Photo by James Molnar A Streak of Gold: The Art of Kintsugi and Emotional and Traumatic Healing
July 11th, 2024

Humans can survive an incredible amount of trauma, pain, and suffering, and sometimes in that pain, they begin to believe that because they believe themselves to be broken, that they are denied the right to heal and be whole.  Kintsugi is a powerful metaphor that has a psychological and emotional corollary.  While the pain of trauma is powerful and real, there are many ways towards healing.  


Photo by James Molnar On the Fringe Resistance
June 19th, 2024

In a recent research article entitled “’Even when I feel alone, I always know I’m not really alone’: An intersectional analysis of LGBTQIA+–BIPOC's experiences of community and resistance,  the authors explored the intersectionality of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).  Intersectionality is a concept that allows people to think critically about how individuals have multiple identities and face unique challenges at the intersections of those identities. There are innumerable identities such as race, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, spirituality, gender, socioeconomic status etc.  Each of these identities have their unique characteristics that combine in particular ways with the other identities, that make up the unique characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses for each person.  The concept of intersectionality is also a way to examine the interlocking forms of oppression and systematic exclusion of certain peoples. 


Photo by James Molnar Why Celebrate Pride?
June 5th, 2024

Since the Stonewall Riots of June 28, 1969, when patrons who were tired of being harassed by the New York Police Department, decided to fight back.  There were five days of rioting that forever changed the life for LGBTQIA+ people.  Today it is easy to mistake Gay Pride as “just a party” with rainbows and parades. Pride is so much more than that, as it is a celebration of the forced resilience of LGBTQIA+ identified people. 


Humor: Making Life Easier
January 30, 2018



Riddle: What is clear on the outside and gray on the inside?  Read on for the answer!  When people don’t play or laugh, it is easy to become overly serious and emotionally distraught.  Depression has many characteristics including the inability to have fun, or moving in a sluggish manner.  Many men exhibit their depression through anger, rage, violence, and irritability.


Ring out the Old, Ring in the New!
January 2, 2018

Alfred Lord Tennyson, in a poem entitled In Memoriam [Ring out, wild Bells] contemplated the change of the old year and the hope of a new year in these words:

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,

The flying cloud, the frosty light:

The year is dying in the night;

Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.


A Christmas Prayer
December 18, 2017

Not gold, nor myrrh, nor even frankincense
would I have for you this season,
but simple gifts, the ones that are hardest to find,
the ones that are perfect.


Counting Blessings Instead of Sheep
December 4, 2017

As we move towards the end of the year, and Thanksgiving is past, people turn their attention to other Holidays, Christmas, Kwanza, and Chanukah.  These holidays are also holidays based on gratitude.  A perennial favorite for those who celebrate Christmas is the movie White Christmas starring Bing Crosby as Bob Wallace, and Rosemary Clooney as Betty Haynes.

Practicing Gratitude
November 20, 2017


In the past weeks I have discussed the phenomenon of gratitude, and provided evidence that practicing gratitude leads to sharper mental focus, a reduction of stress levels, and increased motivation. Research about gratitude has expanded in recent years. But some may ask how can I practice gratitude? There are several ways of practicing gratitude. These practices invite the person to stop and notice their blessings. Not only notice their blessings but to savor their blessings and share their blessings with others.

Contagious Gratitude

November 16, 2017

Since modern day researchers have found that living a life of gratitude improves lives in the psychological, social, spiritual, physical, and cognitive realms, you might wonder if practicing gratitude might help you in your life.

Does Gratitude Matter?
November 9, 2017

Thankfulness and gratitude have been considered religious and spiritual practices for millennia. Every major religion speaks of the importance of gratitude.

In Memoriam
November 2, 2017

Yet another shooting tragedy has afflicted our city, community, and nation.  Peace and blessings go to those family and friends that are affected by this senseless act.

Hating God
October 30, 2017

In my last blog, I outlined the medieval theology of indulgences, a state of purification, to reduce punishment in Purgatory of the deceased.  In the middle Ages, the church exacted money for the recompense of sins.

Martin Luther: P art 2 Questioning Power
October 16, 2017

In my last blog, I wrote about the Reformer Martin Luther and that he struggled with chronic feelings of guilt and shame. In fact, he was known to have confessed continually for as long as six hours at a time. Despite his struggles with depression, shame, guilt, and obsessive and compulsive disorder, he challenged the Church and changed the world.

Martin Luther: A Reformer’s Shame
September 25, 2017

Over the past few weeks I have written about the difference between shame and guilt. Shame is that hideous feeling of feeling unworthy and unlovable, guilt is the feeling associated with having done something that misaligns with your values. The theologian, and reformer, Martin Luther, struggled with intense emotions of guilt and shame.

What are the Effects of Shame and Guilt?
September 7, 2017

Over the past month I have addressed the issue of shame in this blog.  In my last blog (August 25, 2017), I wrote about Marin Clilic, and the public shaming that he received when he had a blister on his foot and lost a tennis match.  Shame, as defined by Brené Brown, (2010) is “the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging” (p. 39).  Shame is often linked the harmful message that we are told as children.

Do You Want to Reduce the Amount you Drink? Try Mindfulness!
September 5, 2017

The term mindfulness is a popular term these days. I once had a client who used the term mindfulness in a way to that really meant that she wanted others to “be mindful” of what she wanted and demanded. This was a misuse of the idea of mindfulness. Passive-aggressively cloaked in the language of a spiritual practice; an example of pseudo-spirituality to gain power and control.

Mental Health and Back to School
August 25, 2017

Are you ready to send your children back to school? Mental Health America has provided free resources that address the mental health needs of returning students. Their resources aim to help parents, teachers, and students deal with the many emotions that kids experience with the demands of school.

Shame: A Social Emotion
August 24, 2017

Shame is being exposed and unprotected to the judgment and criticism of others. Often shame is a self-annihilation or an obliteration of self. Shame is ubiquitous in our American culture. We receive messages of not being good enough, in advertising, in the media, in sports, at school, and at home. Often our worth is based on our fame or fortune. Brené Brown explained that our culture often equates being ordinary with being boring, or even more dangerously, “ ordinary has become synonymous with meaninglessness ” (Brown, 2010, p. 84). In our culture to be ordinary or average is shameful.

What are the Effects of Shame and Guilt?
August 10, 2017

In my last blog, I discussed how some people maintain power by keeping secrets.  When family members keep secrets about violence, abuse (spiritual, sexual, physical), bullying, drug and alcohol use, porn, or eating habits, family members often are working in a paradigm of shame.  Shame is different than guilt.  Guilt is the belief that “I have done something bad” or “I have done something that compromises my personal moral compass.”  Shame is the debilitating belief that “I am bad.”  Bad, defective, inadequate, impaired, damaged, abominable, deficient, awful, substandard, inferior; these are words associated with shame.

Fireworks Statue of Responsibilty Fireworks
The Power of Secrets
July 27, 2017

The English word secret is derived from the Latin words se, meaning away, and cerno, meaning separate, therefore a secretive person separates their thoughts and puts them “carefully away from others” (Funk, 1950, p. 378).  Some family members acquire power by separating their thoughts and actions from others.  Secrets such as:

Denver, CO Individual Therapy
July 15, 2017

Responsibility, freedom, and accountability are linked to how we each respond to family rules.  Often in dysfunctional families there are unspoken rules, often the assumed rules of “Don’t talk,” and “Don’t feel” were ways of control and power.  When people are told to keep quiet and not feel they become numb to their own thoughts and feelings.  When you or I deny the existence of thoughts and feelings, we deny our own humanity and emotional pain often occurs.  This emotional pain and numbness can be debilitating.

Freedom and Responsibility
July 1, 2017

In the United States we celebrate our freedom on July Fourth.  The founding fathers radically changed how humans understand freedom.  The “shot heard around the world” spawned revolutions for freedom from France to Mexico, India, to South Africa.  Freedom is an evolving concept; even now many people in the United States fear that their freedom and human rights will be revoked.  Many people throughout the world are enslaved by some scheme or another.  Yet, as many experience an unparalleled freedom, there is an increase of injustice; this may be related to another, often overlooked aspect of freedom, that of responsibility.

Old man and young boy laughing Young woman showing older man notebook
What about Fathers?
June 17, 2017

This weekend is Father's Day, whether you call him Dad, Daddy, Pop, Pa, Father, The Parental Unit, Baba, Vater, Pére, Padre, Abba, or The Old Man, fathers are an important part of a person’s life.  We all have a biological father, someone who gave sperm to make you.  Maybe your father is not your biological father, a father-surrogate, such as an uncle, brother, grandfather, neighbor, priest, pastor, rabbi, imam or teacher may serve as a father figure.  Regardless of the type of relationship a strong bond with a Dad is important.

Denver, CO Spiritual Counseling
How are Religion and Spirituality linked to Psychotherapy?
June 3, 2017

Sometimes everyone wonders how their own personal beliefs fit in with their personal struggles. Sometimes the link between spirit, faith, belief, reincarnation and forgiveness is unclear.  Yet, for millennia religion and spirituality have been a part of the human condition.  Humans are not like other living beings because of their ability to have abstract thought.  With the ability to conceive thoughts, both positively and negatively, meaning, faith, trust, and belief are relevant regardless of the label we attach to ourselves (religious, spiritual, atheist, or agnostic).  “Meaning,” which is sometimes considered to a component of faith, is a part of the human condition.