I am pleased to announce that starting November 1, 2012, I will be joining the Grateful Heart Holistic Therapy Center, a non-profit counseling center in various Bay Area locations. This is an administrative change and will not impact my work with clients nor my supervision with Marsha Hiller (MFT #30216).
The Grateful Heart Holistic Therapy Center offers psychotherapy to individuals, couples, children, and families. The Center was founded in 2006 by Marriage and Family Therapist Mary Owen as a place where the general public could get counseling services, and Marriage and Family Therapy Interns could get training and clinical hours towards their Marriage and Family Therapy license. Currently, interns are practicing in Berkeley, San Francisco, Oakland, Albany, and San Jose. The Center is experiencing a time of growth with the hire of a new Executive Director, Victoria Timpe.
As I was thinking about what to write about this month, the now infamous 47% Mitt Romney donor video came out. “Do I really want to write about politics?” I wondered. It’s definitely not something I usually write about, and I don’t want to get into contentious debate. I want all of my clients – no matter what their political affiliation – to feel comfortable with me. I feel very strongly about inclusion and welcoming everyone into my office.
You may have heard the adage that the Eskimos have over 300 words for snow. Spoiler alert: according to linguists, that is one big myth.* However, I kind of wish the Eskimos did have 300 words for snow because I like the idea of having many options to choose from to express ourselves. How many times do we come up empty-handed when looking for the right words? Language is quite limiting, and therapy is, essentially, putting our thoughts, experiences, and feelings into language. I often hear clients try to come up with words to describe their sensations or thoughts, “No, my stomach is not exactly grumbling… It’s not really churning… It’s like if grumbling, churning, and pinging were combined into one word.” Sometimes a thought gets turned into a feeling, “Is ‘want-to-stay’ a feeling?” However, plenty of times, through no fault of their own, clients report, “I can’t really describe it.”**
For some reason an expression is rolling around in my head, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” I don’t remember my parents saying it – it actually sounds more like something my grandmother would say – but somehow it permeated my consciousness. I actually liked lemons as a child, so it took me awhile to get it, but switch out lemons for eggplant and it instantly made sense.
One thing I know is that I resist change. Despite what my intentions are, what I want for myself, or what I tell others, when I think about change, I scrunch up my nose, lift my shoulders up towards my ears, and either have a blank look on my face, or an air of irritation. Why? Because change is hard. Whether it’s voluntary change (like getting to bed earlier) or involuntary change (like watching another birthday go by), it is uncomfortable. And really, who wants to be uncomfortable?
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