Saturday, March 19, 2011


My One Rose

Crystal prisms surround it

reflecting hues like memories,

soft and surreal.

Other roses beside it

wither and show the stress of time.

Its enchanting fragrance drifts freely,

sweet and intoxicating.

There is no comparison between this rose

and any other created,

beautiful in its perfection,

fragile in its core.

How is it that I produced this flower so different from the rest?

I will always remember this one rose,

and it shall be,

to me,

forever young.

Periodically I will post poems I wrote as a part of my healing journey after loss. I found that writing allowed me to express my deepest and most complex feelings, feelings that were difficult to verbalize. I was able to clarify my deepest meanings through words on paper. "Words are the voice of the heart."

A Space to Use

When I was teaching Time Management years ago, I found a quote in the textbook by Steven Covey that I use to this day. As a matter of fact, it is hanging on the bulletin board in the waiting room at my office (the quote, not the book). I will paraphrase his words - Between stimulus (event) and reaction there is a space. It is within this space that we find our power and freedom (to respond in a balanced manner). Take this space, observe your feelings and thoughts, and determine if they are coming from a calm centered place or a negative and anxiety producing place. Try it! Practice it!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Building Your Self Esteem

1. Define self-worth from within
2. Do something nice for yourself each day
3. Focus on the positive
4. Keep promises made
5. Accept your imperfections
6. Forgive yourself
7. Build skills, competencies and interests
8. Do physical exercise
9. Eat life sustaining foods
10. Make relaxation part of your daily life
11. Build a spiritual life
12. Build laughter, play and fun into your life
13. Surround yourself with nourishing people
14. Do something for others
15. Avoid toxic people and situations
16. Set reasonable goals
17. Avoid procrastination
18. Accept the world as not always being fair
19. Practice assertive communication
20. Reward yourself, you are worthy, you are valuable

Developing self-esteem takes time and consistent effort in many areas but it is possible!
Marcia Overstreet, LPC
541 245-9610

Managing Stress - Be Your Own Best Friend

Life is always changing. If we cope with the many changes we face, we have the opportunity to grow with the situation rather than be overcome by it. We have hope and feel empowered or we feel helpless. Dr. Kobasa and her colleagues studied the difference between the two extremes, growing with a situation and feeling hopeful or being overwhelmed and feeling helpless. Dr. Kobasa determined that individuals dealing with great stress could be protected by a combination of three attitudes which describe a "stress hardy" person.

1) Commitment - allowing yourself to be involved in and curious about the situation and how it can become an opportunity to learn about yourself.

2) Control - believing that you have the power to influence events and the willingness to take action for your best.

3) Challenge - believing that life changes can promote personal growth.

Changing thoughts about events or self can help to alter your stress reactions. Albert Ellis, found of Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy noted that it is not the event we react to but our interpretation of the event.

Many factors contribute to the causation of stress overload; therefore interventions address seven basic levels:


Control breathing
Appropriate Nutrition and sleep


Identify what you are feeling
Acknowledge and express those feelings


Face your fears, do not avoid them
Engage in healthy coping behaviors


Identify and counter destructive thinking
Develop positive affirmations and use them


Learn to assertively communicate your needs and feelings to others
Learn to set boundaries


Develop a more positive sense of self
Set and work toward concrete goals
Validate yourself with nurturing self-talk


Identify your purpose and passions to find greater meaning
Develop your talents, actualizing your unrealized potential
Spiritual commitment

Lasting management of stress will typically occur when you are willing to make changes in the above levels, exercising control over your thoughts and taking positive action steps, and believing life challenges can lead to personal growth. Learn to be "stress hardy" and become empowered and hopeful.

Marcia Overstreet, LPC
541 245-9610

Saturday, November 6, 2010

What is Depression and What Can Be Done About It?

Every year over 18 million American adults suffer from a depressive disorder (National Institute of Mental Health) and depression in children and the elderly increases every year (Mental Health Organization). Some individuals do not recognize they are depressed, some choose to self-medicate (this can increase depressive symptoms as alcohol is a nervous system depressant) or some deny their emotional pain. Depression affects the mind and body and interferes with normal day-to-day functioning. Depression can affect every aspect of a person’s life (relationships, work, physical health, sleep habits, eating habits, thought processes, etc.). The good news is that depression is treatable. It is essential to note that an individual who is suffering from depression is dealing with a real illness. They can not just “cheer up” or “snap out of it.” Although there is no “cure” for depression, it is very controllable. There are different types of depression and treatment is dependent upon an accurate diagnosis by a trained professional.

Depression may develop quickly as a result of a sudden event or it may develop slowly over time. It may have an obvious cause or it may begin with no rhyme or reason. The causes may include: loss and grief, brain chemistry, genetic vulnerability, thyroid disease, chronic illness, hormonal imbalance, major life transition, stress overload, and financial concerns. Depression can affect anyone regardless of gender, age, socioeconomic status, or ethnic background.

Depression can make a person feel a sense of hopelessness and helplessness. It is important to realize that these negative feelings/thoughts are a part of the depression and often do not reflect the actual circumstances. As Albert Ellis (founder of Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy) notes, it is not the actual event a person tends to react to but their interpretation of the event. If interpretations are negative and they continue a person may enter a negative thought cycle that can get more intense and hurtful, increasing depressive symptoms. Negative thinking is dealt with in treatment and it fades as therapy begins to take effect. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Interpersonal Therapy are proven to be effective treatments for depression.

If you feel you may be struggling with depression, please take action. Contact a professional to discuss your situation, learn about depression, and be gentle with yourself (try to be your own best friend rather than your own worst enemy). If you are suicidal please go to the emergency room, call 911 or the crisis hotline at 779-HELP.

1. Be aware of your self talk. Be kind to yourself.
2. Be sure to get at least six hours of sleep at night.
3. Eat nutritionally.
4. Exercise.
5. Relax in various ways. Begin with deep breathing.
6. Connect with family and friends, do not isolate.
7. Empower yourself through taking appropriate action steps.
8. Engage in healthy coping skills.
9. Use positive affirmations.
10. Learn to assertively express yourself, with respect and responsiblity.
11. Set goals and work toward them.
12. Remember to be your own best friend.

Written By: Marcia Overstreet, LPC