What is Group Therapy? People ask this over the phone, thinking Group might be for them. They ask at parties and networking events. Sometimes group members themselves ask. What do you think it is? I ask them. Well, like a support group? Not quite. The main difference in the groups that I run is that … Continue reading What is Group Therapy?
In the movie Moonstruck, Cher meets with Nicholas Cage, the brother of her fiance, to invite him to the wedding. The brothers have had no contact because five years ago Cage’s brother distracted him at a key moment and he lost his hand in a bread-slicer. Cage was engaged at the time but his fiance … Continue reading The Wolf That Chews Off Its Paw
On Monday, I'll be leading a workshop on Grounding, a term for soothing the nervous system. I first learned about Grounding from my supervisor when I worked at the Blanton-Peale Counseling Center in Manhattan. She had specifically studied ways of healing trauma. She encouraged me to instruct a particularly distressed patient to "look around the … Continue reading Grounding: profoundly simple and simply profound
Pippin says this in Lord of the Rings. He's speaking to Treebeard, an ancient, sentient, walking tree who responds, "that doesn't make sense to me, but then again, you are very small." Pippin is a hobbit, a child-sized creature known for their love of food, gardening and usual lack of interest in adventuring. In the … Continue reading The closer we are to danger, the farther we are from harm
How much space do you take up? I mean this in all ways. Are you a big person physically? Do you take up a lot of conversational space in a room? How large is your house and car? How much emotional space do you take up in the minds and hearts of others? Some people … Continue reading I’m scared of taking up too much space
As part of a larger project on how issues related to money can be worked on in process groups, I was thinking about the "currency of group." The first thing that comes to mind is attention. We need attention. When we're babies, if we don't get enough attention, we will literally die. In group and … Continue reading The Currency of Group
Jordan Peterson has been thoroughly meme-ified for his simple injunction to begin any program of growth with "cleaning your room." The task is accessible and confronts a person with whatever demons they possess that get in the way of productive, responsible behavior. If you're room actually isn't clean right now, take a break and go … Continue reading Cleaning Your Room, Group Therapy and Political Activism
I set out to write this blog post at the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, several months ago. My colleagues were all switching to videoconferencing, and I instead started doing all of my work over the phone. I was already working with roughly half my clients over the phone, mostly because they weren't local. But … Continue reading Hello darkness, my old friend
I was speaking with a friend the other day and he asked, "Jacob, what do you think of the state of the world?" He was asking mostly about the environment, climate change, the scary shift in global politics toward xenophobia. "Well," I said, "at the risk of sounding young, optimistic and naive, I think we're … Continue reading The Loneliness of Being Human
My dad once gave me a notebook and inscribed "write your truth and the truth will set you free," inside the cover. Truth and Freedom have been orienting values for most of my life. In my twenties, as an ardent seeker of spiritual wisdom and mystical experience, I believed that some transcendent truth about the … Continue reading And the truth shall set you free
If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when? --Hillel In less than a week, a group of brave therapists and I will go on a journey. Although some may travel across large swathes of New Jersey to attend, … Continue reading If Not Now, When?