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?
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?
Or, What Has Group Therapy Ever Done For Us? In Monty Python’s Life of Bryan there is a scene where the rebel leader asks, “What have the Romans ever done for us?” The expected answer is, “Nothing!” inspiring and justifying the ensuing acts of violence. Instead, after several responses, the leader is forced to specify: All right, but … Continue reading Making the Intra-psychic Interpersonal
There is a wonderful little book called The Wild Edge of Sorrow. It speaks eloquently about the importance of grieving, how it connects us to the wild within us, makes us more alive. It talks about how in our culture especially, we're taught to run from grief, to avoid it, dismiss it, deny it, cover it … Continue reading Grieving in Group