Perspective, You Are Everything


Perspective…You. Are. Everything!


    Our perception is our reality. Therefore, the differences in how each person may view something can be vastly different. This can be challenging and beneficial depending on how much we work with it. Our perspective individually can also be vastly different depending on the day and how we feel physically, mentally, and emotionally. I find that taking a step back, taking a couple of deep breaths, and attempting to view from multiple perspectives can be not only helpful, but often a game changer!

    We have far more power than we often realize. Think about what you may do when a loved one is suffering in some way. We usually will immediately come to their aid, whether physically or in some other capacity. Then we will offer some sort of condolences: “Its going to be okay”, “This will pass”, “Everything happens for a reason”, “It will get better”.  The list can go on and on, really. The point being that we are so kind, helpful, and good at attempting to help that person change their perspective of the current hardship. A big question here is: why is it so hard to do this for ourselves?

    In my practice I ask this question a lot. I will often encourage my clients in hardship to ask themselves what they would tell a friend in the same situation. This is often a tool I encourage them to exercise regularly in their lives outside of our sessions. If the person genuinely tries it, most clients report that it helps a great deal! Changing our perspective can make something challenging not nearly as powerful as it could be.

    Let's sit with an example…Let's say you have been planning a big event that you are very excited about. You have put a lot of time and effort into this event and have been really looking forward to it. It's an outdoor event and everyone you love will be there to join in on the celebration. You want it to be amazing! On the day of the event a sudden, unforeseen storm rolls in creating a very wet, rainy day. In this moment you can easily lose yourself to this forecast and feel that your DAY IS RUINED!! Or, you can take a step back, take a couple of deep breaths [insert ask yourself what you would tell a friend here], and decide how you can continue. This celebration can be magical even with some rain. The hope is that you find that strength that's within you, harness that energy to come up with a plan B, and enjoy your event among the changes.

    Think about the confidence you may gain by shifting your perspective in that example. Coming up with that plan B and enjoying your magical event would provide a mound of confidence! Anyone that would provide any compliment would only add to the greatness you're feeling. Now, if you were able to follow a plan B, but still felt the day was ruined and could not get past it, the compliments wouldn’t matter and no matter how magical, the day would not be the same. YOUR perspective is everything. It feels lovely to have support and empathy from others, but if they do not subscribe to your perspective as their own in some capacity it doesn’t shift the experience nearly as much. The owning of our perspective or the shift in it is where the strength and power often lie.

    We all have this beautiful strength and capability within us. If we can do it for the ones we love and care about, why not apply some of that love, caring, and fresh perspective for ourselves? I encourage you to try this for yourself. Take a step back from the experience and take a couple of deep breaths and see what comes up. What can you do? What IS working? What growth do you still see in yourself even among the hardship? Take the strength that is already there to propel you forward!



Danielle Riele, MA

Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist # 84600

Privacy in Health Care – Not Always Good for All

Privacy in Health Care – Not Always Good for All


While the support of friends and family is especially important, resources and explanations are pivotal in navigating through the mental health maze. I thought it best to share with you what I’ve learned along the way in hopes of easing your journey.

Let’s begin.

HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and its function is to provide data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information. This is great, because we all want our medical information secure, right? Right!   

This Act was passed in 1996 and has served many of us well. However, there is a great need to have this Act revised to meet the needs of individuals with serious mentally illnesses. I believe that when my son is at his most vulnerable, when he is the most ill, the regulations have made it very difficult for me and my family to keep our son safe.

Tip one: Although medical professionals (psychiatrists, therapists, inpatient facilities…) can’t share information about my son’s illness, they have been known to welcome information I share with them by email, phone, or fax. Yes, it does seem as though I am sending this information into a black hole, but I have been told countless times that medical history and personal observations of behavior are helpful is assessing my son’s condition and determining his treatment.

Tip two: Do not expend energy being angry at medical professionals because they will not release information relating to your ill relative. They are bound by the regulations of HIPAA and they will not budge. My advice to family members is use their energy in self-care. The opportunity to be of help to your loved-one will manifest and you can be rested to meet the challenge.

Tip three: Become involved in your NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) public policy committee and identify legislation to change HIPAA regulations. If we don’t work for change, nothing changes.

From the desk of Ramona Winner, Family Advocate MWC