We all probably know someone who's experienced a traumatic event. Or maybe we've experienced one ourselves. When we think about trauma, we often think of events like September 11, Hurricane Katrina, the Iraq War, or the Colorado theater shooting. We may consider less publicized events: a loved one's sudden death, a tragic car accident, a sexual assault. But there are other kinds of traumatic events. A child's experience of his parents' contentious divorce. A young woman’s abo
The Olympic Games have been on for almost two weeks now, and my most frequent reaction has been, "How do they DO that?!" Like most interested viewers, I watched Michael Phelps swim -- and almost win -- every race. He's an amazing athlete, and arguably the greatest Olympian in history. Even among other world-class swimmers, no one comes close to his legendary performances. Except for the 400m individual medley last week. Not only did he not win the race, he came in 4th place.
When I tell people I'm a therapist, I typically get one of two reactions. I hear "Oh, that's nice," followed by the quick get-away. Or, "Well maybe you can tell me why I'm/we're so screwed up," followed by nervous laughter. I interpret both reactions as a misunderstanding of what therapists do, or what we are "supposed" to do. Many people assume that seeing a therapist is an admission of weakness or character flaw. Others tend to view a therapist as some kind of guru, a perso