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Traci Stein

Traci Stein

Traci Stein, PhD, MPH, is a practicing psychotherapist and Columbia-trained
clinical psychologist, ASCH-certified in clinical hypnotherapy. She has combined integrative therapies, including hypnosis, with conventional medical and psychotherapy practice. Her passionate commitment to mind-body healing has spanned two decades.

 

We chatted up the insanely talented Dr. Traci Stein to learn more about the practitioner behind some of our best-loved audios! The result was an interview so good, we have to split it into 2 parts:

Friday, 09 February 2018 23:38

Dr. Traci Stein on Developing Intuition

Most of us have other words for intuitive insights, such as hunches, vibes, and gut feelings. Some people describe these experiences as psychic and others shy away from the term.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018 23:00

Letting Go of Unhealthy Relationships

Traci Stein offers a new way of taking stock of relationships, knowing when it's time to make changes or walk away altogether, and making those changes from a place of self-confidence, self-compassion and peace...Read on:

If you find yourself a magnet for the hopelessly self-centered, the most important question to ask is not, “Why are some people so toxic?” but, “How can I stop attracting toxic people and still love myself?”

There are reasons why many super-nice people are drawn to those who take advantage of them, even if they are not fully conscious of these reasons.

Of course, toxic behavior occurs on a continuum, from the person at work who always looks for someone else to do things for them, to the friend who constantly asks for favors but never reciprocates, to the person who is callous, lies, steals others’ intellectual or actual property, the partner who cheats, or the family member who is verbally abusive or worse.

Whatever form your toxic people tend to take, you’ll recognize your tendency to get involved with the liars, false friends, or takers of the world, because you’ll find yourself in the same types of frustrating, draining, or hurtful situations again and again.

Monday, 09 January 2017 00:00

More Ways to Create Positive Change

Although potentially challenging, identifying what we’d like to be different in our lives, and creating a plan for change, can help us feel happier, be healthier, and set us free from things we know, deep down, are unhealthy for us.

If you’ve read my earlier post, “8 Essentials for Creating Positive Change,” you are already armed with the fundamental tools to address those habits, patterns, or relationships that need tweaking (or more).

Below, I address in a bit more detail how to successfully engage in the process of change. What follows are some of the most common changes people seek to make, and what to keep in mind.

Hello all, and Season’s Greetings!

If you’re like me, this time of year may be when you more “formally” think about what you want to change in your life. But really, any time of year can be a good time for self-reflection, deciding what works for you, and what to finally toss, whether figuratively or quite literally!

Some of us may be contemplating a more significant shift – such as deciding whether to stay in a relationship, change careers, return to school, or move across country. Or, our primary goal may involve a habit change, such as eating better, moving more, quitting smoking, or leaving nail biting behind.  As you know, contemplating any sort of change can feel stressful, but there’s a lot you can do to remain calmer and more optimistic, and achieve those goals that are important to you. (Remember, there are probably very good reasons why you’ve set such goals in the first place!) Whether your goal is large or small, the steps below can help get and keep you on track, while remaining sane during the process.

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Over the past several years, there has been a surge of interest in the topic of self-compassion, and for good reason. So many people find it easy to feel compassion for others, but have difficulty being compassionate toward themselves. Self-criticism and harsh judgments can be difficult habits to break. Yet, the research on self-compassion has found that the practice has a number of benefits. These include enhanced compassion for others, increased personal motivation, decreased distress, and greater optimism and self-worth.

Dr. Kristin Neff, a pioneer in self-compassion research, states that the three elements of self-compassion are: self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness. Self-kindness refers to acknowledging our own suffering and responding with caring, patience, and acceptance - much as we would be patient and kind toward another. Recognizing our common humanity involves understanding that everyone has ups and downs, strengths and challenges, and feelings of self-judgment, but that each of us is far more than any of these. Our own foibles and errors simply make us human. Finally, a mindfulness practice enables us to sit with whatever is going on in the present, without judging it, attaching to it, or pushing it away. Mindfulness is key to being in the gift of the present moment and breathing through suffering.

I'm honored to guest blog for Belleruth while she travels this week. It is National Bullying Prevention Month, and for this column I decided to talk about extremely common forms of "self-bullying" – "fat talk" and body shaming. Both of these are unfortunately common and at odds with the expectation that we should treat everyone – ourselves included - with respect, compassion, and kindness.

As a woman, I'm struck by how often we criticize ourselves for being "too much of this" and "not enough of that." It is so ingrained for us to feel we must not take up too much space – literally or metaphorically. We criticize ourselves for the normal, largely unavoidable effects of aging, or for having bodies that differ from the airbrushed images we see in the media. We find fault with ourselves even despite objective information to the contrary.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014 00:00

A New Free Report: Ten Keys for Kicking Your Habit

Hello all, and happy Fall! This is my favorite time of year for many reasons: the air is becoming crisp, leaves are turning, and children are gearing up for the new school year. I always feel more energized and ready to get back in the swing of things once the lazy days of summer have begun to fade. Both literally and metaphorically, fall is a time for shedding whatever has run its course to make way for new growth.

kicking-habit2Fall is the perfect time for reevaluating whether a particular habit, behavior, or outlook really serves us best in the now, or whether it is time to make meaningful change.

If you're like me, you probably have a running list of things you'd like to tweak a little, or change completely. On my to do list right now: get more exercise, eat fewer refined foods, bring my lunch more often, reduce my salt intake, increase the duration of my meditation sessions, be more patient, and so forth. As always, there are things I want to do less of and things I want to do more of.

What helps me, and I hope is helpful to you, is remembering that it's not about perfection (there really is no such thing, anyway), or about accomplishing everything at once. Our lives really are about the journey, rather than immediately reaching any specific destination.

Happy Earth Day, and Happy Spring to all! I am grateful for Spring’s arrival for a number of reasons.  Spring provides us with a much-needed break from what has been a very long, cold winter in much of the country. Symbolically, Spring represents new life, growth and positive change on so many levels after having shed whatever Nature deemed necessary during Fall. It also ushers in longer, brighter days and a delight in being outside after the winter hibernation. Now, each tiny seedling sprouting forth from the earth invites us to appreciate the beauty and change all around us.

Spring also is a time for personal housekeeping and sprucing things up – both literally and metaphorically. Sometimes this means taking stock of where we are with regard to relationships, old patterns, our health, and how we spend the bulk of our time. We can then lovingly tend to what needs nurturing, prune what belongs in the past, and sow the seeds of the changes we desire.

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