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1415 W 51st St
Austin, TX, 78756
United States


Offering counseling in central Austin to adults struggling with painful relationships, upsetting changes, ineffective communication, unwanted emotions, low spirits and anxious thinking. Therapy for the heart & mind, curiosity required.  





How to Choose a Therapist

Ellen Lindsey

Over and over again, research finds that the effectiveness of therapy has little to do with the type of intervention used or the credentials of the practitioner. It has more to do with the quality and traits of the relationship between the counselor and client. That is why it is so important to find a counselor who is healthy and can relate to you in a curative way.

Here is a link to one person's thoughts regarding how to choose a therapist. While I don't agree with every point he makes, in general, I think he gives some sound guidance about the process of finding a counselor. Beyond what is written there, I advise you to choose a person with whom you feel a resonance and whom you trust is at peace with herself. If the therapist seems somehow argumentative, defensive, or self-promoting, these are danger signals.



Ellen Lindsey

(As I typed "blogging", my mind kicked out "slogging through blogging."  That is not what I want this experience to be about.  I've talked to people who blog and find that some of them are slogging through the process.  This makes me think about intention...I'll write about the idea of that later.  My intention in this blog is to state my intention with blogging.)

When the world is blooming in spring, I'm so deeply touched by the display.  That's why all these flowers are strewn across this website.  The blooms touch my heart, I snap a picture, then I put it out to share with whomever comes along.  That's how I'm approaching this blog.  As things in the world inspire or move me, whether from a podcast, a book, or a conversation with someone, I'm going to snap it in a post and pass it on.

Guilt vs. Shame

Ellen Lindsey

I listened to a "Two Guys on Your Head" podcast today. ("Two Guys on Your Headis a psychology podcast, almost ala "Car Talk," but without the heavy, infectious laughter.)  It was a piece on the difference between guilt and shame.  They suggested that guilt and shame are hardly discernible based on physiological markers, but are very different in terms of their objects.  Guilt is produced when we feel bad about something we did, or, did not do.  Shame is produced when we feel bad about who we are, our worth, our character, our abilities or disabilities.  I often speak with clients about shame and how it is the all-time worst-offending emotion that crosses our threshold. We tend to defend the most intensely when affronted by shame, whether through blame, emotional implosion, addictive consumption, self-harm, or rage.  Guilt, while physiologically essentially the same, does not produce such extreme reactions.  Guilt is focused on the something-I-did-or-didn't-do, and, therefore, inherently has a fix.  If I did or didn't do something, I can get a do-over, give an apology, offer a substitute, and generally learn from the experience and/or make things better.  If the only difference between these two is the way we are viewing the situation, we could practice taking a different perspective.  The next time you feel ashamed, notice it.  Notice what inherent thing-that-is-wrong-with-you that your mind is focussed on.  Then, step back.  Run around to the other side.  Now, notice what is the action that you did or didn't do that you feel bad about?  Consider three ways you might counteract that, either through taking another action, making a heartfelt apology, or resolving to learn.  Do any one of those three things with self-compassion, affirming all the while that you are human, and therefore imperfect like the rest of us primates.  Of course you feel bad sometimes!  You are on this planet, walking on two legs with a limbic brain, aren't you?