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TMI

TMI

One of my professional supervisors recently referred someone to my practice for couples counseling. A day or so later, my colleague got an angry call from this same person, wanting to know why he gave him my name. Did he actually know who I was?! Of course, my colleague said. I gave you her name because she’s a very good therapist. I looked her up online. Have you read that newspaper column about the Church? he countered. Well, yes, and…

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Summertime Unease

Summertime Unease

The summer is a difficult time to be a church-attending believer. The pews empty, what with church education programs closed down for summer break, clergy finally taking some long-anticipated vacation time, choirs enjoying their evenings free of rehearsals and every other family traveling somewhere. Some congregations do better than others, having a longer visiting clergy list to draw from, or a deep bench of talented musicians to call on to carry the songs and liturgies along.  But the offering plates…

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Helplessness = Trauma

Helplessness = Trauma

I have been thinking about my, and our, experience of helplessness in the face of the Gulf oil disaster. About what it feels like in our bodies to be continuously exposed to experiences in the world that we can’t control but which have large, perhaps even life changing effects on our lives. In the last 50 years or so, psychology as a science has become increasingly wise about experiences that wound the soul. The kind of happenings that lock up…

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Pastors are a Bridge

Pastors are a Bridge

When I first began my private mental health practice, I knew one thing was certain: I needed to meet as many area clergy as I could. Today I had the pleasure of having coffee with an another local parish pastor. Thanks, C! So many people still experience embarrassment, resistance and fear when it comes to seeking therapy for relationships, emotions, or behaviors, they stall when it comes to getting help. They may talk to their friend or family member. They…

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The Recession and Mental Health Care

The Recession and Mental Health Care

The recession has kept people who need care out of therapy. That was the consensus of a small group of private practice therapists I met with Monday. We are a interesting and somewhat diverse group of folks: three licensed psychologists, three LMFTs and a social worker. Each of us has an individual private practice in the southwest Twin Cities, and we meet every month or so in each others’ offices for support, case consultation and resource sharing. As our meeting…

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This is What I Do it For

This is What I Do it For

After three years of private practice, I’m beginning to anticipate its natural rhythms. There are some months that I have a steady schedule, and the phone rings with some regularity with requests for information and appointments. These months tend to follow the school calendar and extend into early summer. And then there are weeks that the phone stops ringing, current clients miss appointments and don’t return my phone calls, and the calendar starts to have big holes in it. These…

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