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[19 May 2015 | No Comment | ]

 Part 4: The Blame Game & Taking Offense at What Others Think of You
 
The next time we met, Steve and Carey sat closer on the royal blue two-cushioned sofa.
“How’s it going?” I asked once they settled.
Steve glanced at the beige Oriental rug, then raised his head. “We’re better. I’ve ended my meetings with Vanessa.”
“Was it painful?” I leaned closer.
He shook his head slowly. “I told her our talks are costing me my marriage.”
“What’d she say?”
“She said she’s married and she understood.”
“How’d you feel about that?”
“I was sad.  It’s a loss.” …

Relationship Advice »

[13 Apr 2015 | No Comment | ]

 Part 3: Boundaries enable you to protect yourself and your partner physically, sexually, and emotionally when you talk
“We need to discuss boundaries,” I said. It was the start our next meeting. “How you establish and maintain them.”
“Boundaries sound like putting up fences,” Steve said.  “I thought we’re working to get closer?”
“It’s paradoxical,” I responded. “Robert Frost said it well: ‘Good fences make good neighbors.’”
“I think I’d feel safer with walls,” Carey said sarcastically. 
Steve rolled his eyes.  “Oh God, here we go again.”
 “Walls give you complete protection, but they disconnect you from …

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[29 Mar 2015 | No Comment | ]

Part 2: Pioneers Have to Invent a Successful Marriage Lacking a Model from their Parents
 
Our meetings continued.  Steve’s tone mellowed and he became less self-righteous.  Carey sat forward on the sofa and her tone became more assertive.  With joy she announced her new job. Her former boss now worked for a different company.  When she phoned him, he eagerly employed her.
“I feel appreciated again!” Her tone bubbled with excitement.
With new confidence, Carey spoke what she’d been holding in. “I hate your smoking pot,” she said to Steve.  “It’s not just …

Relationship Advice »

[19 Dec 2014 | 2 Comments | ]

 
Part 1: The Drama Triangle: Who’s the Victim and Who the Offender?
I met them in the waiting room where they were sitting on the yellow couch upholstered with lively red and blue flowers. They both smiled as we shook hands and walked through the hall into my two room office.  The hall and both rooms are painted in soft peach. The outer room has a salmon colored couch where I asked them to sit to fill out intake forms.  Having completed forms regarding their basic information and self-evaluation on stress, trauma, and alcohol use, I …

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[14 Sep 2014 | No Comment | ]

 What a pain in the ass. Steve, my boss, gave me ten-thousand dollars before he took a leave from the company he owned.  He told me he wanted me to make good use of the money. He was gone for three years. I was scared I’d lose his money, so I put it in a safe.  When he returned I gave him back his money.  He fired me cause I hadn’t put his money to use.
 I told people how cruel he was.   I got some sympathy but not a job. …

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[14 Aug 2014 | 4 Comments | ]

Tom had a look of despair; there was no life in his eyes.   He appeared at my office. His beard was unkempt and his unruly brown hair hung down to his shoulders.  His friend Mike had counseled with me and told Tom to see me.
I motioned toward the blue sofa.  “Make yourself comfortable.”
“You’ve got a lot of books,” he said nodding toward the bookcase built into one wall in my office.  “Have you read all those?”
“I’ve had lots of years to read.” I chuckled.
He shifted his position like he was trying to get comfortable.  …

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[2 Aug 2014 | No Comment | ]

King Theo had just conquered the invaders who tried to plunder his kingdom which was renowned for its riches.  The king cut a majestic figure with flowing black hair, brilliant blue eyes, and a close-cropped dark beard sitting astride Zeus, his magnificent white stallion. His army followed him faithfully, believing he was invincible.  Having defeated the pillagers, he focused his attention on his kingdom.
With his sonorous voice he addressed his citizens: “We are a glorious country. We have many reasons to be proud of our peacefulness and prosperity.  I am …

Relationship Advice »

[24 Apr 2014 | 2 Comments | ]

Jennifer phoned me.  She said her marriage was in serious trouble. She asked for an appointment with her husband as soon as possible.  I saw them later that day. 
I shook hands with Jennifer and Carl and motioned them toward the blue sofa in my office.  They sat down more than an arm’s length apart. Carl had intense blue eyes and a restrained smile. Jennifer was a beautician with large brown eyes and swept back auburn hair. Both were in their thirties.
“How can I help you?”
Carl sat back: “I …

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[25 Feb 2014 | No Comment | ]

Joan’s Cape Cod cottage was nearly finished.  This second home fulfilled her dream.  Joan longed to retire to this cozy cottage at the end of her Information Technology career.  She grew more excited every day as her new home approached completion.
There was a problem, however.  Her mother was coming to see the cottage.   Joan was pleased that her mother was taking the trouble to drive several hundred miles to see her new home.  At the same time she dreaded that her mother would find something wrong with her cottage. 
“My …

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[11 Feb 2014 | 6 Comments | ]

Young children are natural risk takers. I delighted watching my granddaughter, Lexi, when she was learning to walk. She pulled herself up on the leg of a chair, took a wobbly first step and fell. Undeterred, she pulled herself up on the chair and tried again. Lexi fell many times. Eventually she maintained her balance and took her first step.  She progressed in the way we all grow: by falling or making mistakes and learning from them. Lexi had courage.  She didn’t fear failure.
Thomas Edison failed ten-thousand times inventing the …