capturing the beautiful calamity of healing in therapy

Tag: twelve steps

It’s not about the problem. It’s about how we cope with it.

It’s not about the problem. It’s about how we cope with it.

Mary just seemed to be branded with perpetual bad luck. There’s really no other way to put it. She literally seemed cursed. She started therapy soon after sustaining a life-threatening injury and now needed to cope with the aftermath of chronic pain and forced unemployment.When we first […]

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 […]

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 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 […]

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 […]

Fifty Shades of Recovery

We throw around this word “recovery” all the time, as if it is some kind of magical elixir or concrete trophy of success. We use it simplistically, an overarching term that neglects to address the subjectivity that characterize its very nature. I don’t believe anything about recovery is simple, […]

The Normie Therapist & The Addict Client

I’m not an addict. I’ve never intravenously administered anything in my veins or chased any proverbial dragon or pawned something of value for desperate pocket change. I’ve never made up stories for pain medication prescriptions or dreaded a urine test for work. I don’t know what […]

Stop Waiting for Rock Bottom.

If you are suffering, in any capacity, you have permission to ask for help. You don’t need to hit any significant milestone. You don’t need a reason or justification. You don’t even need a tangible problem. If you are suffering, you deserve to heal. It’s […]

The Chaotic Fallacy We Call Control

The Chaotic Fallacy We Call Control

Control is a word we throw around loosely, though the complexity of its meaning remains largely misunderstood. The serenity prayer, a beautiful mantra frequently used in Twelve Steps philosophy, God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the […]