Crucial Minutia
it's the little things...
Kimberlee AuerbachKimberlee Auerbach is a writer and storyteller who has performed her comedic monologues throughout New York City. Her memoir, The Devil, The Lovers & Me: My Life in Tarot, will be published by Dutton in August 2007. Kimmi writes the Therapy Thursdays column.
Kimberlee Auerbach
Therapy Thursdays: Small
4 Comments | posted June 21st, 2007 at 12:16 pm by Kimberlee Auerbach

earth.jpgThere are two kinds of small I feel. One is crushing. It makes me feel all alone in the world. Powerless. The other is expansive. It makes me feel part of something bigger. Also powerless.

I’m with my dad right now in Palm Beach Gardens, not exactly the place you’d think would inspire this particular post. But when I landed in West Palm Beach yesterday, I felt small. Not the good kind. The person I had called from the tarmac for the last five years wasn’t waiting to hear my voice. I could land or not land and no one would know. Okay, I’m being dramatic. A lot of people would notice my absence. But you know what I mean. I like the idea of one special person being there to witness your life.

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Kimberlee Auerbach
Therapy Thursdays: Heartbreak
14 Comments | posted June 14th, 2007 at 05:03 pm by Kimberlee Auerbach

threeofswords.jpg I’m sorry I didn’t post last week. I started to write one, accidentally erased it and burst into tears.

The week before I had mentioned that my heart was breaking. Well, it broke.

I know what some of you are thinking, if your barn burns down, at least you’ll be able to see the moon. Okay, so maybe that’s not what you’re thinking.

I get that there are worse things in the world than heartbreak. There is death, rape, poverty, inequality, hatred, President Bush… and yet, this pain feels so acute, recovery is hard to imagine.

So, I am going to share my gratefuls with you. Whenever I feel sad, they make me feel better. They make me feel blessed.

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Kimberlee Auerbach
Therapy Thursdays: Huffington Post
2 Comments | posted May 31st, 2007 at 10:36 am by Kimberlee Auerbach

Please forgive me. My heart is breaking. I have to practice for my Jewish Book Council audition tonight. And my head is pounding.

Rather than write another sappy post about dying flowers like I did last week, I am going to refer you to someone else this week: Ester Perel on Huffington Post. She wrote a book called Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic and the Domestic. Courtney wrote about this too: The Pleasure of Distance.

I also want to congratulate Huffington Post on their new expansion. It rocks! Plus, they now link to Crucial Minutiae! How cool is that?!

Kimberlee Auerbach
Therapy Thursdays: African Voilet
5 Comments | posted May 24th, 2007 at 10:37 am by Kimberlee Auerbach

african-violet.jpgA friend gave me an African Violet for my birthday years ago.

“What’s wrong?” he asked. “Don’t you like it?”

I liked it just fine. The truth was I was afraid I’d kill it.

See, aside from my “Feed Me, Seymour!” plant, which is taking over my living room now, I have not had great success in keeping things alive. I have killed five goldfish, a red-bellied frog and two Ficus trees.

Yes, I am free to babysit your cat.

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Kimberlee Auerbach
Therapy Thursdays: Self Talk
7 Comments | posted May 17th, 2007 at 09:41 am by Kimberlee Auerbach

No one can forget that famous scene in Animal House. Pinto invites an underage girl to the toga party. She gets drunk and passes out. He is tempted to take advantage of her. A devil appears on one shoulder, an angel on the other. They start to argue about what to do. Should he fuck her? Should he keep his hands to himself? He eventually takes her home in a shopping cart.

We all do this. I’m not saying we all want to “do it” with an underage girl, but we are constantly negotiating what’s right and wrong in our heads, and often it’s not clear which is which. We can rationalize the shit out of anything. We can convince ourselves that something bad is good and something good is bad.

It’s not that I wish my inner voices wore devil and angel costumes to make it clear to me what’s right. I actually don’t believe in giving in to either pole. There’s usually something in between.

As much as my “self talk” confuses me most of the time, I am grateful for it. I can talk myself off a ledge. I can calm myself down. I can refrain from destructive behavior. When I want to pick my skin, I can say to myself, “Kimberlee, is this something you really want to do?” I can make my actions conscious through narration.

As for knowing which voice to trust, this is hard. I am learning to meditate. I find that breathing helps. Getting quiet. But I’m curious. Does anyone out there have a surefire way? Do you feel it in your gut? Do all the hairs on your neck stand on end? Is it a thought? A feeling? I would love some tips.

Kimberlee Auerbach
Therapy Thursdays: Vote With Your Feet
8 Comments | posted May 10th, 2007 at 12:29 pm by Kimberlee Auerbach

leadwithyourfeet.jpg“Vote with your feet” is a fancier way of saying “Action speaks louder than words.”

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.

If you say you want something, but don’t do anything about it, do you really want it?

Fear is obviously a factor for most people. You want to be a singer, but you’re afraid you’ll suck. You want to leave a relationship, but you’re afraid you’ll never find love again. You want to take a yoga class, but you’re afraid people will laugh at you. So you stay put.

I wrote about fear for Fearless Friday. I wrote about wanting something so badly for so long and the tiny steps I took to get there.

Maybe that’s the way to get what you want. Move your feet.

I recently started seeing a cognitive behaviorist to help me with my skin picking…

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Kimberlee Auerbach
Therapy Thursdays: Suicide
7 Comments | posted May 03rd, 2007 at 08:08 am by Kimberlee Auerbach

Last week, as some of you may know, I posted some cell phone pictures of myself and talked about narcissism vs. self-love. It was a light post. Kind of tongue and cheek.

I’m not sure how it happened, but the comments turned to suicide. Is suicide selfish? Is it chemical? Is it psychological or sociological? It got heated and scary and over my head.

I am not a survivor of suicide. Thank God, no one in my family or circle of friends has ever died from suicide. When I was clinically depressed in college, I wanted a bus to run me over, but I never would have jumped out the window.

I have a friend, actually, Jennifer Gandin Le’s husband, Chris, who works in suicide prevention. Given his expertise, I thought I’d have him address last week’s discussion.

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Kimberlee Auerbach
Therapy Thursdays: Narcissism Or Something Else?
17 Comments | posted April 26th, 2007 at 12:25 pm by Kimberlee Auerbach

I take a lot of pictures of myself. A lot. Whenever I am bored, anxious, sad or alone, I position my cell phone in front of my face and snap a shot.

I have written about this before. I once showed a friend one of my many self-portraits. His response was, “You sure do like you face.” I turned red and giggled. There are reasons, real reasons. I moved around a lot as a child and often didn’t feel real. Pictures make me feel real. I was a model for my dad’s company when I was a teenager and felt the pressure to look perfect, wear make-up, smile. Candid shots make me feel free.

But what if I do like my face? What’s wrong with that? Does it mean I’m cursed like Narcissus? Is loving yourself a curse? In today’s world, I think it’s quite an achievement.

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Kimberlee Auerbach
Therapy Thursdays: Oh Yeah. Oh Yeah.
6 Comments | posted April 19th, 2007 at 09:16 am by Kimberlee Auerbach

ari-and-loyd.jpg My brother, his wife, my boyfriend and I were driving back from Philadelphia this past Saturday. We had gone down there for my stepmother’s 60th birthday party, which was stressful to say the least. We were rehashing the night’s events when my brother said, “Hey, did you guys see Entourage?”

“It’s back?!” I screamed, not believing I had missed the season premiere.

“Oh, yeah, it’s back,” he said.

“It was stupid,” his wife chimed in. “Nothing happened.”

“I LOVE Entourage,” I said, wanting to hit the gas to get home sooner to watch it On Demand.

Why was I so excited about a damn TV show?

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Kimberlee Auerbach
Therapy Thursdays: Blogging. Therapeutic Or Plain Anxiety-Provoking?
7 Comments | posted April 12th, 2007 at 09:33 am by Kimberlee Auerbach

Blogging, for me, is kind of like being drunk and deciding to get a tattoo. It’s fun, reckless. Permanent. Once it’s out there, it’s out there. Sure, you can erase it, pretend it never happened, but someone somewhere saw it.

While I was writing my book, I showed it to friends, I showed it to my writers group. I got feedback from my editor. Someone caught a typo here, a grammatical error there. A leap in logic. A misused word. I got check marks, compliments and reassurance. It made the whole process feel safe.

Blogging, on the other hand, is self-edited, off-the-cuff and raw.

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Kimberlee Auerbach
Therapy Thursdays: The Power Of Ritual
7 Comments | posted April 05th, 2007 at 09:41 pm by Kimberlee Auerbach

“Ritual gives structure to chaos,” says Judy Davis, author of Who’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah Is This Anyway. “It’s a form of communal holding. All who light candles in this way are connected, part of a family, part of something larger.”

It’s the morning after the second night of Passover, and we’re sitting in her kitchen, eating Matzo Brei covered with real maple syrup. Delicious.

She goes on to explain, “All rituals have open and closed parts. Everyone usually agrees about the closed parts. A Christmas tree on Christmas. A turkey on Thanksgiving. Open parts are the ways in which we can contribute our signature stamp, personalize the structure.”

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Kimberlee Auerbach
Therapy Thursdays: Cliff Notes
4 Comments | posted March 29th, 2007 at 05:35 pm by Kimberlee Auerbach

Ever wonder about the difference between cognitive therapy and psychoanalysis? Neuropsychology and Psychiatry? Or is it a toss up between life coach and philosophical counselor for you?

I was talking to Theo about therapy on our way back to the city from writers group the other night. I was saying how hard it is to find the right therapist when you’re depressed, how your power of assessment is lower when you’re vulnerable, how it’s close to impossible to know if someone is a quack when you’re desperate.

My father used to say that only 1% of any professional is competent and that there is no real way to determine the competency of therapists. Sure, reputations develop. Trustworthy people give referrals. You can look up criminal records. But how do you really know if you are seeing someone good? Or should I say, good for you?

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Kimberlee Auerbach
Therapy Thursdays: How Many Therapists Does It Take To Be Happy?
4 Comments | posted March 22nd, 2007 at 03:32 pm by Kimberlee Auerbach

Therapy Thursdays is a weekly column on therapy appearing Thursdays.

Over the past ten years, I have been in individual therapy with five different therapists.

Three women. Two men.

My first therapist was an older man with a mustache, who liked using sports analogies to make a point. He was the coach for his son’s swimming team and would say to me, “I tell my kids all the time, go with your stroke.”

I had no idea what the hell he was talking about.

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Kimberlee Auerbach
Therapy Thursdays: Celebrating Men, Satisfying Women
1 Comment | posted March 15th, 2007 at 05:17 pm by Kimberlee Auerbach

For all you seekers out there, I’m your gal.

I’ve been to an astrologer named Rakesh, a few tarot readers, a Reiki Master, a craniosacral therapist, an intuitive acupuncturist, a hypnotherapist, a therapist with a PhD and a couples therapist.

I know therapy. I know healing. I got you covered.

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