Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

A DAY OF REMEMBERANCE: September 11, 2001

September 8, 2010

September 11, 2001.  It was a little after 6:00 am on Tuesday morning.  Do you remember where you were?  Who were you with, if anyone?  What were you doing?

I remember very clearly what I was doing.  My roommate’s door, at the end of the hall, was open.  The television was on, and it did not appear to be the usual morning news.  Just the fact that my roommate was up at that hour was unusual, let alone having his door open.  I hadn’t yet had my morning coffee so I was not fully awake.  I sort of shuffled down the hall, glanced at his TV, and saw a plane flying into a very tall building.  I turned and went into the bathroom wondering to myself why in the world he was watching such a trashy movie at that hour of the morning.  He called to me and told me to really come and look;  that this was really happening;  it wasn’t a movie;  a plane was actually flying into one of the towers of the World Trade Center.  I was shocked and  full of disbelief, almost immobilized.  The image of that plane flying into that tower is engraved in my memory and implanted in my body.

Nine years have now passed since that horrendous event, and as its anniversary approaches, that image is just as clear in my memory and held in my body as if I were looking at it right now.  This is a normal reaction to an overwhelming event.  It may also be happening to you.  However, for me, it feels less threatening now than it did then.  I can remember it and not react to it.

That’s what trauma does.  It affects every part of our being.  It becomes locked and held in our bodies unless we get treatment.  It causes us to feel anxious, fearful, full of stress.  It can lead to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder with its many symptoms.  All of these concerns can prevent us from living full and meaningful lives.

If you have suffered from accidents, natural disasters, physical, mental or emotional abuse, war-related injuries (both physical and/or emotional). or any one of the myriad blows that befall us everyday, find someone to talk to.  You do not have to endure these torments alone.  I am available to speak with you.  Please call me at 415-474-6707, and/or email me at zkolkeymft@lmi.net.  I would be honored to have you share with me so that you become empowered to live your life fully, the way that you want it to be.

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What do Your Dreams Say to You?

July 20, 2010

ON BECOMING YOUR OWN AUTHORITY

The other night I dreamt that I was walking down some stairs and a tall, elegant black woman was walking up the stairs.  She looked at me and asked me, “What do you do?”  I answered, “I’m a psychotherapist.”  She responded, “Oh, then you are your own authority.”

When I awoke, I thought, “What does it mean to be my own authority?”.

As with many questions, it is often easier to say what that does not mean.  First of all, it does not mean being an expert.  Although I have expertise, special skills and knowledge, in a number of treatment  areas, I am not an expert.  I always have more to learn, and, truth be told, I love doing so.  Secondly, it does not mean controlling everyone and everything else around me.  Much as I might like to, I cannot control what anyone else says, thinks, feels or does.  I can only control myself.  I’m sure that there are many more examples of what it doesn’t mean to be my own authority, and I’d rather look at the positive aspects.

There is a great deal of freedom in becoming my own authority, and it does take work to get there.  What do I have to do in order to become my own authority?  I must learn to “know” myself.  I don’t only mean “know”  in terms of what I like and don’t like.  I knew for a long time that there were parts of me that I liked and parts that I didn’t like;  I knew what foods I liked and those that I didn’t like;  I knew the kinds of clothes that I liked and those that I didn’t like.  On a very superficial level, these were things that I knew about myself.  It wasn’t until I started training to become a counselor, which included being in therapy, that I really got to know myself;  how I made myself happy and/or unhappy;  how unaware I was that I was angry and/or fearful.  It was only as I began dealing with my own issues that I began to be a “whole” person and able to  relate to others more fully.  The more I began to know myself and my feelings, the more options I had on how to react.

It was only in this way that I could become my own authority.  I still feel many things that I don’t necessarily like to feel, and I can deal with them.  I have no need to control others, and there is a great deal of freedom in that.

I would love to discuss any of this with you.  Please feel free to call me and thanks for reading this far.

Waiting–Can You Guess for What?

September 21, 2009

your car

Did you guess correctly about what I was waiting for?  As you can see from the date of my last post, I’ve been looking out of the window for quite a while.

Depending on what it is, just looking out of the window doesn’t bring us what we want.  We have to take some action.

Are you waiting for something in your relationship?  If you are, does your partner know that you are waiting?  What action can you take in order to get what you want?

Sometimes we need help in looking at our options.  I know.  I’ve been there.  I’d love to help you.  You deserve to get what you want. We can explore your options together.

Voting may not sound as important as a good sexual relationship and it does impact all of our lives.

May 18, 2009

I’m probably going to sound preachy here and I’m sorry about that. My intention is to impower you to take your power and use it for yourself. One of the ways to do that is to vote.

There is an election in California on May 19. It is costing the State, you and me, huge sums of money. It should be unnecessary and it was demanded by some legislators as a condition for supporting these measures. A low voter turnout is expected and that is not good. Voting is a very small price to pay for living in a democracy, and the results of which, if these propositions pass or fail, , will impact us all. I can’t urge you strongly enough to take the time to become familiar with these propositions and to vote. I’m making it very easy for you by posting here information and recommendations from several groups.

2009 MAY ELECTION BALLOT RECOMMENDATIONS

PROP 1A: Spending cap Limits amount of money government can spend each year. Will probably cause large budget deficits starting in 2011. Risks ability to restore current budget cuts and may force major cuts to schools and health care services in future budget years.
OPPOSING: Calitics, CA Federation of Teachers, CA Nurses Association, CREDO, League of Women Voters, SEIU CA
SUPPORTING: CA League of Conservation Voters, CA Teachers Assn Print this sheet and take it with you to the polls.

PROP 1B: Education funds Would provide a one-time payment of $9.3 billion to schools, spread out over several years beginning in 2011. Requires passage of Prop 1A to be funded.
OPPOSING: Calitics, CA Nurses Association, CREDO Mobile
SUPPORTING: CA Democratic Party, CA Federation of Teachers, CA League of Conservation Voters, CA Teachers Association, SEIU CA

PROP 1C: Lottery borrowing Allows governor to sell unlimited amount of bonds, and obligates the state to pay the bondholders with lottery funds or general fund if lottery sales fail to grow to pay back bonds, regardless of our budget situation. May not raise the expected $5 billion.
OPPOSING: Calitics, CA Federation of Teachers, CA Nurses Association, CREDO Mobile, League of Women Voters
SUPPORTING: CA Democratic Party, CA League of Conservation Voters, CA Teachers Association, SEIU

PROP 1D: Divert funds from First Five In 1998 California voters approved Proposition 10, creating the First Five program that helps children under age 5 get health care, education, and other vital services. This proposition would raid that funding and divert it to the general fund.
OPPOSING: Calitics, CA Federation of Teachers, CA Nurses Association, CREDO, League of Women Voters, SEIU CA
SUPPORTING: CA League of Conservation Voters, CA Teachers Association

PROP 1E: Divert funds from mental health In 2004 California voters approved Proposition 63, taxing incomes over $1 million to fund mental health services that otherwise had no funding. This proposition would raid that funding and divert it to the general fund.
OPPOSING: Calitics, CA Federation of Teachers, CA Nurses Association, CREDO Mobile, League of Women Voters, SEIU CA
SUPPORTING: CA League of Conservation Voters, CA Teachers Association

PROP 1F: Blame legislators Republican State Senator Abel Maldonado demanded this be placed on the ballot as his price for voting to approve the budget. It would prevent legislators from getting a pay raise in deficit years. This saves hardly any money and diverts attention from the real reasons our state budget is flawed.
OPPOSING: Calitics, CA Federation of Teachers, CA Nurses Association, CREDO Mobile
SUPPORTING: CA Democratic Party, CA League of Conservation Voters, CA Teachers Association

Thanks for reading this, and, remember to vote on May 19th. I’m very interested in your response to this and how you felt when you voted.

With warm regards,
Zora

P. S. If you want to see who these organizations are, please go to the following website:
http://www.couragecampaign.org/May2009voterguide

On Becoming a Client

April 26, 2009

ON BECOMING A CLIENT

It’s kind of scary to pick up the phone and call a perfect, or not so perfect, stranger and ask questions about coming to see her/him, especially when you’re in pain. You ask questions about fees, appointment times, maybe about the therapeutic or theoretical approach–and you seldom ask questions about the therapist herself/himself. You’re usually too stressed to even think of any questions.

Some of the questions I suggest that you ask yourself are:
1. Do I feel a rapport with this person?
2. Do I trust this person?
3. Do I feel safe with this person so that I am willing to share myself and be vulnerable?
4. What do I need/want from this person so that I can heal myself?

In addition to the normal administrative questions, I suggest that you also ask:
1. How long have you been in practice?
2. What type of client do you do your best work with?
3. How do you take care of yourself?
4. Are you in therapy and/or have you ever been in therapy?

You may be very uncomfortable asking these questions, and the therapist may not like them nor be willing to answer them. It’s important for you to remember that for your therapy to be successful, you will have to allow yourself to be vulnerable. You need to be willing to express what you’re thinking and feeling, including not liking your therapist at times. Can you do that with this person?

I’d like to hear how it is or would be for you to ask these questions. Do you have any other questions you might think of asking? I look forward to hearing from you.