“See Me!” (Part 3)

1559559_10209276678260248_4880182406916386258_oSo, I have been “stringing you along” with promises of how being authentic and congruent will improve relationships. Good news! I’m going to finally reveal some of my thoughts for you. The reward for your patience.

Just to recap. We start off living in two realities, our inside world (true self) and our outside world (what we present to others). At some point many of us realize we are being hypocritical. We may feel one way on the inside, but present something different to the rest of humanity. Once we see this disconnect – the hypocritical nature of not being our true self – many of us begin lining up the inner world with what the outer world sees. We try to “get real.” Gradually we allow others a peek at our true self. If all goes well, we allow more of our true self to show through. It is important to begin this process with a safe person/s. Revealing too much, too soon, to the wrong person can be hurtful and cause us to retreat, slamming the door shut on transparency and authenticity.

When we become “real,” and authentic to our true self, we have the capacity to be more intimate in all our relationships. We are no longer hiding who we are.  We allow others the freedom to fall in love with or become friends with who we really are.

Have you ever thought about how a relationship develops when both people are presenting only what they think the other wants to see? The relationship is built on false data. You think you know the other person, but in actuality you are getting to know only who they are presenting themselves to be. It is like a false front, not knowing what truly lies underneath the surface. Can you see how this could become confusing quickly? The relationship is built on a false premise and when the relationship “gets real” they may begin to realize, “I didn’t sign up for this.”

We present a false front because we want people to like us.  But what if the other person isn’t attracted to who you are trying to be?  But instead would be friends with your real self? It may seem somewhat convoluted, but definitely something to think about.

So, if you want better relationships, work on being yourself. Be true to who you are and treat others as you would want to be treated. If someone isn’t interested in being your friend and accepting you for who you truly are, they are not worth having as a friend. Let your true self find another “true self” and enjoy a real, authentic, relationship.

Posted in Authentic, False Self, Relationships, True Self

“See Me!” (part 2)


Last week I talked about the importance of becoming a congruent person – someone who presents to the world who they really are on the inside. This is not an easy task. It takes courage and bravery to be ourselves. Adolescents are a great example of this. They want to be their own person, to be unique, yet they follow trends and fashion to the point that it is hard to tell one from another. What they are really saying is that they want to rebel against the “establishment” the ideals of their parents and other adults. However, they are terrified to stand out and be different from their peers. Being different as a teen comes with pitfalls and dangers.

Bullying is at epidemic proportions, fueled especially by the anonymity of social media. Things you wouldn’t dare say to one’s face can easily be spewed across the Internet for all to see. There is also a mob mentality perpetrated against those who are different from us. Children can be cruel and destructive. They will act badly within a group setting and say and do things they would never do as an individual. Remember Lord of the Flies?

So, from a young age we realize that it is better to be like everyone else. Our behavior conforms to the expectations of others. Some of us are more invested in this than others. Some of us are “pleasers.” We want to do the right thing. We want to get good grades, so we do our homework, turn it in on time (or early), follow the teacher’s directions, and sit quietly in our seat. Others are NOT necessarily “pleasers.” They will offer just enough cooperation as to not get into too much trouble. However, they too present just what they want the outside world to see.

For most of my life up until my 30’s I was a pleaser. I always did the right thing (as much as that is possible), I worked really hard to please my parents – a pretty impossible task, but I kept trying. My father was very opinionated and the family ran “his way” or it was the “wrong way.” I learned my father and mother’s rules by trial and error – no one told my sister and I what the expectations were. We were supposed to automatically understand what to do.  In this environment, I never got to experiment with what I thought or liked, so I grew up not knowing who I was.  I had no idea what I liked. It was irrelevant.

It is hard to be congruent and present your true self to the world if you don’t know who you are yourself. So, I kept on doing what I thought was expected of me, until I just couldn’t.

Next week – the story continues.

Warm regards,
Dr. Pam

Posted in True Self

See Me

girl-looking-in-mirrorThere is a drug commercial on TV these days where you see the camera zoom in on several different people. As the camera closes in, the person wistfully expresses his or her need for people to “See Me.” The first time I saw this commercial I was really pulled in by the desire expressed. So many of my patients just want to be seen for who they really are. “See me.” Of course, then I realized the product was some kind of drug for skin problems. I couldn’t quite see the relationship between this cry for understanding and a skin care drug. But I was still intrigued by the concept of wanting to be seen for who we truly are.

I think deep down, everyone wants to be seen for the authentic person they are. Why do you think Brené Brown’s writings on authenticity have been so popular? We want people to understand us, to understand our motivations, to think well of us. Of course, we don’t want people to see our flaws, the “bad” parts of ourselves. So we wear masks, we behave in such a way that we think others expect us to, and we close off our “true identity” for fear of rejection. We are pretty sure that if friends truly knew us, they wouldn’t like what they saw and would dump us for a better, less flawed friend.

We start off life with a “split personality.” Who we are inside, our true self, and who we present to the outside world. Now don’t get me wrong. There are times that societal rules demand we not say the first thing that comes into our head. Our self-control improves with age, but we also get better at hiding our true self. We become acutely aware of what others find acceptable and often fear exposing our true self because we want to be liked, to be OK in others’ opinions.

It takes great courage to show others our true self and it is important to find safe people to share with.

So, why is it important to be authentic and congruent? Is it really a good idea to hang our dirty laundry out in public? Shouldn’t we just keep a stiff upper lip, smile and say “Bless Your Heart.” As Miranda Lambert sings….. “Powder your nose, paint your toes line your lips and keep ’em closed. Cross your legs, dot your I’s and never let ’em see you cry.” *

Stay tuned. Next week I will talk about how being authentic and congruent affects our relationships.

Warm Regards,

Dr. Pam



*Written by Brandy Lynn Clark, Shane Mcanally, Kacey Musgraves • Copyright © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

Posted in Authentic, Perkins CPS, True Self

Life and the Unexpected

IMG_0770I’ve been writing a lot about working too much, self care, prioritizing life so the important things don’t get lost in the urgent tasks of life…

In the last two days I have been considering the fragility of life. Actual human life, and life as we know it to be on a daily, routine basis. By now, I suspect all of us have heard about the terrible events that occurred early Sunday morning in a night club in Orlando. As I looked through the list of those who were killed, I was crushed and saddened at how young most of the victims were. As young people, we don’t even consider our mortality; we have our whole long life ahead of us. Not one of those young people left home Saturday night with the realization that it would be their last night on earth.  In a matter of minutes their lives were lost and everyone who knew them and loved them were also forever changed. There was no warning. No preparation to settle affairs or say goodbye to loved ones. Those who were injured and survived will also never be the same.

My husband, Rich, and I have been in Chicago visiting family. We have had a lovely time meeting our new granddaughter, celebrating our grandson’s 3rd birthday, and spending time with our kids and grand kids. This morning we were getting ready to have breakfast with Rich’s son and family before heading off to the airport. Before we could leave, Rich became sick and was exhibiting symptoms of a possible stroke. We rushed him off to the nearby hospital where they checked him out did several tests to determine what the problem could be. He was admitted for observation and is spending the night in the hospital. Everything seems to be fine, but they are being cautious. Here too, we were going about our lives and then out of the blue – a health crisis.

When might you get a phone call, or hear news of some unexpected tragedy that will forever change your life? You have no idea, which is exactly my point. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. I am not writing about this in order to cause  anxiety or create a life/attitude of fear.  It is a call to live life with no regrets.

Is there someone who you keep meaning to call or write, but don’t have the time? Do you have a family member you are estranged from but are too stubborn to make the first contact to reconcile? Is there a hobby, sport, skill you have been meaning to learn and participate in but can’t seem to find the time? Is there a place you’ve been saying you are going to visit but it never seems to work out? There is always tomorrow, right? Well… maybe not…

Live your life as if it may be your last day on earth. Go after the things you have been wanting to do – for your business, your family, your self. Live so that if you are blessed to have a long and happy life you won’t think about all the things you were going to do but never found the time to do… live your life forward – No regrets!

Warm regards,

Dr. Pam

Posted in Perkins CPS

Making a Mistake Does Not Have to Depress You.

IMG_0030I belong to an awesome networking group of women business owners. (WIN – Women in Networking). Being a member of this group has given me a great support network as well as increased the number of people who now know about our services. In January I became the president of the Wake Forest group, which basically entails running the weekly meeting.

Well, I didn’t make it to a meeting a few weeks ago. It wasn’t due to a schedule conflict where I had made arrangements ahead of time, or a sick kid who needed tending to, or even an accident or emergency that prevented me from attending at the last minute. Oh no, nothing quite so noble. I woke up at 8:10 am for a meeting that started at 8:00 am, horrified that I had over slept and was not at my post to lead the meeting! Through sleep filled eyes and a foggy brain, I frantically texted the leadership team to alert them of my situation (as if they hadn’t already noticed I wasn’t there).

As I began waking up I tried to figure out what happened. Well, somehow the “weekend” button on top of my alarm clock was engaged, essentially disabling my alarm even though I set it as usual. I felt foolish, even stupid, and began berating myself for allowing this to happen, causing me to miss the meeting. How could I let this happen? I am usually so responsible and dependable.

How do you handle it when you make a mistake? Do you view it as a chance to learn and make changes in your life? Or do you use your mistakes as an opportunity to devalue yourself, to confirm what you already knew – “I’m such an idiot.” “I can’t do anything right!” “I’m such a klutz.” These statements are what we psychology folk call negative self talk. Often we aren’t even aware of how we talk to ourselves, but this type of thinking can lead to feeling depressed, anxious, or irritable.

Making mistakes is a part of life, unless you are Jesus and walk on water.
Do you give yourself permission to make mistakes? Are you so afraid of making a mistake, you won’t try new things? After all, if you are doing something for the first time, you really don’t know what you are doing, right? So there is a pretty good chance you will make some mistakes.

Since opening Perkins Counseling & Psychological Services, I have made some significant blunders in running the business. Some have cost me money, some have “just” cost me a few nights sleep. In any case, I have learned a lot from my mistakes. In fact, I think I actually learn more when I screw something up! When things go wrong (whether it is due to my mistake or not) I have begun referring to these painful events as, “Tuition in the school of life.”

We are willing to pay to learn; whether it’s tuition for college, payment for CEU’s or seminars, or traveling for a special conference. So, don’t get so upset when mistakes happen. It costs to learn, so make a mistake and go learn something!

Warm regards,

Dr. Pam


Posted in Anxiety, CBT, Depression, Negative Self Talk Tagged with: , , ,

Depression? Anxiety? Irritability? Where is it coming from?

IMG_0794Do you ever come home from work/school and want to “kick the dog”, yell at your spouse/parents/kids/roommate…?

Have you ever found yourself in a bad mood for no particular reason?

Well, there usually is a reason, it’s just that we aren’t always self aware enough to know what we are feeling and why we are feeling it…

For someone in the mental health field, I am still not particularly aware of my thoughts, feelings and emotions on a day to day basis. There are times that I realize I have been in a pretty bad mood and I’m not sure why. I may be feeling irritable and sad without even realizing it. If I take the time to ponder my mood or emergent feelings, I will often discover that there is more going on beneath the surface. For instance, I have been feeling depressed for the last couple of weeks. I just wrote it off to a bad mood – you know more work stress that I have to deal with.

It wasn’t until several days ago that I realized it is coming up on the one year anniversary of my mother’s death. A year ago today, my family was hanging out in the ICU of Wuestoff Hospital in Rockledge Florida deciding about putting my Mom in hospice care. I was aware of missing my Mom during the holidays and could embrace the sadness and give myself some understanding of how I was feeling. However, if we don’t know what we are feeling, or why we are feeling it, how can we understand it? Or for that matter, how can we understand ourself?

I grew up in a family where everyone walked on eggshells in a vain attempt at keeping the peace in our house.  I never had an opinion about anything because I learned early on that it didn’t matter what I thought or felt.  This worked well growing up, but then as an adult I didn’t know who I was. I have been getting to know myself through my adult years and there are times I am still not very aware of what I am thinking or feeling and it sneaks up on me, surprising me with emotions I am somehow feeling without truly understanding.

Seeing a therapist/psychologist can be one way of addressing this in your life. You can learn about yourself and what you like and don’t like; who YOU were meant to be, not who you think you are supposed to be based on the expectations of others. Women are especially susceptible to this. I see it all the time in women who have lived their entire lives meeting the needs of others. They can tell you what everyone else needs, but not what they themselves need. Realizing who you are and what you need does not have to be a selfish act. After all, You have to put on the oxygen mask yourself before you can help anyone else.

Warm regards

Dr. Pam

Posted in Anxiety, Depression Tagged with: , , ,

Perkins CPS Has Moved to a New Building!

Our New Address is 10580 Ligon Mill Road, Suite 210, Wake Forest, NC 27587

Conveniently located near Capital Blvd and Main Street in Wake Forest, just a few miles north of the 540 exit at Capital Blvd.   Easy access from North Raleigh, Wakefield, Youngsville, Rolesville, Franklinton, and of course, Wake Forest.

Posted in Perkins CPS

Contact Info

Fax 919-263-9670

10580 Ligon Mill Road, Suite 210
Wake Forest, NC 27587

Follow Perkins CPS:

verified by Psychology Today verified by Psychology Today Directory