It's hard to talk about therapy without devolving into earnest cliches or infomercial-ese, and I'm allergic to both. I'm not even wholly sold on using the word "therapy" to describe what I do. To me it implies a distance between the two people involved that fosters a sense of social role-playing, isolation and solipsism...the antithesis of what most of us need more of in life. The word often comes with a sense that the person seeking help/input/perspective is somehow crazy or flawed and needs to be fixed, another idea that doesn't resonate with me. And then there's the problem of expectations: people (and, even worse, their friends!) often think they know what happens in "therapy," and, if those ideas are automatically adhered to, they can end up making the whole experience much less powerful than it can be.

So in essence I put the ampersand at the end of "therapy" as a kind of shorthand, a reminder to both of us to be creative, to keep an open mind, to expand the playing field.