Blog Posts

Preserving our shared history: The old abandoned State Hospitals

Back in the late 1800s, a new idea swept the country.  What if instead of burdening families with the caretaking of their chronically ill family member or letting the mentally ill wander the streets, we put them in state of the art healing facilities?  Beautiful facilities surrounded by acres of woodlands and farmlands that looked like college campuses.  And so a massive undertaking took place, with majestic buildings erected surrounded by gardens that were tended by the patients.  At the

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When it’s time to say goodbye: Closing your private practice

I’m sitting in my office, staring at an empty room.  Today is my last day in private practice.  Very rarely do we make a decision that willingly causes us so much emotional turmoil.  However, I know from my years of experience as a therapist that sometimes such decisions are a necessary experience in order to avoid even more pain and suffering later down the road. I recently accepted a job offer from an old employer.  It was unexpected.  It was

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Why you might not want a blog for your private practice

Some of you may have noticed that I’ve really slowed down blogging over at my website for my private practice (  There’s a reason for that.  This blog (yep, this one!   ) has long been a collection of lessons learned while I’m learning them, with the hopes that those of you starting out can avoid my mistakes.  I hate to say it, but having a blog for my private practice may have been one of those mistakes. When I

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A time to nurture & a time to confront: Knowing the difference is crucial for success as a therapist

Have you ever had a prospective client or even just a random person ask you “What exactly is counseling?”  It’s a surprisingly difficult question to answer.  Counseling is such a complicated profession, full of nuances and subtleties.  One way to think of counseling though is that it’s a balance between nurturing and confrontation.  And walking that line is key for having successful outcomes with your clients. Nurturing is obvious.  It’s reassurance, empathy, understanding, and validation.  Confrontation in counseling though is

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Coworkers! Some thoughts on getting along with other therapists

Even in solo private practice, coworkers never really go away.  Your coworkers become the psychiatrists you refer to, the provider relations rep from the insurance company, the teachers and physicians you receives referrals from; they’re all relationships that need to be managed, not just for your benefit, but for everyone’s.  But this post isn’t for people in solo private practice, this is for therapists that are working in agencies and other institutions.  I have found that getting along with therapist

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Is there life after counseling?

Lately I’ve been coming across a lot of therapists asking what they can do with their careers if they no longer want to do counseling.  It’s a valid question.  There’s definitely more to professional development than just sharpening your clinical skills, and people often forget that when it comes to the psychology and social work field.  Leading, team-building, and administrative skills are also important. A bigger issue is that a lot of therapists get burned out.  It’s really not just

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Juicing as a way of treating emotional-eating & food addiction

The ACA Code of Ethics tells us that we need to be role models to our clients as well as practice self-care.  If you’ve read any of my books or have been reading this blog for a while, you know that I am a strong believer in that as well.  I have a personal ethic of not asking anything of a client that I wouldn’t be willing to do myself.  This has lead to me doing 8-week long meditation programs,

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Considering offering virtual therapy? You may want to rethink that

It would seem that everything is going digital, and digital therapy or “distance therapy” is the future of the counseling profession.  Why is it?  Well, there are many valid reasons.  We know, for instance, that inconvenience is the #1 thing keeping people from seeing a therapist.  This may be very surprising to those that always heard that the stigma of seeing a therapist was what kept people away.  But actually, stigma and cost fall very far on the list in

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2015 Lessons Learned in Private Practice

You would think after going on 6 years in private practice that there wouldn’t be much left to learn, yet I find with every year that goes by I’m presented with new challenges and better ways of doing things.  Something I do is I like to know what therapists are nearby.  An easy way to do this is to just go to and enter the zip code of your practice.  It’s both good if you need to send a

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The fantasy of change

It is often said that we therapists are in the business of change.  People come to us because they want their life to be different:  They want to fight less with their spouse, feel better about themselves, feel confident while giving a presentation, and lose weight.  They want to CHANGE.  It’s something that’s so obvious and banal to us that we often forget how important and how powerful change really is to the client. When we ask the client what

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My name is Marina Williams and I am a licensed mental health counselor with a private practice in Jamaica Plain, MA. This website is my professional website devoted to my activities as a therapist. If you are interested in finding out more about my private practice, please visit my other website


Do you want to make an appointment for counseling or supervision? Interested in having me speak at your event? Have any questions or concerns? Feel free to contact me at 774-240-5550 or