Why understanding your ‘boundary blueprint’ at work is so important

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As a therapist who works from an anti-oppressive, anti-capitalist standpoint, few things are as clear of a red flag to me as when a client tells me that they work in a place that says “we’re a family.” Before I was a therapist — in the years during and after college, when I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life and was working in jobs that mostly made me bored and deeply unhappy — I worked in places that touted the same line, and it never sat quite right with me. …

How to Pace Yourself and Manage the Shock to Your System as Restrictions Lift

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In the space of three days, my gym sent out two emails back to back. The first stated that masks were no longer mandatory; the second was a quick amendment to that, more in keeping with the rapidly flipflopping CDC recommendations: masks should be worn (apparently on some kind of honors systems) by those who aren’t vaccinated, everyone else could proceed at their own discretion.

My gym wasn’t the only place giving me something akin to emotional whiplash. In the same week, I received my usual morning email from The New York Times, which seemed to crow that we’d turned…

How committing to unlearning and growth will improve your relationships

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In a recent essay for Tryst, Georgie Wolf, a Melbourne-based escort, writer, and educator, asked the question, “How much fun should I be having at work?” In it, she briefly reflected on the experience of dating as a sex worker. She described navigating the insecurities of a former partner, and sex work stigma as it showed up in their relationship. …

What this powerful emotion is teaching me about self-trust

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As a therapist who is also an Aries, I thought I was familiar with anger. I thought I had an ease and a fluency around anger because of how often I myself am perceived as angry, or described as “intense.” And yet it wasn’t until recently, when I started an ancestral healing coaching program with Cassandra Solano, that I began to understand how complex my own relationship to anger really is.

I’ve written about the utility of anger before, especially in terms of therapy. Anger can be an incredibly useful and illuminating emotion, and a trusting relationship with a therapist…

Why befriending your procrastination is better than judging it

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One of the most common issues folks bring up in therapy is procrastination. Most often, clients are hardest on themselves when they find themselves procrastinating the creative tasks they really want to do. They approach procrastination with a lot of self-blame, and the narratives that we get into around procrastination tend to be narratives that involve guilt, shame, and self-criticism.

Culturally, I think we often see procrastination as laziness, but as a therapist, it’s clear to me that laziness is rarely, if ever, at the root of procrastination. In therapy, we learn to approach things from a difference lens. It’s…

What Curiosity and Non-Judgment Can Teach Us About Ourselves

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This past weekend, I took part in a discussion for ANTE UP’s The Edge of Sex speaker series. In it, a participant raised the question about creating a sex positive environment when practicing with groups in a substance use addiction context. The participant noticed that, within the context of practicing folks recovering from addiction, they noticed a tendency toward some sex negativity. They postulated that this was because folks in recovery might need to distance themselves from behaviors they associated with addiction — “promiscuity” being one of them. The participant wanted to know how to help facilitate a sex positive…

Now is the time to re-evaluate your relationships

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A common theme among my clients, as well as in my own life, is what do we do, now that we seem to be edging toward a return to “normal,” over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic began? March came and went, and as the days get longer and warmer, and more and more people get vaccinated, it’s a question on many people’s minds. In particular, folks seem to be asking, “What do I do now, with the information that I’ve learned about my friends and loved ones over the past year?”

Not everyone, after all, has operated in accordance…

Navigating Insta-Therapy and Its Critique

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A recurring theme in the therapy influencer corner of social media is the tension between New Age, trauma obsessed “therapy influencers” and their critics. It’s an important conversation to be had, though a confusing one for me as a therapist — and therefore, I imagine, probably confusing for clients, as well.

The camps are as follows: New Age therapy influencers, big name accounts sometimes with hundreds of thousands of followers, seemingly obsessed with trauma as a wide net rather than a specific experience or diagnosis, as well as interventions that are not quite evidence based. They peddle — according to…

Engaging the Erotic to Make Mutual Aid a Sustainable Part of Your Life

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In my last piece, I wrote about how we can prepare, as a collective, to better support the ever-growing number of people who are suffering persistent symptoms of long COVID, also known as PASC (or post-acute sequelae disease). I spoke with a friend of mine, who has lived with a chronic illness for years and who is involved in online disability justice communities. …

Mutual aid is one way to help the millions who’ll be living with
disability and chronic illness

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The COVID-19 crisis has been covered by many angles in the past year. Most recently, we’ve seen a lot of anniversary pieces to commemorate the first shutdowns in the United States. The New York Times released an article gathering the quotes, photos, and memories entitled “The Pandemic Became Real When…” which received over two thousand responses from readers. News outlets have covered the death toll, the haphazard re-openings and their fall out, and improvements in vaccine roll out.

Something I notice about the about the coverage so far, though, is that it seems to pre-suppose a neat beginning, middle, and…

Christina Tesoro, LMSW

Christina Tesoro is a New York City-based writer, sex educator, and therapist.

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