Pardon the Hiatus, I’m Also a Therapist Now

Whoa. I can’t believe it’s been almost two years since I’ve posted on this blog. I guess time flies when you’re working your ass off … and dealing with family emergencies.

In case you’re wondering (and judging by the steep drop-off in traffic on here since you last heard from me, you’re probably not — but hey, I’m gonna share anyway), I blame my extended absence on two significant life events …

The first is that my mom passed away last December, after being in a vegetative state for 14 months. The experience was grueling while it dragged on and ultimately devastating when the inevitable finally happened. But as they say, life goes on. And I’m finally ready to kick some life back into Social Savvy Sage (unlike, you know, what they were never able to do with my mom). If you’re curious to know more about what happened with all that, click here.

The second significant event — and the one relevant to Social Savvy Sage — is that I decided to go back to school to become a Marriage and Family Therapist. I’ve been doling out dating and communication skills advice in various forms for over a decade now, but I also realized how I could benefit from formal training in therapy. So here I am, two years later, finally surfacing for air with my newly minted Master of Science in Counseling (Marriage and Family Therapy).

If you’re curious, here’s a reflection on my journey to becoming an MFT. And yes, it may seem a bit … uh, backwards to earn a Master’s Degree after a PhD. But then again, I’ve never been known to do things the “typical” way. So this seems pretty on par for me.

So what does this mean for Social Savvy Sage?

First off, Social Savvy Sage will continue to be a coaching service to help people refine their social skills, whether it be for romantic, professional, or any other reason one would want to refine their social skills. As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I have legal and ethical codes I must abide by, as established by the Board of Behavioral Sciences, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. The Social Savvy Sage curriculum does not conform to these codes (nor do I want it to, to be perfectly clear), so I cannot legally advertise it as any type of “therapy,” let alone the Marriage and Family variety.

At the same time, I can — and do — incorporate therapeutic techniques during our coaching sessions. I will collaborate with you in determining whether it will be appropriate to do so. For instance, if you have a hard time carrying on a conversation with strangers, we can develop tools to help you feel more comfortable in your interactions. And depending on how severe your discomfort is, we may decide it’s worth exploring why you feel the way you feel. In that case, therapeutic techniques may end up being useful.

Ultimately, my goal in becoming a therapist was to broaden my skills, so that I can better accommodate the needs of each individual client. Marriage and Family Therapy is all about relationships, and creating relationships is the essence of social savvy, so it all fits right together. Point being, if you work with me via Social Savvy Sage, it will not be therapy, but you can expect a blend of both coaching and therapeutic techniques if we determine that to be right for you.

(If therapy in its strictest sense is what you’re seeking, please click here to send me a message, and we can discuss your options for that.)

In my next post, I will talk more about the differences and similarities between coaching and therapy. Stay tuned for that, but in the meantime …

Hey, it’s Dennis. I’m baaaaaaack.

Composite - blurred
Due to the pandemic, our graduation celebration was relegated to Zoom. But hey, we made it work.

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