Psychotherapy Blog


Pete Walker, MFT

Pete Walker is director of the Lafayette Counseling Center. He has been working as a teacher and mental health professional for thirty years, and is the author of The Tao of Fully Feeling: Harvesting Forgiveness Out of Blame. He presents on this topic annually at JFK University and has also presented the topic at the 40st Annual CAMFT Conference and several EBCAMFT chapter meetings.

Elaborations of the principles in this article—the importance of shrinking the inner critic, the role of grieving in trauma recovery, and the need to be able to stay self-compassionately present to dysphoric affect—as well on his writings on trauma typology and the role of trauma in codependence, can be downloaded for free from his website: He can also be reached at 925-283-4575.

Dial-Up Connection

Posted by Pete Walker, MFT on 10/22/13 - 4:51 PM
Thirty-five years ago I got my first paid therapist job as a second-string telephone counselor for an enlightened radio station in Sydney, Australia. The radio station ran a daily one-hour program called “Kid’s Careline,” and my boss was the first string counselor who fielded on air calls from the radio audience. She was so brilliant at it that she kept three of us second stringers busy 9 to 5 fielding the calls that did not make it onto the air. It...

Verbal Ventilation: The highway to intimacy and the key process of therapy

Posted by Pete Walker, MFT on 5/14/13 - 12:21 PM
I was standing in the waiting room before my first session with a new therapist some twenty years ago, when I perused a cartoon that she had displayed on her bulletin board. In panel 1 of the wordless cartoon, a woman with a dark cloud over her head is talking to a friend who has a shining sun over hers. In panel 2, as the first woman gestures in a way that indicates complaining, the cloud covers her friend’s sun....

Vanquishing the Inner Critic

Posted by Pete Walker, MFT on 3/19/13 - 4:37 PM
In my work with clients who were severely traumatized in childhood, I sometimes feel hopeless in helping them to address and deconstruct their inner critics. I feel daunted by the viciousness and incessancy of their self-attack. When a child is relentlessly rejected by contemptuous parents, she mimics them and learns to obsessively scorn herself. Like them, she focuses only on her defects and deficiencies; like them she radiates hate and scorn at herself. Her superego grows into an outsized critic as...
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