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A Great Murmur Arises on New Year’s Eve

For the Babylonians and Romans the new year was a sobering event, a time to renew allegiance to pagan gods, emperors, kings. The consequences for making unrealistic and unkept promises to a pantheon like that had teeth, by Zeus! There’ve been no teeth for a long time.  We might as well be gumming to death our intentions for all they mean to achieving concrete consequences.  Pledges about mental health and wellness […]

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DO YOU NEED YOUR THERAPIST TO BE HUMAN?

“I can’t work with someone who’s broken,” he said calmly. The young man had just read my Disclosure, a description of rights that, as a Marriage & Family Therapist, I’m legally required to give all clients.  Although it isn’t necessary, my Disclosure also relates that I have multiple sclerosis; I don’t want clients to wonder whether my stumbling is about a liquid lunch. Broken, he said.  Broken.  I never imagine […]

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A RITUAL THAT DOESN’T WORK.

Who came up with this idea, anyway? Blame the Babylonians and Romans who used their new year to reaffirm allegiance to the gods as well as to lesser but still powerful mortals like kings or emperors. Much later, in 1740, John Wesley developed a religious alternative to holiday partying.  These watch night services were held as a renewal of the covenant with God. Resolutions ran with a powerful crowd. Ironically, […]

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THE #1 REASON WE DON’T LIKE THE HOLIDAYS

Expectations. Say what you want about weariness, family dysfunction, commercialism, overeating and overspending.  Or that the sun’s been AWOL for 7 days straight and what’s left of the snow looks like it fell from a volcano.  Any number of stress disorders, worries about money, and disliking your own relatives (including Mother) count for nothing when a houseful’s coming, it’s your turn to entertain, and hubby’s at hockey with the kids. […]

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WHY DISABILITY INCLUSION WON’T WORK

This post was first published the first week of August, 2014 by the federal government’s blog Disability.gov.  To date it has had over 1,500 hits. As a Marriage & Family Therapist with multiple sclerosis, I write for Disability.gov, my own blog, and others like it, getting the opportunity to be a source of strength for people and their families. That’s why I was surprised when one organization denied my professional […]

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BEING HAPPY

  If you’re allergic to dogs, happiness is not a warm puppy. Metaphors about puppies, or anything else, are potentially dangerous.  Even knowing where happiness — like any other emotion — occurs on the emotional spectrum doesn’t give the whole story. The only way to really know about someone else’s happiness is for you to ask and them to tell. Thinking in deep and different ways about happiness isn’t easy.  Here […]

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WHEN A CAREGIVER DIES

    First published on Disability.gov For 70 years she put up with his (sometimes volcanic) rumblings.  He doted on her with diamonds, and was a poorer father for it. The youngest of 5 much older siblings, she was babied into being passive and timid.  He was a blustering bad boy who loved control; a lifelong natural at most things mechanical.  He took seriously his duties as a man, a spouse, […]

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