Trail Mix

Quick Energy for Your Journey Through Life

You Couldn’t Have Done It Without You!

Teachers open the door but you must enter by yourself.  
Chinese Proverb

Dear Successful Client,

I’ve been noticing a change in you lately. You seem lighter and brighter. You have a smile on your face that wasn’t there when I first met you. You laugh more easily at my corny jokes. I might be wrong, but you seem to have less “heavy stuff” to talk about. Our conversations seem more, what’s the word, “conversational” in nature. These are the moments when I feel a wonderful shift in your energy, good feelings rippling out from you. Thank you for that!

As you know, we talked recently about what you were like when you first stepped into my office (or appeared on my video screen). What did that feel like, going back there? You instinctively compared that time to this time, the present. You teared up a bit as you felt the difference (and so did I, admittedly). You were able to list the ways you feel or behave differently now. Your smile became even brighter. Even more energy rippling out. Wow!

As you consider all the changes you made, I also invite you to consider what it took for you to get where you are now. You had to:


      • have enough courage (and maybe desperation?) to look for help

      • make some calls to people like me

      • wait around until one of us responded

      • describe your situation to a total stranger over the phone

      • decide to try therapy out

      • show up at your first appointment with (again) a total stranger

      • trust the process a little at the beginning

      • trust the process more and more as you went along

      • consider some of the ideas I floated by you

      • consider some of the insights you came up with (even more important)

      • allow yourself to “feel the feelings”

      • allow yourself to think different thoughts

      • allow yourself to behave in different ways

      • allow yourself to use your body as a barometer

      • allow yourself to trust yourself

      • allow yourself to let go of what didn’t serve you

      • allow yourself to hold on to what did serve you

      • and on and on.

    Whew! I’ll bet your never realized you were doing all of that. Sounds impressive, doesn’t it?

    Well, it is! Yay for you!

    At this point, I really invite you to tune in to how much effort this has been and how much you’ve put into our process together, really YOUR process since most of it happened outside of our work together (a humbling thing for most therapists).

    Also, please know that while I may have given something to you, you have also given a lot to me. It has been such an honor to be your companion along the way, to watch you grow and blossom, and to learn from you (yes, you’ve been my teacher as much as I’ve been yours). For me, this is payment in full (along with your co-pay or fee or whatever). This has made it all worthwhile for me.

    But, don’t ever forget that you have been the major factor in your own therapy success. As I always say,

    You couldn’t have done it without you!”

    Take care,

    Copyright 2020 Daniel J. Metevier

    Top Ten Reasons I’m Not Going Back to the Office Anytime Soon

    One day at a time.
    12-step Program Saying

    I’m writing this in the time of the 2020 Coronavirus/COVID-19 quarantine. For the last two and a half months, I’ve been serving my clients exclusively through a “telehealth” process. I sit in a guest bedroom in my home and converse with my clients via a secure remote audio/video platform. So far, it’s working well for both me and (most of) my clients. As time wears on, however, a few colleagues (including the landlord at my office) and a small number of clients have posed the question of if and when I plan to return to my office and resume in-person sessions. Let me present my top ten reasons for not returning anytime soon: …

    Yet Another COVID-19 Blog Article

    If you don’t have weights at home, try using canned food or the psychological burden of simply existing in the world.
    Lila Ash, New Yorker cartoonist

    Well, you knew it was coming, right? Any self-respecting psychologist HAS to write at least one article about what’s happening right now as we face the coronavirus pandemic and live under lockdown conditions. So, here’s mine. You’re welcome! …

    Beware the Advice of “Marital First Responders”

    Bad advice will blind you, good advice will instruct you, excellent advice will enlighten you, and transcendent advice will elevate you.
    Matshona Dhliwayo

    When you experience problems in your relationship, you might find yourself opening up to others about those problems. While this is probably more true of women, when things get really bad, even guys do it too (admit it!). You might go to friends, family members, co-workers, clergy, hair stylists, bartenders, or others to gripe, vent, seek reassurance, get perspective, or problem-solve (guys mostly on this one). These natural confidantes in your life then serve as “marital first responders.” They’re in the position of helping you do first aid on your relationship. …

    The Male Mode of Depression, Part 4: Where a Man Can Find Help

    We have found that once men stop depriving themselves of human connection and instead form authentic relationships with other people, their conventional presenting problems often disappear.
    Charlie Donaldson and Randy Flood

    In prior articles, we’ve looked at several aspects of the way men typically experience depression. To recap, we’ve looked at how depression is expressed by a man (here), how it develops in a man (here), and what wake-up calls a man might experience that motivate him to get some help (here). Now, we’re finally ready to explore some ways that men can get effective help for their condition. You’ll see that the great majority of these methods involve gaining greater experience, competence, and enjoyment in connecting with other people. Over time, this tends to do the trick, as they say, although it’s not an instant cure. A lot of times, however, men will need to work their way up to these methods due to the last gasp efforts of the internalized Man Code to interfere with the process. Let’s see how this works. …

    The Male Mode of Depression, Part 3: What Causes a Man to Get Help

    The cure for covert depression is overt depression.
    Terrence Real

    In prior articles, we’ve looked at what men’s depression, sometimes called “covert depression,” looks like (here) and where it comes from (here). Given that men typically hide their depressed feelings (overt depression) from themselves and others (hence, “covert), it takes a bit of doing for them to come to a place where they seek help. Most often, men don’t seek help without a major “wake-up call” in their life. This is much like (or the same as) when an addict hits “rock bottom” and admits they are powerless over what’s happening in their life. The word “powerless” describes a condition in which few men want to find themselves. Let’s take a look at some of the situations that push men into this condition. Let’s also look at how to speed things along (a good thing; really!). …

    Dr. Dan is no longer taking new clients, but remains available to current and former clients.

    To find a therapist with openings in their schedule, you may wish to search the Psychology Today Therapist Directory. It enables you to search for people who take your insurance, have relevant specialties, and more.