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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When a potential client calls Live Oak and speaks to our intake staff, we ask a host of questions to connect the client with one of our therapists who, based on the client’s concerns, is the most appropriate and best fit we can find.  We’ll ask about reasons for seeking therapy and we’ll ask if the client has a preference...

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It’s almost always the case that one of the tasks of therapy is to foster or restore a sense of hope.  We often seek therapy because we have exhausted other avenues for healing, or the ways we have soothed ourselves in the past don’t work the way they used to.  Hope may be eclipsed by despair, loneliness, or loss.  It...

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In reviewing these past several months of blog posts, I realized that I have mentioned both my mother and father a number of times, often referring to their old age or their deaths, which occurred nine and seven years ago respectively.  I began to think more about how present they are in my life, despite their physical absence.  I think...

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I remember as an adult, when I would share with my mother frustration or anger I felt toward one or both of my brothers, her consistent response was:  “Oh Jeff, life’s too short.  Don’t be like that.”  When I think about it now, I realize she told me that many times, from when I was a child even until several weeks...

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Just over 10 years ago, I was asked to write an article about my experience as a gay man in 2005 versus my experience as a gay man in 1995.  The article was published and entitled:  Talking Back to Heterosexism:  A Decade of Lessons Learned.  I shared some of my experiences of prejudice and isolation, and how these experiences shifted...

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