One of the premises underlying the work we do is our desire to help.  Implicit in the idea of helping is improving concrete life conditions or increasing the experience of happiness or peace in someone’s internal landscape.  Helping means feeling better.  If that is one of the most basic premises underlying the work we do, how do we respond when...

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Endings and beginnings serve a purpose.  They punctuate change.  They allow us to put a hard stop on a process that has been painful.  They invite us to start anew with a fresh perspective.  They allow us to celebrate accomplishments.  They enable us to set goals for further accomplishments. 

Still, as I let my thinking wander, I realize that endings...

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  • “I’d like to see a male therapist.”
  • “I’d like to see a therapist who is older.”
  • “I’d like to see a therapist who takes BCBS insurance.”
  • “I’d like to see a therapist who is lesbian.”
  • “I’d like to see an African American therapist.”
  • “I’d like to see a therapist who has had depression.”

I imagine a record screeching to a...

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In the 30 plus years I have been in practice, I can’t count the number of times I have worked with someone who has a value system that is different than mine.  A number of weeks ago I wrote about how our differences still offer opportunities to foster deeper connections.  In that post, I talked about differences in aspects of...

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There have been many times over the years, when someone shares with me something new, sometimes even when we’ve known each other for many years.  This comes up not only in my work with clients, but also with people with whom I have had longstanding friendships.  I usually don’t think twice when I’m learning something new at the beginning of...

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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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