Fearing Loss, Losing Connection: The Joy of Being Close Part 2

The truth is that loss is a part of life. It is as important as love, as important as security, as important as holding on to the things we value. Accepting loss gives us the power to change. If we accept the inevitability of loss, we free ourselves to feel vulnerable. And if we free ourselves to feel vulnerable, to fear losing, then we empower ourselves to examine what must change. And when we examine what must change, we enable the possibility that we can hang on to those we love. When we change, we heal. And when we heal, we love harder and longer and better.

Fostering Independence In Your Child

What does a drive to the airport and a peanut butter & jelly sandwich have in common? It turns out, everything. I remember the day like it was yesterday, well, mostly the anxiety. Okay, let me begin by revealing my secret up front. I’ve never loved driving. It always just seemed stressful to get behind the wheel, and I wasn’t all that excited when I learned how to drive. I think my parents expected me to beg to get behind the wheel like most sixteen-year-olds, but I was ambivalent at … Read More

Complicate Your Sexuality: Men in Love Part 1

I think about my own sexuality every day. Some days it feels like a struggle. Some days it feels like an after thought. Some days it feels like a necessity that cannot be ignored. Male sexuality is an interesting mix of urge, anxiety, creativity, romance, restraint, and, yes, love. I am consistently challenged to help men understand the complexity of their sexuality. As men, we are socialized to believe that our sexual impulse is rather simple and, because of that simplicity, animalistic. We are encouraged to accept this state of … Read More

Interview Your Therapist

The therapist-client relationship is a unique bond based on trust, safety, collaboration, and communication. It’s okay to ask your therapist questions beyond the logistics of fees and scheduling. Here are some “interview” questions to consider when you attend your first session. 1. What is your philosophy? Because of training, education background, and personality, therapists often connect with a particular theory (or multiple) to help inform their work. You could ask, “what’s your theory?” but asking about a philosophy will give you a much richer response. For instance, some therapists will … Read More

Love Is Easy

Ever since I can remember, I have longed for true love, for unbridled romance and intimacy, for a mate that understands and accepts but also challenges. I was a loving kid. Most kids are. I can remember crying to Fievel and his sister’s song “Somewhere Out There” in the cartoon classic American Tail. As a small child I understood that love and connection were so important and so difficult to lose. It’s easy for a child to trust and to love. They are keenly aware of what most adults forget: … Read More

Love Is The Great Part.

Today, my heart is full of gratitude as I think about the great part about being a therapist. Love. Love is the great part. Teaching love, watching love, practicing love, believing love. These are all necessary to effective therapy. It is in misunderstood feelings that we teach love. It is in moments of sacrifice and forgiveness that we watch love. It is in painful circumstances that we practice love. And it is in desperate times that we believe love. Love is the hardest and most rewarding work we humans can … Read More

Four Life Changing Relationship Tools Every Person Needs

Relationships are personal, unique and somewhat unpredictable. They can be your greatest joy and your biggest heartache. The tools below are all difficult to do consistently, but practice these more often and watch how they directly affect the quality of your relationships. 1. Show up. Showing up to a relationship may seem like a no-brainer, but there are relationships out there that simply don’t spend enough time together. They either work too much, stay too busy with their kid’s activities or stay locked into their phones or television screens. Being … Read More

Picking Up The Pieces – Post Election

Being an actual person this week has been a challenge, let alone a therapist who is supposed to help others process their feelings. I promised myself that I would be strong no matter what the election outcome was. I told myself that I needed to get up, get dressed, go to work, and go about my business as usual. A different feeling crept over me on Wednesday, though. It is one I am all too familiar with—fear. Before I am a student, therapist, friend, partner, or daughter, I am a … Read More

Round and Round We Go – the Enemy Dance in a Couple Relationship

(Disclaimer: Names and any identifying information has been changed) Several weeks ago, I met with a couple – Mary and Bob – I hadn’t seen in a month. “So how are things going, I asked wanting to check in before we got started. “I think we’ve taken five steps back from the last time we saw you,” said Bob. “We seem to argue about the same things we did a few months ago. It’s exhausting. I just can’t win.” His wife was quick to point out that if he would … Read More

Deserving Therapy

Do you need a specific reason to go to therapy? The answer might surprise you. We all have those wonderful friends. You know, the ones you won’t see for weeks or months but still make you feel like not a day has passed since your last reunion? Several months ago, a college friend and I finally nailed down a specific date and time to meet. It was a miracle with our hectic lives. As if on the brink of bursting, we collapsed in our café chairs and immediately fell into … Read More