Archive for October, 2016

group institute in review

October 16th, 2016

This weekend we had seven courageous participants in the Group Institute–a 12 hour group therapy experiential process. With my colleague, Maria Gray, LMFT we hosted this weekend group immersion which was sponsored by the Group Psychotherapy Association of Los Angeles (

Having been in a Group Institute for the past 7 or 8 years at our national conference (AGPA), it was an honor to be asked to co-facilitate this group learning process and witness all participants learn and grow in a very short period of time. We saw the phases of group development unfold before our eyes as group cohesion, trust, visibility, loss, and finally goodbyes were all naturally demonstrated.

Because I’ve been leading groups for many years, I sometimes forget about the power of Group Institutes for newcomers, and it’s hard work but quite gratifying for group members and group leaders as the honesty and the emotional risks expand in the room. By the end of Day 2, we were all quite tired (“spent” as one participant shared), but also gratified that something significant happened.

apples ‘n’ honey

October 4th, 2016

Yesterday marked the Jewish New Year (aka Rosh Hashanah) which begins a period of the High Holy Days as we reflect on the past year and hopefully look forward to being “written into the book of life” and a sweet, healthy new year. As a symbol of the sweetness, apples and honey is a long-standing tradition to share the ritual of ringing in the upcoming year with loved ones.

This has been a bittersweet year with the loss of our beloved cocker spaniel, Cooper as well as a close family member, but it’s also been a time of new life with our adopted spaniel, Bowie and a birth in the family. Being present for the beginnings and the endings is a gift of recovery and healing–a gift of living in the here and now and living life on life’s terms.

Whether you celebrate the New Year in October or January or any other season of the year, I wish you a very sweet, healthy year with love, gratitude and laughter.