The Needy Parent

In previous articles I have said that the marital relationship is the most important relationship in a family. [Blended families are a separate problem, because a parent’s loyalty and devotion to his or her children may be greater… Read More

Love Vs. Trust

I meet with a couple who is struggling through a betrayal. He cheated. She is crushed. It’s been many months, and she can’t forgive, much less forget. Nearly every day a thought enters her mind, something like, ‘is… Read More

The Insecure Parent

Several years ago a couple came for counseling over a period of two years. They were middle-aged, fairly successful and had a very bright teen-aged son, who excelled at school and adored his parents. The mom had multiple… Read More

Platitudes

Don’t you just love it when people use the same old tired sayings that everyone else does? What’s even worse is the occasions when they pull them out as you’re going through a tough time. A loved one… Read More

Who Cares?

“It is better to keep silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.” – Variously attributed to Mark Twain, Abraham Lincoln and others Do you ever have trouble figuring out what to say,… Read More

Mistakes Are Friends, Part 2

Albert Einstein was not only a brilliant scientist, but also had a wonderful way with words, and is often quoted. One shining example: “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we… Read More

What Counseling is NOT

Through many years of therapy/counseling practice, I’ve heard clients’ stories – not just about their problems, but also about their previous counselors – some of them downright shocking. Because their experiences had such an impact on me, I… Read More

Does Counseling Really Help?

Many years ago, in casual conversation, I mentioned to someone who had been through a nasty divorce, that I was preparing to become a counselor. She smirked ever so slightly, and said she didn’t think counseling was worth… Read More

Quitting Smoking

learn to quit valparaiso

Tales from the Smoke Zone One of my clients, who came to me wanting to quit smoking, recently used an interesting phrase to describe herself: “I love myself as a non-smoker”. That got me thinking. This lady, now… Read More