“I don’t have anything to report,” Joel said to me as we began our session.  This had become our beginning ritual, despite having worked together for almost a year. 

Joel is not the only client who starts a session like this.  In other instances, I’ll be talking with someone for a few minutes and then, after a brief silence, I’ll...

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I recently received an email from a client thanking me for the work we have done together and telling me how much he had grown.  In that same email, he shared he had decided to end therapy, at least for now.  This isn’t the first time I’ve received such an email, though sometimes it’s in the form of a voicemail. 

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“Hey Jeff, I just realized that by the end of this month I’ll have known you for 14 years.  I didn’t realize we’d been seeing each other that long.  Did you?”  I thought for a few seconds about Adam’s statement and question before responding.  “What makes you think of that now,” I asked.  I prepared myself for a response about...

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“I feel worse leaving this session than I did when I came in,” Paul said through tears in his eyes.  “Therapy is supposed to make me feel better!”  I don’t think this is helping me!”

“You’re supposed to know how to make this pain stop!  You’re the professional.  I pay you to help me,” were words Janice frequently shared with...

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I’ve never been great with silence.  In my own life, I am known to be listening to music while working at my laptop, or having the television on while cleaning a room.  When I used to jog regularly, I would be sure to be wearing headphones.  It has been hard to sit with my thoughts without having the ability to...

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Last week in the graduate social work class I am teaching, we had a conversation arise about whether it was acceptable to offer a client a box of Kleenex when they are crying.  One supervisor had told a student not to offer Kleenex because in an implicit way, it conveyed that crying was not ok, or at a minimum, the...

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I was in a session with my physical therapist recently, and she was talking about chronic pain.  She explained how when we have an injury or some type of condition that causes chronic pain, we begin to move in ways that protect us from triggering this pain.  For instance, if we have a back injury, we may begin to walk...

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