Wednesday, April 4, 2012


I often wonder if we are exercising all of the choices we have available to us. Og Mandino in his book the “Choice” said, “Those who live in unhappy failure have never exercised their options for a better way of life because they have never been aware that they had any choices! So many of us fail to notice our entire life is about making choices. Everything is a choice.

People intimate they “have to” do certain things:

“I have to take care of my child.”
"I have to go to work.”
"I have to feed my family.”

All of these “have to's” are really a choice. We can choose not to go to work or not to feed our family, etc. but we choose to do so because the consequences of not doing so move us to make the choice to do it. Thus reframing the way we talk to ourselves often helps make life smoother. Rather than talking to yourself in terms of “I have to” start saying to yourself “I choose to go to work” or “I choose to feed my family”. By saying “I choose” you are recognizing your choices in life and putting yourself back in control of you.

Richard Y Moody, PhD
Clinical Psychologist

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


A woman I was talking with the other day was berating herself on what a terrible parent she was because she couldn’t always control her children or the house wasn’t always clean, etc. When I investigated further about her children, I found they were straight "A" students in school, they seemed to have friends, were attending church and were basically really “good” children. She felt like every day was a struggle with her children. In her case, it was, since she has three children that have been diagnosed with Asperger and ADHD.

Her struggle was with her self-esteem and her decisions never seemed to be good enough. Every day each of us will struggle with the decisions of that day and make the best decisions we can, that day, based on what we know at that time. Tomorrow, next week or next year we may look back and say, “Wow, what was I thinking when I did that!” Tomorrow or next week you will have more information and more experience about the situation and therefore your decisions at that time will be different because of the additional information and experience. We need to learn to accept our decisions we make at any given time and move on knowing we did the best we could at that time.

Richard Y Moody, PhD
Clinical Psychologist

Friday, March 9, 2012


One of my colleagues made a statement about marriage therapy I believe is important to pass along. She said, “I think people need to work on themselves first and clear up their individual issues before the couple counseling can be effective.” As I thought about this, it is true in all relationships and not just in marriages. In a friendship or in a work relationship, if we have personal issues centered around poor self-esteem, controlling others, poor boundaries, etc. it effects the relationship.
Steven Covey in his book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” outlines the 7 habits in working first on taking care of the inside of ourselves and then dealing with the outside or public. I would like to reference these habits for those who have not read the book, as a reminder of the importance of dealing with yourself first and the steps in doing so.
The first three habits:
(1) Be Proactive
(2) Begin with and End in Mind 
(3) Put First things First
All deal with our ability to govern our life. Being proactive means taking responsibility for your life and thinking before you act. Beginning with the end in mind means defining your goals and your mission in life so your direction in life is clear. Putting first things first means to prioritize and do the most important things first so that your life doesn’t become cluttered.
The next 4 habits are centered on being able to interact effectively with others. Habit (4) is about thinking or working for a win-win. It is an attitude of mutual respect for the opinion of others as well as your own. Habit (5) is seek first to understand and then to be understood. All have a unique insight and we need to listen with intent to understand rather than to reply.  Habit (6) is to synergize. When we work together with an attitude of success for all we will achieve more. Finally habit (7) is sharpening the saw. Sharpening the saw is about taking care of you and renewing yourself physically, socially/emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
I would love to hear ways you take care of yourself first so you can in turn have healthy relationships with others.  Email me at with questions or comments.

Richard Y Moody, PhD
Clinical Psychologist

Thursday, February 9, 2012


I am often amazed at how little people think of themselves. I recently had a woman who was injured several years ago by a fall and who relies on her family for care say, “I am such a burden and I have little to offer to anyone around me”. She and many others often believe they have little to offer to others and their opinion does not count.
Let me make it very clear, your opinion always counts! I say this because of the way each of us is put together. We all come from hundreds of millions of different gene combinations from our parents and grandparents and genetically none of us is alike. All of us are raised in a different environment even if you come from the same family as your siblings and are all raised in the same town and home. No one ever has the same experiences as their siblings or friends.  We may all go to the same place or be in the same accident or have the same physical experience but because of our genetics and experience to that point in our lives we see it in a different manner and it impacts us in a different way.  Thus our sense of the experience is different. Because of all of the factors affecting our lives on a daily basis we are all singularly different.
As a result I would be a fool not to listen to someone’s opinion no matter their age or situation because theirs is a unique perspective. 

Richard Y Moody, PhD
Clinical Psychologist