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READING & RESOURCES All Book recommendations below are link-free. This way, you can purchase from your favorite local book seller. All other links are Active
GRIEF Books How to Live When a Loved One Dies by Thich Nhat Hanh No Death, No Fear: Comforting Wisdom for Life by Thich Nhat Hanh Its Okay that You're Not Okay: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture that Doesn't Understand by Megan Devine How to Carry What Can't Be Fixed: A Journal for Grief by Megan Devine The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Ritual of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief by Francis Weller African American Grief (Series in Death, Dying, and Bereavement) by Paul C Rosenblatt, Beverly R Wallace Healing the Adult Sibling's Grieving Heart: 100 Practical Ideas After your Brother or Sister Dies by Alan D Wolfelt, PhD Grieving While Black: An Anti-Racist Take on Oppression and Sorrow by Breeshia Wade Mourning Nature: Hope at the Heart of Ecological Loss and Grief by Ashlee Cunsolo The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion Motherless Daughters by Hope Edelman Mourning Diary by Roland Barthes A Grief Observed by CS Lewis A Matter of Death and Life by Dr. Irving D. Yalom and Marilyn Yalom Poems of Mourning by Everyman's Library Pocket Poet Series
LIVING Books Siddhartha by Herman Hesse When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chodron Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl To Build a Fire by Jack London (short story) Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman Self-Reliance and Other Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson Annie Allen by Gwendolyn Brooks The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron Notes on Camp by Susan Sontag Ways of Seeing by John Berger The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder The Trumpet of Conscience by Martin Luther King, Jr The Universe is a Green Dragon by Brian Swimme Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman How to Sit by Thich Nhat Hanh Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Living for Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness by Jon Kabat-Zinn
I began the Reading & Resources with grief books because we and this world are all ailing.
Grief naturally converts into the withdrawal of optional energy. Daily active-grieving reorganizes and ultimately reinvests this energy, distilling hard to grasp or painful emotions into manageable proportions. When we actively grieve the heart space feels more spacious, and our available receptivity gets reapplied to other meaningful relationships. All of this is to say, intentional grief work serves as a wellspring. When practiced, it continuously supplies fresh meaning about who we are, even given our struggles. It keeps the heart space tender and supple.
And with that, let’s get to the resources that support our lives here in the City of Los Angeles
LIFE in the City of Angels and Mental Health
As we age, the health of our bodies and minds is directly impacted by stimulation. The more engaged all of our senses are in activities, the more our brain and cognitive abilities function at an efficient rate. Areas such as memory, thinking, attention, reasoning skills and temperament stay strong and intact. Cognitively stimulating activities enhance our cognitive reserve, period. Research indicates that novelty, variety, level of engagement, cognitive challenges and degree of enjoyment improve brain function (See Brain Health below)
Our city is so varied from its urban forestry to the endless selections of beaches, museums, cafes, restaurants, skate parks, mountains, sporting events, cultural events, history, and plethora of iconic landmarks just to name a few...GET OUT INTO THE CITY and play!
Any Book recommendations below are link-free. All other links are active.
Rule of Thumb: A feeling tends to be a word and a thought tends to be a description. If you are attempting to understand yourself or another, notice what is said. Oftentimes, people cannot understand themselves because they have not started with the basics: How do I feel? One word. And then you can combine from there. Internal feelings tend to describe our disposition and not our situation.
MEDITATION Self Compassion is a better indicator of Happiness than Self Esteem
DISORDERS Below is a multitude of information about the more generalized disorders and how they impact people. To treat some disorders, such as neurodevelopmental, neurocognitive, dissociative, eating, sleep, and psychotic disorders; these typically involve a specialization with more specific training and for some, the collaboration of an MD, and are therefore not listed. Personality disorders are also purposely not listed, as well. Diagnostics require a full mental health exam and detailed assessment along with the client's history and presentation in real time, over a period of time. Diagnosing is not simply matching symptomatology read on a list. It is for these reasons I feel it would be a disservice to include the above mentioned disorders. Diagnosing is complex, nuanced, and requires years of education and training.
What is ADHD? Thomas E. Brown, PhD, discusses ADHD diagnosis, ADHD symptoms, available ADHD treatment options, and ADHD medication.
ADDitude Magazine A comprehensive website for parents, adults, and professionals dealing with ADHD, learning disabilities, and related conditions
Therapy for Latinx ☝🏽Please Note: The X in Latinx is intended to be inclusive of queer and trans people in Latin America and the US by queer and trans people, however, it simultaneously erases a crucial part of Latin American identity and language, and replaces it with an English word. How people define themselves may vary. The website name above is one version.
You will notice that SLAA is not listed above. I am a sex-positive therapist and join many therapists of this ilk in our findings that there is insufficient evidence to support the idea of 'sex addiction,' as evidenced by the rejection of such a diagnosis by the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists; as well as, the diagnostic bible: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
SHAME & GUILT: How being Adaptive requires Coordination with self and others
IDENTITY MODELS Caveat: All identity models have limitations. Just below is a basic list in the historical order that they were established. Identity Models are good places for therapeutic work to reflect from. They are also not all inclusive and should not be taken, as such.
POLY Books Book recommendations below are link-free. This way, you can purchase from your own favorite local book seller
Polysecure: Attachment, Trauma and Consensual Non-Monogamy by Jessica Fern More Than two (MTT) by Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert Caveat- Controversial conversations in the poly community surround one MTT author about their personal life. The Ethical Slut by Dossie Easton and Catherine A Litsz Polyamory Handbook: A User's Guide by Peter J Benson Redefining Our Relationships: Guidelines for Responsible Relationshipsby Wendy O Matik The Polyamory Breakup Book: Causes, Prevention and Survivalby Kathy Labriola
ETHICS AND MORALITY(link) Julia Driver, Simon Blackburn, Steven Cahn & Peter Markie, Aristotle, Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill, Frederich Nietzesche,Peter Singer, T.M. Scanlon
Philosophy Break (link) Click the link and ignite your curiosity with a mini bite article for literally just a few minutes.
INFIDELITY Books The State of Affairs by Esther Perel When You're the One who Cheats by Dr Tammy Nelson Conscious Uncoupling: 5 Steps to Living Happily Even After by Katherine Woodward Thomas Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence by Ester Perel The Road to Reconciliation by Keith R Wilson
- Coming Out to our Kids: An Affirmative Approach to Assisting Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Parents By Kristin F Jones In 2004, Adams, Jacques, and May estimated 2 to 10 million gay and lesbian parents were raising 6 to 14 million children in the United States. This large invisible population denotes how pervasive discrimination and heterocentered sociocultural norms obscure relevant queer information; especially, in terms of what constitutes the varieties of the 'American family.'
In fact, large numbers of children who have gay, lesbian and bisexual (GLB) parents are conceived in the context of mixed-orientation coupling; where one parent is gay or bisexual, and the other is straight. Parental alliances do not automatically indicate that a parent is heterosexual, as seen above.
Scores of GLB parents attempt traditional heterosexual marriage in their efforts to have children, while others seek refuge from homonegativity by concealing themselves inside heterosexual relationships. The closeted experience typically is supported by concerns including fear of discrimination, child-custody disputes, family-of-origin reactions, and peer ostracism for the child, parent, or both.
One's coming out breaks the stronghold of the false self allowing the GLB parent to reduce splitting, while challenging the tenacity of shame. GLB clients who consider coming out to their children often seek reassurance that favorable relationships with their kids will be possible, after disclosure. To help serve this purpose, parents are advised to have their own peer support in place before coming out.
Below are seven guidelines to assist the GLB parent with coming out to their child.
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Parents 'Coming Out' plan Assist conceptualizing affirmative meaning, the actual conversation, and the aftermath * It is recommended that parents come to terms with their sexual orientation before disclosing to children * Self-acceptance increases the likelihood that children will react positively * Shame increases the likelihood that children will react negatively (process shame with client)
Plan for self disclosure * Parents need to tell their children before they hear from others * Children rarely initiate a discussion on the topic * Time and place of disclosure should be planned in advance
Prepare conversations * Disclosure should be positive and sincere and not apologetic * Reassure children that loving relationships with parents will not change
Cast self-disclosure in age appropriate language * Parents should disclose to children as early as possible * Children are never too young to be told * Details should be confined to the child's level of understanding
Prepare for possible questions, and if parent doesn't have answers to all questions, encourage the parent to be honest about this; as coming out to their child is a new opportunity for growth, as well.
Kids might ask: * Why are you telling me? * What does gay, lesbian or bisexual mean? * What makes a person gay, lesbian, or bisexual? * Will I be gay, lesbian, or bisexual, too? * Don't you like women or men? * What should I tell my friends?
Allow the child time to process Remain calm 'Plan' summarized from Barret and Robinson (1990)
As LGBT and queer affirmative clinicians, we assist gay, lesbian, and bisexual parents in the coming out process through reflection and recognition, as we invite the parent to re-imagine their life. The coming out process is exactly that, a process, and it will happen again and again over the course of a lifetime. Clinicians who are not educated in LGBTQ populations are encouraged to obtain training, in order to genuinely understand the lived-experience of GLB parents, their children, and their families of choice. Affirmative therapy involves responsibility, discernment, contextual focus and above all, support. Affirmatively yours, Kristin Article published in CAMFT Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (April, 2013) Newsletter. -400 + Resources, March 2023- ⌚︎