Therapy & Consultation
We raise awareness while offering guidance that awakens people’s ability to claim responsibility for the direction of their life path and the level of contentment in their relationships through:
|Couples counseling||Psychological-Spiritual coaching|
|Family counseling||Energy Clearing|
|Voice Dialogue facilitations||MCBT (Mindful Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)|
|Groups/Workshops||Weight Maintenance Program – DietingKnowMore.com|
by Yolanda Koumidou-Velsmas, LCSW
March 19th, 2020
Fear, anxiety, worry, panic. Precious inner alarms. If any of these states are active in you today, the most helpful response might be to trust them. Embrace them. Use them. Act on them. Respond to them. They are the normal reactions for survival. They warn of danger, and today, there is real, actual danger for all of us. They are there trying to protect us. Their only intent is to bring safety in our lives.
Just like when a house or fire alarm goes off and we check what has either been invaded or caught fire, that is how these emotions, these inner alarms, need to be utilized as well. After the alarm goes off and we identify the danger, then we turn it off and take whatever immediate action is necessary. In the same way, these inner alarms will be rendered useless until we respond to them. But we have been responding to them by remaining informed and following all warnings and directions from expert reliable sources. We have been practicing all suggested precautions and preparing as much as possible. Since we have been taking these actions, then how come, fear, anxiety, worry, panic continue to be the dominating emotions for some of us?
Let’s take a look at some of today’s inner life consequences of the Coronavirus pandemic:
1. Overnight, every routine we practiced, has been disrupted or broken. Our life priorities had to be recalculated in a matter of days. This caused disorientation to our system because the usual way of going about our life has abruptly shifted to unfamiliar patterns, to unfamiliar thoughts, actions and possibilities. It is as if we have been forced to begin writing with our non dominant hand. Nothing is clear or familiar.
2. Knowing has been annihilated. Not knowing what is happening or what is going to happen, became the new norm.
3. We cannot afford to have expectations or any kind of certainty in our plans. The only plans we are busy making are about whether to be tested or not, what precautions to take and preparations to make for ensuring enough food and shelter, and of course, for those toilet paper needs! We live our lives depending on expectations which conversely bring predictability and predictability ensures safety. Expectations and predictability have been suspended for today.
4. Our basic beliefs and values have been put into question since these days excess living and nonessential desires and wants have to be cancelled.
5. Lies are being revealed. We are asked to reveal where we have been and who we came into contact with recently. . .Cheaters beware!
After every possible precaution is taken, after every possible preparation is done, after keeping informed and maintaining concern, after doing everything in our power to protect our family, friends, community, even strangers, it will be most helpful, if we can embrace, while at the same time, separate from these inner alarms. They served their purpose. They helped us spring onto action. The alarms will continue ringing only if we attempt to control what is out of our control. When they are left ringing, they can actually open the door to what is feared the most. They are powerful enough and more than capable for weakening our immune system. They can and do paralyze rational thinking. Dominating good health and rational thinking, is the condition and attribute most useful today.
Haven’t we supported the ideas of “living in the moment and everything happens for a reason”? Haven’t we said them, read them, spread them all over Facebook every single day before this pandemic hit? We have now been forced to live them. This is a good time to either put them into practice or to adopt them. Otherwise, we are allowing that loud, deafening alarm to keep ringing and ringing and ringing failing to fulfill the purpose for its installation.
Every thing human, has a beginning, middle and end. This pandemic has a beginning, and we have been told, this is where we are, here, in the States. It will have a peaking middle which will be utterly painful, as our Italian friends are trying so hard to warn us about. This crisis also has an end. This is the most painful “correction” time, “wake up” time for humanity partly because the following are some of the inner actions we are suddenly forced into, today:
1. For some of us, this is the time to adapt new patterns and routines, to the point that at times, we might behave unlike ourselves. This is unfamiliar and every iota of our being is trying to fight against it because everything unfamiliar is often translated as dangerous. This is a time for daring, for taking a risk to expand our ways of responding, behaving, reacting, deciding. This is the time to try to “write with our non dominant hand”. For those of us who usually respond to a crisis in a calm, rational, action oriented fashion, today is the right time to intensify such behavior.
2. Question our beliefs and values by finding ourselves recalculating our priorities in life. All of a sudden what we believed just yesterday to be the most important or the most agonizing and devastating event happening to us, today is not. Are we able to adopt new attitudes? Are we able to actually live in the moment and trust that everything happens for a reason, even when we might never come to know that reason?
3. Rearranging who our authentic companions are and who have been superficial, actually toxic, people in our life. Take notice who we want to talk to and who we do not care to talk to, even avoid, during this crisis. To remain stuck in judging, attacking, blaming and backbiting people, especially today, is one of the most horrendous and guaranteed ways of wasting our energy; Physical, mental and emotional energy that is most needed today.
4. Rushing to improve the connections and relationships with people we are discovering are precious and worthwhile. Discovering people we never expected to be so amazingly helpful, compassionate and caring, making them the new additions to our life.
5. Notice the excess we have accumulated. The enormous excess. The unnecessary excess. The ridiculous excess.
6. New archetypes are being formed. After this horrific event humanity is going through today, unfortunately some of us might return to “life as usual”. Those of us who take this direction, who are fighting the unknown but trusted purpose of all this suffering, who are failing to get the message for correction time in humanity, will continue to be in pain even after this crisis has subsided.
7. All the great ones over eons now, tried to wake us up through their teachings. Now the need for waking up is taking new dimension. Today this event happening to all of us carries a double edge sword; It carries, unfathomable suffering and pain due to the unknowns, but also offers opportunity for responding in new ways towards others and towards ourselves.
Today there are people in the front lines taking unprecedented risks and actions to an unprecedented event. We are thinking of you and thanking you, even in silence. Also thanking those of you conducting research for a vaccine, for a cure. Thanking those who provide daily practical advice. For today, I attempted to offer some inner life information in an attempt to calm down and sooth those of us dominated by fear, anxiety, worry, panic. Today suggesting we try to do our best and then let go of excess emotional baggage. Today suggesting we do our best and then embrace the part of us that does not have any control. Not sure if you have noticed already, but we do not have any other choice. The only other choice is to allow fear, anxiety, worry and panic to take over.
Asking God, the Universe and the Higher Power, the Source, or anyONE else experienced as Spiritual Connection, to give strength to all of us to handle in the best way we can what is happening, today.
Please stay safe and try to notice both sides of this crisis.
Short Term Groups 2020:
Loosening the Grip of Habit Patterns
Habit patterns we bring from previous life times and also accumulate in this life time, dominate our actions and decisions without our awareness. In this five-meeting group we will identify some of these habit patterns and through experiential activities begin to focus on their loosening
This will be a partly didactic and mainly experiential group.
It is strongly suggested that participants are able to attend all five groups.
Five Friday evenings 7pm to 8:30pm:
Dates: 3/13, 4/24, 5/15, 6/26 and 7/24/20
Investment: $105 per group
To register call: 516.568.0306
In this group we will explore the similarities and differences between Companionship and Friendship. We will look at how Friendship can evolve into Companionship, delve into the specific aspects of Companionship, and examine how and why Companionship is connected to Divinity, creating a stronger and more durable bond between people.
Three Friday evenings 7pm to 8pm:
Dates: 9/25, 10/30, 11/20
Investment: $95 per group
To register call: 516.568.0306
The above services are offered at our locations in Long Island and at our Koumidou Outdoor Retreat Center in upstate New York.
For more information please call our offices at 516.568.0306.
Theories and methodologies are being utilized that support and work well with our mission. Through Ms. Koumidou’s extensive experience interweaving traditional approaches with psycho-spiritual disciplines, the following theories and modalities serve as the foundation for our programs: the theory of the Psychology of the Selves and the Voice Dialogue Method, the teachings of Meher Baba, Quantum Physics theory and the use of hypnotherapy, art, movement, dream work and energetics.
New Book Release
Responding to Loneliness and Longing
This small book, borne from a dialogue between two close friends, offers unique answers to two age-old questions: Why am I still lonely? Why does nothing I do sate this longing I sometimes feel?.
As much of humanity finds itself increasingly driven to distraction, finding answers to these questions is a pressing need. Why do some of us feel a compulsive need to shop, to be entertained, to check our phones? Why, even in the midst of friends and family, do we feel isolated? Why, after acquiring a long-hoped-for good, is there a nagging sense that something is still missing?
After decades of introspection into these and related questions, Yolanda Koumidou, a psychotherapist and poet, and Renate Moritz, a teacher and painter, found themselves in an intense conversation that, over the course of several years, they expanded into this book.
The concepts that the two authors bring forward here are revelatory—and not at all prescriptive. This is not a how-to book in any sense. Instead of recommending a new way to do this or to do that, the book delves into still-deeper questions: Why do so many people experience loneliness as an undercurrent of their lives? And what if this experience is, in fact, inescapable? What if it is intrinsic to the human experience?
Drawing on Sufi and Christian concepts, the teachings of Meher Baba, the Theory of the Psychology of the Selves, and their own lived experience, Yolanda and Renate take the reader on an unforgettable journey of self-discovery. By journey’s end, the world does not appear the same. A new awareness of the fundamental causes of loneliness unleash untapped inner resources. As the authors have found, the creativity of the heart offers a way to make use of the existential predicament of human longing.