Monday, October 31, 2011

Wonder What Depression Looks & Feels Like?

This web-comic is a first-hand account of the artist's bout with depression.

Having had some shorter visits to that strange land myself, and worked with lots of men and women who are suffering from depression, I think it's spot on. I especially recognize what I talk about most about depression - that is a disease that saps the will. When you have it, you often just don't feel any will, any power or motivation to DO.

Oh, it's got some curse-words in it, just FYI.

Best, Peter
Seattle Counseling for Depression & Anxiety

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A New Perspective on Acceptance

In one of my random readings, a statement of principles from hedge fund trader Ray Dalio (like I said, random) I came into a new view of an old counseling idea - Acceptance.

Now, I've known the idea of Acceptance for a long time. To me, it's been part of love, part of "accepting someone as they are" (I am saying this in a soft, therapist-y voice). A soft thing. A choice. A gift.

Dalio introduced me to a different viewpoint on Acceptance. In his mind, it is part of hyper-realism. Of taking the world as it is, not as you want it to be. Thus, Acceptance is the smartest choice. It's not a gift to anyone else. It's a gift to yourself to accept things as they are, as you can then deal with them accurately and most effectively.

To me, it really means less fighting with the world.

What do you think?

Best, Peter
Counseling in Seattle, Washington

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

You Never Knew Your Parents As Non-Parents

As a therapist, and as a client over the years myself, I've had lots and lots of discussions about parents, and how they shape our lives and personalities. In therapist circles, we call this "FOO Work" (FOO is short for Family Of Origin). I certainly have looked at my Mom and my Dad over the years, and probably went through the period of blaming them for some of my problems.

This has faded in the last couple of years as I have become a parent myself. I'm doing the best I can for my little guy, but I know that despite that, he'll come out with some strengths, some weaknesses, and perhaps some problems.

I am also amazed at how much one little human has changed my life. I'll skip over the great parts and get to how I have aged, felt more tired, stressed, and responsible than I ever did before he arrived (and I had 40 years to get ready). I am more out of shape, have less hobbies, and a less active social life than before. Time feels like it's scarce. In short, I feel like a very different man than the one of 3 years ago.

This has given me some perspective on my parents, too. It came to me a bit ago that none of us knew our parents before they became parents. We didn't know the single man or woman. We didn't know the dating couple, the falling in love couple. We didn't know the newlyweds, excited about all the new journeys. We didn't see the woman, working in a job or career before she decided to stay home to raise you.

All we have ever known (and let's say we start remembering at age 3ish, eh?) is these two people who have just been transformed by parenthood into something new and different. And who were making up a lot of it as they went along.

It reminds me that before I had kids, I would consider my Dad's life and wonder "why didn't he have many hobbies?" And now I know.

So, to my fellow therapists, and fellow therapy clients, I give you pause to consider, before you judge those human beings known as parents too harshly (and this is not meant to invalidate pain from truly abusive parents), you may want to consider what you'll be like as a parent.

Yours, Peter Hannah MA LMHC
Seattle Counselor (and Dad)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Welcome to Seattle Counselor Thoughts


My name is Peter Hannah, MA LMHC. I'm a counselor in Seattle, Washington, in private practice since 2003.

This blog is intended to be a place to share thoughts, ideas, news & reflections about general counseling issues like marriage, relationships, anxiety, depression and the like.

You might also find my other blog interesting - The Nice Guy Coach - where I write about my specialty area: Nice Guys and People Pleasers.

I can't tell you how regular the posts will be (and they might lean towards video at some point), but hope you'll find some value here.

OK, Welcome!

Best, Peter Hannah, MA LMHC, Seattle Counselor