Therapy as a “Creative Storm”

“So do you have experience with this?”

Quite a few people who want to begin therapy ask me this. Of course, this is a perfectly reasonable question, but I still usually find myself searching for a good response. The answer should be easy. My specialization as a therapist is the treatment of anxiety and my subspecialty is OCD therapy. creative-storm-300x175Many people, therefore, contact me because they are struggling with one of these issues or both. Of course, I have experience as well as training and skills working with people on these matters, so I could just say “Yes” with confidence and conviction.

It took me a bit to get to the bottom of my own hesitation, but eventually I realized where it stemmed from…Continue reading in “Psyched in San Francisco” Magazine

OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER AND “THE FEAR OF FEAR ITSELF”

Legs dangling off a high building“So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

FDR’s famous line from his first inaugural address used to strike me as a universal truth. He describes fear as “nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” I have interpreted this line as a call to be brave, to take on life fully, make  the best of a difficult situation and count one’s blessings while doing so. The encouragement and sense of bravado inherent in FDR’s speech still strikes a strong cord in me… (Continue to read at Psyched in San Francisco Magazine)

Forgiveness: What and How

Hands letting go of sandWhat does forgiveness really mean?  It comes up in therapy a lot but the concept is so unclear for many of us. I have devoted hours pondering the meaning of this elusive concept. Forgiveness describes a conscious act on the part of the person forgiving and a human gift received by the person who is in need of forgiveness. And forgiveness is a close partner to intensely painful feelings and memories of things that have happened in the past.  In truth “to forgive is not to forget” so how does transformation of the past pain and damaged relationship happen?… (Continue to read at Psyched in San Francisco Magazine)

Feeling Phobic?

phobiaI am currently reading a book by Caroline Knapp “Drinking: A Love Story,” in which she details her struggles with alcoholism and the story of her recovery. I highly recommend the book! So many people are living with chronic addictive illnesses either in the active stages or in recovery from it. As a therapist I find myself discussing addictions of different stripes with my clients almost daily. I have read more books about the topic than I can count and am always seeking out more information and training on the matter. A recurring theme related to addiction is the description of people using a substance (or sometimes a behavior such as gambling or binge eating) to cope with a feeling. Addictive illness is an intensely complicated topic, so the accounts of the feelings and situations that drive people to drink or use are individual and diverse. Continue reading