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Life Beyond Therapy

Whose life are you living?

Posted: September 15th, 2017 | Columns, Featured, Life Beyond Therapy | No Comments

By Michael Kimmel | Life Beyond Therapy

The longer I work as a psychotherapist, the more amazed I am at how we all — myself included — keep doing things that make us unhappy. Call it a pattern or a habit, whatever you wish; we keep repeating behaviors and thoughts that we don’t want to repeat, but feel powerless to change.

Why do we do this? Why can’t we easily break free and change our lives by doing new things, thinking new thoughts and behaving in new ways?

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The new PTSD: President Trump Stress Disorder

Posted: September 1st, 2017 | Columns, Featured, Life Beyond Therapy | No Comments

By Michael Kimmel | Life Beyond Therapy

Traditionally, PTSD has stood for “post traumatic stress disorder.” It describes how we may have to tough it out to get through something traumatic (war, rape, bodily harm) and then, when it’s over, we typically “collapse” into a big, ole mess. In this after-the-trauma-is-over phase, we let ourselves feel all the feelings that we held inside to just get through the awful experience(s) and survive.

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Prestige, power and possessions

Posted: August 4th, 2017 | Columns, Featured, Life Beyond Therapy | No Comments

By Michael Kimmel | Life Beyond Therapy The above title came from a TED Talk I watched recently. In it, the speaker — a contented, wise elder — said that only young people expect that prestige, power and possessions will bring them happiness, and that spending a lifetime searching for them is to invite unhappiness and disappointment.

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How to say goodbye

Posted: July 21st, 2017 | Columns, Featured, Life Beyond Therapy | No Comments

By Michael Kimmel | Life Beyond Therapy I just saw the documentary “Restless Creature” at the Digital Gym in North Park. In the film, New York City Ballet star Wendy Whelan talks about the challenges of ending her 30-plus year career as a prima ballerina. At the age of 47, Ms. Whelan’s body told her that it was time to say goodbye to her ballet career. Ms. Whelan is sad, afraid, and excited as she […]

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Summer body shame? You’re not alone

Posted: July 7th, 2017 | Columns, Featured, Life Beyond Therapy | No Comments

By Michael Kimmel | Life Beyond Therapy My queer clients have it; my straight male clients have it; my older (and you’d hope wiser) clients have it. Even I have it. A good friend wants to start yoga, but told me, “I went to the class and everyone was so skinny. I felt enormous [she’s not], like my body was screaming to the world: ‘I eat unhealthy food and don’t work out.’ I can’t go back […]

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Hold onto your dreams

Posted: June 23rd, 2017 | Columns, Featured, Life Beyond Therapy | No Comments

By Michael Kimmel | Life Beyond Therapy When I was a child, living on a farm, the nearest daily newspaper was The Chronicle-Telegram, in Elyria, Ohio. I loved reading it every day and I had a dream that someday I would be published in that august periodical. When I was about 12, the newspaper started a humor column: you could send in items that were funny, and if they liked yours, they’d publish it. I was […]

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An excerpt from my new book on marriage

Posted: June 9th, 2017 | Columns, Featured, Life Beyond Therapy | No Comments

By Michael Kimmel | Life Beyond Therapy By the time you are reading this, my first book, “The Gay Men’s Guide to Open and Monogamous Marriage,” will have been published on June 8 and available on Amazon. It has taken me more than seven years to write it, but finally, it’s out in the world. Now it’s time for it to live on its own (outside my head). I’d like to give you a sneak preview. […]

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How to live

Posted: May 26th, 2017 | Columns, Featured, Life Beyond Therapy | No Comments

By Michael Kimmel | Life Beyond Therapy The title of this column kept tapping me on the shoulder. For three days, I tried resisting, but my intuition prevailed; so here we are. Obviously, there is no one way to live. We each do it differently. We are supposed to. We are here to create, enjoy and learn from being alive.

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Realizing your gifts

Posted: May 12th, 2017 | Columns, Featured, Life Beyond Therapy | No Comments

By Michael Kimmel | Life Beyond Therapy Recently, I went to a big, fancy dinner at a friend’s house. There were about 18 people there, and as far as I know, I was the only LGBT person at the table. I was talking with this really interesting straight woman and the topic turned to being gay (don’t ask me how). She looked me in the eye and asked me, “What is unique about being gay? What […]

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Old on the outside

Posted: April 14th, 2017 | Columns, Featured, Life Beyond Therapy | No Comments

By Michael Kimmel | Life Beyond Therapy Recently, a client told me: “I feel old on the outside, but so young on the inside. Why doesn’t anyone see this or understand? I am just learning (in my mid-60s) how to enjoy myself and not worry about what other people think of me. I’m finally learning how to have fun. “That is my inner experience. My outer experience is that I am treated like an unattractive, uninteresting […]

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Squeeze the toothpaste (just a little)

Posted: March 31st, 2017 | Columns, Featured, Life Beyond Therapy | No Comments

Dear Michael: I am writing to you because I want to get some therapy, but I’m afraid to. I am a middle-aged lesbian with a great girlfriend who loves me and tells me so on a regular basis. I have a job I like (most of the time, anyway) and a solid circle of friends. What’s my problem? I have so much baggage from my past that I think if I ever started to address […]

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My peace does not lie in the world

Posted: March 17th, 2017 | Columns, Featured, Life Beyond Therapy | No Comments

By Michael Kimmel | Life Beyond Therapy How do you find peace of mind? With so many difficult people and situations in our lives, how do we not just lose it over and over again? After pursuing peace through many means over the past several decades, I have learned some things that have become practical tools for me. I’d like to share some of them here with you.

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