Oh, Sweet Surrender

How to Accept the Unacceptable Exactly what does it mean to surrender? Give up? Concede? Capitulate? Acquiesce? Fail? The word seems to have a universally accepted implication of doom, right? It’s about defeat. Oxford’s interpretation is “cease resistance to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority.” Ugh. Who wants to do that? ButContinue reading “Oh, Sweet Surrender”

Quagmire: The Joy and Heartache of Relationships

Why are healthy, mutually satisfying relationships so difficult to attain and sustain? Wouldn’t it be easier just to live among the plants and animals on a desert island? Before you answer in the affirmative, consider science. Human beings are neurobiologically created to live in connection with each other. That is a scientifically proven fact. Yet,Continue reading “Quagmire: The Joy and Heartache of Relationships”

How to Reframe Performance-Oriented Identity

Why Who You Are is Not What You Are. Most of us harbor a self-critic in the amygdala of our brain. It operates on a continuum ranging from selective and reserved to vocal and harsh. While a modicum of self-criticism is necessary and probably desirable, too many of us take it to the extreme. TheContinue reading “How to Reframe Performance-Oriented Identity”

Bittersweet: Saying Goodbye to Clients

Yesterday, my very first client, Evan, and I completed our therapeutic journey together. The experience was poignant, humbling, and empowering for both of us. It was a milestone in my new career as a therapist – a passage I had dreaded. Early in my master’s program, a professor asked me to share my greatest fearsContinue reading “Bittersweet: Saying Goodbye to Clients”

Is Your Therapist a “Wounded Healer?”

When my sons were in middle and high school, they played basketball with two brothers whose parents were a bit wacky. They were just a little too invested in the performances of their sons and the outcome of their games. Ironically, both father and mother were mental health professionals. I distinctly remember one of theContinue reading “Is Your Therapist a “Wounded Healer?””

Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Athletes

The Fall sports season is here. Millions of fans are again packing stadiums throughout the country. I’m not so sure that’s advisable, but this story isn’t about COVID. It’s about the mental health needs of athletes and how we can help them become more emotionally fit. Leaders in college athletics and professional sports have spokenContinue reading “Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Athletes”

It’s Easier Not to Be Great.

How performance-based identity dysregulates athletes. The Tokyo Olympics have concluded, but the mental health challenges of so many athletes remain. Gymnast Simone Biles catapulted the issue front and center in the midst of the competition. Her courageous acknowledgment follows the stories of Michael Phelps, Aly Raisman, Kevin Love, and many other high-profile Olympic, professional, andContinue reading “It’s Easier Not to Be Great.”

The Paradox of Mental Health Diagnosis

Navigating the Yin and Yang Show of hands. Who absolutely despises the notion of paradox? Who has a hard time accepting that two opposites can both be true? Because we are a complex species, our cognitive and emotional processes are not limited to but a single set of personality traits, values, or behaviors. We don’tContinue reading “The Paradox of Mental Health Diagnosis”

The Wrong One Died: Face-to-Face with Survivor’s Guilt

As I prepared to start my graduate school counseling studies, I began reading psychiatrist Irvin Yalom’s book, “Love’s Executioner.” The book is a compilation of patient case studies, which provides a fascinating peek under the hood for a future therapist. Since I’m naturally curious about people and what makes us tick, Yalom’s book was hardContinue reading “The Wrong One Died: Face-to-Face with Survivor’s Guilt”

Eyes Wide Shut: Why are We So Gullible?

I think most of us understand that this country is in the midst of the most acute and chronic era of divisiveness since the Civil War. Too many of us are holed up in our respective silos. It’s us against them; my camp versus your camp. We’re right, you’re wrong. We know the truth, you’reContinue reading “Eyes Wide Shut: Why are We So Gullible?”