Hurricane: Life’s Test of Endurance and Resiliency

Hurricane, counseling, Raleigh Psychotherapy, Katherine Broadwayand sometimes life sends you a hurricane.

A husband and wife watching the water to see if it will flood their home of 45 years. Residents wait for a tree to be removed from a power line, so they can live in the light again.

Traffic rerouted. Business owners watch as water creeps toward their businesses and livelihood. Countless others wait for the damage that never comes.

The drama and trauma unfolds as nature reminds us that we are not always in control. 

hurricane Matthew, counseling, Raleigh Psychotherapy, Katherine Broadway…and still, the dawn breaks and the sun returns to remind us that life goes on regardless of the impact of the storm.

Control once again returns to us at least in some limited way.

Neighbors and friends join those in need to provide help in labor, goods, support and love. We are not alone in the time of need. Groups of people gather around those who need help.

We see the goodness and giving nature of humanity.

Storms test us. 

Most of the time it is a test of nerves as we wait to see if this time, we are the ones with any damage or even worse the tragedy.

Even, if we are not affected by the storm, we know someone who is. When it is over we often have frayed nerves and guilt. This is survivor guilt. It is the joy and gratitude that this time, we were the lucky ones. Soon the guilt follows the joy.  I survived the storm while many others are suffering.

What can we do in times like this? We can look for the opportunity to help. You may be the one to help a neighbor, friend or family member: clean up a yard, donate food or listen to the person telling the story of what happened to them.

For weeks after a storm, people will ask, “How did you do in the storm?” It is an opportunity to help yourself and others. Telling the story of what happened, is how we process memories . By connecting with caring people, we put into perspective our own experience. We process the event and store our memories inside us in helpful ways when we are able tell our story. It helps release the negative energy and impact associated with the event.

Lady GaGa’s Stand Against Sexual Assault

Lady Gaga and sexual assaultLady Gaga’s performance at this year’s Oscars touched lives across the country.  The emotional rendition of  “Til It Happens To You” brought the crowd to their feet, and started a conversation about sexual assault.

The song was written for The Hunting Ground, a documentary about sexual assault at colleges and universities.  The lyrics provide a portrait of what it is like to be a victim, and a survivor, of sexual assault. We are talking about more than rape; we are talking about non-consensual sexual contact. In the song, she addresses how abuse victims are mistreated long after the incident itself is over. Continue reading

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,on Equality and Change

DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, Jr. ,on equality and change.


This is the day we commemorate the short life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  While he is adored and respected today, when he was alive he was feared and hated because he was working for radical change. He called for people to alter the structure of society, and to do so would require individuals to change from the inside.


We have moved from the era of civil rights to the era of human rights, an era where we are called upon to raise certain basic questions about the whole society.”

The call for Change

The message he brought to the world, and to the cause he championed, was far larger than segregation. He worked for justice, equality and peace. He opposed militarism and violence of any kind, yet he believed it takes action – nonviolent action – to bring about change.

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5 Ways to Cope With Holiday Drama

5 ways to cope holidaysHolidays may be a great time to see family and friends.  They are also a time when we return to old patterns and behaviors.  When we go back “home,” we revert to the relationships we had growing up, instead of acting as the grownups that we now are.  These are the same relationships and patterns that formed our views of ourselves and our outlooks on life.  Along with this, unconscious conflicts may come to the surface, which will cause us to end up in a three-sided behavior pattern.

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