The Human Element Blog/Vlog

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Live in your Power!

Our coach and speaker Dr Caba discuss ho to live your power with a group of entrepreneurs. 

What is EAP from your employer?

Run Meetings Confidently

Effectively run meetings enable managers to accomplish more in a shorter amount of time, with the added benefit of group involvement and buy-in.

This article highlights a few things to consider as you prepare to confidently run your meeting.

Running meetings can be time-consuming if they lack focus, the right members, or effective facilitation tools.

On the other hand, they can also be an extremely efficient way to get things done quickly, to support building a team environment, and to enable collaboration among key people to produce a better outcome than possible working independently.

If you are responsible for running meetings, and aren’t quite sure how best to go about creating an effective meeting experience, you’ll be glad you found this article.

Following are a few key steps to successful meeting management.

Attending to each of these steps will enable you to repeatedly create a well-organized productive experience, and therefore build your confidence that you can run effective meetings.

1. Meet with a purpose

If you ask most people, they have been to one too many meetings that seemed (whether or not accurately so) to have no purpose.

Be sure to call a meeting only if you have a clear reason for doing so.

It doesn’t matter what your reason might be.

If you need information from the group, set a clear agenda with key questions ahead of time.

If you want to share information, draft an outline of your key points. If you just want to get the team together to allow for bonding time, then organize it so that an interactive environment will be facilitated (order pizza, etc.)

2. Communicate your purpose/agenda

So, you know why you’re meeting—great!

Now, tell everyone else why you are! Be sure to let all attendees know how long the meeting will be, where it will be, and what information is to be covered.

Be sure to let them also know what the goal of the meeting is—what deliverables, outcomes, etc. are expected so they can come prepared.

Just because you’ve called the meeting doesn’t mean you’re the only one who has to do the talking.

Enable them to participate—sharing relevant information ahead of time, will ensure they come prepared to contribute, and take the spotlight off of you at the same time!

Supporting materials

Come prepared with the appropriate supporting materials.

If this is an information gathering session, bring forms or tools for completion. Presentation? Bring slides/handouts, etc.

Whatever will support communication of your key points, gathering of the required information, or structuring of the discussion should be included to create a stronger sense that everyone’s time is being well spent.

4. Everyone present for a purpose

Please ensure that every single individual invited to the meeting is there for a reason. And, more importantly, that each attendee clearly understands his/her specific role.

When planning your meeting consider team members’ roles.

How can they contribute?

Do they have key information, skills, experience that you can leverage in the meeting?

Help them feel useful by letting them know the important role you’d like them to play.

Also helpful in running effective meetings, is to assign meeting management roles before you begin the meetings. Some specific meeting facilitation roles might include:

Scribe: to record key information, and meeting minutes

Flipchart recorder: to capture key points, questions visually on flipcharts

Timekeeper: to help keep to the agenda

“Devil’s advocate”: should the group tend to always passively agree to all suggestions, it might be helpful (and fun) to assign someone to play devil’s advocate purely for the purpose of creating creative debate and discussion.

5. Outcomes/agreements captured and reviewed

Before you end the meeting, review the agreed upon action items, along with the responsible parties for each item as discussed during the meeting.

If you’ve assigned meeting scribes or flipchart recorders, then this step should be relatively simple.

6. Next steps defined

Discuss roundabout timeframes for completion of action items, and also make sure to review next steps.

Set expectations now for a follow-up meeting, should one be required.

Let everyone know what you anticipate will need to be covered in the next meeting.

7. Show your appreciation

Every single person’s time is precious.

So, be sure to thank them for their participation and contributions. Motivate key participants by letting them know after the meeting just how helpful their contributions were during the meeting.

This will help to ensure that next time you need to have a meeting, you’ll find willing participants ready to go.

8. Reflect on your process

Identify what went well, and what didn’t.

Learn from your experience and find ways to improve as you move forward. Don’t forget to seek support from your Human Resources Training group should you be interested in building your facilitation skills.

Following these 8 steps will ensure that with practice, you will be effectively, and smoothly running meetings—with confidence!

Journey through Mental Health Series

This Vlog series is a collection of interviews form counseling, speakers, and coaching professionals. We interview these professionals to get a better understanding about the field of mental health and self development.  

Journey through Mental Health: Yolanda Taylor Licensed Counselor

Journey through Mental Health: Dr. David C Congdon  Licensed Social Worker

Journey through Mental Health: Rosa Everly Licensed Counselor

Body Confidence: How to like what you see in the mirror.

From childhood we are sold on an ideal image of beauty, one few of us ever see reflected when we look in the mirror.

This article will show you how you can look in the mirror and despite the ideal, see only a beautiful you.

When you look in the mirror, what’s the first thing you notice, and how does it make you feel?

If you’re like most people, the first thing that catches your eye is probably your least favorite asset. If so, don’t worry you’re not alone. Here’s why.

Can you guess how much money is spent in just one year by advertisers to sell us on the concept of the “ideal” image of beauty?

Well, I can’t either but I do know this—it’s a lot of money, certainly somewhere in the billions of dollars!

So, technically, you can consider yourself brainwashed.

From your earliest childhood days—whether you played with Action Man or Barbie—you’ve been receiving constant, consistent images telling you what beauty is supposed to look like.

Never mind that these images are for the most part, anatomically impossible!

And, would you really want to look like Fabio anyway? Or Pam Anderson? Honestly?

I’m guessing probably not.

So, here’s how you can build your confidence with the body God gave you:

        1. Look in the mirror

        2. This time, really look at yourself.

             Reflect on the compliments you have received.

             Do people tell you how great your hair is?

             How beautiful your eyes are?

             That you have a nice smile? Try to see what they see.

         3. Stand far enough away from the mirror so that you can take it all in. What do you see?                     Find at least three positive things.

         4. Now, get up close. Really close. Look at your eyes—the irises. What color are they?

             Are they all one color or are there flecks of various colors?

             How would you describe them using positive analogies or adjectives?

         5. Now, smile. What does your smile convey? Warmth? Happiness?

         6. Find at least three characteristics you like best about yourself, and then accentuate them           as you dress to go out.

 If you love your eyes, make sure your hair doesn’t cover them up

 Love your lips? Make sure to keep them soft and moisturized

 Your hair? Get a flattering cut and condition it regularly to keep it shiny and healthy

In short, amplify what you like, and don’t worry about the parts you don’t.

Here are some ways to do just that:

 Go shopping and bring a good friend. Ask them to help you pick out colors and clothes they think flatter you. Don’t worry if your first reaction is “that’s not me!” Experiment!

 Feel better about whatever it is you don’t like about yourself by picturing the absolute worst-case scenario. Exaggerate whatever it is you’re hung up on and blow it up in you mind until it’s comical. Then look in the mirror—not so bad anymore is it?

Accept yourself for who you are, how you look, and focus on what really matters—the things about you that can’t be seen—your heart, mind and soul!

 What do you want people to praise you for? Is it really how you look? Probably not. You probably want people to think you’re funny, smart, nice, or generous—something along those lines right?

 Make a list of your positive personal qualities and characteristics. Then ask yourself, what’s more important? Get involved in activities that build on your personal characteristics—volunteer, join a club, take a class to sharpen a talent. These will help you emphasize and focus more on the more important qualities that get you through life successfully and with more fun.

Live life, love fully and laugh often!

How to Break Bad Habits

What are your bad habits?

Smoking? Talking too much? Drinking? Untidiness?

We’ve all got them.

Within this article are 5 simple reasons for breaking a bad habit.

If it ain’t broke, break it, and if it won’t break, then bend it

Bad habits.

Whether it’s a perpetual pile of clothes in the corner you’re waiting to someday turn into gold, a self-proclaimed disability which renders you unable to refrain from interrupting, or, a knack for timing your exit just so, so that someone else is continually left to pick up the dishes, now’s the time to extinguish these habits before they turn into next year’s resolutions.


1. It’s not fair to others

One of the great universal laws ruling our wonderful planet says that you get back what you put out there.

Want others to be kind and considerate to you?

Then start putting the considerate, kind vibes out there and pick up your clothes, your dishes, and stop interrupting or whatever it is you or a collective “others” define as a bad habit.

2. It’s not fair to you

I’m sure you’re a nice person, and you pride yourself on having generous, warmhearted traits.

So, it’s not fair to you either that this simple, little, annoying thing you do can wield the power that it now, or will soon have.

These tiny culprits have been known to ruin marriages, friendships, and cause the downfall of many a mighty person.

Plus you’ll feel better about yourself.

3. Your success depends on it

Bad habits have a funny way of scope and context creep.

First they only happen in certain situations, and the next thing you know, you’re at a business function swirling your fingers through the chip dip.

Put an end to it now before situations that require your utmost polish become tarnished by these terribly annoying little critters.

4. You probably don’t like it when others do the same thing

Think about it. If someone did the same thing to you, would it bother you?

Be honest.

Sometimes all it takes is a simple exercise in empathy to find the motivation to quit whatever it is we could benefit from stopping.

5. List your own reasons

But be sincere.

What is it costing you to perpetuate these habits?

Whether it’s a moment of peace, seemingly perpetual nagging, or simple anxiety resulting from anticipation of the next blow-up or negative comment, you owe it to yourself to commit to your ongoing personal development, and to the elimination of any behavior whose costs far outweigh the benefits.

So how does one begin?

Just like breaking a smoking habit, bad habits have a way of creeping up on us and slowly over time becoming somewhat akin to an appendage—i.e. they’re hard to get rid of.

Here are some tips for breaking these bad habits:

Start small:

While it might not be reasonable to expect that you can just stop whatever you’re doing overnight, identify what might constitute as a small step in the right direction?

Write down what that step is and carry it out over the next 21 days.

Fore example, if you are smoking 40 a day, cut that down to 20 for the next 21 days.

Make that behavior a habit before you cut that down to 15 for the next 21 days and then 10 and so on.


Promise yourself you’ll make this shift, and if reinforcement and punishment works—use it!

Figure out how you might reward yourself for making the change. Or, figure our how you might penalize yourself if you don’t.

For example, in our smoking example. Put the money you would have spent on the cigarettes in a jar and at the end of the 21 days add it all up and buy yourself a treat for example.

From cutting down to 20 smokes a day from 40 smokes a day, over a 21-day period at $4 a packet that will save you $80 in just 3 weeks!

Also, write two lists, one, of the reasons why you are doing this and also a list of the things that you will miss out on if you keep on doing your bad habit.

Identify alternatives:

What are some alternatives to the behavior you are demonstrating?

Is there a quick fix or solution that might help provide an alternative—e.g. put a laundry basket by the bedside (one to match with the décor) so that you don’t end up with a pile on the floor.

Get help:

Ask someone to help keep you accountable.

If they’ve been victims of this bad habit, they’ll most likely be thrilled you asked!

Ask for feedback:

Because human nature dictates that we will only complain when you offend, rather than amend, ask for feedback frequently.

Don’t assume, no news is good news, but be sure to get praise when praise is due.

Be the leader your life needs.

In any and every industry we look to leaders for guidance and experience. Leadership is essential to all aspects of life. In fact leadership allows organizations to adapt, evolve, and overcome barriers. You must be that leader in your own life. You must understand the importance of your direction, experience, and insight. But, how do we lead in our own lives? What are the essential leadership qualities that leaders use in organizations that you can use in your own life to make a difference in your future?Something was found in a research I conducted that has the ability to instantly change your life. A few years back I had the esteem honor of finishing my doctoral studies. During this time I had to complete an actual live research in which respondents answer questions. These questions were then tested and used to find variables as to how leaders become leaders.

First, let's dig into the research a bit so we can understand the full context around what was found. The research was about underrepresented leadership from minority backgrounds. It was an attempt to find what people from diverse backgrounds can do to become leaders in industries. But, what was found was traits, behaviors, and strategies that anyone can use from any background to succeed. I found 10 participants that are not leaders but wanted to be leaders and ten leaders. All the participants had the same educational background. Then I asked all twenty individuals the same questions.The leaders answers were then compared to the leaders answers to find trends. The same happened with the non-leaders where their answers were compared to each other to find trends .The trends of each group were then identified. These trends were then compared against each other from leaders to non leaders to see and understand what the leaders did in their careers that the non leaders have not done that helped the leaders. These questions included barriers, training, and many other factors. This then became some of the reasons as to how the minority leaders become leaders helping the underrepresentation. As a motivational and mindset coach I looked at the research to see what could I use to help me help the individuals I coach. One of the barriers stood out in a huge way that I use to coach others. This variable was called internal external vs external internal. I know it sounds a bit weird but it is one of the best ways to lead in your life. It is essential in changing your mindset for success.

Internal External VS External Internal

This variable of the research was formed from a summation of all the variables. It became very clear a difference existed between the leaders and non-leaders in this section. It was a trend that existed across the board. The leaders showed that they believed the barriers they faced on the way to becoming leaders in their professional careers came from internal forces. These were things they could control such as lack of education, lack of mentorship,and more.The trend showed that the barriers the leaders saw were things they could change. The answers or strategies to change these barriers are found externally. The leaders believed that to find answers or solutions you must go outside of yourself such as meet new people, learn new things and anything they have not experienced. The non-leaders were the exact opposite. The totality of their answers showed they believe the barriers that stop them are external or come from the outside. These are things that can't be controlled such as bosses stopping them or racism. The non leaders also showed that the answers or solutions laid within them. They believed that if they want to get an answer it must be something they already have like a skill or a relationship.

How does this help in life?

It helps because if you are to choose one of those strategies it would probably be best to choose what the leaders have done since they have been able to become leaders. When facing a barrier or something that is stopping you you should first look within. Understand, what you are doing or what you have done that has led to the barrier you face. I would not say blame yourself but understand what is your part in the barrier. It makes a lot of sense because we can only control our actions and are unable to control everything around us. If you focus on what you do or have control over then it is in your power to fix it. If you concentrate on stuff you do not control it would be impossible to fix it since you have no control. Finding solutions externally is a great way to fight barriers and overcome them. Think about it. We are where we are now because of who and what we already know. To evolve or go to the next level you must learn new things and meet new people. You must begin to learn things outside of what you know. 

Dr. Julio C. Caba DBA


Know Thy Self: Building the foundation for your strategies for success.

We all have a moment in time in which we become hungry for change.For some it's a career change for others relationship changes and or overall life changes. Change is needed in order to evolve or grow from where you are to where you want to go. Making the decision to have major life change is a great step towards creating your future and becoming successful. Now that you have made this decision you might be asking yourself a very intelligent and important question. A question that can have a great impact on the direction of the change; if answered. It is a question you are probably asking yourself right now and have been since you have decided you want to evolve, grow, or build a successful future. Where and how do I start? Yes, that is the million dollar question when it comes to beginning the journey of change. You would think it depends on what you are trying to change in your life. Is it a different starting point when changing my career compared to my relationships? How about my business compared to personal changes? The good news is there is one area of your life that can help you build the foundation to change every other area of your life. Understanding and working on this one area can have a positive impact on your career, business, relationships, and more.

Knowing thyself is the key to building a foundation for your strategy for success.If you take the time to begin reflecting and working on self you will be building a base by which to build on. This is because by understanding your purpose, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, and what you have passion for, you can build a career that you will be in love with for example. You can build a business based on what you actually enjoy doing. You could find relationships with people that actually match what you are looking for. The possibilities become endless when you truly know who you are! Before beginning your journey through change and self development you have to ask yourself if you truly know who you are? Sounds easy but it can be really difficult. This is due to the fact that for most of our lives we have known who we are and what we like. But, if you are looking for major change in your life it is very likely that you have lost touch with yourself because it is now obvious that you are not completely satisfied with life. If you were, why would you be looking for change?

Know Thy Self and building the foundation for your strategies helps you learn detailed information about who you are you can then begin to explore your why or your purpose. Understanding this about yourself can make it easier and more efficient at identifying your goals. This is because your goals should be things that make you happier or align with reaching your why. So, what are some of the things you need to start learning about yourself in order to begin your journey through change and self development? In business we like to perform something called a S.W.O.T. analysis. This is due to the fact that a S.W.O.T analysis allows you to see where your organization stands.

S.W.O.T. your life and begin to Know Thy Self Building the foundation for your strategies for success.Let's take a look at what are some of the things you should analyze and why.


As time has gone by you have learned new things. Having an understanding of what your strengths are is imperative. It's like a fighter in a championship fight. The fighter knows his strengths such as an uppercut with the right fist. Since the fighter knows that this right hand uppercut is the fighters strength the fighter’s fight revolves around setting up the ongoing fight to use his right handed uppercut. Using jabs and stands to use that right handed uppercut to go for the knockout and win the fight. It is the same with life your strengths are what you use to win your fight. Setting up the environment around you so you may use this strength to win. Knowing this strength allows you to know when it is optimal to use. It also allows you to know when and why to fight in life. This is due to the fact that you know when you can win.


Understanding your weaknesses is just as important as understanding your strengths when strategizing in life. It allows you to know how not to fight. It lets you build a strategy that will avoid having to use or minimizing the need to use such weaknesses. Another positive is that it helps you understand what you need training in or what you need to spend more time learning. An example of this can be if you open a business but you are weak in the subject of math, hiring a specialist to set you up in a way and with systems that help in this area. In this case the math is not your strong suit so you strengthen it by using other experts in this area.


Knowing where your real opportunities can come from will allow you to plan accordingly. Saving you time and money. If you see opportunity in a certain industry because of your network, spending resources such as education or training for that opportunity is vital. Or if you see opportunities in creating better networks spending resources in attending network events becomes a key for your success.


Knowing where and when your present and future threats come from can be a deciding factor in your success. Allowing you to use the other self knowledge variables such as strengths to strategize or prepare for the threat. It also allows you to have vision where your eyes can't see. In other words you will see the threat before it actually happens like foresight which can dramatically change the outcome of that threat on your life.

Knowledge of self is imperative. Knowledge of self is the foundation of the new life you want to build. Further helping you in discovering your true goals. Assisting in the discovery of your purpose in life. Because once you know your purpose you know what to commit to and what to have passion for. Make sure when you are looking for a coach in any area of life you analyze these variables first or first hire a coach that can help you identify these variables allowing for change to be successful. 

6. tips for crushing your goals by life coach Dr Julio C Caba

Corona Virus: 10 Tips to dealing with the fear and stress vlog

My Journey Through Mental Health Vlog (Carolina Alvarez)

Self Empowerment Through Decisions

My journey through mental health 

Mental Health Awareness  Initiative

Founder Dr.Julio C Caba's journey through Mental Health

If you need help with counseling or life coaching reach out to us and claim your free session. Because it is our mission to help make Counseling accessible to all.


Techniques to help manage stress

5 Tips for Changes in Relationship Vlog

The Change Blog

This blog will feature important mental health information from our therapist and counselors. The information includes strategies, techniques, and subjects that can help individuals and families. Click the button below to subscribe and get updates.


Biologically built to succeed: How individuals and businesses can use biology to WIN.

How is it that humans can attract what they want in life? Some concepts show that we can conjure up what we need such as the law of attraction. While true in some aspects as a researcher the concept that somehow magically we can speak things into reality bothered me as it is difficult to prove. But, I have beard witness in my personal experience that we do have the ability to get exactly what we ask for. So how is this possible and if we can speak it into existence why don’t we all get what we want? Why are some able to use this power and others are not? Well during my research phase of creating a speech for an event I stumbled upon some very valuable information for self-development. The fact that I found this information further proved the concept. We all know how the saying goes we do not know what we do not know. You see our mind is a powerful computer meant to process toons of information to help us as individuals survive the world around us. Our minds are biologically wired to succeed. I found the magic, well I didn't find it has been known for quite some time but understanding it is what makes the difference. The Reticular Activating System is yet more proof that humans and the power of the human mind are capable of getting everything we ask for in life. Have you ever noticed after you purchase a car it seems like everyone bought the same car? Or how about the superhuman power of noticing stuff that others do not? The Reticular Activating System or RAS is a network of nerves in the brain stem that awakes your brain when it senses something you want or needs according to your experience. In other words, it mediates your consciousness. So if your brain thinks it needs something it sees that it is crucial to you it hyper focuses your attention on that thing you need. It also regulates your sleep-wake transitions. Meaning that if you train this system to awake when a goal or opportunity is present that fits your purpose it will kick your brain into overdrive when these opportunities present itself. Assisting in focusing on what you consider success. It filters out what you do not need and allows you to focus on what you do need such as listening to one person in a crowd full of talking people. It also awakes your brain to learn new things which are vital to succeeding in anything you want. How do you train it?

Focus on your goals and the system will begin to awake your brain when things associated with this goal appear allowing you to find opportunities in everything. Meditation is a great way to accomplish this. Every night and every morning imagine the goal like a movie in your head. Play the Seen over and over as if you are there. This is a great way to train the system and get what you want out of life.

How can you use this in your organization?

Let’s face it if for an organizational leader this would be a key attribute for your employees to activate to complete the organizational mission. One suggestion would be marketing materials that would show the mission or goal in visuals. Yes, marketing material for your employees. We as organizational leaders assure we get marketing materials into the hands of potential clients but what if we target special marketing materials to the workforce so they can envision the great things in the organization such as the possibilities of mobility or the importance of their work etc. The first thing is to create a survey to gauge what the employee's end goal is in the organization or what do they want to accomplish in the organization. Then build marketing material or vision boards that are always around them so they can start constantly seeing and imagining these goals. This would be a great way to train there the Reticular Activating System to awaken when they see or sense things that move towards that goal. Training on the subject matter is crucial and teaching them what the Reticular Activating System does or how it can benefit them can allow them to consciously start to use it. As organizational leaders we must understand that the workforce is vital and using techniques that will enhance there awareness towards the organizational mission can translate into revenue. The moral of the story here is whether we are talking about an organization or an individual we are biologically hardwired to succeed. Imagination is crucial to training your self to succeed and see opportunity in all things. So train your Reticular Activating System and RAS on people.

A Christmas letter to my younger self. (Gifts from the Future)

Hello Tito,

Hey, its me Dr. Julio C Caba and I know you might not know who I am right now. But I have to tell you some things that might blow your mind. If I know you the way I know you at this moment over 17 years ago a few days before Christmas, you will not believe anything I write on this letter. First, I want to say I am so sorry for the situation you are currently facing a few days before Christmas. No one should have to feel this alone and hopeless. No one should have to wonder about a roof over their head, food to eat, or if the lights will be turned off especially when you have become a single father. I know that you are at the end of your rope and wish you did not exist on this planet. I understand that you are looking around wondering how you will buy these kids you love so much Christmas presents. I know you are trying your best to make Christmas as normal as possible. I know that you feel so low because you are bouncing from church to church and program to program trying to scrap up any gifts you can. I understand you are tired and beaten, questioning your manhood and existence. I know your heart is full of love for these kids while full of hate at the same time. I know you feel that this will be your life forever and its not fair.

But I need you to listen because I have a huge surprise for that you would never believe. I am about to tell you a story! A story you could not have even imagine could be true. A story of what will happen if you continue to love those kids the way you do. I hope you are sitting down cause it’s going to rock your world kid.

Let’s start with the situation you find yourself in. IT’S A BLESSING! Yes, I know it seems ridiculous but the times alone you spend crying on the bathroom floor will soon become tears of joy. Tears of accomplishments and overcoming. The love for the kids; you did not believe is enough became the epicenter of your greatness. Your kids are now grown and have apartments of their own…. YEAH, I know crazy isn’t it. You now live with a beautiful woman that loves you and helped you become a man. A man full of life, giving to others, and most importantly happy. Happy, sounds weird Tito but it is true. You wake up every morning with a smile on your face ready to face the world and anything that comes with it! You have a grand baby and he is beautiful reminding you of Julie every day. Julie is a great mom breaking the cycle. Destiny found her path doing what she loves. Justin is on the way to becoming everything you wished you would have been. Your family is built now and its great. You talk to them everyday and they love you so much. As far as gifts for Christmas…it’s not even a thought now. Because years have past and your kids never went a Christmas without gifts, a day without food, or a day without love. So, hold on your family will be what you wanted it to be, I PROMISE! Now you, let me tell you a few things about you. You made it KID. You became more than you could have ever imagined. As you write this letter in your office from a business you own, I am telling you, don’t give up! Don’t waver in your tenacity. Don’t stop believing yourself. Forget the people that surrounded you with the negative talks, they are still standing still while you are conquering your world. Stick to you guns because THE VISIONS YOU HAVE AT NIGHT ARE DREAMS THAT WILL ALL COME TRUE. The house came true, the cars came true, the businesses came true, and the family…. well the family came true. You now have written books, own businesses, and have became a motivational speaker.

By the way I want to say CONGRATULATIONS bro…they now call you DR. Julio C Caba and you earned it! Please hold on I need you to continue. The kids need you to continue. You will win this fight, you will conquer, you will SUCCEED.

So, why have i posted this on our site. It is our hope that someone that reads this will come to the realization that adversities are temporary and you will come out the other side better than ever before. Its time to work on you!


The Change Blog

This blog will feature important mental health information from our therapist and counselors. The information includes strategies, techniques, and subjects that can help individuals and families. Click the button below to subscribe and get updates.


Leadership: Adapting to a diverse workforce

Leadership is an integral part of organizational success. It is the job and responsibility of a leader to assist the organization in carrying out and completing the organizational mission. This is especially true when organizations need to adapt to the business environment. Ethnic Minorities make up 30.7% of the U.S. workforce making it evident that adaptation to diversity is vital for organizations to compete in today’s markets (Shore, Cleveland, & Sanchez, 2017). Diversity has become a staple to our society and or organization for more than one reason. You see Diversity can mean many things and can encompass many dimensions. When we talk about diversity we tend to think about ethnicity and or race but the truth of the matter is diversity can mean many things especially in a work group. Research has shown that diversity has three dimensions and over twenty-five concepts within those dimensions (Rijamamplanina & Cambell, 2005). With beliefs, lifestyles ethnicity, workplace experience, and even feelings everyone within a workgroup can fall within a diverse category. So, what does this mean for an organization? It means that adaptation and learning how to lead a diverse workforce is crucial to the health of the organization. There are many strategies used to lead a diverse workforce including Diversity Management and inclusion. But for this blog post, the focus is on the leaders chosen to lead the diverse workforce. Using different leadership styles and theories can assist in the better adaptation of the diverse workforce. During years of diversity research, one leadership style has stood out as one of the best leadership styles to use when managing a diverse workforce. The Transformational leadership style by MacGregor burns (1978) and Bass (1985) has many characteristics that assist in leading a diverse workforce. The first and more important characteristic Transformational leadership uses is inclusion. Transformational leaders include employees in many if not all the aspects of the workplace. Including them in the decision-making process, idea development, and all other factors. This is important because inclusion has become one of the best tools in managing a diverse workforce. Another important characteristic of Transformational leadership is the behavior of the leader. In Transformational leadership, the leader puts aside his or her self-interest for the interest of the organization. This means even if a Transformational leader has resistance against diversity or does not believe in the benefits of diversity as long as the organizations mission is to be a more diverse organization the leader would support all initiatives because his or hers self-interest is not as important as the interest of the organization. Other characteristics that help include caring for the well being of employees, inspiring, and transforming the organization. This is just a few of the benefits of leading with a Transformational style. Understanding how to lead a diverse workforce can give an organization a competitive edge in today’s business environment. Allowing organizations to adapt to growing and diverse markets, assisting in serving said markets, and assisting in managing a growing diverse workforce.


The Change Blog

This blog will feature important mental health information from our therapist and counselors. The information includes strategies, techniques, and subjects that can help individuals and families. Click the button below to subscribe and get updates.


Anxiety: The Abusive Bully

Anxiety is the ugly beast, like an abusive partner or a toxic parent, that causes you to feel like you can’t do things you want to do, when there’s no reason for it. For some with social anxiety, going to the grocery store might be the equivalent to jumping out of an airplane without a parachute. Others with separation anxiety (mostly seen in kids with parents), someone walking out the door can cause traumatic reactions resulting in hyperventilating, loss of breath, rapid heart rate, and feelings of panic. The DSM 5 (Psychology bible) lists 12 different types of anxiety and they can be caused for all sorts of reasons and in a myriad of ways.

First of all, what is anxiety? It is my belief that we inherit it from our ancestors who used to have to build their own shelters, hunt for their food, and had wild animals chasing after them. Throughout the years, our brains evolved in many ways, except for the constant “scanning” of these dangerous situations. The brain, for hundreds of years, became accustomed to (and prepared for) danger, and reacted accordingly. Today, when we can rent an apartment, go to a grocery store for food, and rarely see animals in the wild (depending on where you live), those threats aren’t there. But the fear of the threat still is. And anxiety was born.

Instead of furiously searching for materials to provide a cover before the storm hits, “I’m afraid of crowds”. “If I don’t kill that dear my family will starve this week” turns into “I can’t do public speaking”. Seeing that bear dangerously close to your campground becomes being unable to work for an hour because of a panic attack that pops up for no known reason. Most of us are not regularly in dangerous situations, yet the anxiety produces a mirage that creates the fear that we are.

A dear friend of mine (also a therapist) once described Generalized Anxiety Disorder as an “electric undercurrent”. Whenever the day goes quiet, it’s there, lurking like a stalker around the corner, reminding you that you’re never truly safe, even though logic tells you that there’s no reason to worry. When things are going well, it’s that tap on your shoulder reminding you to look behind you because you never know what’s waiting behind the curtains. And “logic” goes out the window because, no matter how much you KNOW everything is fine, you can’t BELIEVE that anything is alright.

Another form of anxiety is panic, which is a whole other level. Panic simulates a hear attack and a lot of people end up in the ER, only to be told that there’s nothing wrong with them. Rapid heart rate, loss of breath, feeling claustrophobic, shaky hands, sweaty palms, tight chest, and overwhelming feelings of “doom and gloom” are just some of the symptoms of a panic attack. A lot of the time, people feel that they are dying when they have one of these attacks. These attacks can last from 30 minutes up to several hours, rendering the person helpless and unable to do much else other than curling up into a ball and rocking back and forth.

So now that we’ve learned a bit about anxiety and panic, what can we do about it?

I’ve found that there are 3 coping skills that work best: distraction, mindfulness, and deep breathing. Distraction techniques, in my opinion, work best because they take your mind off the “fight or flight” response and land it on a more neutral ground. My favorite distraction technique is one I call “54321”:

5 things you can see

5 things you can hear (you can create noises, like snapping, clapping, or tapping)

5 things you can feel (items of clothing, things you can touch around you)

Then 4, then 3, then 2, then 1.

Doing this uses both sides of your brain, and when you concentrate on it, it’s hard to think about anything else.

Mindfulness techniques are effective for the same reason. One of my favorite ones is called “narration”. For example, when you’re washing dishes you narrate every step you make in the process. “I’m turning on the water with my hand just below, waiting until it gets warm enough, now I’m picking up a plate and holding it underneath the water. I pick up the dishwash detergent and squeeze it onto the plate. Now I’m picking up the cloth and running it in circles around the plate until it’s clean. I set the cloth down and rinse off the plate in the warm water until the soap is gone and then I place it on the dry rack.”

I like mindfulness skills because they take you out of fretting over the past, worrying about the future, and put you in the present.

Deep breathing is another effective way to cope with anxiety or panic. You might try doing a deep inhale, followed by 3 quick exhales, or just be mindful of breathing in very deeply and then exhaling the same way. This is another distraction technique that assists in relaxation and calming the mind.

Another thing that helps is remembering that anxiety and panic episodes are TEMPORARY. Remind yourself that this is only going to last for so long and will soon pass. Try self-soothing talk and say things to yourself as you would to a loved one going through it. “You will get through this.” “This is only temporary.” “Everything is alright.” Listen to music that is either soothing or upbeat to get back to your safe space. Remember that your brain is tricking you into believing that you are in danger when, in fact, you are not. Your brain has done a proper scan for threats, found nothing, and is now “creating” a danger when none is there.

I hope this helps you. And remember to always be kind to one another. 

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Remembering Pulse

Remembering PULSE

June 12, 2016

That Sunday morning, I woke up annoyed. My Facebook messages started around 5AM. This is not unusual because I have family and friends in England. Even though I live in Orlando, if there is a disaster in New York, they message me to ask if I’m OK because they don’t understand the distance and forget the 5 hours ahead, they are in time. Without looking at my phone, I rolled my eyes and pulled the covers over my head. Then the facebook messages turned into texts, then a phone call. The phone call was from my neighbor and friend, Meegan. She was also my co-worker at the time, where we worked at one of the main LGBT organizations in Orlando.

Before seeing any of the other texts or messages, I answered her call, afraid something was wrong with her or her 5 year old daughter, Rylan. Meegan said: “Hey, I know you’re in bed, but you need to get here right away”. Without asking questions, I put on my glasses and headed over to find them on the couch watching the news. Meegan was crying and Rylan had a “dear-in-the-headlights” look. I joined them on the couch and watched and couldn’t believe what I was hearing and seeing. “24 confirmed dead at the PULSE nightclub from a shooting last night”.

Before long, I got a text from our supervisor at the time, asking me to come to The Center. Back home, I had the news on and was in my bathroom putting on make-up. Looking back, I have no idea why I would be wearing mascara at that time, but that was what I was doing when I heard the count go up to 50 and I broke down crying and had to sit down and bury my face in toilet paper as I sobbed.

When I walked into The Center, it was like walking into the center of a bee hive. A woman approached me and asked if I was there to give help or get help. When I couldn’t answer, she just hugged me. Eventually, I found my way to the back room where all the mental health counselors were and I stood there, like a wallflower, still in shock as others buzzed around me making schedules on spreadsheets and calling around to find places for make-shift therapy rooms. I felt so powerless, like I was still asleep, floating on a raft in the ocean to nowhere in the night with the moon barely guiding the way.

After a couple of hours, I asked my supervisor what I could do and he said: “Go home and get some rest. We’re going to have a lot of hard work ahead of us for the unforeseeable future”. So I kept my brunch plans with my other neighbor, Lisa, and our friend, Sheri. We sat outside at Santiago’s, my “happy place”, and downed quite a few cranberry mimosas. But I couldn’t eat. I was a zombie, staring off into space, as the two of them discussed the tragedy. Quietly, and finally, I said to them: “I’m supposed to be the one who can put a positive spin on everything and give people hope. For this though?” I shook my head. “I’ve got nothing.”

As it turned out, I didn’t know any of the 49. Over the next year, however, I came to know a lot about each of them. I met their families, talked to them at memorials and in our waiting room, and hugged their necks as they cried. I met their friends, who had guilt for surviving that night, or deciding at the last minute not to go to the club, or had left just before. I heard their stories. I had clients I would check in on, try to encourage, help them process what happened and how to deal with it, and then I would use my 10 minute breaks crying into a Kleenex and then trying to freshen up and find my center for the next one.

It took me a while to figure out how to react to this, approach it, deal with it, advise others how to deal with it. Three years later, I’m still not sure.

Going back to that dreadful morning, I remember Rylan tearing up when she saw me cry. She had never seen me cry before and it scared her. I told her this: “When I was your age, I used to watch a show called ‘Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood’. And I remember reading a post from him that, when he was little, he saw a horrible act committed on tv and became very upset. And his Mom told him: ‘Look around for the people that are helping. There are always more people helping.’ Today, I want you to pay attention to the people that are helping.”

And for the months to come, that’s what I saw, too. And so that I did not feel so helpless, I tried to be one of the ones helping too. We stood in assembly lines from the back door at The Center to trucks several feet away, loading 24-packs of water in the hot Orlando sun in June and July. People from every color, culture, religion, and spectrum of the LGBT, working together, holding hands, giving hugs when they could tell someone needed it. And it was a beautiful thing. It had always been there before, in my perfect little bubble, where I live in Mills 50 and worked in downtown Orlando, in the LGBT community. But it somehow became richer, fuller, Stronger, prouder, better.

In that time, I learned more about the shooter as well. He was a Muslim who lived in a small, sleepy beach community south of Orlando with a wife and kid, in the closet. He wasn’t a terrorist, he wasn’t targeting Hispanics, he was trying to kill something he hated in himself. And he wanted to go down in history as the orchestrator of the biggest massacre in the US. I’m not forgiving or forgetting him, and I’m certainly not excusing him. But I can’t help but to wonder how things might have turned out differently if he had come to our organization, or any other, to get help. I had other Muslim clients following the tragedy, trying to come out as gay in their family and community, and I saw the struggle they faced and sensed the torment they felt over it.

Three years later, after endless processing and commiserating, sleepless nights, lack of appetite, journaling, hearing the stories and witnessing the fallout…I realize that we are not “safe” anywhere. We could be in a theatre enjoying a funny movie, in class learning algebra, at work trying to help people, at church worshipping whatever god, at our homes on our front porch, and we are never safe. I don’t say that to be negative or instill fear. I say that to be realistic.

However, we cannot stop living our lives for fear of what might happen. If anything, the PULSE massacre made the LGBT community in Orlando even stronger than ever before. And the support that we had from around the world was extraordinary. Vigils took place in Rome, London, Paris, Berlin, and countless others, all in support of our “little” community. There was little to comfort me that whole year after it happened, but seeing the signs all around Orlando that read “Orlando United”, “Love is Love” and “Orlando Strong”, reminded me that the only thing that ever “wins” is love.

I still remember and think of, not just the 49, but their families, friends, pets, and loved ones. I often think about all those affected, from the people who survived that night, the families of those that didn’t, the staff at the club, the staff at the nearby Dunkin Donuts, Wendy’s, 7-11, the residents in that area that I talked to, our own staff, people that almost went there that night, people who had just left, or people who were simply affected because it happened in our own back yard. And, on this day, 3 years later, I wish us ALL, peace, comfort, hope, support, and love.

And I want to remind us all: “Look around for the people helping. There are always more people helping.””I hope this helps you. And remember to always be kind to one another. 

Marriage is Communication 

Marriage is communication!

Marriage is a great way to show the one you love that you plan on staying together till death do you part. It is a lifelong commitment that two people make to each other. It is actually a beautiful concept in which two people decide that they will share every aspect of each other’s life from this day forward. A great deal of money is spent in the process and celebration of marriage. According to www.costofwedding .com the average wedding cost is between $19,984 and $ 33,306. Wow! That equates to a very nice car that should last you 10 years. It should be worth it because you will spend the rest of your life with this person, Right?

Forever or for the rest of one’s life feels like a long time. This is true in a huge number of marriages end in divorce. Yes, the big D word happens a lot more than it should. Depending on what research you are looking at marriages in the U.S have a 50 percent divorce rate. Now this does not mean that half of all marriages are doomed. The 50 percent is from new yearly marriages ( This is still a big number we are talking about. Why is this the trend and how can we slow it down. There is no one answers solution to marriage but there are things partners can do to assure the marriage stays a happy partnership. The Huffington post has an article that states the top ten reasons people become divorce. The ten top reasons included:

• Getting in for the wrong reasons

• Lack of individual identity

• Becoming lost in the roles

• Not having a shared vision of success

• Intimacy disappears

• Unmet expectations

• Finances

• Being out of touch

• Different priorities and interest

• Inability to resolve conflicts (Payne, Olver & Roth 2015)

The surprising part is that in the top ten infidelities is nowhere to be seen. While looking at the list it becomes obvious that most of the problems that lead to divorce come from the lack of communication. Most of these problems could have been resolved or helped by creating a communication dialogue between the partners. This means that couples need to learn how to communicate. If this communication is gone seek professional help. In the field of marriage therapy there are many techniques to re-establish communication. Avoid being part of the statistics and seek help before it’s too late. Communication needs to happen regularly with all relationships. If you live with a person for long periods of time it’s quite normal to argue and become tired of certain behaviors. What is not normal is throwing it all away because you refuse to lose an argument or refuse to honestly communicate. Communication is the key so talk about it or get a professional to help you talk about it.

The 10 Most Common Reasons People Get Divorced 

Self-Destructive Behaviors: Why Do We Have Them and Why Do We Tolerate Others That Do?

Self-Destructive Behaviors: Why Do We Have Them and Why Do We Tolerate Others That Do?

Let’s face it. We ALL have some forms of self-destructive patterns. They can range from slightly annoying to down-right debilitating. Some people who suffer from this engage in behaviors that make relationships difficult, while others end up in prison. It can be hard to determine where you or a loved one fits on the scale and if/when action needs to be taken to do something about it.

The first thing most people think of when it comes to this topic is addiction. Someone who smokes cigarettes knows that it is bad for them, may try to stop, but still give in to the craving knowing that doing so could produce undesired effects such as cancer, costing money, or other health issues. While this behavior is not illegal and isn’t going to land anyone in jail, it is still serious. Other addictions, such as drug use, might range anywhere from a bad habit to completely irrational behavior that can cause car accidents, DUI’s, incarceration, loss of relationships with loved ones, and even death. Yet people still abuse substances knowing the potential consequences.

Addictions don’t always involve substances. People can be addicted to food, sex, gambling, caffeine, and a host of other things. While overeating can result in weight gain and bad health, people still go for that bag of chips, and often find they’ve eaten the whole bag in one sitting. Whoops! This is not likely to affect others, but for the person engaging in the behavior, there could be devastating consequences. Addictions to sex could lead to STD’s, unwanted pregnancies, divorce, and engaging in dangerous situations and environments.

But not all self-destructive behaviors come from addictions. Some are prone to anger or have road rage or just like to fight with others. Believe me when I tell you that I have worked with many people who thrive on “drama”. They usually start out the session saying, “I absolutely hate drama, but it always has a way of finding me”. People find they “can’t” stop lying, cheating, stealing, sleeping too much, not sleeping enough, abusing their children, abusing their partner, driving too fast, putting themselves in harm’s way, cutting, drinking too many soft drinks a day, spending too much money, avoiding those that they love, among many other things.

People always want to know the one-word, big-question: “WHY?” A better question is to ask yourself what you would do with the “why”? Sometimes knowing why can help curb the behavior. For example, I had a client state that he can never make relationships last and he had no idea why. After some processing we realized that there was nothing wrong with HIM, but that he tried to “save” people (what my Mom calls taking in stray cats) and would attract self-destructive guys, tolerate their bad behavior, and the relationship would inevitably end. Knowing this increased his awareness and he was able to spot the red flags, dodge the bullets, and develop more healthy relationships.

But sometimes the “why” doesn’t matter. I’ve seen many physically and mentally healthy people get into car accidents and become addicted to pain pills. I’ve worked with alcoholics and drug abusers who, after processing, realize it “runs in the family”. Not everyone with issues with addiction or anger have had a bad life, come from an abusive family, or have ever experienced any trauma at all. Sometimes, it just IS WHAT IT IS.

So if you’re the one with the self-destructive behavior, here are the questions you should ask:

• On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the most severe), how much is it impacting your everyday life in a negative way?

• Are there ways in which I “get in trouble” for the behavior? (Such as with your partner or loved ones, with the law, or with your job.)

• On a scale of 1-10, how severe are the consequences? (Weight gain, financial duress, loss of relationships or jobs, etc.)

Depending on your answers, you might seek treatment through a rehab, outpatient facility, support group, support system, and/or therapy.

If you have someone in your life who has self-destructive behaviors, you might ask:

• On a scale of 1-10, how much is the behavior impacting your everyday life in a negative way?

• Do the negatives outweigh the positives?

• How much does this person mean to me and what would it mean to lose them?

At the end of the day, how to approach these behaviors depends on the severity of them and what it’s costing the person doing or tolerating them. However, there is always an opportunity to change, improve, and get better – regardless of the behavior. It’s never too late to turn it around.

I hope this helps!