Hint: We Don’t.

“We don’t so much solve our problems as we outgrow them. We add capacities and experiences that eventually make us bigger than the problems.”

— C.G. Jung

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A long time ago an ex-partner of mine said in frustration “we don’t always have to be growing and changing!” To which I responded, “yes we do! If we aren’t growing then we’re dead.”

It was the point in our relationship where he was finally fed up with my growth and constant attempts to drag him along with me. He just wanted to be left alone to be him and…

‘Letting go’ does not mean ‘doing nothing’

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At dinner on New Year’s Eve, a small group of friends and I reflected on the past decade and discussed what we hoped to see come to fruition in 2020. It was less about resolutions (personally, I hate resolutions—they set us up to fail), and more about intentions or areas to focus on. When it was my turn, a conversation I had with a client earlier that day came to mind.

My client and I discussed how this next year, after all of her inner work in 2019 around finding her voice, she needed to now shift to focus on…

Andrew Galarza

Pain is Inevitable. Suffering is not.

I have a tendency of thinking about things in a very logical way, somewhat detached, rolling it around in my mind examining it from every angle. Recently, however, grief has shown up in such a present and personal way that it has challenged my seeming ability to keep a distance and compartmentalize feelings, and has caused me to feel into it in ways I haven’t yet experienced.

In the last couple of months, multiple clients have found their way to me who are struggling with huge losses in their lives. In therapy, we have a saying that the clients we

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How the Silent Treatment Destroys Relationships

The feelings of anger, frustration, betrayal, and annoyance washed over me. Followed by an intense desire to push him away, throw up my hands, and say “fuck it and fuck you.”

This is not a feeling most of us want to associate with our intimate partners. And yet, 3-months into what seemingly was the best relationship I had been in in my life I felt this very familiar cluster of emotions and sensations wash over me like hot molten lava. My long practiced and perfected skill at pushing people away and shutting them out came rushing forward, overcoming any skills…

I’m a therapist who recently had one of the most challenging years of my life — it changed me for the better

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In psychology and the world of self-betterment, we always talk about “resiliency” as a barometer for mental health. Resiliency has always been something I talked about with my own therapist and with my clients but, until a recent challenging experience in my own life, I didn’t truly understand it in a deeply felt way. In reflecting on that recent experience, however, I had a profound moment of realization — recognizing just how far I have come on my personal journey toward building resiliency.

I wrote my thesis on the theory of trauma as initiation. That’s a topic for another piece…

Niklas Hamann for Unsplash

There’s a Difference Between Ego and Intuition.

Recently I’ve begun adding weight lifting into my workout routine. I’ve been a yogini and a lover of Pilates for many years, but being a woman means that as I get older my bones are slowly and inevitably turning to dust. Lifting weight can actually help strengthen them from within, so I decided what the hell. Also, my boyfriend is a Crossfitter who knows his shit, so it helps. I’m now around a lot of Crossfitters with huge muscles that can lift 3x my body weight but probably can’t touch their toes. …

Breaking the Chains of our Unconscious Patterns

Cycles and patterns have been on my mind lately. Cycles of behavior, of thought, of emotions, the dances we do with ourselves and with others. The idea that unless we are intimately familiar with our inner selves we are destined to repeat the same cycles over and over again. And even when we are familiar, sometimes we still repeat them, because we haven’t truly learned what they feel like in order to recognize them and then choose a different behavior.

Many of our patterns are engrained from our upbringing. Many are adopted for survival. Many of the cycles, if not…

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Why Expressing Your Emotions is Crucial for Self-Growth

In yoga asana (the physical practice of yoga), the pose begins when you want to leave it. It’s when we can notice that resistance (and sometimes muscle scorching discomfort), take an inhale, and then exhale more deeply into the pose that the real transformational work happens. I believe the same can be said for life, relationships, career, and in general our overall personal and spiritual growth.

Can we notice the moment where we tense up and want to flee, take a breath, and then lean in or get even more present? Can we have the difficult conversations regardless of what…

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After a recent weekend in my hometown spending time with family and friends, I realized how many questions and conversations I’m having around the idea of therapy these days. People asking for very specific advice or telling me, in great detail, something they’re currently struggling with, people asking general questions about therapy and about therapists. Having recently graduated from my Master’s program, people are obviously curious about what I learned, but they are also curious about why something like my personal therapy was so soul altering that I changed my entire life to pursue it as a career myself.


And, no, it’s not bubble baths or spa treatments.

Photo by Isaiah Rustad on Unsplash

The older I get the more important the word “no” becomes to me. It’s not a word that has been widely used in my adult vocabulary, maybe not used much since I was a toddler actually (side note: my first words were actually “want more” which if you know me is incredibly fitting). In general, I am a “yes man.” I say yes to everything and every one. I have struggled with being a people pleaser and caretaker my entire life. And, to be clear, our work-self and our personal- self…

Vanessa Bennett

Psychotherapist, Mindfulness + Codependency Coach. Cohost of the Cheaper Than Therapy Podcast. IG:vanessasbennett

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