Dan Knoepfler, MC, LMHC
Individual, group, and family therapy
Thoughts for the Day
Links to the archives of previous months are at the bottom of the page.

This Friday I am leading a workshop discussion.  It's been awhile.   I am excited and a little nervous.

They said they are going to delay taking down the viaduct in Seattle until January.    My million dollar view got a reprieve for a couple more months.

One of my pet peeves is that it seems like every light fixture takes a different bulb these days.  Recently I guessed correctly when I bought replacement bulbs for fixtures at my office.  I almost took out one bulb to bring to the store to ensure I was correct.   But they were only accessible by ladder, so I rolled the dice.  Now that things are getting grayer and darker, it was time to replace some bulbs.

Sometimes clients do self-destructive things.   I like to remind people that while they are responsible for their choices, they aren't their choices.   It's the challenge of remembering "I did something bad" vs. "I am bad."    If we hold onto "I am bad" that leaves no room for hope or change in one's life.   Sometimes impulses to engage in destructive behaviors are strong.  And we have to work extra hard not to do things we know we will regret.   Therapy can help people remain motivated to keep trying even when they feel lost or that it's hopeless.

Most of my clients end up being longer-term and not coming to me for brief therapy.  Therapeutic relationships evolve over time and that is one rewarding part to doing longer-term therapy.   You really get to see changes in people.   The impulsive become more intentional in what they do.  The rigid become more flexible in their thinking and behaviors.  The depressed seem less stuck in their muck and mire.  And the anxious seem calmer and more self-assured.  It's a joy to be a part of people's lives as they become more of what they want to be in their lives.

It's a two show week this week.  Today is show #2.    I love going to Nectar in Fremont to see/hear  shows.  It has a good vibe about it.

With the weather turning, I am seeing the hummingbirds less and less.   But yesterday I did catch sight of one while up on the roof deck.   They don't just hover around the flowers on my roof, they actually perch and hang out.  Yesterday one perched for 5 minutes before taking off.

I talked to an old friend on the phone recently for over an hour.   It was nice to catch up with her.  Sometimes people drift apart when they don't talk for awhile.  With her it feels like we pick up right where we leave off from the last time.  I love those friendships.

The big national conference for my specialty is next month in Vancouver B.C..   I am contemplating going but there are two downsides.   One is that it is expensive.  The second is that four days of training is a lot for me.   I get to information overload at the end of about two days.   I need to decide fairly soon whether to go or not.   It certainly is conveniently located.

I went to my monthly consultation group yesterday.   We all have somewhat different perspectives on providing therapy. I appreciate hearing different perspectives and figuring out whether they make sense to me.

I finished reading Bob Woodward's book about Trump called "Fear".   For me, the most worrisome part is that our president seems to struggle when it comes to learning.  No one can be expected to know everything.  But if you are given information by people you respect and it doesn't seem to sink in, that's a problem.  

Yesterday was one of those days when everything didn't really go as planned.  At first I was super frustrated because I had to rearrange several parts of my day to accommodate. In looking back at things, it wasn't really that big of a deal.  

Change can be difficult.   I always view fall as a transition time.   I actually like fall and spring the best in Washington.   Are you ready to get back to work (or school)?   I am!

This really should be a national holiday.

It's the time of year when my allergies are probably the worst.  It's when it cools off in Seattle and the mold and mildew start growing again.  

9+9 =18
I love dates like today's, when you can combine math with the calendar.

They have new scratch and sniff ice cream stamps.   What will USPS think of next?   I heard Whoopi Goldberg is trying to get them to make an Aretha Franklin stamp.  That would be amazing.  I'd buy some.

I have several trans clients currently.   Although being trans is one aspect of what brought them to therapy, it generally isn't the only reason, and many times it's not even the primary one.  It makes me happy if I can be part of helping people become happier with themselves and increase the ability to express this openly.

Tomorrow there is a benefit show for victims of sex trafficking, with Duff McKagen headlining it.   What a great benefit, and I am looking forward to the show as well.

I've developed sort of an annoying breakfast habit.   I read the jail registry's list of people arrested in the last 24 hours to see whether any clients or former clients have been picked up.   After as much time as I have worked in the "system", I average 5-6 people per week that I know being arrested.   All the research that shows that the more you are arrested, and the longer you are incarcerated, the more likely you'll be to end up going back is worrisome.   I remember when they built SCORE ( a private for profit jail in south King County) and it was barely used.   Now talking to CCOs working for DOC, many times it is full.   FULL!   The prison industrial complex is alive and well.

Two organizations that are very important to me, WATSA and KCSARC are having their third annual joint meeting to discuss family reunification in abuse cases.   I love the cooperation there is between the two.

Yesterday I saw George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic.  It's George Clinton's last year of touring.  He seemed more energetic last night than during many shows.    One of my favorite George Clinton quotes:  "Free your mind and your ass will follow."  It's so true.

I witnessed one sad interaction and was part of a second one this weekend in Portland.  The first occurred when two young black women got food at the breakfast bar at my hotel.   The manager approached them and asked if they were guests at the hotel.  No one else was asked this question, just them.  The girls were very polite in answering yes, and giving the manager their room number.   The second situation directly involved me a few minutes later.   I walked in the back entrance of the hotel and was taking the stairs up to my room.   I came around the corner quickly as a young black man was coming down the stairs.    We both startled one another.  My reaction was to say "Excuse me."   His reaction was to pull his hands out of his pockets and put them over his head.    I wanted to tell him that he didn't have to do that.   But how could I in good conscience say that to him when 10 minutes earlier two young black women in that same hotel basically were accused of stealing food from the breakfast bar.  

"Neither a borrower nor a lender be, for loan oft loses both itself and friend.  And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry."    This is probably the second most quoted passage from Hamlet.   When you borrow and/or lend to friends and family, there is a decent chance you'll never see the money again, and you may strain or ruin the relationship with the person.   That is the most common part of the quote people talk about.  But the second part is equally important.  It talks about debt enslaving a person.    Many people have been crushed under the weight of their debt.   It's amazing how much of what Shakespeare wrote is still relevant today.