capturing the beautiful calamity of healing in therapy

Tag: mental health

Your Therapist Will Not Change Your Life

Your Therapist Will Not Change Your Life

Even though I’m a therapist, I’m certainly not a miracle worker. I (mostly) can’t read your mind. And, I won’t change your life. I will guide, assist, empathize, and support you unconditionally.  I will sit with you while you explore your inner demons and love […]

“I Relapsed When I Got Fat.”

I relapsed when I got fat. She said this with a matter-of-fact shrug and then gave me a smirk. She was six days sober and and teetering between the underweight and normal weight charts.  It was our first therapy session, and we were talking about […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

What if you don’t want to climb the ladder?

It is five in the afternoon, and I am sweating under a blistering California sun watching college graduates happily receive their diplomas. My brother is among the sea of pointy, tasseled hats, and I’m beaming with pride. He’s done good work- flipping through pages of textbooks, […]

7 signs therapy is working

It is no secret that mental health professionals constantly argue about how to define progress and change. This is why I adamantly believe there are Fifty Shades of Recovery. Successful treatment will always be subjective, and concise results are rarely black-and-white. But with all these […]