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Stephen Shostek
Your food is organic, grass-fed, free-range. Your therapy should be, too.
Your food is organic, grass-fed, free-range. Your therapy should be, too.

Stephen's posts

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These Things: 434

Love and the Politics of Care

It’s great seeing these signs popping up all over my neighborhood. I’m psyched about the solidarity of love and the politics of care.

Here’s a question for us to ponder - how far are we willing to take this love?

In his 2016 book, “No More Work”, James Livingston writes, “Can we love our neighbors as ourselves in the absence of work that supplies a living wage?” Livingston answers his own question after a review of economics and labor history, “But if we want to survive, we have to love each other, as ourselves – we have to be our brother’s keeper… this is a practical economic necessity. There’s not enough work to go around.”

I wrote a review and a critique of “No More Work”, along with some personal observations at Check it out, leave me your comments.


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These Things: 413

I’m a great fan of Viktor Frankl in large part because he didn’t just offer opinions and ideas – he lived his moral philosophy within the most trying of circumstances as a Jewish prisoner in WWII concentration camps (Auschwitz and other camps). His moral philosophy was tried and proven in extreme circumstances. In “Man’s Search for Meaning” he wrote, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”  But, how does one acquire the “space” that Frankl wrote about? I’ve found that mindfulness practices have helped some folks to develop the skill of finding space. Check out what a group of 6th graders in Oakland, CA had to say about mindfulness practices - 

These Things: 412

I’m psyched to announce the next installment in EHNW’s annual workshop series. On October 2, from 9am to 4:30pm at Ambridge event center in Portland, Dr. Orah Krug will present a workshop on meaning making from an existential perspective. The workshop will be conducted with lecture, discussion, and experiential exercises. 

Dr. Krug is a lively and engaging presenter and facilitator. I anticipate that this will be a powerful workshop. 6 CEU’s through NASW.

To read more about the workshop, Dr. Krug’s background and focus, cost and other details check here: Existential Meaning Making: The Heart of Therapeutic Change -

These Things: 411

“And slowly made an entire country realize that love is love.”
--Pres. Barack Obama

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These Things: 410

Summer Solstice 2015

Summer Solstice was confusing to me as a kid. How could it be the start of summer and now the days are going to start getting shorter??? I mean, we just got out of school! Shouldn’t the longest daylight of the year happen in the middle of summer? What’s up with this solstice thing?

As a kid I wanted more “endlessness” in the endless summer. I loved those long days. The magic of roaming the forested hills where I grew up. Days bright and dry enough that we could muster the courage to venture into the dark cave at the old quarry (even if it was absolutely forbidden). Crab apple fights with the kids across the way and the winner gets to occupy the treehouse-fortress. At least until sunset, which felt so far away in the timelessness of those summer days. 

Adventure, discovery and possibilities were woven into those days. I’m hungry for more of that in the bright summertime days ahead. 

And that’s what I want to leave you with today - the ordinary and simple language of childhood adventure that evokes awe and possibility for this warm and bright season ahead. 

Happy adventuring in the realm of possibility!

Portland therapist at

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These Things: 409

Good for a Laugh?

OK. I challenge you to watch the first 4 minutes of this and not laugh. 

Dr. Sophie Scott is a cognitive neuroscience researcher who studies laughter. Can you imagine? Rats do it, gorillas do it, we all do it – let’s have a laugh. Scott calls it an “…ancient evolutionary system that mammals have evolved to make and maintain social bonds and to regulate emotions.” Yep, just as you knew all along, laughter is good for you. 

If the science-y part gets boring, skip ahead to minute 14 for another dose of laughter. 

And – according to Scott’s research, you can at least double your laughter if you watch it with a friend.  Enjoy!

--Stephen Shostek,
Portland Therapist at

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These Things: 407

O Winter, how I’ve missed you! Your visits were too brief and far between in our Pacific NorthWest. My skis are dusty; I’ve missed my winter play. Please stay longer next year.

Hello Spring! You’re early arrival is busting out in color and sunshine. I’m with you in the early embrace. 

Updated blog post at 
“Awe In the Time of Dr Suess Trees”


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These Things: 406

Followup to Celebrating Human Achievement

I posted in November about the Philae Lander rendezvous with comet 67P and wrote about it as an example of what humanity can do when we engage our political will and collaboration. I think about some of the problems that our societies haven’t dealt with adequately and I’m certain that we could do better if we engage our collective will and collaborate to meet our shared human needs. Here’s a followup summary from Science Magazine cataloging some of the findings and images from the Rosetta Probe.
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