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Notice March 20, 2020

Dear Current and Prospective Clients

I am well. I hope this email finds you well. As all my current clients have now experienced. I have not been working in my office since February 29. This was self imposed by me at first but has since become the norm. It will be the norm for an undetermined length of time. As many of you already know, I have worked part-time as an RN all along, and I must prioritize the needs of that role at this time, which merely means that I may socially isolate longer than other therapists.

Like many, I am now sharpening my skills with Zoom which is a HIPAA compliant video conferencing software. This will be available going forward by appointment.. As most of you know, I much prefer in person sessions and I have not encouraged video or phone sessions, but there is now a lack of alternatives. I expect my zoom and phone interaction to be a fraction of my usual schedule, as it has been, and that is fine. I expect we are at a time of just staying in touch and keeping a connection.

As most of you know, my emphasis has always been on the 'long game.' Change is inevitable, our role is just to try to make it as constructive as possible .Please contact me by email or phone (text okay) with any questions or requests. Grounding (ask me if you have not already worked with me on this) will be very helpful at this time.

Michael Samsel LMHC



Therapy Should Make Sense

The steps that restore satisfying living are not unusual. They are everyday actions done with sensitivity, contact, and conviction. Joyful living is a birthright, but our experiences often lead to a way of life that is over-focused on survival at the cost of joy

Change starts by doing something different, but only continues when we experience something different. Talk and analysis can provide perspective, but it cannot provide new experience. On occasion new perspective is all that is needed to feel better. Largely though, problems of depression, anxiety, emptiness, and frustration are persistent because we are stuck in a type of experience that is impoverished in some way. My work focuses on increasing freedom of feeling, freedom of expression, and freedom of movement. Together these constitute freedom of action. I address both self-limiting beliefs and limiting neuromuscular patterns.

Therapy is a process of developing feeling and purpose. This is done by 1) increasing self awareness, 2) increasing direct self-expression, and 3) increasing the capacity to have and hold strong feelings. In our society, the first is encouraged but the latter two really are not. I believe that self-awareness is fundamental to happiness, but also that insight is usually the by-product, not the cause of change.

I believe that love, warmth and fulfillment are best relearned and recaptured through our closest present relationships. I agree with most therapists that early relationships are often the source of later joyless living, but I also concentrate on how this legacy of self-limiting and self-punishing beliefs and behaviors is present but solvable in here-and-now relationships.

Many people dismiss therapy because they believe it is either empty reassurance, or an expensive format to hear self-help advice, or "renting a friend", or a "crutch" to make suffering tolerable, etc Good therapy, however, is made by the participants, and is compatible with 'common sense'. Common sense is not a specific body of knowledge, but rather a state of harmony between one's mind, heart, belly, the natural world, and the human community.

Read more here about my services.