Meet Meryl Morris, LCSW

Meet Meryl Morris, LCSW

Meryl Morris, LCSW is one of four therapists to join LifeWorks this year through the Green House, our postgraduate psychotherapy training and mentoring program. What first drew you to the Greenhouse? I first became aware of LifeWorks after meeting Rami Henrich and Cindy Trawinski at the 2015 Alternative Sexualities Conference. They invited me to a KPACT

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Refueling: A Guide for Self-Care

person holding frisbee with smiley face

As a therapist, I focus on self-care a lot because I think it’s a vital life skill that no one really teaches us to do for ourselves.   Self-care allows us to have emotional energy to respond thoughtfully to life’s bumps and obstacles instead of reacting without awareness. That reservoir of emotional energy gives us

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Why Do Sex Workers Need Our Support?

statues holding hands in solidarity, sex worker support

by Cindy Trawinski, Psy.D. and Cassandra Damm, LCSW In a previous article, we introduced the topic of sex work, considered its history and politics, and explored some identifying attributes of the diverse population of individuals sometimes referred to as sex workers. In this article, we would like to offer a few guidelines about the many

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Eating Meditations: A Practice of Equanimity, Gratitude and Blessing

salad bowl and toppings for mindful eating

Can mindfulness be useful for difficulties with food and eating habits?  Many think so. Here is an exercise I came across years ago that may help you slow down, name your experience, start to tune into your body and be thoughtful about how you nourish yourself. For this approach, at first, try using a small

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Managing Fear After the Election

Hope with flowers

Managing fear has been difficult for many people in the days following the 2016 US Presidential Election.  No matter which candidate you supported, you may find yourself overwhelmed by distressing news reports, tense conversations with loved ones, and your own complicated feelings. LifeWorks is an explicitly inclusive therapy practice that welcomes all people. We know how

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Finding Possibility

footprints in sand

Umair Haque is a thought leader, consultant and author whose personal journey from the achievement and trappings of success to a devastating fatal diagnosis and beyond helped him find peace, happiness and a passion to give to others. Here is an excerpt from one of  his reflections called The Sky in Us: Holding Possibility, an argument

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Posted in Creativity, Nature

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In the Shadow of Disney World

Palm Tree Shadows

ORLANDO SHOOTING JUNE 11, 2016 When I think Orlando, I think of sun filled days,  blue skies, parents and grandparents offering up days of fun and excitement, showering their children with the time of their lives at Disney World. But from  yesterday on, I will think of Orlando in a different way.  I will think

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Becoming a Poly Ally: How to Start

pink rectangles on red background

This blog was inspired by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) blog How to Be a LGBTQ Ally. I am grateful to HRC for their groundbreaking leadership in the fight for the rights of LGBT people in US and around the world. To read the original HRC blog, click http://www.hrc.org/blog/entry/how-to-be-an-lgbt-ally For a lot of people, learning

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Growth and Decay in Life: What Sustains Us?

snowflake

“Life has always seemed to me like a plant that lives on its rhizome.  Its true life is invisible, hidden underground in the rhizome.  The part that appears above ground lasts only a single summer.  Then it withers away-an ephemeral apparition.  When we think of the unending growth and decay of life and civilizations, we

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Five Steps to Mindfulness Meditation

mindfulness

Basic meditation is the practice of doing nothing and being tuned in to your own mind at the same time. At first, it can be frustrating, but research shows meditation reduces stress and increases focus. Mindfulness is an exercise in training the mind to notice thoughts, sensations and emotions, and not get too attached to them

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The Colorful Wisdom of Autumn

multicolor Autumn forest around blue lake

This post comes from Sarah Evenson of Bridge Between Retreat Center, in Denmark, Wisconsin, just south of Green Bay. It spoke to me of the power of nature to connect us to the earth and move us to recognize something greater than ourselves.  The picture above was taken this fall in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area

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Posted in Mindfulness, Nature

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How To Be a LGBT Ally

Human Rights Campaign logo

This post originally appeared on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) blog on October 5, 2105,  in advance of National Coming Out Day.  It was written by Hayley Miller, Senior Digital Media Associate.  We think it contains valuable information for anyone wanting to become more affirming and supportive to LGBT friends and family members. For a

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Unconditional

warrior

One of our readers was inspired to send us the poem below, Unconditional, by Jennifer Welwood. Her website offers an insight into her work, “Jennifer was propelled onto the spiritual path at the age of 15 by the sudden and unexpected death of a close friend, which catalyzed a profound recognition of impermanence and a yearning

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Meditation on Weathering

lake michigan

Weathering My face catches the wind from the snow line and flushes with a flush that will never wholly settle. Well, that was a metropolitan vanity, wanting to look young forever, to pass. I was never a pre-Raphaelite beauty and only pretty enough to be seen with a man who wanted to be seen with

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We Are One

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

Recently, as a way to express his gratitude for deep and vulnerable sharing in a group, a friend of mine spoke these words, in the Lakota language “Mitakuye Oyasin,” meaning “we are all related,” or similarly understood as “we are one.” The effect it had on me was visceral and profound. As I had been

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Thanksgiving Meditation

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

The holiday season is a time to reflect on the people, experiences, privileges and events for which we can be thankful.  I discovered this mindfulness meditation in Mark Nepo’s The Book of Awakening. It reminds me that the whole of existence is a miracle. May it bring you a sense of connection, gratitude and appreciation.

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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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The Beginning of the End of Loneliness

graffiti of reaching hands

Loneliness is a condition that all of us experience at some point in our lives. We often think loneliness is brought on by external situations – a loss of a relationship or marriage, a death of a friend or family member, job loss or career change.  It’s easy to acknowledge feelings of loneliness when one

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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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