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 (née 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.”

Oné 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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