Making Friends with Anger: How Anger Serves Us

Most of us receive societal messages that insist that anger is only the purview of men, who are permitted a range of angry expression, from screaming, to punching drywall, to fistfights. For everyone else, society says, anger is a negative emotion that must be suppressed. Thus, many women and nonbinary people struggle with expressing or even recognizing anger when they first begin therapy. While anger can certainly be unpleasant to feel, it is not a "negative" emotion. It is a neutral emotion, and like any other emotion, it's a signal to us. The message embedded in anger is, essentially: You can't treat me…

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What’s it Like to Be a Therapist?

Over the past two years, friends and new people I meet have often asked me questions about being a therapist, because they think it’s an interesting job (and they’re not wrong!). I’ve compiled those questions and my answers here.  Q: Did you always know you wanted to be a therapist? No, not at all! I’ve always been enamored of people and I always knew I wanted to work with people in some way. I was a personal trainer for a few years. When I got into activism and volunteer work when I was 21, I started getting pushed in the social work direction.…

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Cancelling Cancel Culture

Jack Kornfield, renowned Buddhist meditation teacher, describes a ritual of the Babemba tribe of South Africa in his book “The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace.” When a tribal member commits a crime, the whole tribe gathers and surrounds the person in the center of the village. Rather than punish the person, they begin listing off every positive thing he has ever done to remind him of who he is. "I was hungry and you fed me," they might say, or "My children were lost and you led them to safety." Or maybe: “You comforted me when I was very sad, and made me laugh.” Every positive…

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