February Feature: Diane Lang

Photo Credit: Sona Viola

Therapist, Educator and Life Coach Diane Lang has dedicated her career to helping people turn their lives around and is now on a mission to help them develop a sustainable positive attitude that can actually turn one into an optimist, literally. A therapist and educator/coach of Positive Psychology, she has seen that it can provide a strong foundation for finding great happiness and is gratified that it is becoming a mainstream method of treatment.

A parent herself, Lang has taught Positive Parenting to parents and written extensively on the benefits of using it with even the youngest children. She has also spoken or conducted seminars on postpartum depression, striving for balance versus having it all and practical tips on interviewing, networking and dressing for success and is the author of “Baby Steps: the Path from Motherhood to Career.”

Diane is a Therapist and Life coach in NJ. Her clinical experience includes treating patients with different forms of mental illness, physical and emotional abuse and relationship issues. Lang is also an Adjunct in Psychology at Montclair State University, her college work includes mentoring students for individual career counseling and personal issue advisement.

As an expert in her fields of therapy, Lang has been featured in the Daily Record, Family Circle, Family Magazine, Working Mother Magazine and Cookie Magazine, seen on NJ 12 TV, Good day CT, CBS TV, Style CT, The Veira network and the national television program “Fox & Friends.” She has also participated in a reality based Internet show, ourprisoner.com, hosted Generation X-tinet and appeared in various educational videos including Columbia books.

Lang has an M.A. in Counseling and a B.A. in Liberal Arts from the New York Institute of Technology. Diane has her Positive Psychology coaching certificate from Wholebeing Institute. Diane’s latest book is: Mindfully Happy … Waking Up to Life.

Please visit her website for more information: http://www.dlcounseling.com or email: DLCounseling2014@gmail.com

JRK:  Before we get into the interview, can you tell us a bit about yourself, where you are from and all that good introductory stuff?

DL: I’m a NY girl who now lives across the bridge in NJ. I’m a Positive Psychology educator, life coach, speaker and author. I’m also an adjunct of Psychology at MSU and love what I do!!

JRK: You are a therapist, educator and author that uses a technique called “positive psychology.” Can you tell us about that in more detail?

DL: Positive psychology is a branch of Psychology that is the scientific study of what makes life worth living? It studies happiness, strengths, meaning/purpose, flow and resiliency. It is concerned with people knowing their strengths and using them in their every day life.

JRK: Can you tell us a bit about your most recent book entitled, “Mindfully Happy … Waking Up To Life?” What is it all about and what are some of the techniques you suggest in the book for folks to happily live their lives?

DL: The book is about cultivating more happiness and mindfulness to your daily life. The book offers realistic, easy to follow, sustainable tips and tools. The book goes over Mindfully Happy Habits such as gratitude, random acts of kindness, taking risks, making sure your basic needs are met and mindfulness/meditation.

JRK: Living one’s life happily is a challenge many times for most people, generally. When one is marginalized or is a minority, like many Diversity Rules Magazine readers who are LGBTQ, how much more difficult can it be to be happy? What are some ways that marginalized populations can become happy and fulfilled in their lives given the special challenges they face as queer individuals?

DL: Being a minority can affect your happiness levels.

For LGBTQ you can see the negativity start in thehome. Many face issues and negativity when they come out to their parents, then bullying in school which can continue into the workplace. There are many forms of harassement minorities like LGBTQ deal with in life. The harassement can lead to depression, anger and anxiety.

To be happy, we need to have support. A close support system is so important. If its at school, we need supportive educators. At work, we need supportive employers but we all need a strong support system that loves and accepts us unconditionally. When we have that, we feel happier.

JRK: You are also a specialist in positive parenting. What are some techniques you suggest to parents to empower them to be better parents? Do you think these techniques apply to same sex couples with children in the same way as that for straight couples?

DL: Positive parenting is for every type of parent regardless of gender, race, religion, single parenting, etc.

Being a positive parenting is becoming self-aware. Its realizing that kids from birth thru puberty learn through role modeling, imitation and observation. To be a positive parent, you must look at your own behaviors to make the change. Positive parenting teaches children through their own actions.

Be self-aware and take note of the questions below:

Are you giving off a negative attitude?

Are you watching your non-verbal behaviors?

How many negative statements did you say? How many negative actions did you display?

Did you apologize when you did something wrong? Did you learn fromyour mistakes/failures?

Are your behaviors consistent?

JRK: You are also a life coach. Can you tell us what that entails?

DL: Life coaching is about looking at where you are currently, figuring out what is working and what isn’t working and how can you move forward to reach your full potential.

JRK: What tips might you have for 2018 for folks to deal with the political and social chaos and turmoil in today’s society?

DL: Work on what you CAN control – we can only control ourselves and how we react to others. If we constantly try to change others, we set ourselves up for failure. Work on you only!

Emotional detox- remove the toxic people. Moods & emotions are contagious. Watch who you spend your time with.

Stay away from the negativity – limit your media intake especially at night. If we watch negative programming such as the news before bed, it can affect how we sleep and what mood we wake up in.

Tough times are teachable, learnable moments. Ask yourself what can I learn from this situation? How can I change? What can I do to not be a victim?

JRK: On your website, you state that your theme and keyword for 2018 it “Freedom.” Can you delve into that a bit more?

DL: My theme and keyword for 2018 is “Freedom.”

Freedom from my inner negative loop that keeps playing on repeat in my head.

Freedom from my addiction to sugar. I will now look at what I eat as part of my self-care.

Freedom from other’s negativity- setting boundaries and limitations from toxic people

Freedom from all the negativity around me – reducing media, both social media and the news.

Freedom from looking for approval from others and instead finding it within myself. Building up my self-worth.

Freedom from perfection and control issues- they are no longer qualities I admire in myself or others instead I will add more patience and kindness to my life.

Freedom from autopilot, it’s time to be more mindful of my thoughts, actions and behaviors. It’s time to live in the moment.

JRK: How can individuals create a vision for their tomorrow, given the complexities of life that one may face?

DL: Its about creating your own vision. Its not trying to live to “The American Dream” society has created. Its not about the life your parents want you to live. Its about living your dreams. Spend some time figuring out what you want and go for it. Just make sure its your own vision not somebody else’s.

JRK:  Do you have any parting thoughts you would like to leave Diversity Rules readers?

DL:  Remember, we all struggle with feelings of unworthiness but we are all worthy and lovable. Don’t ever forget it.

Thank you so much for allowing me to be part of your wonderful magazine. I feel honored!

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