Three months ago I launched an online life-consulting practice: The Self-Curious Project. In this short time, I had at least 50 meaningful and honest conversations that taught me more than any academic program. So many questions worth exploring: how do I not feel anxious about moving far from home? how do I make friends and… Read More Invitation to “know thyself”
My father taught me how to eat breakfastthose mornings when it was my turn to helphim milk the cows. I loved rising up from the darkness and coming quietly downthe stairs while the others were still sleeping.I’d take a bowl from the cupboard, a spoon from the drawer, and slip into the pantrywhere he was… Read More Food Poem: Breakfast by Joyce Sutphen
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
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
My initial concern, as a counselor, with social distancing in this time of COVID-19 was the increased potential for social isolation. I worry about the elderly, the children in abusive or unsafe homes, the victims of partner violence, the ones living alone, the ones sick or afraid. One of my first remote sessions caused me… Read More Relief in Social Distancing?
Imagine, ( you are good at that my artist and creative friends), you walk into my counseling office. You seat yourself in a red mid-century modern chair. No arm rests. You fold your hands on your lap and notice that you are sitting upright. You allow yourself to lean into the back support. You look… Read More Hungry Philosopher and Starving Artists