19:1 RULE

For your immediate consideration, may I suggest a little tool? Before you criticize yourself or another, please apply my 19:1 rule. If you look hard-enough for fault, you will surely find it in each and every 1. And “as you sow, so too shall you reap,” when all has been said and done. But if 19 times prior, appropriate acknowledgement is both posit...
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Responsibility

What is the root word in responsible? Might it be “response?” We know from various noted references that the construct of responsibility conveys a sense of moral obligation or accountability, usually, to another (or to oneself). However, what specific response is needed, wanted or required in order for a responsible reckoning to result? It seems pr...
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Sin, Guilt and Psychopathology Revisited

O. Hobart Mowrer, the noted psychologist, reminds us of the inextricable interrelationship between sin, guilt and psychopathology. In brief, we commit sin; we feel guilt; we punish ourselves. As I ponder Mowrer’s notion, it occurs to me that the commission of a sin does not, necessarily, need to occur first. Nothing prevents an individual who feels...
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“Kup Choy’s Caveat”

During college one of my part-time jobs was unloading bags of mail from the airplanes at the O’Hare Airport postal service. At the time I was very young, very strong and very dumb but I really didn’t know how dumb I was. Whenever a caravan of mail pulled up to the unloading docks, I was the first one to arrive and the last one to finish. The task r...
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Breaking a Board

Somewhere between white belt and black belt, thirty-five years ago or so, I recall one promotional examination where the testing requirement from the grandmaster was for the student to break a one inch pine board with a simple reverse punch. The board was carefully held by two black belt students about as high as their solar plexus and I was given ...
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“...Recommendation for Your Consideration...”

My bias is clearly explicated and wholly unequivocal. Each and every single time I deign to venture, even slightly outside my scope of professionalism and licensure, I invoke a well-rehearsed refrain that “...off the record, as a lay person in X, Y or Z field, it is my recommendation for your consideration...” In the real world of personal services...
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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 gui...
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Old Beat-Up Violin and Two Masters

In high school, learning to play a musical instrument was an elective requirement. The basic goal was to provide young students with a modicum of exposure to various acoustic arts by actively involving them with an opportunity to convert random noise into progressively more rule-governed audible sounds with musical tools of their choosing. I select...
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The Dandelion and the Rose

As a young child, I was extremely curious about why so many of the adults around me considered dandelions to be a weed, especially, when dandelions seemed pretty-enough, in my opinion, to simply be a flower of a different kind. Another intriguing observation for me was that many of my neighbors appeared to become frantically obsessed with pulling w...
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Judo Lesson

No student was permitted to study judo by my martial arts grandmaster until they had earned a black belt in tai kwon do. The belief was that tai kwon do made you strong from the outside-in, whereas, judo made you strong from the inside-out. I can honestly say that my judo training was the most strenuous physical activity I ever experienced. One day...
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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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Foot-In-The-Garbage-Can

Have you ever found yourself deep into something besmirching which was really messy, icky or dirty in your life? If so, consider my counseling and mentoring visual metaphor of a foot-in-the-garbage can. In fact, I challenge you to actually do it right now! Find a garbage can to accommodate your foot and stick it as far down and as deep into the con...
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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, y...
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“2nd Hardest Thing”

“The 2nd hardest thing that any one of us will ever have to do in our lives is to get up out of bed each morning!” When you get up out of bed, you have made an affirmative choice to pursue a pathway to engage in self-agency as your own prime agent. The first pathway is to be passive and dependent with you watching and waiting to see what will happe...
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"Writing on the Wall"

I recall applying for an internal management position at my then place of full-time employment almost thirty years ago. My friendly competition included two candidates, both of whom, I often professionally supervised on an informal collegial basis at their request. Of the three applicants, I was the only one to have been credentialed with a doctora...
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Late, Later, Latest… Too Late

Wait, wait, wait. Wait until it’s late. Soon it will be late. Now it is late. Late, late, late... LATE! Soon it will be later. Now it is later. Later, later, later… LATER! Soon it will be latest. Now it is latest. Latest, latest, latest… LATEST! Soon it will be too late. Now it is too late. Too late, too late, too late… TOO LATE! No need to wait. I...
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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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“, for now.”

No matter what major, moderate or minor crisis, challenge or conundrum you face in any area of your life, please consider adding the words “, for now” to the end of any thought or communication about your problem or concern. The phrase, “, for now” is a constant reminder that when “stuff happens,” it is usually reasonable to expect that any “hope, ...
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About You

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