Tag Archives: National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo)

What is true for YOU this morning?

What is true for you this morning?  It’s an important question, but one that only YOU can answer.  It’s an important question to ask even if you do not have an answer.

I will tell you what is true for ME this morning:  I do not want to write a post for Feeling Safe Again every day in November.IMG_0818 (2)Thanks to National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo), I was encouraged to try.  I wrote seven posts in seven days.  I did not finish the marathon, but I finished a sprint.

Before NaBloPoMo, I did not know I could manage a week of daily posts.  I did not know that I could–at least once!–write a post in an hour.

However, the pace meant putting off things I enjoy.  It meant ignoring a painful wrist, a repetitive stress injury (RSI) caused by too much computer time.  It meant living with a lot  degree of unnecessary pressure.

Do you put unnecessary pressure on yourself?  Do you decide to reach a goal within a certain time?  Is the result unnecessary pressure for yourself?

If so, do you adjust the goal?  Do you extend the time frame?  Do you do a little of both?

Please share.  YOUR experience may help other people.  There is room below to leave a comment.

You can, if you wish, sign up to follow  Feeling Safe Again.  As a follower, resources from Feeling Safe Again will be delivered directly to your Inbox.  Scroll way, way down to follow this blog.

A final note:  I do not know Nicole, but feel that I’ve met her online.  She is a talented Mom and the creator of Champagne To Crayons.  We have different styles, but  we share a belief in making things better.

Nicole believes in using November as a month of thanks.  If you need inspiration to feel an “attitude of gratitude”, check in with Nicole at 28 Days to Celebrate Thanks.


After Hurricane Sandy: A Question For Clinicians


Hurricane Sandy raises important questions for psychologists, social workers, and other mental health professionals. How can we help the people who do not get to our office?

What is your best advice for people struggling with bad dreams, fear, and depression? For people who are self-medicating?

My top suggestion? People affected by Hurricane Sandy should tell their story.

The United States Department of Veteran Affairs has a handout.  It is detailed and soothing.

Some people are not used to talking about themselves. The handout tells them how to.

Its title is “Connecting With Others”. To see it, click the “Handouts for Survivors” link.

Here is my question for you, my fellow clinicians: What is your best tip for people who–more than a year after Hurricane Sandy–are still struggling emotionally? Is telling their story numero uno? Is there a better starting place?

You can “comment, question, and share”. There is a box for this purpose below.

You can also “follow” Feeling Safe Again. As a follower, you will have future posts delivered to your e-mail address.

Be forewarned:  To “follow”,  you have to scroll w-a-a-ay down. I look forward to hearing from you!

Resources for Clinicians (Part 2)

Leave your PC, tablet and smartphone home.

More than a year has passed since Hurricane Sandy.  If you’re a clinician, you may already be treating those affected by the storm.  Another scenario:  You are just now getting calls from survivors.

Either way, you may want to bone up on PTSD.  Why not start with “Resources for Clinicians“?  This June 30, 2013, post focuses on assessment.

Then check out Effective Treatments for PTSD: Practice Guidelines from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, 2nd Edition.  It is an excellent book.

It is edited by Edna B. Foa, Terence M. Keane, Matthew J. Friedman, and Judith A. Cohen.  According to Marsha Linehan PhD, ABPP, Professor and Director–Behavioral Research and Therapy Clinics at the University of Washington, “Foa and her colleagues are the best in the business!”

The book covers assessment and diagnosis, cognitive behavioral therapy,              psychodynamic therapy, or creative therapies, and more. It has separate chapters for work with adults and work with children. It has a separate chapter entitled “School-   Based Treatment for Children and Adolescents”.

Any thoughts about the challenge and satisfaction of  your work?  Why not let others in on what you’re thinking?

There is space below to “comment, question, and share”.  Want updates from Feeling Safe Again delivered fresh to your Inbox?  Click “Follow”.  (It’s way, wa-a-ay down on the page).

Hello, Long Beach

Long Beach is on Long Island’s South Shore.  It is East of New York City.  It was one of the areas most devastated during Hurricane Sandy.

Dark Water:  A Year After Hurricane Sandy” appeared in the New York Times on October 2, 2013.  The article talks very honestly about the struggles of Long Beach residents.  They are re-building their homes, struggling to handle losses and fear of another storm, and trying to decide whether to stay in Long Beach or go elsewhere.

Several comments from outsiders were mean-spirited.  Long Beach residents were understandably hurt and angry:  They spoke up for themselves quite well.

I will not summarize the article and the comments that follow it.  You can read these for yourself.

As often happens, Comments must be made within a certain time frame.  As a result, I was unable to add my comment to the New York Times article.

I am, therefore,  using this space.  Here are some thoughts and feelings I want to share with you, the people of Long Beach:

  • Do not believe for even a minute the mean-spirited comments.
  • Do not believe that they represent how most outsiders think or feel.
  • We find ourselves at a loss for words when we think of your situation.
  • We wonder how we would do if faced with comparable hardships.
  • We are saddened by your losses and by the slow response of FEMA.
  • We are inspired that you keep putting one foot in front of another.
  • We wonder what, if any, help you want from outsiders.
  • We, too, worry about the next natual disaster.
  • We  hope that you will share the lessons learned through your experiences.

There is space below for you to comment, question, or share.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Hurricane Sandy and “The Serenity Prayer”

The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are 12-Step Programs.  The Serenity Prayer is a spiritual tool:  It helps members recover from lives that “had become unmanageable” due to drinking and/or drugging.

The Serenity Prayer, however, is not just for alcoholics and drug addicts.  It is for everyone.

Are you still struggling to recover–physically and/or emotionally–from Hurricane Sandy?  If so, have you tried praying?

The Serenity Prayer is easy to memorize and easy to use.  Many people have found it  helpful when they feel overwhelmed.

Your thoughts and feelings, if shared, can help others.  Please leave a comment below.


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Did Hurricane Sandy Affect You Emotionally?

Research on the psychological effect of both natural disasters (e.g., Hurricane Katrina) and man-made disasters (e.g., war) shows the following:  Most people do not experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  However, many people do.

Who will and who will not develop PTSD?  It is hard to predict.

The severity of the trauma, its duration, early life events, and lack of a good support  network are predisposing factors.  First responders as a group  are considered “at risk”.

People whose losses–as viewed by outsiders–are not among the worst may, nonetheless, develop PTSD.  After Hurricane Sandy, news coverage focused on the most dramatic devastation.   People not in the most devastated areas tended to shrug off, minimize, or feel guilty about  their own misery.

Do you need professional help?  First and foremost, trust your gut.

Second, do family and friends–subtly or not so subtly–tell you to go for help?  If so, listen!

Third, there is a screening test on the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (AADA) website.  Go to “Screening for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)”.

The diagnostic process is complex.  Only licensed mental health professionals are qualified to make a diagnosis.  (Some people, by the way, have more than one diagnosis).

I agree with the advice given by AADA.  Take the results of your screening to a health care professional.

Want more information about PTSD?  WebMD has an article.  It is appropriately titled “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder”.

This blog will gain in value if you contribute.  Plus, I’d love to hear from you!

There is a  “leave comment” link at the end of this post.   Click and then write in the box with the following heading: “Comment.  Question.  Share”.

November is NaBloPoMo: Who Knew?

This week was the anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.  As expected, there was considerable news coverage.

One reason that I have not posted in a while?  It’s hard to articulate the sadness I feel for those still suffering.

Until today, I had never heard of National Blog Posting Month (a.k.a. NaBloPoMo).  It’s goal?  To get people like me to post every day during the month of November.

I don’t feel up to daily posts. Nonetheless, I invite you to stay tuned to see what happens.

More importantly, share your reactions about this week’s coverage and the stories of Sandy’s impact. There is a special below box for this purpose. It’s labelled “Comment. Question. Share”.