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Spring 2008  
In This Issue:

Gudrun Zomerland lists on-line resources about prescription drug abuse.

Shonnie Brown discusses writing as a safe tool for uncovering years of repressed trauma.

Kevin Cooper explores the role of forgiveness in healing based on the work of Dr. Fred Luskin.

Shoshona Pascoe writes about pre-marital counseling and supporting deepening bonds.

Barbara Bowen shares the new website for the Collaborative Practice Center.

Milton Woolley shares thoughts regarding May Sarton's poem, "Now I Become Myself".

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.

For more information, visit

Chinn Street Newsletter Archives

Prescription Drug Abuse
Gudrun Zomerland, MFT

Prescription drug abuse is a growing problem, especially among the elderly and teenagers. A lot of people have experienced illness or have had accidents that require drastic pain management at some point in their lives. In addition, an increasing number of people have experienced such severe states of anxiety or panic attacks that they have opted for medication treatment. Any of us can be in this position and therefore vulnerable. Read more...

Uncovering Trauma Through Therapeutic Writing
Shonnie Brown, MFT

More and more I use writing as a therapeutic tool. In addition to being a therapist, I assist people in writing their memoirs, and this too can be very healing. Several months ago I began working with an 85 year-old World War II veteran. George remembers the facts of his life, especially the war stories, but is completely out of touch with his senses and feelings. Read more...

Kevin Cooper, MFT

Dr. Fred Luskin, director and cofounder of the Stanford Forgiveness Project ( describes forgiveness as follows:

"Forgiveness is the feeling of peace that emerges as you take your hurt less personally, take responsibility for how you feel, and become a hero instead of a victim in the story you tell."

When struggling with the hurts of our lives it can be tempting to forgive those who have injured us before we fully acknowledge the depth of our injury. In my practice I have observed that when clients attempt forgiveness too early it can perpetuate their denial and stall the healing process. Equally troubling for clients can be the pain which results from the resistance to forgive after working through emotional injury. When we hold onto our grievances beyond when it is appropriate we remain victimized and stuck. Read more...

Pre-Marital Counseling
Shoshona Pascoe, MFT

I am noticing an increase in the number of couples seeking pre-marital counseling in my psychotherapy practice. Often they have been encouraged to devote some time to pre-marital sessions by a married, couple friend who wish they had made counseling part of their preparation for married life. Research has shown that couples wait an average of 7 years before seeking help for their relationship troubles. Pre-marital counseling can help create a template for how conflict is managed, as well as support practices of skillful communication and appreciation. All couples disagree at times; the way we hold our differences and return to an open heart is what we are seeking. Read more...

Collaborative Practice Center
Barbara Bowen, LCSW

Barbara Bowen now also has an office at the Collaborative Practice Center in Santa Rosa, where a group of therapists, attorneys, and financial specialists work as a supportive team to help clients resolve disputes. Working with these and other collaborative professionals, Barbara works as a collaborative coach and child specialist, supporting clients through divorce or domestic partner dissolution, or other family disputes, as well as providing, parenting, co-parenting, and family counseling. Visit the new Collaborative Practice Center website at

To learn even more about collaborative practice, visit the Collaborative Council website at

Reflections on Life's Transitions
Milton Woolley, MFT

Have you recently looked at a picture of yourself or a good friend from, say 10 years ago? Almost everyone says: "I looked so young then!" In those brief glimpses of ourselves historical moments of life spring to mind. Suddenly we find ourselves taking a brief life inventory of what has happened since that picture was taken. Daily life and all of its demands distract us from the realization of the many transitions we've gone through in those intervening years.

In this and the upcoming newsletters I would like to share a few poems that remind us to be present and awake to our lives while we climb the daily rungs of the latter to our life's transitions. The first poem is by May Sarton and I am constantly moved each time I read it.

Now I Become Myself
by May Sarton (source:
Now I become myself. It's taken
Time, many years and places;
I have been dissolved and shaken,
Worn other people's faces,
Run madly, as if Time were there,
Terribly old, crying a warning,
"Hurry, you will be dead before--"
(What? Before you reach the morning?
Or the end of the poem is clear?
Or love safe in the walled city?)
Now to stand still, to be here,
Feel my own weight and density!
The black shadow on the paper
Is my hand; the shadow of a word
As thought shapes the shaper
Falls heavy on the page, is heard.
  All fuses now, falls into place
From wish to action, word to silence,
My work, my love, my time, my face
Gathered into one intense
Gesture of growing like a plant.
As slowly as the ripening fruit
Fertile, detached, and always spent,
Falls but does not exhaust the root,
So all the poem is, can give,
Grows in me to become the song,
Made so and rooted by love.
Now there is time and Time is young.
O, in this single hour I live
All of myself and do not move.
I, the pursued, who madly ran,
Stand still, stand still, and stop the sun!

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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