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Dr. Dianne Baer PhD, LPC, CMHC, DCC

Change your thoughts and you can change your world

My Blog


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A great reminder from Steve Jobs.

Posted on January 1, 2018 at 5:12 PM Comments comments ()
Steve Jobs, CEO and maker of the iPhone died a billionaire and here are some of his last thoughts and words on the sick bed:
"I reached the pinnacle of success in the business world.  In others’ eyes, my life is an epitome of success.

However, aside from work I have little joy. In the end wealth is only a fact of life that I am accustomed to.

At this moment lying on the sick bed and recalling my whole life I realize that all the recognition and wealth that I took so much pride in, have paled and become meaningless in the face of impending death.

You can employ someone to drive the car for you, make money for you but you cannot have someone to bear the sickness for you.  Material things lost can be found. But there is one thing that can never be found when it is lost – health and life itself.
When a person goes into the operating room, he will realize that there is one book that he has yet to finish reading "Book of Healthy Life".

Whichever stage in life we are at right now, with time, we will face the day when the curtain comes down.

Treasure Love for your family, love for your spouse, love for your friends.

Treat yourself well. Cherish others.

As we grow older and hence wiser we slowly realize that wearing a $300.00 or $30.00 watch they both tell the same time.

Whether we carry a $300.00 or $30.00 wallet or handbag the amount of money inside is the same.

Whether we drink a bottle of $300.00 or $10.00 wine the hangover is the same.

Whether the house we live in is 300 or 3000 sq. feet loneliness is the same.

You will realize, your true inner happiness does not come from the material things of this world.

Whether you fly first or economy class, if the plane goes down you go down with it.  Therefore I hope you realize when you have mates, buddies and old friends, brothers and sisters, who you chat with, laugh with, talk with, have sing songs with, talk about north-south-east-west or heaven & earth…that is true happiness!

Five Undeniable Facts of Life :

1. Don't educate your children to be rich. Educate them to be Happy.  So when they grow up they will know the value of things not the price.

2. Best awarded words in London "Eat your food as your medicines.  Otherwise you have to eat medicines as your food."

3. The One who loves you will never leave you for another because even if there are 100 reasons to give up he or she will find one reason to hold on.

4. There is a big difference between a human being and being human. Only a few really understand it.

5. You are loved when you are born. You will be loved when you die. In between you have to manage!

If you just want to Walk Fast, Walk Alone! But if you want to Walk Far, Walk Together!

Six Best Doctors in the World

1. Sunlight
2. Rest
3. Exercise
4. Diet
5. Self Confidence and
6. Friends

Maintain them in all stages of Life and enjoy healthy life.

A note from a friend...

Posted on September 18, 2016 at 9:36 PM Comments comments ()
This arrived from a friend in the doctoral program with me.  I really needed inspiration to finish this last quarter.  
This really helped.  Hope you find something good here too.

Every step can be struggle

Posted on August 2, 2015 at 12:42 PM Comments comments ()
I am finding it interesting to be going back to the classroom at this point in my life.  I plan to continue in my private practice while pursuing my PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision.  I've always wanted to do this but only recently decided it was "now or never"!  Most of the classes are online through Capella University.  I was advised by a colleague that I respect greatly to go this route.  When he said it was not an easy degree program, I knew it would be a lot of work.  I was not expecting the adjustments to my learning style!!  This is my first online class, which I'm in the fourth week already.  It is SO different not having a teacher in front of the classroom or peers sitting next to you that you can lean over and ask a question.  The first two weeks I think I was totally petrified with the amount of reading and research (really!!) that I was expected to do.  

I have thought about the anxiety level that so many of my clients deal with on a daily basis and I'm really getting a taste of that myself.  It's funny that I can suggest to others what to do to get past it but it's a completely different thing to do it myself!!  You know the old saying about a plumber's wife always has stopped up drains...

Even though it will be a busy, hectic, two years, I'm feeling confident that I'm going to learn so much that will help me in my work and I'm looking forward to reaching that place to help other counselors LEARN how to do this job.  
I must go for now.  There's a paper due this week!  =)

Long time away

Posted on April 3, 2014 at 12:31 AM Comments comments ()
It appears that it has been quite some time since I added a new post to my blog.  I am going to try to improve on that!  It has been a crazy few months:  total knee revision on my left knee in December and two new grandchildren born to my daughters in February!  
I've finally had a moment to take a breath and decided that I wanted to update my website and add a few photos tonight.  It's funny how the very things I encourage my clients to do all of the time are often the things that I forget to follow through myself.  I know that I need "down time" and "time to take care of myself" but it seems that my list keeps growing of things to do so I rarely take TIME OUT!  But when I do it brings such sweet relief from the stress of life.
I'm often asked how I can do this job every day.  It's really a thing I do because I love helping people.  It is so rewarding to see positive results when counseling.  I've learned how important it is to try to leave the issues and problems that we've worked on throughout the day at the office when I leave to go home.  Most of the time it works.  Occasionally I'll have one situation that is hard to shake off.  Those are usually ones that hit a personal note for me or that I feel that change is unlikely for them.  
I'm excited that spring is here.  I love this time of the year.  Even with the potential for storms, I love it!  It's wonderful to have more sunlight at the end of the day and to be able to put the top down on my little Volkswagen to head home.  That is actually very therapeutic for me!  I guess because that's the one time that I can literally feel my worries leaving me.  It's great.  
It's a busy time in my life as it is for most of you.  I encourage you to take time to enjoy it....remember it's all about the journey not the destination.  I need to remember that too!

Seeking mental health help article---awesome!

Posted on June 28, 2013 at 10:32 AM Comments comments ()
Counseling Corner Removing the Stigma of Seeking Mental Health Help from the American Counseling Association 
If you had the flu and a high fever, no one would criticize you for seeking medical help. In fact, most would criticize you for ignoring such a health problem. But mental health issues often bring a different reaction. 

People sometimes see mental illness not as a health issue, but as a serious defect, something that marks a person as weak, unstable, perhaps even violent or dangerous. Such reactions have serious consequences for millions of Americans who could be healthier and happier if receiving the mental health help that is readily available. But many don't seek such help out of fear of being "labeled" with a mental illness, feeling family and friends won't understand, or that it could lead to discrimination at work or school. 

Too many people who could use help instead see their condition as a sign of personal weakness. They may mistakenly believe that they should be able to control whatever is wrong without outside help. 

The American Counseling Association's "No Stigma" efforts aim to educate the public, correct this misinformation and encourage seeking needed treatment. For example, researchers estimate that one in eight adolescents is suffering from depression, yet only 30% of young people facing mental health issues ever receive any type of treatment or intervention. This lack of treatment helps lead to more than 4,600 suicides by young people each year. The statistics are even scarier among senior citizens and our military warriors. 

It's vital for people to recognize that mental health issues are not a reason for shame, but rather a condition that requires treatment by a professional. Anxiety, depression, panic attacks, eating disorders, social phobias and similar problems are not a sign of personal weakness. They are simply conditions that, when treated successfully, can result in a happier, healthier and more productive life. 

If you or someone you know is suffering from a mental health issue, don't give in to the stigma, but rather take action for better health. Talk to a friend or family members about what's bothering you and look into assistance from a mental health professional. Seeking mental health help is not a weakness; it's as logical and right as seeing that doctor for that flu. 

"CounselingCorner"isprovidedbytheAmericanCounselingAssociation.Commentsandquestionsto[email protected] ### 387 words TheAmericanCounselingAssociationisthenation'slargestorganizationofcounselingprofessionalswithmorethan53,000membersinall50statesand80othercountries.

Helping others

Posted on May 6, 2013 at 4:23 PM Comments comments ()
Some days I LOVE my job.  There are other days when I am just like everyone else and find it tough to do this job.  I think that is when I need to remember this and realize that what so many of us really need and want is to have someone there to listen to us, hold our hand when we need it and feel that we are being heard above the noise of life.
Often in life those of us that have been in any type of leadership roles will find ourselves being in charge.  After years of leading large groups of teenagers and adults in fundraising events and other activities, it was hard to "reel" that in when I was no longer doing that.  
It is amazing the peace we can find when we realize that we don't have to be what we have always been.  We can just be ourselves.  And THAT is when we can best help ourselves and others!

What we allow in our life

Posted on April 27, 2013 at 12:09 AM Comments comments ()
I saw this statement on Facebook this week and thought it was extremely thought provoking.  It reaches out to so many of us in so many different areas of our lives.  
It seems that it is so easy to just continue with the "status quo" of how things are in our lives, even when we aren't very happy with how things are.
Why are we so afraid of change and why do we work so hard to resist it?  
I often see clients that are unhappy with areas of their life and come to counseling looking for a way to make things better.  However, when they begin sharing their background and the situations that bring them to counseling, I learn rather quickly what the real issue is.  They have been surrounding themselves with people and situations that do not help them work toward living their best life--allowing them to keep them in a shadow of the "status quo.'  
So, whether it is a good or bad thing that you are allowing in your life, as long as you continue to allow it nothing will change.
If someone is constantly critical of you, trying to control you, treating you unfairly, or in any way leading you away from peace and happiness in your life....perhaps you are encouraging that very treatment by allowing it to continue.  
Worth thinking about for sure.

Thoughts from Dr. Seuss

Posted on March 7, 2013 at 3:56 AM Comments comments ()
I just love the wit and wisdom of Dr. Seuss.  This one just really hit me recently because it reminds me of how so many of us go through our lives in worry of what others think.  Growing up in the deep South, I was painfully aware of what was expected of me.  It seems that I spent much of my time and energy as I grew up through junior high, high school and college consumed with the opinion of others.  Looking back I see how senseless that was.
I had learned the skills for saying what I was thinking and feeling, usually with a twist of sarcasm.  That only works well with the few people who know you well enough to "get" your sarcasm.  Those people would fall into Dr. Seuss' category of those who matter and don't mind.  True friends.  People that can offer unconditional acceptance.
I think perhaps the most important idea in this quote is to just "be who you are."  We grow up as someone's daughter or son, then become someone's wife or husband and then move right on into the expectations that come with becoming a mother or father.  Over the last few years, I have been fortunate to finally be comfortable  with who I AM.  This acceptance of ourselves can be the key ingredient to improving our mental health and quality of life.  I have learned these things about myself and basically accepted least most of the time.  How about you?  What are you doing on a daily basis to be true to yourself (and Dr. Seuss) to be who you really are?
I am:

  • not a morning person...never have been and likely never will be
  • someone who expects to be treated as I treat others and continue to be shocked and amazed when I'm not
  • dedicated to helping the lives of others, be it my grown children, my husband, my parents and my clients and friends.  I want the people around me to be happy and try to do what I can to make that happen.
  • a leader.  Unlike many, two of my grown children included, I am comfortable speaking to a crowd of2 or 200.  But I like to be prepared.
  • a hard worker.  From my parents I developed a good work ethic growing up and never knew there was an option to not work or to not get a college was just what we do.  
  • a lover of photographs.  I believe that they can capture memories that you will never have again.  We never know when we take a photograph how the winds of change can whip around us so quickly, changing everything.  It's the part of Facebook I love the most---to connect and share with friends and family and to SEE people that I might not ever see any other way.
  • sensitive....beneath what may appear to some to be a tough exterior is someone who feels the heartbreak of those around her.  I cannot bear to see my daughters cry.  In my work as a therapist, there are occasions when I feel the pain of my clients so deeply that I find myself wiping tears away too.
  • independent.  To be who I am, I have traveled down a lot of roads and had many life experiences that help me to empathize with others.  It's funny because there are times when this trait works against me because sometimes I just want someone to hold me and take care of me for a bit.
  • happy.  I'm not sure how and why I'm at this place in my life right now, but it is a good place to be and I'm very thankful for that.  I feel safe and secure, healthy and strong....well, for the most part on the healthy thing. 
So, Dr. Seuss, I salute you and will try to remember your wisdom in the days ahead!  You should try this exercise too.  
Make a list that begins, "I am...." and see what YOU come up with!

It's Time for Change

Posted on February 8, 2013 at 2:01 AM Comments comments ()
I have a quote at the end of every email I send out that says "Change your thoughts and you change your world."  Earlier this week one of my thoughtful clients had found it on a canvas and brought it to me to add to my office space.  It seemed like that maybe it was time that I tried a dose of my own medicine.  
Don't you think it's true that we can so EASILY see in others what should be obviously in need of change while we deny those very things in ourselves.  I'm not sure what our reasons are behind the denial most of the time. For me, I think I am so busy that I don't STOP and think and when I'm not busy, I'm too TIRED to stop and think. We don't like to look at our flaws, our weaknesses, or anything that could open us up to criticism.  But how unfair that really is to myself and those around me to be resistant to change...especially when it could make my future better! 
One of my most frustrating things personally is traffic.  My children and husband will totally agree to that.  Even as far back as when the children were in elementary school, I recall becoming frustrated with some of the parent's driving skills (or lack of) just maneuvering through the parking lot to get home!  It makes me irritated when people pull out in front of me, change lanes unexpectedly without warning, use the middle lane as a "pull out and wait" lane, don't use their signals, don't use their headlights, drive too fast, drive too slow, don't stay within their lane, and so on and on.
I have always struggled with planning plenty of time to get anywhere so it is no wonder that I become impatient with other drivers when the real culprit is myself.  Recently they have begun road construction on a large portion of my drive to and from work.  The first few days I felt so frustrated that I was plotting how far I would have to drive out of my way just to avoid ever driving that way again.  The work is expected to last for up to two years!  
So today I did some self talk before leaving the house.  I'm thinking maybe it is once again God's sense of humor to have me drive through this 55 speed limit on a four lane hi-way, when the digital sign flashing my speed says that everyone is going about 18.  Today I turned my music on and decided to use the time to relax and take some deep breaths.  I had time to think more about my upcoming sessions for the day and what I hoped to accomplish.  I even planned out how I would manage to stick to my diet during the day.  My sessions went very well today. And that just feels so good.
After a long day, I arrived home to find my daughter and grandson here for an overnight visit.  She and my husband were cooking together in the kitchen while Reid was driving his car around the house.  Well, he IS 17 months old and has to start practicing now!  I felt that I'd had a very successful day and was able to relax tonight with my family.  Changing my thoughts changed my world today.  I may have to try it again sometime soon. Maybe you should too?


Posted on February 2, 2013 at 1:51 PM Comments comments ()
Even though I try to keep up with my paperwork, website, treatment plans and billing it just always seems to creep up on me.  I have taken various photos over the last few years of times when my desk (and the floor around me) was absolutely covered with files and lists (and even lists of the lists).  I don't know why I take the photos unless I think that it will help me to gain sympathy should anyone ever see the photos.  
Don't we all get overwhelmed in our daily lives at some time?  It is such a key component to stress and anxiety.  Most of us make more plans than we could possibly have time to ever accomplish.  We make commitments that take up so much of our time that we don't have time to focus on what's really important.  We get so OVERWHELMED often trying to please others in our lives that we forget the most important thing which is to take care of ourselves.  Women seem to be especially guilty of this.  I am not really certain why but I hear about it frequently.  Perhaps it comes from our mothers and grandmothers reminding us most of our lives of what we "should" be doing.  
So, you say, what can be done when we feel overwhelmed?  We can stop.  That's right.  Just stop.  Take a breath.  Get away from what you are doing.  Visualize packing everything up that you have on your "to do" list and then unpacking it one little box at a time.  Don't allow the "shoulda" and "coulda" thoughts to intrude on your plan.  Take time for a walk around the block.  Take time to have lunch with a friend, read a magazine, play in the floor with a child, bake cookies for someone you care about....just do what you can.  
After all....that's really all any of us can do, isn't it?  The work or whatever is overwhelming us will look much less powerful if we have taken the time to find some personal peace in our life.