Tuesday, April 29, 2014

One Person


Carl Jung coined the term “shadow” when identifying that part of ourselves that is dark and self-serving. We all have it. In my opinion, we have to make peace with that part of ourselves. If we do not become aware of it and make peace with it, it tends to come out “sideways” either consciously or subconsciously in our cognitive process or in our actions.
Our shadow is that part of ourselves that has not healed from past hurt and trauma. It is that part of us that is only out for ourselves and cares nothing about another person or being. Freud referred to this part of ourselves as the “Id”.

Mindful awareness and meditation is a perfect way to begin to get in touch with this side of ourselves. This part of ourselves also reveals

 itself in the form of dreams and nightmares. It is the part of ourselves that needs to be healed. I have found that an excellent indicator of our unhealed shadow material raises its ugly head when we notice just what it is that makes us angry and/or defensive.

EXCERPT: "A Prescription For Contentment"
Crewson Andrew Martin/PhD

Available at Amazon.com

Friday, April 25, 2014


Crossing Paths

Everyone you cross paths with knows something you don't.
Everyone you will encounter knows more about a particular topic than you do.
Everyone teaches us something.
Sometimes, they teach us what NOT to be.
Often, they teach us a lot about ourselves.
They are "gurus in drag".

Dr. Crewson A. Martin/PhD

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wide Open


All relationships will eventually come to an end. Some by death and others by the mere fact that they often come to a very natural and organic conclusion. We have all experienced a relationship that simply runs its course. It ends due to one or both of the members changing in a manner that is not conducive to the relationship continuing. It does not really matter why it happens. We have to accept its natural ending. It does not necessarily mean that something went “wrong” in the relationship.
People change.

 We change in the way we see life. We change in the way we see ourselves. We change in what we need and desire in our lives. Sometimes, we need to change the people in our lives as well. I often find in my practice that people will “hold back” in their relationships with others due to the fear of losing them and the pain they anticipate due to its ending. I feel such empathy for them. They live in constant fear of the ending of these relationships. They fear to allow themselves to be vulnerable thinking that they are somehow protecting themselves from this pain. They are trying to escape the inevitable. I truly believe it is usually because they have not come to an understanding of the ending of all relationships. Due to their fear of being vulnerable, they deny themselves the full experience of their relationships.

EXCERPT: "A Prescription For Contentment"
Crewson Andrew Martin/PhD
Available on Amazon.com

Monday, April 21, 2014

Friday, April 18, 2014


Our Word

I tend to value my relationship with another human being based upon the extent that I know that they will do what they tell me they are going to do. This is how I know I can trust them. I enjoy and appreciate those with whom I can be sure that they will do as they say and say as they do. I admire knowing that I need not be concerned about this aspect of my relationship with this particular person because they have a character of integrity and commitment to what they identify as their responsibility.
Really all we possess is our integrity and our honor. Many years ago, when I was a very young man I was being treated by a very wonderful therapist. He knew me well and told me that he found it very interesting and noteworthy that I always seemed to keep my promises to others, but found that I did not always follow through with promises I had made to myself. I came to the realization that he was correct and from that moment forward I made it my intention to never let myself down ever again.
I developed a strange, but effective habit of looking at my own face in the mirror each morning and made myself promises of what I would do for myself and what I would accomplish that day. I would look at myself directly in the eyes and promise what I would do for myself and what I would do for others. I made sure that the promises were reasonable and achievable. Then, once I made these promises to myself, I was not going to allow anything nor anyone to stop me. To this day, I continue this rather strange but effective habit. It works for me. Find out what works for you.
My effort is always to make sure that everyone that I come into contact with knows that I will always keep my word to them. I am very careful choosing what I agree to accept complete responsibility for and to as I know that my reputation and integrity is on the line. I have seen that many people tend to accept responsibility for something because they experience great difficulty saying “no” to someone. I want them to trust, without exception, that if I give them my word on something they can consider it done. That gift I provide to them is also a gift I provide for myself.

EXCERPT: from "A Prescription For Contentment".
Author: Dr. Crewson Andrew Martin/PhD
Available at Amazon.com

Monday, April 14, 2014


The Theory of Contrast

The theory of contrast states that in order for one to fully appreciate an experience one has had to have had the experience of having a contrasting experience.
For example, in order for someone to fully appreciate what it is like to be loved by a person it is necessary to have had the experience of being hated by another. In order to fully appreciate having expendable money one has to have had the experience of not being able to purchase what one wanted.
We can all think of situations where without the contrast someone cannot possibly appreciate their present experience. Think of someone you knew who grew up in a family of means and with parents who bought them anything they ever wanted whenever they wanted it. Could they really comprehend the true value of working hard for something and then obtaining it? I think it is more difficult for them. What about someone who grew up with abusive parents. Could they not appreciate more fully the experience of being unconditionally loved by another human being? If one experiences chronic pain could they not fully appreciate moments of pain cessation more fully and completely?
As an advocate of the theory of contrast, I see every single human experience as beneficial. Every moment has something to teach us, even the painful ones. In fact, we only grow during the painful and uncomfortable experiences. We simply “coast” through the comfortable times preparing ourselves for the next uncomfortable experience.
Whenever things are going well do not be attached to this moment for it will indeed change and life will once again become painful and uncomfortable. Whenever things are very uncomfortable be careful not to become attached to it remaining so.
Every moment we experience has a lesson just waiting for us to learn. Our task is to be open to the lesson and to be mindfully aware of every second.

Dr. Crewson Andrew Martin/PhD
EXCERPT from: "A Prescription For Contentment"
Available @ Amazon.com

Wednesday, April 9, 2014



Many people live with the illusion that they can change another person. This is one of the reasons why they have relationship difficulties. People can change, yes. People do not change because of anything we do or say or make demands about.
People change for only one reason: They want to. Yes, it can be a conversation that you have with them that causes them to make a change. Yes, it can be a new way of seeing things or a new understanding that causes them to make a change. Yes, it can be an experience that initiates change within them. However, you can’t make them change. Without their cooperation and intention to do so change is quite impossible.
Allowing people in your life to be who they are is an act of pure love. Trying to change someone is, in my opinion, abusive and completely disrespectful to them. You are basically informing them that they are almost perfect but they just need to change these particular things and they will have achieved perfection. It is unkind and destructive. It will not work. Any change that may occur with a person is a change they made themselves. Accept your loved ones for whom they are in this moment. That is pure love in action.

Dr. Crewson Andrew Martin/PhD
EXCERPT: "A Prescription For Contentment"
Copyright by permission only

Monday, April 7, 2014



What exactly is a habit? It is a perpetual loop of either behaviors or thought patterns that are difficult to change or halt. They seem to come automatically. Yes, they are difficult to break.
Psychologists actually know how long it takes t
o break the “habit energy” of a particular habit. Generally, one can break a habit in 15-25 days. Yes, that is correct. This is often why rehabilitation programs tend to continue for 28 days. It is believed that the behavioral changes need to be shaped and continued just beyond the threshold of the habit energy cycle.
What is also quite fascinating is that the same 15-25 day interim is also required to initiate a new and beneficial habit pattern. So, one can actually collapse a negative habit while simultaneously developing a new and beneficial habit!

For example, one can collapse a pattern of unhealthy eating while simultaneously developing new habits of both eating healthy as well as going to the gym five days a week.
Or, we are capable of becoming aware of punitive and destructive thoughts while simultaneously learning to develop the habit of speaking to ourselves with kindness and support.
Too many people allow themselves to be tricked into thinking that they are powerless to change or to alter these habit patterns and feel that they cannot change. This is simply not true. These people use language such as “can’t”. This is the language of a person who believes that they cannot grow beyond a particular habit. It is clear to me that their intention is not to engage in the actual collapsing of the habit by the way they speak about it. I am not stating collapsing a habit is easy. I am stating, however, that it is possible. It takes a diligent effort, mindfulness and an intention of commitment to this goal.

Dr. Crewson Andrew Martin/PhD

EXCERPT: "A Prescription For Contentment"
Copyright by permission only

Friday, April 4, 2014


Guilt vs. Shame

Guilt is a natural and organic feeling that comes over us when we begin to feel badly for something we did that we believe was wrong. Guilt convicts us of our immoral, unethical or unkind actions. It floats into our consciousness once the anger has passed, once our impulsive brain begins to relax and once we realize that our behavior is not in congruence with who we wish to be and how we see the world. Guilt is a healthy response to making a mistake. Guilt convicts us of the fact that our actions do not line up with our idea of who we are. Without guilt, we would not be able to correct our actions and accept responsibility for
our weaknesses and imperfections.
Shame, on the other hand, is never healthy nor helpful. It begins as healthy guilt and convicts as doing something that was wrong. However, it does not stop there. Instead of seeing ourselves as a good person who made a mistake, shame tells us that we ARE a mistake. It tells us that we are constantly making mistakes. It tells us that we are not worthy of forgiveness and not worthy of being loved. It is, as I like to refer to it “the gift that keeps on giving”.

Dr. Crewson Andrew Martin/PhD
EXCERPT: " A Prescription for Contentment"

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Our Past and Self-Victimization

Many of us have had a very painful past. The key is to learn to leave our past in the past and not to allow it to control our present moment.
It is very common, especially in initial and early sessions with patients, that it becomes very cl
ear to me that they are allowing their painful past to define who they are.
It is often a paradox. We certainly need to address our past in order to glean the important lessons from these experiences, yet, we need to avoid the common situation where one either decides or allows their past to become their persona.

Yes, we can be proud to be survivors of physical, sexual or emotional abuse. But, to wear these accomplishments as a badge of honor is allowing these

 experiences to define us. We need to be bigger than our stories. We can learn what we need to about our past, but concentrate our efforts on creating ourselves in the here and now.
Many times I have begun work with a new patient and the initial session is focused on a painful past.

When I begin to assist these patients in accepting complete responsibility for creating the life they want right now they often believe that I am not understanding what they have been through. I begin to see that this particular patient has become so entangled with their history and often they seek to assign responsibility for their difficulties in their life on their past. They become victims and what is worse is that they continue the victimization of themselves by allowing the pain of their past to color and frame their present moments.
Many times, these painful experiences of the past allow the patient to excuse themselves of the responsibility for their lives. In many instances, my pointing this out to them infuriates them. It is at this moment that I know that I am correct in my assessment. I have had new patients actually leave my office in a huff telling me that they never wish to work with me again because I do not understand what they have been through. I explain to them that I may not know exactly what their experience was like but what I know for sure is that they do not have to live their life continuing the pattern of the abuse. I tell them that when they are ready to change this once and for all to contact me and we will get to work. Very often, I hear from them again and their intention is now clear and they really get to work.
Too many therapists, in my opinion, treat their patients like wounded sheep. They metaphorically hold their hand and either consciously or subconsciously keep them stuck. How disrespectful to their patient’s dignity and ability to move beyond their past. They clearly become part of the problem.

EXCERPT: "A Prescription For Contentment"
Dr. Crewson Andrew Martin, PhD
Copied by permission only