Stress is conflict and something that can't be avoided no matter how hard we try, and conflict is at the core of STRESS.

This conflict is inevitable because people are individuals with different views, feelings, experiences, and ways of perceiving things. So, the object is not to eliminate conflict, but to try to work with conflict in order that it has a positive outcome, bringing people closer or creating innovative ideas, and new possibilities. Stress then, can be seen from two ends Dis-stress and Use-stress.

It can be said that resolution is the "How" in which we handle life Stressors rather than the "What" of the stressor itself.


As one works through this life struggle, you will often find a person who has difficulty with communication and conflict.

Those difficulties are a major part of life patterns that often have had their development within a dysfunctional family of origin.

Struggles from significant unresolved conflict within the parental relationships or from significant unresolved losses in one's life. They are often patterns we have learned that are no longer helpful and are often distrustful.

The person may be overly passive or overly aggressive, or a combination of those behaviors. Their ways of relating are unintentional, unconscious compulsions.

Often, they do not know a healthy alternative other than to react out of emotion or habit.


Most of our days go by when we’re unaware of our intentions and are often absent within our own skin.

Instead of living fully in the moment, we’re pulled through life by unseen currents of stress. We miss the grand theater in which we have a part to play. We miss the unique themes, plot lines, events and characters that make up our own stories. We get stuck in soliloquies and often speak to an empty theater, hearing nothing but our own internal cries.

"Surviving this way makes our lives increasingly lonely. We seek comfort rather than meaning, prestige rather than purpose, solutions rather than truth, perfection rather than beauty, romance rather than love, position rather than significance. We insulate our hearts against feeling anymore pain—and thereby against living fully." (Unknown)


But as with any story, something unforeseen happens death, divorce, departure, depression, or pure desperation to escape this life. Some heartbreak arouses us from our numbness.

We cry out. Once awake, we can either begin to pay attention to our story, learn from it, live from it, feel it. Or we can scramble to put ourselves back to sleep within a numbing state in an attempt to forget.

The difference between survival and fully living is what determines the quality of our lives and the freedom to which one can participate in the larger story that is being played out all around us. We can either strive to survive or answer the call to be fully alive.

So what is it, Survive or Thrive.


Sometimes in this world we get STUCK, and we ask ourselves. Thrive or Survive? Sometimes we just need a little help. It's all about choices. Have you made yours?

Dr. Emerson actively seeks to uncover and confront the relational patterns that prohibit patients from having the life they desire. The “here and now” interactions are far more therapeutically profitable than the content and facts that are being shared.

People come to therapy to change and working close is the best chance of realizing that change. Sometimes this can feel intense for both the patient and the therapist. All participants, including the therapist, must voice distrust openly, be willing to give and receive feedback, embrace mystery, and respect their own limitations. Truthfulness is paramount to life change.


One productive facet of therapy is facing our stresses. As we face these stresses, life can be more turbulent than we like—and at times overly chaotic. Our attempts to control and manage the chaos leave one exhausted and sick; sick, mentally, physically, and spiritually.

Much of the therapeutic process is about learning to surrender our attempts at control and practice embracing the mystery of our past, present, and future. The process of surrender leads to acceptance. This process requires facing and embracing the paradoxes which have controlled our life.

Links From Dr. Emerson