Voices of Colleagues

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I first met Clare Nicholetti in the 1990’s when we worked together to increase the Ithaca community’s awareness of an integrative medical perspective to health. In a very short time, I became aware of Clare’s level of integrity, her commitment to providing the highest level of clinical care, and her love of community. I also gained further insight into Clare’s special capacity to catalyze inner healing as a result of the care of patients I asked her to provide, as well as her commitment to personal and professional growth. Clare also has a very special capacity to make others extremely comfortable so they spontaneously “tell their story” to facilitate deeper levels of understanding and healing. Someday when I look back in the rear view mirror of my clinical career, I have no doubt I will experience an undeniable sense of gratitude having worked with Clare in various capacities, as well as experience an unquestionable sense of fulfillment as a result of the quality and depth of care that Clare provided to those I referred to her.

Stephen Panebianco, MD

Primary Care NW CBOC &

Medical Director Mind-Body Medicine Clinic

Southern AZ VA Health Care System

2945 W. Ina Rd, Tucson, AZ 85741 (0-002A6)

520-219-2418 Ext 3321/VA phone 2-3321

Fax 520-219-2332

Neuroplasticity of the Brain

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Whew!…haven’t been moved to blog in a while, but I MUST share my recent experience in reading Jill Bolte Taylor’s book, My Stroke of Insight. What an extraordinary person, sharing, not only her area of expertise as a Harvard-trained brain scientist, but her personal journey after having had a massive stroke in the left hemisphere of her brain!  It took her 8 years of intensive therapy, both personal and professional, to get to where she could write and speak about this event (you can find her on TED talks), and how it changed her perspective on the meaning of life as she now sees it. Chapters 17-20 gives you what she has learned from this experience…and how we, too, can take charge of how our mind works, if we pay attention.

One of the most valuable pieces of information she gives, as far as I am concerned, is how we can shift our thinking and feelings in a way most of us find very difficult to do. Since most of us use and overuse our left analytical  side of our brain (on a spec scan, one can see how active it is), Jill has known what it is like to live with only the right side of her brain functioning.  She noticed she was present in the moment, felt connected to all beings, and was  in an euphoric state much of the time.  But she had to function on a day to day basis, and had to make a conscious decision to relearn how to sit up, speak, ect., as an infant would.  This lead her to realize that, as she continued to know herself better…that it took her 90 seconds…or under, for her body to react to a situation….anger, fear, joy…and after that, she had a choice as to whether or not she wanted to engage that circuitry, or allow it to “melt away, as fleeting physiology”. we can either strengthen old patterns, or create new ones.

Can you imagine the ramifications of that for us?  If we can get ourselves to move from past painful thoughts or fearful future thoughts, we can truly learn to take charge of ourselves, and be the person we want to be!  If any of you out there has read this book, please feel free to share your thoughts!  Even if you have not read her book…I would love to hear from you.

The Political Climate

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It has never become more clear to me, then in the past ten years, how a person’s beliefs spill over to his/her leadership, affecting everything and everyone around…not just the US, but the world.  Some of our past leaders have used their powers and privileged status to manipulate the American people into their way of thinking, in regards to religious beliefs, disregarding the majority that are not of that belief system.  This is frightening, to those of us who are paying attention.  So, I have many clients who are learning, like myself, to use that fear and anger in productive ways.  Feel free to share your ways of coping.

What Hypnosis Can Do


If you read “A Psychiatrist Speaks Out with Courage”, in my blog, or read the book I metioned by Brian Weiss, MD, then you know what can happen quite dramatically, in treatment.  But whether or not you have the belief in past lives, hypnosis serves a number of purposes.  In this very hurried pace of ours, first, as one learns to slow down one’s breathing, one learns to slow down…which means we tend to pay more attention…

To what?  To our surroundings, our body, what our thoughts are, how thoughts affect our feelings, and how all of it affects our behavior.  Think of the consequences of that ( not always pleasant, but needed, nonetheless)!!!

We remind ourselves that there is another way to “be”.   And just as we can resolve some of our issues on a conscious level, hypnosis allows the possibility of work to be done on that subconscious level as well.

I welcome your experiences as therapist or client on this topic.

I Had a Dream (last night)


Or was it the night before?…oh, well…no matter.  The point is, dreams, for me, and for many of my clients and friends, give incredible insight, if we take the time to notice.  Could this one be under my “mindfulness” blog?…or…well, it could fit under any of the other titles, because what I have learned is that the dream world at night can be just as powerful a lesson as any daytime experience. We get messages, somehow, whether from ourselves or the spirit world.

Let me give you an example.

I am in the process of moving the locale of my private practice (of nine years this Nov), to an office in the city of Ithaca, where I will share with a colleague, since I am choosing to work part time.  Although it is an exciting move, and I know it is the right thing to do, transition is very difficult, and I have been grieving the many losses that accompany this move (and yes, my body has been protesting with unique aches and pains…).

So, I had a dream that I was riding in a car with my father (who died in March of 1999- this month!).  I believe the car was his, as he was driving, and wanted to show me something.  I was content that we were sharing this time together, and awed at the view looming ahead.  We came to a cliff, nose first, and he stopped the car, gesturing toward the view.  Although I was fearful at being so close to the cliff, I let go of that fear, and followed his gaze.  The message that came with this, as I was writing about it, is that ” the discomfort of fear and insecurity can co-exist with beauty and peace”.  I know I am living this message today… if I would just pay attention!

As always, your comments are welcome!

The Mind Body Connection


Yes, after reading John Sarno’s Mind Body Prescription I am reminded of how my body can reflect the emotional conflicts, distract me, and beg for balance in my life.  Some conflicts I am aware of,  some are more subtle,  or remain in the subconscious.  Meanwhile, my body can continue holding the stress, causing chronic pain.  So I take myself to the chiropractor, and release some old patterns.   Oh, and did I mention that I am also paying attention to breaking old emotional patterns of thinking as well? A beautiful thing!…pain can be reduced or eliminated on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level.                                                                                                                                           Your experience?

On the Issue of Mindfulness…


“Therapists need to consider the possibility of life after death, and integrate it into their counseling.”

I introduced this quote last week, stated by the author Brian Weiss, MD. We can continue with this topic, and I will add, as being part of life’s purpose, is the acquisition of mindfulness. Now there’s a challenge beyond many challenges for me! And so I talk with clients about starting with the breath, and just noticing it from time to time. For me, if I am racing around doing mindless tasks (which have to be done!), I stop myself, slow down, slow my breathing, and focus more on what I am doing. It helps save time in the long run, as I do not loose my keys, or ask someone to repeat what they have said….even my memory improves!

A Psychiatrist Speaks Out with Courage

After reading the book Many Lives, Many Masters, by Brian Weiss, MD, a prominent psychiatrist in Miami, Florida, and graduate of Columbia University, and Yale Medical School, I am affirmed by a quote of his, that I have been living:  “Therapists need to consider the possibility of life after death, and integrate it into their counseling.”(p.164).  He explains further, that he understands why “highly trained professionals remained in the closet” when dealing with these issues with their clients/patients, and sharing profound experiences with them.  He states,  “We could not deny our own experiences and senses.  Yet our training was in many ways diametrically opposite to the information, experiences, and beliefs we had accumulated.  So we remained quiet”.(p.129).
I invite your comments, dear reader, as I will be checking my blog every Tuesday morning.