Insights from Atlanta Counselor Bill Herring, LCSW, CSAT

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Over the years I've enjoyed writing little essays and observations about a variety of topics related to personal growth, emotional development, relationship enhancenment and other topics I find meaningful and interesting. I hope you enjoy them! 

You can read small snippets of each blog post below: click the title of any that interest you to read the entire post.  Each entry has also been loosely grouped into categories which can help guide your viewing.

Get In Ready Position

 

Years ago both of my children played in youth sports leagues, and I also coached several teams over the years. One piece of advice young players regularly receive is to "get in ready position" in order to respond most effectively to whatever may be about to happen. I've come to realize that this is pretty solid advice for adults too.

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When Your Reach Exceeds Your Grasp

Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?” -Robert Browning 

I love this quote by Browning because it establishes the nobility of attempting something new or outlandish and then failing.

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The Mule Trainer's Lesson

I recently told one of my clients an old joke about a farmer who couldn't get his mule to do any work, so he hired a famous mule trainer. The man came to his farm, immediately picked up a heavy stick and whapped the mule on the nose. "Don't train my mule that way!" the farmer demanded. The trainer said "Oh, I haven't started the training, I'm just getting its attention." 

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Two Types of Challenges

There are fundamentally two types of challenges that bring a person to a therapist's office: problems of external circumstance and problems of internal struggle.  Life puts some problems before us, while others we essentially create for ourselves. As a therapist and counselor I help people deal with both categories.

Wisdom Quote: Be Resourceful In inspiring Yourself

Become as resourceful in inspiring yourself to enter your own peace as you are at being neurotic and competitive in the world.

-- Sogyal Rinpoche

This quote resonates deeply with me since I'm very good at generating neurotic, self-defeating, resentful and similarly unproductive thoughts. It's not that I'm trying or wanting to produce them; they just come naturally, generally without a great deal of self-awareness. I'm neither proud nor ashamed of this fact. It simply is what it is.

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A Therapist's View of the Ashley Madison Fall-Out

 

I was briefly interviewed last week for thoughts about the implication of the recent Ashley Madison data breach.  Here's the clip.  It's not long but I hope it helped at least a few people. Next time I'll smile more!  I've also written a few words for those personally affected by this situation.

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Lean in the Opposite Direction

 

In my Atlanta counseling practice I've helped people who have all sorts of personalities. From the rigid to the disorganized, from the serious to the silly, from the extremely anxious to the overconfident, everyone has a unique combination of traits. One of the opportunities of a therapist is to help people develop some of the underdeveloped parts of their personalities.

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Apologizing vs. Empathizing

 

I've previously written at length about the art of apologizing, since a full apology is much more than saying "I'm sorry".  It's important to highlight one point which gets often gets overlooked when one person tries to apologize to another. It involves the important distinction between apologizing and empathizing.

Smart vs. Wise

This is another entry to my list of "therapeutic distinctions", pairs of words that at first glace may seem similar but which reveal important differences upon closer investigation . Today I want to compare intelligence and wisdom, since what it means to smart is not the same as being wise.

Absence of the Negative vs. Presence of the Positive

What prevents us from being happy?  Often our search for happiness seems elusive because of some negative influence that is getting in the way.  But is that all there is to it?

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