I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Registered Play Therapist, specializing in Trauma Focused Play Therapy and Sand Play Therapy for children, teens and adults. I am trained in adoption counseling and Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT) for adults, teens and children. I have my own counseling practice and offer effective outpatient, individualized, psychological care. I treat a number of mental health issues, and provide a neutral perspective to children, teens and adults. I provide individual, family, and couples therapy.
I am a certified grief counselor and work for the Victim Witness Assistance Program Office of Military Commissions assisting 9/11 victim family members (VFM) and others who have experienced loss.
I have visited Puerto Rico where my family is from and shared my book, The Wounded Yellow Butterfly and La Mariposa Amarilla Herida with the children affected by Hurricane Maria. I provided grief counseling to children harmed by Hurricane Maria.
I have donated copies of my Books,The Wounded Yellow Butterfly and La Mariposa Amarillo Herida, to victims of natural disasters in Puerto Rico, North Carolina, Texas, South Carolina and New Jersey. I have donated books to families of police officers killed in the line of duty and children who lost a family member due to a police shooting. I have donated toys and copies of my book in English and in Spanish to organizations helping children who have crossed the American Borders and children who have witnessed community violence.
I have been married for over 40 years to Brian, my wonderful husband. I am a mother, grandmother, and have two wonderful grandchildren who helped me write the book, The Wounded Yellow Butterfly, a story of a wounded butterfly that rebuilds with other insects and garden animals their peaceful garden after a terrible storm. I was inspired to write The Wounded Yellow Butterfly by a real wounded yellow butterfly, the children and families who have allowed me to come along on their healing journeys and my family who immigrated to the USA from Fascist Spain and Communist Cuba seeking political freedom.
Socialism and Fascism are rooted in Communism, a totalitarian system ruled by one person and an indiscriminate military that is in opposition to democracy, free speech, private property, financial independence and artistic expression. Communism is marked by massive surveillance while imposing state terrorism, personality cultism, anti-LGBT, state control of reproduction, anti-parents, anti- motherhood, pro-abortion, pro-genocide, pro-euthanasia, pro-infanticide, anti-family, state control of medical and psychological decisions, anti-feeling, pro-dysfunctional thinking, anti-religion, sexists, racists, political repression, kidnapping of children, mass incarceration, torture, violence, enslavement and death. It also includes an all-encompassing propaganda campaign broadcasted by the state-owned controlled mass media that turns friends against friends, neighbors against neighbors, children against parents, non-religious persons against religious persons, students against professors, Blacks against Whites, women against men and you against yourself. It is a system that destroys the past, controls the present, and denies you a future.
Counseling is available to those suffering from political trauma. I am offering 10 free counseling sessions to those without insurance or any means to pay who have experienced political repression.
Therapy is about finding your own voice. Therapy is democratic. Therapy is liberating. Therapy is free speech. Therapy helps you discover your authentic self. Therapy is caring. Therapy is about visiting the past in order to free us to live in the present and plan for the future. Therapy allows us "...the freedom to experience spontaneous feelings.” ― Alice Miller, The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self
I am providing free downloads of my books and audio/videos in Spanish and in English with captions of The Wounded Yellow Butterfly and La Mariposa Amarilla Herida on this website and on u-tube.
Full Circle is when something "comes full circle"; it completes a cycle, returns to its beginnings. "We can go from optimism to pessimism and back to optimism again in our lives". It is also an “expression of the moment”. You may find these and other definitions on the Web and Webster's Dictionary
Wishing you all the best, Linda
The focus of therapy is to help children, teens and adults become aware of their inner strengths to help each individual grow from their struggles, heal from their pain, and move forward to where individuals want to be in their lives. To achieve this, each person is provided a neutral safe space from the start in the safe space waiting room where trust can develop and healing can begin.
I will be there for you every step of your healing journey. Your journey may include feeling safe, expressing your feelings, learning to cope with strong feelings, telling your personal story and making closer connections with others.
Initially children, teens and adults may feel shock. It may seem unreal.
After a tragic event or loss, children, teens and adults may have trouble functioning at home, work and/or school. We may feel and/or experience fear, anxiety, or depression. We may have an inability to form or keep relationships, withdrawing from others. We may experience terrifying memories, nightmares and/or flashbacks, and may avoid things or triggers that remind us of the traumatic event. We may also regress and act out uncharacteristically. We may experience physical problems including fatigue, being startled easily, poor concentrating, racing heartbeat, edginess and agitation, aches and pains, muscle tension, nausea, and headaches.
A loss or traumatic event may cause a feeling of hopelessness or meaninglessness of life. We may ask, "Why did this happen to me?".
We all need consistency in our lives. We want to feel in control and make sense of our lives and the world around us. When something tragic happens we want to know “Why?”.
Healing may take weeks, months and even years. Each person is different and his or her healing time should be respected.
Counseling helps you feel safe again, to express and cope with feelings, to tell your personal stories and reconnect with others.
You may experience grief due to the loss of a spouse, a betrayal, divorce, human or natural disaster, environmental contamination, war, rioting, bullying, loss of your home, rape, abortion, discrimination, racism, assault, kidnapping, human trafficking and other traumatic losses.
It has been my experience and those of the men, women, and children who have or are healing from loss to report the following stages and symptoms:
Stage 1 and possible symptoms
Stage 2 and possible symptoms
Stage 3 and possible associated symptoms
•Struggling to make sense of trauma event
Stage 4 and possible trauma symptoms
To help understand somatic symptoms please read, "THE BODY NEVER LIES", by Alice Miller, a world-renowned psychoanalyst who examined the long-ranged consequences of childhood abuse on the body. She wrote how physical and psychological abuse or trauma manifests in adult illnesses.
The Wounded Yellow Butterfly is a perfect story book for children to help understand the process of grief.
There are several points of view on the grieving process and the number of stages of grief. It is believed that there are 6 stages of grief. The first 5 grief stages were introduced to us by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. The 6th stage, "Finding Meaning" is offered to us by David Kessler.
Counseling will help define your role, find comfort, support and confidence with the choices you make.
Choosing Motherhood or Fatherhood over a career or being a "provider" is empowering for the whole family. Being a mother and/or father is a 24/7 a week responsibility, 100% undivided attention to the task of parenting.
Some positive consequences of staying home i.e., living with less, alleviate work and financial stress, improved mental health/bonding, finding balance. Raising a family below one's means or within one's means may be the ideal choice. You may want to go back to school while raising a family and help the family prepare for the future. Financial aid for college or trade school may be available.
For more on being a stay at home parent read, "5 Reasons one parent should stay at home," written by Paul Tracy, 2021
For more on finances, read Dave Ramsey "budget percentages explained (2021 edition) ," May 30, 2021
If you are fortunate enough to live in a politically free and wealthy country such as the US, then you have choices and opportunities. As you make family choices, it is helpful to think that in life, "YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL, BUT NOT ALL AT ONCE!
Counseling helps you make reproductive choices including having children if you are poor. Counseling EMPOWERS poor and working class women into making choices to have children and not to abort their unborn child. Being poor doesn't disqualify you from being a mother!
Counseling provides a safe place to share the loss of a pregnancy or infant and to gain a better understanding of the normal grieving and healing process.
Counseling provides a safe place for sharing your loss after an abortion and to gain a better understanding of the normal grieving and healing process. 10 free post abortion trauma counseling sessions are being offered to those without insurance or other means to pay.
Counseling is also available by community agencies for those without insurance or other means to pay. Please call 201-320-9907 for a referral.
Counseling is beneficial to everyone seeking to empower themselves and strengthen their commitment in facing injustices i.e., racism, sexism, discrimination, domestic violence, rape, sexual harassment, told to perform sex to keep your job or to advance in your career (leave, look for another job, tell others,, file charges against perpetrators), hate crimes, violence against you for your political affiliation, accusations of sexual assault w/out due process, forced abortion, etc. You may need to explore enabling behavior and find the courage to correct injustices, not tolerating, enabling or excusing them. You can learn to feel empowered and not "look the other way."
Victims of crimes are strongly advised to seek medical, psychological and spiritual support as well as filing a police report. You may call this office for assistance to the police department to file sexual assault charges and accompaniment to the hospital for a rape kit exam. Walking away or removing yourself from unsafe people or a dangerous situation is empowering and protecting yourself! If you do not leave a dangerous and abusive situation, you may be thinking it is your fault or others won't believe you or you will lose everything you worked for but that is not true. The abuser wants you to think that you will suffer more if you tell. Life gets better if you protect yourself.
Counseling can provide you and your loved ones a safe place to explore what being safe is, who are the safe and unsafe people, and how to keep yourself and others you love safe.
Watch YouTube video,"The Secret to Becoming Mentally Stronger", by Dr. Jordan Peterson, Success Chasers
Counseling can help you understand yourself better and establish a stronger integrated self. If you are asking, "Who am I?", let's talk about it. Not having a strong sense of self or struggling with identity issues such as with your religion, sexual orientation, political affiliation, gender, race, ethnicity, career choice, or other issue may lead to anxiety and insecurity.
An identity crisis may occur due to a big change or stressors in your life.
Depression, fear, and anxiety are some of the most common and uncomfortable emotions that children, teens and adults may experience at some point in their lives. Through sand play therapy, children, teens and adults may recover motivation, perspective, and joy that they once had in their lives.
Many children and teens can experience symptoms associated with painful and traumatic circumstances. Anxiety, fear, and hopelessness are a few emotions that can linger after traumatic events. Children and teens can overcome these symptoms and helped with caring guidance through the process of grief and healing.
Family counseling can be beneficial to all members in the family looking to strengthen their emotional connections. Therapy sessions are held with family members in a supportive environment to discuss issues and solutions to better relate to one another.
Couples Counseling helps to understand the process of grief, forgiveness and reconciliation (optional) after a betrayal. The elements of reconciliation includes a sincere examination of conscience, honesty, reparations and forgiveness.
To understand the choices that can build or destroy loving relationships, read "Boundaries in Marriage" by Dr. Cloud and Dr. Townsend.
Therapy helps you find hope and balance in your life!
Therapy can help you feel safe again.
Therapy can help you cope with your loss.
Therapy can help you express your feelings.
Therapy can help you feel closer to others.
Therapy provides a safe place to tell your story.
Play Therapy helps your child find balance!
Mother and child said, "Attending therapy helped us feel as if we had built a kaleidoscope as the animals and insects in the story had done after the storm. We have picked up the pieces of broken glass, built our kaleidoscope and saw a new way to care for ourselves by attending another school which helped us move on with our lives." -Karen and Fran
I realized in therapy, "I may be wounded like the wounded yellow butterfly, but I too can still fly even after the abuse. I found that once I redefined the language that kept me stuck in the a Self Blame/Guilt and Shame Cycle after Abuse, I was able to heal. I stopped believing I was 'guilty' for a crime I did not commit. I learned to redefine the term 'guilt' as a legal term reserved for the perpetrator of abuse or a crime and not about me at all." - Anna
"Therapy helped me find peace living in two homes just like the butterfly, the animals and insects rebuilt and found peace in their garden." -Rachel
"Losing my pet was like going through the terrible storm like in the story. But I feel better today. Therapy helped me through the sad days and to remember the happy days just like the garden insects and animals remembered things in the past." - Frank
"In therapy I learned I am lovable and have value even if both of my parents neglected and abused me. I am with a new family now and it is a new day just like the new day in the peaceful garden where the the wounded yellow butterfly, the rainbow butterflies and bird family live. I got a second chance just like the wounded yellow butterfly." - Pedro
"In therapy, I was able to learn new skills to help me feel better and feel safe again just like the yellow butterfly, animals and insects in the story who experienced a terrible storm. I was able to return to school and make friends. I am also able to trust the police and other adults again. I was separated from my father at the Mexico/USA border. I am from Honduras. We had to leave because my family received violent threats from gang members who wouldn't allow my parents to travel to their jobs because they worked in other gang controlled towns. After I was taken from my father at the border, I was unable to sleep and eat. I had nightmares of being pulled from my father's arms. I was separated from my family for 2 months and had little to eat and a thin blanket to keep warm at night where I lived in a strange house with people who would often yell at me to 'stop crying'. My father was in prison for 3 months for crossing the border. I was reunited with him and we both spent a month in prison together. I was afraid of the police. I had trouble concentrating in school and was often sent home when I had crying spells and couldn't concentrate. Older boys followed me in the school yard and isolated and bullied me. I felt very afraid and sad most of the time. I didn't know how to defend myself anymore. Today, my family and me are happier and safer and able to put the past behind us and live a better life in the USA ."-Jose
Drug Use and Abuse of Street Drugs and Prescription Medication
The use of drugs without a prescription is illegal. Using street drugs is a sign of a problem! Teach your children and teens that there is no such thing as "experimentation". Abusing prescription drugs is harmful. Using illegal drugs and the abuse of medication may cause medical problems, coma and/or death. If you suspect someone is giving or selling drugs to children or teens, report immediately to the police and/or your local children's protective services.
Marijuana may cause psychosis, suicidal ideation, paranoia, brain damage, lower IQ, and other serious
psychological and medical problems.
Abusing alcohol is a sign there is a problem! Teach your children and teens that there is no such thing as "experimentation". Drinking may cause medical problems, coma and/or death.
If you suspect someone is giving or selling alcohol to children or teens, report immediately to the police and/or your local children's protective services.
Acting out sexual behavior may be a sign of a sexual abuse trauma. Early sexual behavior is not "experimentation" but a sign there may be a problem. If you suspect sexual abuse of children or teens, or you may be a victim of childhood sexual abuse or rape, report immediately to the police and/or your local child protective services.
Linda has a BA in Peace & Justice and Philosophy from St. Peter's Jesuit college (now a University) in Jersey City, New Jersey. Linda is trained in school mediation, family and community conflict resolution and Nonviolent activism. Linda also studied w/the Quakers, at the Fellowship of Reconciliation and other religious and non religious groups.
She is now dedicating time to the study of "forgiveness" and how it may be applied as an intervention where healing is needed after a betrayal.
The Children's Peace and Justice Program promotes love and respect for the poor, working class, middle class and rich persons, Asian, African Americans, White, Indigenous and Biracial persons, persons of different ethnicities and nationalities, religious and nonreligious persons, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, heterosexual persons, the unborn persons, disabled persons and persons who may find themselves the target of discrimination, bigotry, hate and violence.
We are a members of several groups, and always an individual with full personhood and potentiality.
To learn about the protection of animals and children and the teachings of "Peace" to children, read the history of The American Humane Society ❤
PEACE AND JUSTICE THEMES
3. CONFLICT RESOLUTION
5. CULTURAL APPRECIATION
We do this by sharing our food, our art, our books, our holidays, our customs, our traditional clothing, our dances, our songs, our stories, our way of life, our traditions, values and beliefs, our religions, and our lives. We validate and acknowledge one another and promote personhood
for each and everyone of us including
ALL unborn babies with immeasurable potential!
There is no such thing as cultural appropriation.
There is a form of cultural depreciation when it ridicules and degrades another.
Sharing is caring and an expression
of love for our differences!
What is a community?
A community is a place where we live together nonviolently, showing respect for our neighbors and living productive and healthy lives. What you do or don't do affects each and everyone of us in a positive way or in a negative way. Negative behavior is unacceptable and people should be held accountable for their harmful behavior. Allow only those who enhance your community into your lives!
Government representatives must also be held accountable when they fail to provide everyone a safe place to live and ways for everyone to reach their full potential.
African American or Black American men, women and children, descendants of the enslaved have struggled to belong in a country that has inflicted one of the most horrific crimes against humanity. Against all odds most African American men, women and children have advanced, making great strides due to their own initiatives. Some African American men, women and children still remain behind due to no fault of their own.
I am committed to the process of forgiveness. Much has been done to heal the wounds and pain, and there is more we can do together legally and morally.
The healing process for descendants must include a formal apology from the US government ( S. Con. Res.26-A concurrent resolution apologizing for the enslavement and racial segregation of African Americans), property reparations, psychological healing, and debt cancellation.
I am offering 10 free Counseling sessions to those suffering with trauma related to their family slave history, racism and discrimination, if there is no insurance or other means to pay for services. Unresolved trauma and loss causes anxiety, depression and other mental health concerns that can prevent us from feeling hopeful. Without hope, we remain angry and unfulfilled, never reaching our full potential.
Some of you may not understand generational trauma. Trauma is not genetic and is a consequence of horrible indignities passed psychologically through the generations. We may inflict similar abuses and act out our historical trauma histories on others.
I remember Frank, a tall African American man, who was in therapy with me for about three years. He walked in the therapy room hunched back as if he were carrying the world on his shoulder. He had come to counseling because he was depressed. He was a young man, but much older. He shuffled into the office, taking a long time to settle in his chair. He told me his trauma story bit by bit. One day, he said, "My mother often beat me with fine thin branches she broke off a bush in our yard. My mother called the branch a 'switch'. My mother is a proud church going Black woman. She dresses to the hilt and sings gospel songs in our Black Church." He finished his story that day by telling me, "I have scars all over my body from the beatings, which started when I was a child. I have not been able to go swimming with friends, use short sleeves, make love in the day light, or go to the beach. There are many things I can't do because of my scars that remind me everyday that I am nothing. "
Counseling also helps to understand the process of grief, forgiveness and possible reconciliation ( if safe to do so ) after the slave betrayal. The elements of grief, forgiveness and reconciliation includes a sincere examination of conscience, honesty, and reparations by our government representatives.
Counseling also helps those who carry the trauma unconsciously and harm others like Frank's mother did.
I am also committed to giving a family or individual a piece of property. I want to promote moral responsibility. I want to be the "change" I wish to see our government make and to see each American make, keeping the promise made to African American or Black American men, women and children years ago. You may have many reasons why you don't think reparations is the way to resolve loss. You may think it is not fair to hold those who didn't take part in enslaving men, woman and children responsible. You are absolutely right! We should not be blamed for the crimes committed by others.
But let me say, we need an ethical, legal and moral approach to reparations. It must be compassionate, moral and empathic. We must care enough to help each person feel a sense of belonging. People today are not to blame for enslavement, but we are morally responsible to our neighbor and our friend. We are responsible for one another. We need to continue building a society in which personhood applies to everyone and is validated.
I also want to encourage everyone to use loving words and language and refrain from using hateful words or racial slurs toward African American or Black American men, women and children.
We also need to stop calling each other "racist" and using demoralizing expressions such as "White Privilege", "Uncle Tom", "marginalized people", "minority" , "white devil" and other devaluing and violent phrases that may cause division and shame.
Demoralizing or using hateful words toward each other only breeds anger, shyness, withdrawal from others, poor school performance, sense of inferiority, self hate, hatred toward others and defensiveness which creates more division and separation from one another and worse, broken hearts. Hate is the antithesis of inclusion and love.
I do believe in free speech and have done my best to remain peaceful and not respond to insults or verbal aggression when growing up and as an adult.
When challenged, I often rely on songs I have learned as a child. I have sung when challenged, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never harm me" and have relied on the teachings of Jesus, Gandhi,
Mother Teresa and Dr. King.
"Sticks and Stones" is reported to have appeared in, The Christian Recorder March 1862, a publication of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
One last word, the expression "person of color" must be reserved for African American or Black American men, women and children only, to keep the focus on their unique experience. No other group should ride on the coat-tails of African American's or Black American's personal slave experience, robbing them again of what is due to them legally and morally. This is unconscionable and fraudulent.
African Americans is the only group of Americans not to have received reparations in the USA. The failure to provide PROPERTY reparations over the last 150 years speaks volumes of our hypocrisy and lack of commitment to racial equality and justice. Property reparations began during Lincoln's presidency and ended after his death.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called for property reparations, school vouchers for a better and equal education and 100% employment opportunities for African Americans to advance toward equality with other Americans, knowing the healing it would bring to African Americans and all Americans.
Dr. King also called for the end of poverty for all! Over the years we have seen at least a 50% decline in poverty around the world along with other positive changes. Let's do more together and make the dream come true.
Speak words of love. Acknowledge our tremendous progress toward equality for all and our healing.
Read Ten Global Trends by Ronald Baily and Marian L Tupy and listen to the Ten Global Trends podcast with Dr. Jordan Peterson.
Judge people based on their character and behavior and hold them accountable.
Don't judge based on race, ethnicity, gender,
religious belief, economic status, etc.
Don't assume someone is bias, racist or of bigotry without evidence. There is the assumption that if you attend or allow your children to participate in bias awareness school classes, trainings or groups, that you and your children are bias. These bias awareness trainings may be emotionally abusive.
Jane Elliot's "Blue Eyes, brown eyes" experiment in the 1960's, is an unethical, non scientific experiment in which the teacher made very young children feel shame for having blue eyes and accused them of being potential racists. Her cure was humiliating and terrorizing them. The children cried and were obviously traumatized. It was an unethical experiment that should horrify us all. Children learn love by loving them and not by teaching violence and self hatred.
If someone should accuse you and/ or your child of being bias or racist, immediately defend yourself legally.
The Five Themes of Trauma Focused Play Therapy Developed/Created
by Linda Diaz-Murphy
Photography and videos by Linda Diaz-Murphy Copyright 1990-2020
Contact Linda Diaz-Murphy for an appointment, referral, for assistance and accompaniment to the police department and/or hospital, and with questions. comments and/or concerns.
You are welcome and safe here!
135 Fort Lee Road, Suite LL4, Leonia, NJ 07605 United States
A new "tiny office" is opening in Highland Lakes, NJ. Call and leave your message to set up an appointment on my confidential voice mail 201-320-9907
MOST INSURANCES ACCEPTED
The biller will file claims for you, after you have checked with your insurance company for payment of services, for deductibles and co-pays.
Free 10 counseling sessions are available for those who have a history of political or community violence, post abortion trauma, Transgender persons, African Americans without any means to pay for counseling services.
SLIDING SCALE OPTION $25.00 Per session, if you make $25,000 per year.