Joy, Love and Wisdom with Brenda Strausz

by Tess

Every once in a while you come upon a blog or website that stands out with wisdom and love. Brenda's was one I happened upon lately. Today I left my comments out of the interview. It is powerful on it's own. Enjoy and feel the love!

Brenda Strausz is a holistic Psychotherapist, Life Coach, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT Tapping) Practitioner and Hypnotherapist. She specializes in helping women love and accept themselves and overcome any obstacles that stop them from living in their full magnificence.  

She believes strongly in the healing power of love and forgiveness and feels that your joy is the greatest gift you can give the world!

You can follow Brenda on Facebook or Twitter.

What led you to become a therapist?

I wanted to be a psychologist for as long as I can remember. I ended up majoring in early childhood education and taught both full-time and part time for about 20 years. Although I enjoyed teaching, I found that I was more interested in my students’ psyches and souls than in their academic achievements.

At age 49, I took a BOLD (love that word Tess!) leap and went back to school to become a psychologist.  It was one of the best things I have ever done!  I realize now that the wisdom I gleaned through my years as a wife, mother, friend and educator was invaluable.

I am very grateful for this classroom called “life” as well as the great education I got.

You are known for helping women increase their self love. Share with our readers how you go about doing that.

Love is such a powerful thing. Louise Hay says that, “Loving ourselves creates miracles in our lives.” When I see my clients through the eyes of love, they begin to open to their own loveliness. 

As they share their fears, worries, hurts and pain, we explore how they live in the world. What do they believe about themselves?  About others?  About their lovability?  How do they relate to the world? What do they think is holding them back from being happy?

As they tell their stories, we figure out what false beliefs they are carrying around and how these beliefs are affecting their lives. Author Tara Brach says that we are all in “the trance of unworthiness”.  I guess in many ways I de-hypnotize people. 

I help them to see how their old baggage and limiting beliefs keep them from living fully.  And as they shed the old stuff, they begin the journey back to themselves. They see their true magnificence!  And like a flower that is given sun and water I watch as they blossom. And that is a joy to behold!

We also pay attention to how they talk to themselves and we identify the inner critic which is in reality the internalized parent. This critic takes its toll on us. It weakens us and depletes our energy. I guide them to see the voice for what it is and practice disengaging.

We go on a “goodness” search as we identify the gold within.

And then come the affirmations!  I make sure that they are not just parroting them but really believe them. Affirmations have tremendous power!

Below are some of my client’s favorite affirmations:I am a being of light and love.

I accept and love myself just as I am

The love I feel for myself flows out and touches the whole world.

I treat myself with kindness and compassion.

I see the beauty and sacredness of my soul.

I appreciate all my blessings and gifts.

I have so much joy to share with the world.

When we get to this place of self-love, it is amazing how much better we feel and how much our lives improve in so many areas: relationships, work, our attitudes, our thoughts, our behaviors, our daily interactions.  We feel so much more alive!

I find it exciting you use different modalities along with traditional therapy; tell us more about that.

I am so grateful that I have so many ways of empowering my clients.

One of my favorite modalities is Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) which I have been certified in since 2002. EFT works like acupuncture for the emotions but without the needles. It consists of the client gently tapping on energy points along his or her body while saying affirmations. The tapping releases energy that has been stuck and puts the body back in a state of flow.  

People universally report feeling like a burden has been lifted from their shoulders. This technique is wonderful for everything from moving beyond limiting beliefs to helping with physical illness, trauma, anxiety, phobias, stress, depression. The motto with EFT is, “Try it on everything!”  

I also use Hypnotherapy in my work. It gets to the underlying cause of issues and works in removing mental and emotional blocks and breaking old negative and subconscious patterns. It is also very useful for anxiety, depression, relationships, personal performance, reducing cravings and many other things.  I often combine it with EFT for spectacular results.

 Art Therapy and Journal Therapy are very helpful for gaining self-clarity. A recent example: a client came in confused about why she was so depressed. I gave her colored pencils and a sketch pad and asked her to draw how she was feeling. She picked up a black colored pencil and drew a very small figure cowering in the corner of the page. 

I told her to give the figure a name. “Ms. Nobody."  She wrote.  “And what might Ms. Nobody be saying?”  Grabbing the black pencil and wrote, “I don’t really matter to anyone. I am small and afraid. I do not know who I am.”  This gave us wonderful information to uncover the source of these feelings and how she could move beyond them.

You state on your website that stats show 85% of all illnesses are caused by unresolved emotional issues. That’s huge…I have two older adult friends with rheumatoid arthritis. What kind of emotional baggage would cause something like that?

It is amazing how connected the mind and body are. The body is really a metaphor for the mind. For example, if client complains of a headache and describes her main symptom as “pressure”, we explore what kind of pressure she is under. Where is it coming from?  What was he past experience with pressure? How can it best be resolved?

 I have found with arthritis often the client is hanging onto something too tightly. Stiffly. I worked with a client who had arthritis in her hips. As we explored her emotions around this she came up with a stuck feeling, a fear of moving forward. 

She hated her job; she longed to do something fun and creative. With EFT we addressed this feeling of ‘stuckness’.  We explored where in her past her fear of moving forward came from.

The next day she went shopping and realized that she had walked for 3 hours without even noticing the pain. In the next few months she decided to leave her job and go back to school to pursue her dream. Her hips seldom hurt now.

Do you have any upcoming projects?

I am working on a book called Open to Joy that focuses on finding joy in everyday life.

I am in the process of creating an online class called “Focus on Joy” where I will send out lessons and playful assignments on freeing yourself to experience more joy in your life.

I am going to be offering a 6 week teleclass on Louise Hay’s work, “You Can Heal Your Life.”

Why would a client want to hire you as a therapist or coach?

I am dedicated to my clients’ blossoming into their true and beautiful selves and I am trained in powerful modalities to help with this process. My clients report how their lives and relationships improve when working with me and how they feel much more peaceful and joy-filled.

What words do you want to leave us with today?

You are magnificent!  Embrace your magnificence and let your light shine strong and bright!  You have everything you need inside of you to live a life of joyful abundance. . And your happiness and joy are the best gift you can give the world!  

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

The Exception July 15, 2010 at 7:19 am

Hi Brenda –
I loved reading this interview this morning. Last night my ten year old daughter and I had a conversation about whether we earn love or can do things or be a certain way that brings the love of others. Given her age and her life experiences, she is increasingly aware of her actions and the actions of others… and how does love fit in? Perhaps even questioning how she fits or attracts love to her. The truths mentioned here are empowering and affirming. I have raised my daughter to believe in herself and that she is love through and through. She is now at a point in her life where her belief in her inner love may be tested; her belief in her value etc as happens to women and men throughout their lives. It is wonderful that there are people like you and Tess out there living boldly.

Thank you Tess for this post. Brenda, it sounds like you are allowing people to find joy and goodness in themselves. I love that.
.-= The Exception´s last post…Notes on Happiness =-.

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Karl Staib - Work Happy Now July 15, 2010 at 10:30 am

Self love used to sound so cheesy to me, but I’ve gotten over it. We are hear to embrace ourselves to the fullest extent. The more comfortable we are with ourselves the more enjoyable our relationships become.

Brilliant interview! I loved that Brenda helps with emotional issues. I truly believe that emotional intelligence is 10x more important than a person’s IQ.
.-= Karl Staib – Work Happy Now´s last post…Chunk Your Way to Success =-.

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Brenda July 15, 2010 at 10:53 am

Thank you for your comments! I wish I had known as much about teaching my kids about self-love when I was raising them 30 years ago… Karl, you wonder why emotional intelligence isn’t taught in schools… if only that were part of the curriculum, I am sure it would be a much more peacefu l world!
http:www.BrendaStrausz.blogspot.com

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Uzma July 15, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Hi dear Tess and Brenda. Tess , thank u so much for this fantastic interview. It’s synchronicity for me. I came to your blog becoz I just felt like I had to see what new post was up. And I found this. I’ve been thinking very deeply into exploring the mind body connection in healing!!
Brenda , thank you for those wonderful affirmations. They leave one feeling very special and light!!
God bless
.-= Uzma´s last post…Finding a candle- solutions come from action and calm =-.

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Sandra Lee July 15, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Brenda, I know very well that the body and mind are interconnected and inseparable. Yet I am still amazed by the high number of illnesses (85%) you attribute to being caused by unresolved emotional issues. People are often looking for the external causes and are hesitant to accept that emotions play such a huge role in illness perhaps because there is a certain amount of shame in acknowledging this. I don’t disagree at all, but do see how it’s a radically different view!

Tess, beautiful interview! Thanks!
.-= Sandra Lee´s last post…Exploring vulnerabilities =-.

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Brenda July 15, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Uzma: I am so glad that the affirmations helped you to feel special and light!
Affirmations suprise me with how powerful they are!!

Blessings,
Brenda

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Brenda July 15, 2010 at 4:07 pm

Sandra,

It is amazing isn’t it? In working with people with EFT and emotional symptoms…it still amazes me how their physical symptoms improve too.
Thanks for your comment!
Brenda

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marion July 15, 2010 at 6:26 pm

this was truly good to read! it is good to know that there is somebody out there that looks at Joy with a totally new perspective! Joy seems to be forgotten in our society! but yet, this what i want in my life! brenda is very inspirational and i love it that she choose to go back to school! i wanted to be a psychologist always too, and have now learned, through eft and zpoint to let go of many burdensome things. it really works! also through praying to God a lot of things that brenda says, are being confirmed and re-enforced! i always like her insight of things and the way i can so relate to what she is saying! thank you brenda<3

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Joyce of What Would You Do In Heaven? July 15, 2010 at 7:43 pm

Interesting ideas, especially the “trance of unworthiness”. I guess this idea is something that keeps us from being loved more fully, thinking we do not deserve it because we have made past mistakes or have not kept up to our own standards of goodness. Maybe this is related to our ability to forgive ourselves and hence, forgive also other people who may have made us felt unaccepted and unloved.
.-= Joyce of What Would You Do In Heaven?´s last post…All The World Is Meaningless Without Love! =-.

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Brenda July 15, 2010 at 8:13 pm

Marion: I am so glad that you have found ways to bring peace and joy into your life! I am sure you inspire so many people!

Joyce: I so believe that we need to forgive ourselves for being human and that definitely opens the door to us forgiving others. And that is so liberating!!!

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suzen July 15, 2010 at 8:15 pm

Hi Tess! Well this was fabulous! Brenda IS a joy! I am SO glad that the attitude of loving oneself is selfish is biting the dust! What a silly notion! If we don’t love ourselves, how can we really love others? You can only give out what you have inside yourself. We need to relax – love isn’t a chore to do! Let it flow!
Thanks for a great read!
hugs
suZen
.-= suzen´s last post…Over The Counter Toxicity =-.

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Joy July 15, 2010 at 10:15 pm

Hi Tess,
Thank you for introducing Brenda!

Hi Brenda,
Thank you for the Energy you dedicate to such fabulous work…I absolutely love this: “When I see my clients through the eyes of love, they begin to open to their own loveliness.” In my own life, I find I reflect to others the love within that they are not yet Aware of..
And your ending words are absolutely fantastic on their own..magnificent indeed! I think as a society we are taught about many things, but joy is not one of them..although it is an essential ingredient for our overall health and well being..Love is truly always the Answer…
.-= Joy´s last post…Wednesday Wisdom- A Threshold… =-.

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Brenda July 16, 2010 at 4:40 am

Hi Joy,
It gives me such great pleasure to help people to see their own loveliness…I am so glad that you and so many others are doing this.

Everyone has such awesome blogs! It is wonderful to be part of The Bold Life community!

Warmly,
Brenda
.-= Brenda´s last post…Love Made Visible =-.

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Cath Lawson July 16, 2010 at 5:01 am

Thanks Brenda and Tess, for this great interview. Brenda – that was a bold move retraining at 49 but I’m guessing you have no regrets.

The work you do with your clients is fascinating. I’ve come across folk with arthritis who say they’re in constant agony, so what you did for your client is miraculous.

Many years ago, I began suffering from PTSD after a horrible experience, so I can relate to emotional baggage causing physical illness. I’m a whole lot better nowadays but some symptoms just won’t go away, so I’ll be checking out your website and your teleclass.
.-= Cath Lawson´s last post…Stop Being So Flucking Nice =-.

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Brenda July 16, 2010 at 5:55 am

Cath: I am glad that you made some headway with your physical symptoms. Life really throws curve balls our way…I love Mitch Albom’s line, ,”the human spirit is a beautiful thing to behold!” I will look forward to your presence on my teleclass!
.-= Brenda´s last post…Love Made Visible =-.

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Angela Artemis July 16, 2010 at 9:51 am

What a wonderful interview Brenda!
I’m so impressed that you returned to school at 49! I’m a perpetual student…dreaming always of going back for more and more schooling myself.
EFT is fabulous. What a find. I discovered in 2006. I use for myself and friends – no certification, but it really is amazing.
I”m a huge fan of Louise Hay – I think your course sounds terrific!

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Brenda July 16, 2010 at 10:05 am

Angelina: Thank you, thank you! I love learning new things all the time too!
I am so glad you use EFT and teach it to family and friends!

Keep on learning and loving!

Brenda
.-= Brenda´s last post…Love Made Visible =-.

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Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord July 16, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Brenda, what a beautiful interview, and what awesome work you do! I love the way you present yourself, your services and the healing that is available to all of us. As I read your words, I thought, “Yes, she would be a great comfort to someone in need.” I also love that Tess asked you specifically about RA, since my mother suffers from it. Thank you for your in-depth answer.

Tess – another great guest; how do you do it?!!

Love & joy to both of you!

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Mark July 16, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Tess thank-you for sharing Brenda. Brenda thank-you for sharing what you do. I love that you help people to remember who they truly are and that through your help they can rediscover the joy which they are. You are correct that the body and mind are very connected and that all things begin and end with thought. Change are thoughts and we change how we feel. One of the things I love about you is that you have a bag of techniques to use to help people find their answers. This shows that you are open to how different people respond to different methods. This is important as many people get stuck on one way to do things and then miss the opportunity to help others because they have blinders on. Love and peace to you!
.-= Mark´s last post…What Are You Chasing After =-.

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Preeti @ Heart and Mind July 16, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Tess, Brenda,

Thank you introducing another great blog and person for me to know. I am amazed at how much great information is on blog and internet and there are so many people I yet have to know. I enjoyed the interview and going to check out Brenda’s site.

By the way, I do like your new picture and new look to the site! Great.

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Brenda July 16, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Megan: Thank you for your kind words! I love to be able to help people feel good about themselves and their lives.

Mark: I love having many different modalities to help people remember who they are. And sometimes just being a nonjudgemental presence is enough.

Preeti: Thanks! I too, am amazed at all the wisdom on these blogs! What a community!

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Jannie Funster July 17, 2010 at 7:48 am

Okay, I just had all my Mother Theresa favorite sayings tattoos removed and replaced by Brenda’s affirmations!

BEAUTIFUL interview and soul. Well, TWO beautiful souls here of course, Tess and Brenda.

Looking at everyone through the eyes of love — what a way to go!!

xo
.-= Jannie Funster´s last post…Sail A Child — Song Lyrics =-.

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Brenda July 17, 2010 at 11:35 am

Jannie,
I can see those affirmations tattoed on you! I love your blog and your passion for life! Keep on inspiring people and living the life you love!

And here is to your beautiful soul!

blessings,
Brenda

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Kristie Ryan July 17, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Hello Tess and Brenda,

Thank you so much for this great interview and the affirmations and inspiring words that went with it. I have really been starting the practice of more “self love” and I know it will make such a difference for me and my life. It’s so very helpful for me to have the wisdom of others to help me acknowledge how important true love for myself is.

I’m looking forward to hearing about this lesson you’ll be doing online and hope I will be able to participate in it someday. Fun activities sound great to me :)

Thank you again both,
Kristie

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Patricia July 17, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Thank you Tess for the introduction to Brenda and all her good ideas and work. There is a connection here for everyone, and how wonderful that her work touches upon those basic feelings which bring clarity and balance to living. Use it all and and heal one by one…step by step.

I enjoyed reading this interview and checking out Brenda’s site.

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Brenda Strausz July 17, 2010 at 8:20 pm

Kristie: I am so glad that you are practicing self-love!

Patricia: Thank you!! We all need clarity and balance…and it all comes with love and acceptance of ourselves…

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Brenda Strausz July 17, 2010 at 8:21 pm

Is there a trick to getting your blog to show up?

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Brenda July 18, 2010 at 7:33 pm

There is a quote that is so relevant to my interview that I wanted to add now. “Sometimes we need to reteach a thing its loveliness.” Not sure who wrote it …but it is surely what we who love do for each other.

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mark@friends dating July 21, 2010 at 3:08 pm

These blogs always amaze me with the wisdom and depth. Great work and a pleasure reading!

Thank You

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Brenda Strausz July 24, 2010 at 8:22 am

Mark: Thank you …so nice of you to comment! Be happy!

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