day: Today is a day for a celebration! There have been 99,686 page views on this blog in 2 years and 3 months. I am pretty sure we will reach the 100,000 mark today! In appreciation of all you support, I have decided to do something different today. I'd like your help.  I've created a very brief survey (3 questions & 2 are multiple choice). It should not take more than 2 minutes of your time. You do not have to enter your e-mail or any identifying information. I simply would like your input as I develop the blog.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sunday Comic Strips: Ikea Cat & Gorilla's View of Humanity

*Photo Credit

Thought for the Day: Sundays are simply reserved for comics today I'm sharing two related to animals. I simply loved the look on the cat's eyes in this clever photo combined with the universal knowledge of the frustration most people have had with the scanty Ikea assembly instructions. There's another cute cartoon with animals questioning why their fate is different from that of humans...

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Saturday's Songs for the Soul: Music Trivia: What 5 Beatles' Songs Topped Billboard Charts on April 4, 1964

Thought for the Day: Today's post is a tribute to the The Beatles. Yesterday, while listening to WFUV on the radio, I heard it was the 50th anniversary of their unique accomplishment, five Beatles' songs topped the Billboard charts. The Beatles have inspired the world for 50 years. Their lyrics and classic melodies have captured the essence of the feelings of love, helped inspire us to hope for peace and made us laugh. Their impact on generations is surely not only a musical, but also a psychological phenomenon. Take a look at how they impacted on the audiences of teenagers in the 60's. These 5 hits will be today's songs for the soul. Can you guess which 5 Beatles songs they topped the charts 50 years ago?

Friday, April 4, 2014

#FF Friday's Fabulous Finds: Trying Flipboard What Do You Think?

Thought for the Day: Today, when I began working on my Fabulous Finds, I cam across an app called Flipboard and decided to try it as a way to present my finds. I created a Flipboard with 9 articles that I found on a variety of topics. Unfortunately, I am not sure how to post the board here instead click here to see it. It is a great find, although I am not up to speed. The articles cover topics related to stress reduction, mother's health, poverty, protecting girls from marriage at a young age, education, the search for the black box in the Indian Ocean and citizen-centered policy making. I'd appreciate it if you took a look and let me know if you like this as an alternative to the posts I have been doing on Fridays. Thanks in advance & have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Thursday's Psychology Trivia: How Much Does Your Newborn Know On Day One?

Thought for the Day: This week I have been focusing on early childhood. Yesterday, I noted the importance of an infant's learning to smile in the development of self esteem and the ability to love. On Tuesday, I explained why sometimes childhood depression goes undiagnosed. How the game of Hide and Seek could help a child develop more positive relationships with their parents in therapy was the topic on Monday. Today's trivia question looks at how much newborns know before they are born. Here's the trivia question:
      Which of these facts are true:
a) Day old infants already recognize their mother's voice
b) Newborn babies prefer the sound of their mother's native language
c) By week 14,  there is some evidence that fetuses can taste bitter, sweet, or sour flavors in the amniotic fluid
d) The more varied a mother's diet during pregnancy and breastfeeding, the more likely that the infant will accept a new food
e) In the first few hours after birth, a baby's sense of smell may be more important in helping him identify his mother than vision
f) Babies in utero experience rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is associated with dreaming, at around 32 to 36 weeks
g) None of the above
h) a), b), c), d), e), and f)
Read on to see the answer...

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom: "Self Esteem & the Ability to Love Begin When an Infant Learns to Smile" Dr Barbara Lavi

Thought for the Day: I saw a photo on facebook yesterday which said, "Smiles need no translation." It got me thinking about the universal language of smiles and laughter. Knowing that today would be Wednesday and it would be time for my Words of Wisdom post the photo and saying lead me to today's words of wisdom:
"Self esteem and the ability to love begin when an infant learns to smile." Dr. Barbara Lavi

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tuesday's Psychology Tips: Could You Have Had Undiagnosed Depression Since Childhood ?

Thought for the Day: On Tuesday's I have been sharing questions I have answered on HealthTap. Here's an interesting question that many people wonder about when they come for therapy as adults. They often question whether they have been depressed for most of their lives, even though they thought they had healthy childhoods. If any of the situations I describe ring true for you, know that you can work through depression, even if it has been undiagnosed for years. Feel free to ask me questions about this or other issues you may be wondering about.

Here's the brief answer I gave on HealthTap with a bit more elaboration.

Dr. Barbara Lavi answered: