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.

I have become known as an evaluator/treatment provider of people who are unusual.  And my apparent claim to fame is that I am good about not being judgmental when people are different, if they are not infringing upon other people and their rights.  That is a nice reputation to have.   I work well with people who have more mainstream problems or issues as well.    

I never put up a hummingbird feeder, I attract them naturally with flowers.   My hotlips flowers have not bloomed yet.  I am waiting for them to put out their flowers and for the return of the hummingbirds.

I was talking to someone on the phone today who grew up in the Seattle area.   We were talking about the good old days.   I was remembering trips to Brenner Brothers Bakery in Bellevue with my grandparents and their wonderful cheese danishes.   Yum.   

It's definitely feeling like spring in Seattle.   I noticed that there was still some daylight around 830p.m.    I love that.   I hate the dark dreary days that last 8 hours.

On Friday as I was about to get on I-5 at Mercer Street I discovered I had a flat.   It threw a monkey wrench into my plans for the day.   Monday I'll be getting my new tires, since with all wheel drive, it doesn't work well to have three very worn tires and one that is brand new.  There is too much tread wear on the other three to just replace one.

As the family is expecting a new baby in the next month or so, the issue of baby names has arisen.    I always wondered why my parents didn't use my dad's uncle's name.   If one of us was "Zoltan" it would've celebrated my dad's Hungarian heritage and honor his uncle who died during WWII.   Maybe this next generation will use Zoltan as a middle name.

It's funny that this day has turned into a weed smoker's holiday.   We don't have an official or  unofficial holiday for alcohol and getting drunk, but marijuana has its own special day.   I don't know if it really matters.  I'm just curious how it happened.

This weekend Paisley Park is celebrating  Prince's legacy on the 2nd anniversary of his death.   It's hard to know whether this is anything more than a cash grab.  I say this because tickets are $500-$1000 per person to attend.  When Prince was alive the events he hosted at Paisley Park never cost that much.    I didn't go last year, and won't be going this year.     I guess I want my last memory of being at Paisley Park being one of when Prince was alive and actually there.  Not just his spirit and memory.

I took today off to go do something fun with a  friend.  Sadly it didn't turn out to be practical to do it.   But since I canceled all my appointments today, I am going to try and figure out something to do that I wouldn't normally do.  not sure yet what it will be.

I've been struggling in dealing with some of my peers' questionable work product and the impact it has on their clients.  I tend to be a fairly direct person, and so I do contact them by phone, or in writing most of the time to give them feedback.   I don't know whether it is making a difference, but I feel better  having said something.   I want them to know someone is noticing what they are doing.  I don't pretend to be the best at what I do, and I don't pretend that I don't have off days.   But some of this goes beyond that.

King County Juvenile Court has been experimenting with ways to address what to do with kids who commit crimes without locking them up.    Sadly one of their first cases led to a kid committing a murder.   I am ambivalent, or perhaps  torn is a better word regarding this program.    I think it is a great aspirational goal to do this.   However, if there is risk of dangerousness then there needs to be a conscientious effort to provide enough support to help the kid be successful if s/he is going to remain in the community.   I don't know enough about the program to know whether this is being done.

In group we were talking about our favorite books.    One of the kids brought up To Kill a Mockingbird.   I told him that I fantasized as a kid what it would've been like to have Atticus Finch as a dad.   It was funny because he said he had the exact same thought.   However, after reading "Go Set a Watchman" it changed things for me.  I asked him whether he had read this  prequel/sequel and he hasn't.   I think when I was a teen I wouldn't have wanted my idealistic vision of Atticus Finch burst either.

I've been meeting my mom at Crossroads Mall in Bellevue to get together.   We have developed somewhat of a routine.  We eat, we walk and then spend time at Half Price Books.    Recently, each time I have bought a book to read.  Currently it is the "Winter Brothers".   I like books set in locations where I am familiar with the landscape.  It's an added bonus.  This one happens to be set on the coast of Washington State.

Friday the 13th!   Are you superstitious?   I don't really have any superstitious beliefs.  But somewhere along the way the one habit I did pick up is to knock on wood.   It's automatic.   I don't even think about it when I do it.  I don't really believe that knocking on wood will keep the bad thing from happening.  But what the heck, there is no harm in doing it.

One thing that helps me stay positive is to focus on the people and things I am grateful to have in my life.  I am not always the best at showing my appreciation, but I am getting better at it.  This week I am grateful for all the people in my life who have amazing senses of humor.  I love to laugh and like to be surrounded by people who are smart and funny.

For over a decade I have been involved in my state professional organization, including being its president.   I have enjoyed doing this.  But it is time to do something else, at least for awhile.  And maybe I will come back to being involved  in the running of the organization at some point by being on the board.  Having said that....  Today is the first day of a three-day event I am helping with.  Once this is done, I am done.   I am going to miss my involvement with WATSA, but there are other things I need to do right now in my life.  So it is time.

Happy Birthday to my brother Paul.   You are an amazing person, and a friend not just a brother.  I love you and hope you have an awesome day.

In addition to everything else we do at the office we started a group for young men 18-29.   It's been a fun experience ramping up the group.    I have also had a group designed for  12-17 year olds.  However, things are a little slow on that front, and if they don't pick up in the next 3-4 months there may not be sufficient numbers to keep this group running.  It would be a shame after 20+ years for it to end.  But sometimes that happens.   At one point there were so many kids needing services I had three groups for the 12-17 year olds.   It's good news that that is no longer the case.

On Friday I found out that the leader of an organization  (I interact with professionally)  is retiring.  I feel honored that the organization has allowed me to provide input regarding selecting their leader's successor.

The family of a client is struggling to make some significant and serious decisions.   Sometimes you feel helpful in these situations, and other times it is hard to know.  I think I have been helpful to them.    What I offered is information about some of the pros and cons of different paths.  Similar to the person I know deciding between several great college offers, there is no "right" answer in either situation.  It's more about  the weighting of different aspects of each option and then deciding what is the best choice based on the direction the scale is tipping in the end.

I went to a work-related training today.   I love these things.  Beyond the info you learn, seeing old friends is always nice too.

I know someone who has a big college choice to make right now.   She worked hard and has several amazing offers to consider.  Sometimes life is simpler when there is only one option.   There are so many factors to consider, including the location of the school, the school's reputation, financial aid being offered, and more.    We'll know soon which of these factors weighed heaviest in her decisions.   Good Luck!

This month I have a couple workshops and a lot of concerts scheduled.   It should be a busy but fun month as a result.  This weekend I have a workshop and a concert.  I can't wait to see colleagues at the training, and the show will be fun too.

In DBT skills class we teach people to balance their thoughts and feelings when it comes to making decisions.    I used my heart more than my head with my bracket for the March Madness tournament.  I would have done much better using my head over my heart in the end.   I was hoping the locals (Gonzaga) were going to make it to the championship game.   Which wasn't an outrageous idea, but probably not likely.    When the stakes are low (there was nothing but bragging rights on the line) it's not that big of a deal to go with one's heart over one's head.   I don't have anything against Villanova, there were just teams I like better.

Yesterday I did my first 20K+ step day for April.  Got it done the first day of the month.  In fact, I did  a 30K+step day.  That is how I spent Easter.  It felt good at the end of the day.

A new month, and a major holiday.   I prefer my holidays quiet without a lot of of hoopla or fanfare. And that's exactly how I plan to spend the day.