While discussing a case with a colleague, the topic of feeling fraudulent arose.   The young woman she was working with was exceptionally bright, attractive, and accomplished, yet still she felt a sense of fraudulence.  She believed that if others really knew her, they would “find out,” and once she was found out, she would be rejected and shamed.  Logically this...

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Over the weekend, my partner and I were meeting with a man who was going to do some work on our home.  After we talked more specifically about the work, we engaged in some casual conversation. This man shared he is in therapy (before he even knew I was a social worker!) and went on to share that his therapist...

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Black Friday and Cyber Monday usher in the season of gift giving for many of us.  A number of my clients have started sessions by telling me they are already done buying gifts this year.  Others have shared how stressful it is to think about buying gifts for family members and friends.  Some begin to talk about past holidays, past...

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When I returned to Chicago in the late 1980’s, I remember reading the obituaries in Gay Chicago Magazine and related publications.  Every week there were longer lists of gay men who had died.  It was the first section of the paper I turned to each week, wondering who of us would be listed and, if there were friends I hadn’t...

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After a crisis, illness, or other difficult life events, many people reach out to me to talk about their experience.  One of the first questions I am often asked is:  “When will life get back to normal again”?

We all have that desire to return to what is familiar; to once again find the rhythms of our lives “before”.  We...

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Is it the end or the beginning?

For many, ending a relationship can be a time of stress, self-doubt and worry, “Will I ever find love again?” “Am I doing the right thing?” “What will it be like if my partner finds someone else?”  “How will I get through the sadness of missing my partner?”  “How will I fill the...

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As the new year approaches, I review the past year for lessons learned and changes I’d like to carry with me into the coming year. I also use the end of the year to talk with my clients, the Live Oak community, and colleagues who seek me out for consultation or discussion, about how to create a clinical practice that...

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