Saturday, October 1, 2016

Shana Tova

So in preparation for the high holidays-- I contemplate the meanings and lessons stemming from resisting Lashon Hara. With the hope that this year we can create classrooms, schools, relationships, and spaces where we hear, see, feel and understand each other better than we did before. Even when we may disagree or see the world in different ways. Listening, talking, reflecting, understanding, being more thoughtful-sensitive-honest and careful with our words-- may help us do better.

Someplace to start, to work on, and to grow from. Shana Tova

Weapons: Lashon Hara
how does one speak to
without saying what the
other wants to hear?
how does one hear
without the other speaking
and looking away?
how can we see one another
when our minds are cluttered with a vision of ourselves
and there is no other?
how can they say those things
when they know the words are
heard and they see your face?
how can they listen to words
sharpened into swords?
thinking only of themselves
yet unable to see
themselves or others?
throwing out sharp words
that deafen our ears

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Monday, August 8, 2016

Sunday, August 7, 2016

We're growing

In September two more of our therapists will complete DBT training.  We will be ready to expand including additional Skills Group sessions.

Such an exciting development to be available to create a healthy community!

Contact us (310/440-2021) to ask questions.

Treat yourself gently and breathe.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Soundtrack of my Life

The Hollywood Bowl, a lovely summer evening and a concert by Paul Simon.

And so I spent an evening totally immersed in the music that provided the background to heartbreak all those years ago.  What fun.  The music still brings tears to my eyes and the sounds still sound fresh.

The whole musical experience is a reminder that sometimes the very best experiences bring even richer experiences as it is repeated.  Listening to those songs, the classic "Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover," and "Mrs. Robinson" had an even deeper resonance today when heard in the context of all those sad and fun events in which I first listened.  They remind me of all I have survived in moving from the youthful exuberance of the adolescent to the experience of today's adult.

Thank you, Paul Simon for reminding me of how much I have seen to reach the understanding I now have. . . . slip out the back, Jack.  Making new plans, Stan.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Take care of You

Resources for you when you're feeling overwhelmed:

What to Do If You Need Help

We have been getting an overwhelming response to this article and wanted to add a few things. The National Institute of Mental Health recommends this site. It also warns that reporting on suicide can lead to so-called suicide contagion, in which exposure to the mention of suicide within a person’s family, peer group or in the media can lead to an increase in suicides.
There are many groups that help people having suicidal thoughts. One, Crisis Text Line, inspired by teenagers’ attachment to texting but open to people of all ages, provides free assistance to anyone who texts “help” to 741-741.
If you prefer to talk on the phone, N.I.H. recommends the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Happy Year of the Monkey

Monkeys are creatures of humor and surprise.  Perhaps those are the traits that will dominate this year.  I can already sense that all the uncertainty of coming events are presaging fun and surprise.  I will have a lovely and surprising visitor from Ireland in April.  A chapter I wrote for a book on working with individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder is being published and there is more travel on the horizon.

All of these changes demand the discipline of getting enough sleep (when???), eating healthy meals and keeping up with my yoga practice.  I have the preparation for classes that takes several hours for each class, then I have the preparation for seeing my clients and I have those basic tasks of paying bills, walking the dog and (argh) cleaning house.

My goal for the next months is to get sufficiently organized  to manage all of those tasks and still have the fun that is required for the year of the Monkey.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Lights in this Challenging time.

Dear Friends,  tonight is the first night of Chanukah. In Hebrew it's called the festival of lights.  With all that's happening in the world, we can use some light now.  There is an old Chanukah song that describes how we as a collective for good can triumph over dark times. Banu Choshech Le Garesh.  Literally, we have arrived together  to chase away the darkness. Here are the words in Hebrew: 

בָּאנוּ חוֹשֶׁךְ לְגָרֵשׁ
בְּיָדֵינוּ אוֹר וָאֵשׁ
כָּל אֶחָד הוּא אוֹר קָטָן
וְכֻלָנוּ אוֹר אֵיתָן
סוּרָה חוֹשֶׁךְ הָלְאָה שְחוֹר
סוּרָה מִפְּנֵי הָאוֹר

Here is my translation adapted for our days:

We have arrived together to chase away the darkness that surrounds us
each of us in our hands has a light from our internal flame
each of us alone and by ourselves are a small but bright light
but when we join together with purpose we are a powerful and towering light
that illuminates a path through the opaqueness and uncertainty ahead
so the darkness will flee from the faces of our radiant lights

May your latkes, jelly donuts, and singing fill the world.  May our lights shine a bright path ahead.

Happy Chanukah

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Peace in the Time of Terror (part 4)

“We want to respect you. Because of a lack of understanding on our part, we have not been skillful at showing our respect, our care I or you, and we have been caught in our own situation of suffering. Please tell us what is in your hearts. We want to understand your suffering. We want to know what mistakes we have made for you to hate us so much.

“We ourselves do not want to live in fear or to suffer and we do not want you to live in fear or to suffer either. We want you to live in peace, in safety, and in dignity because we know that none of us will have peace until all of us have peace. Let us create together an occasion for mutual listening and understanding, which can be the foundation for real reconciliation and peace.”

Friday, November 20, 2015

Peace in the Time of Terror (part 3)

“To resolve our current dilemma with terrorism we must be like this doctor. After our leaders have inspired confidence in Americans and proved that, as a country, we have the capacity to listen and understand, we can then turn to those who are considered to be terrorists. Our leaders can address them with loving speech.

“We know that you must have suffered and hated us very deeply to have attacked us. You must have thought that we want to destroy you as members of a religion, as a race, as a people. You must have believed that we embody evil, that we don’t recognize your religion a nd your spiritual values. We are sorry that you suffer so much. We want to tell you that it is not our intention to destroy you as a people, as a race, or as members of a religion. It is not our intention to i-eject your spiritual values.

(more in part 4)