Sunday, February 23, 2014

COMING OUT FROM UNDER....

     Today it's as though Spring has arrived, so naturally we feel like a new person.  It's simply amazing the way the weather plays such an important role in our lives.  People here in the north east have definitely been 'under the weather' for the last few months. (interesting choice of words is it not?). "Under the weather' obviously means that we are down because of weather.  When one wakes up to 'gray' instead of blue and sunny it simply doesn't invoke the same happy spirit.  We often just want to pull the covers back over our collective heads!

     Aside from the dreariness of the dark weather is the extra worry of how one is to get around in the gray mess---which includes both rain and snow.  The same energy needed to attack our work day is simply not there when the color outside our windows is Gray!!

    Of course we begin the season captivated by the first snow fall and anxious to look out the window and see the trees all white and the wonderland that is the landscape we first lay our eyes upon.  But of course that wears off and it all soon becomes gray, and gray and more gray.  Then we reach that wonderful moment when....Ah ha...it looks and feels a little bit like Spring!  We relish the idea of getting outside and walking.  We can't wait to breathe in the fresh air.  We actually want to 'get to work'.

    So why not give resolutions a new shot.  I made a bunch for the New Year, but they are of course still hanging on my door to remind me every minute of what I haven't done that I promised myself I would. So why not give the arrival (at least the partial arrival) of Spring a second chance for our own renewal.  Certainly we can allow ourselves to take more time outside---longer walks, etc.  And of course there's always shopping that we can take this time to do.  Tell you the truth even though it's too early to put away the boots just yet, we could still begin to focus on straightening up our rooms, and attacking our desks with new zest.

     My Florida readers are probably not 'feeling it' with me, but it's never a bad idea for everyone else to get up the ole energy by thinking this way and pretending the sky is so very blue, and grass is becoming green and there are hints of color all around. Time to start planning for the Spring and getting the place ready to open up and let the Spring come in....all the way to out hearts......Enjoy, and welcome the new 'light'.

     Hope some of you have enjoyed this session.  It's been awhile.  I guess I've been somewhat 'under the weather', so here's my stab at a new 'beginning'!

    Respectfully submitted,
    Mimi Scott, Ph.D
    Mscott13@aol.com
   www.drmimiscott.com
   

Friday, November 29, 2013

'Tis the season to be jolly...' But what if you're not??

       We are brought up with excitement about the Holiday season.  But what if-- 'lo and behold'-- we just are not?. What if we become, God forbid, depressed??? Unfortunately this is not an uncommon occurence.  Everyone knows about the Jewish kids that grow up jealous of their Christian neighbors and all the glorious presents they seem to get for Christmas.  Even with a gift for each of the 8 days of Chanukah, it never seems to add up to all the gifts their Christian friends receive.  But this  rarely becomes a serious situation.

       What is serious is when a loved one has died during the Holiday season.  Each year those affected are reminded of the sadness of their loss.  It is hard to laugh and 'be happy' when you're caught up with thoughts of a parent; a sibling, or a mate who left at this time of year. Then of course there are all the family gatherings that take place beginning with Thanksgiving.  So many find it difficult to be around family.  Usually it is because they feel that they have not met the expectations that 'the family' had for them.  Often there are underlying unresolved issues between family members that may be difficult to set aside at these gatherings. How sad...

       As this is a very frequent situation which therapists face from clients at this time of year I thought perhaps it would be helpful to offer ways in which to deal with your own possible sadness.  First know---you are not alone.  The time of year itself can bring about sadness.  It gets dark earlier; it's colder and all the bravado of the season only sets people who aren't feeling particularly 'happy'-- back.  What to do??

      Take stock of yourself.  Of course there are going to be things about which you are unsettled and disappointed.  When those thoughts take over...face them and then ask yourself what things you are happy about.  What achievements, small as they may be, have made you proud.  And most importantly who is in your life that you consider a 'friend'?  Who is there for you when you need someone?  Think about these people when you may not be around them. Tell your family about them.  Just thoughts of these people and the fun you may have had together can put a smile on your face. And if by chance you can't find anyone to fit this bill, make an assessment.  What kind of friend have you been?  Have you put yourself out for anyone and been there for them?  In order to have a friend you have to be one. This may be a good New Year's resolution.

    Finally, as much as you may not want to partake in the joviality of the season...force yourself to.  Make dinner plans with the friends you do have. (You may even call up one of your relatives who hold themselves apart and make a date with them!)  Dress up and put on make up. Go to some good, and 'up',  kind of movies.  Put on music in your home...the holiday TV stations can be great,  Lastly, reach out to everyone and wish them happiness at this time of year!  Ironically, it's the best way to lift your own spirits.

   Or...if you are a blogger take a minute and wish all your readers the very best the season and life has to offer.  Happy Holidays everone!

Respectfully submitted
Mimi Scott, Ph.d, LCSW
mscott13@aol.com
212 721-2979
917 846-2449

Sunday, September 1, 2013

WHEN THE HEART AND THE HEAD ARE IN OPPOSITION

       I feel really torn as I'm sure many out there do.  I too believe the world cannot stand by as  they did in the late 30's and early 40's and watch a dictator destroy lives....we still are "our brother's keepers" are we not?  I've never been too much of a fan of the UN, but still is there no authority in our world that is there to set up rules to 'keep us in line'?  Is not  a country like Syria simply gassing adults as well as children a perfect example of the world 'running amok'?  Shall we stand by and let this atrocity happen and look the other way?  My heart tells me NO.

      On the other hand, would not World War III bring complete devastation to the world??  Will not military action on our part (with virtually no other real partners) incite retaliation all over the Mid East, specifically toward our most important ally---Israel (whom we rely upon for so very much---most significantly our intelligence)?  What kind of weaponry is so specific as to hit only selected targets?  And yet it is the sophisticated weapons of today that can reach all of us from lands afar.
Should it be our choice to take action no matter how limited, I, sitting in my home here in New York City, feel frightened.

    As much as our Congress, for the most part, has come across increasingly incompetent, I am happy that Mr. Obama has put this issue on the table for them to debate. (Of course by the time that would take place and conclude....thousands more Syrians could be gone).  No matter what, Congress are our representatives and as such we must leave this decision in their hands.  If you feel strongly, now is the time to contact your congressman or woman and let them hear your feelings.  It is also the time to truly pray for them to be guided in this decision.

Dear Lord help us to peacefully restore humanity in our world.

Respectfully submitted


Mimi Scott, Ph.D
212 721-2979
mscott13@aol.com
www.drmimiscott.com

Sunday, August 11, 2013

ANOTHER OPENING!!!! ANOTHER SHOW!!

I'm writing this time, not as a therapist but as an actress/producer/playwright in order to share with you all my excitement over the opening of my new show Mah Jongg, The Musical which will be performed on the first 4 Thursdays in October at 7:00pm at New York's most popular Cabaret Club...Don't Tell Mama at 343 West 46th St between 8th and 9th Avenues .

I have 5 great gals with 5 great voices: Mary Crimmins,  Lisa Franklin, Michele Mac Shane, Paula Newman, and Linda Shell, who along with me, will be keeping audiences laughing and crying and, I'm quite sure, going home with a lot to think about.  From chit chat about elderly parents; the early sex lives of our grandchildren; online dating; the medications we consume; our lack of money---epitomized in a song called Gelt--- the importance of our pets, and of course our own marital statuses, the show covers just about everything that ladies of 'a certain age' might talk about. 

There are many wonderfully tuneful songs, composed by my new best friend, Nathan Kaplan, (with lyrics by yours truly) which virtually cover everything we discuss, and nothing is funnier than the number concerning the anticipated wedding of the Gay son of one of the Mah Jongg ladies.  All of it takes place while trying to concentrate (at my character's urging) on 'the Game'. My old friend Dick Feldman is directing all the chaos, and with the addition of his choreographic expertise, is translating it all into a delightful show.

I can promise any and all of you who may be interested in coming a really fun evening.  And there is a restaurant now attached to the Club which is delghtful if you would like to dine prior to the show or just after.

So my friends, and readers, do come and bring friends and of course, Mah Jongg groups with you.  They will all have a great evening, and the cover charge is only $16.00 with a two drink minimum (and drinks are very reasonable here). So call for reservations early at 212 757-0788.
(You may also want to visit  donttellmamanyc.com for your reservations).  Remember the dates: October 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th, and be sure and say hello to me after the show. 

See ya there!

Mimi Scott

Sunday, July 21, 2013

FINDING YOUR SPIRIT...


           Have you ever gone through a blank period? Nothing excites you. Nothing makes sense and nothing seems to motivate you. It's easier to stay in then to go out. TV is enough company. We've probably all been there at one time or another.  I'd like to say that "this too shall pass", but unfortunately it isn't that simple.  It still takes something from you in order to "pass", and instruction from friends and family can sometimes push you further away from taking action....and that is what is ultimately required "taking action".

         Those of you reading this who know me personally are aware that along with my psychotherapy work, I am very active in the theatre and the stage is my second home.  I often help clients who are 'stuck' so to speak by offering a little from the world of 'acting'.  There are two methods of conveying a certain emotion on the stage.  Let's say the actor has to come across as really cold (literally).  He/she may remember being outside on an extremely cold winter day when warmth is still far away. In doing so the actor tries to realize what it felt like hiking home and freezing (just writing this makes me shiver).  The actor senses exactly how he or she felt at that moment in time and indeed usually comes across 'cold' on the stage.

         The second 'method' of trying to come across 'cold' happens from the 'outside--in' so to speak.
In trying to appear 'cold' the actor may choose to put a collar up and to cross his or her arms while rubbing up and down from the shoulder to the elbow. He or she may also try running in place and closing hands around the mouth while breathing out.  In doing all the above the actor soon feels 'cold'.

         The same can be true in life.  If the aim is to 'wake up' and 'smell the roses', or put another way
"get your ass outa bed and get going" there are also two diffferent ways to get oneself out of the funk.  You may sit and think through what is going on and mentally make a list of what you can to to activate yourself....you may even write up the list and in very small steps begin to take action while checking off each step as you take it.  OR you can try the second method and and actually do all the things that you know to do in order to feel or 'be' more alive.  Number one...get outta bed and get dressed. Then make yourself, or go out for something to eat that you really enjoy.  Then contact someone who makes you feel good by text, phone or whatever. Make plans to do something and do it!  Before you know it you will find some of that 'old spirit' is invading your body.  Keep it all up until it's natural again. 

       After a heart attack several months ago when the prescption for me was to rest. rest and rest some more...I soon found myself in that funk....soooooo I disobeyed and not only got out of bed, but I got dressed; put on make up and even jewelry----just to walk the dogs!!  But slowly I'm still getting back to normal and of course, the theatre once again is getting me there.  Plans are in place for my show Mah Jongg the Musical to be performed at Don't Tell Mama, Manhattan's number one Cabaret Club on west 46th street in midtown.  Rehearsals actually begin next week.  Sooooo I'm certainly happy to be 'finding that old spirit'.
     
     Hope you enjoyed this session as much as I did writing it..

Respectfully submitted

Mimi Scott, Ph.D
mscott13@aol.com
www.drmimiscott.com
212 721-2979
917-846-2449




Sunday, May 19, 2013

FINDING SPRING...



We have indeed enjoyed some lovely 'Spring' days/evenings in the past few weeks...but have we really left behind a very cold and dark winter?  Are we really liberated, or are the guns, the bombs and the other horrors of the past season really gone?? We can pray...but I'm not very hopeful.

How in God's name did they not pass the new gun control measures...and both parties were guilty!!  It boggles my mind. Two nights ago a lovely Hofstra college girl, a twin, was killed---and not by the gun that the intruder shot....but by the bullet that the police shot trying to save her!!! No matter how you look at it---it was another gun battle!!!

If a license to drive can be obtained by passing a written test and a road test---why can't there be a test or two for gun purchasing?  Cannot mental health scholars come up with some questions that can reveal problems and at least alert those in a position to reliquish the weapons, that the purchaser is deemed not stable enough to own the weapon?  Maybe...just maybe some lives may be saved with this relatively easy process. 

Are all of you aware of the new guns for kids?   Made with cartoon characters on them?? NOT TOYS...REAL GUNS!!.  About a month ago a parent bought one for a five year old son...The next day he shot and killed his toddler sister with it. When this parent purchased the gun could he or she have not been given a simple test to investigate his or her own stability?  And if the test does indeed send out an alert--let these people get affirmation of their capability to own a gun either for themselves or for their children, from a licensed mental health person before being allowed to complete the purchase.

I used to feel that before a new mother leaves a hospital with a newborn they should be required to pass a simple test offered by the hospital.  Simple things like handling diaper changes and baby cries can frustrate and even anger a parent to the point of harming the baby.

It's rather pathetic that we have arrived at a place that requires these kinds of tactics...but we have--- and if that frustrated parent, or sibling or sitter gets angry enough today they can reach for those guns that are simply lying around....

Please let us not just let this effort to rid our communities of these guns and and those who carry them for evil, go by the wayside. Write continually to our legislators and refuse to vote for him or her until he or she has taken a strong stand to reduce the ability of an individual to obtain a gun whenever the mood strikes!!

Hope you digest this session...I just didn't want to let the issue (or another victim) die....Thanks for your attention.

Respectfully,
Mimi Scott, Ph.D
212 721-2979
917 846-2449
mscott13@aol.com
www.drmimiscott.com

Sunday, March 10, 2013

KEEPING IN TOUCH!!


    My Aunt Gert died last week. She was 100 years old this past August.  There was a wonderful party given to celebrate.  Two weeks later I called and asked how she enjoyed the party and she said "What party?"...

    I didn't really get in too many calls to her this past Fall.  Then last week I was told she was in Hospice...I was beside myself and packed right away to get up to see her before she could possibly go.  As we were going out the door I got the call that she had passed...I was devastated.  Not that I didn't totally expect that at 100 it wouldn't be too long, and not that we weren't all able to go on without her, but I was devastated because I hadn't gotten to simply 'talk' to her once more before she went. How many of us suffer that feeling of "why didn't I call more or visit more?" when someone passes or becomes ill. I hope that I will not ever feel that way again. 

   I only recently learned that my Assistant talks to her family (and I mean cousins, aunts and uncles, as well as brothers and sisters and parents) every single day!!  She gets up early and goes to bed late so she can be sure and touch base with everyone each day.  In addition, I have a 'best friend' from high school who has lived in California since we graduated.  I couldn't believe how much she called me (at least once daily) when I had breast cancer, and equally as much when I suffered a heart attack.  And the distance has never kept us from being in touch with one another.  What really blew my mind was when she too, told me that she does the same with her entire family.  Her sister has passed, but her sister's children and their children are called everyday, and she too talks to all her cousins, etc. all the time.

   I'm really interested if all my readers do virtually the same, or like my family, barely stay in touch.
Neither of the two people I've described use the internet to 'keep in touch' since it's all done by calling. Well, in today's world that's got to be rare.  Other than my daughter, and her three girls, all other communication is mainly by email or text.  Even my son asks that I email him rather than call. That way he is actually able to give me more attention then when I call in the midst of his busy working day/night.
 
   Calls are wonderful, but a simple email or even a text to make sure everything is ok, is at least one way of 'keeping in touch'.  And when I say 'family', I include all good friends.  How many times have we heard of some mishap or infirmity that has befallen someone about whom we care and felt just awful that we hadn't been 'in touch' prior to all this happening.

  Others are our life blood.  We thrive on their warmth, friendship, intellligence and creativity.  They are what makes the difference often in our own successes and failures.  They are our support.  But it does take a commitment to make sure we 'keep in touch' and are there for them when they need us to be their conscience, support and simply their 'friend'.  In my practice I have always found that whatever anyone is suffering is made so much easier when their life is filled with people, as opposed to how much harder it all is when they feel friendless and lonely.  It actually makes a tremendous difference in one's physical well being as well as his or her emotional well being.

   And, not to excuse myself, but a twosome can accomplish all this much better than a single person.  If you haven't contacted someone in awhile you can always ask a spouse or a partner to take care of it.  And it is so much easier for others when they have the choice of contacting you or your 'other half'.  As bad as I feel about my inadequacies regarding my family (I guess I simply took them 'for granted'), I did make a commitment early on to stay in touch with people I have met and cared for through the years, especially since I became widowed.  I am not one who ever feels alone or short of friends...but it does take work and a real commitment.  In the end this activity makes your life and your whole world that much fuller and more complete.

   Isn't there some ad that  says something like "Have you called your kids today?".  Take heed.

  I hope you've found this session helpful....

  Respectfully yours,

 Mimi Scott, Ph.D
 212 721-2979
 917 846-2449    Isn't it great how many ways we can contact someone today!!
mscott13@aol.com
www.drmimiscott.com