mail

Life Beyond Therapy

The best gift of all

Posted: December 22nd, 2017 | Columns, Featured, Life Beyond Therapy | No Comments

By Michael Kimmel | Life Beyond Therapy Fatigued from an overload of shopping, spending and travel? You’re not alone. Most people describe this time of year — Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve and other celebrated holidays — as stressful instead of enjoyable.

Read More

Talking with the enemy

Posted: October 27th, 2017 | Community Voices, Featured, Life Beyond Therapy | No Comments

By Michael Kimmel | Life Beyond Therapy

I was hiking with a friend at Torrey Pines and we stopped to take in the view. A fellow hiker stopped near us and a pleasant conversation began. It was going smoothly until this person said how right Trump was to get rid of Obamacare. At that point, my friend lost it. It took everything she had not to explode at our fellow hiker.

Afterwards, I asked her, “Why were you so upset?” She said, “I just can’t talk with the enemy.”

Read More

The Tao of travel

Posted: September 29th, 2017 | Columns, Featured, Life Beyond Therapy | No Comments

By Michael Kimmel | Life Beyond Therapy

For seven years I read the book, “365 Tao,” and did the daily meditations.

Taoism — an ancient Eastern philosophy — emphasizes compassion, spontaneity and harmony with nature. It says “go with the flow” and don’t be attached to things happening in a certain way. Easy to say, not so easy to do.

Read More

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?

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More