Power with Heart News - April/May 2014
Right Use of Power Institute

Right Use of Power

power with heart news

April/May 2014

Greetings <<First Name>>!

We are happy to bring you another issues filled with topics such as leadership, apology and self-care. We want you to be on the look-out in your inbox for a special email announcing an exciting update to the Right Use of Power Institute. It will be coming soon! Enjoy this issue in the meantime.

Note: Try clicking "View it in your browser" link at the top of the email (above the header image). You will be able to translate the newsletter into various languages, share through Facebook, etc.

In this issue you will find:

Earn CEUs at Home

Featured Mini-Course:
Leadership & Power Dynamics

CE Hours =1

Do you know your leadership style and how best to use it?  Do you know a set of five values of effective leadership?  Learn about these and about some of the many dynamics that come along with the leadership package.  This is useful information for both leaders and followers, those in the up-power role, and those in the down-power role.
There are many other CEU Mini-Courses that you can browse online.

Workshops & Trainings

Boulder, Colorado

Right Use of Power Workshop:
October 4-5, 2014

Facilitator's Training:
October 6-7, 2014

Presented by Cedar Barstow, M.Ed., C.H.T.

Contact: Cedar Barstow

North Carolina

Right Use of Power Workshop:
July 20, 2014

Presented by Julia Corley


Madison, Wisconsin

Power of Communication & Presence:
June 20, 2014

Presented by Kathy Ginn

Contact: TIBIA @ 608-238-7378

Featured Guild Member
Magi Cooper

Magi lives Canada on an island outside Vancouver.  She is a Hakomi Therapist and Teacher and her RUP focus is working with the power dynamics of couples.  She also works on power issues with men in prison.  She is an experienced, creative, insightful, wise and effective facilitator and is also blessed with a wonderful sense of humor.
You will also find one of her apology practices in the Apology article in this newsletter.
Below you will find a powerful centering meditation she wrote.  Perhaps there is a place you will want to use it.

Controversial Clinical Issues Related to Digital Ethics and TeleMental Health

by Dr. Ofer Zur

Dr. Ofer Zur, ( an expert on clinical ethical issues names and provides continuing education courses in some "Controversial and Contemporary 'Hot' Issues in Psychology.  Here are several I think interesting to note in relation to "Digital Ethics and TeleMental Health."  Each of these is an on-line course at the website above.

1. Is f2f superior to phone or online therapy?  
Unlike the common belief, there is no evidence that face-to-face therapy is superior to online therapy. 

2. Telehealth is here to stay?  
Whether we like it or not, technology is here to stay. Undeniably, the 21st century will see huge increases in TeleMental health. Therapists who want to stay in business must learn about telehealth. 

3. Can I use my standard un-secured e-mail and texting programs with clients? 
Therapists can use un-secure e-mails and texts as long as they have informed clients about the potential risks involved and offer clients HIPAA compliant alternatives. 

4. Can I provide tele-mental-health services across state lines?
Generally, you can treat clients who reside in the state where you are licensed. Then it can be more complicated. 

5. Is it ethical to have clients as Facebook friends?
It depends if it is a FB personal profile or therapist's professional FB Pages and what is on the therapist's profile, the personalities, ages, presenting issues and background of the client, the nature of the therapist-client relationship and much more. 

6. Is using Skype Kosher? 
Skype is so convenient, familiar, popular, free, and easy to use. However, in 2014 it is no longer considered HIPAA Compliant. A number of Skype-free alternatives, such as, do meet the FIPS 140 standard. 

7. Is it a good idea for therapists to text with clients? 
Using texts with clients in 2014 is becoming an obvious must, as an increasing number of clients (primarily young ones) neither check their e-mails nor their phone messages. 

8.  Is it OK to sign your e-mail with "Love John" or "XOXO"?
Signing an e-mail with "Love xx" or with "xoxo" has become common and standard e-language. The standard of care is evolving and is context-based. 

9. Is it OK to ask clients or colleagues for testimonials to post online?
Generally, soliciting testimonials from clients is not 'ethical' but is OK from colleagues and supervisors. 

10. Do therapists need to respond to clients' e-mails and texts instantly? 
No! Therapists neither need to be available 24/7 nor respond instantly. That should be spelled out in the initial Informed Consent. 

11. Should we keep records of e-mails and texts? 
Significant e-mails can simply stay on therapists' computers/servers and significant texts can be copied, transcribed or described (like voicemail messages). 

12. How can therapists counter negative postings about them on Yelp? 
Do not respond impulsively, it can get you in trouble. Get informed and consult. 

Cedar Tree Meditation

 by Magi Cooper

Take a moment, take a breath. . . .  and as you are breathing I want you to imagine that you are like a cedar tree. As you inhale, imagine your breath extending all the way down. . . . past  your belly, down into your legs. . . .all the way into your feet. Now imagine your breath reaches down, down, and like the roots of a mighty tree, your roots extend deep into the earth, and drink in nourishment and support from the rich earth. Let your next inhalation draw up into your body all the nourishment the earth has to offer you.  Feel now this nourishment and support as you draw it up from the earth into your trunk, sensing the aliveness as it circulates deep within you. And, now with your next breath, know that the cedar tree also gathers strength and guidance from above. The tree has a spire that reaches toward the heavenlies. Imagine now that you too reach, through the top of your head, towards the sky and beyond.  Trees are nourished by the shining sun, the gentle showers, even the strong rains on it's branches.  All bring something of value that the tree drinks in through its boughs. Imagine now that you are reaching up towards the heavenlies, drinking in all the support the universe is offering you.  As you draw up that which you need from the earth, also draw down that which you need from the heavenlies, knowing that both are gifts freely given. . . . And when you are ready, put your hands on the place on your body where energies meet, swirling one into the other. . . .the above and the below, earth and sky, strength and heart, power and compassion.  Rest there for a moment, savoring.

Apology as High Road Leadership (Part 2)

By Cedar Barstow

When you are looking for good leadership, one of the most discerning things to ask about is whether the leader can apologize and take responsibility for repairingrelationships and situations. It seems, however, that the path to making an apology is strewn with obstructions. Here are a few: Leaders may fear that an apology will make them seem weak rather than powerful. Those in positions of power are often removed or even protected from hearing negative feedback and thus don’t know when an apology is needed. Leaders don’t understand the anatomy of apology and thus do it ineffectively. Leaders can over-identify with their up-power roles and forget their capacity to cause great harm. When given role power, leaders tend to lose touch with their natural empathy and compassion. Leaders can understand and use power as control, manipulation, force, and exploitation. In this understanding of power, an apology isn’t even on the screen of a leader’s awareness.

Just as increased responsibility accompanies increased power, so the power of apology increases when genuinely offered by a leader. By way of reassurance, it seems that in actual practice, making an apology reduces the likelihood of legal action. Effective leaders make genuine apologies. Effective apologizers model what could be called “high-road leadership.”

Read the rest of the article here

Too Busy for a Break?

by Bruce Weinstein, Ph.D.
The Ethics Guy
Which of the following statements is most accurate for you? 

A. I receive 15 days of paid vacation each year, and I take them—guilt-free.
B. I receive 15 days of paid vacation each year, but I feel guilty if I take them.
C. I haven't had a vacation in years. I'm loyal to my company or business and am proud of this fact.
D. I work for myself and don't take vacations. If I don't work, I don't make money.

Even if you chose A, you surely know people in the other three categories. We in the U.S. wear as a badge of honor the fact that we rarely, if ever, take time off from work. We need to earn a living, and many of us like what we do, so our reluctance to take vacations is justified, right?
No, it isn't.
Leaving work behind for a period of time is not only the right thing to do; it's the smart thing to do, too.
Here's why.
With respect to the number of paid vacation days that employees get, the U.S. ranks toward the bottom of 49 countries, according to the human resource consulting firm Mercer. At most large companies in this country, employees are allotted an average of 15 days off with pay, aside from holidays. (Source:, June 13, 2007). This figure may sound impressive, but consider the situation in other countries: Australians, Italians, Latvians, and the Japanese get 20 days off; Swedes and Greeks get 25; Lithuanians get 28; and the Finns and French get 30. Imagine taking up to six weeks of paid vacation each year and not feeling the slightest bit of guilt in doing so. It's not a fantasy; for many, it is a happy way of life.
Many countries mandate paid vacations, but the U.S. is not one of them, so it's quite possible that many companies here view vacation days as a perk, a benefit, something above and beyond the call of duty. But for ethical reasons, it is a serious mistake for employers to view vacations this way, and it is just as wrong for employees to feel that they are being disloyal to their employer or their colleagues when they take time off.

Recall the five fundamental principles of ethical intelligence:
1. Do No Harm
2. Make Things Better
3. Respect Others
4. Be Fair
5. Care
Also, recall that ethical responsibilities apply not just to how we treat others but to how we treat ourselves, too. Although ethics is fundamentally a guard against self-obsession, it is right and good to treat ourselves with respect, fairness, and compassion and to avoid causing ourselves harm.
Now consider two states of affairs: how you feel after working for a long time without a break, and how you feel during and after some restorative time at the beach. Can you really be at your best when you're running on empty? Aren't you more likely to do a good job when your batteries are recharged?
Taking a vacation from time to time enables you to do your job to the best of your ability, and this is one reason why vacations are an ethical issue. Another reason why it is ethical to take time off periodically is because we simply owe it to ourselves to rest. The ethical arguments for taking vacations are in fact similar to those for staying home when you're sick Doing the right thing for yourself and your clients means that when you've got a cold or the flu, you ought to stay home and get better. Being an ethically intelligent person also means cashing in those vacation days each year, out of respect for both yourself and those to whom you provide a service.
Let's look at some of the most common reasons for not taking time off, and how you can respond effectively to these challenges:
I work for myself/My employer doesn't provide paid vacations/I've been laid off, and I need to work.
The reluctance to give up some future revenue is understandable, particularly in our current economy. But how often is this an excuse, rather than an accurate reflection of one's financial or work situation? Taking a vacation doesn't have to mean gambling big in Vegas or flying first-class to Sydney, as fun as these trips may be. With "staycations" becoming more popular, time away from work can mean nothing more than sleeping late, watching DVDs, and eating lots of comfort food at home. We budget for meals, clothing, and transportation. Shouldn't we also budget for a vacation? Yes, there ought to be a law mandating paid vacations, but until that comes to pass, we'll have to find creative ways on our own to take time off.
I love my work, and I'm miserable when I'm away from it.
Maybe it's time to get a hobby. I'm reminded of Godfrey Reggio's astounding 1982 film, Koyaanisqatsi. The title is a Hopi term for "life out of balance." It's wonderful to get jazzed up about one's job—I feel the same way—but a rich, meaningful life involves things beyond work.
Most of the people I work with aren't taking vacations, so I don't want to burden them with the extra work they'd have if I left for a while.
It's praiseworthy to want to avoiding causing undue stress on your colleagues, but you—and they—are entitled (ethically, if not legally) to some time off. Ultimately, the fair distribution of labor is a management issue, and employees shouldn't have to worry that a justifiable absence will result in an undue burden on the team.
I'm the only one at work who can do my job. The company, and my clients, can't afford for me to be away.
It's nice to feel wanted or needed, but few of us are truly indispensable, as much as we may hate to admit it. In most cases, the idea that only you can do your job is not grounded in reality.
I feel guilty when I take vacations.
If you're not yet convinced that it's ethical to take time off, perhaps it's time to talk with a trusted adviser about why you feel you aren't worthy of a trip to the mountains or the shore, or even just some time to yourself. You have every reason to feel good about treating yourself right, and vacations, however you choose to spend them, are self-indulgent in the best possible way.
Checking e-mail, taking work-related phone calls, and reading material related to one's job are not the elements of a true vacation. A working vacation makes about as much sense as showing up for a corporate job in shorts and a tank top with a margarita in your hand. To the list of things for which there is a time—a time to be born, a time to die, a time to weep, a time to laugh—one might add, "a time to work, and a time to take a long break."

Get more from The Ethics Guy
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