capturing the beautiful calamity of healing in therapy

Tag: marriage and family therapist intern

The Three Questions of Therapy

The Three Questions of Therapy

Why go to therapy?  One of my first clients taught me that therapy- and the greater meaning of existence- eventually came down to exploring (and possibly answering) three fundamental, chronological questions: Why should I live? How should I live? What can I do to make my […]

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 […]

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 […]

Why I Cannot Tell You How to Live Your Life

Well, what do YOU think I should do? It’s a question most well-intentioned clients ask at one point or another, during an especially frustrating, gridlocked situation. It feels like an appropriate and even harmless question. After all, aren’t you just trying to make the right […]

Validation: The Glue of Any Relationship

If I could teach a lesson to everyone in the world, if someone gave me the task of teaching all my clients JUST ONE THING to improve their social relationships and happiness with others, it would be the art of validation. Validation is the foundation […]