Our Practice

July events in Western Massachusetts: Anti-racism panel and Ancestor Healing

Greetings All,

It has been a bit too long since I last posted something here.  My apologies.  My private practice officially became my full time gig in April and I have been quite busy.  However, I will do my best to post more frequently regardless.  I believe it has benefit for me and you both. There are two events that I am involved in that are occurring in July that I want to share with you.

The first is on Monday July 14th I will be a member of a panel at the Smith College School for Social Work entitled The Powers of Smith (and Beyond): Smith Alumni Speak.   This is convened to welcome Dean Marianne Yoshioka to the School for Social Work by the Council for Students of Color and reflect on the continued importance of the school’s anti-racism mission.  “In light of the new dean’s tenure, The Council for Students of Color wants to acknowledge the importance of this commitment for students (as future professional social workers), teachers, and the social work field.”   

The panel will be on Monday, July 14th at 7:30 pm in Wright Hall on the Smith College campus.

For more information about the event and participants click here.

The second event is happening on Saturday July 19th at the Two Streams Zen Temple in Westhampton, Massachusetts.  I will be leading a practice session and evening salon discussion on healing in the present by connecting with our ancestors. It is titled “We are alive, Now!  Healing with our Ancestors. Speaking from our Hearts.”  Here is a description of the event.

“During the salon he will share teachings and lead an experiential exercise for participants to connect with their Ancestors to facilitate their own healing and growth in the present.  In the evening he will share a bit of his story and how he strives to live with an open heart.  We come to this life with deep roots that connect us to those that came before us.  There is much suffering, sadness and pain connected to these roots.  There is also much joy, celebration and wisdom to nourish us.  Enroue will share how we can access the reality of our connectivity with our ancestors to shed and heal our burdens to be free.  Burdens that were passed down and burdens that we have come across in our own time and packed up ourselves. We are alive, now!  We have the opportunity to heal and free ourselves, our lineages and others.  We can draw sustenance from the past as we send healing to the depths of our being.”

I look forward to seeing you there!

Blessings,

Enroue

 

Parent/Caregiver Support Group at Common Ground High School

On Monday, February 24th from 5:30-7 I will be conducting a support group for parents and caregivers of Common Ground High School students.

“This will be a group for parents and caregivers of Common Ground students to share experiences and concerns about current and upcoming transitions of their children to being young adults and the stressors that may emerge. This will address issues of graduation, their future and safety, and feelings of grief and loss especially in light of the recent death of a fellow student.  We will address general issues of coping with our children growing up as well as particular fears and concerns that are affecting parents and families.”

The cost of war, the cost of freedom.

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I have been discussing the difficulty of connecting with others and developing lasting, trusting relationships while also living with an armored heart.  It is difficult, to say the least, if that what you are trying to do.

I understand the desire to fully protect those tender parts within.  Feeling that, “I will wait til Im sure I can trust you/him/her” and then when Im sure its safe,  I will engage in caring for others or will allow myself to be cared for by others.  The problem is that our hearts dont really work that way.  I havent found that there is a selective sorting and sifting process that allows only good, pleasant feelings and mutes out the negative, unpleasant ones(Im not even going to get into the judgement of good and bad feelings now since they all come and go like New England weather).  However, it is still a desire that many of us want; to feel the good and avoid the bad. Addiction (shopping, drugs, alcohol, sex, food, etc) feeds this desire quite well, telling us that it will work for us if we never leave the comforts of the addiction itself.  This can have its own, particular disastrous results.

An important issue is that we have been emotionally hurt in our lives.  As such, we have developed  efficient and protective coverings/walls/armor to keep these tender loving hearts safe from hurts from the outside because we didnt have the skills or supports to manage/express those hurts on our own.  These protective strategies have served us well, and for many is the reason that we are alive today.  Literally. I do not minimize this feat and celebrate it with all who are here to read this. But…there may be a time (now…later…) when this protection is doing more to keep you away from those that you longingly wish to connect with than is actually needing to keep you safe now.  The circumstances which brought the need for this emotional distance and safety were certainly important, but is it the reality that you are in now?  Is it possible that you could look at your current situation and current needs with fresh eyes and assess if the wall really needs to be so thick or so high?  Does that armor need to be soo thick, all encompassing and heavy?  It is serving you or are you serving it, working so hard to keep it going that you cannot truly connect with those you love or want to love?  Is there even a notion of love and connection that you feel is possible, not from others but originating from within?  Can you even tell what or if you feel, at all?

This is the cost of war.  After being so skilled at keeping our innermost secrets and vulnerable parts safe, we may have forgotten how to see if the coast is clear? In protecting those hurts so effectively we might have forgotten that life is happening and we might be missing that which is the most important and needed thing to us.  Has our internal world become a police state?  With complete protection on one hand, but with a complete absence of the juiciness of life?

And this is not to say that by opening our hearts that it will not break on occasion.  That a measure of our joys will not be matched by a measure of sorrow.  Though who is to say what is good or bad in this.  It is truly like the weather.  It is always happening.  Can we accept it and be with it, seeing its beauty and possibilities even when our best laid plans are disrupted?  Now, like the weather, feelings can be extreme and bring massive destruction and upheaval as well as surprising harmony and connection.  But let the testament of our lives not to be in the numbing that sometimes follows, but in the bonding and community of humans as we let each other know that yes, it happened and yes, we are still here to hold each other up, bear witness, bear the grief and still find joy in the delicate, tenderness of Life.  In the chance that we will experience the rainbow AND the storm.  This is the cost of freedom.

Blessings,

Enroue

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Welcome

You might be looking for a therapist to help you with emotional or mental health issues.  You might need someone skilled at mediation to help resolve conflicts within your home, community or organization.  You might be in a spiritual crisis and seeking guidance within your own religious or spiritual tradition.  You might be seeking someone skilled in the traditional Yoruba religious system, mindfulness practices or nature based spirituality.  You might be a leader in a organization wanting support for yourself, your staff or your clients.  You might be seeking clinical supervision from a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, LCSW.

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Here at Healing and Liberation Counseling, we address the social, emotional, spiritual, physical and mental health issues that prevent individuals and communities from being their whole, clear thinking selves. Through specific and individualized interventions we will help you to overcome these obstacles so you can be in the world in the way that you choose.

Blessings,

Enroue Halfkenny, LCSW
Therapist and Babalawo
Healing & Liberation Counseling
New Haven, CT
203.584.0121

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

-Howard Thurman