There’s a long, and arguably harmful, tradition of therapists being trained to be “blank slates.” This is the style of therapy we still see sometimes in TV and film: the client talks, struggles to express feelings, maybe even blows up in frustration. And the therapist, sitting back in the chair, takes notes, looks up blandly,Continue reading “For a therapist, I make a lot of faces.”
A less-discussed casualty of the pandemic is the the way that isolation from one another has been affecting many of us, particularly those that live alone. The Guardian recently put out an article exploring how the lack of touch affects our mental health, with lots of little juicy science bits about the ways our nervous systems respond to touch. I’ve discussed some of the touch science in the past, but it has become newly relevant in a time when even I, a therapist who uses touch in sessions, can’t provide physical touch to people who were missing it even before this began.
This time of year, at least in the Northern Hemisphere, is home to many celebrations, nearly all of them involving people gathering together, feasting, and filling their homes with light and warmth. This past Monday was the longest night and the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice, and in spite of everything (orContinue reading “That’s how the light gets in”
In many ways, the pandemic has forced us to slow down. There are so many things we can’t do, places we can’t go, people we can’t risk being too near. There’s a lot of talk about social distance and isolation, which are concepts of space. But there isn’t that much talk about the speed of our lives—which is a concept of time.
In a few days, many people in the United States will celebrate Thanksgiving, a holiday as rife with problems as it is with traditions. At the best of times, Thanksgiving is a special dinner with family and friends, but also a reminder of our whitewashed narratives of the violent colonialism that is the true storyContinue reading “Giving thanks in rough times”
The second Massachusetts Holistic Practitioners Roundtable is coming Wednesday night, November 18, from 7pm to 8:30pm. Join me, Chris Burgan of Full Heart Tarot, therapist Jill Briansky, holistic educator Lori Walsh, and Reiki Master Louise London-Choate as we discuss ways we can help you through your life stresses, along with those of this extraordinary year.Continue reading “My presentation is Wednesday night – here’s how to join us”
On the next two Wednesday nights, Nov. 11 and 18, nine other practitioners and I will be offering a free roundtable discussion on Zoom. Come listen to somatic therapists, herbalists, and others talk about how they’re helping their clients find stability and strength during this stressful time. I’ll be speaking on November 18, though IContinue reading “Holistic Practitioners Roundtable, Nov. 11 and 18”
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to go to a contact improv lesson and jam, something I haven’t done in years. For the uninitiated, contact improvisation is a style of dance characterized by the words in its name: the dance is unchoreographed and improvisational, and the dancer strives to stay in contact with one or moreContinue reading “Contact Improv: a study in touch and consent”
There’s a wonderful Kickstarter coming to a close today for a book called Somebody Hold Me. Epiphany Jordan (great name, right?) and her crew in Austin have started a touch practice, allowing people who don’t have enough contact in their lives to experience non-sexual, loving, and playful touch. I’m a big fan of this, asContinue reading “Somebody Hold Me”
We’re guarded. We’re fearful. We’re so angry at each other because we don’t see each other, really. -Roger Fox, son of Rick Fox, asset manager for Shell’s Ursa deep-water oil rig Though much has changed in recent times, the message that “boys don’t cry” is still powerful in the lives of men. But in a storyContinue reading “Big men do cry – and it saves lives”