30 April 2010

The Passing of Alice Miller



I'm embarrassed to say that I had never heard of Alice Miller until her passing this week.

Alice Miller was a trained psychoanalyst who pioneered the concept that children are deeply shaped by the way in which they are parented...

This is a reality I see in my office everyday.

You can read the obituary in the New York Times here.

Or look at her website here.

She was an artist, too...




I think her work has lost mainstream prominence as we struggle to understand how to both feel what we need to feel, to honor the soul and self, and also to let go of anger and hatred.



This is one of the challenges of the work of self-discovery, whether done alone or in therapy... feel, let go.... feel, let go.... feel, let go...
It is process, work, a beautiful thing.  There is an emphasis now on "brief" or "short-term" therapy.  But change takes time, and insight grows, and ebbs and flows.  

23 April 2010

Recipe for stillness...



The mysteries of why we say and do what we say and do are never-ending.
This very fact, I suppose, is part of why I enjoy what I do everyday so much. I listen, I explore, I discover. I am allowed to witness so much of the human experience.
I watch the layers of who we think we are, who we've been told we are, lift, slough. I get to experience newness.

Finding the new is a journey. You stop, slow down, let go. And then you're there...

When we feel out of control, it feels like we can't or shouldn't find it. Like we are abandoning all of our responsibilities. But worry and responsibility are not the same thing. Right action emanates from calm.
And calm is found through effort, faith, and hope.
Happy Weekend!

05 April 2010

Facing Forward

I've been thinking a lot about depression lately, how to battle the symptoms, how to find the root causes and issues within the unique experience of each person. We become depressed when we stop giving ourselves permission to live, to simply be who we are. Our life spirit cannot thrive if we continually question it.

For some, this becomes a feeling of defeat and impossibility. For others, that feeling gets pushed away and is replaced by anger and rage, cynicism. But at the heart of the issue is often the existential question of "Who am I to think I could be happy?"

We begin looking for the answer to this by searching for our life partner, vocation, or "passion". But who are we? We are the person that gets up and lives or does not live the life that is in front of us. We are defined by what we do with today.

There is a time to hunker down, lay low, and rest. Fatigue and exhaustion are real things, and we need to take care of ourselves when we have pushed to hard. But when we are staying home, watching others live their lives on a screen, because we do not want to face the world, this is when it is so important that we do.

And we don't have to figure it all out today. Just get dressed, get out of the house, and do one thing. You don't even have to know what that one thing is when you leave. Take a leisurely walk through a favorite part of town. Go to a bookstore. Take a long slow journey through the isles of the grocery store. Allow yourself to live.

This may not get you out of the water, but consider it something to hold onto in the storm.
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