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Guest: Steve Taylor PhD author of The Leap: The Psychology of Spiritual Awakening
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May 18, 2017 09:00 AM PDT
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My radio show on Thursday May 18, 2017
This week on Relationships 2.0 my guest is Steve Taylor PhD author of The Leap: They Psychology of Spiritual Awakening.

About the book:

What does it mean to be enlightened or spiritually awakened? In The Leap, Steve Taylor shows that this state is much more common than is generally believed. He shows that ordinary people — from all walks of life — can and do regularly “wake up” to a more intense reality, even if they know nothing about spiritual practices and paths. Wakefulness is a more expansive and harmonious state of being that can be cultivated or that can arise accidentally. It may also be a process we are undergoing collectively. Drawing on his years of research as a psychologist and on his own experiences, Taylor provides what is perhaps the clearest psychological study of the state of wakefulness ever published. Above all, he reminds us that it is our most natural state — accessible to us all, anytime, anyplace.

About the author:

Steve Taylor, PhD, is the author of several books on spirituality and psychology, including The Fall and Waking from Sleep. He has also published two books of poetic spiritual reflections, including The Calm Center. He is a senior lecturer in psychology at Leeds Beckett University in the United Kingdom. Since 2011, he has appeared annually in Mind, Body, Spirit magazine’s list of the world’s “100 most spiritually influential living people.”

Guest: Ben Sedley author of Stuff That Sucks: A Teen's Guide to Accepting What You Can't Change and Committing to What You Can
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May 11, 2017 09:00 AM PDT
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My radio show on Thursday May 11, 2017
This week on Relationships 2.0 my guest is Ben Sedley author of Stuff That Sucks: A Teen’s Guide to Accepting What You Can’t Change and Committing to What You Can

About the book:

Sometimes everything sucks. This unique, illustrated guide will help you move past negative thoughts and feelings and discover what truly matters to you.

If you struggle with negative thoughts and emotions, you should know that your pain is real. No one should try to diminish it. Sometimes stuff really does suck and we have to acknowledge it. Worry, sadness, loneliness, anger, and shame are big and important, but they can also get in the way of what really matters. What if, instead of fighting your pain, you realized what really matters to you—and put those things first in life? If you did that, maybe your pain wouldn’t feel so big anymore. Isn’t it worth a try?

Stuff That Sucks offers a compassionate and validating guide to accepting emotions, rather than struggling against them. With this book as your guide, you’ll learn to prioritize your thoughts, feelings, and values. You’ll figure out what you care about the most, and then start caring some more! The skills you’ll learn are based on acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). Yes, there are a few written exercises, but this isn’t a workbook. It’s a journey into the stuff that sucks, what makes that sucky stuff suck even more, and how just a few moments each day with the stuff that matters will ultimately transform the stuff that sucks into stuff that is just stuff. Make sense?

Maybe you want to be more creative? Or maybe you simply want to do better in school or be a better friend? This book will show you how to focus on what you really care about, so that all that other sucky stuff doesn’t seem so, well, sucky anymore.

About the author:

Ben Sedley is a clinical psychologist and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) practitioner with over fifteen years of experience working with kids, adolescents, and families facing mental health difficulties.

He is also the father of three wonderful noisy kids and loves The Ramones and The Clash

Guest: Linda Lehrhaupt PhD author of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction: The MBSR Program for Enhancing Health and Vitality
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May 04, 2017 05:00 AM PDT
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This week on Relationships 2.0 my guest is Linda Lehrhaupt, PhD author of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction: The MBSR Program for Enhancing Health and Vitality

About the book:

Practicing mindfulness helps us meet life’s challenges with gentleness and clarity. By fully engaging in the present moment as best we can, we nurture our capacity to approach difficulties with less judgment and water the seeds of wisdom and openheartedness in ourselves. This book offers a concise and thorough immersion in the eight-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course developed by Dr. Jon Kabat­-Zinn. It features straightforward instruction in the main exercises of MBSR ― sitting meditation, walking meditation, eating meditation, yoga, body scan, and informal, everyday practices. MBSR has been shown to help alleviate symptoms associated with chronic illness, anxiety, pain, burnout, cancer, and other stress-related conditions.

The authors, two leading MBSR teacher trainers, provide step-by-step instructions as well as illustrative real-life examples. Readers embarking on a course in MBSR will find clear guidance, trainers will gain a valuable tool for their teaching, and anyone experiencing or receiving treatment for challenges of mind, body, or spirit will find practical, inspirational help.

About the author:

Linda Lehrhaupt, PhD, is the founder and executive director of the Institute for Mindfulness-Based Approaches and one of Europe’s most senior MBSR teachers.

Guest: Sally Winston PsyD co-author of Overcoming Unwanted Intrustive Thoughts: A CBT-based Guide to Getting Over Frightening, Obsessive, or Disturbing Thoughts
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April 27, 2017 09:00 AM PDT
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This week on Relationships 2.0 my guest is Sally M. Winston, PsyD co-author of Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts: A CBT-based Guide to Getting Over Frightening, Obsessive, or Disturbing Thoughts

About the book:

You are not your thoughts! In this powerful book, two anxiety experts offer proven-effective cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) skills to help you get unstuck from disturbing thoughts, overcome the shame these thoughts can bring, and reduce your anxiety.

If you suffer from unwanted, intrusive, frightening, or even disturbing thoughts, you might worry about what these thoughts mean about you. Thoughts can seem like messages—are they trying to tell you something? But the truth is that they are just thoughts, and don’t necessarily mean anything. Sane and good people have them. If you are someone who is plagued by thoughts you don’t want—thoughts that scare you, or thoughts you can’t tell anyone about—this book may change your life.

In this compassionate guide, you’ll discover the different kinds of disturbing thoughts, myths that surround your thoughts, and how your brain has a tendency to get “stuck” in a cycle of unwanted rumination. You’ll also learn why common techniques to get rid of these thoughts can backfire. And finally, you’ll learn powerful cognitive behavioral skills to help you cope with and move beyond your thoughts, so you can focus on living the life you want. Your thoughts will still occur, but you will be better able to cope with them—without dread, guilt, or shame.

If you have unwanted thoughts, you should remember that you aren’t alone. In fact, there are millions of people just like you—good people who have awful thoughts, gentle people with violent thoughts, and sane people with “crazy” thoughts. This book will show you how to move past your thoughts so you can reclaim your life!

About the author:

Sally M. Winston, PsyD, founded and codirects the Anxiety and Stress Disorders Institute of Maryland in Towson, MD. She served as the first chair of the Clinical Advisory Board of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), and received their prestigious Jerilyn Ross Clinician Advocate Award. She is a master clinician who has given sought-after workshops for therapists for decades. She is coauthor of What Every Therapist Needs to Know About Anxiety Disorders.

Guest: Maria Felipe author of Live Your Happy: Get Out of Your Own Way And Find The Love Within
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April 20, 2017 09:00 AM PDT
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This week on Relationships 2.0 my guest is Maria Felipe author of Live Your Happy: Get Out of Your Own Way and Find the Love Within

About the book:

Banish Fear, Encounter Love!
Inspired, lively, and fun, Maria Felipe’s real-world approach to living based on A Course in Miracles will guide you toward a life released from fear and doubt and filled with joy and power. In nine crystal-clear chapters, Maria shows you how to banish the “cuckoo voice of the ego” and connect with your internal teacher, accessing unlimited love and strength. Her stories, shared from her own life and from her students’ experiences, demonstrate that with a willing attitude and an open heart, true happiness isn’t just possible — it’s inevitable!

About the author:

Rev. Maria Felipe, a Cuban American born in Miami, found success as a model and actress before following a spiritual path that led her to study A Course in Miracles. She became an ordained minister at Pathways of Light and now leads monthly services in both Spanish and English at Unity Church in Burbank, California.

Guest: Laura Doyle author of The Empowered Wife: Six Surprising Secrets for Attracting Your Husband's Time, Attention and Affection
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April 13, 2017 09:00 AM PDT
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This week on Relationships 2.0 my guest is Laura Doyle author of The Empowered Wife: Six Surprising Secrets for Attracting Your Husband’s Time, Attention, and Affection

About the book:

Can a wife single-handedly bring a boring or broken marriage back to life? This improved and expanded edition of Laura Doyle’s acclaimed First, Kill All the Marriage Counselors features real-life success stories from empowered wives who have done just that–and provides a step-by-step guide to revitalizing your own marriage.
Laura Doyle’s marriage was in trouble, and couples counseling wasn’t helping. On the brink of divorce, she decided to talk to women who’d been happily married for over a decade, and their advice stunned her. From it, she distilled Six Intimacy Skills–woman-centric practices that ended her overwhelm and resentment, restoring the playfulness and passion in her marriage.
Now an internationally-recognized relationship expert, Doyle has shared her secrets with women around the globe, saving thousands of marriages with her fresh, revolutionary approach.
Practical and counter-intuitive, the Six Intimacy Skills are about focusing on your own desires and transforming your own life–not bending over backwards to transform your husband.
Incorporating these skills will empower you to:
Attract his attention like a magnet when you relax more and do less
Receive affection not because you told him to make more of an effort, but because he naturally seeks you out
Feel more like yourself–and like yourself moreIf you’ve been trying to “fix” your relationship and it’s not working, maybe the problem was never you, or your husband, or even the two of you as a couple. Maybe the problem is that nobody ever taught you the skills you need to foster respect, tenderness, and consideration.With humor and heart, The Empowered Wife shows you how to improve your relationship in ways you hadn’t thought possible. You’ll join a worldwide community of over 150,000 empowered wives who finally have the marriages they dreamed of when they said “I do.”

About the author:

Laura Doyle is a New York Times Best Selling Author of The Surrendered Wife, The Surrendered Single and First, Kill All the Marriage Counselors. Over 150,000 women credit her with helping them revitalize the intimacy in their relationships using the system in her Surrendered Wife, Empowered Woman Program for wives and girlfriends. To watch her free training program on how to become desired, cherished and adored for life, visit http://lauradoyle.org/

Laura has appeared on CBS Evening News, Dateline NBC, The Today Show and The View. She has been written about in The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The London Telegraph and The New Yorker. She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and the founder of Laura Doyle Connect, a multi-national company that provides relationship coaching for single women, girlfriends and wives all over the world. Her books have been translated into 16 languages and published in 27 countries.

Guest: Steven Stosny PhD author of Soar Above: How to Use the Most Profound Part of Your Brain Under Any Kind of Stress
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March 30, 2017 08:00 AM PDT
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This week on Relationships 2.0 my guest is Steven Stosny PhD author of Soar Above: How to Use the Most Profound Part of Your Brain Under Any Kind of Stress

About the book:
Success in work, love, and life depends on developing habits that activate the powerful prefrontal cortex when we need it most. Unfortunately, under stress, the human brain tends to revert to emotional habits we forged in toddlerhood: blame, denial, avoidance, reacting to a jerk like a jerk, and turning our connections into cold shoulders—or worse.
In Soar Above, renowned relationship expert Dr. Steven Stosny offers a ground-breaking formula for building new, pressure-resistant habits. Based on research in psychology, neurobiology, and anthropology, Stosny will show anyone how to switch to the adult brain automatically when things get tough and to soar above the impulse to make things worse. Filled with engaging examples from his lectures and therapeutic work with more than 6,000 clients, he explains how to use two potent laws of emotion interaction--reciprocity and contagion-- to inspire those around you, creating collaboration and community instead of chaos and confusion.
Most importantly, readers will learn how, through practice, they can get off the treadmill of repeating past mistakes to become their best selves at home, at work, and in the world.
Stress is inevitable in life, but this illuminating book gives anyone the practical tools to rise above.

About the author:
Steven Stosny, Ph.D., has treated more than 6,000 people through CompassionPower, the organization he founded and has directed for more than 21 years. He is the author of Living & Loving after Betrayal, Love without Hurt: Turn Your Resentful, Angry, or Emotionally Abusive Relationship into a Compassionate, Loving One, and, with Pat Love, How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking about It. His textbook, Treating Attachment Abuse: A Compassionate Approach, set a new standard for understanding and treating family abuse and was a Behavioral Science Book Selection. His blog Psychology Today blog on relationships is one of the most popular, with nearly four million views.

Guest: Lisa Smartt author of Words at the Threshold: What We Say When We're Nearing Death
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March 23, 2017 09:00 AM PDT
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This week on Relationships 2.0 my guest is Lisa Smartt author of Words at the Threshold: What We Say When We’re Nearing Death

About the book:

What Our Last Words Reveal About Life, Death, and the Afterlife

A person’s end-of-life words often take on an eerie significance, giving tantalizing clues about the ultimate fate of the human soul. Until now, however, no author has systematically studied end-of-life communication by using examples from ordinary people. When her father became terminally ill with cancer, author Lisa Smartt began transcribing his conversations and noticed that his personality underwent inexplicable changes. Smartt’s father, once a skeptical man with a secular worldview, developed a deeply spiritual outlook in his final days ― a change reflected in his language. Baffled and intrigued, Smartt began to investigate what other people have said while nearing death, collecting more than one hundred case studies through interviews and transcripts. In this groundbreaking and insightful book, Smartt shows how the language of the dying can point the way to a transcendent world beyond our own.

About the author:

Lisa Smartt, MA, is a linguist, educator, and poet. She is the author of Words at the Threshold: What We Say When We’re Nearing Death (New World Library 2017). The book is based on data collected through The Final Words Project, wwwfinalwordsproject.org, an ongoing study devoted to gathering and interpreting the mysterious language at end of life. She has worked closely with Raymond Moody, guided by his research into language, particularly unintelligible speech. They have co-facilitated presentations about language and consciousness at universities, hospices and conferences.

Guest: Marc Allen to discuss Shakti Gawain's Creative Visualization: Use the Power of Your Imagination to Create What You Want in Your Life
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March 16, 2017 09:00 AM PDT
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This week on Relationships 2.0 my guest is Marc Allen. Marc is joining me to discuss the 40th anniversary of Shakti Gawain’s book Creative Visualization: Use the Power of Your Imagination to Create What You Want in Your Life

About the book:

As introduced by Shakti Gawain to more than seven million readers worldwide, creative visualization is the art of using mental imagery and affirmation to produce positive changes in your life. Gawain’s clear writing style and vivid examples make Creative Visualization easy to read and apply to your personal needs and wants. This groundbreaking work has found enthusiastic followers in every country and language in which it has been published, and Gawain’s simple yet powerful techniques are now used successfully in many diverse fields, including health, education, business, sports, and the creative arts. Whether you read it for general inspiration and empowerment or to achieve specific goals (financial, creative, medical, career, relationship), Creative Visualization remains a profoundly powerful resource from a uniquely warm and wise teacher.

About my guest:

Marc Allen is an internationally renowned author and speaker, the president and publisher of New World Library, and an accomplished musician and composer.
His most recent book, The Magical Path — Creating the Life of Your Dreams and a World that Works for All — is filled with short, simple practices that have proven to help thousands of people make wonderful changes in their lives. Bestselling author Dr. Bernie Siegel put it this way: “Marc Allen is sharing the wisdom of the ages in a way that can guide and coach us to choose and create the life we desire.”
His previous book, The Greatest Secret of All, guides the reader in unraveling the secrets of happiness, inner peace, ease, and fulfillment. Bestselling author Gay Hendricks says of The Greatest Secret of All: “It is a wonderful contribution to humanity. It gives us the key to a life well lived.”
Marc’s most popular book is The Millionaire Course: A Visionary Plan for Creating the Life of Your Dreams. It is an entire course, filled with keys to success. Over the years, he has written and published several other books, including Visionary Business: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Success, which brought his principles to those in the business world, and A Visionary Life, which remains one of the best books ever written on personal fulfillment.
He has also published The Type-Z Guide to Success — A Lazy Person’s Manifesto for Wealth and Fufillment — which is loved by lazy people all over the world, and The Ten Percent Solution: Simple Steps to Improve Our Lives and the World. He produced a popular audio CD (over 100,000 copies sold), Stress Reduction and Creative Meditations. In recent years he has expanded his reach to deliver his message through a variety of digital formats.
He has produced The Success With Ease Audio Course, a 12-audio download available through his website, MarcAllen.com. The 11th audio of the series is available as a separate download; it’s titled The Spiritual Path to Success.
Marc co-founded New World Library with Shakti Gawain in 1977 and has guided the company from a small start-up with no capital to its current position as one of the leading independent publishers in the country. Along the way, he has published many books that have changed lives, including Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now, Deepak Chopra’s The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, and Shakti Gawain’s Creative Visualization.

Guest: Stephanie Sarkis, PhD discusses Gaslighting
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March 09, 2017 09:00 AM PST
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My radio show on Thursday March 9, 2017
This week on Relationships 2.0 my guest is Stephanie Sarkis, PhD. She explains Gaslighting, a manipulation technique used by abusers, sociopaths and narcissists.

About the show:

Gaslighting: Know it, Identify It and Protect Yourself

Gaslighting is a tactic in which a person or entity, in order to gain more power, makes a victim question their reality. It works much better than you may think. Anyone is susceptible to gaslighting, and it is a common technique of abusers, dictators, narcissists, and cult leaders. It is done slowly, so the victim doesn’t realize how much they’ve been brainwashed. For example, in the movie Gaslight (1944), a man manipulates his wife to the point where she thinks she is losing her mind.

People who gaslight typically use the following techniques:
1. They tell blatant lies.
You know it’s an outright lie. Yet they are telling you this lie with a straight face. Why are they so blatant? Because they’re setting up a precedent. Once they tell you a huge lie, you’re not sure if anything they say is true. Keeping you unsteady and off-kilter is the goal.

2. They deny they ever said something, even though you have proof.

You know they said they would do something; you know you heard it. But they out and out deny it. It makes you start questioning your reality—maybe they never said that thing. And the more they do this, the more you question your reality and start accepting theirs.

3. They use what is near and dear to you as ammunition.

They know how important your kids are to you, and they know how important your identity is to you. So those may be one of the first things they attack. If you have kids, they tell you that you should not have had those children. They will tell you’d be a worthy person if only you didn’t have a long list of negative traits. They attack the foundation of your being.

4. They wear you down over time.

This is one of the insidious things about gaslighting—it is done gradually, over time. A lie here, a lie there, a snide comment every so often…and then it starts ramping up. Even the brightest, most self-aware people can be sucked into gaslighting—it is that effective. It’s the “frog in the frying pan” analogy: The heat is turned up slowly, so the frog never realizes what’s happening to it.

5. Their actions do not match their words.

When dealing with a person or entity that gaslights, look at what they are doing rather than what they are saying. What they are saying means nothing; it is just talk. What they are doing is the issue.

6. They throw in positive reinforcement to confuse you.

This person or entity that is cutting you down, telling you that you don’t have value, is now praising you for something you did. This adds an additional sense of uneasiness. You think, “Well maybe they aren’t so bad.” Yes, they are. This is a calculated attempt to keep you off-kilter—and again, to question your reality. Also look at what you were praised for; it is probably something that served the gaslighter.

7. They know confusion weakens people.

Gaslighters know that people like having a sense of stability and normalcy. Their goal is to uproot this and make you constantly question everything. And humans’ natural tendency is to look to the person or entity that will help you feel more stable—and that happens to be the gaslighter.

8. They project.

They are a drug user or a cheater, yet they are constantly accusing you of that. This is done so often that you start trying to defend yourself, and are distracted from the gaslighter’s own behavior.

9. They try to align people against you.

Gaslighters are masters at manipulating and finding the people they know will stand by them no matter what—and they use these people against you. They will make comments such as, “This person knows that you’re not right,” or “This person knows you’re useless too.” Keep in mind it does not mean that these people actually said these things. A gaslighter is a constant liar. When the gaslighter uses this tactic it makes you feel like you don’t know who to trust or turn to—and that leads you right back to the gaslighter. And that’s exactly what they want: Isolation gives them more control.

10. They tell you or others that you are crazy.

This is one of the most effective tools of the gaslighter, because it’s dismissive. The gaslighter knows if they question your sanity, people will not believe you when you tell them the gaslighter is abusive or out-of-control. It’s a master technique.

11. They tell you everyone else is a liar.

By telling you that everyone else (your family, the media) is a liar, it again makes you question your reality. You’ve never known someone with the audacity to do this, so they must be telling the truth, right? No. It’s a manipulation technique. It makes people turn to the gaslighter for the “correct” information—which isn’t correct information at all.

The more you are aware of these techniques, the quicker you can identify them and avoid falling into the gaslighter’s trap.

Original Post on Psychology Today: Gaslighting: Know It and Identify It to Protect Yourself

About the author:

Dr. Stephanie Sarkis is a National Certified Counselor (NCC), Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), and AMHCA Diplomate and Clinical Specialist in Child and Adolescent Counseling based in Tampa Bay, Florida, where she specializes in the treatment of ADD/ADHD. Dr. Sarkis conducts evaluations, testing, diagnosis, and counseling services. She also is a public speaker, consultant, coach, and is a facilitator in collaborative law.

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