Dr. Dale Atkins, PhD Psychology P.C.
Sanity SaversTM and More...
February 2015


Please follow me on Twitter at @DrDaleAtkins and "like" me at Dale Atkins on Facebook, as I will be posting current commentaries regularly.

My blog has gone live: http://drdaleatkins.wordpress.com/. I invite you to "jog my blog" and submit topics YOU would like me to discuss.

In this month's article, Who's Your Great Grandma, I discuss the benefits of learning about our genealogy.

In Tips for Handling Disappointment, I ask you to consider what disappointment means to you and whether the way you handle the feelings and experience is healthy for you.

Please visit my website, www.drdaleatkins.com for information and updates about my professional interests, thoughts, and engagements. Feel free to contact me directly if you would like me to speak to your group or organization at dale@drdaleatkins.com.

I appreciate you sharing this newsletter by clicking the Send to a Friend button below.

Wishing you health, peace and balance.


In this issue
  • Sanity SaversTM
    Who's Your Great Grandma?
  • Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit
  • Sanity SaversTM TIPS

    Tips for Handling Disappointment
  • Happenings
  • Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life
  • A Thought

  • Sanity SaversTM
    Who's Your Great Grandma?

    It seems to me that more and more friends are investigating their "roots." Genealogy used to be just a pastime (excuse the pun) and now the search for one's ancestors is taking hold with children and adults in families all over the world. Even news anchors are tracing and documenting their roots (http://edition.cnn.com/2014/10/10/world/gallery/roots-cnn-anchors/index.html).

    Not only does this searching personalizes history, it can make events that children, in particular, study come to life. Each of us recognize and feel connections to places and people in unimaginable ways. When we engage in this type of search we have the opportunity to "solve mysteries" about our family which may turn out to be informative, embarrassing, awe-inspiring, or whatever. We feel that we are part of a larger story which enhances the significance of our personal chapter.

    Whether or not we do a formal search, it is hugely important to share family stories with younger generations. Although everyone's story is different and everyone's memory focuses on different aspects of their story, sharing perceptions of who our forebears were helps solidify connections among generations.

    What happens when we ask questions about relatives whose stories we have never heard? Stories that are not shared? Who were they? Did they suffer? What qualities did they have? Were they generous? Loving? Hard working? Humble? Short -tempered? Did they cheat? Gamble? Drink? What were they like with their families? At work? In the community?

    Sometimes in our search we hear stories from relatives. We discover things that are contrary to what we believed. We were told someone was our aunt but she turns out to be our mother. We believe a woman to be our grandma and we discover she married our grandfather years after his first wife died. She surely was our grandma (but not by genetics). Now we understand why no one looks like her. We never even knew there was a "first wife."

    What about the story we heard about our cousin who died of cancer when in fact, he shot himself? Or the father who had an entire first family that was killed before he came to America and never spoke about those who were lost? Or the father who had two families simultaneously, one in Chicago and one in Houston, neither of which knew about the other until his untimely death. Or the young mother who discovers she is pregnant with twins and confidently believes that there were no twins in her family until her grandmother admits that she in fact was a twin. Her twin died at birth and she never told anyone. The stories are as varied as imaginable.

    The search can be your own magical mystery tour. Just know, you can gear up and become Sherlock but be aware that there will be surprises and that not all family members may be eager to learn what you discover.

    Sanity SaversTM
    A Good Daily Habit

    Planning Your Day

    Our days quickly become hectic and we can become overwhelmed with myriad interruptions and to-do items necessitating our immediate attention. In the fray, self-care can fall to the bottom of the list.

    Each of us can spend a couple of minutes centering each morning to plan our day. We can start small and come up with a workable "action plan" which includes fitness, reflection, and moments that are just for ourselves.

    Sanity SaversTM TIPS

    Tips for Handling Disappointment

    Disappointment is Workable.

    Disappointment is one of life's most common and, for many of us, uncomfortable feelings. Disappointment can be a mixture of other emotions, among them, anger, sadness, rejection, and hurt.

    Often, unmet expectations are the source of our disappointment. We plan or hope for something that doesn't happen. Or, the result is just different from what we imagined. When things don't "work out" we may judge ourselves or others harshly, ruminating over what went "wrong," compounding our disappointment.

    How can we work with disappointment and move through it, learning the lessons that are there for us, in healthy ways? Here are some tips to consider:

    Experience the Emotions. - Allow yourself to feel what you're feeling without any agenda of hastening the process. Whatever you are feeling is okay. Take some time to just sit with your emotional response and experience it without moving to fix or change it. Notice if there is a difference between when you are disappointed in yourself and when you are disappointed in others.

    Get Some Perspective. - When we are preoccupied with our thoughts and expectations, we may not realize that we are also judging, critical, and clouding the chance to see a situation for what it is. Taking some time to step back and give ourselves (and others) space can broaden our perspective so that we can learn without judgment.

    Recognize the Opportunity for Growth. - Often we can feel like giving up when we blame ourselves and others for our disappointments. Disappointment is a part of life, but all parts of life can help us grow. Rather than shutting down, look for the valuable lessons in our "failures" that, upon examination, can intensify our experience of living. We just have to give ourselves permission to move forward.


    TODAY Show (NBC), and HLN.
    Dr. Atkins is a frequent contributor.
    TBD, with Laura Posada; Q&A with viewers.

    Please check website, www.drdaleatkins.com, for updated appearances.

    Crisis Management - Jumpstart Training Session
    February 19, 2015
    New York University

    Sixty and Me Interviews
    Four interviews with Dr. Atkins, conducted by Margaret Manning, covering the following topics: stress and worry, care-giving, downsizing, and friendships.
    http://sixtyandme.com/elderly-care-how-to-be-a-caregiver-while-taking-care-of-your-own-life-interview-with-dr-dale-atkins/, and http://sixtyandme.com/how-to-deal-with-loneliness-in-retirement-interview-with-dr-dale-atkins/

    Experience Life Magazine
    The Cares of Caregiving, by Jon Spayde. Interview.

    I hope you enjoy my chapter, "Family Involvement and Counseling," in the new text, Introduction to Aural Rehabilitation, Second Edition. Edited by Raymond H. Hull, and published by Plural Publishing.

    I invite you to visit my website to access archives of articles and interviews on line.

    My sincere thanks to website developer, Barry Brothers, who, along with Carina Ramirez Cahan, brought vision and positive, creative energy to the site. Do take a look at Barry's work here: http://www.thelimulusgroup.com/bb and consider him for your business, development, design and communication needs.

    Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life

    SANITY SAVERS: Tips for Women to Live A Balanced Life is filled with suggestions to save your sanity every day of the year.

    A must for any woman seeking to find her balance!

    Once again thank you for continuing to read and talk about Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life.


    WE CAN ALL ADDRESS THE LITERACY CRISIS IN THIS COUNTRY. Jumpstart is a national early education organization that recruits and trains college students and community corps members to serve preschool children in low-income neighborhoods in year-long mentoring relationships. Jumpstart also partners with families, preschool centers, institutions of higher education, community groups and a variety of other groups and individuals to make certain that every stakeholder in a child's life is working to provide them with a high quality early education.

    Jumpstart's proven curriculum helps children develop the language, literacy, and socio-emotional skills they need to be ready for school, setting them on a path to close the achievement gap before it is too late.

    Please help to spread the word about the mission of Jumpstart and the remarkable strides being made in low income neighborhoods every day. If you can, contribute by clicking on www.jstart.org/donate www.jstart.org/donate. Over one million children live below the poverty level in the U.S. This shameful situation must change. Each of us has a responsibility to repair our world. Let us eliminate the 2-year achievement gap that exists between children from low income and those from middle income neighborhoods when they begin kindergarten!

    Visit www.jstart.org to learn more about Jumpstart initiatives - such as Read for the Record, which mobilizes millions of children and adults to celebrate literacy in an effort to break the world record for the most people reading the same book on the same day. On October 21, 2014 people across the country united in big cities, small towns, and everywhere in between to read the children's book Bunny Cakes, by bestselling author and illustrator, Rosemary Wells.

    A Thought

    "Life is like photography; we develop from the negatives."


    dale with samson

    DALE V. ATKINS Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist, lecturer and commentator in the media who appears on NBC's Today show.

    She has more than thirty years of experience and focuses on living a balanced life, creating and maintaining healthy relationships, parenting, aging well, caregiving, and managing stress, life and work transitions.

    Dr. Atkins is the author and/or co-editor of several books including:

  • Sisters:
  • A Practical, Helpful Exploration of the Intimate and Complex Bond between Female Siblings
  • From the Heart:
    Men and Women Write Their Private Thoughts about their Private Lives
  • Families and their Hearing-Impaired Children
  • I'm OK, You're My Parents
    How to Overcome Guilt, Let Go of Anger and Create a Relationship that Works
  • Wedding Sanity Savers
    How to Handle the Stickiest Dilemmas, Scrapes and Questions that Arise on the Road to Your Perfect Day.
  • Sanity Savers: Tips for Women to Live a Balanced Life
  • Find out more....
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