Listen to Your Lookout

If you’re in a close relationship, you have a resource others don’t have. You have a lookout. When the wheels start to come off, everyone is prone to develop their own kind of problem and make their own kind of mistakes. Some get depressed or anxious or angry or just withdraw into themselves. Others useContinue reading “Listen to Your Lookout”

Don’t Play the Problem’s Game

When Problems Take Over a Relationship How does a persistent problem get started and what keeps it going? Why does it seem to be immune to your attempts to defeat it? Let me explain how it gets so hard and how problems manipulate you into feeding them. Continue reading →

Ride The Ego Balloon

The ego is a good tool if you understand its uses and limitations It all starts with you being a child. You have it really good. People take care of you, they feed you, clothe you, give you hugs, and put your awful drawings on the refrigerator with unrestrained praise. But nature cannot allow youContinue reading “Ride The Ego Balloon”

Feed the Person, Starve the Problem

One Halloween when I was a kid, I came home from trick-or-treating with a plastic pumpkin full of chocolate. My mouth had been watering ever since the second doorbell, but my costume prohibited taking an early snack. As soon as I got home, the mask came off, and I had my first piece of chocolate.Continue reading “Feed the Person, Starve the Problem”

When Problems Take Over a Relationship

Even when people are firing on all cylinders, relationships can be tricky. When there’s a persistent problem, like an illness or an addiction in the mix, they can be impossible. Persistent problems can be the source of much harm. The alcoholic you can’t rely on. The gambler you can’t trust with money. The depressive whoContinue reading “When Problems Take Over a Relationship”

See, Do, Teach

If you think that going to therapy means you can go to a shrink’s office, unload all your problems, and walk away a new man, you’ll be disappointed. You might feel better for a minute, but if you go home and do the same things you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got. TherapyContinue reading “See, Do, Teach”

Ride the Ego Balloon

You may be amused, instructed, affirmed, chastened, enriched, or enlightened by my latest video. The ego is a good tool if you understand its uses and limitations. The ego balloon can make you crazy, but it’s often a good crazy, a necessary madness, provided you can land the thing when it needs to come down.

A Reconciliation Case Study

Travis and Suzanne entered my office, sat down at opposite sides of the room, and immediately began to speak at once, competing for airtime. Travis was addicted to cocaine, Suzanne his long-suffering wife. The last time Travis used cocaine had been eight months ago; but at that point he had been repeatedly leading the familyContinue reading “A Reconciliation Case Study”