Sandra Sneiderman on Expressive Arts Therapy

Expressive therapy uses the body and the senses to help individuals get in touch with deeper feeling states that often get stuck in complex defenses and thought patterns. You do not need to be an artist, dancer, actor, writer, or musician to benefit from expressive therapy. It is used with […]

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Morgan Barber on the Couples Problem

According to the research conducted by John Gottman, 69% of a couple’s problems are perpetual problems. They are not going away. Thus one of the many maxims of couples counseling: Marrying someone is marrying a set of problems! So how do I help couples relate to their problems differently? I […]

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The Heroes’ Journey: A Therapeutic Writing and Storytelling Group for People Facing Life-Changing Illness and Disability

I had been chronically ill for over twenty years, and a therapist for seven, when I came up with a brilliant plan. I would form a therapeutic writing and storytelling group for people struggling with life-changing illness and disability, and frame it around the idea of the hero’s journey. After all, wouldn’t it be better if people could come to think of themselves instead as heroes on a transformative journey rather than feeling like victims betrayed by their bodies?

The only problem was—I didn’t know a thing about the hero’s journey. But I was pretty sure that I was on one, and that anyone facing a life-changing illness or disability might be challenged to reframe their experience through that lens. So I started cramming.

You might say this was my Call to Adventure.

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One of the worst things about facing a life-changing illness or disability is the isolation. Mother Theresa says that the biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, “but rather the feeling of not belonging. In our society this disease has reached epidemic proportions.”* When you’re sick or disabled, you often feel like an outcast: alone.

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