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November 27, 2010 @ 12:04 pm

The Art of Choice


Dr. Karen Sherman joined the show on eHealth Radio to discuss several topics.

Dr. Karen Sherman, a NYS licensed psychologist, has been in private practice for over 20 years. Now, Dr. Sherman is taking her experience to the public, making her Art of Choice workshops and seminars available to groups and organizations rather than just to private clients. Additionally, she teaches individually designed adult education courses, catering to the specific interests and learning styles of the people who seek her expertise.

Dr. Sherman moved into motivational psychology and marriage counseling from her own troubled past. As someone who grew up under difficult circumstances, Dr. Sherman developed a keen awareness of others’ problems. Drawing on personal experience as well as academic training, she relates to a much broader arc of life situations than most.

“For many years, my life was an emotional roller coaster,” Dr. Sherman says. “Growing up, I was exposed to horribly negative life situations, and as an adult, it seemed that I was a slave to them.” It was upon realizing that she was still reacting to her earlier experiences that the first inkling of what would become the Art of Choice appealed to her, allowing her to change her circumstances, and directing the rest of her professional life. Speaking of her transition, Dr. Sherman recalls, “I realized that I no longer wanted my past to define who I was. That was a choice I could make, and I did. My past no longer haunts me; in fact, I am thankful for what I experienced since I have used each situation to help me to grow. It is from my journey that I know that you, too, can choose not merely to react to all the things that happen around you- whether they trigger something from your past or are things that are happening today- but to make powerful choices.” Dr. Sherman sees her role as a facilitator of those difficult choices. Her mission is to assist others in freeing themselves from their own past cycles of behavior, as she freed herself.

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Partial Transcript of Interview with Dr. Karen Sherman:

Eric Michaels: Explain briefly how the Art of Choice works in helping us create the life that we want?

Dr. Karen: I use methods that allow people to get back in touch with the emotional energy from their childhood because when people go to traditional talk therapy, they gain lots of wonderful insights. This helps them understand what the problem is but they are not really getting - able to release the energy that is stored up around the emotional wound. By helping them through methods, mostly visualization and free association writing, we bring back the old memories and actually create neuronal connections by creating new endings while these stored up memories are being recharged or re-triggered shall we say.

Eric Michaels: How can we begin to Understand the impact of our different backgrounds within our marriage or relationships?

Dr. Karen: What happens is that we learn these patterns in our childhood because they worked. They allowed us to survive in our family to get the love that we needed from our parents and because they worked, we continue to them in our adulthood and we do them mindlessly. What is going to happen is that in our relationships especially with our significant others, they're going to be most vulnerable - they're going to get triggered automatically. We don't even realize many times that when we are with these important people in our lives that the reactions that we are having are not really to them, that they said something or not said something, done something or not done something and all of a sudden we are having this reaction that we thinks is really because what has just happened but it is really because it has just set off something that has reminded us of something that has gone on in the past that is still unresolved. And as you can imagine that's really going to interfere with having a healthy relationship or one that can be the most satisfied in a relationship.

Eric Michaels: Where do we begin in developing constructive arguing and problem solving techniques?

Dr. Karen: I am going to answer this both from from a reacted point of view in a way that I just described it and then just move general just for couples. If you start to realize that you're having these kinds of reactions and the way that I suggest people notice it is if you see that you're having this reaction that's very quick, it happens in a nano-second and it's very intense, it's more tense than what the situation calls for and even when your partner tries to explain nothing was meant by it and you can't let it go then chances are it is really something from your past. There are a set of tools that can allow you to start working on these issues from the past and there are also some tools that can be used that I have developed to work with the structure of the couple. I do talk a lot about that in the book that I wrote "Mindfulness and The Art of Choice". Regardless, even if you don't have issues from your past - all couple are going to have conflicts - couples need to know that! This is just a normal part of a relationship and one of the biggest problems that couples have is that they really don't know how to have a conflict. There are actually rules, methods or skills for having a conflict in a way that you can actually get closer to one another...


Want the entire version of this eHealth Radio Episode?

Dr. Karen Sherman discusses & answers:

- Why do people continue to do behaviors that are no longer serving them?

- How do issues from the past impact our present day relationships?

- And a Special Tip...

Save this to your iPod/mp3 player or the desktop on your computer and listen to it again for your relationship guide or simply subscribe to this feed and never miss another episode on  eHealth Radio - powered by Refer to audio player and links below.

Note: The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of the show host or it's owners.

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