Loving someone with anxiety

"My loved one deals with anxiety - how can I be supportive?"  It's a frequent question as anxiety tops the list of common mental health issues in the US.  When it comes to relationships, we want to love well, to actually be effective in our efforts to help but good intentions don't always lead to good outcomes.  Thankfully, there are...[ read more ]


Experience is the greatest teacher they say...  Whatever dysfunctions we have going on in our lives (and yes, we all have some) - we come by them honestly.  None of us wakes up one morning and decides to be defensive, destructive, avoidant, etc. for no reason.  We approach life based on the experiences we've had and the meanings we've made...[ read more ]


If you read last week's post, you know that sleep has been an "issue" for me lately.  Generally speaking, exhaustion has been my constant companion.  At first, I chalked this up to the aforementioned backsliding on sleep hygiene. my heart I knew there was more to the story.  There always is. There is a popular metaphor about the frog...[ read more ]

Sweet Dreams

The best preachers deliver the messages they most need themselves :).  That's the principle behind this week's post...on sleep.  I've definitely fallen off the wagon in this area of life and so perhaps by writing about healthy sleep habits, I will jump-start my own process back to the land of nod. According to the CDC, more than a third of...[ read more ]

The toughest job

We parent as well as we were parented.  That can be a comforting or frightening statement...depending on our history.  I remember when I first gave birth, I was determined to do this thing "right".  This is how I had been trained to approach everything for 20 years.  Certainly, this task - the most important one I'd ever tackle - demanded...[ read more ]

Living with chronic illness

It's like having an uninvited house guest who contributes nothing, eats everything in the kitchen, occasionally damages the furniture and won't leave despite all attempts to kick him out.  Eventually, resignation sets in and you begin trying to figure out how you're going to work around this vermin over the long-term. A chronic illness diagnosis (cancer, diabetes, arthritis, to name...[ read more ]

Fresh Starts

Some of us get excited about the new year.  We see it as a new chapter in our books: a blank page, a clean slate.  Others are so sick of the "new year, new you" grandiosity that emerges this time of year.  We cast cynical eyes at the bright-eyed hopefuls...mentally calculating how long it will take them to fall back...[ read more ]


One of the greatest joys I have in my work is the privilege of helping clients piece the parts of themselves back together after a lifetime of brokenness.  Sometimes we find ourselves limping through relationships, work situations or family responsibilities.  It is typically problems in these areas that bring people into counseling.  For far too many, it doesn't take long...[ read more ]

The great adventure!

Last week, we discussed expressive therapy.  This week, I wanted to discuss a related modality - adventure therapy!  This form of therapy is also active and experiential and utilizes a similar focus on process.  Clients engage in fun activities like ropes courses, rock climbing, kayaking, etc., in the presence of the therapist.  In expressive therapy, I explained that the product...[ read more ]

When talking isn’t enough

"Expressive therapies".  Maybe you've heard the term - it has certainly appeared in Phenix content before.  However, you may not have clarity on what that means.  So what is it exactly?  It is the use of creative arts as a form of therapy.  This can include art, music, dance, drama, etc.  Unlike the formal practice of art however, expressive therapy...[ read more ]

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