Does Ray Rice Need Counseling?

As a therapist, I work with abusers and victims, though not at the same time. Nor does anyone fall into an easy category. No one is blameless. Often violence like an addiction breeds on itself. fam siloquetteWe’ve been hearing about the NFL and Ray Rice’s bludgeoning assault on his wife, Janay (nee Palmer). Not only is it shocking the Rice punched and kicked his wife unconscious, but Rice showed a complete lack of care or remorse for her as she’s lying bleeding by the elevator. He also beat her up several years ago. They got married the next day. He did it once without serious consequences, are you surprised that the marital violence continued? Continue reading

Seriously Angry? Think about it.

I am angry every day. It’s tough to admit it—as a counselor cognoscente I’m supposed to be in charge of emotions. However, all students and teachers; OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAelders and babies; patients and therapists alike cope with anger. How?

“Damm!”, “Rats!!” “Sh- -!!” and other vicious expletives. Stamping your foot. Slapping, punching, cutting, and menacing. In counseling, we see them all. …Anggerr…Animals growl. Grrrrr. I want food. I want it my way. Fangs flare. Grrg r owl ing (not growing). I want what you have. Ouuwl. Grrrr…Give it over. You are toast. Anger. An Grrrrr. Continue reading

Therapy Marathon Aftershock

As a therapist I sometimes analyze what possessed Djhokhar Tsarnaev, now accused of setting off the bombings on April 15. I did meet him a few times when he was 16 at the Cambridge high school. He came to the US at the age of 9 from Chechnya; after a

Boston and gay pride

Boston and gay pride

divorce the mother left the Tsarnaev brothers to live in Russia. His fate is wrapped up with hundreds of injured people. I cannot excuse what he did.

I work with families who come from war-torn countries. Some in my practice are Latinos, some are Ethiopians. I have clients who fled from FARC militants and families who have applied for asylum in the US. Many refugees are escaping horrific violence from Haiti and Salvador and Sudan. When my curious sons entered high school, I realized that our cities can be a war zone for teenagers. Many teens are harassed by gangs after school: they are intimidated and paralyzed. An armed police officer was employed at the high school, where some boys were told to leave the school for carrying knives.

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A Sad, Dark Knight

Jessica, John, Gordon, Alex, Rebecca, Matt, Jon, Veronica, AJ, Micayla, Jesse fell to violent killing in Aurora CO.This is a story of sorrow. These people have left us. Farewell, adieu, to God. It is a time to cradle our love and wish them safe journeys to the next world. We are grieving and we don’t want this type of gunning down to happen again.

With your close ones, share your feelings and reactions to the Aurora killings. Children 8 and over have heard about it, and parents will want to initiate a conversation to assure children they are safe. We need to admit what happened (no need to emphasize gory details). All family systems need a protector, because kids know they are vulnerable. Your role, along with family counseling, is to keep them safe. Be confident in this.

I’m sorry personal guns are used this century more against humans than for hunting. I grew up on a farm, and guns were for deer and geese, never to be used in self-defense. Killing was linked to the food you eat, not to get revenge or attention.

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“I can’t visit my child.”

One of the worst imaginable things is to be separated from those you love. Some parents are in prison, others lose their right to see their children for years. They were not granted visitation rights by a judge.  In abuse cases, one parent may ask that the abuser refrain indefinitely from seeing their child.

Clients enter family counseling, mourning this contact. Of course they miss seeing their children grow up. Still they can maintain and grow in their identity as a mother or father. A wise friend of mine, miscarried a child and never was able to have another child. But in those months of carrying a child, she became a mother. Her tenderness and her outlook towards others changed forever, even though she never had physical contact (well, contact outside) with her child. Still, she identifies as a mother.

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