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Dr. Dianne Baer PhD, LPC, CMHC, DCC

Change your thoughts and you can change your world

My Blog


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!

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.

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.

Just when you had Plan A in place

Posted on January 29, 2013 at 5:52 AM Comments comments ()
Oh boy, do I love this one!  I often get overwhelmed when my "plan" doesn't work out the way I think it should.  It's funny how we think about our future, especially the immediate future, and begin to develop a plan. Steve and I have done this frequently over the years...plotting and planning about where we'd like to be in 5 years, 10 years, etc.  It seems that the more we get a plan fixed in our minds and determine that IT is the only plan that will really work for us, something happens to block it.  Recently, I had to move from an office that I LOVED because a group of attorneys bought the property.  I had only been there less than a year, but we had discussed trying to buy it ourselves.  We would have certainly had to lease out the other offices because of its size, but it looked like a sound investment.  The other part of this is the very fact that I had settled in and "nested."  It was an older residence turned commercial that was over 100 years old.  My office had high ceilings, an incredible view out the windows of a giant oak tree with squirrels running up and down the limbs, and plenty of room to spread out and access all of my books and materials.  I thought I had my Plan A set up when I talked to the owner about buying it.  And then surprisingly, one Saturday morning, I got a text telling me she had sold the property and I had 30 days to move out.  I was crushed, to say the least!  I had a vision of growing old in that office!  So, Steve and I went through plans B,C, D and E and possibly a few more while searching for office space.  In the final week before I had to be out, he had the idea to contact our pastor to see if the church might have a temporary place for me to use.  They did!!!!  I've now been there three months and things are going better than expected.  We, in the meantime, had a Plan H that we thought would be the "perfect" residence that had a separate office space.  It sold before we could sell our home.  
So,  the point is that we all need to be flexible and open to change.  We never know what our future holds or what God has planned for us.  If the doors close in your face, it's your time to move to that next plan with an open heart and expecting great things! 

The life that is waiting for us

Posted on January 25, 2013 at 2:26 AM Comments comments ()
“We must be willing to let go of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us” 
(Joseph Campbell)

It is late tonight as I sit in bed with the lights off, enjoying the warmth of covers and listening to the quiet of the night.  I was scrolling through some quotes on a website and found this one that just seemed to jump off the screen to me.  Hmmm...the life we've planned.  It is often said, usually jokingly, that God has a sense of humor.  That is usually said when total calamity has hit our lives!  I have to say that there have been many times in my personal life when I have had to let go of something that I had planned and just KNEW it was right for me.
Haven't you ever just had that feeling that something was meant to be?  A new relationship where the other person "gets" everything you say?  The job interview that goes so well that you leave feeling as if it is in the bag?  Sometimes we see ourselves as being with someone for the rest of our lives....and then things change.  Giving up on that dream is often extremely hard.  I know for myself that I have gotten my heart set on buying a home, even going so far as to visualize what paint color I would use for certain rooms; deciding where my furniture would go; deciding what new additions I would want to make.  And then the blink of an eye...the property sells.  To someone else!  That has seemed to have happened several times recently and to the point that Steve and I joke that we should rent ourselves out for people trying to sell their property.  Just let the Baers show interest in it and then the others will come in droves, making full price offers no less!
Oh yes, and then the thought of the life that is waiting for us.  I am a very impatient person.  Even after teaching Special Education for 29 years, I have never gained the virtue of patience, even though everyone seems to think it is a requirement of that vocation.  Have you ever wondered what is really waiting for you?  And are you willing to let go of the past hopes and dreams---when they are obviously not working out---to open your heart and mind to something new?  
It's about crossing the stream by stepping on one rock at a time, eventually totally letting go of what is behind you so that you can concentrate and do your best on finishing to get to the other side.
Just some good food for thought tonight.  Enjoy!

Let's Get things Started Here!

Posted on January 23, 2013 at 1:48 PM Comments comments ()
Very excited today to be adding a new area to my website.  I have posted on a personal blog off and on for years, but never one for my professional thoughts and plans!  
I'm hoping that if any of you read this, it will help you to determine that seeking counseling can be one of the best decisions you ever make.  If there is conflict or problems in your life, it is time to find help!  If I am not the right fit for someone, I will be happy to help them find a counselor that is.  
This photo that I ran across today reminds me of the sunshine and beautiful beaches of California.  We had the opportunity to drive up the coast in October as a part of our celebration of 20 years of marriage.  There's just something about scenes such as this, with the sounds of waves crashing in to shore, that brings many of us comfort and thoughts of relaxation.  I hope to be adding some links in the upcoming days to this blog and website to help you find new and better ways to live your best life!  
Looking forward to hearing from you!