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 ]

Soul Seasons

As the weather finally changes here in central Florida, I have been reveling in the cooler temperatures.  Saturday night brought our first backyard fire of the season.  We've opened the windows and turned off the AC for days now.  Every morning, I sit on the back patio to drink my coffee.  As this change in weather has brought about changes...[ read more ]

Toxic Sea

At lunch with a friend today, we discussed our various stressors and life issues.  She paused and remarked that there was something we had not considered.  She went on to explain that she had to believe the larger context of what is happening in society today was taking its toll on our mental and emotional health.  Immediately, I believed she...[ read more ]

I’ve never been in therapy…

We often get our view of reality from television but it only takes one hospital visit to learn that real life is not like Grey's Anatomy.  Likewise, if you've never been to therapy, it's a dangerous plan to assume it might be what you've seen portrayed on TV or in movies.  So, what can you expect? First of all, you...[ read more ]

Career Work

One of the courses I teach regularly is Career Development.  As a result, that topic is regularly on my radar.  I really enjoy teaching the class and love even more - working with people who are making decisions about their career.  So, how does the process work? Career development begins with knowing yourself.  (Does this blog have a theme or...[ read more ]

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