While my practice has a waitlist, you may want to meet with one of my supervisees: Brooke Seiz at https://evolvewellnesskc.com/ . I supervise Brooke’s counseling work. She has a masters degree in Counseling & Guidance and specializes in couples relationship therapy. She’s also certified in functional medicine and board certified in holistic medicine, which she also teaches. I don’t supervise Brooke’s medical/nutritional counseling practice but I can attest she’s a good couples’ psychotherapist!
I attended and organized many programs this year. LMK if you would like to discuss!
- Sexual Development and Attitudes of African American Women
- Sex and Sexuality in the Muslim Community
- More than Medicine: Alternative Treatments for ADHD
- Sex Therapy with Religiously Conservative Clients
- Inter-generational Transmission of Trauma on Adult Sexual Intimacy
- Couples After Pregnancy: Intimacy & Sexuality
- Racial Literacy: Racial Stress in Therapeutic Relationships
I also organized events through the LGBT Affirmative Therapists Guild. I facilitated the event & discussion and other professionals presented on the following topics:
- Hormone Therapy with Transgender Clients (medical provider panel)
- Weight Stigma
- HIV+: What Therapists Need to Know
- Lesbian-Affirming Client Care
- Reflections from LGBTQ Community Members
Thank you 2019! Here were the highlights!
- attended a 40 hour EMDR training
- hosted a panel presentation of conversion therapy survivors
- studied the enneagram
- obtained a Missouri counseling license (in addition to my Kansas one) & became a registered clinical supervisor
- favorite clinical book I read this year: The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing up Gay
- studied men & depression and narcissism
- facilitated a sex education program for adolescents
- organized five continuing education events for therapists (Helping Transgender Clients in Transition; Becoming a Resilient Leader; Understanding LGBTQ+ in Islam and Middle East Culture; Sexual Identity, Behavior, and Fantasy with Sexual Trauma Survivors; Therapeutic Touch Practitioners–a Collaborative Resource; and Therapeutic Considerations with LBGTQ+ Active Military and Veterans)
- joined a biweekly consultation group with 3 other professionals
I’ve been enjoying Brene Brown’s new book Dare to Lead. 2019 is my Year of Leadership 🙂 . The DTL online workbook helps self-assess leadership skills. I’ve often resisted the idea of being a leader because I’ve seen poor examples. I failed to fully see many positive examples of leadership in my life. I’m willing to make leadership contributions and I’m more prepared with the tools in Dare to Lead.
This Spring, I’m supervising 4 graduate counseling students in their Practicum field experience. I’ll help new counselors evaluate their work and design treatment plans. To prepare, I am taking two courses:
- “Clinical Supervision: Mastering the 4 Stages of Development” with Robert Taibbi, LCSW
- “Using Deliberate Practice to Enhance Clinical Skill Development” with Tony Rousmaniere, PsyD
Besides helping other counselors, it will help me continuously re-evaluate my own skills and assumptions.
This year I am one of Kansas City’s LGBT Affirmative Therapist Guild leaders. I am helping coordinate continuing education events for local therapists to develop their competencies with sexual and gender minority populations.
I used to work in a university Career Services center. There, I learned that one of the toughest job interview questions was, “How do you define success?” It’s time I answer that question myself.
From my experience, productive counseling meetings incorporate three main therapeutic skills:
- I provide concentrated attention: capacity to listen, presence, and track the main points from our prior conversations
- I help someone expand their story: exposing & exploring additional layers
- I offer concrete options, alternative actions, and resources
I returned from another week of sex education. I took courses titled the Exceptional Sex Therapist (3 days); Resolving Trauma Through Somatic Experiencing, and Sexuality & Culture. Surprisingly, my favorite course was Introduction to Tantra. Before this course I thought Tanta was having sex for 24 hours at a time, which seemed kind of like a waste of time, honestly. I learned, instead, that tantra is a way of experiencing the eroticism in everyday life, sometimes without any specifically sexual encounters. Tantra is welcoming inter-connection while maintaining a primary connection with oneself. Eroticism bigger than sex—sensory and intellectual pleasure of many types and more of an attitude than particular events. Since March 17th, I keep going back to the 8 Principles of Tantra so I will briefly describe them here.
- Everything is an Experiment: Beginners mind, openness to experience, observation, willingness to gather data
- As Within, so Without: what happens in the world affects our individual experience; we need to prioritize and reset our bodies; we can offer our balance to the world
- Tapas and Spanda: in a concrete visual form, these are the eyes in the yin and yang that reflect the healthy healthy “masculine” energy within “feminine” energy and the healthy “feminine” energy within “masculine” energy. The tapas is about patient, non-attached willpower and the spanda is about a sense of wonderment, thrill, and joy.
- Inner Marriage: the healthy interconnection of dual, or contrasting energies within oneself. A well-integrated person is able to be consistently present in the world.
- Multiple Realms of Consciousness: everyday waking consciousness, mythical consciousness (symbols, projections), magical consciousness (big energy, transformation), and integral consciousness (all levels of consciousness simultaneous)
- Ascending and Descending Currents: chakras
- Transformational Healing Power of Pleasure: this may be my favorite principle–that pleasure can heal! As a trauma therapist and human being, I know that people can get stuck in trauma, vigilance, and guardedness. True pleasure is the opposite! True pleasure can restore our bodies and clear our minds. While sometimes pleasure can invite trauma processing (for example, someone can remember a painful event while laying on the beach) it also provides a welcome, stabilizing context for healing. It’s important to differentiate impulse and addictions from pleasure.
- Love: love, like pleasure, heals. It also connects people and connects humans to their surroundings.
I took a recent training with Yudit Maros called “Brief, Solution-Oriented Trauma Resolution.” This training specifically focused on troubling sensations in the body that may periodically resurface after the trauma. The BSOTR protocol helps a client attend to and correct the aftershock disturbances in the nervous system and one’s negative self-identity. Here are the most basic steps:
First, the therapist helps the client identify and practice a resource state called grounding. I can guide you through a visualization exercise that depersonalizes the pain and provides more comforting imagery, which tends to regulate the nervous system. We identify and develop comfortable imagery that helps you reset. Then, I ask you to scan your life history for anything that feels pleasurable and safe. We detail key components of the experience and you practice re-experiencing the positive experience and people. Later, we scan your life history again for an unpleasant or traumatic experience. I interview about what you would have preferred to experience. Then, I facilitate your current, grounded self attending to and taking care of your younger, distressed self through a series of self-care invitations, visualizations, and self-dialogue. When it appears that you have been a loving guide to your younger self and you have nothing left unattended about the chosen difficult experience, I invite you back to the here and now of the therapy room.
If you are interested in experiencing this BSOTR process or have any questions, please let me know.
I enjoyed reading Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World. It’s a collection of case studies, from technology entrepreneurs to social justice advocates, where creative-thinking overcomes status quo obstacles. It’s hard to be an Original without feeling isolated at times, so the stories and sociology research in this book are a welcome companion. The book also gives examples and tools for facilitating more Original leadership and cultures.