The weeks leading up the U.S. election and following have been … uncomfortable. There is fear, distrust and hate all around. My readers know that I am a Muslim-immigrant South Asian woman married to a Caucasian man with two brown daughters and two white, working as a therapist in small community mental health facility in… Read More In Defense of Discomfort
Recently, the above uncertainty stirred things up in the therapy room a few times. As usual, I didn’t have the answer. How do I endure and balance the restlessness for more with a sense of innate worthiness and abundance? How do I know I’m doing enough? How do I know I am enough? Everything is… Read More Am I ambitious or never good enough?
The list below is meant to help social workers identify strategies to help clients overcome resistance to change. It could also be used as a way to self-check. Silence or minimal talking during sessions (Are you avoiding?) Engaging in intellectual talk by using technical terms/abstract concepts or asking questions of a social worker that are… Read More 7 Signs of Client Resistance to Change
As a therapist, I focus on presenting issues, the problems that compel a person to sit with me. Sure, I balance these functional impairments by looking for strengths and support. Still, the focus is on identifying and repairing damage, secondary and tertiary prevention. I came across a list of indicators for positive ego strength while… Read More Are you healthy (mentally)?
I often hear versions of this confession from my clients. When a child has trouble answering, “How do you feel when you’re happy?” it poses an additional challenge. In a recent attempt to explain, this is what I did: Can you feel the chair underneath you? (Focusing on sensations) What does it feel like? Can… Read More Don’t know what happiness feels like?
Long ago as an architecture student, I would dream about walking through the designs I was working on (this often turned into nightmares!). Even today, I often dream of being lost in interior spaces both familiar and unfamiliar. It is no surprise that architectural metaphors, thinking and space infuse my understanding of philosophy and therapy.… Read More Architect of my soul
How can I move on and grow when I’m back at home with my parents? …I’ve been asked various versions of this question as a counselor. At best the question exposes the uncomfortable struggle between needing support and wanting autonomy. At worst it hides destructive shame and self-doubt. Yes, I answer.. this is your question,… Read More Pausing or Stuck?
“What does the opposite of a seizure feel like for you? What are you doing when you are comfortable?” “I am sipping coffee in the morning. The kids are off to school and it’s quiet.” “Do you have a favorite coffee cup? Tomorrow morning try holding your coffee cup in your lap, feel the weight… Read More After filling your cup
Two steps back, is still progress right? At least movement. In the therapy process we are looking for movement, doesn’t matter which direction. Movement shows struggle, shows vitality, shows emotional effort, even if in the seemingly negative direction. Aristotle defines life as movement between contraries. If we are all composed of many parts, many contradictions,… Read More Three steps forward…
I have the privilege of staying safe at home during this pandemic. Comfortable, well-fed and loved, I’m basking in the simplicity of making meals for my daughters. I can’t complain. As a nerdy introvert lost in my own thoughts, my social scene has not altered much except for lunches with my trusted tiny circle of… Read More Scorched Paella and the Pandemic