There is nothing to fix or solve ...
just an opportunity to evolve ...
I’m Dr. Howard Richmond, a medical doctor with a specialty in psychiatry and psychotherapy. I see individuals and couples with an integrative approach that recognizes the power of emotions to drive our perception, shape our reality, and generate physical and psychological symptoms. If this sounds like you, you’re not alone.
Whether we’re facing relationship challenges, struggling with anxiety, battling depression or addictive behaviors, we can all get stuck in negative patterns, doing the same thing over and over. It’s our default, survival, or autopilot mode. Autopilot by the way, in an airplane, is good––except for takeoffs, landings, turbulence and mountains. In life, especially when there is unresolved conflict and hidden emotions, autopilot mode can set us up for a crash.
My passion is teaching others how to shift from autopilot mode to conscious-pilot mode––to integrate our whole being, our body-mind-spirit, in a direction of joy and wellbeing. Though we are hard-wired to repeat patterns deep within our brain, the good news is with proper emotional awareness and training, we can re-wire and improve our job performance, interpersonal relationships, physical health, and quality of life.
Choosing a therapist or psychiatrist is a very important decision that can be life altering. My aim is to always cultivate the utmost trust, compassion and emotional safety with each individual or couple I work with. I invite you to explore my website further.
Transform Your Energy Circuits ...
… from Survival to “Thrival.”
Years ago I was listening to “A Way With Words” on NPR radio. The hosts invited listeners to call in if they had a word they thought should be a word but was not a word. I have a word, I thought to myself. I called the number and before I knew it I was on the air. “Just as survive, is to survival,’’ I said to Martha, the Queen of Words, “thrive, should be to this new word––thrival.”
We can all get caught up in survival mode. There is always so much to do. We can feel constantly behind the 8-ball, struggling to find time to unwind, if we even let ourselves. The point is, stress, and the excess stress generated by being stuck in the default mode of survival, depletes our energy, results in dis-ease, and robs us of our innate capacity for joy, creativity, and vitality.
Fortunately we can “re-wire” our neural circuits and shift out of survival mode into thrival mode. In thrival mode, we are more present, most at ease––our minds no longer flittering to and from past, present, and future. While the interactions of our thoughts and emotions, physical sensations and behavior are quite complex and driven by deep drives in our brain, there are a variety of ways we can cultivate new patterns that produce life-altering positive changes. The thrust of my work is to teach others these practical tools to shift into thrival mode.
Mind-Body Alert: The Power of Words
Remember the childhood saying: “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me?” I couldn’t disagree more! Words are powerful. Words can be used to harm or to heal. “The pen is mightier than the sword,” is an old reminder. Words have weight. They carry the weight of thoughts, emotions and physical tension in our bodies. If we’re not careful we can sentence ourselves (or others) to a secret prison of chronic physical and mental limitations by the words we choose to use, or lose.
Take for example the common words easy and hard. When we think easy, our bodies feel more at ease, and when we think hard, we feel more tension, which can limit our potential. Remember when you were first learning how to drive, it seemed so hard, but of course it was just: unfamiliar. When we observe our physical reaction to hard our bodies reflexively tense up reinforcing our perception that it’s difficult.
When we consciously substitute a word like unfamiliar instead of hard, our bodies release more tension, and the doors of possibility begin to open a little wider.