Category: mental health

Grief at the Holidays Part I: Celebrating despite your grieving heart

I used to know that the holidays had arrived once I received a phone call from the local radio station, or a features reporter from the newspaper. “As a counselor, what insight could you offer for people who struggle through the holidays burdened with losses, disappointments, loneliness?” I would offer the standard fare – lower... Read more »

How are you going to spend your 168 hours this week? A quick priority check

We each get only 168 hours each week to spend, 24 per day times 7 days. How we choose to spend them has everything to do with how satisfied we are. There is lots of advice out there about how to divide those hours up: brain exercises and socializing to prevent Alzheimer’s; balancing between learning,... Read more »

A chance to share: A writing contest on domestic violence

Domestic violence is suddenly on the news, and former NFLer Ray Rice is responsible for that. But DV is present every day in the lives of our communities, whether visible or not. The circles widen from one push, one punch, endless denigration, into the community. DV used to be surrounded by silence, but no more.... Read more »

Found wisdom: Menards’ weekly secret offer

I used to grab the Sunday paper, fish out the comics and the Sunday magazine, then gather the bundle of ads and chuck it in the recycling bin. That’s what I did until my friend told me a secret about Menards. You know Menards, the quirky home improvement store that also sneaks in food items,... Read more »

Miracle revealed: Men tackle domestic violence thanks to Ray Rice!

As someone who has been part of the effort to figure out how to eliminate domestic violence, and who has said for years that men are the ones who should do the heavy lifting on this problem considering that they are usually the perpetrators, I am happy to report some good news: Men may have... Read more »

A counselor speaks: My job is not crummy, it’s uplifting: Pessimists need not apply

For years people told me I had a terrible job. How can you stand it, sitting there listening to people whine and cry all day? You must go home so depressed. I wouldn’t be able to keep my mouth shut. I’d just want to slap them and tell them to shape up. Life is hard... Read more »

Seeing the other side: Funeral director turned artist creates Umbrellas for Peace

I read obituaries because I love people and I love stories. I’m often left with regret that I never crossed paths with the fascinating person who just died, so sometimes I keep a copy of the obit out of respect.  Take Matt Lamb, who died in 2012, whose name I recognized as a funeral director... Read more »

Robin Williams and Mrs. Doubtfire: Comedy and tragedy entwine

I saw “Mrs. Doubtfire” twice, first in the movie theater, second on a rainy Saturday afternoon alone at home. The first time I saw a comedy, silly, implausible, bold. The second, I saw the tragedy underneath, and cried the entire length of the movie. The plot was the same each time of course – a... Read more »

What's the matter? Give me a smile

I stood on a side street in New Orleans, around the corner from St. Louis Cathedral, waiting for my husband. I guess I was staring off into the distance, maybe thinking of my two young kids at home in the care of grandparents, or maybe just letting my therapist-stress level abate. A man approached and... Read more »