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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Psychotherapy Blog: What is Clinical Hypnosis?

Clinical hypnosis, also known as hypnotherapy, is a therapeutic method that can create a state of deep relaxation where your attention is focused and your unconscious mind is open to making positive changes.

What is Hypnosis?

When performed by a qualified hypnotherapist, clinical hypnosis can improve your emotional health and overall well being.

Misconceptions About Clinical Hypnosis
There are many misconceptions about clinical hypnosis, most likely because people confuse clinical hypnosis with stage hypnosis that they have seen in movies or heard about where people quack like a duck or bark like a dog or do other embarrassing things. That is not clinical hypnosis.

From the outset, let's be clear that there are important distinctions between clinical hypnosis and stage hypnosis. Clinical hypnosis is a collaborative treatment. You have complete control at all times. You are awake and maintain dual awareness of everything around you in the here and now as well as in the hypnotic state. No one can make you do anything that you don't want to do.

Clinical hypnosis as Therapeutic Method
Clinical hypnosis is used to treat many issues, including: weight loss, insomnia, pain management, enhancing creativity, overcoming writer's block or other creative blocks, overcoming fears, performance enhancement for athletes, actors, singers, musicians, public speakers, executives, and sales people.

What is Clinical Hypnosis?

Clinical hypnosis is also used to stop smoking and to overcome other negative habits, as well as for stress management, test anxiety, stage fright, anxiety, relationship issues, and many other issues.

To find out more about clinical hypnosis, visit ASCH - American Society for Clinical Hypnosis

I am a licensed psychotherapist and hypnotherapist in NYC.To find out more about me, visit my website:  Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist & Hypnotherapist

To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006.

What is EMDR Therapy?

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a form of psychotherapy that was developed by psychologist, Francine Shapiro, in the 1980s.

What is EMDR Therapy?
EMDR was originally developed to treat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Since that time, EMDR has been used successfully for many other issues, including stress, insomnia, performance anxiety, performance enhancement, abuse, substance abuse, sexual addiction and many other issues.

EMDR Tends to Work Faster Than Talk Therapy for Trauma
Generally speaking, EMDR tends to work faster for trauma than most talk therapies. Of course, there are no guarantees. Among other things, much depends on the skill of the therapist as well as the rapport between therapist and client. Also, most clients will require a period of time where the EMDR therapist helps clents to develop internal resources and coping skills before the actual EMDR processing begins.

EMDR Uses a 3-Pronged Approach: Past, Present, Future
EMDR uses a three-pronged protocol: working with the client's past, present and future. EMDR processes old memories, creating new links with adaptive functioning.

Current problems are targeted and desensitized and past and future events are integrated to assist clients in healthy functioning. There has been quite a bit of research on the success of EMDR and the treatment of trauma and PTSD. However, no one is completely sure as to how or why EMDR works. It is believed that part of its success is due to the fact that EMDR uses Rapid Eye Movement (REM) as its basis.

EMDR helps process negative memories and emotions. It helps the brain to succesfully process these experiences.

To find out about EMDR, visit the EMDRIA website:  EMDRIA - The Professional EMDR Organization.

I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist who works with individual adults and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006 or send me an email.

Also see my articles:

How EMDR Works: EMDR and the Brain

How EMDR Works: Overcoming Emotional Trauma

What is Adjunctive EMDR Therapy?

What is a Coaching Relationship?

What is a coaching relationship?
A life or business coaching relationship is a a confidential relationship. a dedicated partnership that helps you to overcome the obstacles that are keeping you from achieving your objectives.

When you work with a life coach or a business coach with whom you have a rapport, you are working towards bringing about positive changes in your life.

A coach can help you to create, develop and achieve your goals.

Working with a coach can help you identify your strengths, increase your confidence, and overcome barriers to success.

As a coach, I work with a positive, strengths-based perspective.

I enjoy the coaching relationship and it gives me tremendous satisfaction to see clients grow and become more successful.

What are some of the issues that I help clients with in the coaching relationship?
Personal growth, learning, wellness, enhancing relationships, career performance enhancement, aligning your goals so that they reflect your values and, in general, bringing more meaning into your life are among the many issues that I work with clients on in the coaching relationship.

What can you expect from a coaching relationship with me?
A reliable, honest, empathic, dedicated and respectful professional who will help you achieve the success that you want. My focus is on what's important to you.

What would I expect from you in a coaching relationship?
Accountability and responsibility for your sessions, honoring the coaching agreement, willingness to learn and grow and to keep an open mind. I also expect honest feedback if anything upsets you or is not working for you.

To find out more about me, please visit my website:

To talk to me about your particular concerns and to find out more about my coaching practice, feel free to call me at (212) 726-1006.

Living a Balanced Life as a Path to Happiness

Living a Balanced Life
What does "a balanced life" mean to you?

It often helps to start by asking yourself:
  • What are the various areas in your life that are important to you?
  • Do they come together to form a meaningful whole?
What are the categories you would include to have a balanced life?

Everyone is different when it comes to defining what is meaningful.  

Here's a Possible List of What Might Be Meaningful to You:

Your Family (including pets)
Family as Part of a Balanced Life
Your Pets as Part of Your Family and a Balanced Life

Your Pets as Part of Your Family and a Balanced Life

Your Health
Your Health as Part of a Balanced Life

Your Love Life
Your Love Life as Part of a Balanced Life

Your Friends/Social Support
Your Friends/Social Support as Part of a Balanced Life

Your Career/Professional Life
Your Career or Professional Life as Part of a Balanced Life

Your Sense of Spirituality
Your Sense of Spirituality as Part of a Balanced Life

Your Playful Side
Your Playful Side as Part of a Balanced Life

Your Personal Growth
Your Personal Growth as Part of a Balance Life

Your Sense of Financial Security
A Sense of Financial Security as Part of Your Balanced Life

Maybe your list would have other categories than the examples that I've given.

How satisfied are you with the categories you've defined?
If you made a list of these categories and took the time to think about each one carefully:
  • How satisfied are you with each one, rating each one on a scale of 0-100% (with 0% being not at all satisfied and 100% being completely satisfied and not wanting to change a thing)? 
  • As you think about and rate each category, what have you noticed?
  • Are there certain areas that you would like to improve? 
  • What might it take to improve a particular area by 5%.
For instance, if you are only 10% satisfied with your overall learning and growth, what small step could you take to increase your satisfaction in this area so that you could go from 10% to 15% satisfaction?

You might say: "Why aim so low? I want to be at least 95% satisfied with where I am and I want that now."

I would say that this is an excellent goal to aspire to ultimately, and that it shows how important this area is to you.

I would also ask: "When you think about going from 10% to 95% satisfaction immediately and what it would actually take to achieve that, does it feel overwhelming to you?" Chances are it does. So, in most cases, I recommend that you start by taking small, manageable and achievable steps that will be more likely to lead you to your ultimate goal.

Think of it as a process. If you try to do too much at once, you might become discouraged and give up your efforts all together. Has this ever happened to you?

As you look at your categories, do you find that you are spending more time and effort in certain areas that you care less about and less time in other areas that are actually more important to you?

What can you do to align your priorities so that you feel that you are living a more balanced life? 
For instance, if you are spending most of your time focused on your career and you are not allowing any time at all for play and fun in your life, what small step could you take to bring more balance into this area of your life?

Again, notice that, in most cases, I am suggesting "baby steps" to start and not a complete and immediate overhaul. With each small step that you achieve, you are more likely to build confidence and satisfaction. This, in turn, will increase your motivation to take the next step.

Once again, a balanced life means different things to different people. Start by identifying what you feel makes up a balanced life for you. Think about where you are in terms of overall satisfaction and then set small, manageable goals that will lead you to your ultimate goal.

Getting Help
It may be difficult to get started on this process. You might know that you want to lead a more balanced life, but maybe you tend to put off thinking about it. It often helps to work with a professional where you have a weekly time and place to focus on your goals. The time and effort that you spend on it now will usually reap rewards for you in the long run.

I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist and EMDR Therapist.  I work with individual adults and couples.

I have helped many clients to live a more balanced life and to achieve overall satisfaction with their lives.

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist

To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006 or send me an email:

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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Fear of Change

For most of us, making changes can be challenging, especially when they involve major life transitions.  When we think about making a change, we might go back and forth, not knowing what to do. It is not unusual to have mixed feelings about making a transition, even when we know that it would be best for us to do.

Fear of Change

For instance, if we know that we have outgrown our current job and we need a change, it is often painful to face this. We might procrastinate taking the necessary steps--whether it involves going for additional training or education or starting a job search, because we might fear the unknown:

What will happen if I leave my secure (but boring) job?

What if it turns out to be a bad decision?"

What if I don't succeed?

And on and on until we are paralyzed into inaction.

It often helps to be able to talk to trusted friends and family members, especially if they have gone through their own life transitions successfully.

But sometimes family and friends don't know what to say or, worse still, their own fear of change might cause them to advise you not to make any changes.

The other possibility is that, after a while, they might get tired of hearing you go back and forth about a decision and they won't know how to get you "unstuck" so you can overcome the obstacles that are keeping you from changing.

At that point, it would be helpful to seek help from a professional who has assisted clients to overcome the psychological blocks that keep you stuck.

Ask yourself:

How would I feel if I continued to be stuck in this situation for another year? another two years? or five years?

What if I allowed my fear and mixed feelings to keep me stuck indefinitely?

Would I look back at my life and say: If only I had made that change when I was younger, maybe I would be where I wanted to be today?

I've been helping people to overcome the obstacles that keep them from making positive changes in their lives since 1996.

I work in a supportive and empathic way to help clients to maximize their potential.

Don't allow fear and ambivalence keep you emotionally paralyzed.

I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist.  I work with individual adults and children.

To find out more about me, please visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist

For a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006 or email me:

Top photo credit: Stuck in Customs via photopin cc

Bottom photo credit: Eddi van W. via photopin cc

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

About Josephine Ferraro, LCSW

I am a licensed psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR, and Somatic Experience therapist and life and business coach in NYC.

I have been assisting clients since 1996.

I have a Masters degree (MSW/LCSW) from Fordham Graduate School of Social Work, advanced psychoanalytic/psychodynamic training from the Postgraduate Center of Mental Health in NYC, advanced EMDR training from EMDRIA, advanced clinical hypnosis training from Center for the Advancement of Training in Clinical Hypnosis and the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH),  advanced Somatic Experience training, and coach training from MentorCoach.

I help clients to overcome obstacles that prevent them from maximizing their potential.

I work in a positive, dynamic and interactive way and provide an empathic and supportive treatment environment.

Every treatment is developed based on the needs of each client.

Every client is unique.

I would work with you in a collaborative way to develop the treatment plan that is right for you.

My specialties include: depression, anxiety, trauma. relationship issues, marriage counseling, lesbian, gay and bisexual issues, substance abuse after care, sexual addiction, Internet addiction, compulsive overeating. compulsive gambling, compulsive overspending, codependence, stress management, coping skills, phobias, OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), performance enhancement for executives, singers, actors, public speakers, artists and others engaged in creative endeavors, bereavement and loss, and major life changes.

I am conveniently located in NYC.

I work with individuals and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website:

Feel free to call me to set up an appointment: (212) 726-1006