Friday, February 24, 2012

Happy Friday

Today's goal is to take it easy on yourself. You're trying the best you can. For today, just for this beautiful Friday in late February, let that be enough.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Just for today...

Just for today, give yourself the love, kindness and care that you would give to your best friend. The beauty of self forgiveness is that it's the most contagious thing in the world.

If it works, if it makes your day just a tiny bit easier, try it again tomorrow.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

E-book - Therapy guide for "beginner clients" - help needed!

One of the things that I like best about writing this blog is having an opportunity to help guide people through the often-complicated process of becoming a therapy client. As therapists, we do this therapy thing every day. For new clients, the process can be daunting and complex, and resistance to figuring the whole thing out can be enough to keep someone out of therapy.

There are plenty of things for clients to think about before, during, and after therapy. How do I find a therapist? What do I talk about in sessions? Are there things I should keep to myself? Does my therapist really care about me? How do I ask for a different kind of treatment? How do I know when I'm done? The list goes on and on.

In an effort to help with these questions, and more, I'm putting together an e-book to share with people who are just starting on their journey as a client, and with current clients who'd like to expand their therapeutic horizons. And I need your help!

I'd love to hear, in comments here or in email (drjeff@gmail.com), what sorts of questions YOU have about therapy and therapists. I'll incorporate your questions into the book.

Please feel free to share this link so others can contribute, and learn. And I'll be sure to let you know when the book is ready!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

When celebrities leave us

Whitney Houston died last night, leaving behind a very public and very complicated legacy. As with all celebrities, she represents different things to different people - an angelic singer, an example of the ravages and wear that drug use can inflict on humans, the butt of a joke, the recipient of a pure gift from God. We are all as complicated and flawed as Whitney Houston was. Most of us are lucky enough to live out those complications and flaws without direct scrutiny every day of our lives.

As I've said before, I'm all over the internet, all the time, as are many of you. The news of Whitney's death came moments after its discovery, the tweets and posts and status updates flooded in immediately after that. Some wept, some joked, some chastised others for how they reacted. Her death was a big blank screen, as are all celebrity passings, for us to interpret and digest however we will. People get sad and angry and irreverent, all based on what the death means to them. Then the cycle continues, and comments beget comments, which brings more anger or sadness or irreverence.

There's an easy way to break the cycle, actually. As with all grief, there's not much that can be done from the outside other than to listen with compassion and empathy. If someone is saddened by a celebrity death, that's their right. If it triggers "inappropriate" humor elsewhere, that person also has a perfect right to that reaction. If you want to add anything at times like these, add a little love, either actively or by simply letting things go in the heat of the moment.

Here's the thing, though... If in the course of these comments you see, or jokes you hear, someone truly offends you or says something hurtful about people you love, or perpetuates bigotry or injustice, it is certainly your right to tell them so. Your emotions and your reactions are your only real truth. How you express them is your decision. But, so many times, those things have already been said, and avoiding the pileup is helpful in the long run.

As for Whitney Houston, my condolences to her family and friends and everyone reached by her amazing talents. If you're one of them, my condolences to you as well.