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It Is Never Too Late To Grow Up Especially When Dating

rp_342852690_150_150.jpgIf you don’t grow up in childhood, you have a lot of work left to do in adulthood.  It is never to late to grow up.  Actually it is sometimes better to do your growing up in adulthood because you will have learned more over time and can make your own decisions based on several different points of view acquired over time and with the perspective as an adult.

Some times people have been force fed as what to what to do and not do as children or not fed at all and this can lead to poor and often premature decision-making as a young adult or even teenager.

For example, what did you know about dating and who to trust in the dating scene.  Were you glad just to get a date and didn’t think much about who the person was you chose to go out with?

If you are not introduced to the dating scene at the same time that other teenagers are going through it, you might be too naive.  If you are introduced to the dating scene too early because you have matured early and/or have more access to older teenagers, you can also make big mistakes.

Older teenagers might not be reliable sources for information on what to do and what not to do when dating or a naive teenager might bypass this stage altogether and not take precautions when accepting a date or meeting a new person somewhere.

Worse comes to worse, you might decide that you are lucky to get anyone to date you and worse yet marry you.  You might not know the requirements of a good husband or wife.  Worse yet you can’t take someone who knows what to watch out for on a date with you.  Even if you did, they might be too busy making-out to look out for you and your date.  I once got a ride home from college and the couple in the front seat paid more attention to each other than they did to driving.  This was not a safe situation to be in.

Also it is better to be truthful than secretive when educationing a teenager or older child about marriage, dating, and sex.  Also teenagers who haven’t matured yet can be very secretive and sneaky when it comes to not obeying their parents’ guidelines for going out with the opposite sex.

Not knowing or understanding what to look out for and why when dating (especially when meeting someone you don’t know, can lead to very bad decisions resulting in some very negative consequences like date rape or being taken advantage of financially.  Parents being too secretative about what to expect when interacting with the opposite sex can lead to bad mistakes like being glad you have been asked out or having had a request for a date accepted that you are not at all discriminating.  This can come from a sense of low self-worth.

Toddler Tidbits (Tips)

rp_360159124_150_150.jpgBecoming a grandmother has me dealing with usually two or three toddlers at a time (possibly four).  I would have more babies to watch but they aren’t out of diapers yet (P.S. I am used to the kind of diapers with pins in them).


  1. When toddlers ask for something, don’t get started finding it or making it immediately because within five to ten or at the most fifteen minutes they will have asked for two or three more things and have forgotten the first thing.  It is wasted effort if you do the first thing first.
  2. Toddlers often don’t lie.  They just have great imaginations except when tattling and then it is not lying, it is blaming someone else before they get blamed for doing it his or herself.
  3. Toddlers sense of time is not like ours, a couple of minutes can seem like an hour when made to stand in the corner (or sit in a chair) because they repeatedly disobeyed a command and/or they are having a full blown temper tantrum or hissie fit.  (Don’t worry they will have forgotten about it long before you do.)
  4. If you don’t want toddlers to share a certain toy, put it up.  They usually feel possession is 9/10ths of the law and won’t give it back to the owner that easily.
  5. Remember toddlers deserve and consciously or unconsciously desire unconditional love.  A toddler doesn’t understand when you withdraw your love because of a misdemeanor and continue it even after the discipline is finished.  This doesn’t teach the toddler a lesson, this just tells him or her that you don’t love him or her now.

When Being Nice Is Not Being Nice At All

Facial Expressions?Recently I saw a neighbor lady that I had not seen in a long time.  We did not click this time either; but I didn’t think about it.  I had tried to make conversation but it didn’t work out.

I didn’t think about it until some of my family was talking about her and something she said to a person at the occasion where I saw her who was recovering from a recent total rejection by someone he or she had been in a relationship with for a long time.

It was very hurtful to hear about because it was obvious that this person had come to the party to at least distract his or herself from thinking about their recent loss.  The lady’s tone of voice was very sweet and it was obvious that she probably would say, if asked, that she was just expressing her concern.

Again I didn’t think about it; but the family members talking about the interaction felt that what the lady did was inappropriate and reminded the person she was talking to of his or her painful experience and the fact that he or she might be not be over it.

It wasn’t til later today thinking over what was said that I remembered that I never felt comfortable around that person because I often felt that she was insincere, possibily even phony, when she was trying to be nice.

The way the person said what she said and the circumstances under which she said it made it difficult for the person receiving her inquiry to tell her to leave him or her alone as he or she did not feel like talking about it; but the damage had already been done.

What do you think?  You know what I think.  Perhaps this is judgmental of me but perhaps this is a reminder to trust your gut feelings.  If something feels wrong even if it sounds okay, it still might be wrong.  Could she have been faking it?  Could she have been passive-aggressive and by shoving the knife in a little farther reminding him or her of their sorrow?


The Self-Actualized Lady Bug (Or Gentleman Bug)

rp_5922753845_4206ac2137_m.jpgDo you feel that you and what you do is insignificant?  The Lady Bug appears to be an insignificant insect.  Yet, what would a garden do without them?  They defend and protect it from predators.  They appear to be cute little things and because they are, they might not be expected to contribute much to life.  Except as a pleasant diversion to observe when in the garden.

Lady Bugs go quietly about their tasks and are often overlooked; but what would we do without them?  Maybe you already know some human lady bugs including yourself.  They are needed in every community in organizations like schools and churchs.  They might not be missed until they are gone and there is no one to take their place.

Lady Bugs care about people.  They protect and provide for their friends, families, and communities and (may I add) for their countrys.  In WWII they had their ration books and other conservation practices, and,yes of course, Rosey the Riveter.  They are industrious bunch and they often are self-starters.

They are often very spiritual and are an essential part of God’s Garden.  They do not need fanfare and may not even want it; but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it to them.  It also doesn’t mean that they are aren’t thoughtful people and have the brainpower to back it up.  To be continued….

Joining A Support Group

rp_300px-Grouptherapy.jpgThings to consider when joining a support group:

  1.  Avoid making negative comments, passing judgments on others’ comments.
  2. Realize that privacy is important.  Just because something is shared in group doesn’t mean it should be shared elsewhere.
  3. Remember everybody is entitled to their own opinion but they shouldn’t impose it or try to force it on someone else.
  4. Try to be understanding and to take another person’s point of view if you can.
  5. A person’s locus of control is within him or herself and the only behavior a person can rightfully change is their own.
  6. If a person is ready to change, they will change.  If not, it may not happen now or ever.
  7. Remember the Golden Rule.  Do unto others as you would want them to do to you.
  8. Think about the Bible verse, “The meek shall inherit the earth.”
  9. Why do bad things happen to good people is a good thing to think about.
  10. If you can’t say something good then don’t say it at all is something to consider before saying something critical.
  11. Being humble and open-minded might make others more receptive to your contributions.
  12. You do not have to make a contribution to the group discussion if you don’t want to; but do give your full attention to other peoples’ contributions.
  13. Gentle reminders of appropriate group behavior are acceptable especially if the group discussion is getting off course.
  14. Everyone needs some help sometime including a group leader.

    Part of the Lady Bug series

    Part of the Lady Bug series

Negative And Useless Thoughts

rp_300px-ThinkingMan_Rodin.jpgNegative and useless thoughts such as “I can’t”, “I won’t”, “What if something bad happens?”  Do they saturate your mind?

We are always programing our minds whether we know it or not. Do you ever listen to yourself from an objective point of view? Do you feel helpless to change your mind. Do you think, “I have always thought that way.” “Why should I change now?”

Many people think that to be forewarned is to be forearmed if something bad happens. How many gloomy scenarios like this do you generate? If these become blueprints for your mind, what are you going to build? Doesn’t sound good does it?

Have you ever been criticized for being a daydreamer? What if this is just a more positive way to program your mind? Little kids do this all the time. In their fantasies they are strong, brave, fearless and the conflict always ends with the daydreaming child being the conquering hero, winning the contest, or making great friends.

What changed our minds which were once full of hope, ambition, and no end to the happy endings it could create? Our imaginations even thought of things that didn’t exist yet but could be real in our minds. What happened to us.

Reality set in as viewed by those around us. We were considered to be foolish, even stupid, and setting ourselves up for disappointment and failure. Better be prepared when this happens! Our parents dreams didn’t work out or if they did, we couldn’t compete at their level.

We constantly think that having a fear of failure we should be prepared for this possibility as then it won’t hurt so bad.

Life we are taught is always a competition and only a few win.
This belief keeps many people from competing and narrows the field for those who do. Maybe those type of people are not doing us any favors; but they are doing themselves.

What if we are taught that there is plenty enough for everybody and that everybody has some unique talents which once developed can create a successful life.

Finally what do you think will make you happy anyway? Supportive friends and family? Creative and useful work. Pride in accomplishments? Little or no worry about survival? Finally, just forgetting about all this for a moment and just enjoying being alive. How often do we do things absentmindedly and forget to enjoy what is going on around us?

Do the things that we have acquired get in the way of our being able to enjoy them? Who can be in six places at once; drive a dozen vintage cars, or handle a half dozen spouses? With things come responsibilities as they need to be stored appropriately, maintained, and paid for!

Communes may have had the right idea? Many hands make light work. Sharing things and sharing responsibilities with no one person being a dictator? Do we need separate kitchens and eating areas? Or can we share one?

Gardens, things of nature can generate beautiful spaces to share as anyone person can’t be in all of them all of the time. Retreats can share facilities and give people a chance to get away from it all and enjoy beauty. Getting away from everyday responsibilities and their accompanying worries generates peace.

Why People Can’t Change

Why people can’t change:

1.  They would have to admit they were wrong about something.

2.  They might have to make some other changes too.

3.  It would take too much time.

4.  They are waiting for somebody else to change first.

5.  They would have to admit that they wasted time or money doing the wrong thing.

6.  They might have to admit that somebody else was right and they were wrong or too much pride and too much emphasis on winning some type of competition.

7.  Having to be always right even if it kills you.

Why they should change:

1.  To stop putting money down a rat hole.

2.  To become an example for somebody else.

3.  To stop wasting time defending why they can’t change.

4.  To save more  time and money after investing some current time and money making a change.

5.  To stop having to hide some deficiency from others.

6.  To learn something new.

In the long run there are great benefits:  For example, learning to drive as an adult.  Erased my dependency on others.  Gave me freedom.





When Feelings Aren’t Wrong In Therapy

Don't Ask; Don't Tell.

Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell.

When feelings aren’t wrong in therapy and might be a warning sign:

As a therapist, I have been in psychotherapy working on my own issues.

It seems that the first thing a therapist might say is trust me, I only want to help you.

So you entrust your soul to a therapist you don’t know who you think has the appropriate credentials to help you solve your problems but who in the end only creates more problems for you.

Sounds complicated, doesn’t it?

Here is my story:

The details are fuzzy but they often are when dealing with sexual abuse.  One of the first things this therapist told me was that he found me sexually attractive and this made me feel uncomfortable; but he reassured me that I shouldn’t feel that way as it was a compliment.

Months later, maybe even a year later.  I came back to see this therapist at his invitation to let him know how I was doing after I had completed therapy with him.

I opened the door to his office and saw him lying on the floor with some pillows around him and he said,”Come here.  Let me touch you.”  I don’t remember the rest of what happened.  I was at the very least surprised and disconcerted by his proposition.

I don’t remember the rest of what happened.  The details are fuzzy and any attempts I have made to create a time line has been even more confusing.  It took years for me to remember this and by then it was too late to do anything about it.

What is appropriate and what is inappropriate in therapy?

Common sense would tell you that touching, especially titilating touches, are not appropriate either during or after therapy while the client still relates to the therapist in the therapist role.

Sexual abuse victims are extremely vulnerable to this kind of thing and the practitioner’s code is “Above all else do no harm”.

Do you see how this orientation on the therapist’s part could have rended most of the therapy ineffective?  maybe even harmful to me?

Therapist’s have a big responsibility and they must constantly monitor their feelings towards a client and seek supervision if they are unsure about this.

Clients place a big burden on the therapist and there has been a code of ethics created for him or her to follow in their relationships with a client.  It would seem to be easy to do this if the therapist has common sense and a personal code of conduct not only as a therapist but also as a human being.

The biggest trap is transference in the therapist-client reationship.  This happens when either the therapist or the client perceives the other person in the relationship as being like someone from their past and acting toward that person like he or she would with this figure.

Therapists should be trained to avoid this trap and to use this information about their own possible transference to promote healing in the client versus letting it happen on their part and disrupting and corrupting the relationship.





Continuing Growth Is Necessary For A Psychotherapist

loud-noisesNo, once chosen the profession of a psychotherapist or counselor requires continuing growth.  Sometimes in surprising ways.

Freudian psychotherapists have raised the subject of transference in the relationship between a therapist and a client.  Transference can go both ways.  Something about the client makes them see the therapist in a certain way.  Sometimes something about the therapist makes them see the client in a certain way.

Education in a profession such as psychotherapy can lead the practitioner to believe they must present themselves as  experts in the field and as not vulnerable to the types of things that bring ordinary clients into therapy.  This can lead to rationalization and denial on the therapists part.

Rationalization means that the therapst can create a good explanation as to why he or she is not vulnerable to the types of problems his or her patients have.  Denial can also result from the taking of this position and it can cause therapy to not move forward for the client.

Personal growth is one way possibly to help stop this from happening. Does the development of one’s self-concept and concept of life stop with attaining one’s maturity whether at 18, 21, or 35?  No, it does not.  Our perspective on life constantly changes with new experiences.

Honestly does a psychotherapist think that they can understand exactly how they learned to be who they think they are and stop growing.  Wouldn’t personal growth experiences for psychotherapists help with this?

Is there only one answer?  Hasn’t science found this out.  What things did scientists believe were true when your parents were children and what have you or your children learned in the present that scientists’ did not know or believe then?

Remember the old saying, “Do as I say!” not “Do as I do!”

Also the more defensive barbed wire a therapist puts between him or herself and what he or she is asking their patient to do, the more “phony” and indefensible they become as therapists.

New learning and new growth leads to enthusiasm to carry this over into the psychotherapist’s work.  Insights developed this way can help a therapist be more responsive in therapy.   I now hear and see more things than I used to see or hear in everyday interpersonal interaction.

For example I can still learn from a four year old that grandma is not always smiling and looking happy when she thinks she is especially when I am feeling that I am working at something and forgeting to enjoy doing it.



Sometimes You Have To Let Something Go To Make Room For Something New To Come In

rp_300px-Sabbatical_titlescreen.jpgAs you can see I am taking a sabatical this fall.  I have no classes to teach this fall which means it will be a squeeze financially but I will have more time to devote to writing for this website, more time to babysit grandchildren (which is a mixed blessing), more time to meditate in several different ways, and more time to pursue my own personal growth.

While I was teaching this summer (and taking an art class myself), I was feeling stressed out and at times it made me physically ill.  Do you think that as a psychologist I should have known better than that?  Maybe.  But I just know from past experiences that it is a sign that I should take heed of and do something about.

It took time and money out of my pocket in order to teach even though I have been enjoying it and growing a lot doing it.  Yes, I was paid but as a part-time instructor and only for what classes I taught each semester.  This summer I made an hour round trip trip to town four days a week for two months spending the whole day there two days a week.rp_300px-New_Life_Ranch_Sign.jpg

I will take two road trips this fall to see the evangelist Joyce Meyer and attend the homecoming celebration of my undergraduate college in honor of my class’s 50th anniversary.  I will be doing this on a shoestring; but I am not going to miss these chances to do something I want to do which only comes along once in a blue moon.

I have already gotten one surprise phone call offering me some financial help for one of my upcoming seminars after it was decided that I was not going to teach this fall. I also have recently found some books that answer questions I have been asking, but did not get the answers for that I have been gobbling up.

Yesterday, I caught up on some of my sleep and decided to do nothing that I didn’t have to do.  I missed one of my regular salesmen while I slept in the afternoon and I did not check on most of the things that I am checking on today and I did not turn my computer on.

I am growing.  I intend to explore new and old things that I have not gotten around to doing recently.