General

The Mule Trainer's Lesson

I recently told one of my clients an old joke about a farmer who couldn't get his mule to do any work, so he hired a famous mule trainer. The man came to his farm, immediately picked up a heavy stick and whapped the mule on the nose. "Don't train my mule that way!" the farmer demanded. The trainer said "Oh, I haven't started the training, I'm just getting its attention." 

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A Therapist's View of the Ashley Madison Fall-Out

 

I was briefly interviewed last week for thoughts about the implication of the recent Ashley Madison data breach.  Here's the clip.  It's not long but I hope it helped at least a few people. Next time I'll smile more!  I've also written a few words for those personally affected by this situation.

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Lean in the Opposite Direction

 

In my Atlanta counseling practice I've helped people who have all sorts of personalities. From the rigid to the disorganized, from the serious to the silly, from the extremely anxious to the overconfident, everyone has a unique combination of traits. One of the opportunities of a therapist is to help people develop some of the underdeveloped parts of their personalities.

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You're Not Upset

This essay is partly a companion piece to one of my previous posts titled “You’re Not Fine”.  Both caution against using words or concepts that seem to carry specific meanings but which actually lack the ability to foster productive communication.  And when it comes to emotionally charged discussions the words we use can make the difference between a productive or detrimental outcome.    From this perspective, using the word “upset” seldom helps any situation.

Fueled By or Ruled By?

Do you know the difference between something that inspires you and something that controls you? Can you tell the difference between motivation and compulsion? It's not always easy to tell the difference.

Time Trip Tips

Living 'here and now' is not easy to do for any significant length of time. We are constantly being swept back into our remembered past or forward into our imagined future.

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Ten Will Get You Fifty

People obviously seek psychotherapy or counseling to make changes in some part of their lives, and nobody wants to engage in a lot of effort for only minimal benefit.  I sometimes use the phrase "ten will get you fifty" to describe situations in which a small effort can yield a large reward.

Make Your Bed

It’s difficult to know exactly what each day will bring for you to face: if life shows us anything it’s that uncertainties abound and challenges may spring up when least expected or desired.  Sometimes it may seem like every minute is filled with a task to accomplish…..a need to meet…..a fire to put out.
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Wisdom Quote: It's Never a Straight Line

"It's never a straight line."  -Geri Larkin

We think the shortest path between two points is a straight line. While this may be true in physics it is seldom the case in personal growth. You don't go from your starting point to your destination without detours, obstacles, curves, roadblocks, false starts, setbacks and other barriers to your goal. That's just how a hero's journey unfolds (and in case you've forgotten or have never been told, that's what your life is about).

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Everybody's Weird

I had a client recently who said "I just want to feel normal." I certainly understand the sentiment and yet my reaction when I hear this fairly common goal is mixed. Generally I find that the underlying desire for "normal" is a need to feel OK in your own skin, to feel accepted and acceptable. At the root is some combination of shame and exhaustion: shame (the wellspring of most dysfunction) at feeling somehow defective and exhaustion at trying so hard to achieve an elusive peace of mind.

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