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Supporting Suicide Survivors With Nate Wagner

When Nate Wagner and I first spoke in 2015 I was struck by his passion for his practice and supporting those who have lost loved ones to suicide. His memoir, Sibling Suicide: Journey from Despair to Hope, tells his story from his perspective as a brother and as a clinician. He is very generously offering the first two chapters for free here (though I suggest you buy the whole thing).

Suicide is one of those issues that most of us therapists are very uncomfortable with. With the holiday season, i…

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Safety in Your Private Practice: Wendy Williams Guest Post

A few months ago when I wrote Healing From Client-Related Trauma, Wendy Williams reached out and proposed a post about how to stay safe in private practice. As an avid fan of safety, I agreed that it would be really helpful to the Abundance community. Wendy breaks it down into what may seem like obvious steps to some, but I’m pretty sure I’ve personally broken at least half of these in the past week, lulled by my assumption that I’m safe. Interesting given that not long before I wrote that blog …

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Saying No In Your Private Practice

There are a million ways we can talk about boundaries in your practice, and I’m sure I’ll hit most of them at some point, but today I want to talk to what happens when we fall into scheduling and fear-based victimhood. Oh yeah, I used the V-word. Let’s own it.

Time

Here’s what happens: someone calls and seems like a really great fit. You have space available since you’re still building. You want to see this client. They insist that they can’t make the times you offer, so you stretch a little and …

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Healing From Client-Related Trauma

*Trigger warning: description of violence follows*

I have a scar from a client, a man twice my weight, who locked his jaw on me and wouldn’t let go. I was once restrained by a young but strong girl and didn’t know how I was going to get out of it. As a house parent at 19 years old, I was placed alone with two men in their mid-30’s who had sexually assaulted a young woman and I wasn’t told about it, nor did I have access to their chart, until months in. A co-worker I traded shifts with was once pu…

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Stop Seeing Your Clients as Victims

This blog post is a long time coming. It all started with a hater. Not a troll, but someone who looked at the surface of a few things I said, made some assumptions about me, fit that into her paradigm about therapy and therapists and let me have it. I’d had my share of haters by that point, but none that invested a ton of time in writing a diatribe of grievances about my character and the evil I was spreading in the world of counseling. At first I felt really misunderstood. I wanted to defend my…

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