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Rafting the Colorado

Not quite twenty-six years ago, my wife, daughter and I rafted the Colorado River with an experienced river guide. The expectations were explicitly communicated by her advising us to “... remain in the raft at all times and follow my instructions to the letter without fail.” Also, if, by chance, we were ejected from the raft for any reason, the guidance was to “immediately assume a fetal position so your toes or feet won’t be trapped by the rocks below, otherwise, the surging river will then drown you.” It was exciting, if not, altogether, quite exhilarating as we donned our life vests ......
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I Might Just Piss You Off!

Not that I wish to offend, but sometimes I must.The truth hurts and so, too, does a lie. “Mirror, mirror on the wall...” am I the fairest one of all?Of course you are! After all, who wouldn’t see just how very special you are?Except for the fact that you are not always right. Or good. Or kind. Or considerate. Or respectful.In fact, sometimes, you are wrong! And nasty. And mean. And selfish. And spiteful.True or false? Here is where I can help.With a passionate calling to counsel and to mentor. Confess-conceal, pretend-be real!To get from here to there, just sometimes... You need ......
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“It’s All Good”

I am indebted to my sister, Brenda, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for mentoring me with the phrase “it’s all good.” You see, Brenda has had her fair share of trials and tribulations in this world, which would have probably brought a lesser, characterologically-intact, person to their knees begging for mercy and looking for any way out. But not my baby sister for whom the motto “it’s all good” is a clarion call to arms, vis-a-vis, the moral road less-travelled in the face of chronic, insufferable and unremitting adversity. Brenda has struggled with thyroid cancer replete with multiple associated auto-immune disorders which has s......
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Foundational Algorithm of Healing and Growth

Over the course of my career as a clinical psychologist, I have thought very deeply about progress, regress and stasis. Why do some people go forward, others go backward, others still go nowhere at all? Additionally, what is elemental about the process of authentic psychotherapeutic intervention, as well as, personal mentoring which is key for any meaningful healing and growth to occur and also for all healing and growth to be meaningfully sustained? Common sense suggests that relapse is ’hard-wired’ into the human condition and achievement-to-criterion on a given task or adaptive skills-competency results and obtains either from “single-trial” learning or, more li......
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“It’s Only 8 Hours, Sonny Boy!”

It was just a part-time job during the summer between my third and fourth year of high school. Not quite 16 and I was the designated quality-control inspector at a major tool manufacturing company in Chicago. Much to my genuine surprise, I was given with the sole discretionary authority to shut down the production line if there were any problems identified or even suspected by my youthful eagle-eye. Although I took great pride in my work and sought to always do my very best, I must confess how much I thoroughly loathed my job! Worse still, I could not for the......
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Mentoring Moment

Disciple: “Lost I am, now must I what do?”Master: “A path you seek, may search I with you?” Disciple: “Direction implore I, do still I forsooth!”Master: “Illusion is maya, truth is truth.” Disciple: “Is maya of maya, not the ideal?”Master: “Illusion is illusion, only real is real.” Disciple: “Found I am, now know I my way.”Master: (Nothing need more, Master must say.) Author Note: Dr. Larry B. Gelman is a Clinical Psychologist and a Personal Mentor PMS Blog Comments Policy | PMS Copyright | PMS Disclaimer | PMS Citation Information www.personalmentoringservices.com © 2015 Northern Illinois Counseling Associates, P.C. (NICA), Personal Mentoring Services (PMS) Dr. Larry B. ......
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"You are Pranam!"

Many years ago, when our practice served as a training center for doctoral candidates in clinical and counseling psychology, I recall supervising an intern from a foreign land who, despite my best efforts to injunct her from standing at attention whenever I entered the room, never paid heed to my entreaties for her to cease and desist. One day, following a rather intensive supervision session, in which the clinical issues initially referenced by her as primarily “patient” problems were subsequently interpreted by me, as the counter-transferential projections of her own “personal” issues onto those very patients, she gasped, blushed, and then blu......
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"Gap Between Thoughts"

What does it mean when the “master” encourages the “disciple” to “contemplate the gap between thoughts? Exactly what is expected of the “disciple” to satisfy the “master” by tackling such an impossible assignment? Is there really ever any meaning, purpose and value which derives and obtains from contemplating anything? The problem with this task is that the moment you contemplate, or think about, what you are supposed to do, you have already succeeded at failing because the intended deeper goal is to contemplate how to contemplate in the ways you need to contemplate not to contemplate in order to become “at-one’ with the “gap between......
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"Mop's Here..."

He was a “full-bird Colonel," of Napoleonic stature, always with an enormous Churchill in his mouth. The highest ranking officer of our army medical reserve unit and the rest of “the brass,” along with the rest of the troops, held him in singular high regard since he was the only soldier amongst us who had direct combat experience having previously served in a “real” war. I was barely 18 years of age and only a lowly Private assigned to the tedium of “shuffling paperwork.” Not quite comfortable in my new military uniform, I couldn’t help but notice how “the old man” sparkled in h......
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Begins With the Person

Personal Mentoring Services begins with the person. If I am the designated mentor, it starts with me. If you are the identified protégé, it starts with you. Each person, from their respective frame of reference, is their own unit of relevance, for the collaborative igniting of the “personal” mentoring process. Mentoring is a verb. At first glance, it denotes action. Nothing happens if nothing is done. Something happens if something is done. What is necessary that must be done? Whatever is necessary that must be done! Consequently, to mentor and to be mentored (as a protégé) is to do something actionable. However......
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