Personal Power

It is often difficult to stay in control of ourselves when it feels like the world around us is going mad.  The pull we feel to control is based upon our feelings of fear and subsequent anger and with this we often find ourselves reacting.  This dynamic happens in relationships at work, at home and in the broader spectrum of our world.

Fear always focuses on the negative and overlooks the positives.  Although challenging, we can change the way we think and what we focus upon.  With a mindfulness stance we can calm our fears and change our focus by redirecting ourselves to what we can do (aka positive focus & thoughts) so as to gain the awareness of what we have the power to control.




Self-Esteem versus Other-Esteem

Self-esteem is something we learn about ourselves while we are young.  Caregivers (mothers, fathers, babysitters, teachers, classmates) mirror back to the child what they see in him or her; good or bad.  An example of this may be a mother smiling back at her child  when the child is smiling  and conversely the mother might ignore or frown at the smile of her child….each of these examples show how the child learns to perceive himself and his self worth based upon what he sees in the mirror.  There are various ways in which we learn to appreciate ourselves and love ourselves, but when a child does not receive the positive mirroring he or she deserves and is given negative mirroring in it’s place, the child does not learn to perceive himself as worthy, capable and lovable and in the place of self-esteem, the child grows up with other-esteem.  Other-esteem, just like it sounds, is based upon what the individual has, how they look, what car they drive, what job they have, how much money the have, and how popular they may be.

Self-Esteem cannot be taken from you, it is yours to have and know of your value.  Other-Esteem can be taken away in an instant and leaves the individual feeling alone, broken, helpless, worthless and unlovable.


Rosalind Cardia, LMFT  can be reached at

OFFICE:  408-608-8007



FACEBOOK:  Rosalind Cardia, Marriage & Family Therapist





Facing What Scares You

People often present in my office with a history of fears, phobias, and anxieties that are limiting them from fully enjoying their life.  Almost always the way they deal with their fears is by avoiding the very thing/place/thought that scares them. For instance people often struggle with fears of flying, water, heights, their own anger,  driving, etc.

While avoidance appears to work in the short term, it causes the anxiety to get worse over time as the Amygdala, the “reptilian brain”, files away each incidence of avoidance as if it was truly a dangerous event.  The job of the Amygdala  is to hold the memories of life threatening situations… an attacking tiger so that it can remind you to run should you come across the tiger again.  The fear and avoidance of what scares us, like the fear of flying for instance sends a signal of “DANGER” to the Amygdala as if the danger were truly real.

Although uncomfortable, the way to change your brain and sooth the Amydala, is the courageous decision to  face the very thing that you are afraid of in small incremental steps at levels of anxiety you can handle.

I practice exposure therapy almost every day with my clients and it continues to be the treatment of choice for anxiety disorders and has proven to be highly effective.

So, next time you see a real tiger…, climb a tree, shoot your gun at him….your Amydala is providing you with the strength and power to save yourself.  Conversely, if you are afraid of flying, for instance, consider reaching out for help. Life is certainly way to precious to avoid living it fully.



The belief that we have to be strong, no matter what, often comes from experiencing trauma.  This often happens in a family system where there were drugs or alcohol and or abuse; physical, emotional, verbal.   The brain has a wonderful way of protecting us from trauma by numbing our awareness of our emotions. The outcome of numbed emotions is anxiety and the unwillingness to be vulnerable.  screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-9-25-20-pm

Dealing With Chronic Disease

Coping With Chronic Illness

Coping With Chronic Illness

Coping with chronic illness is very very stressful for every member of the family.  The person who is affected by the disease certainly is effected and every other member of the family is as well and often the unaffected members of the family have needs that do not get met as the family struggles to meet the increasing needs of the affected member.

In 2009, I was asked to write an article for an online support group published by the Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Foundation and co-sponsored by The National Institutes of Health, in order to provide information and support to the individuals and families that are affected by Wiskott Aldrich Syndrome.

This article is not specific to this particular disease and what I have written can be applied to any illness or injury.  I hope you will take a look




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How Good Relationships Make Us Better People

This is a great article posted by The Mind Unleashed on the positive attributes of really good relationships and the ways we as individuals are positively influenced.  Great stuff!!