Archive for January, 2015


January 18th, 2015

I recently celebrated several passages in my life by taking a trip of a lifetime to Australia, and because I had traveled there in 1991 with a friend who was quite ill, the vacation became a reflection of who I was then and who I am now. With my clients I often share the phrase “That was then and this is now” as we explore one’s capacity to hold both the past and the present. Several years ago one of my Somatic Experiencing mentors instilled this in me, and it applies to each of us as we breathe in the here and now, yet our bodies remember. The bittersweet memories of 1991 live inside of me along with the joyful memories of my recent trip, and once again life has unfolded in mysterious ways that have been rather healing and always surprising.

Part of the joy of working so closely with my associates is walking beside them as they grow into their professional identities and find their rhythm as psychotherapists. After several years in the practice as well as some multi-faceted collaboration, Annabel Raymond finished her licensure process in the Fall and is fully establishing her private practice both in our West L.A. office and in her satellite Silver Lake location. I’m fortunate enough to have Annabel seeing clients in our suite (we actually share a wall) and have lots of confidence that she will continue to be a tremendous resource within our therapeutic community.

As one door closes, another opens as I am proud to welcome my newest associate, Jenny Williams, MSW who brings a multitude of clinical talents with her. Jenny is a graduate of UCLA’s MSW program (my alma mater), and I am thrilled to have her join the practice.

top line behavior

January 9th, 2015

In SLAA (Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous) there is a concept called “top-line behaviors” which are intended to be the opposite of “bottom-line” or “acting out” behaviors. More and more I realize the tremendous value and the insurance policy of immersing myself in top-line behaviors, and I also extend “behavior” to thoughts, feelings, attitudes and all internal states.

What are some examples of top-line behaviors? Meditation, yoga, spending time with loved ones, quality time with your dog (or any pet), vacations, etc. Basically, anything that is self-loving or loving to others is a “top-line behavior”, and these actions infused with love are one of the antidotes to compulsive, bottom-line behavior.

Leaning into the love and gratitude in your life and recovery leads to more love in your heart and less likelihood of slipping into your bottom lines. Top-lines are a practice and one I continue to explore more and more as recovery unfolds.