Playing Forward the Liebster Award

liebster-awardCathy Hanville has nominated me for the Liebster Award. As Andrea Goldberg describes it in her blog “The Liebster Award was created to recognize new blogs in a “pay it forward” manner. The word ‘liebster’ is German for ‘favorite’ or ‘dearest.’” The origins of the award are unclear and the rules have varied over time.

In this incarnation of the award, the rules, as I understand them, are as follows:

  • Thank the person who nominated you for the Liebster Award.
  • Answer the 10 questions posed by the person who nominated you.
  • Pay it forward by nominating 10 blogs with less than 3000 subscribers or Facebook fans.
  • Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer if they choose to accept the award.”

Thank you, Cathy, for recognizing and following my blog. It is truly a humbling honor to receive recognition from a fellow clinician in the East Bay with your caliber of therapeutic skill. The questions Cathy has posed to me are as follows (my answers follow):

  1. What is your vision for your blog? What are you hoping to communicate via blogging?

The main thing I really want for my blog is to give people a more humane and approachable sense of what psychotherapy is and can be. I think there are way too many psychology articles that feel so sterile and heady that the language in them can really push people away from getting the help they may need or want.

  1. Which of your blog posts is your favorite? Why?

Any post I have written on shame, particularly An Ode to Shame, is of particular sentimental value. Not only does the bulk of my work with clients tend to revolve around some aspect of shame (particularly in how it relates to attachment theory), but it forces me to sit with and build a tolerance to such a painful topic that, as my post illustrates, so many of us try to avoid.

  1. What was the most memorable response you got from a blog post?

Someone once emailed me with some pointers on how to improve my search engine optimization (SEO) because s/he felt that more people should be reading my writing.

  1. What is your favorite book?

The Prophet by Khalil Gibran. Just read it. You’ll know why.

  1. What is your greatest challenge?

The same challenge as so many clients: simply being, not doing.

  1. What are you most grateful for?

The clients I work with. It is truly such a humbling gift to be invited into and trusted with so many people’s personal lives in a way that is both as meaningful and challenging as it is. You have no idea how inspiring it is to see people’s courage come out in therapy until you’re there.

  1. What do you do for self-care?

Hiking, neighborhood exploring, music, repeat.

  1. Who do you admire and why?

The clients I work with. I really admire their ability to step out of their comfort zones and push themselves to change and heal.

  1. Who is the person who influenced you the most.

Eric Candell, my mentor. Eric is a psychotherapist in Seattle and was kind enough to take me under his wing when I was in graduate school. Eric is an incredible clinician and possibly the most generous, compassionate, and thought provoking man I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. He has definitely influenced my growing identity as a therapist over the years and for the better.

  1. What do you hope to be doing in 5 years?

Exactly what I’m doing now, but with more music and travel.

As I’m still somewhat new to the blogging world, I don’t know of many other bloggers out there other than those who Cathy Hanville nominated in her post. In that light, I would like to nominate the same clinicians/bloggers as they are all very talented in what they do.

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