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It’s Not An Option

Friday, October 1st, 2010 by Ruth Gordon, LCSW

I saw an interview on TV a while back with the fashion designer, Diane Von Furstenberg. When asked about the people who had inspired her, she named her mother, a concentration camp survivor, who taught her that fear was not an option. Well, that got my attention.
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Ruth Gordon is licensed clinical social worker in both Massachusetts and Florida. For more information, please visit her listing on the Therapist Directory. This article may not be reprinted, reproduced, or retransmitted in whole or in part without the express written consent of the author.

And the Clock Keeps Ticking…

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010 by Ruth Gordon, LCSW

I know, that’s a pretty ominous title, but it was the best I could come up with. Worry not, this is not a treatise on doom and gloom.

What I have been thinking about is that, so often, we decide not to do something because, “I’m too old” or “I’ve never done it before”. The trouble with this attitude is that whether we stretch ourselves or not; whether or not we explore our enthusiasms, the time will pass. If we watch life from the sidelines we are stuck with: “Should ‘uv, would ‘uv, could ‘uv”. Who wants that? (more…)

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Ruth Gordon is licensed clinical social worker in both Massachusetts and Florida. For more information, please visit her listing on the Therapist Directory. This article may not be reprinted, reproduced, or retransmitted in whole or in part without the express written consent of the author.

Getting What You Need

Monday, May 10th, 2010 by Ruth Gordon, LCSW

Knowing the “proper” procedure for communicating on an honest, yet respectful level can be quite a conundrum. How honest and how respectful need we be? Sometimes being phony can feel okay and can serve us relatively well, but, most of the time, at the very least, we suffer damage to our self-esteem. Any time we fail to honor our true selves and feel that we need to hide who we really are and how we really feel we commit some form of psychic self-mutilation.

So, how do we stay authentic without bringing a mountain of misery down on our own heads? It’s best to know that, every once and a while, the mountain will fall and that survival (ours and others’) is not only possible, it’s likely.
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Ruth Gordon is licensed clinical social worker in both Massachusetts and Florida. For more information, please visit her listing on the Therapist Directory. This article may not be reprinted, reproduced, or retransmitted in whole or in part without the express written consent of the author.

Color Me Lucky

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010 by Ruth Gordon, LCSW

Despite, the often, dramatic, ups and downs, I think I have led an extraordinarily lucky life . This is because of the people I have been fortunate and privileged to know who have chipped away the ice as I was becoming worn out and seriously considering giving up. Repeatedly, just as I was running out of steam, the right person has come along, at the right time, and has given me whatever it is I have needed to get me to the other side of the street.

I am not going to name names here, but I hope, and believe, that those of you I love and appreciate, (who are, obviously, still alive) who are reading this, know who you are.

We all say that “we have to love ourselves first”. I agree with that to an extent. It is the rare human being who can live in isolation and retain his/her sanity and humanity. It’s the other people in our lives who lift us up above the level of pure survival. The right kindness at the right time makes all the difference.
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Ruth Gordon is licensed clinical social worker in both Massachusetts and Florida. For more information, please visit her listing on the Therapist Directory. This article may not be reprinted, reproduced, or retransmitted in whole or in part without the express written consent of the author.

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow…

Thursday, February 4th, 2010 by Ruth Gordon, LCSW

It’s always unsettling, to say the least, when facing an inevitable unwelcome event that will occur at some unknown time in the future. This could be anything from going to the dentist to a serious loss. There hangs the sword of Damocles and we are helpless to make it vanish or to slither out from under it — we are stuck.

We can steel ourselves, go into denial, round up a crew of advisors, or utilize any one of a number of possible reinforcements.
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Ruth Gordon is licensed clinical social worker in both Massachusetts and Florida. For more information, please visit her listing on the Therapist Directory. This article may not be reprinted, reproduced, or retransmitted in whole or in part without the express written consent of the author.

Power Redux

Sunday, December 6th, 2009 by Ruth Gordon, LCSW

When the concept of “power” comes up it is usually connected to some type of emotional reaction. Some seek it; some fear it; some wish for it and on and on. When we can’t reshape or influence our environment in some important way, we customarily feel powerless. It is one of life’s most distressing sensations. Significant loss is always a trigger, and depending on our degree of optimism and self-confidence, we feel like our lives are out of control to varying degrees.
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Ruth Gordon is licensed clinical social worker in both Massachusetts and Florida. For more information, please visit her listing on the Therapist Directory. This article may not be reprinted, reproduced, or retransmitted in whole or in part without the express written consent of the author.

Your Best Re-Frame

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009 by Ruth Gordon, LCSW

So…your life isn’t going the way you planned. You’ve held your chin up high for what feels like (& often is) ages. “Everything happens for a reason” and “When one door closes another one opens” just don’t work for you anymore. What can you do? Well, one answer is find a palatable re-frame.

A re-frame involves taking a look at something from a different angle. For example: An elephant steps on your toe. You can think, “That elephant was out to get me” or “That gunshot frightened the elephant & my toe just happened to be in the way when the elephant jumped” (I’m sure these examples are extremely useful in your everyday life).
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Ruth Gordon is licensed clinical social worker in both Massachusetts and Florida. For more information, please visit her listing on the Therapist Directory. This article may not be reprinted, reproduced, or retransmitted in whole or in part without the express written consent of the author.

Manifest Your Inner Shmoo

Monday, May 18th, 2009 by Ruth Gordon, LCSW

Okay, life’s been complicated and tough. Of course, it always has been that way, but no one told us that when we were growing up. We thought if we just followed the yellow brick road that a genuine Wizard of Oz who was all-powerful would solve all of our problems. Wrong! So, what’s a human to do?

Well, the shmoo was put on earth to spread love and to please those who needed him/her. So, how do we get in touch with the shmoo of peace and serenity?

Those of you who are able to maintain your optimism regardless of what’s going on around you probably don’t need to read the rest of this. My guess is that even the most positive of you have, at some time or another, felt like you just couldn’t handle one more setback.

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Ruth Gordon is licensed clinical social worker in both Massachusetts and Florida. For more information, please visit her listing on the Therapist Directory. This article may not be reprinted, reproduced, or retransmitted in whole or in part without the express written consent of the author.

The Thief

Monday, May 18th, 2009 by Ruth Gordon, LCSW

A thief arrived on our doorstep and breached the protective bubble that enclosed our family. The thief’s name was Death by Cancer. The thief stole Stacy Leigh Gordon, age 45. from our arms and whisked her to another realm, one which we will only be able to enter at some undetermined time in the future.

Stacy Leigh Gordon was a wife, mother, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, attorney and journalist. She was really something quite special.

While she was not my biological child, she was a second daughter in my heart. At the end of her life, when she was still battling, but becoming weaker every day, she called me “mommy” and liked to snuggle next to me in her hospital bed. What a privilege that was.

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Ruth Gordon is licensed clinical social worker in both Massachusetts and Florida. For more information, please visit her listing on the Therapist Directory. This article may not be reprinted, reproduced, or retransmitted in whole or in part without the express written consent of the author.

I’m Feeling Anxious!

Monday, April 20th, 2009 by Ruth Gordon, LCSW

It’s really hard when we feel completely overwhelmed, which at times is a unremitting state for me, to gain perspective, calm one’s pounding heart, and believe that, indeed, there will be a future and that all is not lost forever. Of course, there are medications that deal with that, but what to do if tablets are not our route of choice to serenity?

My first suggestion is one you’ve probably heard a million times, but take a few very deep breaths. The reason for this is that deep breathing will relax your system and it is impossible to be relaxed and tense at exactly the same time.

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Ruth Gordon is licensed clinical social worker in both Massachusetts and Florida. For more information, please visit her listing on the Therapist Directory. This article may not be reprinted, reproduced, or retransmitted in whole or in part without the express written consent of the author.