Tag Archives: emotional needs


Jill Raiguel, MFT
About ten months ago, my doctor informed me that my blood pressure was too high. I was concerned but not surprised given the stress I’d been under for the last few years. Even with a busy practice, I had found the time to write a book. But, like a lot of us, it had taken a toll on my health. I had to create a plan to reduce my stress, and I’ll be sharing some of my plan with you. I use a specific breathing technique and visualization not only on myself, but with my patients to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and help your body and mind remember what it feels like to relax, calm and centered.
This is a fast and easy technique you can do anywhere anytime
My doctor told me, “I’m going to teach you a breathing technique that will slow you down, lower your blood pressure, and help you sleep.”
So I learned 4-7-8 breathing in about four minutes. She left me resting on her exam table to try my new breathing. Simply, breath in for four counts; hold for seven; breathe out like a candle for eight. I was to do that four times twice a day. After three weeks of regular practice using it twice daily, I could feel my stress lower when I did this.
Three months later, I’m in her office getting my blood pressure checked. “It’s a little high, but not bad.” “Give me a minute,” I said, and I did my 4-7-8 breathing. She too it again and it had dropped 25 points.
“That’s impressive, what did you do?” I explain. She says, “I need that, I have high blood pressure.”
Since then, I’ve taught 4-7-8 breathing to more than 60 people in my psychotherapy practice. I suggest they Google 4-7-8 breathing and watch You Tube Dr. Andrew Weil, well-known holistic physician. In his five-minute video, he is teaching a seminar how to do 4-7-8 breathing. Dr. Weil gently explains the technique, demonstrates it and tells some success stories. Originally from India, he does not know how it works, but he uses to help patients reduce anxiety and stress and release endorphins. I do my 4-7-8 breathing one time on my way to work and one time before I go to bed.

Email jillraiguel@gmail.com, http://www.jillibean.com, follow her on Facebook or Linked In.


Jill Raiguel, MFT

What are the assumptions we make — usually automatically — about others? What are the assumptions we make about ourselves. I’ve found examining my assumptions to be very freeing in my own life and the lives of my clients. here’s a dramatic example of an entire school who made assumptions about a challenging student.

Several years ago I had a student added to my class late in the semester. When I inquired about him with his counselor, the counselor said, “Oh, you can handle him. He’s been thrown out of everyone else’s classes.” When I mentioned this in the faculty room, two teachers told me, “That kid ruined my class; good luck, you’ll need it.” It seemed the whole school had made assumptions about this young person and they were all bad.

I watched my own inner dialog start to agree with them, but I decided to try something different. I met with this student before class and told him: “I know why you are here, to learn, right?” He nodded. “Good, then this is a brand new start for you. As far as I’m concerned you are an A student.” This student never gave me any trouble; he earned a B that term.

If I had agreed with my colleagues, I would have interacted with him like a troubled teen, but I assumed he could behave and learn. And he did.


Many of us live with limiting assumptions about ourselves like, “I’M NOT GOOD ENOUGH.” Mary’s assumptions about herself is a good example:
This young woman from Florida came to New York to go to graduate school. Her dad was an alcoholic, but he never hit or molested her. She had traveled and had a good job teaching in a private school, but she was depressed and sad all the time. Nothing was satisfying or made her happy.

Looking sad she shared with me one evening: “I’m just not good enough!”
“Where does that come from? When did that start?” I asked.

“Well, I had a handsome brother that dad adored. I never got to go on fishing trips with them… I was a girl. He’d punish me for little things, but my brother never did. I must have been eight or nine when I decided that I just wasn’t what he wanted. I was not good enough.

“Now, in my classroom, I make sure I treat all the girls and boys the same. We are all equal; we all deserve equal treatment and respect. That’s on my wall in my room.”
Once Mary realized this was her underlying assumption, she could see she had another choice. Several weeks later, she told me, “I am really angry at him. He missed out on his daughter. I AM enough; I deserve love. I AM terrific, in fact.” She sat up straighter, her depression began to clear up.

Over the years some clients have been told: I AM crazy, or I’m really messed up, or no one can help me. That makes their recovery very difficulty. I have made instant assumptions about clients like: this one is definitely broken, or this person is really messed up. I try to observe those and remake them. Then I am standing for my clients to heal, to be well, to reinvent themselves. Am I 100 percent perfect with this? No! But I try not let my assumptions limit clients’ recovery.

For exercises to help you examine your limiting assumptions see Chapter 8 in my new book, Alternative Healing Beyond Recovery.


by Jill Raiguel, MFT

Give Yourself Permission to have Needs

Many of us who have been caregivers and helpers never thought about our needs. Or you grew up believing that having needs is selfish. Having needs is a natural part of being human. IN my young adult years, I forgot that I had needs just like everyone else. Now is the time to start helping yourself. Say to yourself: I give myself permission to have needs.
Ask Yourself the Question: What Do I Need?
What do I need? I suggest that you write that question on a sticky note and put it on your mirror or desk or computer so you can look at it frequently. You may not know how to answer it yet. But you will start thinking about it. If you have never considered your needs, using the sticky note or reminder on your phone will help you begin to include them in your life.
Write Down Your Needs
Your needs will change throughout the day and throughout your life. Sometimes you will need to be with one person, and sometimes with people. Sometimes you will need to be productive and, at others, relaxed. Sometimes you will need times to be held, and at other times you will need to be alone.
Make a Plan to Meet Your Needs and Act on It
Exercises in my book will have a chance to list your needs. After each one, write down how you plan to fulfill it. Writing down your needs will assist you in integrating them into your life. As you begin to recognize your needs, you may feel angry and resentful that they have been denied. Allow these feelings to release so you can replace them with new patterns.
From my book, Recovery Beyond Your 12 Steps for the Genius, available in July, 2014. To pre-order email jillraiguel@gmail.com