The imposter syndrome of 2020 and what we can do instead of pretending we are hopeful

Imposter syndrome is common in Bay Area tech culture where people are judged by impossibly high standards and are left feeling like their confidence is a fraudulent performance. But it is catching. Whether or not you work in tech, right now most people in the Bay Area feel like a different kind of imposter during this time. The state of...[ read more ]

The effect on me when my clients talk about “the meaning of life” during this pandemic

Is it in the sound of the ocean? Is it in the touch of a loved one? Is it in the laugh of a child? Is it in the satisfaction of solving a difficult problem?   Pre COVID-19, my conversations with clients would sometimes turn existential. But now, 4 months into the pandemic, with the pervasive lack of leadership in...[ read more ]

Jumping rope during coronavirus

I have been wanting to write something both for myself and for others but I have been struggling with what to say that hasn't already been said. Today after mustering the energy to run outside in between sessions with clients and jump rope until I broke a sweat, I finally figured out what I want to say. I focus on...[ read more ]

What is psychotherapy all about?

People often ask me what psychotherapy is all about. And just like questions about the meaning of life, this is a bit of a trick question because psychotherapy is never really just about one thing. Nevertheless, I have recently been thinking about themes in my work as a relational psychotherapist, and I thought I would attempt an answer: People often...[ read more ]

Psychological impact of the election

Several people have recently asked me about my take on the psychological impact of this election, so I thought I would write something about it. I believe the psychological impact of this election, regardless of the outcome, is trauma through the legitimization of aggression as a response to fear. In my psychotherapy practice I work with helpers, healers and innovators,...[ read more ]

A problem with the quest for work/life balance

Our culture is of at least two minds about work/life balance. On the one hand we praise the notion of a balanced life, with time for hard work and time for relaxation and play. And yet it is also the American way to believe that one should never stop working. Even in California, where the image is that for those...[ read more ]

For our doctors

I am deeply saddened to hear of the record numbers of physician suicides. As a psychotherapist with a practice focusing on helpers, I feel a responsibility to reach out. I have been aware for some time that doctors are under extreme amounts of pressure to perform with precision in a system that does not value their well being. Anyone who...[ read more ]

Ode to Anger

Anger naturally conjures up negative images of violence and road rage, but there is more complexity to this emotion.  After seeing "Inside Out" and marveling at the nuanced portrayal of sadness, I left feeling frustrated that anger did not get enough positive regard. I was inspired to write something for anger. Ode to Anger By Rachel Goodman, MFT Anger, thank...[ read more ]

Highlighting a recent “Modern Love” column from the NY Times

It is unusual in our evidenced based world to hear scientists looking to artists for assistance. This recent "Modern Love" column is a particularly moving example of just that.

Reflections on “The Giving Tree”

Shel Silverstein’s classic children’s story, The Giving Tree, is idealized by many as a perfect picture of unconditional love, and reviled by many others as the epitome of an unhealthy relationship. It is easy to take sides. As a psychotherapist I find myself more drawn to something else. I am curious about what drives the tree to invite the boy to chop...[ read more ]


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