Browsed by
Tag: therapy

Healing Traumatic Memory

Healing Traumatic Memory

If only life was one long, beautiful, inspirational journey. But it’s not. Some of us know that life can include experiences of such fear, helplessness and pain that we wonder how we survived. Over time, and with support, most of us get back to what we would call our normal. Yet others of us discover no matter what, we just can’t. We call these experiences psychological trauma, the kind of experiences that steal our mental equilibrium. Many traumas have their…

Read More Read More

Please Don’t Lie to Me

Please Don’t Lie to Me

I know as a person and therapist that Truth with a capital T is often a very subjective target. Your truth about an experience doesn’t have to be anywhere near my version of the truth of that same thing. You may LOVE Taylor Swift as a musician, and me? Well, I’m more Bruce. We went to the same concert perhaps, but did we have the same experience? No. But when it comes to arriving at some shared version of what…

Read More Read More

Why I Told My Clients about My Surgery

Why I Told My Clients about My Surgery

Years ago, when I was 6 years old, my family was in a massive car accident. That event, which nearly killed my parents, is a nodal life event for me. It is the source of many years of mental suffering, as well as the focus of eventual healing and my interest in psychology. I was seated behind my father, who was driving, when the drunk driver hit our station wagon head on. The driver’s seat slammed into my knee, and…

Read More Read More

What Every Wife Ought to Know about Marriage Conflict

What Every Wife Ought to Know about Marriage Conflict

If I had the opportunity to share one essential marital tool with every wife in America, I know exactly what I would say: Learn to bring up difficult topics with your partner in a calm, quiet and focused voice. Marital researcher Dr. John Gottman has studied tens of thousands of marital conversations over 30 + years. He has found that there are 4 distinct communication habits that are poison to happy relationships. He calls them the “Four Horsemen,” like the…

Read More Read More

On the brink of a PTSD breakthrough

On the brink of a PTSD breakthrough

Today I was talking with two different clients about the research done at the VA in Minneapolis in veterans experiencing PTSD – finding in brain scans that traumatic memory seems to “reside” in the right hemisphere of the brain, right above the ear. So happy to have located a story on this research, and want to pin it here 🙂  On the brink of a PTSD breakthrough Thanks to Dr. Apostolos Georgopoulos for his continuing research!

In The Therapist’s Office (now)

In The Therapist’s Office (now)

Every so often patterns seem to emerge from the diverse clients I see. Here’s what I’m noticing now: 1. Couples in my area are coming to counseling at higher distress levels. In our initial conversations, they easily say their problems go back years, not months. This often translates into one or both of the couple completely emotionally “finished,” and only coming to counseling out of a sense of obligation or the expectation that the divorce process in their county will…

Read More Read More

When To Get Marriage Therapy

When To Get Marriage Therapy

Most couples come to therapy when they have completely run out of steam. While there is a great deal that MFTs can do to help, it’s not a time in the family when people feel resilient, optimistic or energized. In order to create permanent change, one needs a good deal of hope and energy. And so does one’s partner. I’ve observed that for many couples (especially those who have had a less-than smooth relationship history, full of stops and re-starts,…

Read More Read More

What I’ve Been Talking About This Week

What I’ve Been Talking About This Week

I find it interesting to notice that sometimes my conversations in therapy, with vastly different people and circumstances, seem to circle around themes on occasion. This week, I’ve noticed two topics that I am repeatedly seeing in session: 1. Men who have become “awake” to their own conflicts, problem behaviors and thinking and have made radical steps to be fuller, more peaceful people. Some have partners that are whole enough people themselves who rejoice in the change, and despite years…

Read More Read More

What’s So Bad About Excellence?

What’s So Bad About Excellence?

I had another conversation with my professional mentor last week, and she said something about me and my good friend, K, as we finished the conversation: … “it’s because you (both) over-function.” Now, if you have been part of my training in psychotherapy, you would know that over-functioning is not a great thing. It’s not even a good thing. It implies that I regularly do more in my relationships than is necessary or even helpful. I felt the power of…

Read More Read More

Empathy First

Empathy First

I recently had a conversation with a mentor, in which I was the subject. Sharing as I was, I was surprised to find myself feeling increasingly confused and annoyed. I kept talking, and continued to listen to the detailed feedback, but I felt increasingly alone, misunderstood and distressed. Why? Because the first thing I needed, and expected, I think, was some empathy. It wasn’t therapy, but it was still very personal conversation. I expected more support and companionable sensitivity. Emotional…

Read More Read More