Category Archives: Personal Growth

Individual Therapy Is About Relationship

In order for individual therapy to be worth your time and effort and money, it has to be more effective than a popular psychology book. Right? Otherwise, you could check a book out from the library, read it, implement the suggestions, and be done. Some of those books have great ideas. Many are written by…

Ocean of Feelings

I often compare feelings to the ocean. We stand on the beach and the waves of feelings wash over us and then recede. The problem is that most of us were trained to interfere with this natural process. We avoid the water and stay high up on the hot sand, worried about getting wet. Or…

Love Yourself

Lots of people seem to worry about whether a therapist will see something about them as pathological. In my opinion as a psychotherapist, there is nothing inherently problematic about being: Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Genderqueer Asexual Polyamorous Non-monogamous Into kink/BDSM Religious Not religious Fat Of course, there is nothing problematic about lots of things, but…

Beginnings, Middles and Endings

I often explore with clients what part of their experiences are most easy and most difficult for them — beginnings, middles or endings? I think most of us have challenges in one or more stages. It is useful to be aware of both our challenges and our strengths. If your strength is beginnings, you might…

How To Say “No”

Many of my clients have struggled with the question of how to say “no” to others.* Too often, people find themselves overcommitted and resentful and doing things they don’t like. Let’s use an example of a colleague’s asking you to be in charge of a project. You are in charge of several projects right now…

Developing A Supportive Community

Therapists like me provide a lot of support to clients. But, in my opinion, support from a therapist is not enough to create the kind of meaningful, peaceful, connected, vibrant life that most of us want. Even support from a therapy group is not enough. We need more. We need community. A supportive community is…

Dieting and Control

When people suddenly start to talk about wanting to lose weight when they haven’t been talking about it before, I wonder what is going on for them. Frequently, what I find out is they are feeling powerless. It seems to me that dieting* is often a way for people who feel powerless to assert some…

“Behavioral Health” or “Psychotherapy”?

The new popular term for the kind of work I do as a psychotherapist seems to be “behavioral health.” This is a term often used by health insurance companies and, as a result, by agencies providing therapy services. I don’t like it.* What I don’t like about “behavioral health” is that it implies that psychotherapy…

Stress Management

Many people come to therapy wanting to deal with stress better. There are many articles out there about stress management — but not a lot which have a picture of two guys with bowling balls. Therefore, I felt it was necessary to share my perspective on the topic. There are two categories of stress: Externally…

Change is Paradoxical

People usually come to therapy wanting to change their lives in some way. It seems logical that if we want change in our lives we have to focus on what we want to change and devote our energy to changing. Why is it, then, that our efforts to change so often fail? As a Gestalt…