One starfish at a time…

Hello, My name is Sabra and I’m a psychotherapist.  After 32 years in practice, I have a number of stories to tell, quotes that I have used and some that I have created, tools that I that I have taught my patients, some actual therapy methods, and many ideas that have worked well for me over the years.  All of this became more evident when I was asked to supervise a group of interns in clinical mental health programs, going for their master’s degree and PhD degrees. As I began talking with them about my philosophies, my theoretical styles, my interventions, my quotes – I discovered that I had a lot to share and was very excited about doing so.

I am not purporting to be an expert or a specialist in any sense of the word.  But I am an effective therapist who still loves her work after 32 years in practice.  And now I’m excited about sharing this information with you.  This blog is for the curious therapist who wants to see what I’m doing out there, it is for anyone entering the profession of counseling, and it is for people who have been in therapy, are interested in being in therapy, or who want to use my ideas and my quotes to help themselves or to help others.

The first story that comes to mind is the starfish story entitled, ” One at a Time”.  I have never felt that I could change the world, but I did want to help people.  This story explains my position:

“A friend of ours was walking down a deserted Mexican beach a sunset.  As he walked along, he began to see a young man in the distance.  As he grew nearer, he noticed that the boy kept leaning down, picking something up and throwing it out into the water.  Time and again he kept hurling things out into the ocean.

As our friend approached even closer, he noticed that the boy was picking up starfish that had been washed up on the beach and ,one at a time, he was throwing them back into the water.

Our friend was puzzled.  He approached the boy and said, “Good evening.  I was wondering what you are doing.”

“I’m throwing these starfish back into the ocean.  You see, it’s low tide right now and all of these starfish have been washed up onto the shore.  if I don’t throw them back into the sea, they’ll die up here from lack of oxygen.”

“I understand,” my friend replied, “but there must be thousands of starfish on this beach.  You can’t possible get to all of them.  There are simply too many.  And don’t you realize this is probably happening on hundreds of beaches all up and down this coast. Can’t you see that you can’t possibly make a difference?”

The young boy smiled, bent down and picked up yet another starfish, and as he threw it back into the sea, he replied, “Made a difference to that one!”
  (Jack Canfield & Mark V Hansen in Chicken Soup for the Soul)

And so the Starfish Story has become the foundation for my practice.  I may not be able to save the world, but I can help the world, one person at a time.