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H/H Blog


Please check out the updated blog site at highestheightsblog.wordpress.com!

Or, follow the direct links below to read the latest posts! 


 

When the Future Gets in the Way of the Present: chasing equilibrium versus embodying equanimity

We cannot help but strive toward things. In fact, we very often strive before we know what we want at all (see my previous post on “Feeding Distractions”). What striving does is put us into the future. When our “presence-of-mind” is replaced by a “future-of-mind”... CONTINUE READING


Not "Wanting" What We Want (and not "not-wanting" what we don't want) On Purpose...

Wanting what we want is a pretty natural way to feel... natural and imprisoning. It is silly to say we should "not-want" what we want... silly and very helpful. Becoming what we are means first to become what we are not, and it is only through the action of volition that we become anything at all. … CONTINUE READING NOT “WANTING” WHAT WE WANT (AND NOT “NOT-WANTING” WHAT WE DON’T WANT)… ON PURPOSE


Mental Energy Boost

No, I am not going to talk about some exotic root or mystery drink sold through gimmick scheme... This post will outline a very simple (although not always easy) way to "flip the switch" on your mental energy booster. I will explain by beginning - as so many things dealing with the mind do - … CONTINUE READING MENTAL ENERGY BOOST


Influencing the Health of Our Own Mind

So much of life consists of relationships. It may even be argued that all of life is made up of relationships. One important (and often overlooked) way that this is true is the fact that, in addition to relating to others, we also form relationships with ourselves and with the struggles we encounter within our own minds. In fact, it is through this triangulation that we come to understand ourselves: we are who we are as a result of how we relate to other people, ourselves, and our experience. Read More


Feeding Distractions

Paying attention is a catch-all phrase that really means to bring to conscious awareness – to set in front of the mind’s eye – a particular object of experience (a thought, feeling, image, sensation, etc.) and hold it there. Simply paying attention can be much harder... Read More


Sinking Into the Sand

When I was young, I used to love sitting in the bath as the water was draining out. I would feel the subtle change in weight as my body floated less and settled more. This experience was surreally solidifying! It felt (each and every time) as though my body were being re-constructed; build again; newly emerging from a static state of equilibrium. Read More


Experience and Its “Ingredients”: Shape, Color, Texture, and Direction

 All of mental life can be categorized into a few phenomenological groups. These groups cover all manners of conscious and non-conscious experience. The means by which our experience of life is organized is a function of the mind and operates as a process of ever-becoming movement. The change that is seen in daily life is merely the outer edge of a totality of flux and emergence. Read More


All "Systems" Go! - The Systemic Influence of the Anxiety Alarm on Our State of Mind

As a Family Therapist, I consider relationships to be key in the way we construct and are constructed by our experience in life. We all have relationships with our "selves" (we are the observer), with experience (our reality/world/environment), and with others (observers with whom we share our lives). Systems theory provides a wonderful method of viewing relationships between "parts and wholes". The centrality of relationships in systems theory can be extended to how we specifically handle anxiety with clients and within ourselves. Read More


The "Sensation" of Thought

I have been more and more interested lately in the utility of viewing the capacity of cognition (i.e. thought - including perceptions, memories, planning, overt intention, symbol-creation capabilities, etc.) in a similar way as we view sensations. In his model called the Wheel of Awareness, Dan Siegel basically does this by calling it a "sense" (he considers - allegorically, I imagine - intero-ception as the 6th sense, cognition as the 7th sense, and the impression of the self as a node on an interdependent web of being - a map of "we" - as the 8th sense). Dr. Dan may or may not consider the stream of thought as functioning like an actual sensation of the body, but in this post I am suggesting that there may be some benefit to doing so. Read More


Presence of Mind, Absence of Mind, the Stream of Thought, and a Word on "Mindfulness"

In this post, I would like to explore how we might find ourselves in relation to two states of mind and one continuous event of the mind. Lastly, I will briefly mention a few thoughts on the common usage of the word "mindfulness" and how it may be taken advantage of and possibly improved upon. The gist of my post here is to say that in order to practice being more fully present in our own minds, and to avoid falling into the common experience of being swept away in our own stream of thought, it takes a constant self-reminding of our intentions. Read More


Less-Self or Selfless?

We have all been taught that being selfless is a good thing. Focusing on what others want before attempting to satisfy your own desires; setting your own needs aside to make sure everyone else has what they need; not even thinking of your self, but giving your strongest effort and attention to people around you... these all seem to be virtuous attributes and altruistic traits. Read More


3 Strategies and 1 Vital Practice: Recognizing and Dealing with the Distress of Painful Sensations, Images, Feelings, and Thoughts

I think I accidentally crammed 3-4 posts into one here... I thought about separating them, but I provided a quick summary of the whole article at the beginning instead. Please feel free to stop there, but any attention paid through the length of this post would be greatly appreciated. And - in case I have never mentioned it before - feedback is always welcome! You can find my email information on the contact page. Read More 


Non-judgment: facilitating grace through the act of building the neural muscles of attention and empathy

A challenge: go an entire day without assigning a qualitative judgment to any thought, emotion, image, sensation, or behavior by yourself or others. Maybe start with trying to go for just a few moments... Read More


Want

Throughout each day, most of us probably utilize the miracle that is our brain's reward circuit in a way that helps us work through times that are uncomfortable or times that we are dreading. "Looking forward" to something (an activity, a meal, companionship, a trip, etc.) may feel like the only reason we can tolerate the current set of circumstances (like being at a job that we don't like, spending time with those around whom we feel uncomfortable, long car rides, etc.). Read More


Play the Game

Play is a vital element in the psychology of human beings. As children, we learn a tremendous amount about how to be a person through playing with peers, adults, younger children, even imaginary playmates! Anyone who has spent any time watching or playing with children who are absorbed in their playtime probably agrees that play can seem very unstructured and chaotic, but there is an underlying method to the way play is initiated, carried out, and terminated. Read More


Dr. Dan Siegel - influence and inspiration

Without a doubt, one of the main influences in my mental health training and personal practice of transformation has been Dr. Dan Siegel. His work - along with the work of Jung and his followers,  the examples of those in contemplative traditions, and more recently the work of those who work in fields influenced by the intersection of meditation and neuroscience such as Richard Davidson, Andrew Olenzki, Antoine Lutz, John Dunne, and Evan Thompson - lines the shelves in my personal library of books and articles and is an ever-present source of insight and direction. Read More


Welcome

Welcome to the webpage of Henry Anderson's private therapy practice, Highest Heights Individual and Family Therapy. As you explore the site, please find information about me and my practice, convenient ways to contact me or set up an appointment, as well as useful resources, links, and articles about cultivating self-knowledge and well-being. Read More