Make an Appointment: [email protected] | 415-217-9604

  • Depression, Anxiety and Life Stress: Is it a “Killer” Moth or a Butterfly?

    Periodically, during the fall season, gigantic black moths appear in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. When I first experienced the moths, I feared these gigantic aimlessly flying insects. They are intimidating and overwhelming—747 sized moths dive bombing without warning in your home, on the street or even at the dinner table. I found myself ducking and trying to avoid them. Hands protecting my face, eyes squinted, looking fearfully above—I began to feel anxious around these harmless insects.

    One day it occurred to me that our distorted or negative thoughts are a lot like these intimidating insects. Thoughts can be powerful, scary, real, hurtful and judgmental. I realized that my perception of these harmless insects was really the problem, not the little critters themselves.  I now call them “little black butterflies” because butterflies land ever so gently. Throughout the day, thoughts often “land” on us and sometimes we let them stay too long. Especially the negative or distorted thoughts of self, others and situations. Together, we can gently work to examine your troubling “moths” and explore alternative ways of looking at problems.

    Of course, not all of our problems are related to negative thinking. Emotions are also a roadmap to what is bothering us. Sometimes in therapy, we “follow the feelings to the source of our troubles.”