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Monday, May 14, 2007

"best kind of therapy"

I received this a few days ago from Callan Williams. I must have sent her an email a while back and she was responding to the signature block in my email. It has the something that Dr. Laura says in her ads on XM Radio.

"I find it is the best kind of therapy is talking to someone who has been there, done that."

You can read her blog at

On 5/11/07, Callan <>; wrote:

I find it is the best kind of therapy is talking
to someone who has been there, done that.
Dr. Laura Schlessinger
(God help me, I am quoting her, of all
people, but I love that quote.)

I have a problem with this quote, and not just because Exercise Therapist Schlessenger said it.

There is no doubt that the limits of someone's fears, usually indicated by the limits of their experience, are a key indicator of their value in the therapeutic process. I have often found that when I talk about business and power, therapists blanch. I remember going to my sister's acupuncturist, who fancied himself a therapist, who spent the introductory and hour and a half negating everything I said, then having the arrogance to say that his blank notepad was an achievement; the fewest notes he ever took, a blank slate to start on.

I found him intentionally blanking me.

The best kind of therapy, though, is the therapy that helps you hear and trust your own voice. It is the therapy of encouragement and possibility, not just the therapy of talking to someone, whoever that is.

The best kind of therapy is making art, whatever art means to you, potent symbols of your experience, understanding, belief and vision, that you can share with the world in a way that helps you shape it into a more potent expression. It's not just talking, it is making manifest what is inside of you in a way that makes you visible to the world and to yourself. You can no more see your desires and your essence than you can see the back of your head, so it is only expressing them that makes them visible.

This is the challenge for so many transpeople. We decide that our desires must fit into some box, and we hold tight to that box to stay in the system of desire, and that attempt to hold on, to parrot the phrases we hope work, ends up blocking our own voices.

Problem is that while we are desperately trying to hold on, the one thing we don't want to hear, don't want to face, are people who have tried that gambit and had it fail for them. Crossdressers & gays who hold on to manhood, transsexuals who demand others respect the surgically created "womanhood" that healed them, well, they all don't want to hear from those who have "been there, done that" and found it lacking.
The only thing that can change them is the need and the possibility of hearing their own voice, small & still behind the posturing of shoulda, woulda, coulda.

They need art, and people who can affirm that art.

Or at least, that's the way I see it.

Here is my reply.

From: Vickie Davis <>;
Date: May 12, 2007 7:56 PM
Subject: Re: "best kind of therapy"
To: Callan <>;


I was referring to Dr. Laura Schlessinger of the radio talk show, not Nathan Schlessinger, M.D. She was seen by many, to be quite gay hating, and she pissed off many, with her strict right wing beliefs and Old Testament values. I found she usually gave good advice, but did not like her style, too abrasive for me. I seldom listen to her show, maybe on a long trip in a car, but never at home. I do Air America mostly now.
I understand you point about that quote, but I was coming from support group, point of view. I could not have left the house, in girl mode, with out the Tennessee Vals a bit over three years ago. The Tvals is an independent Nashville CD/TG/TS support group, of which I am on the board now. Meeting them changed my live. Now I can, at 62 go most anyplace in girl mode. I even flew to visit my friend Linda Badore, here in Phoenix, in girl mode, with boy ID. Now that is a thrill, and so was visiting the American Legion fish fry and dance last night. I am sure those old vets had no clue they we dancing with some trannies.

Thanks for your email, I always enjoy your essays. I have my Google Reader set to tell me, when you make an update to you blog. I tell everyone, that I do not understand, why your work is not more popular. I just wish I could write 1/2 as well as you.

Oh, I see that you have updated site, I am glad you added that picture page. The only picture of you I had ever seen of you was the one on Gwen Smith's site. I see you have a bigger version posted now. Until I found that I had no clue to how you looked.

Thanks again for the email. I am honored by you reply.



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