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Thoughts From A Psychotherapist Blog2022-08-29T08:53:27+00:00

The LGBTQ+ Community Under Attack

I would have liked to write a post about gratitude for Thanksgiving. Or write one on any other topic other than this one. However, I cannot let the horror of what just happened at Club Q a few days ago. On the eve of the Transgender Day of Remembrance, another trans person died. Along with other LGBTQ+ people who were just out enjoying a drag show. People went out looking for community and fun and ended up experiencing a tragedy that will forever affect their lives. It happened for a few reasons. The first reason is the continued hatred and vitriol expressed toward members of the LGBTQ+ community. Mainstream politicians post about how the community grooms children. This serves to associate LGBTQ+ people with pedophilia. There are attacks on clinics and doctors that serve transgender minors to the point that some hospitals are coping with frequent bomb threats. This puts an already marginalized community under fire. The second reason is this country's obsession with guns. The perpetrator will now be labeled as mentally ill to justify this horror. This will further, marginalize people with mental health diagnoses that already have a tough enough time because now they will be associated with violence. When the reality is most people with mental health issues are not violent. This perpetrator recently had a violent incident in the past that should have meant there was no access to guns. However, where the perpetrator lives these rules are not followed. Because apparently, the rights of a disturbed young white person are more important than the rights of the people that were killed and injured. Nothing to do with the fact that the perpetrator's grandfather is a MAGA CA Assemblyman, who fortunately just got beaten in his most recent election. As a therapist, I not only have to hold my own feelings about this incident but I have to hold the feelings of every client I work with who is affected by this. Oftentimes all I can do is sit with [...]

By |November 23rd, 2022|Categories: Thoughts From A Psychotherapist|0 Comments

Managing the Rage-Be The Person You Want to Be

Like many of you, I have struggled with rage since 2016. It has gotten worse for me as I watch locally and around the country as laws are being passed to erase LGBTQ+ people. In addition, there are continued injustices against Blacks and other POC. I see the harm happening and I envision the harm to come. Laws that I know will cause people to die. It is hard to respond in anger to people on the internet spewing this mess. A part of me wants to do that and another part says no. The first part says it is a good anger release. The other parts agree that it really doesn’t release anger and it also makes me feel bad about myself. I don’t want to be the type of person I dislike. As I was writing this I read this article on Scary Mommy. A woman tweeted about how she enjoyed hours of conversation in her garden with her husband in the mornings. The pile-on happened quickly. People took offense to her living her life. She was rich, she was entitled, and she was able-bodied. They were not. Capitalism needs to be overthrown. Why? Why can’t we just be happy (or if you can’t be happy ignore it!) that this lady is appreciating her life and her loved ones? I understand many people are in pain but do they want or need others to be in pain also? Why can’t we just let people be happy? Unless someone is coming for the rights of others I am inclined to let people live their lives without me commenting (well except when they pay me to!). The response shows that I am not the only one struggling with rage right now. People are so unhappy. We have so much untreated trauma and other mental health issues in our society and no capacity for people to get the healing help they need. When I am in my best place I have compassion for all of this. When I [...]

By |October 27th, 2022|Categories: stress management, Thoughts From A Psychotherapist|0 Comments

Leaving the Bay Area Bubble for Pennsylvania

I was born and raised in NJ. In the 90's I moved to San Francisco. In the 90's it was a very different time for LGBTQ+ people. On the East Coast, you needed to be closeted in most places. The word transgender was never spoken and non-binary was not a word most people identified with. You were closeted and butch or femme. Moving to San Francisco was a move for freedom. Freedom to be who you were without being constantly judged or scared. Not to say there was no discrimination there but there is power and safety in numbers. You were careful but not constantly afraid. Times changed. We got the right to marriage. We began to acknowledge transgender people and non-binary people and accept them into the community. Not without pain. And wrongs committed. The overall umbrella got larger and as legal rights came more and more people came out. For a quick minute after Federal Marriage Equality, it felt almost safe. At least for white LGBTQ+ people. Then the culture wars increased in force. LGBTQ+ people again became an open target. Books about us were (and are) banned. LGBTQ+ people, especially Trans people, are getting accused of grooming children. Doctors and therapists that help the community are getting death threats. In the bubble, it still felt safe enough. I always knew the community I lived in would step up to anti-LGBTQ+ bullying. At the end of 2021, I decided to return to the East Coast. That was a huge transition. One of the factors in thinking about where to land was will the place I land be safe for me? PA is not the Bay Area but would it be accepting of my gender non-conformity and Gay identity?  When I arrived I was pleasantly surprised at how little an issue being Gay was for our neighbors. It was a huge relief. Then this happened. A local church had some inclusive signs that were torn down. Then they posted a rainbow flag. That was also [...]

By |October 7th, 2022|Categories: LGBT, Thoughts From A Psychotherapist|0 Comments

EMDR Intensives for the San Francisco Bay Area

I recently started my EMDR intensive program. EMDR Intensives are great for those stuck on some issue or memory. You can get immediate help without making a long commitment to therapy. When I started this program I got some immediate feedback about cost and time. As a result, I am going to tweak things a bit to make things more accessible. If you are interested in an EMDR Intensive but something about it does not work for you feel free to email me so we can set up a time to talk about what might work for you. The only thing I don’t make an exception to is that there must be a 90- minute assessment session and clients must fill out the long assessment packet. I am happy to set up an appointment to review it together. I understand paperwork can be an obstacle.  Success from EMDR comes from completing a thorough assessment and a client being well resourced. I use the 90 minutes to do that. However, I can do a few other things. I can eliminate the follow-up session. I like to do this so that clients can integrate their changes but if you do not want to do this I will not require it. I am also now offering three-hour sessions and 90-minute sessions. You can do those as you wish. If you want to start with one 90-minute session and then want more EMDR we can add a 90 or even a 3-hour session as you desire. This way you are not making any commitments beyond what you need or desire. I am now offering an initial package of a 90-minute assessment and a 90-minute EMDR session for $750.  For an initial 3-hour session it is $125o which includes the follow-up. I am offering these Intensives to those in the San Francisco Bay Area. I am a social justice-oriented therapist and value diversity in my client. I specialize in working with those in the LGBTQ+ community but I welcome [...]

By |August 11th, 2022|Categories: emdr, Thoughts From A Psychotherapist|0 Comments

Making the move to EMDR Intensives

It is well-documented right now that there is a mental health crisis and a therapist shortage in the US. Add in the lack of trauma-informed therapists and gender-affirming therapists and it can be impossible for people to get the help they need. As someone committed to both helping people reduce the effects of trauma on their lives and a therapist committed to providing affirming care to LGBTQA+ I want to help more people. However, as a therapist, I am limited as to how many clients I can effectively work with during a week using the 45-50 minute session model. As an EMDR Consultant who provides consultation to others providing EMDR, I have heard many recent stories about how longer EMDR sessions have been super effective for clients. Weighing this along with the need for more therapy slots I have decided to transition to an EMDR-intensive model. All new clients will be for EMDR Intensives. This will allow me to see and help more people. It also allows me to work with a client on one specific topic or issue and be laser-focused on it. This model also helps those who cannot commit to the time or expense of ongoing weekly therapy. I will do the work via Tele-Health which means clients can get help while in the comfort of their own homes. They can have their pets or weighted blanket with them or on them while doing the EMDR. In my work, I will do an extensive assessment. Each client gets a workbook where they can answer questions, fill out some assessments, and begin to formulate their Intensive Goals. I will then do a 90-minute assessment session. This allows us to get the goals and to do some resourcing. Resourcing is establishing a plan if a client becomes overwhelmed during or after processing. Then we jump into 1-3 2.5-hour sessions. We do these within a week or two depending on schedule and client desires. We end with a 45-minute session where we review progress and I [...]

By |July 22nd, 2022|Categories: emdr, Thoughts From A Psychotherapist|0 Comments

What I Want Non-LGBTQ+ People to Know

  I am writing this post from my deeply personal place and the opinions expressed here are my own. I speak as a white person with many privileges. What do I want Non-LGBTQ+ people to know and to do. Pay Attention to LGBTQ+ issues You don't need to know or understand everything. But have a basic understanding of what rights LGBTQ+ people have and which they don't. Be aware of what rights are being attacked and removed. The Supreme Court has stated (Thomas) that they are going after gay marriage, the privacy of sex, and birth control (Obergfell, Lawrence, and Griswold). You know who has known this for years. LGBTQ+ people. We have been saying it. But many Non-LGBTQ+ people have not been listening. I don't have the time or the energy to be educating people on this. In my mind, if you cared we would already know what was happening. I have plenty of people in my life that do. Understand and Validate Our Feelings My primary current emotion is rage. There can also be depression and sadness and anxiety mixed in. I deserve space for all of that. Let me have my feelings with you listening or validating them. Don't try and make me feel better. You can't except by  listening. Most Non-LGBTQ+ people don't know what it is like to have a right given or taken away by the courts (unless you are of color and then you know for sure). I got married in 2004 in San Francisco. It was an amazing experience. Something I never expected in my lifetime. It got overturned by the courts. Not unexpected but still devastating. More devastating was 2008. I got married in the time frame between when CA legalized marriage and Prop 8 overturned it. From 2008 until 2015 when Obergfell was ruled on I was married in CA but not in the eyes of the federal government. Try filing those taxes. It was devastating. For weeks after the election, I looked at everyone [...]

By |June 29th, 2022|Categories: LGBT, Thoughts From A Psychotherapist|0 Comments
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