Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

It’s been a year since the world shrunk and tele-health became the norm for mental health service delivery. As most know by now, tele-health involves video-to-video instead of face-to-face sessions. Countless therapists are seeing clients from their home offices, bedrooms, kitchens or the most quiet closet in the house as long as there is wifi and decent lighting. …

“You fight like someone who knows he is losing.”

(I imagine Biden saying this over and over and over. “Broken recording” is a technique a graduate school mentor taught me for reinforcing boundaries in the face of a boundary pusher. Over and over, Biden says this. Until there is silence. Perhaps finally the microphone control is activated. And then…)

“You fight like someone who knows he doesn’t have credibility to stand on. So you stand on bullying, insults, and attacks.

You fight like someone who needs to fight to win, who cannot discuss, inquire, listen, ponder, critically think and coherently…

Two months ago, my boyfriend Rich and I schemed our first trip together. We were going to spend 5 days in late March camping in Sedona, Arizona, the sacred site of my birth and a place we longingly imagined our frozen winter bodies could warm up. As the Washington winter plodded on, the prospect of Arizona on the horizon kept us going.

He had been working three jobs and sleeping erratically in preparation for time off. My private practice and community leadership had been wearing me down, but I knew blessed time away would mend it all.

It took us…

I will admit it. I was pissed.

I know my youngest brother is a busy father of three. Yet for weeks he had delayed sending me an important package after swearing multiple times he would put it in the mail.

This older sister was not impressed.

Now, it’s not his fault I left my French press at his house on my most recent family visit (yes I insist on traveling with my French press).

But good Lord. I could have taken a train from Seattle to Texas and back three times over to pick it up myself during the weeks…

Ask anyone in the healing arts — a therapist of any stripe — what our biggest challenge is, and if they are being honest, they will tell you it’s getting in the other seat.

I mean the other seat in the therapy room.

The client’s seat. The seat for the person who is willing to be vulnerable. The seat for the person brave enough to admit she doesn’t have all the answers. The seat for practicing the critical muscle of receiving.

For the past nearly 20 years, I have been training or serving as a therapist. And I’ve never, not…

(And other good reasons to protect our freedom to choose)

As an Intimacy Coach who focuses on helping my clients integrate trauma, I wanted to share my thoughts on why it is vital that a government that cares about the health of its people always empower women to have control over our reproduction.

I do not professionally work with children. However, you could say I work every day with the children still suffering inside of my adult clients.

When a client comes in to see me for Intimacy Coaching and says, “I don’t know how to connect”, more often than not our work will guide us towards healing the impact…

I’m going to give you some advice. I know you didn’t ask for it.

If you are hurting, tell someone.

You’re the one sitting at the holiday gathering putting on the smile that fools them all, laughing at the right moments and being witty to keep them sure, “This one’s got it together.”

While inside your stomach is gnarled in knots, imagining the revilement that would come your way if they only knew what a broken human you are. Then going home after the party and binging on your drug of choice. Maybe it’s food or it’s porn or it’s…

A New Model for the Healing Arts

It’s Wednesday again. Which means the nervousness will start right after lunch. As the afternoon wears on I will grow distracted, answering texts a little too fast and checking Facebook compulsively. My gut will begin to churn shortly after 4pm. By 6pm I will have tried on and changed my outfit at least three times. Despite my weekly resolution, I will still leave my house 10 minutes late, my feet cement, loath to exit my warm loft for the cold walk to my car.

I work as as a connection facilitator. For the past six years I have lead some…

A former client wrote me early this morning, reflecting on last weekend’s horrifying shooting at the synagogue outside of Pittsburgh, and said, “There is so much shared grief and disbelief — my personal experience seems unimportant. This is a time for community and for me to be calm and listen”.

Feeling my inner Buddha emerge, I wrote back, “Community is made up of individuals just like the ocean is make up of drops”. I thought that was pretty good for before 8am.

I was trying to make the point that his personal experience not only matters, but really in a…

How To Not Become The Thing That Hurt Me

I love my anger. I have been likened to a lioness several times in the last few weeks and I feel pride at the comparison. Pun intended.

It’s taken me years to access this power. For most of my early adulthood, my lioness lay muzzled. With her on my side now, awake and roaring, I feel strong.

I ferociously protect the people I care about. I am rageful at the injustices that abound in this world. I stand up for myself on two strong legs and use clear words to ask for my worth.

But my relationship to my anger…

Dr. Jessica Tartaro

Dr. Jessica Tartaro is an Intimacy Coach & Connection Facilitator. Her superpower lies in her ability to be a real, imperfect and playful human.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store