Welcome to the AEDP Institute Bulletin Board.
Members can submit announcements at any time – log in to learn how.
“As members of the AEDP Vision Collective, we believe it is critically important to be culturally competent psychotherapists as it relates to self-awareness, cultural humility, and the commitment to understanding, racial trauma and developing affective therapeutic interventions to support the psychological well-being of populations of African ancestry.” read the Vision Collective’s Celebration and Call to Action here
Newly Certified and Appointed
Congratulations to five AEDP Certified Supervisors who were just appointed as
Hong Kong Adjunct Faculty Members: Cammy, Esther, Judy, Wing and Victoria.
Sr. Faculty member Dr. Danny Yeung recently traveled from his home in Canada to Hong Kong to teach AEDP Immersion to 80 therapists. This was the 15th Hong Kong Immersion he has taught. The AEDP community in Hong Kong is thriving!
We are hugely grateful to Danny who has done so much to build the Hong Kong community. And Danny would be the first to remind us that he has not achieved this by himself. While many people and organizations have been involved, five AEDP Certified Supervisors have contributed tremendously, and over many, many years, supporting and participating not only in the 15 Hong Kong Immersions but in the intense work of designing and teaching the Hong Kong version of Essential Skills. This latter responsibility is one that the Institute is now formally recognizing with appointments to Adjunct Faculty. So, it is with great pleasure that we announce the appointments of the following five people to Adjunct Faculty – Hong Kong:
Cammy Cheung, RSW
Esther Wai Yee Poon, MFT
Judy M. Y. Wong, MFT
Kwok Wing Wu, MPsych, Reg. Clin. Psychol.
Victoria Cheung Ng Kwok Yee, DMin, RP
Please read about each of the new Adjunct Faculty Members on our Faculty webpage here.
and join us in congratulating them and welcoming each of these community members them to this important role.
What a wonderful way to start the year of the Dragon! Congratulations and deep gratitude for all you have done and continue to do to support AEDP.
It is with great excitement that I have the pleasure to announce that Melissa Bannerot is now an AEDP Certified Therapist. Melissa is a licensed clinical social worker. She works in private practice in Colorado Springs. She has been in private practice since 2011. In 2018 she was introduced to AEDP at a ‘lunch and learn’ in Denver led by Lia Jones.
I first had the pleasure of meeting Melissa at a Core Training run by Lia Jones in Denver. Her warmth and enthusiasm immediately drew me in, and our paths have continued to cross, most recently in 16-Session AEDP group supervision (co-lead with Gail Woods) and in individual supervision with an eye to certification.
Here is what Lia Jones had to say about Melissa: From the start of her learning AEDP, Melissa has been wholeheartedly dedicated to the learning process. Melissa brings enthusiasm, warmth, empathy and skill to her work and to her community. Congratulations to Melissa for an exemplary journey to certification! So happy for you Melissa!
And Gail Woods wrote the following: How fortunate we are that Melissa Bannerot is now an AEDP Certified Therapist. She is a dedicated AEDP clinician who brings embodied self-awareness and deliberate practice to her empathic connection with clients. Her good work has brought her mastery of so many AEDP skills: portrayal, slowing with deep emotion, somatic tracking & mirroring, undoing aloneness, regulating to help a client stay within window of tolerance, privileging glimmers of strength and transformance. Melissa has an intuitive gift for eliciting gorgeous metaphors that feel just right. A few samples: “it was like a stereo was turned down, now on full volume…you (Melissa) opened the door!” “I had the image of client and me surfing giant waves together…and shared it”. As her 16-session supervisor, I will always remember Melissa’s kind, non-defensive, eager, loving, approach to self and other and her commitment to using the magic of the time frame in time-limited therapy to work toward healing transformative closure.
Melissa’s work is unique and she embodies the “+1” of the 9+1 Affective Change Processes– her work just feels like AEDP! Here’s what her reviewers had to say about the work in her certification package:
Reviewer 1: Melissa’s presence and smile warmed my heart. As I imagine being her client, I feel safe, cared for and seen. I know she’s with me and has my self-at-best in mind, even when I feel doubt or confused. Her frequent self-supervision comments cause me to feel trust in Melissa. I would refer clients to her with confidence.
Reviewer 2: Melissa is especially tuned for detecting transformance and championing of the Self. Melissa seems guided by her unwavering trust in AEDP that if her client can drop down, something transformative will happen. It does. She undoes aloneness with her non-verbals and para-verbals, unfailingly privileges emergence and side-steps defenses, and stays on target with the therapeutic focus. In both tapes, I was struck by her leadership without directiveness, and ability to hold patients in their windows of tolerance while doing deep integrative work.
Melissa has been passionate about helping her clients become more emotionally connected and is working towards eventual certification as an AEDP supervisor. She is in AEDP supervision as well as personal psychotherapy. Being a part of the AEDP community has greatly improved her life in all aspects. Melissa lives with her husband and three of her four children in Colorado Springs. She is looking forward to becoming a grandmother in late spring.
In addition to providing the above description of herself, Melissa had the following to say when asked what she would like to include here about her journey: I am so thankful for our work together, Jenn. I cannot say enough about how connected I have felt to you since we met in Denver. Those tiny moments are part of my “core memories” (credit to the movie Inside Out!)…such amazing examples of secure connection. I am so happy that I had enough receptive affective capacity to take in your secure connection and reaches in those tiny moments. They were such a good balm to my heart and soul and preparation for showing tape with someone I knew cared and strived for growth with me. I am also so thankful to Lia Jones.
Melissa has assisted at numerous AEDP trainings – you may well have already encountered her at one of these. Cristina Mendonça, a Lead Assistant for many of the trainings at which Melissa assisted, writes the following: I’ve had the honor and pleasure of working with Melissa many times. I am always extra excited when I know her enriching presence, competent skills and beautiful energy will be joining and adding to the assistants team. She is steady, precise and makes everyone around feel at ease. Her eyes are full of soul and make anyone’s heart smile. She has the AEDP quality in every cell of her body. CONGRATULATIONS Melissa!!
I agree wholeheartedly with how my colleagues have captured Melissa’s big heart and bright smile and mind. I love how AEDP flows through her in a unique, purely Melissa way that buoys her clients and is awash with transformance detection!
If you would like to join me (and the others in this post) in congratulating Melissa, please write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With great warmth,
It is with immense pleasure that I announce that Mary Anne Lowell is now an AEDP Certified Supervisor.
Mary Anne is a skillful, wise, steadying and adept therapist and supervisor.
She is incredibly kind in her style while imparting her knowledge of the AEDP model as she works.
Her work with her supervisees is transformative, they developed a confidence in themselves and in their ability to employ AEDP skills when working.
Through her quiet, elegant presence, Mary Anne holds space for both the therapist and the client demonstrating the true meaning of listening being careful attention and skillful tracking.
Mary Anne’s reviewers found her work with supervisees to be “skillful, thoughtful, with a fidelity to the model, this created a safe, comfortable, caring space for her supervisees to explore and optimally learn AEDP.”
Please welcome Mary Anne to the growing community of AEDP Certified Supervisors.
You can write her at email@example.com.
I am so very thrilled and proud to announce that Yuko Parris is now an AEDP Certified Supervisor.
Yuko is skillful, attuned, has a deep sense of empathy as an AEDP Therapist and as a supervisor. Sharing the AEDP model with her supervisees, she is deep, gentle, patient, and compassionate.
Her work with her supervisees is transformative—developing a confidence in them and in their ability to use AEDP skills in their working. Here are the reviewer’s words:
First reviewer: “I have finished reviewing Yuko Parris’ paper. She most certainly merits approval as an AEDP Certified Supervisor. My enthusiastic YES!
I had the pleasure of reviewing Yuko’s videotapes when she applied to become an AEDP Certified Therapist, and it is wonderful to see how she has continued to flourish in only a few years as a supervisor. In her paper, she demonstrates with much skill how she collaboratively explores areas of weakness in her supervisees–“walking a fine balance” as she says–such that they don’t feel criticized but instead are helped to become their “therapist selves-at-best.”
Second reviewer: “Yuko gets a pass! She did a lovely job of articulating the mindset associated with AEDP supervision and provided excellent examples in which she was able to put the principles into practice. “
Here’s Yuko’s own words: I am a career changer, and as soon as I started my career as a psychotherapist, I encountered AEDP in 2017. I am extremely lucky to have found this AEDP community with warm-hearted colleagues in the early stages of my career.
Since then, I have attended Immersion, Essential Skills, and Advanced Skills training, as well as participating as an EA, LA, and presenter. I received supervision from Yuko Hanakawa, Molly Eldridge, Jennifer Edlin, and Jerry Lamagna. After becoming an AEDP Certified therapist, I have been promoting AEDP in Japan alongside other Japanese AEDP therapists. Together, we have conducted numerous AEDP trainings and workshops across Japan.
Throughout my AEDP journey, I have encountered numerous friends, mentors, and teachers who have inspired me and emphasized the importance of being authentic. Thanks to this model, I have formed deep connections with many of my clients. I am thrilled to serve as a supervisor in this community and to have the opportunity to share the ethos of AEDP with even more colleagues. (end of quote)
Yuko has a knack for holding her beginner supervisees with her warm heart and leading them with her wise mind, helping them visibly progress as AEDP therapists through her supervision. I’m deeply impressed with the effectiveness of Yuko’s supervision and think that her supervisees are so lucky to have her!
Please welcome Yuko Parris to the wonderful community of wise AEDP Certified Supervisors. You can write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org
“AEDP 2.0” is a Bestseller!
Did you know that the book, “Undoing Aloneness and the Transformation of Suffering Into Flourishing: AEDP 2.0″ made the APA (American Psychology Association) bestsellers list for 2023?
Congratulations to Diana – who wrote several chapters in the book and is the book’s editor,
and congratulations to all 13 AEDP Institute Sr. Faculty and Faculty Emerita who collaborated to make this the incredible book it is. Here’s the list of authors, chapter by chapter:
Diana Fosha, Karen Kranz, Gil Tunnell & Jenna Osiason, Yuko Hanakawa, Benjamin Lipton, Karen Pando-Mars, Ron Frederick, Ben Medley, Eileen Russell, SueAnne Piliero, Jerry Lamagna, Kari Gleiser, and Danny Yeung
Upcoming Institute Sponsored Seminars and Seminar Series’
|SEMINAR SERIES: Psychedelic Assisted Therapy: Preparation, Integration, and everything in between in the context of AEDP™
|Presented by: Emily Bilbao, LCSW
Sponsored by the Institute (does not count towards certification)
8 Tuesdays | February 27th – June 4th 2024
11:00 AM – 2:00 PM Eastern Time USA
Learn more and Register
Watch the VIDEO about why now may be the time for you to learn about Psychedelic Assisted Therapy
|SEMINAR SERIES: AEDP™ in Action: Navigating the Therapeutic Journey Through Emotional Pain into Transformational Change
|Presented by: Richard Harrison, PhD
Sponsored by the Institute (does not count towards certification)
8 Tuesdays | March 5th- May 14, 2024
12:00 – 3:30 pm Eastern Time USA + Canada
Learn more and Register
|SEMINAR: I-and-Thou / Dao in the Here-and-Now: Heartfelt Listening, Dialogical Pre / Absencing and the Spirit of AEDP™
|Presented by: Danny Yeung, MD
Sponsored by the Institute (does not count towards certification
Friday/Saturday March 15 + 16, 2024
12:00 – 4:15 PM Eastern Standard Time USA + Canada
Learn more and Register
For all 2024 AEDP Institute-sponsored events please click here
AEDP Content Taught by AEDP Faculty. In-Person Events.
(not Institute-sponsored, does not count for certification)
AEDP 1-day Workshop – Sigal Bahat – February 24, 2024 – NYC
In person, in NYC! February 24, 2024
1-day AEDP Experiential Workshop
AEDP Level 2 and upwards
Trusting the Process
And Learning from It
Sigal Bahat, AEDP Adjunct Faculty
"I realized I love teaching from live demos. I found it to be a very powerful way of teaching,
and extremely helpful in advanced stages of AEDP learning. It seems to support therapists
with getting clearer in identifying and filling in the missing pieces
of AEDP's rich puzzle they are striving to put together." Sigal Bahat
Take advantage of this rare opportunity to experience the highly experiential and deeply
somatic AEDP teaching of AEDP Adjunct Faculty member Sigal Bahat. For the 1st time in New
York in more than 6 years, Sigal decided to offer this day-long IN PERSON experiential
workshop during her just finalized visit to New York City.
In this highly experiential workshop, Sigal Bahat will invite participants to deepen their Trust
in the Process. Participants will experience landing into their own embodied presence as a
grounded resource from which they can tune in to the non-verbal layer of communication –
a layer beneath words.
The body, our bodies – patient's and therapist's – are ever-present, rich resources in the
therapeutic encounter. Resources we can trust in many ways, ready to inform us in the
moment – and moment-to-moment – of the process which is waiting to unfold and be
supported. Learning to track this layer and use it as a support in our work deepens our
capacity to trust the process as it evolves and emerges moment-to-moment.
We'll learn through experiential exercises, clinical tapes and from a live demonstration. To
be exposed in a live demonstration, we have to trust the process. It might work
well, it might not! – in either case we will learn from this experience together. We'll
allow spacious room for discussion as a ground from which we can integrate bottom-up and
top-down, and weave back and forth between right and left brain experience.
Throughout the workshop, Sigal will share her AEDP style, which integrates from within the
AEDP framework her rich somatic background, and which she has elaborated in an ASM
(Advanced Skills Module) on The Use of the Somatic Portal in AEDP.
Sigal will be joined by AEDP Certified Supervisor, Steve Carroll who will be on hand to
support and assist participants.
On the presenter:
Sigal Bahat M.A. an AEDP Adjunct Faculty, started as a Dance Movement Therapist (’91), and
then trained both as an Expressive & Creative psychotherapist and as a Bio-energetic
Analyst. She is certified and has many years of experience as a teacher of somatic-
AEDP 1-day Workshop – Sigal Bahat – February 24, 2024 – NYC
mindfulness approaches: The Alexander Technique, The Feldenkrais Method and Authentic
Movement. She says: "Meeting AEDP allowed for and invited me to integrate and elaborate
from within its framework (both map and theory), the richness of the somatic and
experiential experience I brought with me. I've found a professional home that resonated
with me deeply – mind, body, and soul".
COME JOIN Sigal
and experience her very special way
of deepening somatic presence in experience in AEDP!
Place: NYC – 40 Broad St.,5th Floor New York.,N.Y.10004 (Financial District)
Date/Hours: Saturday February 24, 2024; 9:45 am – 6:00 pm
Price: Reduced – quick deciders, before February 2 $180.00;
Full price $220.00
Registration includes 2 stages:
Transferring the payment to Sigal Bahat PayPal account:
Filling the registration form in the link:
For any question, please contact Steve Carroll:
Phone: (609) 828-2238
Diana will be presenting In-Person at the 47th Annual
PSYCHOTHERAPY NETWORKER SYMPOSIUM in D.C. March 21st – 24th, 2024
Diana will present UNDOING ALONENESS IN RELATIONAL TRAUMA
Friday, March 22, 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM EST
Learn more and register (to attend In-Person or Live Online) here:
July 29-August 2, 2024 | Presented by the Cape Cod Institute: Live In-Person or Live-Online
HOT Topics in AEDP™
Diana Fosha, PhD, Kari Gleiser, PhD, & Ben Medley, LCSW, with Molly Eldridge, LICSW
July 29-August 2, 2024
Presented by the Cape Cod Institute: Live In-Person or Live-Online
Learn More & Register https://www.cape.org/courses/2024-aedp-diana-fosha
Supervision Offerings with AEDP Faculty, Certified Supervisors
and Supervisors in Training
* If a Faculty Member or other Certified Supervisor is present during supervision by a Supervisor in Training, the hours count towards AEDP Certification. Otherwise, the hours so not count towards certification until and unless the Supervisor in Training becomes certified, at which time the supervision hours are retroactively counted.
More supervision opportunities are listed on the website Here
Beginner’s Mind Consultation Group…NEW Group forming
2 spots open..
Finishing ES1..and want to continue growing? AEDP collaborative learning is a
transformational experience like no other!
Begin or continue videotaping while developing and strengthening your personal AEDP
therapeutic presence. We will focus on how to videotape comfortably, and to self-
supervise while watching your own videos.
If you aren’t taping you can present a case as your client and me as therapist so you
can get a bottom up sense of how to make it more AEDP-ish.
..add to your AEDP skill set while honoring the many skills you already have.
..learn to be an attuned micro-tracker!
..explore the felt sense of all 4 states until they become second nature
..AND enhance your critical consciousness by expanding the AEDP container to include
the larger social context.
I have been an AEDP supervisor for a decade and have a heart centered approach to
this work, leaning into the somatic/emotional connection within ourselves, with our
clients and with each other as we co-create OUR group.
Fridays noon – 2 PM EST, bi-weekly on Zoom.
Starting in February!
Fee for group is $100 US/ per meeting. I offer a reduced fee if needed.
Groups are 4-6 persons to foster AEDP learning intimacy.
All hours count toward certification.
As always, please reach out to me with questions you might have and to explore if this
is a good fit for your learning needs.
With warmth and care,
Judy Silberstein, LCSW-R
Certified AEDP Therapist, Supervisor
Certified Bioenergetic Therapist, Supervisor
Group & Individual Supervision Online with Michael Mondoro, Certified AEDP Supervisor (Eastern Time Zone)
Group 1: Transforming Trauma with AEDP & Intra-Relational Parts Work: 1st & 3rd Monday of the month, 1p-2:30p EST (30 minute didactic presentation + 1 hour consultation). This is an opportunity to connect with new colleagues and continue to grow in your work with relational trauma, PTSD, and complex-PTSD. Learn new skills in applying intra-relational parts work to your AEDP practice. I will teach and demo or show tape of an AEDP-IR parts work skill each week and a participant will present tape of their work and receive group support and feedback (Prerequisite: AEDP Essential Skills 1 course).
Group 2: Essential AEDP: Friday, bi-weekly, 10a-11a EST (1 hour consultation with didactic aspects woven-in). This is an opportunity to undo aloneness, deepen your AEDP knowledge and interventions, receive group support and feedback, and build your AEDP network of colleagues (Prerequisite: AEDP Immersion course).
Although all will benefit from these experiences, if you are aspiring to be an AEDP Certified Therapist, both groups counts towards the certification group supervision requirement.
Contact: email@example.com or www.michaeljmondorolcsw.com
Are you interested in joining a monthly supervision/case consultation group made up of sensitive, skilled, and supportive colleagues, all of whom have reached Level 2 training in AEDP?
Do you want to further hone and develop your AEDP practice? Would you value the opportunity to consult about your work with a caring supervisor and like-minded colleagues in a warm, mutually supportive environment?
If so, please contact me to explore the possibility of joining a monthly AEDP Supervision/Case Consultation group that meets from 9 AM – 11AM (pacific time), usually on the last Monday of each month.
I’m a Certified AEDP Supervisor, which means our supervision hours count towards your certification as an AEDP Therapist, provided you are licensed by a professional body (or equivalent) in your country of practice. However you do not need to be interested in pursuing certification in order to benefit from the group!
I am deeply committed to helping people develop and grow in AEDP, and I’d be honoured to support you in doing so.
Option 1: 4-6 session modules designed as complements to ES1 modules, with focus on integrating learning and applying skills in one’s own practice.
Option 2: Ongoing supervision available, as well as assistance with preparation of certification transcripts
1. Individual supervision in person in NYC or on zoom
2. Zoom AEDP supervision group on Wednesdays 9-10 EST. The group focuses on supervision on tape and between rounds of clinicians showing tape a didactic session is offered to satisfy both right and left brain needs.
The email to contact me is firstname.lastname@example.org for supervision.
Consultative Individual Supervision: I offer a 16-20 session consultative “supervisory-client experience”. This AEDP package is called “consultative therapy and supervision”, and is available to all AEDP trainees, as an adjunct to your growth edge as you learn to provide AEDP. Hours count for your certification hours.
-Currently offering group & individual supervision for all levels including beginners and advanced AEDP therapists. Please contact me for further information.
I have openings for group and individual supervision. I also have openings in my Consultation & Study groups. Grow your knowledge, understanding, and skills with like-minded and supportive colleagues.
Please contact me for more information. All supervision is thru Zoom.
Pikesville, Maryland, USA
I’m excited to announce that I am offering a time-limited (6 month commitment) supervision group starting this fall for a small group of clinicians (6 participants max).
My intention is to create a warm, welcoming space for participants to expand and refine their AEDP skills, discover one’s own unique therapeutic presence and build connection and community with others.
Each session will focus on one of the following themes and topics:
* Finding ease and traction when working in State 1
* Refining attunement: what does THIS moment call for?
* Pressuring with empathy: the healing power of one’s therapeutic presence and stance
* Healing trauma through child parts work and portrayals
Fall 2023 – Spring 2024
Meet once a month for 2 hours via zoom (Pacific time zone)
2 participants present a 45 minute video tape of clinical material
Fee: $100 per group session
All hours count toward AEDP certification for licensed clinicians
Please feel free to contact me with any questions. email@example.com
AEDP and Addiction Individual or Group Supervision
Mark Green, MD
Individual Supervision with Mark Green, MD – AEDP Supervisor-in-training
General AEDP, addictions and psychedelic assisted therapies (primarily ketamine)
I am a very experienced supervisor and trainer of Phd, LICSW, MD’s, trainer in KAP, 25 years addictions specialty.
I’ll work on targeted consultation or ongoingly as you move towards certification.
Mark Green, M.D. | www.psychgarden.com
“BIPOC AEDP Supervision Group/Co-learning Space”
Please contact H. Jacquie Ye-Perman, Ph.D. at firstname.lastname@example.org
AEDP Supervision Group/Co-Learning Space for BIPOC Therapists and/or BIPOC Clients
For whom: practitioners who are
1. self-identified as BIPOC, including non-US folks who identify with the social location of being marginalized from the dominant cultural group(s)
2. not BIPOC but have a focus on working with BIPOC clients
The Goals: 1. To co-create a space of safety, openness for BIPOC therapists, to undo aloneness due to cultural alienation and racism and foster therapists’ growth. 2. To provide AEDP supervision, with the consideration of tailoring AEDP interventions towards specific client-therapist cultural dynamic.
Questions I will encourage reflection include, but not limited to:
1. In what way do my background/social location and my identity development impact the power dynamic and connection I have with different clients?
2. What are the unique strengths I drew from my cultural background that I bring into the therapy room? How to make more use of them?
3. Is there a unique adaptation of AEDP I am making in respect to my own cultural experiences?
Time and structure: the group will consist of 4-6 members. It will occur bi-weekly, 1 hour 20 minutes each time. Specific time is to be determined partly by the participants. Group members are expected to take turns presenting their clinical work in video format. For those who are not yet ready to present clinical video, we can start with clinical audio or transcript, with the goal of obtaining clinical videos as your work advances.
The organizer and supervisor: I am a Chinese-born, Canada and US-educated, currently living in the heartland of the US., bilingual, CIS gendered female, heterosexual and able-bodied psychotherapist, certified AEDP Therapist and Supervisor. Through the years of my professional life, I have been trained, then practiced, wrote, and taught psychotherapy from the lens of cultural humility. I have also been providing AEDP-focused individual and group supervision since 2015, and am currently leading the BIPOC AEDP Core-training. I don’t see myself in a position of expertise when it comes to BIPOC experiences; I see myself as a life-long student of cultures and someone who understands in a personal way the needs of safety for learning and thriving.
Cost of the supervision: $60 for each 1 hr 20 mins session. I expect four sessions of commitment at each renewal to maintain a sense of consistency for the group. Sliding scale is available, please ask.
Participation in this group will count towards your AEDP certification.
Contact for those who are interested in participating or simply curious: H. Jacquie Ye-Perman, Ph.D., at email@example.com
NEW! Experiential Group/Individual Supervision with Marc Cecil, Ph.D.
Experiential Group/Individual Supervision (EGIS) is a new evolving supervision approach designed for AEDP and other experiential clinicians to actively awaken the self of the therapist and patient and sharpen the focus of your work.
Although watching video and talking about your patients can be part of the experience, the key difference from traditional AEDP consultation is the integration of live experiential exercises, either in a group or individually, based on actual blocks or issues coming up for the therapist or patient.
This approach takes what therapists have found valuable in ES1 and other advanced trainings to the next level, building therapist confidence and deepening the work.
Here are a few ways that EGIS can impact your work and life:
1. Develop your ability to conceptualize and focus your work and make it more experiential, particularly when it feels like there is a block and you don’t know where to go next.
2. Enable a new learning opportunity for all therapists, even if you are already videoing your work, but especially, if your employer doesn’t permit it or you are still a little camera shy.
3. Enhance your ability to recognize your own unique style and healing signature, improving therapeutic presence and reducing the impact of compassion fatigue and burnout.
4. Pierce through your resistance in learning this challenging model, from the ground up and top down, with the support of an experienced AEDP supervisor and therapist, skilled in a wide variety of therapy models and approaches.
I am looking for committed clinicians, regardless of AEDP experience, who are willing to look at themselves and want to take their work to the next level. Some may prefer the benefits of working with a close group of supportive colleagues, whereas others, may choose to take advantage of the opportunity to work one to one, enabling more time to focus on your specific needs and what is getting in the way of your progress. Like myself, you may actually find a combination of both approaches extremely valuable.
If you are curious about what it would be like to participate in one of my groups or on an individual basis, please reach out and tell me a little about yourself, past and current training/supervision, and what you would like to get out of supervision. In the spirit of experiential work, I would love to meet with you on Zoom to discuss your supervision needs and to see what it would be like to work together.
Looking forward to being an active partner in your learning, an aegis, or, as some still say, an egis, supporting you on this journey of becoming the therapist and person you were always meant to be. Much care and hope,
Marc A. Cecil, Ph.D.
Certified AEDP Supervisor
September 3, 2023
Sliding scale available
Contact Supervisor for Availability
Deliberate Practice Supervision in AEDP (Dana Baerger, Supervisor in Training)
Deliberate practice is a systematic, evidence-based method for improving skills and developing expertise. Research has demonstrated that in the context of psychotherapy, deliberate practice is essential to enhancing clinical effectiveness, primarily because it targets the therapist’s procedural learning.
I am starting a time-limited (6-month) supervision group that will be oriented around the fundamental principles of deliberate practice, including: identifying clinical challenges; establishing learning goals; engaging in behavioral rehearsal; monitoring performance over time; and working to respond with self-compassion to the shame and experiential avoidance that the learning process often evokes.
I anticipate that this 6-month group will begin in the fall (although the start date will also depend upon the timing of participants’ availability). The group will meet for 2 hours once per month, on a Friday afternoon. Participants will be sharing clinical videotape with the group.
I’m currently working toward supervision certification; therefore, if you’re pursuing AEDP therapist certification, all supervision hours accrued with me will count toward your therapist certification once my certification process is complete. However, regardless of whether or not you’re currently pursuing certification, I welcome your questions and/or participation! Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am offering individual and group supervision, in English and Portuguese. I am working toward supervision certification, and as such, once I am certified, any hours that you accrue with me will count toward your AEDP certification.
Please, feel free to reach out to ask about more information (email@example.com).
Looking for Supervision
I am a BIPOC Therapist looking for supervisors for individual and group supervision. I’m located in California. I’m not sure if the directory is up to date. Hopefully I’ll be able to find supervisors this way.
Amber Thuston MSc, LPCC
Healing with Amber
Non Institute-sponsored, non faculty, AEDP and AEDP-related trainings, forums, discussion groups, peer groups
These trainings are not Institute-sponsored and do not count towards AEDP certification.
Dear AEDP Colleagues,
I will be hosting a roundtable zoom discussion on Saturday March 2, 2024 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm on the topic of Sizeism and Body Positivity. In the age of injectable and oral medications practitioners and media influencers are being asked by pharmaceutical companies to use their platforms for sales and promotions. There is no charge for this gathering and it will not be recorded. We all have patients who have feelings about their bodies whether they are large or small bodies. We also have feelings about our own bodies and how that shows up in the clinical space we create with our patients. Patient’s struggle with guilt and shame and there is so much attention on the ever changing body! This discussion transcends all populations across the diversity spectrum so your participation will be helpful and appreciated as we learn from each other. Please join me and our AEDP community as we expand our receptive capacity for growth and understanding!
Level 3 AEDP TherapistWarmly,
A grief group, Grief Processing Through Connection, is starting a new round beginning March 13th and will run 12 weeks until May 29th. Ashley Macy and I will co-facilitate the group, which will be held in-person at the Homestead Valley Community Center in Mill Valley. Please see below for the full flyer:
Grief Processing Through Connection Group
The Grief Processing Through Connection group will run for 12 weeks from March 13, 2024 through May 29, 2024, in-person, at the Homestead Valley Community Center in Mill Valley. This group is for individuals interested in developing grief processing skills through a group experience, in order to deepen their connection to self and others, as they heal from any kind of loss.
Participants often come in with following challenges:
Trouble feeling their emotions
Difficulty feeling connected to their body
Feeling flooded by emotions
Feeling a loss of their sense of self
Having difficulty connecting with others
Feeling alone with their grief
Feeling confused or conflicted
Feeling afraid or unsure of how to express their emotions
Through this program, participants will be able to 1) identify and cultivate an individual template of their internal grief process; and 2) distinguish and explore what gets in the way of experiencing and connecting to their emotions, selves, and others.
During skills-based development, experiential learning, modeling, role playing, and small group discussions, participants will have opportunities to participate in, witness, and practice powerful techniques to help them:
Feel more attuned to, aware of and connected to themselves, their emotions and body.
Discern and clear obstacles that have kept them from fully exploring their internal grief process(es).
Identify internal and external barriers to being their authentic selves in relationships.
Move through a sense of stuckness with their grief experience.
Take the knowledge and skills learned in this program out into the world with them.
Participants may be in individual therapy or not. Ashley and Claire will have availability for individual sessions, as needed, for those not in individual therapy. The focus of this group will be on grief and loss, however, content can connect to other past experiences as well. Ashley and Claire will monitor for any acute trauma responses, and provide care for group members both individually and for the group as a whole. This group is not focused on any particular type of grief or loss experience, but rather the processing of the array of emotions that may accompany loss. There is no waiting period post-loss to join this group. All participants will be screened prior to signing up for the group.
The cost is $75 weekly or $900 total for 12 weeks of 60-minute weekly sessions each. The group will include up to 12 participants. This group is a mix of brief lecture, skills training, witnessing experiences, internal processing, and valuable sharing. Reduced cost spots and tiered payment options are available.
Please email Claire Guerin for more information, or to set up a call to be screened for participation in the group: Claire.Guerin.LCSW@gmail.com.
Claire Guerin is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW 82848) and Advanced Clinical Hospice and Palliative Care Social Worker. Her background is in hospice and palliative care, offering grief and trauma therapy to patients, their loved ones, and groups for over a decade before opening her private practice. Her private practice includes Associate Marriage and Family Therapist Ashley Macy, who will co-facilitate this group. Claire’s practice focuses on grief, trauma, Complex PTSD, and mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. Her primary modalities are Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP), Internal Family Systems (IFS), and Somatic Focusing, all of which will be integrated into the group experience. Claire supervises associates, and offers individual, couples, family, and group therapy out of her practice in Mill Valley, CA.
Ashley Macy is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (AMFT 136433) and Associate Professional Clinical Counselor (APCC 12878) experienced in providing individual, group, and (chosen) family therapy to youth and adults. Ashley has worked with clients and other service providers within wellness clinics, agencies, schools and private practice settings. Ashley’s training foundationally draws upon Cognitive and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (CBT and DBT), and Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP) techniques, which will be integrated into the group experience. Ashley is currently offering individual, group, couples, and family therapy under the supervision of Claire Guerin (LCSW 82848).
For more information about Claire Guerin and Ashley Macy, please visit: ClaireGuerinTherapy.com.
We are excited to announce that the next Emotions Education 8-Module Class is taking place on Saturday, March 2nd and Sunday, March 3rd.
You can learn more about this gentle, yet powerful and transformational class here: https://www.hilaryjacobshendel.com/weekend-emotions-education-101. This class is for everyone and anyone who wants practice positively connecting with emotions, building awareness of defenses, and who wants to spend more time in core authentic states.
Depression Process and Psycho-educational Group Forming in OAKLAND, CA
Do you have depressed patients for a new group?
In person, small (4-6 patients) group meeting weekly in my Rockridge office
Tuesdays at 430pm
From the ethos of AEDP (Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy) my goal is to help “undo” the terrible aloneness of this very lonely place and facilitate healing.
I aim to help patients find comfort to lay bare the deep pain and anxieties of this state and together help turn the tide.
It is with others that we can be seen, met, learn to take risks and begin to shed the restrictive hold of depression.
Together in this painful dark place there is opportunity for transformation. We can learn to meet some of the scary parts of ourselves with bravery, curiosity and with the newfound support of the group.
Some principles and components of this group will be:
Building trust with others
Providing a supportive environment
Grounding and emotional regulation
Please let me know if you have any patients that would be a good fit for this group or have them contact me directly
Dear AEDP Colleagues,
Several months ago I posted about a seminar I would like to do on the topic of Weight Loss Medications specifically the injectables like Ozempic. Would you be interested in attending a sit down with Dr. Louis J. Aronne, Director of Weill Cornell’s Comprehensive Weight Management Program & Research Center? Dr. Aronne is a world renowned expert in the research & development of a broad scope of medical interventions for diabetes, obesity & other endocrinology conditions. I have known and worked with Dr. Aronne for over 25 years and he has been instrumental in my life and the lives of my patients. He has graciously accepted my invitation to a sit down with me to answer questions about these interventions and to provide clarity on the short term and long term benefits. Would you be interested in this sit down seminar with Dr. Aronne? Do you have questions you would like to ask? What would be helpful for you in your practice? Please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org With so much misinformation out there the feelings of shame and guilt are being profoundly experienced by those who could benefit greatly from the interventions available.
SO… let me know your thoughts and feelings about attending a sit down with Dr. Aronne.
Sherie L. Seff, LCSW-R
If you are trained or currently training in KAP (Ketamine-assisted Psychotherapy) please send me an email and introduce yourself, including where you practice. I’m compiling a list of AEDP practitioners trained in KAP as a resource for a potential upcoming collaboration and referrals. Thank you! email@example.com
My gender pronouns are She,Her,Hers. Please tell me yours.
Kari A. Gleiser, Ph.D.
Senior Faculty AEDP Institute
Center for Integrative Health
45 Lyme Road, Suite 200
Hanover, NH 03755
Happy New Year, dear colleagues! I have started a group practice and am looking to hire full-time Mental Health Counselors (LMHC or limited-permit holders) in NY. I’m particularly interested in people who are AEDP-trained or open to being trained (the company will happily pay for Immersion). If you know of anyone who might be interested in being part of an exciting new practice, please feel free to be in touch or send them my way! I’m including a description of the position below.
Elizabeth Greene, LMHC
157 East 86th Street, #568
New York, NY 10028
ANNO: True Other Transcription Services
It is my pleasure to offer you a unique and specialized audio/video transcription service – True Other Transcription – used by many therapists
in preparing micro-analysis for certification/training/skill enhancement and manuscript purposes. Your work comes alive as I efficiently and accurately witness, capture and track moment-to-moment verbal AND non-verbal transformational processes within sessions enabling left-brain access of material you (and your clients) might otherwise miss.
Videos of your work with individuals, couples or group trainings can be conveniently and confidentially uploaded into a secure, HIPAA compliant Inbox or mailed to me as a DVD or thumb drive. Soon after, you receive the completed transcript (including time codes and true verbatim) as an email attachment – either in grid format (with space to add your process and intervention notes) or script format (preferred for manuscript work).
Since 2012, I have transcribed over 1,000 hours of AEDP clinical videos and welcome the opportunity to save you precious time and increase value by bringing your work to life. I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in California and North Carolina and AEDP Institute member with AEDP training. Please contact me (Karen Batka) by phone (415.488.5565 EST) or email (Karen@karenbatka.com) for additional information regarding fees, supported file formats or references.
Karen Batka, MBA, MA, LMFT
True Other Transcription
undoing aloneness through accompaniment…word-for-word
Office Space Available
Very large sun-filled office with waiting room and bathroom (400 square feet total), on second floor of my renovated and separate, detached garage in Newton Highlands over- looking trees in a quiet neighborhood of Victorian homes. 3 min walk to T and coffee shops. Includes driveway parking for you, easy street parking, WIFI, all utilities, furnished (child furniture, dollhouses, etc.) or unfurnished. Perfect child/adult therapy, massage office, quiet retreat space, business space, or artist’s loft. $1,800 per month for your use 24/7. May be negotiable depending upon use. Susan.firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-899-3373.
Susan Hurwit, Psy.D.
Immaculate, renovated office space with full functionality and amenities in a convenient location. Ideal as an affordable start up office space or for established professionals. Located at the intersection of several main roads, the location is easily accessible. (intersection of routes 202, route 30 by-pass and business route 30 with easy access to routes 29, 401 and the PA turnpike, this office is convenient to Chester and Montgomery counties, as well as the Wilmington area)
Offices have a vaulted ceilings, beams and large windows that open. Located in an office condominium in a tranquil setting surrounded by woods with ample parking in the surrounding lot. Amenities include two waiting areas for clients, new fully equipped full size kitchen with eating area, newly renovated bathroom, internet access, shredder, handicap accessibility.
Contact: Steve Shapiro for more information or a tour. (610-688-4940; email@example.com)
Steven S. Shapiro, Ph.D.
Solo Office For Rent – Newton
Private, large, very sunny office with your own waiting room and bathroom (450 square feet total), on second floor of my completely separate detached garage in Newton Highlands over looking trees and Victorian houses in a quiet neighborhood. 3 min walk to T and coffee shops. Includes driveway parking space, WIFI, all utilities, furnished (child tables, dollhouse, toys) or unfurnished.
Perfect child/adult therapy office or artist’s space. $1,600 for your use 24/7. Susan.firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-899-3373
I am looking to share or sublet clinical office space in Vancouver, BC. Ideally, I am looking for 2 full weekdays (8 am to 4 pm) from January 2024 or sooner if available.
I have an established practice in downtown Vancouver, but my sublease is being unexpectedly terminated due to the owners’ sale of their business. Happy to provide a tenant reference!
Any leads would be gratefully received via email.
With my thanks,
Office for rent 2-blocks from Grand Central Station – great location for clients. It is available on Wednesdays for the entire day for $515/mo. It is located on the corner of E. 40th St and Lexington Ave in a building with two floors devoted only to therapist offices. These two floors are newly renovated with wonderful amenities – beautifully and tastefully done ambiance, video intercoms, kitchen, sound-proofed offices, and 2 waiting rooms. The office is 120 sq ft with a view of the streets of Midtown East below. It can accommodate individuals, couples, and small family groups. The owner of the two floors is a therapist herself and she and her husband are fantastic and attentive managers.
I am looking to sublet my office 1-3 days a week – monday/wed/friday. I would be thrilled to share it with an AEDP colleague, or someone connected to the community.
This is a welcoming, intimate office with a private waiting area. There is a large warehouse window that brings in plenty of light, and simple furnishings making the office a very comfortable, open, warm and uplifting space to work in. The rent is $425./month for one day a week. Wifi and all utilities included. Multiple all gender, individual, touch free bathrooms located on each floor.
In the heart of Flatiron, the neighborhood is in the center of everything – easy transportation subway and train connections, and wonderful restaurants.
I am happy to provide pictures and more information, please feel free to reach out.
Reyna Kahan, LCSW
1133 Broadway, Suite 506
New York, NY 10010
10x 10 Office with a large window, plenty of light, high ceilings and lots of old NY charm! The office is close to several train lines and has many lunch and cafe options right outside the building, including easy access to Madison Park. You can even see the Empire State Building from the window! It is perfect for meeting with people in-person and online. The office is one of two in a small suite and has a four-seat waiting room with HEPA air filters. The office decor is modern, simple and calming.
One day/week rental available on Fridays.
I would love to share the office suite with other therapists in the AEDP community. I look forward to hearing from you!
Please contact me @ Ben@therapywithben.com with any questions and inquiries!
Poetry, Art, Music and Story Telling by AEDP Members
The Gift of Synchronicity By Marc Cecil
Who am I to sit with someone who is hurting after a lifetime of trauma and help them find a way to heal? Will I be able to join them in putting together the pieces of a puzzle where I might represent a piece that has been missing, or that makes it hard for the puzzle to come together?
So many difficult questions. But somehow, I find the courage to keep moving forward. Many clients tell me that they feel seen in a way they have not felt before, while others have a harder time. Either way, I am grateful that they are giving me the gift of knowing them, but I am even more delighted when they give this gift to themselves.
For example, with my client, Rosie, we discuss how she is treating her adult daughter like a child. I gently ask her, “What is the hardest part about letting your daughter grow up?” She looks perplexed, perhaps a little angry, even sad. And, after holding her gaze for what seems like a lifetime, she wipes her tears, and says, “I guess that means I’m an adult now and need to have my own life.” I respond, “I’m so glad you can see that. That’s a hard one for many of us to learn.”
It’s great when the water is flowing steadily in the right direction, but sometimes it feels like nothing is happening, or the water is so rough that we are even moving backwards. I try to remember that that’s just the way life is, and that healing works in a similar manner. And then, one day, a new door begins to open, often unexpectedly, making it possible to see the light inside more clearly.
Contemplating the meaning of this work, I take a long run along the lake near my home in Vermont on a chilly Sunday afternoon in late November. Out of nowhere, I see a man standing alone dressed up as Santa Claus, playing a beautiful classical melody on his violin in a way I have never heard before, but seems very natural for him.
Staying on course to get my best time, I don’t slow down to enjoy the music, only realizing now that like this special Santa, I also need to be myself as a therapist, not trying so hard to do what is always expected, but rather, making space for the unexpected in my work and life.
Now, if feeling discouraged and stuck when working with Rosie or other clients, we slow down and just turn the picture a little, looking at it from a different angle. After a pause, sometimes, sprinkling in a few heartfelt words, while encouraging them to find their own, they begin to notice the light inside, revealing their specialness in a way we have only seen glimpses of before.
This work shows me that being a psychotherapist is not just about learning a specific set of skills and techniques. Instead, I like to think about what we do as an art, where we are on this journey together and are creating a picture of our humanness as both a client and therapist. I often tell my clients, “They are rewriting a story which helped them survive but is keeping them stuck in the past, making it difficult to see who they are now and the person they are becoming.”
At the same time, I am keenly aware of how a parallel process is happening inside of me. In a dream, a wise person tells me, “Many have not always appreciated themselves or been valued for the blessing of being able to see things beyond their years.” I reply, “Boy, that hits the nail on the head. But it has taken me a while to grow up, and, I don’t have that many more years left.” I feel their kind voice saying, “Don’t worry, we are not a unitary self. It’s what’s happening in synchronicity that tells us whether we are heading in the right direction.”
In the spirit of the holiday season, and the special therapy approaches woven into our hearts, I encourage you to slow down and make some space for your own questions and reflections. When we take the time to experience what that’s like, we can imagine the whole world lighting up and changing for many of us at the same time.
I still don’t know the answers to my original questions, and many more are arising, but I rest easier knowing that I can trust myself and the process of healing, and it will take me wherever I need to go.
I look forward to crossing paths with you along the way, even if we never actually meet. But if we do, I have no doubt it will be special, and new doors will open in our lives, as well as with so many others we touch with our hearts.
I call this the gift of synchronicity, which I believe can, and is, becoming a reality. You may not see it coming, but, when it arrives, soak in the love and joy, knowing that it is just a part of your client or you that has come back home.
Much joy and hope this holiday season, and into the new year and beyond.
Marc A. Cecil, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and Certified AEDP Supervisor and Therapist, in addition to being a certified EMDR consultant and CSRT supervisor in training. Marc lives nearby the sacred shores of Lake Bomoseen, and his office is in Rutland, Vermont. He invites you to join him in noticing your own moments of synchronicity, as you become the therapist and person you were always meant to be. Marc welcomes your comments and feedback at email@example.com.
©️Copyright 2023 Marc A. Cecil, Ph.D. All rights reserved.
The Rainbow Connection By Marc Cecil
I tear up when I think about my patient, Joy. She came to see me after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, feeling overwhelmed and struggling to keep herself above water, let alone finding the drive to keep moving forward.
I quickly discovered that Joy was a bright light to many in her life, a devoted mother, wife, and friend, who wanted nothing more than to live long enough to be with her children one more day. That was the glimmer of her core self that helped her remember why she was alive and why we were doing this work together.
I grabbed onto this light and never let it go, letting her know that I saw who she was at her core, and that it was far more powerful than the illness that was trying to hijack her. Although she tried every possible treatment, Joy decided that she wasn’t going to “fight cancer,” as she knew that this would put her at war with her body rather than working with it. She would often share her frustrations about the corporate fund raisers only wanting to focus on the more curable cancers, as they believed no one wanted to give money to a lost cause.
Nevertheless, I could see in her eyes and hear in her voice that the transformation was happening. We would then metaprocess what it was like to know that she didn’t need to fit into that mold and had her own voice that was much stronger. Joy realized that she was all about “living with cancer,” and, I mean living!
Continuing the spiral of transformation, Joy knew her truth even more and celebrated that she was no longer alone in the world, like she felt as a child, and so many other times over the years. In the process, she discovered that she could take back her power to be herself and speak out for others, even though she never knew when the medicine would stop working.
Joy was expected to only live for 2 years but she made it five. None of her doctors could explain it, but we both knew that having cancer was not a death sentence. In fact, it actually helped her find a reason for living and to face some of the immense loss and trauma she tried to bury inside.
With all of our courage, each enhancing the other’s, we focused our work on some of the many things that contributed to her cancer, not just the medical, but the psychological, which consumed her body and sense of self. And, in time, Joy began to give herself permission to feel, truly knowing her humanness and value. She found her beautiful core self, and with it, more of a reason to live.
The last time we met, only a few days before she passed, I sensed that we both knew that we were saying goodbye and would not see each other again. Usually not at a loss for words, I didn’t quite know how to express what she meant to me. But, knowing what it would mean to her to disclose my feelings, I played her a song I thought would touch her heart with what was also in mine.
It’s been 5 years now since Joy left us, and I just heard that song again when scrolling through social media. The lovely young woman in front of me was wearing a cap covering her head, and the glow on her face reminded me of Joy, who loved to sing and had a beautiful voice.
In that moment, I remembered that before Joy passed away, she told me that she would find a way to let me know that she was okay. I’m sure you’ll recognize this tune first made popular by a famous frog, starting with the double-barreled question, “Why are there so many songs about rainbows – what’s on the other side?”
When I listen to this song now, I feel Joy’s beautiful spirit telling us all to believe in ourselves and to have hope during the darkest times. These words have given me much solace during recent days, and, in thinking about other times during my life, the darkness encompassing so many people around the world, including many in this community.
If you knew Joy, you would also know that she embodied the spirit of AEDP, and that her great soul lives on in my heart, as well as in many others. I’m sure she would appreciate you sharing this message, like I am doing now. It is my way of telling her and others how grateful I am that she was in my life and how much her truth means to all of us.
Most of all, I encourage you to welcome the joy, sitting hand-in-hand with the loss and grief, not covering it up, but making space for it, enabling the meaning that got implanted to help you survive, to realign. Be patient and drink in the light, letting it join with the glorious core self of who you have always been and deserve to be.
In the end, we may not know the answers to all of life’s mysteries, but, perhaps, we don’t need to, as long as we have touched the core of ourselves and others in our heart. That’s the power of transformation and healing we all have inside of us.
I would love to hear about what that’s like for you. Then, we could bask in the joy on the other side of the rainbow. That’s “the rainbow connection – the lovers, the dreamers, and me.”
Marc A. Cecil, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and Certified AEDP Supervisor and Therapist, in addition to being a certified EMDR consultant and CSRT supervisor in training. Marc lives nearby the sacred shores of Lake Bomoseen, and his office is in Rutland, Vermont. You can email Marc at firstname.lastname@example.org to let him know how his words settle inside, and where they take you. He would love it if you join him in sharing your own heartfelt creativity that arises inside of you and your patients, spreading the “spirit of AEDP” throughout this community and into the world around us.
©️Copyright 2023 Marc A. Cecil, Ph.D. All rights reserved.
Every Sunset is Different
by Marc Cecil
My wife recently called to let me know that she just got a warning on her phone that a tornado is heading in her direction. Tornadoes are not commonplace around here, but we both know the destruction it can leave in its path from when we lived in South Carolina many years ago, while working on my final degree.
Parallel to that time, it’s pretty scary, mostly for my wife, who is alone in the basement of our home. I wish I was with her, but I am still at my office, around 20 miles away, awaiting my next patient. We talk a while, and then, she says, “getting pretty dark and windy. I need to get off the phone now. I’ll text you later”. I quickly respond, “Yes, please, I’m sure you’ll be fine,” hesitant to give any space to the fear by adding, “I love you.”
The storm passes quickly, and she notifies me that she is going outside to assess the damage. Instead of receiving a picture of destruction, I am greatly relieved when she sends me an image of a beautiful rainbow, a double one. I’ve never seen one before. Like nature looking in the mirror, reminding us of the joy in our lives alongside the pain. A couple trees are down, but, gratefully, my wife is safe and sound. That’s all that really matters. The sun sets. I am home again.
The sun rises to a new day. Everything looks so green and alive. It’s very quiet. There has been a lot of noise and darkness this past week, between the floods, a tornado, and the senseless death of a 19-year-old woman, a local police officer, early on in her training for a lifetime of service ahead of her. Many of us feel a hole in our heart, and mine embraces her parents and family. I think about this being her final sunset and hope that her light will live on. We all need it right now.
I think about some of my patients, past and present, who have been through too many storms in their lives. It’s almost like they have gotten so use to chaos it has become their comfort zone. I ride the storms out with them, and help them get out of the darkness and find the light inside. I feel grateful when they can start to appreciate their life and truly know that chaos is not their friend. The sun sets, holding the hope that those who are no longer with us are resting easily and are finally at peace.
Another day begins. I feel different today as I run along the lake near my house. Part of me thinks about the close call with the tornado and all the other storms I have gone through in my life, as well as those which will inevitably come before my light fades into the sunset. I am very grateful that I have the strength inside to help others, and, they won’t have to face the storms alone, particularly the old ones that don’t seem to ever end.
The sun is setting, and it is different than the day before. I notice that the birds are softly singing, and the crickets and frogs are joining in with their familiar melody. I look over at my wife, and we both smile as we say good night.
I tell her, “Every sunset is different. Tomorrow is another day my love.”
Marc A. Cecil, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and Certified AEDP Supervisor and Therapist. Marc lives nearby the sacred shores of Lake Bomoseen, and his office is in Rutland, Vermont. You can email him at email@example.com to let him know how his words land inside, and where they take you. Marc would also love it if you join him in sharing with all of us the heartfelt creativity that arises out of the pain for you and your patients, making this community and
Bulletin Board even more special.
©️ Copyright 2023 Marc A. Cecil, Ph.D. All rights reserved.
Submitted July 27, 2023
I am afraid.
I feel stronger than ever.
I don’t know what to do.
I am figuring this out day by day.
I have lost my motivation.
So much of what I am seeing, and hearing inspires me.
People are really struggling, I am really struggling.
So many people are helping out.
No one seems to be here.
Everyone is banging outside the window at 7 — I love that!
There is so much uncertainty.
I can count on each day being just what it is.
I feel so alone.
Oddly, I have never felt more connected.
I feel a part FROM everything.
I feel a part OF everything.
Racism is a pandemic too.
BLACK lives matter.
I can’t breathe.
We are scared.
We are strong.
When they see us . . . .
I feel seen for the first time.
Am I next?
I will never understand but will you stand with me?
Diversity is the future!
Equality is a mandate!
There is power in unity!
I Pause with open eyes
an open heart
I am looking
I am listening
I am moved
I am angry
I am determined
I see hope
I see action
I see ingenuity
I see change a coming, it is on the rise
We are change makers
One person changing does help to change the world!
by Marc Cecil
Today, I will tell you a story about myself and my work. Although you may experience moments of joy and comfort, that is not my sole purpose. Rather, I would like to help you learn something about yourself as a person, and, maybe, even as a therapist and a
patient, as we walk together in uncharted territory.
He looked kind of familiar, sort of like looking in the mirror, but I knew from the moment I met him that this would not be an easy one. For those of you who know me, meeting new people, especially if they are a shrink or a new patient, is usually pretty difficult for me. But, I try to remind myself how much I learn when I can get out of my comfort zone.
As I began to speak, the affable older man in front of me looked concerned, or, maybe a little confused. I thought I was making myself clear, but, every time I said something, he always seemed to have another question. Although I had a sense that I wasn’t saying what he wanted to hear, I still wasn’t quite sure what was missing.
In some ways, it felt like I might even want to be friends with this man if we met under different circumstances, which I prayed would not be a funeral. But, I was hesitant to tell him that it felt a little like I was being judged, as I feared that this would be the first and last time I would ever see him.
Then, as if he was reading my mind, he looked up, and asked me, “How do you feel about being here today?”
I smiled politely and tried to hide my feelings, like I had been taught to do over and over again as a child. Then, I decided that I might as well tell him the truth to see if I could break this pattern, and try to make the most of our time together.
Looking up, I slowly started to let the words flow, as if turning on a faucet that hadn’t been used for a while, a long while.
Like rusty water sputtering into an old sink, I blurted out, “Well, Doc, you asked for it. I don’t want to be here, and, I don’t think you are going to be the right therapist for me”
He rubbed his clean-shaven face and smiled assuredly, carefully considering his next move, in what seemed like a familiar game he skillfully knew how to play, where I was already losing before we started. Surprisingly, he kindly thanked me for being so
vulnerable in talking to him, as he knew it was not easy for me.
He then surprised me again, and asked, “What is it like to be seen in this way?” Thinking that I was on trial, and, that his unusual inquiry was some sort of trick question that would make me confess to a crime worthy of at least life in prison, I decided that I
better play it safe and get this over with quickly, and just do my time.
Speaking the first words that came to mind, my mouth feeling particularly parched, I said, “it’s all good. I am feeling fine, and I’m ready to start now”
Not saying much beyond a few ums and uh-huhs, he slowly leaned back in his old chair, which looked the same as mine, except being much closer to the door. I was thinking that he probably sat there deliberately, so he could bolt from the room quickly if he
needed to, and, not just to relieve himself. But, in that moment, I wished I was in his seat for the other reason he was not sharing openly with me.
Appearing quite relaxed, after a while, he looked me in the eyes, and, with care and confidence in his voice, slowly and clearly stated, “I think you know that what you just told me is bullshit. You look like you are sitting in an old smelly outhouse that has never been cleaned, inhabited by who knows what. And, you can’t take care of business, for fear of getting bitten in the ass.”
I laughed for what seemed like the first time since I lost my mom, and replied, “Okay, you got me. I am feeling very uncomfortable. And, it’s not just needing to use a real bathroom, or your unique sense of humor, which is oddly similar to my own.”
Even though I didn’t know what to expect next, I wasn’t feeling like I wanted to run anymore. My breathing started to slow down, as I sensed his slowing, too, realizing that he somehow knew how alone I felt and needed his support. But, I instinctively knew that
this was also what he was hiding and needed the most.
Feeling glued to his eyes as he welcomed mine, I started to tear up, not knowing why I was crying. Noticing the tears streaming down his face as well as my own, the man gently said, “Take your time. We have all the time in the world.”
Thinking about not having enough time, I could hear a whisper of my mom’s soothing voice in the distance. As she got closer, I felt her presence in my heart in the way I use to know. She told me that she is okay now, and, that this time is for me to take care of myself. She added, “I will always love you. I am very sorry for taking up so much of your time. You always deserved much more of your own.”
Using the tip of my finger to quickly wipe away my tears, the kind man in front of me passed me the tissues and took some for himself, not saying a word. I told him thanks as he reassured me again to take my time, removing his glasses and turning his head to the side, as he discreetly blew his nose and slowly wiped the sweet tears from his face. After a few minutes, which felt like a lifetime, he gently leaned forward in his chair, and said, “I think you are definitely in the right place. I am your therapist, and, in some ways, you are mine. Now, we can do this work and be uncomfortable together. So, Marc, where would you like to start today?“
Without any hesitation, I boldly pronounced, “I think we already have. I am feeling more comfortable just knowing that it’s okay to be uncomfortable. Now, I feel much more confident that exploring uncharted territory will always take us home. In unison, we both said, “Thank you,” lovingly placing our hands on our heart, feeling more whole and as one.
The above story is based on my truth, and, I hope it will help you find your own. Perhaps, it will give you permission to get out of your comfort zone and to learn from your past loss and trauma, rather than having it take you down an old path where you get lost and are alone.
And, if you want to venture into uncharted territory, you might consider taking a brief journey like the one I took above, as well as the one I previously shared in my post on the AEDP Listserv, “Elephant Work” (3/28/23). I call this a self-portrayal, as I am in the role of both the patient and the therapist for myself.
Not at all meant to replace your therapist, who, could also be in the room if you like, I think that being the therapist and patient simultaneously will help you experience and know your core self. In this way, you will bring the past into the present so you can see yourself from adult eyes and know your truth more fully now.
I believe that this is where our graceful vulnerability, exquisite empathy, and all encompassing wisdom live, the perfect trifecta of our imperfect humanness, which enables us to further discover the joy of becoming the person and therapist we were always meant to be.
Marc A. Cecil, Ph.D. is a Licensed Psychologist and an experienced Certified AEDP
Therapist and Supervisor. Marc lives nearby the sacred shores of Lake Bomoseen. His
office is in Rutland, Vermont. Marc invites you to share how his writing lands inside of
you, and in your work. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or, join him in sharing
your own with all of us on this community Bulletin Board.
©️Copyright 2023 Marc A. Cecil, Ph.D. All rights reserved.
Submitted April 24, 2023
During 2021 I had five of my patients die, not to COVID directly but to what I have come to call COVID adjacent illness. It has been a lot to absorb. Due to the Pandemic and working remotely I was able to see each of these people to the end in ways I would have not been able to if we were working in person. They would not have been well enough to come and so I was a Shepherd to the end. A very special honor. I wrote this piece for the NY Times Tiny Love Story Column because I needed to say aloud how much they all mattered and matter still. It was not picked but it didn’t matter I now will share it with all of you….
Tiny Love Stories (Draft 1)
I am a professional Rememberer. As a psychotherapist I hold vast amounts of information in my mind, the details of people’s lives, the cast of characters that they associate with, their job details, health history, everything about their kids, pets, best friends EVERYTHING! I also know their pain and loneliness. Each person I work with gets a seat in my heart. I have a crowded auditorium there filled with wonderful humans and their stories. 5 of my patients died since January. So many all at once. I wonder what to do with their emotional files, the ones inside me? How do I grieve with no other mourners? How do I unknow them? The answer is an engraved plaque on their seat in my heart, remembering their impact on me always.
IT HAD TO BE CUT DOWN TO 100 WORDS FOR SUBMISSION
I’m a professional Rememberer— a psychotherapist, I hold vast amounts of information about my patients in my mind. The details of their lives, as well as their loneliness and their pain. Each person I work with gets a seat in my heart. It’s a crowded auditorium filled with wonderful humans and their stories. Five of my patients died since January. I wonder what to do with their files, the ones inside me? How do I unknow them? How do I grieve with no other mourners? With an engraved plaque on their seat in my heart, remembering them always.
Feeling Nothing or Everything
by Marc Cecil
When I ask you to slow down and tell me what you are noticing inside, you say,
When I ask you how you are doing, you tell me, “I feel like I’m on the outside struggling
to get in.”
When I ask you what it’s like being on the outside, you say, “It feels like I did something
When you tell me that you did something wrong, I say, “I feel sad.”
When you ask me why I feel sad, I tell you, “You didn’t do anything wrong. You have
always deserved to be valued and loved.”
When you take in these words, it feels like a sliver of light is finding a way through a
crack in the wall.
When you embrace this light, my heart starts to swell with joy, along with the water in
When you look into my eyes, you say, “It feels like you care about me.”
When I hear your words, I ask you, “What is it like to know that I care?”
When you think about this question, you tell me, “I am here now and am not alone
When we make space for this truth, there is silence, with gentle streams of tears flowing
from and feeding our soul.
When I think about what has changed, I say, “It’s like time has stopped. Where we begin is where we end, and, now, where we end is where we begin.”
Speaking as one, you tell me, “We are home again. That is everything.”
Marc A. Cecil, Ph.D. is a Licensed Psychologist and Certified AEDP Therapist and
Supervisor, who lives in Vermont nearby the sacred shores of Lake Bomoseen. His
office is located at 65 North Main Street, Rutland, Vermont 05701 (802-236-9512). Marc
would be honored to receive your reactions to this post at email@example.com and to see
your own heartfelt reflections about your work and life on this special bulletin board
© Copyright 2023 Marc A. Cecil, Ph.D. All rights reserved.
Submitted January 9, 2023
Different and the Same
by Marc Cecil
Death is never a solution to a problem and often creates more complicated ones. When
we lose someone special to us, we tend to hold onto the hard stuff that never got
resolved, particularly the times we did not feel understood or accepted because we are
Coming from a tender place inside, my mom use to say, “It’s better to talk things out
while we are alive. It’s much harder when we are gone!” Although she is not with us any
longer, I think she would agree that it’s important to not just focus on the tough stuff, but
to start with the easy ones, and let others know what they mean to us, and how they
make a difference in our life.
Recently turning 70, and also holding the distinction of being the last one left in my
family of birth, I think that we need to learn about living before we can deal with death
and dying. As life moves on, I realize that my priorities are different than a lot of people
my age, and, while not wanting to waste any time, I need to slow it down and appreciate
every moment. I feel very fortunate to be a psychotherapist, and that my work enables
me to be myself and grow in a way that is right for me, and to help others do the same.
It bothers me that so many people my age are put out to pasture and move to a place
where the weather doesn’t change much, except when it does. I’m sure it is a lifetime
dream for many, but, I am different, and actually look forward to the changing seasons
in both the weather and in my life. I also see many elders throwing away old things they
don’t think they need anymore. I do that too from time to time, but there are some things
I want to preserve that many people don’t see as having any value.
Although it may seem silly to some, I take pride in the fact that my almost 30 year old
vacuum cleaner still runs. I patch it with duck tape and glue, and it makes me feel good,
even though it weighs a ton and sounds like a freight train rolling through the house.
Like the elephant statues that adorn my office and home, it helps me remember that I
need to take my daily run by the lake and not eat like it’s my last meal, as I still have
further to go on my journey.
Our kids are all grown up now, and my wife and I are very proud that they have found
loving partners, and are heading in different directions that are right for them. Although
we don’t see them as much anymore, we are grateful that they still make room for us
and each other in their very full lives.
Taking my wife’s lead, I focus a lot of my energy these days on creating joy for our
grandchildren. I love to be with them and imagine, as we walk slowly through the gnome
trail I carved in the mysterious woods behind our home. I am sure they will love the new
little fellows my wife gave me for my birthday this year that will soon join their ever
expanding village of family and friends.
Always feeling her care and love, I was very touched by my wife’s gift, as well as all the
others she has given me over the 43 years we have been married. Besides the little
ones we try to give to each other every day, we cherish the unexpected gifts we receive
from our children, especially the young ones, our precious granddaughters, who tire us
out but keep us younger.
I always smile when I think about my delightful 5-year-old, Annie, who is a master at
doing things her own way. She recently asked me if I would read to her the toast I was
honored to give the night before at a wedding for some close friends. I’m pretty sure she
didn’t understand what I was saying, but, from the look on my daughter’s face, I think
she will always remember how special she is to me.
It also felt pretty special when her big sister, who mostly enjoys her status of being a
couple years older, looked me in the eyes in her unique way, and affectionately told me,
“You’re so weird.” I smiled and praised her for being so smart and kind, as I thought
about some of the times over the years when her mother or uncle/godfather shook their
head or told me something similar. She just laughed, and said, “You’re funny, Papa!”
Yes, you are right, Bess. Although you didn’t have a chance to meet her, you are a lot
like your great grandmother, who is your namesake, and also had great wisdom and
many friends. My mother tried to protect us from her pain, but I now know that this was
much harder than she thought, and, that she wanted us to remember our many
Besides our beautiful family, the biggest blessing is that we are all different and the
same. That’s what gives us value and keeps our love alive, even when we haven’t seen
each other for a while. Someday, when you are looking for me and I am no longer
around, I hope you will imagine walking together on the gnome trail, along with your
loved ones, and will always know that you are not alone. My mom will be there, too!
Marc A. Cecil, Ph.D. is a Licensed Psychologist and Certified AEDP Therapist and
Supervisor, who lives in Vermont nearby the beautiful shores of Lake Bomoseen. Marc’s
office is located at 65 North Main Street, Rutland, Vermont 05701 (802-236-9512).
Please send your reactions to this post to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marc looks forward to connecting with you, and learning more about how we are all “different and the same”
on this special bulletin board
© Copyright 2022 Marc A. Cecil, Ph.D. All rights reserved.
(2 minute read)
After nearly 40 years in this field, one of the questions I am most often asked is, “How can you listen to people every day who have had so much pain in their lives?”
I think about this question a lot. A lovely teenage girl has a terrible illness and almost dies, leaving her very fragile with multiple scars in her heart and spirit. A sensitive young boy is bullied mercilessly by his brother and his parents don’t protect him. A hard-working man’s business is struck by lightning and burns to the ground, leaving his family destitute and having to start over again. A caring child works to help his father but is unaware of the effects of asbestos exposure, finding out as a grown man that some of those fibers are embedded permanently in his lungs. A sad-looking man sits by the bed of his dying mother, remembering the times when he comforted her earlier in his life and helped her find some hope to live.
These are just a partial list of all the chapters that have been part of my story. In our humanness, we all have these lists, which sometimes makes it hard to remember the joy in our life, and the person we were meant to be.
I use to think to myself that if I listen to a person’s pain, it would help me with my own. But, I soon found out that in doing deeper work, I would avoid the pain as much as them, which wasn’t a good thing for a psychotherapist to do, as many of you can surely attest.
But now, with a little help from people who care about me, along with my training in therapy approaches that require my presence, when I listen to someone’s story, I can more easily separate out their pain from my own, and can take care of the child inside who never thought he was doing enough.
As I tune into my adult compassion, I can sense that my heart is glowing. I now know the answer to the original question and why I do this work. With no regrets, I feel truly blessed to help people in pain because I have seen it in my own life and have not lost who I am at my core.
I hold the hope for those who are stuck in the darkness as I have been in that hole myself and know that the light is still burning. “There is no need to be afraid, Little One. Let the light help you see the painful truth, and to always know, that our healing is a painful blessing for all!”
Marc A. Cecil, Ph.D. is a Licensed Psychologist and Certified AEDP Therapist and Supervisor who lives in Vermont nearby the wondrous shores of Lake Bomoseen. Marc’s office is located at 65 North Main Street, Rutland, Vermont 05701 (802-236-9512). Please send comments and reactions to email@example.com.
© Copyright 2022 Marc A. Cecil, Ph.D. All rights reserved.
Submitted on February 25, 2022
Hats, Masks, and Heroes
Marc A. Cecil
I have always had a certain affinity for hats. When I was a kid, wearing a hat gave me a chance to escape for a few precious moments from some of the painful realities of my life.
Lately, I still long to wear my childhood Davy Crockett and cowboy hats, and imagine being magically transported to a time when I could remember my power and control rather than the fear of catching a virus that could kill me or I could unknowingly give to someone else.
Although I know that these hats would not fit me very well these days, strangely, I go back to my tumultuous teen years when I wore my trusty “Fiddler on the Roof” hat around the house every day, a foreshadowing of things to come. Like in current uncertain times, I am grateful to be alive even if I have to hide my face behind a mask, while trying to connect with those who are having a hard time seeing themselves, let alone other people.
I guess, one day, in the flash of a distant star, my life became real, and the hats I wore became me. Some people see me wearing many different hats, while others, have seen just one or two, and can only imagine what the ones they haven’t seen are like.
I would like to think that I am still discovering new hats as well as remembering some of the old ones. Perhaps, the pain is just an indication that I am still alive and am continuing to change and grow into the husband, father, papa, friend, and therapist I am meant to be.
I don’t say these words lightly and must admit that it can be a little confusing at times to keep all my hats straight. Sometimes it feels very comfortable and I know I am loved and cared for. However, at other times, my hat is very full and painful, some seeing me gratefully as the one they wished they had more of in their life, while others, feeling disappointed that I am not wearing the hat they wanted to see, or are just angry that I am.
Over the years, it has been hard at times to not take offense as I wanted everyone to like my hats. But, after some harrowing journeys to the hall of elusive mirrors inside, I began to see myself more clearly in whatever hat I am wearing and to feel honored to be there for all those who need a little light to help find the way.
For those who recognize the hat I am wearing now, I hope you can understand the complexity of my world that most people do not usually see, as well as your own. In the end, my wish is that you can see me as someone who speaks passionately on your behalf, and, at the same time, holds you in his heart with quiet strength.
Feeling both is invaluable and will help you see not just my belief in you but your own worth, regardless of where we are sitting in the room and the hats we are wearing. Hopefully, someday, this will also be true in the hearts of those whose view is obscured by the numerous hats inside of them and between us.
By now, I hope you have figured out that my chief intent is to convey that I hold you with my love and care, even if you think that it doesn’t matter and want to push me away. I want you to know that I appreciate when you courageously tell me about the hats I have a hard time seeing in you as it helps me see myself. Maybe, at times, that will also be a sign that I can see something in you that is difficult to see in yourself.
I try so hard to remember the hats we are wearing and apologize with all of my heart if my forgetting or insensitivity has been hurtful to you in any way. My hope is that I have made a difference in your life and that you can feel my love and acceptance far more than any judgment or criticism.
Mainly, I hope and pray that you will always see the wondrous hat of your humanness and accept who you are, regardless of the one you are typically wearing. I hope you will always know that it is okay to be different and that you don’t have to wear any hat that doesn’t feel right just to stand out and impress someone or to be famous.
Being yourself is more than enough, as doing so, will help you see the differences in others and to know you are not alone. This is all the proof that we will ever need to know that we have always deserved to be loved.
Although the weather outside is quite chilly here in Vermont today, I think I will put on my nerdy fleece baseball hat with ear flaps and go for a long run by the edge of the lake near my home. I know that one day, in spite of my objections, I won’t be able to do that anymore and will need to take a different path.
With the glimmer of a distant star, someday, my hats will get packed away in a lone attic box, accompanied by a few leftover masks, labeled with the title above, just in case one of the youngsters wants to imagine what it was like during these times, and, maybe even grow up and help save the world.
Even though you may not have super powers, I want all those receiving my words to know that you are the real heroes. You have made a difference in so many lives as well as in many others you will never know.
And, if the day comes when I haven’t gotten to know all of your hats yet, or I sadly don’t remember them, I will still know you by the warmth in my heart. That is the one thing I will always know as true, and, beneath the mask, I hope you can also feel it in your heart, too.
Hats off and a deep bow to all of you and each other. Many blessings in this new year and beyond!
Submitted by Marc A. Cecil, Ph.D. on January 1, 2022. Marc is a Licensed Psychologist and Certified AEDP Therapist and Supervisor. He lives in Bomoseen, Vermont and practices in Rutland. His contact information is 65 North Main Street, Rutland, VT 05701, 802-773-3616. You may send any comments or reactions about this writing to his email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright, 2022, Marc A. Cecil
Conversations on the Road by Marc Cecil
I am a runner. Even though most people think I am walking, my almost 70-year-old
body, who has completed 8 marathons, and many other races in my life, still thinks I am
Mostly every day, rain or shine, hot or cold, I gleefully, or not so gleefully, get out of bed,
put on my running shoes, and head down the road. I do a few other things for personal
hygiene first, and try to remember to wear some clothes. Otherwise, I imagine in horror
how that would be a conversation starter some of us might not appreciate.
As I head down the road, I take my usual route, at first, passing the well-aged men
sitting on the front porch of the idyllic general store at the mouth of the lake, engaged in
deep conversation about the mysteries of life. I wish I could sit down and chat awhile,
but know that I need to keep running, as I have my own mysteries ahead, some of
which are from the past and are not yet behind me.
I feel peaceful inside but cautiously proceed, wanting to avoid any unexpected
encounters with a canine bearing teeth, warning me to get off their well-marked territory
or my body will be their daily treat. When I face this challenge, I grit my teeth and run off
with my tail between my legs, often hearing echoes of the owner yelling at them to come
inside the house.
As the noise begins to fade, I imagine them being given a tasty treat to quiet their bark,
gobbling it up quickly, the master unwittingly rewarding their behavior. I just want to tell
the conflicted dog, “It’s not your fault. You are just doing what you were wired to do to
survive living with humans, who have not given you the love and care you have always
In spite of my vigilance, I have gotten bitten several times over the years, my wife
soothing my pain by telling me it must be because I am such a sweet man. I remember
one of these guys drawing some blood and limping off in pain with their owner nowhere
in sight, making the bite hurt even more. But, I also recall the time when a responsible
caregiver expressed concern for me and felt awful, vowing to never let it happen again.
I reassured her that I was okay but was concerned about their faithful companion having
a collision with a car, or hurting someone innocently like a child or senior citizen. I didn’t
want to shame her any further by revealing that I was the latter, but she called me
“honey,” and I knew, that at this point in my life, it wasn’t an invitation to stay awhile.
There are other conversations I have on the road, like the ones with the “flatlanders”
from the big cities, with their oversize SUVs and boats, acting like they own the road
and are oblivious to where I am running, occasionally even asking for directions. There
is a part of me that wants to send them in the opposite direction, but, I bring up my
better self and help them find their way, feeling sad that they are still lost in other ways
they may never know.
Although I look forward to people waving as they carefully pass me in their cars, I get
annoyed by those with tinted windows, which makes it hard to see who they are. I
wonder whether they think I am snubbing them, rather than realizing that I am just tired
of acknowledging faceless people.
Nevertheless, when I receive a nod from the lone person sitting quietly with their pole in
the water, it helps to comfort my soul, reminding me of what a good friend once told me
that I often repeat in my own words, “Life is not a race, and, by slowing down (one
advantage of getting older), we can see more clearly what we couldn’t see before,
which takes us home to the place we need to be.”
I can feel my joy as I greet a lone person or couple walking or running, some with their
dogs bouncing joyfully at their side. I also smile as I pass a group of senior women out
for their morning jaunt, enjoying the last chapters of their story together. However, when
I see the ones walking with their children, the tears well up in my eyes as I think about
those I have lost over the years, even though some are still alive.
Wishing I could travel back in time, I remember the wonderful walks with my children
and wife. On occasion, my son will text me when I’m on the road to let me know that
one of his long-time high school buds just passed me and noticed something different I
was doing. I just hope they didn’t see me making a mad dash toward the popular but
unkempt outhouse, or even worse, catching me relieving myself on the side of the road.
If this happened, I have a sense that he would promptly spread the word to his sister,
and, as usual, they would just shake their heads and have a good laugh at my expense.
Time does stop as I imagine their laughter, knowing we are still on the same road
together while feeling the pride that they each have found their own.
The times that touch me the most are when someone slows down to let me know that
they see me every day and are impressed by my dedication. They are usually men my
age who don’t look so healthy or who are alone, perhaps, not feeling a reason for taking
care of their body like in the past. They are very respectful of my space, driving slowly in
their clean but rusting vehicle, also looking like it has seen better days. I offer a few
supportive words to convey that I appreciate them stopping and hope they do again,
noticing a smile light up on both of our faces as they drive ahead.
I also really enjoy the moments when I stroll onto a quiet stretch, often seeing the
beautiful ducks doing their morning swim with their true other and little ducklings. They
are so sweet in their innocence, and I am amazed how they can just appreciate the
simple pleasures of life and each other, and block out the craziness in the world. I keep
my distance, being careful not to scare them and disturb their tranquility, as well as my
Although I have many other unexpected encounters on the road, the conversations that
are the most meaningful are the ones I have with myself, and all of you. This is the one
time in my day when I get to reflect on my gratefulness for being alive. I think of how
lucky I am to have my dear wife and growing family with me on this journey, as well as
all of my special friends, colleagues, and clients, who live in my heart. It reminds me
that I still have a purpose for what I do and for my being.
I can’t think of a better way to start the day. It helps me to keep running toward the lake
from my home on Blissville Road, which is not just where I live but is also my truth. In
case you are wondering, I am still running, seeing things even clearer now, especially
since passing that large kidney stone last week. I hope and pray that you are still
running, too, in your own special way, making space for the pain, but appreciating the
joy of life and the journey ahead. See you on the road!
Marc A. Cecil, Ph.D. is a Licensed Psychologist and Certified AEDP Therapist and
Supervisor who lives in Vermont nearby the green shores of Lake Bomoseen. Marc’s
office is located at 65 North Main Street, Rutland, Vermont 05701 (802-236-9512).
Please send reactions to this post to email@example.com. In the spirit of AEDP, Marc
would also love it if you could share some of your own conversations and
transformational moments on this special bulletin board. It would be a gift to all of us!
© Copyright 2022 Marc A. Cecil, Ph.D. All rights reserved.
Submitted on August 4, 2022
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