WordCamp 2017

WORDCAMP 2017 

Seattle WordCamp 2017 is November 4 and 5, hosted at the Seattle Convention Center. 

You may be wondering, “What does a two-day convention about using WordPress have to do with my counseling needs?”

Actually, you may be surprised.

After gathering feedback from my clients over the past 17 years of being a private practice licensed counselor, you all have made it loud and clear that having relevant and recent information on this website is one of the main reasons you chose me as a counselor to help you, your family, or a colleague.

While you might have come across my Psychology Today profile, it was looking at my website and knowing that I updated my schedule and wrote personal blog posts that helped you feel that I was someone you could trust, and someone you could talk to.

As my new website for  MyAllergyAdvocate.com gets ready to launch in January 2018, I was not surprised that designer Natalie McGuire has helped many companies just like mine operate smoothly on the WordPress hosting platform. I enjoy the ease of use, beautiful features, affordable options, and accessibility that WordPress has created, and I’m proud to say that Seattle Direct Counseling has been on the WordPress platform since 2009.

That being said, owning and maintaining this website is a labor of love. If you see something out of place, a feature that isn’t working quite right, or a glaring error, please feel free to point it out. I go under the hood and fix small errors myself, and I report the big errors to WP directly.

If you are in the greater Seattle area and have an interest in blogging or owning a small business on WordPress, I invite you to check out WordCamp. It’s a friendly, casual community with lots of support for newcomers as well as deep-dive options for developers and established business owners. Whether you are new to microblogging or a long-time user of e-commerce for business, WordCamp has something for everyone, and is a great weekend for networking with likeminded people.

For more information about WordCamp in Seattle, please click here.

 

Three More Years

Pioneer Square, Office Location in Seattle

Six hundred baskets of flowers were hung all over Pioneer Square on May 20, 2014.
600 of flowers were hung all over Pioneer Square on May 20, 2014. Photo by B. Imei Hsu #throughglass

In 2010, Seattle Direct Counseling moved from a basement in beautiful West Seattle to a small office in Pioneer Square in the Grand Central Building. In 2012, SDC moved across the hall to its present location in Suite 364, a large office space with generous natural light, tall ceilings, and a large waiting room.

We’re announcing the renewal of a three-year lease in the same space that begins June 2014. Just outside our building, I hear the shout of a homeless man on the corner. He is there almost every day.  On the other corner waits ten or more others, taking shelter under the trees of Occidental Square, resting on the brick.  Someone once asked me, “Why do you want to stay? Couldn’t you find a more attractive neighborhood to put your office?” He made a reference to the homeless people lingering outside. I couldn’t disagree more. This is the perfect place for our office.

I’ve thought long and hard about why Seattle Direct Counseling should stay in Pioneer Square. Here are a few of my reasons:

1. Our location keeps us in touch with people. Pioneer Square’s diversity helps keep it real. Where else do you see all walks of life, ethnicity, socio-economic diversity, social services, and corporate lifestyle, all in the same blocks?

2. Fun and Fitness — it is possible to run and bicycle in the area around the building, which supports our total wellness agenda. I just took a short run along Alaskan Way and the waterfront. Perfect!

3. Affordable rent – rents are increasing in the area. Grand Central Building has offered us a reasonable lease.

4. Our current clientele — our clients tell us over and over how much they love our office! The view is nice, the location is close to the bus lines, and parking is reasonable. The office itself is one of the most spacious and aesthetically comfortable spaces I have ever worked in, and every time I see it, I am so proud to say this is the home of the meaningful work that I do with each and every client.

The space allows us to maximize our strengths in movement therapy, in yoga and meditation, and in other adjunctive therapies that require more space than your standard psychotherapy session, and gives us the ability to host related groups and small workshops without renting additional space.

5. Occidental Square is a city park — during the summer, there is the First Thursday artwalk; Pike Place Express market trialed a smaller version of the fresh market last year and intends to return; the space is a known gathering place for families, for artists, and for workers enjoying the sunshine. It’s a “happening” place.

6. My colleague, Atta Dawahare of Union Therapy, is next door. Over the years, we have referred clients to each other, covered each other’s vacation schedules, even caught each other’s deliveries when away from the office. No solo therapist can see every type of client, and while we overlap some of the scope of practice, we both have unique assets that help specific clients. [Edit: I failed to add this point in the original post in my haste to share the good news of our renewed lease. In fact, this point is second in importance only to location].

Our current space allows us to maximize our strengths in movement therapy, in yoga and meditation, and in other adjunctive therapies that require more space than your standard psychotherapy session, and gives us the ability to host related groups and small workshops without renting additional space. For example, I have hosted sessions that involve walking outside and learning to identify healthy foods and eating environments.

For those of you who are new to Seattle Direct Counseling, we hope you will love this office space as much as we do.  For our returning clients, welcome home.

 

Rules on Learning New Skills

Learning a New Skill by B. Imei Hsu

It happens without fail. A new client plops down on the couch in my office, then launches into a story of challenge, frustration, disappointment, and loss. After a few sessions, the dialogue of story begins to encroach on the arena of new skill acquisition, usually in an attempt to move towards problem solving, and when it does, I tread lightly. Who am I to add to already busy and stressed out people the dedicated hours it takes to learn a new skill? Yet, I always do. And sometimes, it’s daunting.

How long does it take to learn a new skill? The answer may surprise you. Photo credit Imei Hsu.
How long does it take to learn a new skill? The answer may surprise you. I received this Montblanc pen as a gift after finishing my first eBook (available on iTunes).                  Photo credit Imei Hsu.

Simply put,  there often is no workaround. A person must press into an unknown experience in order to learn a skill that moves him from a place of feeling stuck to a place offering the possibility of growth and renewal. You can’t pay someone to do the work for you, and if you don’t learn the new skill, you may lose money, a business, a friendship, or in some cases, a loving connection with a spouse, partner, or child. It’s either change or die.

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