But what do we do when, as established, successful, therapists, we ourselves experience feelings of dissatisfaction with the same, old routine and yearn to try something new, fulfill an old fantasy, and make risky mid-career changes? This Reading Course follows the lives of three therapists who responded to what Marian Sandmaier calls “the soft tap that comes at the own door,” beckoning them to a different kind of life. Lynn Bruner traded in a steady counseling job in an exhilarating big-city environment for uncertain employment deep in the Allegheny Mountains. At 49, therapist Ken Sharp left his thriving, but staid, private practice to leap into the maelstrom of a mental-health crisis center. Patrick Dougherty, a stressed-out, hyperrational, psychodynamic therapist, became a committed student of a Qigong master, which fundamentally transformed his life in ways he couldn’t have imagined. Indeed, all of these voyagers found that taking the leap into the unknown changed their lives in entirely unexpected ways.
The Road Less Traveled by Marian Sandmaier
Planting Season: A Therapist Searches for a Simpler Life by Lynn Bruner
Hoop Dreams: On the Mean Streets of Dallas, Therapy’s a Whole New Ball Game by Ken Sharp
Breathing Lessons: Unlearning the Mindset of Therapy by Patrick Doherty
1. Discuss the necessary steps to making life-changing decisions.
2. List the pros and cons of risk-taking life changes.
3. Describe how spiritual practices can help with life transitions.
4. Discuss the importance of creating a simpler life leading to a richer practice.