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Boo!: In Praise of Getting Scared

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Boo!: In Praise of Getting Scared

On the street where I live, the lights are up! Across the way, huge inflated Dio De Los Muertos heads cover the yard; my neighbors have loaded up their porch with dummies splashed in red paint, or with heads replaced by those of chickens and bulls. My best friend and I proudly stood back from the spider web that we accomplished after watching how to do it on YouTube, and a human skeleton prepares to light the way of trick-or-treaters tomorrow night, as it walks its skeleton dog. I love Halloween! I love the cool weather, the rustling leaves, the decorations and celebrations. The opportunity...

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Where is the Humanity?

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Where is the Humanity?

Recently, I took the opportunity to retrace the steps of my Scandinavian ancestors, and found some powerful wisdom in the Norwegian culture that produced the majority of my heritage.  In Norway, common humanity is of great, perhaps even greatest, worth. The value placed on everyday life, often in the face of great trials, is paramount, and I sensed it as I spoke with the many Norwegians I encountered. From the young Air BNB host and her youthful cooperative, to the new father taking time off from work to tend to his infant, to the proud historians of the Norwegian Resistance Museum and the...

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The Sauna: Managing Conflict Well

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The Sauna: Managing Conflict Well

Conflict. It’s on the political agenda this year, from the more rabid factions of the Trump campaign to the infighting in the Democrat and Republican parties. As a therapist, I’m no stranger to conflict, and in my next series, The Sauna, I’ll be exploring how it can go wrong, and how, when handled correctly, it can lead to greater understanding and trust. Yup, conflict can be good! We’re hopefully familiar with the joys of a healthy debate, or a respectful negotiation. For many, even most of us, we’ve used basic skills to get a promotion, work out the household tasks, and tickle our...

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Trauma 101: Helping Friends & Family Not To Put Their Foot In It

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Trauma 101: Helping Friends & Family Not To Put Their Foot In It

As you know, the holidays are a particularly difficult time for the chronically challenged, whether you’re suffering from PTSD or Fibromyalgia. So in order to help you help them, I’ve written your holiday letter for you!  Feel free to add, subtract, and modify as you will:   Dear __________________________, I know you don’t know what to say about my illness, and that you’re struggling to find the right words to show that you care for me. Therefore, in the interest of preserving our friendship/marriage/family-work bond (circle appropriate), here are some words to...

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Trauma 101: Discovering Your Inner Protector

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Trauma 101: Discovering Your Inner Protector

When I started writing this series, I explored “safety.” What it means, particularly to those of us who were not nourished by it often enough as our young spirits grew. Many of the essentials I’ve since explored with you, grounding, resourcing, meditation, all help reduce the constant undercurrent of distress in our lives. However, none speaks as specifically, even boundaries, to safety as does finding, and feeding, our inner protector.   You see, when we’re born, we just…are. There’s no good part, or bad, no funny part, or grumpy, no side of us we show at work (cuz we’re...

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Trauma 101: Stepping Gently Into Your Body With Yoga

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Trauma 101: Stepping Gently Into Your Body With Yoga

For most of the uninitiated, yoga still belongs to the land of human pretzels and tie dyed, aging hippies. We’ve even come up with an Americanized version of this ancient and varied school of body movement, which involves some grueling combination of power and heat. Yet yoga is also one of the most commonly used and effective forms of support for those of my clients recovering from trauma. Yoga, from the Sanskrit meaning “to join, unite, or attach,” (and hopefully you know the importance of attachment to trauma; if not, click here), invites us to enter our bodies gradually, allowing...

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