My jaw tightens to hold back a roar of anger and anguish as I listen to my new client describe emotional abuse at the hands of a former therapist. The mama-bear-therapist in me wants to rip this guy’s throat out so that he can’t ever harm another client. Ever. Sadly, a few sick people defile the integrity of our profession and make a mockery of the tender relationships we invite people to enter when they walk into our therapy offices. Though this kind of outright therapist abuse is rare, I hear too many stories about how a therapist (who […]Read More »
Depths of Possibility Blog
The idea of therapy isn't to give people answers, or lead their longing into a safe, dull, protected harbor, but to make people aware of the depths of possibility in their hearts and lives; to help them remove the barriers that keep them from being the people they were meant to be.
— John O'Donohue
Welcome to my blog for therapy professionals—a blog that blends cutting-edge clinical and scientific theories, wisdom traditions, literature, life experience, and more into useful, applied nuggets for therapists who want to help their clients become the people they were meant to be.
A new client began to cry in the middle of our second session. She immediately turned away in shame, hiding her face behind an impenetrable wall of curly, dark hair. I gently asked her what had happened, there in that flash of a moment of turning away. “I hate to cry. It’s weak.” I only knew a little of her history, but enough to imagine my way into her experience. “If your dad was so cruel to you with his words, I can imagine that he might have humiliated you for crying.” A vigorous nod, while still looking away. “Yeah. […]Read More »
I’m sure it’s not news to you that studies of the therapeutic process always reveal that the relationship between client and therapist is what fosters healing and growth. More recent studies show that most of the healing that happens in this relationship occurs within the resonant connection between our inner worlds. According to Daniel Siegel and Allan Schore (and many, many others), the essence of connectedness that relieves pain and fosters growth, is our ability to tune in, attend, and respond to our client’s inner experience. Healing happens when we focus on the flow of what’s happening in the room […]Read More »
I help a lot of people work through a lot of different life issues when they come to my office: People come for solace when they’ve lost a loved one. They look to me for light in the darkness when they’re depressed. They seek guidance when they’re going through a big life transition—good or bad. They hope for support when they feel isolated. They want help to deal with trauma. I help them make their way through all these varied situations, yet there’s something underlying each circumstance that resonates with the universal. What is it, exactly, during each and […]Read More »
She races in five minutes late, plops onto the sofa, and starts talking. And talking. And talking. The litany of complaints about her boss, her sister, and her landlord is so familiar now that I can almost recite it to her before she says it. I notice myself glancing at the clock, noticing that time is moving slowly. A now familiar little voice creeps into my head saying, “Why does she keep coming? Nothing I say or do has an impact on these patterns that keep her stuck. Nothing is happening here.” The response I as a therapist offer at […]Read More »