8 Things I’ve Learned Practicing Therapy. ~ Lena Dicken

Via elephant journal
on Oct 16, 2012
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8 Common challenges we encounter and how to work with them.

“All that you are is the result of what you’ve thought.” ~ The Buddha

1. Most people think they’re the only one who feels anxious in social situations.

It may all feel like a movie, but you aren’t the main character. In other words, it isn’t about you. Instead of trying to get people to like you, try searching for someone you would like to add to your group of friends.

2. Everyone has that voice inside their head that says, “You aren’t good enough.”

Don’t listen. You must put your head down and move toward your goals. Tell that voice to shove it.

3. Finding the right person won’t solve all your problems.

Once the honeymoon stage wears off, you’ll be challenged to face parts of yourself you didn’t even know existed. Choose someone who understands relationships are opportunities for growth, learning and deep understanding. Bonus points if you can have fun with this person in the process.

4. Every couple wants good communication, but really they want good connection.

All the communication exercises in the world won’t help if you and your partner can’t connect with each other anymore.

5. Many people who come to therapy don’t like themselves.

Somewhere along the line someone told you you weren’t good enough, and you believed it. Maybe you didn’t make the cheerleading squad, or get into the college you wanted, and this started a pattern of thinking which doesn’t serve you. Self-love is a process of accepting yourself as you are and having compassion for the parts of you that feel unloved. For most people, this is a life long process.

6. It isn’t your parents’ fault.

Okay, maybe it is. But it’s up to you to get over it and on with it. Talk with them, write them a letter, write it in the sand, whatever. Forgive them and move forward.

7. When you do good things you feel good, and when you do bad things you feel bad.

This might seem obvious, but you would be surprised by how many people do things they know are wrong (lying, cheating, etc), and then wonder why they feel weighed down and unhappy. Being honest and living with integrity lights you up and makes you happier.

8. Everyone has days where they feel bad for no reason.

On these days, practice acceptance of what you’re feeling and try not to push the feelings aside. Try calling a loved one, listening to music, cooking, or whatever makes you feel good. Just be nice to yourself.


Lena Dicken, MA, MFTi has been a lifelong vegetarian, and has been practicing yoga and meditation since she was a kid. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Integrative Health, a Master’s in Counseling Psychology, and is currently working towards her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. She sees individuals, couples, and groups in private practice in Santa Monica. Along with her psychotherapy practice she is a Registered Yoga Instructor and Lifestyle + Wellness Coach. You can find Lena perusing local farmers markets, cycling on the 101, or surfing second point in Malibu in her imaginary free time. Twitter: https://twitter.com/LenaDTherapy     Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LenaDTherapy


Editor: Jennifer Spesia

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12 Responses to “8 Things I’ve Learned Practicing Therapy. ~ Lena Dicken”

  1. Matt Wiley says:

    Thanks Lena

    Powerful gems for an authentic self!

  2. jamesvincentknowles says:


  3. Ana-Catalina says:

    Gracias Lena! Excelente!!!

  4. Lou says:

    Clean, pristine and simple truth. Thank you. I enjoyed reading it.

  5. Bryan says:

    Have you done any therapy or exploration with a yogic model of the mind and utilizing yogic dreaming approaches to reach the soul versus common western approaches via Jung and Freud?

  6. Lena says:

    Thank you Lou! Glad you enjoyed it!

  7. Lena says:

    Gracias Ana!

  8. Lena says:

    Thanks Matt. I like your use of "gems." Perhaps that will be incorporated into my next article 🙂

  9. Lena says:

    Thank you James!

  10. Lena says:

    Hi Bryan, I'm a huge proponent of the concept of holism. My early life was filled with eastern thought and philosophy and has certainly shaped the type of therapist I am today. I actually dropped out of the first college I went to because it was too "Freudian." After years of teaching yoga, traveling around the globe, and lots of spiritual searching, I ultimately decided the best route for me was to learn both sides of the psychology coin. Whether someone leans more towards eastern or western thought, my hope is to be able to help people by integrating the best of both philosophies. So to answer your question, yes 🙂

  11. Mona says:

    especially appreciating #7 — do good, be good = feel good!

  12. […] change is self-change, whether we are working with a group, individual coach or any kind of therapist. It always comes down to the individual and his or her willingness to learn and take […]