Category Archives: A New York State of Mind

Quiet Amidst the Chaos

Rupert Park

There are times when you need a moment of peace and quiet.  It can be difficult in the city to find that quiet place.  But finding the quiet place inside, that’s the real trick.  And that, that you can find anywhere.  How?  Ah, that’s what we’re all working on, isn’t it?

Copyright © 2014  Marlin S. Potash, Ed.D.  All rights reserved.  


You and Your Therapist: Part V. Take a Therapy Vacation

Hot time, summer in the city.  Thoughts go to the Cape, the Hamptons, the Jersey Shore…

Well, maybe not specifically, but the imagination does drift to escaping the city’s humidity at the beach, by the pool,  in the country. Oh, the lazy days of summer!  So, should you take a therapy vacation?

Who, you?  Your therapist?  Yup.

You:  You stop working in therapy, really;  you phone it in.  Oh, you show up – most of the time – but your head’s not into it.  You forget to do your homework (you were going to meditate, exercise, daily, remember?).   You’re finding it too hard to resist the long weekend away, the chance to catch the new movie in air-conditioned bliss on a summer Friday…

Your therapist:  Juggling everyone else’s summer vacation schedule and wondering:  take August off, since patients are out of town, or be one of the few therapists in town, available for patients?  Struggles with patient-envy:  patients enjoying being on vacation, therapists worrying if they’ll have a practice come autumn…

Sometimes, a vacation from therapy’s the way to go.  If you’re not going to fully invest your energies in the process (either patient or therapist), don’t waste your/her time and money.  If you’re running on empty, therapy becomes a matter of diminishing returns – something that’s often noticed only after that break.

So go for it.  Time for a break so you can return, refreshed, ready to work, learn, grow, change.  Time for a therapy vacation.

Just remember: you don’t want to lose ground or forget what you’ve learned so far.   A break from therapy – summer vacation – isn’t an excuse to forget everything you’ve learned in therapy.  And it certainly isn’t an excuse to forget to pay attention to what’s good for you – and what’s not.

Copyright © 2011 Marlin S. Potash. All rights reserved.

The Weight of the World On Your Shoulders

Again. Still. Always…

You have responsibilities: to your children, to your spouse, to your parents, to your partner, to your employees, to your banker…

to yourself…

It’s too much. But it doesn’t go away. Oh, sometimes it gets quieter, or lighter. And sometimes it feels heavier or your feet are stuck.  And sometimes you even stumble under the weight of it all.

But you can’t rid yourself of it, make it go away, put it down once and for all.

So what’s there to do?

Carry your burden more lightly… Breathe deep into your center, remember your purpose, remember you are not alone, remember it is what it is, and, most of all, remember what is real…What matters…

And remember that it all passes; it all turns into the next thing.  Faster than we ever imagined…

Copyright © 2010 Marlin S. Potash. All rights reserved.

How Many Therapists Does It Take to Change a Lightbulb?

Only one.


That lightbulb

has to be oh so very serious

about wanting to change!

Then again, maybe who your therapist is really does matter, just a bit…

Copyright © 2010 Marlin S. Potash. All rights reserved.

Multi-tasking taking its Toll? Psychological Survival Skills for the Recession – and Beyond

Juggle too much, you drop the ball. These are stressful times.

Oh, forget that! It’s always stressful times for some of us: not enough time, too much to do, not enough energy, too much pressure… Things have sped up so much, for so many of us. Michael Winerip quotes Nina Lentini in today’s New York Times , “Everybody works like this now. This is just the new reality.”

Which is why you laughed when your father told you to complain to your boss about your hours. 9 to 5? Ancient history. 8 to 8? Starting to look like pretty good hours, if you are really done at 8. Because this is closer to the truth: online, on the cell, on duty, 24/7.

The truth about multi-tasking: More does not equal more; more equals less. We do too many things at the same time, and do each less well than we think we do. We juggle too much, and sleep too little. And it’s affecting our health as well as our disposition (tired person = cranky person).,Item,1091439491.html. We need to sleep more, multi-task less.

How to get the incentive?
Try an experiment. Two weeks. Get to bed – and sleep – an hour earlier than usual. And try doing one thing at a time. You know, what Mr. Graessle told you in 10th grade Science class. Two weeks. See if it makes a difference; you know it will.

How to get the sleep you need?

Take it. Decide to get up earlier rather than stay up later. You’ll accomplish more when you’re not exhausted.
Imagine it. As you close your eyes, repeat to yourself, “I am falling asleep now, and will sleep restfully through the night.”

How to get the rest you need?

Take it. Take a 24-hour break from technology: no cell, no computer, no ipod, no alarm clock. This is what used to be called the Sabbath…
Take it. Just say no. No more. Not now. Not until I’ve finished this. No, it’s enough.
Take it. Breathe. Meditate. Focus on one thing at a time. Like watching the sky…
Imagine it. As you start to tell yourself you can squeeze in just one more thing, imagine how you’d feel if you just didn’t. Just this once. Or maybe not…

Copyright © 2010 Marlin S. Potash. All rights reserved.

Sorting Out the Bad Apples:

picture-551Three parts.
Sorting out the bad apples — in love, in friendships, and in business.

What do you do when your heart says one thing but your brain says another?
Which gets veto power?
You know, the whole “checklist syndrome” – What to do, what to do?

At what point do you say to yourself “those last 18 entries on the list of qualities she really has to have are a bit much; maybe I’m asking for too much,” and what items are so fundamental to your happiness that they must stay?

The friendship has been important to both of you, has seen you through some terrific – and some tough – times. But it’s been getting harder and harder to push yourself to make that date to get together, and, when you do, it’s not as much fun as it once was. Time to end things?

Perhaps you can point to a lot of good things about your job, (like you HAVE one these days), but what if it’s been a while since you felt ok about that je ne sais quoi factor, namely “but I’m just not happy?”

Asking for too much, expecting more than you should.
Settling for too little, giving up more than you should.

How can you tell if it’s the situation, the other person, or if it’s you? Well, here’s a start.

Is anything making you happy these days, or are you dissatisfied all around?
If nothing seems to do it for you, if you’re feeling disappointed and dissatisfied by everyone and everything, chances are you should look in the direction of yourself. Are you depressed? Are you suffering from recent loss that’s colored your view of the world? Are you jealous of someone else who seems to have everything you want (and feel entitled to)? If so, you’re looking in the wrong direction if you think the bad apples are all around you. Just maybe it’s time to look inside to find the rot, and root it out (Ok, not the best analogy, but it’s early am…)

Are you dealing with a bad apple?Rotten-apple Any chance you already know the answer to this one? Maybe you know, and just don’t want to know what you know? Don’t want to act on what you know? Think about it. And let me know…

Copyright © 2009 Marlin S. Potash. All rights reserved.

Graduating into the Recession

He thought he’d pick up an internship at the last minute. 3.7 gpa, great school, lots of offers last summer. This summer: nothing. Nothing. Found a job at a downtown day camp on Craigslist.

She took the offer because the money they were paying would help her tolerate the work and the hours she so disliked. Then they cut the interns pay in half without telling them. What were they going to do, leave?

She moved to the city, took a room in a group house in Queens even though it was geographically undesirable, and spent more on food (she had to eat out – no kitchen) than she’d been spending on monthly rent. But she couldn’t complain: she had a paid internship, while most of her friends weren’t so lucky.

Summer’s over. Back to school. High school, college, graduate school, even. And the anxiety level’s rising as kids look to their future and don’t see how they’re going to find work, let alone work in their field of interest. And these are the optimistic even idealistic years. Time to find some solutions here, before disillusionment sets in and with it indifference and depression. The kids’, that is…

Copyright © 2009 Marlin S. Potash. All rights reserved.