Family Therapy

This week began with a lunar eclipse amped up by a full moon. The results were sudden, impactful, disturbing, and unsettling. In all facets of my life I saw people upset, frightened, and angry. I held tightly to my daily rituals, ones which, are the rudders that help me to glide through my day. Morning two mile walk at sunrise with my canine companion, one hour yoga, and meditation. Shower –breakfast– and off to work. News of Trump and Korea wafted through my non-network news world……Charlottesville cast its shadow. I thought of the day I rolled into Charlottesville with my sister and parents –my body springing forth chicken pox and making my way to the medical center there…..

My car exited the parking lot from the grocery store I had just exited. I was met face to face with the demolition of a school where I had been trained to conduct family therapy. Eight months of videotaped sessions with a team of professionals and two way mirrors. I sat aghast at the sight of the building in ruins…..and I felt the tears sprint down my cheek and a tautness in my throat and chest……a wrecking ball laying waste to a place and time I had held sacred…I sensed the loss of a time of innocence, a remembrance and celebration of the value of family therapy, and my formation of valuable counseling skills of compassion, connection, and loving kindness meditation….

I was finding myself nostalgic for an earlier time of innocence–Where violence and impersonal insensitivity was perhaps more hidden, less raw, and perhaps more regional. Over-faced by Facebook and other of the instantaneous and multi-faceted news feed, I reached into my earlier days where phone were attached to walls without answering machines and computers only lined corporate locked rooms not laps. What I needed was a good dose of my mother’s lap.

And then came the text from my sister to me and my folks. It was a kind of technological hug reaching from coast to coast. And then my mother called, and she and my father listened to my uncharacteristically sad take on the state of the world and my place in it. It was a moment where I was sliding from my can–do position to one of overwhelm and withering spirit. My mother father and sister had held me held me across the phone line. Later I took the hot bath and the nap prescribed, and now I can face another week with hope in my heart, Michael Franti lyrics in my ears, and my lab by my side, and the love that is my family’s legacy in my heart.

As I work with families this week and beyond, may I hold in my heart the deep knowledge and appreciation of my family and their love and the family therapy that I received today.



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