“Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond. ” — Rumi
Welcome to the Spring 2015 edition of Westside Notes. Spring has finally sprung after a rather dry winter season here in Southern California contrasted with a record-breaking year of snowfall in New England where I spent my undergraduate years at UMass-Amherst. Maybe it's turning 50 this past year or maybe it's the recent multiple losses of several matriarchs in my life as well as moving back into my old neighborhood in Santa Monica, but either way, the pangs of nostalgia and mid-life perspectives seem very prominent which leaves me truly grateful for those who cross my path (as Rumi reminds us). In this issue I share an article about one of the highlights of my practice--men's therapy groups, and the men who choose to participate in this sacred version of a therapeutic journey have been my greatest teachers for more than 22 years. Secondly, licensed marriage and family therapist, Maria Gray offers her perspective on the often-overlooked growth opportunities of menopause.
If You Build It, They Will Come:
Men's therapy groups provide an exceptional opportunity for men to be fully themselves with one another. In addition to traditional roles men often play, they also have deeper longings for more meaningful, authentic contact in their lives, and group therapy is one venue where they get to practice the here-and-now experience of deeper connection and vulnerability. In his 1988 book Bradshaw: On The Family (which was later expanded into a PBS series), John Bradshaw made the distinction between human doings and human beings, and men's groups offer a space for men to experience themselves more dimensionally and less imprisoned in the doing role.
Some Thoughts on Menopause
In my mid 40s I noticed I was starting to sweat a lot, and this was unusual as normally my hands and feet are as cold as ice blocks. Sometimes I experienced painful headaches, irritability, and insomnia. My metabolism slowed down and my clothes felt tight. My energy level plummeted and became unpredictable. And so began my adventures in Menopause.
AGPA in Review (American Group
In February I presented a workshop entitled From Now On: Seven Keys to Purposeful Recovery: The Intersection between Positive Psychology and Second-Stage Recovery at the annual meeting in San Francisco to a very receptive and passionate audience of group therapists. Spreading the word about the strengths-based tools and strategies outlined in the workbook has been fun and gratifying as participants receive these relevant, applicable tools and bring them back to different regions of the country.
I am proud to announce that my colleagues and former interns, Annabel and Maria are now forming "A Healing Journey" Women's Workshop to be launched in Fall 2015. For more information, please contact Maria Gray, LMFT 310.319.6500 or Annabel Raymond, LMFT 310.740.1069.
Mixed Adult Psychotherapy
I still have a few openings in my Monday night co-ed group which meets weekly from 6-7:30pm. As part of my ongoing group therapy training, I'll be flying back to Washington, DC at the end of the month as part of the National Group Psychotherapy Institute. If you're interested in more information about my groups or our local organization (GPALA), I'd be happy to share more details with you.
Private Practice Internship Opportunity
Part-time, post-graduate associate/intern position available within my Westside practice for BBS-registered MSW associate or MFT intern. Addictions experience required; group and bereavement experience preferred. Prefer candidates with less than 1500 hours toward licensure. To apply for this position, send CV by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prime Encino Psychotherapy
• Newly-remodeled suite in therapist-friendly building
In This Issue:
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About Andrew Susskind —
Visit Andrew’s website for a comprehensive list of resources in the Los Angeles and Southern California area.
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