During my first meeting with clients, I try to allow time to talk about what is bringing them to therapy while still saving time at the end of the meeting to talk about how I think therapy works. Sometimes, I don’t have to reserve time for this, because my clients will ask even before we talk about anything else. Other...

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While meeting with one of my clients this week, we came upon the realization that her husband had died three years ago almost to the day.  This wasn’t how we began our conversation.  When we settled into our respective chairs, she started the session by sharing a general sense of sadness and she wasn’t sure where it was coming from. 

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I was having dinner with friends recently and remember looking around the table.  I was there with my partner of 23 years.  A lesbian couple was there with their adopted 9 year old son. There was also an old friend from high school and his wife, whose children were both in college.  And finally at the table was a divorced couple—the...

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Over the weekend I was cleaning my basement and found one of my appointment books from 10 years ago.  I have a history of saving these as a way to chronicle the year and to keep track of phone calls and messages I need to return.  Back then, when I received a voice mail, I would write down the message...

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Last week I finished teaching a trauma course for students pursuing their graduate degree in social work. More than any other time in the 30 years I’ve been teaching has it been more difficult to balance what has been happening in the world with what I am teaching in the classroom. I’ve wondered if it’s because the class I teach...

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Endings have been a topic of conversation at Live Oak recently, as our current group of graduate interns and postgraduate trainees are concluding their year with us. They are all ending their relationships with their current clients, and we’ve been having exchanges about what constitutes a “good ending.”

Providing Different Endings

I’ve had many discussions about endings over the years, especially...

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I received a phone call earlier this week from Ray, a long time client.  He rarely calls between sessions so when I listened to his voicemail asking me to call him back, I knew there was something important happening in his life.  When we eventually spoke, it was through tears he told me his dog had been very ill and,

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