, Psy.D., LP

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The Edge of Comfort

Last week, I got an full immersion experience into what it means to work at the edge of my comfort zone and expand into my yesses. When I was invited to be a guest on Marianne Combs’ show on Minnesota Public Radio along with Resmaa Menakem to talk about anger in the public sphere, I responded with an enthusiastic yes. And then terror set it.  What exactly had I […]

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Bodies, Boundaries and Beliefs

During a boundary exploration exercise at a workshop last year, I had a moment of profound insight. We were exploring the felt-sense of boundaries in our bodies, and playing with our ability to track sensations and read cues that arose from within.

The exercise involved a person walking slowly towards me from across a room, while I was […]

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Empathy or Not? A Deeper Look

I was recently re-organizing some handouts that I often use for workshops, and came across this one on the difference between empathic and non-empathic responses. Reading it again, I was surprised to find myself arguing with my own handout, and realized that I wanted to talk about how taking an Integral Communication approach has become increasingly important […]

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All About Needs

Last week, I received this lovely question: “I love how much more literate in feelings I am now, however honestly, I just don’t really get the universal human needs.Like how to actually connect to them and communicate about them in real life in real time? It always just seems totally forced and out of touch. This […]

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How To Know If You Are Ready For Love

I remember telling my therapist (long, long ago) that the one thing I wanted to work on in therapy was why I was drawn like a moth to a flame to romantic partners who inevitably caused me tremendous distress and heartache.   I could recognize them from a mile away, but inexplicably still sought them out.   Clearly my internal […]

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Why Being “Positive” Might Be Bad For You

Have you noticed the cultural pressure to “Be Positive” or “Be Strong” or “Focus on the Good”? It’s as if we think that acknowledging or empathizing with painful experiences inadvertently creates more of them. I hear it all the time. “I would never do therapy,” someone said to me disdainfully, “All that focus on bad feelings and old stories will […]

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5 Steps to More Powerful Requests

Whenever I ask for something relational that I’m needing (comfort, affection, to be heard or seen) I feel super vulnerable. This isn’t easy. I worry about: 1. Being turned down 2. Feeling disappointed, and 3. Then judging myself for being too needy, demanding, pushy or selfish. I also sometimes wish people would just read my mind: isn’t it obvious that I […]

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What (Not) To Do When Triggered

As I was helping two people work through a conflict a few weeks ago, one of them turned to me and snapped, “So basically you’re accusing me of being abusive?” I took a deep breath. “OK. Let’s slow down … first, am I understanding what you are telling me accurately: You said you called your partner a liar, […]

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Bi-Partisan Friendships: Bridging the Divide

In a conversation I had last weekend with Roxy Manning and a group of leaders interested in bringing NVC-consciousness to diversity work at institutions of higher education locally, she used a phrase that I love: Focus on engaging, not changing For me this translated into: Be in relationship with one another, and stop leading with so many demands for […]

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