Author Archives: norasblog

About norasblog

I am a psychotherapist with a private practice in downtown Chicago.

The Doing

Aspiration, intention, commitment, determination. These words form a sequence toward doing what we value. An aspiration is an ideal to work toward. I may have an aspiration to be kinder or more organized. It is not something we achieve, but … Continue reading

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Engaging

Like most primates, for human beings our superpower is our capacity to join with others to accomplish tasks, maintain safety, and become our best selves. We do not have wings, or prehensile tails, or claws. We have cooperation. We know … Continue reading

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The Behavior and the Meaning

So I’ve been reading in linguistic anthropology. I know. Another rabbit hole of ideas. But here’s the thing. Every interaction with another person contains the behavior, whether it is speech or action, and the meanings that behavior carries. The meanings … Continue reading

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Appreciation or Gratitude

It seems to me that we should stop talking about gratitude and start focusing on appreciation. It is a small shift, but with a real difference. Gratitude is about the feeling in me evoked by something outside of  myself. That … Continue reading

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What are you cultivating in yourself?

What you repeat becomes who you are. You create yourself by your choices. What are you focusing on within your own experience of yourself? What is your relationship like with yourself? How we understand who we are is fundamentally our … Continue reading

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Plain Old Therapy

Jon Allen has written a wonderful book called “Restoring Mentalizing in Attachment Relationships: Treating Trauma with Plain Old Therapy.” I have become enchanted with the idea of “plain old therapy.” Allen writes that in medicine we can have many specialists … Continue reading

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Grandmother mind

One of the aspirations in Buddhist thought is to acquire what is called “grandmother mind.” Grandmother mind is the idea that you love unconditionally, guide and direct without judgment, share your wisdom, and accept all people with an affectionate understanding, … Continue reading

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Effort Equals Growth

Carol Dweck is a research psychologist at Stanford who has studied what she calls the growth mindset. Some people think they are naturally good or bad at something, like math, or naturally healthy or naturally talented. And some people think … Continue reading

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People Change

People change over time. Often this is a result of relationships that affect them, unusual events in their lives, or accumulated life experience. Sometimes I will be talking with a couple and one of them will say to the other: … Continue reading

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Hijacked by Emotion?

Our emotional experience is incredibly important. E-motion is what puts us in motion. If we have feelings, we do something. It is harder to mobilize if we are neutral. Actually it might not even be possible to act without some … Continue reading

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