Journaling

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: 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: Meditation

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Trauma 101: Meditation

Ah, to sit in stillness, cultivating peace! Doesn’t that sound just wonderful. Maybe you’ve even gone to the expense of creating a space, buying one of those special pillows, getting a sound bowl, burning incense. And it’s fantastic…for about four seconds. Then your mind kicks in…and the battle is ON!!! Your back starts hurting, your left knee act up, you can’t stop thinking about the LIST that everybody’s got: what to get done today, what should have gotten done yesterday. Or that jerk that cut us off, or claims we cut them off. Some of us as well simply were not born to sit...

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Introduction to Body Work and Other Interventions

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Introduction to Body Work and Other Interventions

At times, people struggle with what bodywork looks like. While I speak of other interventions as well, here I’m shown working with a friend and colleague in providing the safe, supportive touch that helps my clients tap into their yet-elusive sensations, and the emotions with which those sensations are linked.

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Trauma 101: Boundaries, Part 1

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Trauma 101: Boundaries, Part 1

Boundaries. I love how the therapeutic community throws words like “boundaries” around, without a clear explanation. Before you read on, in fact, go ahead and test this (and for those of you who’ve had therapy, or at least read a multitude of self-help books, this should be especially fun). How would you describe boundaries? Are they: A concept of mental health determining, cognitively, what is appropriate and what is not. A “wall” that keeps out all those but whom you, very selectively, let in. A “wetsuit” that you can physically sense, that blocks energy. None of the...

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Trauma 101: Resourcing…Finding the Lip of the Pool Before You Dive Deep

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Trauma 101: Resourcing…Finding the Lip of the Pool Before You Dive Deep

It was an awful day. I was young, barely employed as a door-to-door salesperson for cable (and really, who can’t sell cable! me!!!), and had just gotten my umpteenth rejection. The world reeked of malaise and despair… then I looked up, at the most wonderful evening sky. The skies in New Mexico are special, of a blue not seen elsewhere, and as evenings will, that blue was multihued, deepening towards the horizon, backdrop to the faintest wisp of cloud, reflecting the setting sun. The despair melted, I could feel my heart warming, my chest expanding…and I reminded myself that this, too,...

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