Marianela Medrano-Marra

Marianela Medrano

Marianela Medrano is a counselor and Dominican writer living and practicing in Stamford, CT. She writes poetry, essays, and creative non-fiction; with publications including essays and four books of poetry.

  • Creativity in Counseling

    Nov 06, 2009
    As psychologist and author Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi puts it, creativity is a central source of meaning in our lives. It is “a process by which a symbolic domain in the culture is changed. New songs, new ideas, new machines are what creativity is about.” Everything in our surroundings is the result of inventiveness, of creativity. Csikszentmihalyi’s idea is that the creative process emerges in five steps: preparation, incubation, insight, evaluation and elaboration.
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  • Awakening the Poetic Imagination to Promote Healthy Growth

    Oct 28, 2009
    After morning yoga I walk to my car, conscious of every step. I look down at the muddy path, my clogs stepping firmly, yet gently, on the soft ground, knowing that the moment is precious and feeling the interconnection of breath and step. The rain falls discretely on my curls, and the scent of lavender rising from my wet hair awakens me even more. I take a deep breath, and direct my attention towards the softness beneath my feet, the fresh air on my face, and the warm fleece against my skin. A blue jay lands two trees ahead of me and flies away before I invade its space, but the blue remains inscribed in my mind. The memory of a therapeutic writing group I led a few years ago for elders rushes into my awareness, perhaps because of our frequent writing about the wonders of nature.
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  • Understanding Begins with Authenticity

    Oct 19, 2009
    In order to understand others, says Vietnamese Buddhist Monk Thich Nhat Hanh, “we have to feel their feelings, suffer their sufferings, and enjoy their joy.” The quote by this brilliant and yet so-humble monk, brings me to reflect on what it means to truly “understand” and “hear” in counseling. It also invites me to pause and consider how important it is for us to take care of ourselves—professionally and personally, as in the airlines’ advice, “to put our own oxygen mask on before we help vulnerable ones around us.” The real work has to be done with us first, then, and only then, are we prepared to walk the walk with others.
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