Mindful Monday: Being Real

Another Monday, another opportunity to practice mindfulness!


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TBT: Don’t Tug at the Shoots

Don’t Tug at the Shoots

Originally posted on

Don't Pull the ShootsWriting about gardening and therapy yesterday reminded me of a favorite story of mine which focuses on how we can get in our own way through impatience and attempts at control.

The story goes something like this:

there was a farmer who worried that his rice shoots weren’t growing fast enough, and so went around tugging at them.  At the end of the day, he returned home exhausted and said to his family: I’m worn out.  I’ve been helping the rice grow.  His son ran out to look and found the fields all withered and dying.

In terms of trauma therapy (and life in general) of course there are times we need to take action. However, our hectic culture seems to over-emphasize doing at the expense of being. There are also times to focus more on the latter, on getting comfortable with letting go. I attended a mindfulness workshop last weekend (more about this in an upcoming post) that reminded me of the emotional and physical benefits we can reap from learning to “just be”: with our thought, our feelings and ourselves.

Sometimes too much effort or “doing” actually makes things worse not better! “Tugging at the shoots” is my shorthand to describe this experience of impatience and a desire to control ruining things. It reminds me that we can trust the process, that growth occurs on its own time table, that each of us have within us the capacity for movement towards healing and wholeness. Sometimes we just have to get out of our own way!

As I think about doing versus being, I am also reminded of that phrase from The Serenity Prayer used in 12-step programs: “the wisdom to know the difference”.

What are the things you need to do something about in terms of your own healing?

When do you instead need to let go and just be in the moment?

Do you need to cultivate the ability to be present with what is right now?

Is there something about yourself, your therapy or your life that you are tugging at?

Do you need to instead let go and let it unfold in its own time?

Kathleen Young, Psy.D.

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Wordless Wednesday

I’ve been contemplating a new weekly theme here at Treating Trauma, sharing pictures without any explanation like other blogs do a la Wordless Wednesdays. Okay, my version may have one word (one word Wednesdays?) but it’s up to you to fill in the rest. Let’s see how it goes!

Wordless Wednesday

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Mindful Monday: It’s Okay to Feel

On Mondays I am sharing a series of pictures, quotes, and affirmations with you. Mindfulness can help us accept and increase our capacity to be with all our feelings, without judgment.

You can contemplate this post as a mindfulness practice by following these steps.


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TBT: Domestic Violence Awareness

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, an opportunity to raise awareness about the prevalence and cost of domestic violence, the need for prevention, and the services that are available to victims and their families.

See examples of various Domestic Violence Awareness Month activities in different locations.

You may also be interested in these articles I have previously written on the topic:

Domestic Violence and Claims of Change: Is It Possible?

Treating Male Victims of Domestic Violence (DV) in Same-sex Couples

Domestic Violence: A Definition

Emotional Abuse: Possible Signs

Intimate Partner Violence: How Can Men Make a Difference?

Men Can Help End Violence Against Women

If you are in immediate danger or want more information, please contact The National Domestic Violence Hotline:

1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

Kathleen Young, Psy.D.

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