Hosting Woundedness in Relationship

November 18, 2013 Written by Jason

“It is the law of life that each one of us has something in our heart, a problem that hurts the heart, so that we are all the same no matter how else it appears.” -Bernadette Rebienot, Grandmothers Counsel the World

“The deep, deep bruises and hurts from a collective past or a childhood past may make a blow or even a touch very, very painful in the present, may even make us respond to a gentle touch as if it were a blow.” -Gloria Steinem, Grandmothers Counsel the World

These wounds are the deep, hidden currents that emerge as painful patterns in our close relationships.  We often see only what lies on the surface – the arguing, the blame, the withdrawal.  The content of our conflict does not seem related to our past; we only see what is right in front of us.  Yet, as long as these wounds remain unspoken and unacknowledged, they have power over us.  If my partner says or does something that reminds me of my wounded story that “nobody understands me”, and I’m not aware of this, I will be likely be hurt, which may lead to withdrawal or lashing out in anger.

However, if I am aware of this, I may say to my partner, “I don’t think you understand me, and I would like for you to.”  At this point, it can be very useful for my partner to have an understanding of the broader concepts in this article – that we are all wounded in some way, and that these wounds are active in relationship.  Through this understanding, my partner can “hold” or “host” my woundedness.  This doesn’t necessarily mean tending to my woundedness as though I am not an adult.  Such understanding cultivates compassion and empathy, so that my partner will, hopefully, be more likely to be willing to attempt to meet my need to be understood.

Continue reading →

Healing for Sexual Assault survivors

September 25, 2013 Written by Jason

Project Unbreakable is a collection of images of sexual assault survivors holding signs showing quotes from their attackers. Often times, there is tremendous shame surrounding sexual assault.  One antidote to shame is to talk about it.  These people are healing through this courageous act of sharing their stories publicly. If you have been sexually assaulted, I encourage you to find someone to talk to about it, whether it is a therapist or a survivor’s group or a friend.  If you are shamed or judged, please find someone else to talk to.  It wasn’t your fault, and you don’t need to live with the shame.

This is powerful stuff, and may be triggering for some people.

Images of male survivors

Images of female survivors


How to Start a Private Practice

September 10, 2013 Written by Jason

The intent of this page is provide a quick and dirty guide to setting up a private mental health practice in Washington State. I practice out of Seattle, and most info here will be applicable state-wide. Disclaimer: although I have done my best to provide accurate information, I will not take responsibility if you don’t do everything right. Do your research – hopefully the pointers here will help with that.  Also, this is by no means a complete guide to everything you need to know to run a practice.  I am including very little about the clinical side of things, and I’m not saying much about full licensure or the exam.  That said, I’m open to feedback about this page, and will attempt to change it to make it as useful as possible.

I’ll go through the tangled mess of bureaucratic footwork you need to do, then review some of the basics of getting your practice going, including finding a supervisor, setting up some forms, finances, and marketing. Continue reading →

Support group for Integration of Non-Ordinary States

November 23, 2012 Written by Jason

I’m starting up a support group for people who have experienced intentional non-ordinary states of consciousness.

Upcoming Workshop: Practicing the Art of Intentional Relationships

April 11, 2012 Written by Jason

Coming April 25th, 2012, I’m co-hosting a workshop on couples communication.  More info here:

A chance at healing

January 23, 2012 Written by Jason

When was the last time you felt truly relaxed, when you forgot your worries and experienced a sense of peace? Maybe you were with a close friend or partner. Maybe you were on a beach or in nature. Maybe the feeling just arose spontaneously when you were doing the dishes. Have you ever thought about what makes it possible to have these feelings?

Development of a secure base

During our formative years we may develop what psychologists call a “secure base”. A secure base is what gives us a strong sense of self, an ability to regulate our emotions and to deal effectively with stress. It’s what makes us feel like the world is a safe (enough) place that we can explore, interact with, and be nourished by. From a secure base, we can navigate relationships with greater ease, seek out novel, challenging and rewarding experiences, and embrace the story of our lives.

A secure base is developed when your primary attachment figure (the person who spends the most time caring for you as an infant, typically your mother) interacts with you in a consistent, attuned and predictable manner. No one received this kind of caring all the time, and many people received less-than-adequate parenting. So what if no one was there to express their awareness of your hunger, your discomfort, your joy, your sadness, your curiosity, or your playfulness, to list a few examples? You may not have received the message that you matter. You may have internalized the belief that you are not welcome in the world, that the world is not a safe place for you, or that you deserve to live a good life. Therapy can give you a chance to change those messages.

Continue reading →