Konikoff Counseling

Konikoff Counseling Life doesn't always have to hurt. Confidential and compassionate mental health and addiction treatme

Buffalo, my home town, experienced a horrific tragedy. If you or someone you know would like a complementary virtual the...
05/16/2022

Buffalo, my home town, experienced a horrific tragedy. If you or someone you know would like a complementary virtual therapy session to process this event, you may book one at www.randikonikoff.com There is hope, there is help.

Dr. Konikoff has a passion for helping clients become students of themselves, thereby learning how to use their mind, body, and spirit in healthy and self-edifying ways. She has been in the profession since 2007. Before becoming a psychotherapist she released 5 CD's in her previous career as a jazz....

01/29/2022
Better in 2022Get a copy of, or download the app, The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie. Take 5 minutes to read i...
12/31/2021

Better in 2022
Get a copy of, or download the app, The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie. Take 5 minutes to read it everyday and be amazed at the changes.

Chillaxin’
11/19/2021

Chillaxin’

11/19/2021

Turn up volume…
Wishing you a peaceful evening.

06/28/2021
Nicked from Tiny Buddah...
04/14/2021

Nicked from Tiny Buddah...

Take a leap of faith. It's time to fly...

JUST RELEASED!Dr. Randi Konikoff's brand new book LoveSTRONG, a devotional, just went LIVE!  Order your copy today!Take ...
03/19/2021

JUST RELEASED!
Dr. Randi Konikoff's brand new book LoveSTRONG, a devotional, just went LIVE! Order your copy today!

Take a peek inside the mind and the life of a survivor of single parenting, domestic violence, the music business, corporate America, anti-semitism, trauma, addiction and a life that’s been totally transformed by God’s love.

Lovestrong: A Devotional

Experience Word Bathing!  Indulge your mind and experience peace and positivity!
03/04/2021

Experience Word Bathing! Indulge your mind and experience peace and positivity!

Experience WORD BATHING and calm your mind.

02/13/2021

Don’t Tell Momma

When I grew up, Kennedy was President and can openers were take-your-life-into-your-hands devices. I just spent the better part of an afternoon trying to figure out how to use a 21st Century can opener. It is embarrassing to admit I had to watch a YouTube video on how to use my new can opener. I do understand the importance of making things safer now. I remember having a (then designated "Mr.") Potato Head that came with actual 5/8 inch masonry nails for the eyes. We may have been living more dangerously back then, but we were innocent, ignorant and life was more exciting.

It was a time before seat belts and car seats. It was a time of unwittingly provoking serious injury and serendipitously escaping death.

We used to love riding shot gun in my Daddy’s Step Van delivery truck. We would scramble up on the passenger dashboard, feet dangling, back against the front windshield and watch the world go by out of the open side door. When he would stop short for the next delivery, it was standard fare for us to be catapulted out of that open passenger door, landing face first in the grass. I guess he thought landing on the grass would be less injurious.

By the time we came to, Daddy was on his way to the next stop. We would run along side to catch up to him, flail ourselves into the moving vehicle, shimmy back up on the dashboard and prepare for the next launch. As if that wasn’t death defying enough, occasionally the always-open-sliding-passenger door would decide to release just as we were being propelled out of the truck. Imagine being hurled across the threshold of a guillotine. Russian roulette in a 6 cylinder V8 - The Deer Hunter on wheels.

That was our summer and we would actually vie for who would get to ride with Daddy each day. We all shared this experience but, more importantly, we shared a silent agreement never to mention any of this to my Momma.

02/10/2021

Grandma Shark, doo doo doo…

Grandma would always warn us about the oddest things. Making a silly face would make your face stick that way and sitting on a cold cement sidewalk would give you hemorrhoids. Another of her greatest hits was, “Now don’t get overheated.” Apparently, homeostasis hadn’t been invented yet. One of the oddest to me was when she would tell us, “Now don’t get too excited.” Too excited, as though there were acceptable limits for it. Why not? Are we going to use up all our ‘excited’ and not have any left? Will our ‘excited’ get so big that we will explode? It wasn’t until years into my adulthood that I surmised my Grandma must have suffered from anxiety and her warnings were more compensatory in nature. In other words, the warnings were more for her than for us.

She was so fearful of what disappointment might feel like that she would not allow herself to risk a big build up which may lead to a big letdown. Grandma is not alone in this. How many times have you stopped yourself from getting too excited? Maybe because I’m short I tend to be short-sighted, but I look at it this way…if something great is about to happen and it ends up not happening, I would rather get excited and have a few days of ‘excited’ than s***f out my excitement in case it didn’t happen. At least I would have had a few days of feeling good, of feeling hopeful and of all the wonderful possibilities! (Yes, I’m a Buffalo Bills fan.)

About 15 years before Grandfather actually did die, Grandma started compensating for that event. All the cousins would be running around playing and Grandma would come in the room to announce in hushed tones that “Something terrible is about to happen.” Well, thanks for the heads up, Grandma, so I can be sure to get a front row seat for that. Sometimes Grandfather would have one Mabel Black Label long neck too many and teeter a bit before sitting in his chair. To Grandma, that was it and he was on his way out. If he would so much as fart, in she would come with her premonition of death. We would all be expected to stop playing and sit quietly, waiting for the Grim Reaper to swing by. Eventually Grandfather would start snoring and the cousins would resume playing, keeping body temperatures below 98.6.

We can become so afraid of feeling hurt that we stifle our natural expressions of emotion. Yes, living can hurt. But weigh the cost of constant protection. If you only focus on how awful you’re going to feel if ‘it’ doesn’t happen, you are missing out on the possibility of how wonderful you’re going to feel if ‘it’ does! If I allow my debilitating fear of hurt, rejection, disappointment or loss to limit my choices I could be paying a price far greater than feeling hurt.

I saw the movie ‘Jaws’ opening day at a theatre on Ala Moana Boulevard, across from Waikiki Beach. That movie scared me so much that I made a life changing decision that day. I determined that even though there were very few things I could control in my life; I could guarantee that I would never be eaten by a shark if I never set foot in the ocean again. That decision had a cost. I was willing to pay it and I have spent the last 40 years on the shore. I never swam in the ocean with my children or rode a wave on a boogie board. Cruises? Forget about it. My fear of being eaten by a shark was so compelling that I limited my life. Perhaps if I had thought differently, I may well be the world’s greatest scuba diver. Now I’ll never know.

Consider this…allowing fear to cast the deciding vote is to risk being controlled by something that may not even exist. I think I would rather have a life of being overheated, too excited, and topping it off with a dip in the Pacific.

02/05/2021

iWatch Out!

I got harassed by my iWatch this morning. There I was, just enjoying those few extra moments in bed before getting up and getting going. Hazily listening to the sound of my puppy chewing on his kosher bacon flavored bone when I felt a vibration on my wrist and glanced at the 40mm screen.

If you were watching this in a movie, the director would now insert a flashback transition to provide context…One month earlier, I committed to a daily 5 mile walking regime, of which I have been surprisingly successful. Yesterday my walk was cut short.

Return to sequence…There I was, just enjoying those few extra moments in bed this morning when I was summoned by my wrist. “We noticed you took it easy yesterday. How about we step it up today and get back to it?”

You know, there’s a reason I sleep with something that can’t give me lip. My dog knows better than to criticize me. He likes to eat and I’m the one who knows how to use the can opener. So, smarty pants on a silicone sports band, where would you be if I somehow ‘forgot’ to plug you in at night? I’ll show you taking it easy. How about a scenic view of the tread under my car tire?

Technology, know your lane. Judge not lest you be bludgeoned

01/27/2021

Not In Vain

I used to be a jazz and blues musician. Now I’m a clinical neuro-psychotherapist. That’s a career change that would give most people the bends. However, when you’re already pretty twisted, nothing is off the table.

I’ve been around for a while and learned most of what I know from making mistakes. Plenty of twists and turns, backing up, running off the road and going in for repairs. Momma used to tell me, “Well, Randi, that’s one way of getting there.” It may have taken me longer, left a few more scars and given me this head of gray hair but, as the great Elaine Stritch sang, “I’m still here.”*

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is that anything we take away from those bruised knees and broken hearts is in vain if we don’t share it with others. Experience is a great teacher. A degree from the School of Hard Knocks is worth framing. Don’t waste those pearls of wisdom, formed under uncomfortable circumstances, by hiding them like skeletons in your closet. Share how time and pressure produced a diamond in your character. Each of us has so much to offer. Tell your stories, your mistakes and your victories. You just may save someone from running off the road. Then both of you will be able to proudly declare, “I’m still here.”

*“I’m Still Here”, Stephen Sondheim

01/15/2021

Check out onehipangel.com You just may feel better for it! Share this post with others! Thank you.

01/14/2021

Why there is a Konikoff Counseling. There is help. There is hope. randikonikoff.com

12/22/2020

Open and Closed Case

I have a problem with plastic bags. You know, those little thin ones at the grocery store for produce or for picking up after your dog? My problem is that I can never, ever, get them open. I watch with envy as others display great dexterity and slight of hand, effortlessly peeling away the corners and releasing the grand opening.

I’m that lady in front of the broccoli, muttering expletives, licking the tips of her fingers for traction and frantically trying to determine which is the right end of the bag! A few moments later, the swearing continues as I strike out once again over by the ground turkey.

So the moral of this story should come as no surprise as I tell the tale of WHOA from this morning’s walk with my Sharpei, Teddy. Teddy is a good walker. He keeps his emotions close to the vest, his body close to me and typically saves his business for his own backyard.

Let me set the scene…6:00am, a dark and frosty December morning. My daughter and I are returning from our morning constitutional. Teddy pauses, he can hold it no longer. Assuming the position, he deposits a mound of excrement so hot, so steamy and so large that if the smell had not rendered me speechless I would have congratulated him.

Since it was dark outside, I had to rely on my nose to locate this display of his splendor. Reaching into my pocket for my trusty p**p bag, I began the painstaking process of attempting to open said bag. Mind you it is dark, mind you my fingers are freezing cold and mind you I cannot get that stinking bag to open.

At just that moment in time, a lone car heads around the corner, illuminating the squatting dog, the frantic female and the aforementioned Tower of Teddy. Talk about a deer in the headlights! As fate would have it, the owner of the house upon which Teddy had just made a statement without saying a word, pulled in his driveway.

Sheer panic led to the series of decisions that followed. I could not get that bag to open. The sands in the hourglass of confrontation and humiliation were bearing down upon me. In blind desperation, with the as yet unopened bag in my hands, I aimed for the offended area, subsequently plunging both hands into the abyss. One has to have experienced this to fully appreciate the range of sensations and emotions associated with submerging your hands into hot-off-the-presses p**p.

With both hands full, we got the heck out of Dodge. My daughter compassionately attempted to commiserate with me for the rest of the walk home. I remember her talking to me, but I don’t remember replying. At one point I heard her ask me, “Mom, are you still there or have you gone to another place?” When we got home she rinsed off my hands, brought me disinfectant wipes and promised that this would go in the vault with all our other shame filled secrets.

Moral of the story: pre-open your p**p bags.

11/29/2020

Source or Err?

Is there someone in your life around whom you actually feel like a better person? This is a wonderful thing. Far from internalizing that feeling and using it to boost your own ego, you are profoundly aware that this feeling is not something you keep for yourself. This feeling elevates and motivates you to give it out from yourself. This is how we are wired - to edify one another. It’s a win win!

“Therefore encourage and comfort one another and build up one another, just as you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 AMP

The oven doesn’t say, “I am great, I am heat, see I made that cake?” The heat, generated by the power supplied to the electrical components of the oven causes a reaction in the ingredients of the cake mix and BAM, there’s cake! Each part has a part in creating something amazing. (And cake is amazing!)

“so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Romans 12:5 NIV

We are created to have a part in each others’ lives. When we are mentally healthy our focus can come off ourselves and we can radiate and redirect that heat toward others. Our source of heat, or motivation, is key to what we contribute to one another. If our source of heat is purely self directed we manipulate and see others as stepping stones or obstacles in our way. We experience frustration, impatience and unmet expectations which lead to resentments. The greatest tragedy is that we devalue others in our effort to inflate ourselves.

”They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised.” Romans 1:15 NIV

The source of heat, which produces compassion and kindness, can change a person’s life, can change your attitude and can change the world. Most ego-directed decisions are based on the false belief that we are the source of our own heat. The true source is the one who made you - who created within you the capacity, through connection to that source, to bring compassion and kindness to others.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 NIV

Either source, internal or external, is infectious and can be spread rapidly. Which pandemic do you wish to live in? I not only desire to stay connected to my true source, but purpose to be that connector around whom others may say they feel like a better person. Now, let’s have some of that cake!

10/16/2020

Brighty Whities

Tomorrow marks the day I am allowed to sign up for Medicare benefits. That means I am within three months of my 65th birthday. I am very blessed that many things about my body don’t feel 64 years old. Not prone to make much about my appearance, as many of you who see me on a regular basis can attest to and wish otherwise, I saw an ad and thought, “Yes, I deserve that.” I made the decision to have my teeth professionally whitened. Not with the do-it-yourself kit, but with the LaserMouth Sandblaster 5000! Go big or go home, I say (possibly toothless).

All of my work is done over video chat now, so my smile is right out there on display, front and center.

By the time you reach 64 your teeth aren’t much to brag about. Mine, anyway. Granted, I still have all the ones in the front, but there’s a lot of fancy footwork, or should I say tooth work, taking place behind the scenes. My brother likes to call me Seattle Slew because I am the proud owner of a Triple Crown. Also, five root canals with their respective crowns and a tooth that decided long ago to go rogue and come in at a 90 degree angle. It creates a nice resting place for my tongue. My two eye teeth are responsible for the nickname “Fang” and the chips in my front teeth give me that Don’t Mess With Me mien.

So, with my daughter’s wedding reception approaching, it was off to the dentist with visions of porcelain dancing in my head.

The staff was welcoming, their enthusiasm about the procedure was contagious and the pain was quite unexpected. The ordeal began with an attempt to insert a device in my mouth quite reminiscent of something my gynecologist uses to hold open a different part of my body! Nonetheless I was strapped in, mouth guard inserted (looking like Wallace and Gromit) and the blue lights were upon me. Okay I can do this, I reminded myself. Remember being on the Tower of Terror and having no escape after that first drop? Hang in there. How long could it take?

After 20 minutes the sweet hygienist returned. Thank goodness the throbbing, stinging and sharp jolts of pain were over. I made it! She heaped praise on the results and announced that we were good to proceed to Round Two. Being rendered speechless by the apparatus in my mouth I was unable to express my feelings at that moment. I would have thought the tears in my eyes might have been a clue. Teeth of Terror began again. I quickly configured that 20 minutes would translate to about five songs on their radio. I kid you not when I tell you that the next song was “Killing Me Softly.”

I was able to put myself into a hypnotic trance for the rest of Round Two. The lovely hygienist returned, seemingly delighted with the results, and told me that most people go another round, but they report some discomfort. “You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din” (Rudyard Kipling). I was done! The mouth speculum was removed, chapstick applied and my teeth glistened as I exited the building. It is well worth the occasional electric shocks I continue to feel. Vanity, thy name is Teeth Whitening! See you in another 64 years.

09/19/2020

Brainstorming Versus Worrying

Imagine a large corporation calling an emergency meeting with all of its highest level executives and stockholders. Flying them in from various cities and countries around the world. Travel arrangements, hotel reservations being made, limos and car services at the ready to provide transportation from the airport to the meeting location. An elaborate spread of pastries, juices, coffees, ice water. Whiteboards, Smart Boards, legal pads, pens, pencils. Phone and computer chargers beside each genuine leather ergonomic chair, strategically placed around a magnificent conference room table.

Everyone arrives, takes their place at the table and the meeting facilitator rises to call the meeting to order. “Ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for coming on such short notice. We have an important and pressing issue we are facing as a company. You have all been made aware of the details. We have arranged to spend 3 hours together today to focus on this issue and only on this issue. So, commence worrying.”

Can you imagine calling a meeting to worry? What a waste of resources, time, money and energy. What a ridiculous concept. Yet, each time we find ourselves worrying over something we are imitating that exact same scene. We have called a meeting to worry. Worrying accomplishes nothing productive. Worrying is an anxiety producing behavior choice which does nothing to solve the problem but does much to convolute the worrier, rendering him or her helpless.

Instead of worrying, if you must spend time ruminating over a topic or issue, replace worry with brainstorming. Brainstorming is more productive, takes up less time and produces a list of alternative solutions. Brainstorming leaves you with a feeling of accomplishment even if the problem still exists.

Worrying is constricting and chokes out any creativity, prolonging the problem and heightening the anxiety level. Brainstorming expands the mind and affords an opportunity for unrestricted creative thinking. One action is depleting and damaging. The other is energizing and life-giving.

Make a conscious choice to change your worrying into brainstorming. Your problem and your mood will thank you for it.

08/28/2020
08/06/2020

Help for dealing with addictive behaviors.

08/02/2020

Where the Dead Things Go

Gnats. As if this insect wasn’t annoying enough it has to add that silent g at the beginning of its name. Well, the gnats moved in and began mass producing inside our home. A veritable population explosion. It’s not subtle either. It went from one gnat to South Myrtle Beach in August, overnight! We sanitized all the drains and plugged them up. We went through the refrigerator and removed anything food related off of the counters. We sprayed and we prayed but they kept coming. We checked the drip pan on the air conditioner unit in the attic and we apologetically violated our puppy’s personal space. Nothing led us to their breeding ground.

My son had been telling me all along that the house plants had to go. This was the first time in my life I’d been able to keep house plants alive and thriving. I resisted and blindly defended my stance, but eventually had to concede as gnat Mardi Gras was entering its second month.

I am very aware that they call them ‘house plants’ on purpose. Some plants are not meant to live outside of the house. There was no way I could simply throw them in the garbage, so I moved them onto the back porch. Again, denying the inevitable and choosing to torture my death row plants. Thus began their slow demise. Each day I would visit them in what I now call “Plant Hospice” and reminisce about our good times and what joy they have given me. Each day, as I go back in the house, I swear I hear “bitch…” softly whispered in the wind.

Of course the gnats are now gone. Of course the plants are nearly gone as well. I’ve been made aware of an interesting pattern. My children reminded me that my back porch has long been synonymous with tragic endings. There was a time I tried to cook, back in the early 2000’s. I became very good at burning things. Let’s be more specific. I was The Incinerator. A fire extinguisher was my Mother’s Day present that year. My reputation was factually supported by the ever growing mound of melted, red hot, smoking cookware resting outside on the cement slab. Several actually fused together, in a sort of hideous metallic tribute. In those days, Plant Hospice was known as Pot Purgatory. Now, whenever I let my puppy out the back door, he pauses and looks back at me with trepidation, silently asking, “Et tu, Mommy?”

We all have a place where we hide our mistakes, our failures, our unmentionables (not those kind). The ones I mentioned here may have been innocent, but we all have intentionally created things we’d like to put away. What would we do without his grace? What would we do without his forgiveness, without the chance to start again and do better? We are given that everyday by our Creator God. His mercies are new every morning. “If we confess our sins he is faithful and just and will forgive us of our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9).

07/08/2020
Just released! The newest publication by Dr. Randi Konikoff.Coupling: Investing Yourself in Relationship.      You and y...
05/30/2020

Just released! The newest publication by Dr. Randi Konikoff.
Coupling: Investing Yourself in Relationship.
You and your partner will enjoy this fun and challenging workbook, designed to strengthen your relationship. Available NOW at www.onehipangel.com

05/25/2020

The Spot

Parking is permitted on one side of the street in my neighborhood. There are signs posted to indicate where parking begins and where it ends. That first spot, the one closest to the sign, has been silently touted as the Prince of Parking Spaces. It shall heretofore be known as ‘the spot.’ How do I know this? By witnessing the spectacular lengths at which my neighbors vie for and jockey for this coveted position.

I park in my garage, so I am not a participant in this blood sport, but I am a spectator. My home office faces the street and I have divinely been awarded preferred seating. While the comings and goings of my neighbors holds no interest for me, the battle for ‘the spot’ is a highly enjoyable study in human behavior.

I begin my day by opening the blinds and observing the winner from the previous night. He or she who secures the spot for the entire night has bragging rights and, no doubt, sleeps with a satisfactory smile on their face. But the victory is short-lived, as the pressure begins again with the start of each new parking day.

Those who work from home have a court advantage over those who must vacate ‘the spot’ as necessary to make their living. One neighbor actually moves his car from spots of shame further down the street into ‘the spot’, exiting the vehicle with a look of pride and a smug strut. In a final gesture of defiance, mashing the lock button on the key fob with a flourish and slamming the front door behind them. The sound of the car horn signifying superiority, as if to say, ’I beat you this time.’

No one can be first all the time. If your focus is solely on getting ’the spot’, what are you missing that may be going on all around you? You had ‘the spot’ and didn’t want to give it up so you lost out on being with friends, going on that trip or having that new experience.

‘The spot’ ends up costing you. ‘The spot’ ends up controlling you. Have you actually won anything, beat anyone or gained a single thing?

Is there ‘the spot’ in your life? Something that you have allowed to elevate itself to a place of importance that overshadows other things? Take a look at what may be vying for and jockeying for first place in your life. We get what we focus on.

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Luke 12:34

05/02/2020

The Spring of My Discontent

On January 1, 2020 we awoke to the promises of a new year. 2020 - a year, by its very definition, suggesting clarity, greater vision and new perspective. Launching full speed ahead into healthier eating, exercise commitments, social interactions, traveling and unparalleled accomplishments, many of us lamented 2019 but chose to focus on the prospects of a brighter 2020. A new year, a new beginning, a fresh start.

Just as the ice and snow were fading into memory and the darkness of Daylight Savings Time gave way to Spring, we took a sucker punch below the belt that sent us down for the count. A haymaker that landed and was felt ‘round the world. Everything stopped. Stop, in the name of glove. And mask. Then the surreal became the so real. While we hid at home it began to hit home. This wasn’t something happening on the other side of the world. This was happening to the entire world. We sheltered in place as Passover arrived, reminding us of the lamb’s blood and the Angel of Death. Social distancing kept us from corporately celebrating resurrection and new life.

Businesses tweaked, TeleHealth peaked, Wall Street shrieked and people freaked.

But the best of humanity refuses to be held down. It rises like a phoenix from the ashes. Individuals push through the impact on their personal lives and come to the aid and rescue of others. When all the material things, schedules and trappings of the world are torn away, what not only remains but flourishes is the human spirit. Reminding us that in the worst of times, we are resilient and resourceful. We get hit hard, there is damage, there is loss, but there is hope. There is humanity. We can persevere and we can choose to come out of this richer for the experience.

This pandemic is a powerful equalizer. We will all be changed. We have the potential to be infected with compassion. We can heal from self-centered lifestyles and we can recover from myopic vision. When it comes to life, we are all in this together. You are not in my way, we are here for each other. Maybe we had to be separated in order to realize just how much we need each other.

More than oil, more than money, our greatest commodity is love. It is limitless, costs nothing to produce and grows stronger the more you give it away. It is our greatest natural resource. When all is said and done, it’s not how we lived, but how we loved.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV

Launching our newest website!  Onehipangel.com
04/25/2020

Launching our newest website! Onehipangel.com

Randi grew up as the youngest child in a family of hard working musicians. Randi says she used to sing jazz and blues but now sings the Good News.

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