The Reality of Self and No-Self

I belong to a book group focused on Buddhism and psychotherapy, and one of our recurring discussions is about whether or not there is a self. Buddhist teachings often focus on the idea that there is no such thing as the self, but clinical work in Psychology tends to deal directly with the self. It [...]

The Deconstructionists

Every once in a while, I come across an anxious or depressed client whose symptoms appear to be grounded in a particular belief system, which I will call deconstructionism. The deconstructionist sees the inherent flaws in everything and uses this awareness to reject everything as worthless. Religion, career, community, culture, relationships, politics, philosophy, morality, and [...]

A Story About Stories

Stories are powerful. At their most basic, stories are simply ideas or collections of ideas, and they can be as big as an epic novel or as small as a single thought, like “life is hard” or “I am fat.” There are stories we take in through books, movies, TV, advertising, other people, and our [...]

A Foundation of Self-Care

During the intake process with a new client, I always ask about five areas of self-care: nutrition, sleep, exercise, pleasurable activities, and supports. Self-care provides a foundation for physical and mental health, and I believe that everything we do in therapy is built upon this foundation. With a more solid foundation, progress comes easier and [...]