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March - April 2007  
In This Issue:

Kevin Cooper reviews "Happiness -- A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill" by Matthieu Ricard

Gudrun Zomerland compares Alice Miller's "The Body Never Lies" and Dr. Barry Grosskopf's "Hidden in Plain Sight"

Shoshona Pascoe writes about letting go of our children and being attentive to the grief, emerging challenges and gifts

Shonnie Brown tells us how therapeutic writing exercises are used in the treatment of trauma, abuse, depression and anxiety

Barbara Bowen on using the collaborative practice model to resolve family disputes regarding wills and estate planning

Milton Wooley challenges our intellect by comparing friction theory in physics to resistance in therapy, both being necessary for growth

Who We Are:

We are individual private therapists who practice psychotherapy in the same location: 405 Chinn Street in Santa Rosa. We are not part of a business partnership, group or association, but are sole practitioners. As individual therapists each of us offers years of experience in different areas of therapeutic focus. The array of services offered range from brief solution focused counseling to in-depth psychotherapy. While each one of us cooperates with different existing insurance and managed care companies, we each follow a "fee for service" orientation that allows clients the freedom to choose the therapist with whom they feel most comfortable.

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Chinn Street Newsletter Archives

"Happiness -- A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill"
reviewed by Kevin Cooper, MFT

Matthieu Ricard's book is a joy to read and I recommend you read it slowly so you can fully appreciate its insights. Ricard offers a very accessible and thoughtful analysis of the nature of happiness. Contrary to the concept that happiness is just a random state of being, Ricard suggests that happiness is a skill that can be cultivated. The book is a blend of Eastern and Western approaches to the subject as Ricard is both a molecular biologist and a Buddhist. Read more...

Is Forgiving Our Parents Necessary for Mental Health?
Gudrun Zomerland, MFT

Recently, a client pointed out a very interesting dichotomy in thinking about forgiveness by two respected authors in the mental health field. In "The Body Never Lies", Alice Miller, a Swiss psychoanalyst purports that it is psychologically damaging to follow the Fifth Commandment "thou shall honor your father and mother". In "Hidden in Plain Sight", Dr. Barry Grosskopf, a psychiatrist at the University of Washington School of Medicine tells us that it is absolutely necessary to follow this commandment in order to have mental health. Both see the commandment as an order to forgive our parents. Through their polarized views, they give two very confusing messages to anyone who is working to heal from the legacy of childhood abuse perpetrated by parents. Read more...

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The Empty Nest: Letting Go Into Fullness
Shoshona Pascoe, MFT

Parents sense when their child leaves home for college, or just because it is time, that life will never be the same again. And that intuition evokes the intense feelings and grief that may surprise us in its force. To have enjoyed and endured the profound journey of parenting, and to love as a parent loves, opens us up to vulnerable loss as life moves on. The form, the nest, we knew is changing. Empty of the habits and fullness that has been life as usual, we pass through an adjusting period that brings up many things, perhaps unnoticed before. Unattended problems in a marriage and unnamed depression, are two common experiences that can no longer be pushed away in the presence of this new stress. Read more...

Writing As Therapy
Shonnie Brown, MFT

Recently I participated in a conference facilitated by Kathleen Adams, a psychotherapist and Registered Poetry/Journal Therapist specializing in "Journal Writing as a Therapeutic Tool." Author of the best-selling "Journal to the Self", Ms. Adams also founded the Center for Journal Therapy in Denver, thus gaining national prominence in the field of therapeutic writing. Her approach is both structured and self-directed--effective in working with depression and anxiety, trauma, abuse, grief and loss and other clinical issues. The writing exercises, which I'm incorporating into my practice, range from simple and concrete to more unstructured and intuitive. Such a range allows for the therapeutic work to be tailored to a client's individual pace and need for containment vs. unboundness. Read more...

Helping Families Resolve Disputes without Litigation
Barbara Bowen, LCSW

The benefits of using the Collaborative Approach to help families resolve legal disputes related to divorce has continued to gain acceptance and support of the legal community as well as the general public. Collaborative Practice has proven to be successful in providing a framework in which divorcing spouses can work together to resolve financial, parenting, and emotional issues in a way that meets each person's primary needs and interests and addresses the needs of their children, while helping families move forward post divorce in a responsible, respectful way. The Collaborative Practice team includes attorneys to provide legal support and information, mental health professionals working as coaches address emotional, communication and parenting issues, and neutral professionals to help the parties gain insight into the effect of various options they may consider. Read more...

When Friction is a Good Thing
Milton Wooley, MFT

What courage it takes to be willing to go where authentic life takes us! As human beings, we often find ourselves suspended between two poles of "survival" (being safe) and "aliveness" (the adventure of making an authentic contribution to the world and humanity). How do we decide what is security and what is the path of authenticity? Borrowing from the new physics, according to the theory of "dissipative structures" and "autopoietic systems" that make life, friction is required to grow. Without friction there is "no" growth or life. Read more...

Chinn Street Groups:

Separation/Divorce/Transition Group for Women: ongoing weekly support group for women in any stage of separation from a long term relationship. Facilitated by Shonnie Brown, M.A., MFT

Co-Parent Empowerment Group: six week class focusing on shared parenting issues: managing and diffusing anger, de-escalation of conflict and effective communication skills. Facilitated by Shonnie Brown, M.A., MFT

Ongoing Men's Support Group: open to men interested in working on recurrent relationship issues including anger, addiction, communication and parenting. Meets Tuesdays from 6-7:30 PM. Facilitated by Kevin Cooper, MFT

Recovery Support Group for Women: for women who are currently active members of a 12-Step fellowship and who want additional support in dealing with the many issues that can emerge when recovering from addictive patterns in life. Ongoing, Monday evenings 6-7:30PM. Facilitated by Gudrun Zomerland, MFT

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Chinn Street Counseling Center  •  405 Chinn Street  •  Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Barbara Bowen, L.C.S.W.
707-575-5300 / 925-934-8661

Shonnie Brown, M.A., M.F.T.

Kevin Cooper, M.F.T.

Shoshona Pascoe, M.F.T.

Milton Woolley, M.F.T.

Gudrun Zomerland, M.F.T.
707-575-8468 / 415-446-5532

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