Medicine X and the Sneaky Impact of Stigma

This post was originally shared on the #MedPsych blog, but is cross-posted here for my practice readers.  Ten days ago, I had the privilege of joining the participants at Standford's 2014 Medicine X conference. I've written about this conference on my practice blog before, and it is a gathering with lofty aims. The conference was … [Read more...]

Being Brave

One of the things I love about psychology is the chance to routinely sit with really brave people.  These aren't necessarily the folks who do dangerous jobs or who would be recognized as "brave" outside of therapy.  In fact, many of my clients believe that they are ordinary, or broken in some critical way.  But the truth is, we are all broken. Most … [Read more...]

Privilege and Stigma in Health: Revisited


Last year, I wrote a series of posts about the idea of healthy privilege and health stigma. My definitions of these concepts were based on the work of others before me, such as Peggy McIntosh and Kendall Clark. You are welcome to go back to the original posts and read them, but I'll share the definitions again for you. health stigma The … [Read more...]

Patients, Caregivers, and Anger

A while back, I wrote a post about the fact that acknowledging our sadness is an important part of self-care.  And that post seemed to resonate.  Last night, during a #BCSM (Breast Cancer and Social Media) tweet chat about caregiving and breast cancer, the topic of anger came up several times. One question that I saw in the conversation was how … [Read more...]

Celebrate the Small Wins

I've had bronchitis recently.  I don't know if you have ever gotten to dance with this lovely respiratory ailment, but it completely zaps you.  Between the coughing and the fatigue, getting off the couch and back into my normal routine has been a major ask.  Before the bronchitis, I had been working on getting more exercise, using a simple tracker … [Read more...]

Can We Take the Shame Out of Health Care?

I've been in a bit of a theme recently with the worry posts, and I promise I'll get back to that.  Today's post is completely off that track.  It's a reaction to things that I am hearing from my own clients and things that I am hearing from patient advocates online.  I am hearing a lot about experiences of people feeling shamed and silenced in … [Read more...]

There is No One Right Way

This past weekend was Mother's Day here in the US (in case you somehow missed the onslaught of ads and social media). And what struck me on Mother's Day is that we like to think and act as though there is one right way to approach life. On Mother's Day, the "one right way" is to be grateful and excited. Grateful for your mom. Excited for the chance … [Read more...]

Fear vs. Worry

Bear with me folks. Today's topic might feel a little nit-picky to you, but I think that it's an important one to explore.  I'd love for you to think a little bit about two emotional experiences that often get mixed up together. I don't believe that they are the same, and I hope that you (and my clients) can learn to tell the difference between … [Read more...]

Live As Though It Will Be Okay

The title of this post isn't really to my credit. It is something that one of my clients brought to session, a paraphrase of something one of their friends said. But it really struck a chord with me. Let's look at it again: Live as though it will be okay.--Unknown I think the reason this struck me so forcibly is that it seems as though many of us … [Read more...]

Do One Thing Different

Have you ever played with a Chinese finger trap? You know, the braided cylinder that you stick two fingers into? What is your natural impulse when you realize that your fingers are caught in the trap? You pull them out, of course (at least, the first time you do this).  Except that in a Chinese finger trap, pulling the fingers away from one … [Read more...]