Roses and Thorns

The task in the beginning is to learn to love self. This is accomplished by the provision of healthy caretaker inputs from outside-in. A child must first be loved, in order to learn how to experience love, in order to learn how to love. Learning to love your self is a crucial developmental task for love to have experiential personal meaning. The ro...
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“I Am Not A Man...”

For much of my professional career as a practicing clinical psychologist, I have articulated a sincere and explicit sentiment with virtually every adult female client and, usually by the end of the first session, that within the context of our professional relationship, “I am not a man but a doctor!” My reason has been to continually remind myself ...
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Winners and Losers

The problem with “winners” is that the “losers” almost invariably seek revenge and retaliation.   And when the “losers” eventually become the “winners,” the process recapitulates itself, ad infinitum. Human beings seem to innately discern, very quickly, what is deemed to be “fair” or “not fair.”   When someone believes they have been trea...
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“PSYCHOBIOSOCIOGEOPOLITICOECONOMIC”

In my opinion, symptoms, typically, do not occur within a vacuum but, rather, within an ‘n’-dimensional, multi-latticed, multi-tiered, multi-multipled context! This multi-dimensioned context provides a crucial staging ground from within which, and out from which, the adaptive meaning, purpose and value of any given “symptom” becomes readily identif...
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32 Edits

I recently wrote a very short article which required 32 edits. My written work, I thought, was substandard and the message, I thought, was unclear. When I write, consistent excellence is my minimum standard and my point must be sharp and penetrating... Unless, “journalistic license” wins-out and I choose to implicate my meaning by intentional desig...
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Nugget of Gold

Alaska had always been a life-long dream destination for a poor, inner-city kid like me, so when my wife asked what I really wanted to do for our 25th wedding anniversary, almost eighteen years ago, I jumped at the prospect of making that pipe-dream a “dream come true.” We packed our bags and with our seven year old daughter responded to my, and Ja...
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"I Count Grains of Sand"

He was but a humble young adult visitor from a foreign land, a guest in the home of a very wealthy older man. Opulence, bordering on decadence, permeated every room of the host’s palacial estate. A clever psychopath-in-disguise and less-than-honorable man, the elder made a most striking first impression! Who was this heavily monied individual with ...
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Pain

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On November 8, 2010 I had an L2-S1 spinal fusion with multiple discectomies and multiple laminectomies to address degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis and spinal scoliosis. Orthopedic experts were uncertain as to causality, however, I suspect that my sitting for 10-to 14 hours a day as a clinical psychologist for almost four decades coupled w...
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The Three Legged Stool of Character

“Character” is a “three-legged stool.” It is who you are when everything is going your way. It is who you are when nothing is going your way. It is who you are when no one is looking. The three legs do not have to be even. But the “stool” must be able to stand on its own. One leg may be longer or shorter or larger or smaller. But the “stool” must b...
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The Fulcrum of Truth

Inverted Fulcrum
  Imagine a teeter-totter on a playground. The balance-point or center is called the fulcrum. Now think of the word: T-R-U-T-H equally positioned on the teeter-totter. Where is the fulcrum? It’s U! Now think of the word: T-R-U-S-T equally positioned on the teeter-totter. Where is the fulcrum? Again, it’s U! Take a breath. Hold it. Exhale. Thin...
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"Mop's Here..."

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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...
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Three Questions to "Know Thyself"

In my opinion, there are three questions to ask and to answer, as honestly as possible, in order to “know thyself.” #1. Who are you? #2. What is important to live for? #3. What are you doing about it? The apparent simplicity of these three questions belie the true complexity of the life-long self-discovery process to reveal the three answers which ...
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What Are You Worth?

Many people I have encountered over the years erroneously believe they are “worth” what they want to be “worth,” what they hope to be “worth,” or even what they idealize themselves to be “worth.” Those who are extremely concrete and literal, incorrectly, assess what they are “worth” by the “bottom line” of their financial portfolio or the kinds of ...
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Whole and Holey

When I think of the personal mentors in my life, I am reminded of their sage insights, their discerning candor, and the genuineness of their own “walk.” Mostly, I recall their unflagging commitment to me – guiding me forward, sometimes back, often up and down and around, and sideways a few times, to be sure, but always in service of me – and my per...
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