Over the past ten years the word mindfulness has enjoyed tremendous popularity, the
popularity sadly is not equalled by an understanding of what the phrase means.

“Mindfulness as a psychological concept is the focusing of attention and awareness,
based on the concept of mindfulness in Buddhist meditation.”

The above Wikipedia definition is not very helpful. So we know it grows out of Buddhist
meditation, but what does that have to do with therapy? In meditation we try to bring our
attention to the present moment, attempt to clear our minds of passing thoughts and
reduce and eventually eliminate our reactions. In therapy you change by identifying
your reaction to thoughts and learning to compassionately understand why these
thoughts are upsetting. Continue reading

Adults with aging parents

It is a rare occasion for me to get into a chat with a fifty something year old person and
not eventually arrive at the topic of caring for aging parents. The conversations vary,
feeling blessed to have healthy parents, being completely overwhelmed by the
responsibilities of care taking a challenging parent. Health, illness, demand, resentment,
fear, sibling rivalry, financial worries, independent living, assisted living, all these words
pepper the conversation. We are all experiencing loss and isolation. Loss of a vibrant
beloved parent, loss of your own life style and freedoms. Discomfort with the intimacies
caring giving can involve. And so often alone and unsupported by loved ones as you
face the daunting decisions involved in providing a safe environment for your parents.

As my parents were aging the worry and apprehension were a constant companion. I
lived 3000 miles away from them and any emergency would leave me days behind in
getting to them. I quickly realized the need to create a network including doctors names
and numbers, each requiring a signed release from my parents, the same for hospitals
and attorneys. My trips to visit my parent became more like marathons as I tried to
assuage my sadness for not being closer by frantically identifying resources. I relate this
to say I have great empathy for those who are guiding their parents through this stage
of life. And I also had ambivalence about being in their business, becoming more the
adult, and I had unresolved feeling toward my parents that interfered with my desires to
be a good daughter.

One early morning, on my way to see my parents, I was on a lay over in a Texas airport.
Strolling around in the quiet emptiness I noticed something shiny on the ground. I had
been walking and cogitating on my ambivalence about being a caretaker. I stopped to
pick up the item and discovered it was a metal heart with the word love inscribed on it. I
took this as a sign and decided at that moment to set my passed anger and hurt behind
me and act towards my parents from a place of love. That decision clarified the path I
would travel, it allowed me to act with integrity and respect. I never wanted to feel regret
about my actions after my parents passing. I found my path and would like to offer
support to others seek direction in confronting the both painful and honorable journey of
caring for our loved ones.

Laney Kibel is a licensed clinical social worker practicing in Portland Or. She sees
individuals, couples and families and runs a support group for adults with aging parents.

Touched by Adoption

Over the years I have been touched by the profound experiences adoptees have There are so many roads to travel, often without the support of knowing where you belong, to whom you belong. Not looking like anyone, not feeling apart of your adoptive family. Or perhaps feeling very connected to you family and guilty for being curious In my counseling practice in Portland Or, I work to explore the unmet needs and heretofore unspoken feelings regarding the status of being adopted. These are always profound stories and the feelings run deep.

In conversations with individuals, families and couples where adoption is a thread in their family history we consider the question of “the search.” Making the decision to start the search can be very complex. I will help walk you through the considerations and support you in making a choice that fits for you. I will also help you prepare for possible outcomes, be it successful reuniting or painful frustration of rejection or being blocked by bureaucratic regulations.

If you are interested in more information please contact Laney Kibel LCSW psychotherapist in Portland Oregon at laneykibel@hotmail.com

New Hope for Depression and Anxiety

The automatic response to depression and anxiety is to think about seeing your physician and getting a prescription for an anti-depressant. There are a few problems with this plan. First, most physicians are not trained in psychiatry and will not do an in depth assessment of your mental status before writing out a
prescription. Too few of people are aware of the drastic overuse and misuse of anti-depressants. Since 1988, when Prozac was first introduced in the United States, the use of anti-depressants has soared by well over 400%. This class of medication is the most frequently used pill for Americans Yet, research does not support the claims made about anti-depressants. The analysis of a recent large data analysis of research suggests anti-depressants are elective in the short run but psychotherapy is equally elective short term and more elective long term. The combination of of therapy and medication is equally elective as just medication. Googling anti-depressant vs. psychotherapy yields pages of results reiterating these findings. “Researchers say their findings suggest that patients with depression should discuss different forms of non-drug therapy with their doctors and explore which type of therapy best suits them.”

The conclusion I draw from the research is psychotherapy is a vital tool in the successful treatment of depression and anxiety. Patients often come to my office who have been on anti-depressants for years,although prozac and the other ssri’s (selective serontonin reuptake inhibitor) were not developed for long term use. Over the course of psychotherapy patients begin to feel better they entertain the possibility of no longer being medicated. While in therapy patients learn skills to help them through hard times, to talk out problems with others rather than stu! feelings inside, to be less self critical and to make better choices to reduce the impact of depression. Improving problem solving skills can lead to more emotional stability. Therapy will help you to learn to recognize and manage the early symptoms of your depression and anxiety .

In addition to talk therapy I introduce the alpha -stim machine(www.alpha-stim.com) which can be an elective way to manage depression and anxiety. Using a mild micro-current the brain begins to reset itself into a relaxed state reducing stress and anxiety and increasing the ability focus. The results can be immediate with no negative side e!ects.The alpha -stim machine can also help New Hope for Depression and Anxiety with sleep problems and since lack of sleep is a contributor to depression and anxiety this is a great benefit.
If you are interested in learning more about alternatives to medication for depression please feel free to contact my counseling office. Laney Kibel LCSW in Portland Or.

Life Coaching

IF YOUR LIFE IN PORTLAND OREGON NEEDS CHANGE, Coaching is an excellent approach to balancing your life. Looking at the various aspects of your daily existence to discern where I am most happy, and what am I doing that works well for me. Am I satisfied as a professional, reaching my goals, yet not as happy with my love life?

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Family Counseling

I had the pleasure of hearing Father Greg Boyle, founder of Homeboy industries (an organization to provide jobs and training for former gang members) speak to a packed audience. And perhaps the most poignant statement made regarding what drives kids to gangs was “a lethal absence of hope.”

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Gay and Lesbian Couples Counseling

Gay and Lesbian couples are faced with the continued public debate regarding civil rights, specifically the right to marriage and the right to openly serve in the military.

The onslaught of negativity and misunderstanding can be deeply troubling, even painful as assumptions, accusations and disrespect are debated without regard to the human side of the issue. Being gay, bi sexual and lesbian in this political atmosphere leaves one vulnerable to policy wonks ranting about gay marriage leading to the demise of the family.

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Alpha Stim Therapy

I have been looking for an alternative to medications for anxiety and depression and insomnia for many years. I have worked with acupuncturists, naturopaths and yoga instructors, as well as dieticians to try to give people alternatives and ways to feel some control over painful emotions. To date the most successful find has been the Alpha Stim SCS.

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