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McMurray Therapeutics
United States
treatment provider for clients in criminal justice system
Interests: holistic medicine; mindfulness; trauma recovery; gardening; flash fiction
Recent Activity
This post kicks off a series I am calling, “Therapist-as-Shape-Changer.” Clients may write everything on our blank slate from genie-in-a-bottle to reincarnated mommy dearest. This is what we signed up for, and it makes for good therapy. But as any glob of silly putty can attest, shape-changing can be a... Continue reading
We cannot deconstruct the very yin and yang fabric of our planet, however powerful we might feel when holding our gaming devices and gadgets. Our powerful magical selves must live in a world larger and more mysterious than our own narratives. Slow down, be patient, wait for the good stuff to happen and make good stuff happen. Practice serenity with both eyes open. Continue reading
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Reblogged Jan 27, 2021 at Pausing the Dialog: A Therapist's Notes
What if the heavily demonized, repudiated, secretly envied lifestyles of the “drug addict” and “criminal”, filled as they often are with sensation, indulgence and Id run rampant were viewed as a kind of solution to the modern ache of pseudo-connection? What if we viewed these sensational lives as a graffiti-like scrawling on the wall, “I want to feel something NOW!” Better yet, perhaps it should be screamed, and loud enough to prompt those inside the silos to pop their heads out and join in the chorus. Continue reading
When working with a client whose history contains more intoxicated moments than sober ones—whether intoxicated by a chemical or a whim—it often happens that the world of the intangible is out of reach. The client may have some sense that he or she has internal world, but it is elusive and vague, as life has become all action and no contemplation. Thus, inviting the client to look within (perhaps for the first time) is part of the engagement and rapport building process. The client is invited to be curious, even fascinated, by his or her internal world. Continue reading
Human beings prefer the comfort of the familiar. We covet control and predictability. Just as a hoarder will sleep in a chair and cook dinner in a microwave while plastic bags, thrift store treasures and sometimes even cats occupy all other open spaces of their home, people with substance disorders and criminality will go back to the "shooting gallery," "trap house," or "the block," back to the misery that is familiar to them. That this is tragic is undeniable, but a way to offset this tragedy is to optimize the time while the client is experiencing the honeymoon of the new during a period of sobriety. During this window of clarity, it is critical to lay down the bricks of a foundation that will build over time. Granted, the foundation will be abandoned for a while but when the client returns to the project of rehabilitation, he or she can pick up where they left off. Continue reading
I have long warned the over-achieving, over-performing, over-reaching client in Criminal Justice, doing everything perfectly in drug court, community corrections, residential treatment, or speakers’ panels, to beware of that catastrophic fall from a great height, due to the wages of pride. I have found that if too many people have too high a stake in the meteoric rise to success of a client, there is a paradoxical effect, the client’s own vision becomes dimmed, pride infects the drive, and defeat is not far around the corner. If the problem were just false pride or vanity, that would be one thing, but in this case, the burden of pride is shared. Continue reading
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Jan 2, 2020