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.

11 Small Ways to Create a More Satisfying Life

Katherine Broadway, counseling, raleigh PsychotherapyFrom when you get up in the morning to when you go to bed, life can be difficult and challenging. There are things that we cannot change and there are things we can; sometimes, the only thing we can change is our attitude, but even that can make a significant difference and make our life more satisfying.


Joan hated to get up in the morning. She decided she did not want to dread mornings any longer, so she carefully examined how she felt when she awoke, and what might make her feel better.

One highlight of the morning for Joan is her morning coffee. It warms her, wakes her, and makes her feel nurtured.  On a shopping trip, she discovered a single-cup coffee machine with a timer that was small enough to sit by her bed.

Now, each evening before she goes to bed she gets her coffee ready. She now awakens to the smell of freshly brewed coffee and can enjoy it before she gets out of bed.

Just as Joan improved her morning with a simple change, you can change things about your day to make your life more pleasant and enjoyable. Continue reading

“Finding Dory”: Words of Wisdom from Dory, Her Family and Friends.

Words of Wisdom from Dory, family and friendsSometimes, life is simply too much.  Too much at home, too much in the news, too much violence and sadness and loss. Times like that, your best option can be to escape the intense moment and rest your mind and spirit.  This week, I escaped with my grandchildren and a fish named Dory.

After rushing to the theater, buying popcorn and getting two small children settled in their seats, those new reclining ones, I settled back to enjoy the beauty of Finding Dory (“Not Dora, but Dory,” my granddaughter says. “Repeat after me: Dor…y.”).

Continue reading

Happiness Quota: How Happy Are You Allowed to Be?

Happiness QuotaImagine this scene: A mother is in the hospital just having given birth to her baby. She is excited and happy. The nurse gives her the newborn. The baby turns her head toward mother and snuggles.

The baby is searching for warmth and comfort. The child probably is not hungry because it has just spent nine months with all its needs met. The baby is mostly traumatized and seeking comfort and safety. Continue reading

7 Behaviors That Hurt You and Your Relationships, and 5 Questions to Help You Improve

7 behaviors that hurt you and your relationships, and 5 questions to help you improveDo you find yourself feeling taken for granted in your relationships?

Do you feel like you are the one who gives more and receives less?

Do you feel unsure of how important you are to your friends, family

and lovers? Unconsciously, you may be teaching people to treat

you in a careless way by your behaviors.

John once again was feeling as if no one cared about what he needed or wanted. He and his wife had just returned from a much-needed vacation. They agreed that she would make most of the arrangements for the trip. He thought he was very clear that he did not want to go on any long guided trips. On the first day of the trip, however, John learned his first activity was an all-day guided bus tour on a bus with a lot of people. Continue reading