Archive for the ‘Therapy & Counseling’ Category

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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Your Illusions

January 19th, 2015

illusionSome of your illusions seeped into you before you learned to talk. Others sneaked into you later, while you were busy figuring out how to become yourself. Eventually, you even made conscious choices to adopt certain illusions because they provided you with comfort and consolation.

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The Mid-Life Re-Evaluation (aka mid-life crisis)

December 3rd, 2014

mid-life crisis“I’m kind of embarrassed.  I think I’m just going through a mid-life crisis.”  I’ve heard these words, or something similar to them, from many clients of a certain age. Shaming stereotypes of an older man running off with a younger woman in his brand new convertible run rampant…and make it more difficult for some people to talk about this stage of life.

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Tears…and The Soul

October 29th, 2014

Tears and the soulI might find myself in tears. I wrote these words to a friend recently, anticipating a hurtful experience with someone I know. I was poking fun at myself, making fun of my propensity to cry, a trait I am at times proud of and at other times would rather not have.

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What Makes A Real Man?

April 23rd, 2014

I was recently reading a blog in which the author – a mother of a young boy – was bragging that her son is “all boy” – meaning he is rough and tumble and plays with trucks, guns, and GI Joes. I found this offensive. What about the boys who like Barbies and arts and crafts are sensitive? Are they not complete boys? Are they somehow deficient? Would she be less pleased with him. It seems strange to me that we are still playing into gender stereotypes about masculinity in men and boys.

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Taking Child’s Pose

April 9th, 2014

Have you ever taken a yoga class? If so, then you are surely aware of one of the most basic poses – Child’s Pose. When taking this pose, you are folded over your knees, forehead of the ground and arms and hands either flat by your sides or stretched out in front of you.  I understand it to be a resting pose – used when you need to take a break from the current flow of the class.  You might be too tired, you might have noticed a pain somewhere in your body, you might simply not want to do the current pose that the rest of the class is doing. So you opt out and take Child’s Pose.

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Booker T. Washington & Chocolate Cake: Real World Advice on Coping with Depression & Loneliness, Part IV

March 12th, 2014

Coping with depression, loneliness, and feelings of hopelessness can feel like a solitary activity. When we feel these ways, we often have the impression that we’re on our own. I recently asked my Facebook friends how they get through difficult times – an effort of mine to get more ideas as a therapist and to also help people feel more connected at a time when it’s hard to feel love from others. I received many replies and have published portions of each one.  Following are the final comments I received from my friends. I hope you find these as meaningful as I have.

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