capturing the beautiful calamity of healing in therapy

Recent Posts

When Clients Lie in Therapy

Most clients lie in therapy. They omit, they change stories, they minimize or dramatize, they fabricate, and I’m absolutely okay with it. There are infinite reasons “why” people lie, but it typically can be summarized into this: lying is coping. It’s a primitive means of […]

The Client I Won’t Give Up On

I liked her the first moment she walked into my office. She was funny, hysterical actually, with a dry sense of humor that reminded me of my own, and she was wise beyond her years, transparent about all her mental scars and self-deprecating thoughts. This […]

The S.T.U.C.K Series: Part 2

I know what I need to do, but I just can’t do it.  In the first part of this series, I described the foundation for my S.T.U.C.K theory, outlining the acronym “scared to undergo change and/or knowledge.” Feeling stuck is one of the most prevalent problems […]

The S.T.U.C.K Series: Part One

I know what I need to do, but I just can’t do it. Taylor entered therapy knowing exactly what was wrong with him and exactly how to cope with it. He could outline his defense mechanisms, as if he had recited a psychology textbook, and explain his […]

When the Healing Hurts

When the Healing Hurts

Years ago, after several continuous no-shows and the dreaded feeling I had that she wasn’t coming back, one of my clients walked in, nervously admitting her apprehension about therapy. After I left,  I felt worse, she said. I can’t go through with this if it’s going to make me feel worse […]

Happiness & Brushing Your Teeth

What are your goals for therapy? Client shrugs. Looks down at the ground, uncertain with herself, uncertain with everything around her, nervous and clearly uncomfortable in her own skin. I don’t know. I just want to be happy.  Every therapist in every office has heard this […]

The Client with “The Terrible Condition”

Alice sobbed the entire first session. They were guttural and visceral sobs, the kind where nobody speaks, because nobody knows how, and the language exchanged is colored with misery and utter hopelessness. Fifty minutes passed with hardly a word, but she stated she would see […]

The Client who Hated Therapists

She was broken when I first met her. These were her words, not mine, and she hated therapists. Barely made eye contact, hair hanging long in front of her face, a hollow shell of trauma laden with all the resulting symptoms that come from that- scars up […]

How To Charge Your Emotional Batteries

Nothing runs forever without maintenance, and we are no different. Just like the cell phones so many of us are hooked to, we frequently run ourselves to “low battery,” and this existence can drain our happiness, affect our physical functioning, and harm our relationships. Just […]

We must cherish our future selves.

Impulsive. It’s a dynamic force found in all walks of human life. We see it in the shopper who cannot resist a new handbag to reward herself for a “terrible day at work”, the individual who hooks up with a stranger to briefly escape his […]