Category Archives: Uncategorized

My Allergy Advocate

Since Union Therapy began in 2002, we have been committed to wholistic health.    Caring for one’s biological self is just as important as caring for one’s psychological self.   There is an intrinsic relationship between one’s biological and psychological well being.

Perhaps the most fundamental way you can have an impact on your biological self is to have awareness and choice in what you eat.    With advances in the study of nutrition and the way our bodies interact with food, we now have the the ability more than ever to discover and implement a diet that works with your body to create well being.

Just as a therapist can help you navigate issues of perception, an allergy advocate can help you navigate and implement a healthy diet.   My friend and colleague Imei Hsu does both.   In addition to her practice as a mental health counselor, Imei has just launched her new project My Allergy Advocate.  Imei has passionately pursued this project for many years and she knows what she is talking about.  Check out the website and let Imei help you make food fun again!

Recommended Reading

Here are some of the books that have been influential in our understanding and approach to therapy.   These books have also been helpful to many clients seeking further study and insight.

**Click the image of the book cover to be taken to the item an Amazon Affiliate page.**

Relationship Agreements: A Simple and Effective Guide for Strengthening Communication, Reducing Conflict, and Increasing Intimacy to Design Your Ideal Relationship by Eri Kardos

Quick Review:  Eri Kardos brings a fresh perspective and vision for relationship growth and navigation.   This book provides sound advice and guidance for more powerful, intimate and personalized relating.

Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain by Daniel J. Siegel, MD

Quick Review:  Dr. Siegel is on the forefront of research on brain science.  This book provides practical insight into the developing mind of the adolescent.  I find this book also useful in understanding adults that still perceive the world as if they are in a much younger developmental stage of life.  I also recommend his books on the developing mind of a child:  No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind and The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind.

No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering by Thich Nhat Han

Quick Review:  This beautifully written book is very effective in helping readers to begin to learn how to transform suffering into joy.  The imagery and thoughts presented here have a lasting impact.

Loneliness:  Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection by John T. Cacioppo & William Patrick

Quick Review:  The sensation of the human experience of loneliness comes from the same part of the brain as our experience of pain.   The key to dealing with this pain?  Perception.

Die Wise: A Manifesto of Sanity and Soul by Stephen Jenkinson

Quick Review:  As a culture we are failing miserably in coming to grips with how to deal with the reality of death.  Stephen Jenkinson invites the reader to engaging with the reality of death in such a way that brings about a more profound engagement with life.   Also highly recommended is his film Griefwalker.

Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving: A Guide and Map for Recovering from Childhood Trauma by Pete Walker

Quick Review:  When a person has gone through intense trauma as a child, the impact can last a lifetime.  Pete Walker provides an understanding and practical direction for moving forward in a way that actually helps reduce the negative impact of childhood trauma. Also recommended is his book The Tao of Fully Feeling: Harvesting Forgiveness out of Blame.

The Fate of Gender:  Nature, Nurture and the Human Future by Frank Browning

Quick Review:  This book looks both intimately and broadly at the ever evolving perception of gender in the world today.  To better understand the nature of gender is to have a better understanding of oneself.

Psychomagic:  The Transformative Power of Shamanic Psychotherapy by Alejandro Jodorowsky

Quick Review:  Jodorowsky dives head first into intentionally using imaginative acts to address and heal psychological wounds from the past.   This book takes courage to engage with and pays off for those willing to step out of the bounds of normal expectation.  Also recommended is his autobiographical film The Dance of Reality.

Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha

Quick Review:  This book challenges many standing cultural perceptions of how we perceive relationships, sexuality and how things got to be as they are now.

More Than Two:  A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory by Eve Rickert, Tatiana Gill and Janet Hardy

Quick Review:  This is an excellent guide for those who are currently or are interested in engaging with open relationships.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

Quick Review:  Environment, Environment, Environment!   In this book you will learn a simple yet meaningful approach to decluttering your space.   This can be extremely helpful in moving on from the past.

Therapy Helps You Grow!

“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.”
― Anaïs Nin

I see mental health therapy as the process of helping people grow. Growth, in this sense, begins with awareness of one’s self-perception and one’s perception of others. When a person realizes it is possible to adjust perception, new Growthpossibilities arise that were not previously known. Individuals mature to be able to have more influence and ownership over choices in life. This leads to personal empowerment and the ability to heal psychologically. It takes time and practice.

In practical terms my therapy practice can help you deal with relationship issues, anxiety, depression and trauma.

Striving to become a better, healthier version of yourself is one of the greatest personal goals one can work towards. I currently have openings to help you or someone you may know who is ready to grow. Spread the word. Let’s do this!


Relational Tune Up

HiResDon’t know what is holding you back relationally?  Do you feel like your voice is not being heard by those you love?  Considering opening your relationship?  Don’t have time or finances for ongoing therapy?

Union Therapy has developed a short term (time limited) therapeutic process that is designed to help you through whatever relationship issues you may be facing. We cater these sessions to you and your specific relationship issues. We have over 13 years experience in helping people through all sorts of relational dynamics. Relationships can be dramatic. Who doesn’t want help navigating turbulent relational waters?

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Relaxation Audio Script

Our bodies can hold a tremendous amount of stress and tension. I recently was introduced to the following relaxation script. I have found it very useful to help clients get in touch with the tension in their bodies and to help them release it. I encourage you to take about 15 minutes out of your day and use the audio below to help you relax. I recommend you lay down, dim the lights, and follow the script to find a deeper since of relaxation for your body. Do not over exert yourself and take into consideration any physical restrictions you may have. Relax. You deserve it.


Adapted from: Wolpe, J & Lazarus, A.A. Behavior Therapy Techniques. New York: Pergamon, 1966.



What is Couples+?  If an individual is 1 and couple is 2 then couples+ is 3 and beyond.  Many people have begun the process of establishing intimate relationships beyond the standard narrative of two.  Like anything else, relationships are negotiated and can be structured in a wide variety of ways.  Union Therapy has experience in helping people establish and maintain non-traditional relationship styles (Open, Poly, Kink, etc.).  No single form of relational structure works for everyone.  We desire to help you negotiate and establish relationships that work for you and your partner(s).

Here is a very helpful diagram from Information is Beautiful.

Varieties of Intimate Relationships

Therapeutic Philosophy

Grand Central TotemsWe have been able to hone an understanding of human psychological growth that is congruent with the natural process of life and evolution.   We have come to understand that the process of healing is very natural and is greatly impacted by the relational environment a person has come from, currently exists in and imagines will be.  We view the therapy experience as analogous to a greenhouse.  When a plant is in a greenhouse it has the optimal environment and care for healthy growth.  So it is with the therapeutic relationship.  When each of us enters a therapeutic relationship our goal is to provide the optimal context for growth and development.

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Privacy Policy

Confidentiality: There is a legal privilege in this state protecting the confidentiality of the information that you share with us. As professionals, Union Therapy can assure you that we strive to maintain the strictest ethical standards of confidentiality.

There are legal exceptions to confidentiality. The following situations are those in which the information you have shared with Union Therapy may be shared with others. 1) The client gives written permission to share confidential information. 2) Anything that suggests a crime or harmful act. 3) If the client is a minor, and there is indication that he or she was the victim or subject of a crime. 4) The client brings charges against the counselor. 5) In response to a subpoena.
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