I am using this space to share thoughts, from time to time, that come from my clinical work and reading.  I hope this is helpful for you.


For many people who are in therapy, it can be good to know that therapists also make mistakes. Sounds obvious, but it isn't something that everyone considers. Irwin Hirsch has written a terrific book on this, Coasting in the Countertransference. He explores how sometimes therapists avoid anxiety ridden topics, rather than deal with the discomfort that can arise in pursuing particular issues. It's a helpful reminder that therapy requires a certain courage from patients, as well as their therapists.

May, 2019

Posted on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at 03:25PM by Registered CommenterEli Zal | Comments Off


Couples therapy can often be helpful --- whether you're hitting a bump in the road, or sometimes even when things are going smoothly enough but you're looking for deeper connection with your spouse or partner.  What many couples overlook is financial intimacy.  Talking about money and financial issues can help each member achieve both stronger independence as well as foster a healthy form of dependency.  This New York Times article has a lot to say on this topic.
April, 2019


Posted on Monday, April 8, 2019 at 04:47PM by Registered CommenterEli Zal | Comments Off


Revealing the deepest parts of ourselves to others can feel like a great risk. Certainly this can be the case in coming out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. Over the years I've worked with many people who've struggled to gain the courage to share this part of themselves with family members, friends or co-workers. And while coming out to others doesn't always go smoothly or as hoped, I have never worked with anyone who's regretted it. Luckily, these days, websites, libraries and bookstores are brimming with information about coming out, and the LGBT Center offers a wide range of social and support opportunities for people --- whether they have been out for years or are just coming out.

March, 2019

Posted on Friday, March 1, 2019 at 02:45PM by Registered CommenterEli Zal | Comments Off


Bessel van der Kolk is a hero and leader in helping to bring the study of trauma into public awareness.  In his fascinating book, The Body Keeps the Score, he tells of his own journey in learning, through his patients, about trauma and it's consequences. He writes about the impact trauma has on the body and psyche, and offers hope in outlining effective treatments.  Whether you're a therapist who works with traumatized patients, someone who's experienced trauma, or know someone who's survived trauma (I think that includes all of us), I highly recommend this book.

February, 2019

Posted on Friday, February 1, 2019 at 05:21PM by Registered CommenterEli Zal | Comments Off


The numbers are shocking and sad: some 200,000 people in the United States annually lose a loved one to suicide (according to the AAS). I have worked with a number of people who have been affected by suicide. They often come in with conflicting feelings: mourning, grief, rage and guilt. Therapy can be a lifeline for people who survive the suicide of a loved one.  A helpful resource is The Samaritans of New York (212-673-3000) which offers free of charge support groups for survivors of suicide.

January, 2019

Posted on Wednesday, January 2, 2019 at 02:23PM by Registered CommenterEli Zal | Comments Off
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