When to Hold ‘Em and When to Fold ‘Em

When to Hold ‘Em and When to Fold ‘Em

As the year comes to a close, I take a bit of time to reflect on the year that was, and the year to come. It’s one of my favorite parts of the year, because it’s the time when we get to think long and hard about things (long dark nights help) — about things we’re

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The Art of Noticing: Exploring Shifts in Attention

Theoretically I am a strong believer in carving out creative time. I believe as a practice, it aids in self-reflection, cultivates connection and in turn, empathy. It has the power to remind us why we live. In the last several years though, I have struggled to make time for creative expression and prioritize it as

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Cultural Competence and Bias

Painting of faces and hands

As therapists, we recognize our ethical obligations to know and acknowledge the limits of our training and skills. We know that our expertise grows over time with experience and supervision, training, reading, dialogue and further training. These activities contribute to our mastery of specialized areas, methods or skills. But what about cultural competence? How do

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8 Ways to Take Action Against Islamophobia

five people holding "Hug a Muslim" sign

Prejudice, stereotyping, bias—however we understand these tendencies and attitudes, we can learn to identify, confront, wrestle with, accept, and change them within ourselves. Sometimes, however, doing so is possible only with great difficulty. Discrimination takes many forms, including harassment, bullying, hate speech, and scapegoating. Such behaviors put others at risk, cause harm and—at times—may even

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Knowing Yourself is Power

“Knowing yourself really well and deeply is the best power you can have.” Julie Diamond, Ph.D. is an executive coach and leadership consultant who helps individuals and organizations create cultures of learning and growth.  Julie’s upcoming book, Power: A User’s Guide, is due for publication early next year.

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Returning to Therapy — A Profound Act of Self-care

Spiral stairs

by Cindy Trawinski, Psy.D., Dipl. PW & Rami Henrich, LCSW, Dipl. PW “I can’t believe I’m here… again.” Some people returning to therapy for the second, third, or fifth time often wonder “why do I need to go back to therapy?” “was there something I should have handled the last time around?” “maybe I am

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Going Down with Depression

David Bedrick

Process work or process-oriented psychology often takes a paradoxical point of view on disturbance and conflict. In his post below, fellow Process Worker, David Bedrick shares insights on the ups and downs of depression.  DEPRESSION The word comes from the latin “depressare”- to press down. Our culture heavily favors being “up” and many of us have

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Beliefs and Success: What Box Did You Crawl Out Of?

Julie Diamond, PhD

Beliefs and success – are they connected? How much do your expectations influence your ideas about success? And where do those deeply-held beliefs originate? Our friend and colleague, Julie Diamond, has written extensively about these issues, and we would like to share the following article, which originally appeared on her site. One day, early in

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Everyone Has Bias

word cloud, deficiency, inability

No one is immune from bias, not even us therapists! Everyone has bias. Therapist bias takes many forms, especially with regards to clients’ sexuality, gender, erotic orientation, etc… Bias ranges from misinformed opinions about BDSM to confusing polyamory with infidelity to other subtle perceptions, beliefs and attitudes.  Bias is a part of us all and

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Therapist Bias

LifeWorks Psychotherapy Center - Chicago and Skokie sex positive counseling specializing in kink-friendly, LGBTQ, gender identity, open relationships, polyamory, anxiety therapy

by Cindy Trawinski, Psy.D. & Rami Henrich, LCSW Bias influences all of us — even therapists. In fact, one 2011 study indicates that as many as 50% of clients identifying as polyamorous had seen therapists that they felt lacked cultural competency or were biased. Meanwhile, a 2006 study by Drs. Keely Kolmes, Wendy Stock, and

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Am I a Marginalizer?

Herbie, dog in red bandana

What do you think of when you hear the word marginalization? People living in poverty, persons of color, those who do not share fully in the privileges some of us are enjoying these days? I would say yes to all of the above, and would include a list that would be broader and more inclusive

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My New Companions — Curiosity & Fear

close up on yellow and black bug

Why should you befriend experiences and things that you are afraid of? Things that unnerve you, disgust you or freak you out?  A week ago, I had a moment when my curiosity overcame my fear and I started to reflect on how curiosity can help us overcome inner as well as outer fears.  Curiosity is

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Loss and Sacred Connection

cloudy sky over water

I experienced a deep and unexpected sense of connection recently when my childhood friend, Heather, passed away this year.  She was 41 years old and died from breast cancer. I had not seen Heather in over 20 years, but because we live in the age of the internet and Facebook (digital connectedness or virtual connectedness),

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Power: Is There More in Me?

waterfall and moss

In her blog on leadership, my friend and colleague, Julie Diamond, poses this challenging set of questions for leaders: “Are you using your power fully, in the way you want to, to create the worlds you want to create? Are you using this opportunity to do amazing things, to be creative, to make your team

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Meeting Difference – Our Conflict with Contact

People looking at a gallery of photos

“Otherness, taken seriously, always invites transformation, calling us not only to new facts and theories and values but also to new ways of living our lives – and that is the most daunting threat of all.” Today, I came across this quote about the quintessential dilemma that difference and diversity pose, from sociologist and renowned

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Experimenting, Fluidity & Growth

colorful pastel painting by Rami Henrich. snakes

“My aim is to bring about a psychic state in which my patient begins to experiment with his [or her] own nature, as a state of fluidity, change or growth where nothing is eternally fixed, or hopelessly petrified.” C.G. Jung What an interesting approach: experimenting with one’s own nature! Most of us would consider our

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Art and Psychotherapy Connected

Colorful moving figure, Unfinished by Cindy Trawinski (2005) Tempera on Litho Paper,

Have you ever felt stuck in life or in therapy?  If you are an artist, do you ever feel bored by your own work, as though the creative well had dried up?  It seems to me there are many things that are unknown or maybe unknowable about the creative process. We tap into the creative

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Beyond Identity: Identity and Aging

robin in tree

Lately, I have been thinking a great deal about identity and aging. Now, at age 65, I think about the future, about who I have been and who I will be. I feel that I have lived many identities…woman, mother, partner, psychotherapist, teacher, colorist, designer, freedom lover, daughter, sister, polyamorist etc. But who am I

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