My New Blue Door

Yesterday I finally painted my office front door a vibrant blue. It had been the black I painted it a few years ago because I thought that went better with the yellow siding. I think my contractor had suggested it and I went along with it thinking he knew better than me about what I wanted. I have never liked the black but it was “ok.” I discussed colors with my teenage son who has a very good eye for this and we decided on Benjamin Moore’s Pacific Palisades Blue. I didn’t realize it at the time we picked but I needed a change that this door would come to symbolize. Without getting into details I knew that something needed to shift inside of me. That I needed to start seeing myself differently in order to move on from something. In essence I had been stuck in one facet of my life. Yes, even us immortal therapists struggle with being stuck sometimes. I needed a new door to open and I had to have the courage to walk through it. So I did. It was quite liberating and freeing. It feels great!

Stuck feels like a four letter word

Frequently I deal with my patients who are stuck. Sometimes, but rarely it unsticks quickly. Other times it can go on for a very long time. I find it mostly in the stories they have told themselves. It usually involves their self worth. That my patient  believes she deserves far less than than she does. That she must settle for crumbs. I can’t tell her she deserves more and expect she will instantly  believe it. She must do the inner work and determine this for herself. I do of course tell her that she deserves everything she wants. It will require going deep inside to figure out why she doesn’t believe this in the first place. It can be a long and painful process, but the only way through it is through it.

It takes as long as it takes!

Sometimes it can take years to get unstuck and walk through the a new door. It can be terrifying.  We can imagine all kinds of bad things happening.  So rather than risk it we stay stuck.  Getting unstuck can be a lengthy process. The insurance companies would have us believing it’s a matter of weeks , maybe a few months to unstick. I don’t agree. I also know   it doesn’t matter how long it takes. In my supervision with a Jungian analyst I used to wonder how long it would take my patient to become unstuck? This particular supervisor always said “it takes as long as it takes”! He was so right. I must be patient with my patient and stick with her through her difficulties imagining a different life for herself. One where she has what she wants instead of struggling to have it. One that lets her walk through the new door and into the life she deserves. My job is to simply walk along side her while she is finding that door.

What new door do you imagine opening for yourself? What in your self proclaimed story needs to change?

Happy Thanksgiving!


If you grew up in the 1970’s like I did. You would know that Dreamweaver was a song released by Gary Wright June 1, 1975. It has been used in movies and played numerous times on the radio. I never appreciated the song until I was much older. Since doing more work in my own therapy over the years I have come to learn that dreams tell us so much about our non-waking lives, aka “the unconscious.”

Does the shadow really know?

Dreams tell us something about our lives that we don’t know. Like whether or not to change careers or move to a new home. Or how we might still be hurting ourselves through the negative relationship we have with ourselves.  For example dreaming about being abandoned might be trying to explain how we abandon ourselves. Our shadow can also show up in our dreams. In jungian psychology the shadow is thought to be an unconscious part of one’s psyche that we don’t readily identify in ourselves. For example the “not me.” If I am like myself, a zoftig blonde women in her fifties and I dream of a red headed thin woman in her 20’s it would be a shadowy part of myself. In my waking life that is definitely “not me” but in my non-waking life she is alive and well.

Get on Board the dreamweaver train 

Dreams interpretation requires skill and patience. Writing dreams upon wakening is the best way to ensure the accuracy of our recall of the dream. I tend to use a voice recorder for my dreams. I then print it out and write any associations in the margins. The two questions I pose are “why this dream now” and “what is this dream trying to tell me about my life today?” Another fun way is to draw or paint a dream. Seeing what images arise on the paper can be really helpful with the interpretation of the dream. In the next few months I will be starting a dream group. It will meet twice a month and will be limited to 8 to 10 members. It is not a psychotherapy group. It is a group where members will help the dreamer interpret the dream through non-judgmental feedback.  Check out my FB page for updates!