If you only have 15 minutes for the video, move the slider on the video below to the 1:05:58 time index. Here Dr  Rossman gives a demonstration of meditation using guided imagery. You can download an mp3 of this presentation and carry the meditation with you to practice at any point throughout your day. 


Martin L. Rossman, M.D. is a pioneer of mind/body medicine and healing, and recently I ran across his very wonderful talk on "Worrying Well: How Your Brain Can Turn Anxiety and Stress Into Calmness and Confidence", and you can watch the full video below or at the UCSF website or download an mp3 so you can take to talk with you. Here are some highlights from the talk on worry.
  • Worry gets bad press because we don't do it well. Healthy worry is thinking about things we can do something about. Anxiety is worrying about things we have no control over. Dr Rossman refers to the Serenity Prayer as a valid guide for determining where we focus our mind.
  • Our ability to analyze, calculate allow us to take the things we imagine and make them real. Worry is a function of imagination. If you don't have imagination you won't have worry. Then again, you wouldn't be creative, spontaneous or experience much joy without imagination.
  • We often worry about things that don't happen. 9 times out of 10, the things we worry out don't come to pass. You can try it by writing down some of your worries and then check in again in about 3 months. See for yourself how many of your worries have actually happened.
  • Worry can be a form of distraction and keep us from thinking about things that may be more emotionally painful, or stressful. We may be using worry to avoid things we might actually be able to resolve if we were to put attention and effort into those things. 
  • Worry is a type of repetitive, circular thinking, whereas anxiety is an uncomfortable, physical response, and stress is a physical response that prepares you for challenges.
Dr Rossman then goes on to talk about anxiety, explains how the brain reacts to thoughts and axiety, and concludes with ways of managing anxiety.
  • The adult human brain is changeable. We are not stuck with our anxious brains. Relatively new scientific research on neuroplasticity has demonstrated that the brain can change itself, through structured, repetitive practice over time. 
  • The brains of men and women are wired differently, and this helps explain mens' relative lack of awareness of emotions compared to women. It's simply biology, but it can be changed through repetition and practice.
  • Self-directed neuroplasticity is the notion of using your own mind to change your brain. 
There is good worry and bad (or unhelpful) worry. Dr Rossman recommends a simple technique to sort out these two.
  • Good worry anticipates and solves problems. Ask yourself, "Is it likely that I can do anything about this?"  Writing out your worries can help you determine if you are engaged in "good" worry or "bad" worry. If you can't do anything about it, put it on your unhelpful or futile worry list. 
  • Bad worry is circular, habitual, or "magical", doesn't lead to solutions. It scares you and can become a kind of auto suggestion, making you suggestive to fear through the repetitive process of "bad" worry.
  • The serenity prayer can be a useful affirmation to help remind you to let go, or stop thinking about things you have no control over and direct your energy toward the things you can control or influence. 
Here are some simple strategies for making decisions in the face of worry or anxiety.
  • Talk to people who are wise, to help you make a good decision about a worry.
  • Imagine you are having a conversation Jesus, or Mohammad, Gandhi or Yoda, or even your wise grandmother, and imagine what they would tell you to do. Imagine what someone important to you would say, someone with wisdom, intelligence, and someone you respect.
  • Imagine what you'd tell a friend. It's usually easier to give advice to others, so it can be helpful to imagine what we'd tell someone else. 
  • Think about your intention. Focus on the outcome you desire, rather than the thing you are avoiding. Just like throwing darts, if you look at the bullseye you'll have greater success at hitting your mark.

My name is Dave Ebaugh and I hope these links are helpful to you. I've been providing counseling in Portland, Oregon, to individuals, couples and families for over 20 years. Please feel free to call or use the contact form if you have any questions about any of this material, or if I can help in any way.

There are a variety of current treatment options for anxiety to improve the quality of your life. Two of them are psychotherapy and medication. Of the various types of psychotherapy, experts agree that cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is one of the most effective treatment for treating anxiety disorders. CBT is a two sided therapy that focuses on the way we think and the way we act.

phone: 503.345.3370 | email
The video below outlines the steps developed by Joe Barry to stopping a panic attack. His technique uses elements of mindfulness, cognitive reframing, acceptance of symptoms and commitment to improved coping with symptoms. Watch and try for yourself, and don't forget to consult with your doctor or mental health professional if you think you are having symptoms of anxiety or panic attack.


Panic Away is one of the best sources of information in teaching techniques for managing anxiety and panic disorders. Barry McDonagh is the creator of the Panic Away Program. Barry writes in a very readable style, and explains very clearly, the nature of anxiety and panic attacks. Below, I've included a video of a basic, and effective technique, for stopping a panic attack. You can read more about Barry's techniques for managing anxiety and panic attack at http://www.panicaway.com.

Learn About Therapy for Anxiety, Panic, PTSD, Fear of Flying

My name is Dave Ebaugh and I hope these links are helpful to you. I've been providing counseling in Portland, Oregon, to individuals, couples and families for over 20 years. Please feel free to call or use the contact form if you have any questions about any of this material, or if I can help in any way.
Below is a video clip from panicaway.com which outlines some of the more common techniques for overcoming the fear of flying.


Flying is often an anxious experience for the average person, so it’s understandable that it poses a difficult challenge for a person with high anxiety and frequent panic attacks. Getting into an airplane and strapping ourselves in can activate fears across a number of domains. We may not be dealing with simply a fear of flying, we may be dealing with a fear of heights, of going too fast, of being trapped in a closed space, or perhaps what might be the most common fear, the fear of not being in control of the situation. The possibility of a number of fears can make the fear of flying a difficult condition to treat. Yet, regardless of the specific reasons that people fear flying, when they finally decide to face their fear and get some help, most of them are able to achieve success.

Some of the more common techniques for overcoming the fear of flying include:
  • getting a good rest before your departure
  • organize your departure so that you giving yourself plenty of time to get to the airport get through security, check your bags, etc
  • As you board the airplane, reaffirm the fact that should the anxiety manifest itself, it won’t damage you.
  • request a short meeting with the pilot during boarding to share your anxiety and that you'll be making efforts to manage it
  • allow yourself to feel your anxiety as you are in your seat waiting for the plane to take off, accept and feel the anxiety rather than trying to fight it or make it go away
  • remember to regulate your breathing, that is, use techniques the keep your breathing even, smooth, and full

phone: 503.345.3370 | email
Interpersonal Neurobiology, a term coined by Dr. Dan Siegel, studies the way the brain grows and is influenced by personal relationships. Recent studies have confirmed that we are hardwired to connect with one another, and we connect through our emotions. Our brains, bodies, and minds are inseparable from the emotions that animate them. When that connection fails, we experience significant distress. 


Normal human development relies on the cultivation of relationships with others to form and nurture the self-regulatory circuits that enable emotion to enrich, rather than enslave, our lives. Emotionally traumatic events can wreak havoc on our family, relationships and psyche, contributing to intense feelings of anxiety, feeling rejected or abandoned, or simply a perpetual disatisfaction or distrust of close, intimate relationships. However, experiencing truly healthy relationships can become powerful catalysts for the transformations that are at the heart of the healing process.

IPNB explores the potential for healing trauma by using positive and secure influences on the brain. Conditions once thought to be permanent now have the bright potential for healing and growth. If trauma experience can change our neurons and genes, then “positive” experiences can have potential to restore our bodies to emotional and physical health. IPNB explores subtle, non-conscious influences on our experience of others, including implicit memory, mirror neurons, and emotional resonance.

Implicit Memory – Current situations trigger past emotional memories. ” When I sit in this big comfortable chair, it reminds me of when I was a kid and I would sit in my grandfather’s lap and feel safe and warm”. Or ” I get so angry when my wife and I fight it reminds me of when I would go to my room and hear my parents yelling at each other.”

Mirror Neurons – nerve cells activate in sympathy and in the same brain location as nerve cells of the person whose actions we are watching. These neurons help us to sense what others intend and help us connect with what the other feels…We resonate with their state.

Emotional Resonance – when two people experience deep feelings and can sense what the other feels. A mutual caring that is exchanged through words, expressions, or tones. One can feel what another is feeling.

What a IPNB therapist does:
1. Initiates and creates emotional safety along with the client.
2. Demonstrates vulnerability through transparency and self revealing.
3. Assists client in moving from “talking about” situations to being in emotional exchange with therapist in the “hear and now”.

Books by Daniel Siegel MD
"The Neurobiology of "We": How Relationships, the Mind, and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are"
 "The Mindful Brain"

More video talks by Daniel Siegel MD

phone: 503.345.3370 | email
This from the humor website The Onion, is too funny for words. According to Onion News Network, the FDA has approved the first "depressant" for the 20 million Americans who are "insufferably cheery."

The first ever prescription depressant hit the shelves today. Approved by the F.D.A. last month, Despondex is intended as a treatment for the insufferably cheery. Tests prove the drug is effective at reducing a range of symptoms, from squealing loudly when a friend calls, to use of the phrase "cool beans", and excessive hugging. Dr. Alman Wei calls the drug a huge step forward in the battle against exuberance.

Thanks to my colleague, Jason Luomo, for passing this along.
Enjoy the video ...


phone: 503.345.3370 | email
In the clip below, Dan Ariely, professor at Duke University and author of Predictably Irrational, shows us how our expectations influence our experience. In this example, he offers people 2 beers to taste, one a regular beer, and one with a drop of balsamic vinegar added.

When patrons do not know the beer is adulterated with balsamic vinegar, they report preferring the adulterated beer. When patrons are told they will be trying a beer with balsamic vinegar, most will hate the taste of that same adulterated beer. It's almost as though negative expectations will cause us to have a negative experience.

Another way to think about this is to imagine how a discussion with your spouse might go over spending time with your in-laws on Saturday versus attending a golf tournament that's come to town that same day. Of course, you absolutely love golf, and your in-laws can't stand golf.

What you expect will influence what you experience. If you expect conflict, then you will enter the conversation defensive, and your partner will be immediately suspicious of your motives. On the other hand, if you expect that the conversation will go well, and the two of you will work together to figure out a plan that will keep everybody happy, then the conversation will go much better.