“Family Questions” Video

Photo Therapy or use of photos in a therapeutic way, can be very enlightening! Photo Therapy can involve looking at or working with photos of yourself, photos you or others have taken, family photos or found photos that people have taken of people or things you do not know like ones in magazines. I painted some images based on photos from my family photo albums. It was a fascinating experience that I would recommend to others. Here is a short slideshow of the process and result.



If you have any questions or comments about this or your own “Family Questions” work with photos email Sharon at Sharon@SharonSanborn.com

“Non Violent Communication-Evaluative Words” Tool

Non Violent Communication (NVC) is a wonderful tool for successful effective and harmonious communication. NVC describes the difference between a feeling and a thought and the difference between a feeling and an evaluative word. In the english language these things often get all mixed up and confused with one another.

Check out the 3 tools below and see how exploring the definitions and use of feelings, thoughts and evaluative words can be extremely helpful when you want to communicate clearly and effectively with the goal of creating harmony with all people involved.

Evaluative Words 1

Evaluative Words 2


If you have any questions or comments about this “tool”, email Sharon at Sharon@SharonSanborn.com

“Role-Model Revisiting Day” Tool

We all have role-models in our lives, who give us an example of how to be and how to act, feel, think, etc. Often parents or siblings or significant people in our lives act as role-models. Whether we are aware of it or not, we can take on their values and beliefs. Especially as children, we are apt to either absorb what the role-models have to offer or exactly the opposite and we find ourselves rebelling against the example that our role-models offer.

Later in life, perhaps when we are teenagers or perhaps when we are adults, there comes a time when it is best to keep what we want from our role-models and let go what no longer serves us. What would you do if it was Role-Model Revisiting Day today? Check out the “tool” below and claim what has been offered to you by your role-models example and free yourself from the rest!



If you have any questions or comments about this “tool”, email Sharon at Sharon@SharonSanborn.com

“My Circle of Influence” Tool

My Circle of Influence

I borrowed this wise idea of Steven R. Covey to be “proactive” rather than “reactive”. One of my favorite books ever is his brilliant book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”. Check out “Jill’s Example of her Circle of Influence” and then complete your own “My Circle of Influence” tool below and see what happens!

Jill’s ExampleofHerCircleofInfluence


My Circle of Influence

If you have any questions or comments about this “tool”, email Sharon at Sharon@SharonSanborn.com


“It’s All A Blur! I Got Triggered Again and Lost My Cool”

“I didn’t make a mistake!! You aren’t listening to me, Joe!”, Pat remembers yelling at his boss. All he could think about at the time was how all his coworkers should be listening to him more. If they only gave him a real chance, he could have the project finished tomorrow! Every time, it’s like tunnel vision and all becomes a blur; until later when he sees his boss looking upset and giving him the cold shoulder.

“And when Jennifer nags me about housework, I can’t help myself, I just lose it”, he thinks running it all through his mind again. “I literally blank out, can’t focus and feel totally ‘stupid’. All I can hear is my heart beating way too fast.  Jennifer’s a great wife, so sweet, but at times I can’t seem to help myself from getting mad and storming out”. More and more, Pat said he was feeling isolated from everyone. Once again Pat realized it was a myth that it’s healthy to vent anger without limits. “All it causes me is pain and the suffering of slowly building trust back up with people in my life. If they let me”.

These were some of the complaints Pat related to me when we first met and he explained that he was sick and tired of losing his temper.

“That’s the thing about anger”, he said, “it’s a shifty thing. It feels so right at the time and so wrong 3 hours later. And, it feels really bad a day later when the boss calls you into his office with a warning to cool it or there might be consequences”.

Pat was frustrated, because he wanted to keep calm, but it just wasn’t happening. He was afraid he was going to get fired, just 2 months away from retiring. Working with Pat as a Psychotherapist or Licensed Mental Health Counselor, I suggested that he experiment with some tools and exercises that many people find helpful. “If left alone, our bodies, and also our feelings naturally calm down and we usually feel less intense in a short amount of time” I said.

“How can I slow it all down, though, and stop getting so defensive without even listening to what the other guy is saying?”, Pat asked.

“What if we develop a 4-step process that you can practice ahead of time and it short-circuits the habit of getting all upset?”, I offered. With some resistance and numerous reports of heated fights with Jennifer, Pat slowly began to talk about what caused him stress and the “trigger thoughts” associated with the stress. His thoughts were really fueling his anger. Now when he gets upset and wants to scream and storm away from an argument, he uses the “4 Ps Process of Self-Control”. He can return to this “Chill Tool” whenever he needs to. In this process, he has decided to 1) Pause, take 3 breaths and repeat a codeword he created to identify when he is upset, 2) Perceive what he is feeling, thinking, sensing and doing, 3) look at the People around him and see what is going on with them, and 4) Plan what he is going to do or say before he says or does anything. It has taken a lot of self-restraint, but slowly he is beginning to notice more what is going on around him when he gets flooded with what he calls, “that big anger feeling”. When he just follows the process, it all goes smoother. He’s started to realize that when difficult things happen, he’s revving himself up with negative, “trigger thoughts” like blaming himself or others when there’s really no need to. We all make mistakes and it’s only human to mess up sometimes. When he thinks more kindly and accepting of himself and others, instead of expecting perfection, he feels a lot better!

There are sometimes good reasons for looking into the origins of our emotional triggers, because they can be related to traumatic events of the past or learned behaviors from observing role-models, such as parents. Exploration of these influences can be relevant and helpful in addition to practical tools that can be used in present situations.

“When we get “triggered”, if we don’t ‘react’ too intensely or too pessimistically right away, but instead pause long enough to begin to think again and ‘respond’ with more clear, well-thought-out ideas, we can slow things down. There is nothing wrong with anger (and sometimes it is justified), but often we begin to see that we are more frustrated, or disappointed, or tired and might be blaming someone else for something we have a role in. We can then identify what we really want and communicate it better” I suggested.

It had been a struggle for Pat, but after he read that anger causes health problems like high blood pressure, hypertension, heart attacks and digestive problems such as ulcers and colitis, he made a commitment to himself that he would be more mellow and chill-out before getting upset and angry.

Pat has made progress with calming himself down when he gets tempted to lose his cool and has learned to express what he wants in an effective and harmonious way. Now, when Jennifer complains, he first listens and then asks her what she wants specifically from him. On the other hand, he is also standing up for himself in a firm, but kind way. He is practicing all this and it is improving his relationships! He is happy he has taken the time and effort to understand more about getting emotionally triggered and what he can do about it. “The rewards have been worth it”, he said the last time we met.

Request a FREE “Chill Tool” at https://lp.constantcontact.com/su/ygzacfT/StopGettingTriggered







Anxiety and Freedom from “Cognitive Distortions” Tools

Many researchers and authors have shown that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) ideas and tools can often successfully identify and manage or improve negative and anxious thoughts or styles of thinking. Support from a counselor or coach can be quite helpful with this process (see  https://sharonsanborn.com/ for an example of services that might interest you).

If the first step towards change is awareness, than the “Cognitive Distortions” Tool below can be the start to freedom from anxiety (and freedom from the depression and negativity that comes from thinking anxiously all the time). If you find yourself thinking as described in this Tool, you can practice managing your thoughts with the “Thought Record” below.

You owe it to yourself to look at the faces of anxiety below and to start changing your thinking, and in doing so, changing your life!


Thought Record


If you have any questions or comments about this “tool”, email Sharon at Sharon@SharonSanborn.com

SoulCollage® is an investment in yourself!

SoulCollage® is a creative and transformative process for accessing your intuition and creating an incredible deck of cards with deep personal meaning that will help you with life’s questions and transitions. This is a multi-leveled, rewarding process which anyone can do. The process begins as simple creative fun, but might likely suddenly surprise and awaken you! Learn how to access your intuition and create an incredible deck of cards with deep personal meaning that will help you with life’s questions. Cards containing the images you select — or the images that select you — come straight through your Soul, bypassing the mind. Seena frost, founder and “birth mother” of this process, developed it by combining her passions for spirituality, psychotherapy and creativity. She has stated, “It is a tangible way to know yourself in your diversity and depth, and also to show yourself to others. Showing your deck of SoulCollage® cards to another person can be a profound experience.”

A SoulCollage® Deck is the Story of You.


Sharon Sanborn is a SoulCollage® Facilitator and offers “Introduction to SoulCollage® Workshops and “SoulCollage® Gatherings” for people who have taken an introductory workshop. Get more information about specific dates and location by clicking Groups at https://sharonsanborn.com/services/or by contacting Sharon at 206-283-9767 or sharon@sharonsanborn.com 


See the handouts below for more details:

SC Prompts

SC Suits

SC Hints 1

SC Hints 2

SC Resources



“Dating Criteria List” Tool

What if dating could be an exploration of yourself and others? What if dating could be relaxing, less disappointing and more fun? When you are clear about who and what you are looking for (s/he is potentially a good fit for you and has a similar dating purpose as you), then you can focus your time on people likely to be a good match for you and respectfully say “No, Thanks” to people who do not fit your dating criteria and dating purpose.

Check out my “Dating Criteria List, Dating Purpose and What I offer” Tool. Here is to successful dating and enjoying the exploration!

Dating Criteria List


If you have any questions or comments about this “tool”, email Sharon at Sharon@SharonSanborn.com

“Non Violent Communication” Tools x 3

Communication is about expressing your ideas and thoughts as well as having them be received in the way you want them to be heard and in a way that others can hear what you actually are intending to say.
Communication begins with self-awareness. What am I feeling (see NVC Feelings Inventory below) and thinking? What am I desiring or wanting and needing (see NVC Human Needs List below) in a situation? NVC or Non Violent Communication (see http://www.CNVC.org) is a system to help us figure this all out. NVC is a great tool that invites all people involved to be assertive (as opposed to passive or aggressive or passive-aggressive) and to be compassionate of themselves and others.
Once we are self-aware and clear, we can make a request of others (a do-able, positive and specific request that invites a person to answer “Yes”, “No” or “Let me think about it”. Requests are not the same as demands, where the person “asking” something of the other person expects (or demands) only one answer of the other. The NVC way of communicating takes some practice (see NVC 4 Steps below). However, it  is worth it when we can speak effectively, harmoniously and successfully. Give it a try and see what happens!

NVC 4 Steps

NVC Feelings Inventory

Human Needs List


If you have any questions or comments about this “tool”, email Sharon at Sharon@SharonSanborn.com

Register for “My Success Courses” with Sharon Sanborn!

Sharon Sanborn offers the following “My Success Courses” at


“Stop Getting Triggered or Defensive: Chill Tools for Self-Control”


with 3 ways to Learn, Practice and Transform your Life!

  • On-Line Course includes on-line material via Thinkific with email support from the instructor available anytime $149 Register HERE
  • Premium Course includes on-line material via Thinkific with email support from the instructor and 6 weekly Group Coaching Meetings via Zoom on Tuesdays 6:00-7:00 PM (Pacific Time) starting soon for the cost of $299 Register HERE
  • VIP Course includes on-line material via Thinkific with email support from the instructor and 6 weekly Group Coaching Meetings via Zoom on Tuesdays 6:00-7:00 PM (Pacific Time) starting soon plus four 50 minute appointments in-person in Seattle, WA or virtually via Zoom/Skype or Phone from anywhere in the world for the cost of $879. Register for the Premium Course and Sharon will contact you to arrange your individual appointments HERE


***Current Special Bonuses with the Pilot Course below***

  • Stop Fighting and Get What You Want: Listening and Speaking Tools”

This on-line course includes 6 weekly Group Coaching Meetings via Zoom (no Zoom account or cost needed) on Mondays 6:00-7:00 PM (Pacific Time) starting soon! This PILOT COURSE offers several bonuses to students including reduced cost of $150 (as opposed to later similar course cost of $299), free 50 minute individual coaching session with Sharon Sanborn and 50% off any future “My Success Course” of their choice! Register for the Pilot Course HERE

Also offering:

“Clinical Supervision Group” in addition to Individual Supervision, Sharon offers Group Supervision monthly in South Lake Union area of Seattle, WA, for specific dates and location contact Sharon@SharonSanborn.com or call 206-283-9767

“Introduction to SoulCollage@ Workshops” at various locations and periodically usually on Saturdays or Sundays 1-4 PM in South Lake Union area of Seattle, WA

“SoulCollage® Gatherings” periodically usually on Saturdays or Sundays 1-4 PM in South Lake Union area of Seattle, WA

More information at 206-283-9767 in USA or Sharon@SharonSanborn.com or WWW.SharonSanborn.com