Archive for the ‘Therapy & Counseling’ Category

The body will open up when it feels safe

April 6th, 2017

187-eka-pada-rajakapotasana-3-yoga-pose-iyengarHave you ever attempted the yoga pose known as Eka Pada Raja- kapotasana, otherwise known as King Pigeon? In this pose, you balance on a bent leg, while reaching behind you to pull the opposite leg up – all while putting an arch in your back. It looks similar to a mermaid on a beach and is quite elegant. The pose requires a lot of openings in your body, flexiblity, and calmness. Without these qualities, you could hurt yourself, or simply fall out of balance.

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The Hard Season…

February 6th, 2017

therapythe hard season
will
split you through,
you will bleed water.

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Are you going to believe that story?

June 27th, 2016

compassion“Do you want to trust that story?”, asked a mentor of mine. We were in a workshop, exploring mindfulness, therapy, and the stories and beliefs we hold on to. The story I was telling about myself was particularly persistent. And when it’s told, I’m often left feeling lonely and unlovable. But for many reasons, the story is difficult to resist.

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Cracking Open the Window

May 23rd, 2016

trauma-informed therapistYou’re talking with your partner about a long-standing disagreement. Perhaps it’s the chores and how you think you do most of them. Or it’s the frequency of sex you have. Maybe it’s your desire to have children. These conversations are difficult for you. In fact, you often find yourself getting worked up quickly. You’re heart starts pounding, your chest gets tight, you might feel a bit nauseous, and you just want to get away…or you feel the urge to attack. You don’t feel safe any longer. Your window for tolerance – your ability to cope with the stress – is closing and something needs to be done.

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Negative Self-Talk & the Nasty Roommate

October 22nd, 2015

negative self-talkThe Scene: Two men are talking on the phone, trying to set up a date for the weekend. Sam called Jamal to ask him out on a date. Sam is VERY interested in Jamal, and feeling very vulnerable.

Sam: Do you want to get together this weekend?

The Voice in Sam’s head: He won’t want to see you. He’s got better things to do.

Jamal: Sure, that’d be great.

Sam: When are you free?

Jamal: I’m free all weekend.

Sam: Ok.  Let’s do Saturday night.

The Voice in Sam’s Head: He has nothing better to do so he’ll go out with you.

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Therapy…and Sexuality…as Liberation

October 8th, 2015

sex-positive therapistIn September, I presented a workshop with my colleague, therapist Tamara Pincus, at CatalystCon West in Burbank, LA. Our workshop, “Why can’t I go to a sex party?” provided a space for professionals, including psychotherapists, to explore how their sexual expression and professional lives interact. We’ve facilitated this conversation several times and one thing has become abundantly clear: the dominant culture’s shaming of non-heteronormative, non-monogamy-based sexualities affects not only clients…but therapists as well. The shame and judgement of a sexually-repressed culture has consequences for everyone.

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Am I Seeing a Sex-Positive Therapist?

September 28th, 2015

sex-positive therapistIn US culture, personal sexual expression is still a topic that is little discussed and very much stigmatized. While this is true for the population in general, it is also true for psychotherapists. The fact that sex therapy is a speciality rather than a skill all therapists are expected to have speaks volumes. In my field, sex is often seen as a side issue to a person’s well being, rather than integral. Many therapists are taught to see sexuality through a pathological lens. Anything outside of heteronormative, marital, & monogamy-seeking behaviors is often seen as problematic. For these reasons, it’s very important to be able to identify a sex-positive therapist when you need to work on sexual concerns about which you feel some shame or embarrassment.

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Keeping Things Light

May 28th, 2015

self-care“I like to keep things light.” This is what a boyfriend – let’s call him Rahim – recently told a friend of mine – let’s call her Sharon. Rahim said this in the face of major crises, including a life or death situation for a loved one. Sharon told me about the inherent dichotomy in what her boyfriend is saying versus what he is experiencing. And how stating that he keeps things light is actually an avoidance strategy that is not honest, nor is it ultimately helpful. Rahim was sleeping poorly, had stomach aches, and generally felt miserable.  So much for  keeping things light.

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Fear? Or Intuition?

May 7th, 2015

PTSD treatment“Trust your intuition.” We’ve all been told this. It’s nice to be able to trust yourself and your internal compass. However, a yoga teacher recently reminded me that trusting your intuition isn’t always that straightforward.

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Sojourner’s Truth

March 20th, 2015

build your confidenceI’m not man enough, says one trans male client. I question my masculinity, says another cis male client. Am I as much of a woman as a cis woman?, asks a trans female client. Why doesn’t my life matter?, asks an African American cis male client. Questions like these pop up with much regularity in my work. People questioning their authenticity because cultural “norms” and life experiences make them feel out of place, invalidated, and just plain crappy about themselves.

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