23 April 2020

Coronadaptations

Written for my clients/families to accompany our agency's lockdown gift box:

The world since we last saw you
Has been a little strange,
Our weekly time of hanging out
One of many things to change.


We’re told to be so guarded
About something we can’t see,
What we touch or what we breathe.
We have no guarantee

That we won’t get infected
Or infect someone else,
And no one really knows for sure
How anybody tells.

A curse cast from the Dark Side?
Or is it consequential
Of corners cut, of facts ignored
Becoming monumental?

Yet some of you are saying,
In spite of all this worry,
That good things are resulting
From not being in a hurry,

From families having time to spend
Playing with each other,
Sometimes easing conflicts
‘Tween a sister and a brother.

But if that turns out not the case
At least you still have us,
To summon on the phone just when
You feel the urge to cuss.

We will put our heads together,
Though not all in one room,
To offer our best thinking
And smile at you through zoom.

You are the ones we wish for,
The ones we want to thrive.
We hope this box gives comfort
Till we once again go live!

04 March 2020

For Monica on her 68th















Desperately we cling to reason
in this profane election season—
all our relations put on edge
while the planet nears the ledge.
I see your years now may be quartered—
when back through time we are transported—
it was the month if not the hour
that marked the rise of Eisenhower,
who in his final speech as president
identified the forces resident
that would long outlast his tenure,
intent on having wars forever.
From that time since you have been standing
up for justice and demanding
that those who barely have a voice
be heard and offered equal choice.
It’s because you never compromised
that you and I have harmonized.
Ever waging the good fight,
you shall remain my shining light!

13 February 2020

Appreciating Re-evaluation Counseling

This letter to the editor may have arrived too late for publication, so I'd at least like to share it here:
I found Jay Efran's "In Search of New Ideas" [Psychotherapy Networker Jan/Feb 2020] helpful and fascinating, and I appreciated his inclusion of Re-evaluation Counseling. But to someone who practiced RC for much of the period between 1985 and 2015, his description represents only one facet of a multi-faceted practice. Yes I agree—as a licensed therapist who has also sampled a variety of modalities—that the "discharge" process could not be consistently counted on for healing of a distress recording. But there were many affecting factors—the experience of the counselor, the client's stage of change, the quality of supervision—much as in any other therapy. I see my current job as psychotherapist as motivating clients to act on their thinking instead of their feelings. In RC settings I witnessed at least as much, if not more, progress toward that goal as in any other therapeutic setting. To attend an RC workshop was more than "exchanging time." There were cutting-edge insights presented including how oppression is experienced by different constituencies, healing trauma, and how to be the change you want to see in the world. Whether Harvey Jackins' insistence on operating outside the "mental health system" was out of stubbornness or out of necessity, I experienced him as a brilliant and compassionate innovator. I would be half the counselor I am today had I not begun with RC.