Monday, November 2, 2009

It's Monday, Welcome Back To The Cocktail Party!

Welcome to Willoughby's Blog Style Cocktail Party. I hope you will find some new blogs to follow and expand your circle of blog friends. I know you're all anxious to mingle, so I'll get right to it.

I'd like to introduce Christine Forest, M.D. from Better Than Cured. I know you'll enjoy her blog as much as I do.

About Me

Christine Forest, M.D.

Los Angeles, California

Working as a psychiatrist for over ten years, last seven in private practice, I have constantly searched for better ways to help my patients. I designed BETTER THAN CURED PROGRAM with this thought in mind. The results exceed my highest expectations. My patients not only heal from anxiety, depression, bipolar or attention deficit, but they go on building successful, fulfilling and much happier lives. I decided to start this blog to share their success stories and help people who are suffering in silence, thinking they are doomed and there is no hope for them. WELCOME TO MY BLOG! I hope to give you all a glimmer of hope. Reading my blog, everyone will know what to do to become BETTER THAN CURED. Here is in brief my journey: after graduating from medical school at the University of Medicine Timisoara, Romania, I specialized for four years in psychiatry at the University of Southern California. I am affiliated with Cedars Sinai hospital and I have my own private practice. For more information about my medical practice, please visit my web site at

"...and I keep trying to understand why we broke up. I just can't understand why we couldn't work it out in the end," Carol, my patient, was saying, while trying to cope with the breaking up of her five years relationship with a boy friend whom she hoped to marry one day.

Listening to her agonizing over "why this didn't work" and "why couldn't he understand" and "why didn't we figure out," I started thinking that "why" was really the wrong question to ask herself in this case. Just like we go to a job interview, we feel it went great and in the end, nobody calls us about that job. We just need to understand and accept we didn't get it. But nobody ever bothers to tells us why. We may never know the reason, we just need to figure out rather quickly that it didn't work out, regroup and look for the next job.

"You know," I said, "just asking yourself why this didn't work it's not going to help you much."

She lifted her head as if awoken from a dream. "Dr. Forest, all the therapy I have been through, thought me I need to understand why things are the way they are so I can fix them."

I told her that there are some things we can't and will never understand. Especially when other people are concerned. I explained to her how useless it is for her to keep asking "why," being unable to find any satisfactory or real answer, and sink deeper and deeper into the victim role.

"I think a better question to ask yourself is HOW rather than WHY."

"What do you mean?"

"Well," I said, "assuming that this relationship is over, and he told you in no uncertain terms that it is, I believe a better question would be: How can I come to terms with this break up and cope with moving forward?"

"I don't know," she sobbed, "I am not ready for that yet. I will see a counselor on Monday, see how that goes."

"You may see a counselor," I said, "but I tell you right now that if you do not learn to ask the 'how to move forward' question and will spend the therapy time in anger and resentment about the past, you will block your own ability to move past this incident. You will not allow yourself to see that, rather than staying a bad relationship, you have a chance to start anew, make better choices and be, eventually, much happier."

It will remain to be seen if Carol will have the strength to move forward or will be stuck regreting the past. It is, ultimately, her choice. But she left me thinking about how easy it is to put the breaks and kill our own future by asking ourselves the wrong questions. For example, rather than asking ourselves "why is this happening to me?" we can say "what is the meaning of this? What do I need to do to make this situation better?" Rather than saying "Where is my happiness?" we should rather say "How can I get to it?" The truth is, I have yet to see a problem without a solution.

My own life experience, and especially my patent's, has thought me that there is no problem without a solution. Sometimes we may just not see it. Blinded by grief, disappointment and fear, the solution we seek is hiding in plain sight and we can't acknowledge it. Sometimes we don't see it because it's not the solution we want. Sometimes it opens a too difficult road ahead and we are too scared to follow. Sometimes the solution is just accepting and making peace with what happened. Sometimes the right solution is doing nothing at all, while our anxiety drives us to action, any action, just to calm the anxiety, taking us further away from solving anything. But if we have the strength to see and follow the right solution, overcoming the storm of our own emotions, eventually we will reach a good conclusion and a good outcome.

Eventually, with courage to face the painful reality, we can walk on a clear path that leads to peace of mind and success.

Thank you, Christine, for being a guest on my blog.

The cocktail party will continue on Wednesday with a new guest blogger. It's not too late to RSVP if you haven't already. You can send your submission to me at (If you're not already a follower, you must become one to be a guest blogger at the cocktail party.) I would appreciate it if you could send me your post in html format. If you are submitting a new post, create it on Blogger as you would any post. Save, but don't publish it. From there you can click "edit html" and copy and paste your blog into the body of an email. If you are submitting a previously published post, go into "edit" and follow the same instructions. This makes it much easier for me to display your blog post the way you have written it and saves me a lot of editing.If you have any questions, feel free to email me.



Matty said...

I've read her blog before. She provides some interesting alternatives to problem solving in relationships. She opens your mind to other avenues for dealing with problems.

Thanks for introducing her.

Raoulysgirl said...

This is a new one for me! I'm curious to see what kind of advice she has to offer!!!

Charisse and Holly said...

Fun to find new perspectives. Thanks for the introduction. Holly at

Tattoos and Teething Rings said...

I've always found "why" to be an unfulfilling question/answer; thanks for a fresh p.o.v.!

kys said...

This is a good one Willoughby! Very different from the usual blogs that I read.

***Holly*** said...

Interesting post.

Chicago Mom said...

Nice to meet you Christine! What great advice, to get to the "how" and get past the "why". Something we can all use at some point in our lives.

Willoughby - I love your ghost stories! You are brave to live in that house, I'm glad that none of your "visitors" have been menacing. Also, I hope your daughter is feeling better. I wish I could send her some of the candy my daughter collected! :)

5thsister said...

Finally! A psychiatrist that advocates personal responsibility rather than perpetual victimhood. Bravo!

Christine, it was a pleasure to meet you!

Holly said...

Great guest..something totally different. I like the way she approaches things.


Joanna Jenkins said...

I'm a huge fan of Christine's blog and never miss a post. Her advice is so solid and down to earth. Great selection for your Cocktail Party Willoughby! Thanks!


Kimberly said...

I love your cocktail parties. There is always someone interesting to meet. I will have to go to her site, and see how she approaches other issues.

Nice to meet you Christine, can't wait to get to your blog.

My son has been very sick with H1N1, so have not had time to write or stop by any blogs.

Christine Forest, M.D. said...

Thank you Willoughby, for having me as a guest to your blog. It's an honor. And thank you to you all, those who read my post and, even a warmer thank you, to those who left comments. I have just started blogging and it's all so new to me. But I am so excited to meet in the blogosphere neighborhood so many wonderful friends.
Thank you.