How We See 'Us'
How we see ‘us’
This is subtle but do you remember how we look sometimes at others we have a
'relationship' of some kind with? How we 'see' them? How we look at the
whole impression we have gathered over time that we identify as 'them'?

It governs how we act toward them, what we even expect form them and even
though we may give lip service to the idea that they are really a divine
part of God, a child of the Universe, we see them as we see them, usually
limited and with faults.

So we expect a limited amount from them and thus put them in a box. They may
not cooperate though and thus they can outperform our limited vision of

But what when we look at ourselves?

That 'image' we have is just an idea. Would you be willing to look with love
on that person and think that divine so and so deserves a better
expectation, is worth your love and unconditional best gift?

We might be surprised what they could allow into their life.

Peace from Meditation
The single most powerful technique I've learned to achieve a sense of peace and control for myself since I began training in 1973 is a form of meditation using deep diaphragmatic breathing. I've been leading a free class for this work jointly offered by Hooper's Pharmacies and Fly Girl Fitness at Fly Girl's new centre at 85 Cedarvale Ave. at Danforth Ave. (One block east of the Woodbine T.T.C. station.) It's every Friday at 7pm-8pm and is a drop in and free class.

There's been a lot of satisfaction for me, I love teaching anyway but, for instance... one recent Friday there were two new people there who both told me they have had challenges with anxiety. I gave them the initial training and then quietly observed and helped them as the class went on. They both were able to stay with the breathing process for half an hour and came out of it feeling peaceful and rested. We sat in a small circle at the end so I could see how everyone did and I answered questions from them and the other person who had come. It was really good to see relief on their faces as they spoke of feeling better. This process is accumulative, the more one does it, the better it works for them. So I'm able to help people get started and grow the benefits by doing it at home to center their day and help them relax for a good sleep.

If you'd like to try an experience of this peaceful training you can come on a drop in basis any Friday to Fly Girl Fitness at 85 Cedarvale Ave.right at Danforth. You can e-mail me at or call me at 416-200-4198 for more information.

Have a peaceful weekend!

By Example
Sending the kids back to school can be a mixed blessing can’t it? On the one hand there’s the prospect of having the house back again and just maybe some time for yourself and on the other thoughts of the hopefully happy summer you’ve had and the adventures and fun they had. There can also be some wistful thoughts about what it’s all about too, about your hopes for them and how they’ll do this year. Although we’re focused on them, their schools and their teachers, here’s a thought that might help around your intentions for them and encouraging their dreams and fun.

I recently watched a financially stressed British Baronet (a junior member of the British nobility) talk about how he thought he and his class needed to deal with the massive changes that have affected them and the loss of power, prestige and money as they’ve had to sell land to downsize. He was commenting on some of the gloomy comments the show had heard from some of the other peers who had been interviewed and felt they were at best turning into glorified museum owners trying frantically to keep their great homes going. One, the Duke of Devonshire in particular had said that he felt his class was a spent force and would fade away, even though he had managed to keep his estate going by opening it to the public and providing a park for tens of thousands of people a year to enjoy.

This Baronet, who was much junior to the aforementioned Duke and had a much smaller estate, said he didn’t agree and that in his mind success for his noble friends and people in general revolved around two things. First: to learn not to resist change but to adapt and flow with it. This makes a lot of sense to me, isn’t our world changing all the time? I remember not that long ago thinking all would remain the same forever but at 66 I’ve seen the changes accelerate more each year. Seems like a great attitude to cultivate.

Second: to aim to do something you’re really good at. He was referring to that Duke who had reinvented himself but not realized what a good job he’d done of it. Aiming to do something your really good at is a typically British understated but practical way of saying to follow your passion I think and then you’ll be of use to society and loving it while you do it. Does it get much better than that?
These two simple points can give us a sense of direction for life that we can pass on to our kids by the most powerful teaching tool we have.
By Example

(What's So Weird About) Ordinary Love
(This is a beautiful piece written by a client who I must keep anonymous but has given his permission to share.)

(What’s So Weird About)
Ordinary Love

Over a decade ago, I was with a young lady who I was very fond of in the Eaton’s (shopping) centre. We had just started to develop a relationship. She lived outside of the city and loved visiting downtown Toronto.

We were going up the escalator between floors in Eaton’s; I was more familiar with the centre than her, so I was leading us up the escalator.
I wasn’t paying attention to her as I was looking up and I heard her laugh behind me. I turned around and saw her with a smile on her face and she said “I forgot we were in Toronto. I just smiled at that guy and he looks a little confused”. I looked down at the man and he did look very confused. I realized that what had happened was that she had just smiled at this random man, whose wife followed him going down the adjacent escalator, and his reaction was that of confusion, because he hardly saw anyone smile at him out of the blue.

In the middle of that, I got confused. Here was a regularly dressed, pretty and attractive teenage girl who just smiled at a random stranger, and she got a mixed reaction in return.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but it’s completely a reflection of the way people in our society have gone. Yeah, of course, she was used to coming from a small city and living in a close community where positivity was reacted to with return positivity. There, at that place in the largest mall in Toronto, she realized that people in our big city are much less positive than what she was used to an hour outside of the GTA. Whether it’s because the inner-urban cities bring a level of stress that is incomparable in even the suburbs, and far less in rural areas in between the urban sprawl, or whether it’s because that man was being smiled at from a complete stranger, it was weird to her.

I remember the exact moment in time that happened, where we were in the store and on the escalator, and the looks on both of their faces after the communicative exchange occurred.
Why is it that when someone smiles at us, we’re surprised? Why is it that when someone says “thank you”, we’re a bit taken aback? Why is it that when someone does something unexpectedly nice for us, we’re shocked?
When I think about it now, I think that that is weird.

It’s weird, because ordinary acts of love in today’s world have become foreign to us. We’ve become so jaded to the concept and feeling of common everyday love and absorbed with what we want and what we’re doing in our lives, we’ve totally forgotten about the next person. We’ve forgotten about what it means to care about those around us on the most simple and basic level. People like Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Teresa, Princess Diana and Nelson Mandela are examples of people who exemplified what ordinary love is and embodied ordinary love in their sincere acts of kindness towards humanity.

What I find interesting around months like February, a month where many people, cultures and walks of life celebrate life, love and the freedom that those two forces produce when put together, is the commercial and material nature of what has been branded love in our modern society. Don’t get me wrong, its great and its beneficial to celebrate relationships, romantic spirit and the significant others in our lives, but it has become all too mundane, lifeless and automated, devoid of the very feeling that accompanies love and is produced by love.

Some of the most basic (and what some view as trivial) expressions of love have become so far removed from the daily practices of everyday life, it makes us think that the people who perform them are alien and their genuine actions of care are strange. It’s a sign of how twisted it has all become: actions of love are now unfamiliar to our human eyes to the point where we can’t even recognize how natural love is, even on the most ordinary level.

A lot of us point the finger at other people: minorities, lifestyles, sexualities, appearances and viewpoints. I’ve realized there’s so much ignorance and hatred going around in our world, and even I myself have been one to be critical of others who are not like me and don’t live like I do. What we need to do is love others and spread love across the globe. When we can do that, we encounter what true love is; love that knows no bounds, love that is unconditional. And it starts with ordinary acts of love.
And we need it. We need love, for love is the only thing in life that can change the unchangeable.

“We can’t fall any further
If we can’t feel ordinary love
And we cannot reach any higher
If we can’t deal with ordinary love”
- U2, ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ Soundtrack

Learning How to Listen/Love/Heal
There is probably no more powerful tool for healing yourself and others and none more basic. All therapy is in some way nothing more than applying specialized tools to what any good parent does when their child is in pain or upset. The father or mother opens their arms, their hearts and their ears to the upset child and makes themselves totally available and then and only then, gives feedback if it's the right time to do so.

These are the steps to remember:

(1) Open your Hearts: This may not include opening your arms. Touch is wonderful if it's wanted and only if you feel you want to give it, a forced effort will hurt, not heal. Remember, a hand on the shoulder can be very powerful.

(2) Open your Ears: And only after you that do you open your mouth. The very best way to get inside another's world is to listen and then use your own words to feed back what they said in your own way. Then check with them to see if you got it right.

(3) If the Other can do it too: If they can report they have felt, really felt being heard, ask if you can reverse the roles and share yourself.Ask if they can repeat back to you what they think they heard and if it helps you feel heard, listen to your feelings and coach them on what is working for you as hopefully, you helped them coach you.

(4) This is an Art: And an act of Love and should be as infinitely flexible as love is in its application and magic. You may for instance feel the other can not hear you at this time. They may be too emotional and if you care about them, you can give them the space to 'just be' with the best connection you can offer them. That might be just a quiet time together for awhile. Or you may not be able to hear them and say so with an offer to try and connect later.

(5) Why do this at all?: Because it feels so incredibly GOOD! try to remember the last time you felt really heard and 'gotten.' It's magic. You're not alone anymore, someone else is there and they care. They REALLY care. There is no feeling like it. If you haven't, then try giving it and what you give away you will draw to yourself.

Healing Anxiety and Panic Attacks

I’m a Psychotherapist in Toronto, Canada and for over a year (since mid 2012) virtually every person who’s come to me has done so suffering from anxiety and often panic attacks as well. That’s not new, I’ve been in private practice for 23 years but what is new is the sheer numbers coming with that issue. As a result I’ve naturally found myself looking to be artistic and innovative as I focus on these issues and with the addition of things I knew before I seem to be coming up with an approach that’s helping people. Here it is and by the way, all the assumptions and observations and conclusions here are mine, you’ll see why I say that as you proceed.

To begin with it might help to think of people’s life energy in terms of water flowing through our systems. This life energy has tremendous power and much of that power is expressed as emotion and emotions are physical. By that I mean that when I ask people who speak languages other than English if they have words or phrases that correspond to the English word “Feelings,” words that are used to describe both physical feelings and emotions, most of them say yes. To me that’s perhaps an unconscious recognition that emotions may start with a thought, such as “that car’s going to hit me!” but they are felt in the body as a physical intensity we label as an emotion. They’re produced as electro-chemical changes in our bodies and have a physical charge and reality.

When our unconscious shuts down on areas of emotional expression (in an effort to protect us I believe) there is a blockage of the natural flow of emotions or of life energy and that means there’s an inability to discharge that physical energy naturally. That process has an unfortunate side affect, not only does it shut down the area of pain and ram it into the unconscious but it also shuts down much of our ability to feel at all. We tend to retreat into our head to ‘think’ our way through much of our life and we lose part of our ability to feel joy and happiness. We also come to distrust our emotions through wariness of them and lack of familiarity and use of them and so loose the benefit of what has been called the ‘Emotional Guidance System.’

Only part of our mind is the conscious thinking part. There’s levels of cognition, awareness and processing that never see the light of day in our consciousness. That part of the mind tends to communicate through feelings and hunches and if we listen we can avoid unpleasant and unrewarding situations and people because it can sense what’s a fit and what isn’t for us. We can also move toward our desires in our lives and learn the lesson that any young child knows naturally, we’re here to have fun. I think that by following what naturally feels right and brings us a healthy joy, we’re in tune with that deeper mind and tend to have a happier and more rewarding life.

So...I start with letting people simply share the pain they’re in of course because that’s the state they arrive in and as needed we always do that. But I also assist them over time to gradually focus on the things they love in life. For one person I’ve worked with whose expression of anxiety shows as Irritable Bowel Syndrome or I.B.S., he had tremendous problems just getting out of his apartment and I’ve done almost all my work with him over Skype. As he’s focused on purpose on his little victories of getting out and biking perhaps an extra block, he’s felt more and more joy and hope. When his symptoms come up in terms of anxiety and abdominal cramps he will stop if they’re too severe to go on and just breathe deeply and into his diaphragm as I’ve taught him, allow himself to feel and permit them and when they subside he goes on and focuses on enjoying life and the details of his ride. He was very excited to have a session by Skype having made a trip to Buffalo from Toronto for the first time in years. His symptoms seem to be gradually subsiding and his enjoyment of his life has blossomed and is leading to new endeavors around his relationships and his work. He seems to be increasing his toleration of feeling emotions both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and I think the focus on enjoying his life and seeing it as full of a growing number of victories big and small makes it easier to allow the unhappy, painful and even somewhat scary feelings to be felt, surrendered to and let go as well.

I need to mention something here. As I’ve researched on the internet I find that, at least in the medical profession, they say the cause of I.B.S. is unknown so you need to know that my take on it is shared by others I know but not by medical science. Oh well, they’ll catch up. I’ve been involved in this work continuously since I was a client in 1970 and began training in 1973 and this is not the first time I and other therapists have formed opinions based on our experience that science hasn’t found a way to confirm yet.

Another interesting thing I found was about the breath-work I mentioned earlier. In the literature on line about panic attacks and anxiety in general, using breathing as a tool is discouraged. I believe I understand why now. I’ve used deep diaphragmatic breathing for many years now as a very powerful tool to reverse the defense we all discover as children of breathing shallowly to reduce the actual feelings of fear in our lives. I suspect this is a very integral part of the repression process. I remember seeing in an Intro to Psychology text an experiment that had proven that people doing shallow rapid breathing can induce a panic attack. In my experience that’s true but in contrast when people can tolerate doing deep diaphragmatic breathing they have difficulty staying upset regardless of the cause, the energy seems to be processed through them. You remember the I.B.S. client I mentioned just before this, he is able to use the breath-work and is delighted to use it as his main self treatment tool.

My personal take on this is that if too much deep breathing is done too early in the process, the walls of repression physically holding down the feelings are weakened and the person can get ‘flooded’ with the energy and emotion pouring out and that’s not helpful at all. Such work needs to be done gently and carefully to allow the Ego a chance to adapt to it. It seems that then it can be a useful part of the treatment as the person is given a chance to gradually experience more emotion, both the positive and the painful (especially the positive, I’ll explain why in a moment) and it also needs to be very individual in terms of when and for how long it’s used. With another person suffering from anxiety I experimented, with their permission of course, with the deep diaphragmatic breathing and in only 3-4 minutes he was starting to feel acute anxiety. I quickly and gently wound down the breathing. In just a few more minutes though after he sat up he experienced a welling up of feelings and memories around his parents and his early family life that gave pretty powerful clues why he would be prey to anxiety throughout his life and that in turn led to a very positive turn in his therapy. That’s why I say that this tool needs to be carefully and judiciously used and only as a joint experiment with the patient’s permission.

The emphasis on the positive, on a client’s dreams and desires for their life is matched in the new Positive Psychology movement which is focusing on studying what makes people happy. Psychologists have been finding that the techniques of that approach not only help relatively ‘normal’ people be happier but work well in many cases to help people heal who are experiencing psychological pain and dysfunction.

The shift in the work is a natural progression. As I said, when clients first come it’s because they’re in pain and fear so helping deal with that is the focus. As the work progresses and they start to feel some relief and safety I often see a strong increase in hope as we gently shift attention away from the constant focus on the ‘problem’ (what you focus on gets bigger) to gratitude and joy about their life. Often it’s very helpful if they’re dealing with a clear ‘problem’ because it gives them something to measure their progress against.

This process leads to clients with a greater sense of well-being and more time spent in sessions on dreams and goals and the sharing of joy about life.

When I read Fr. Andrew Greeley’s books that are always set in Chicago I read what I would like in a family. He always writes about big brawny Irish Catholic families, especially Bishop Blackie Ryan’s. They passionately love and look out for each other, go through their own hang-ups and trials and accept each other. As Blackie says in one novel, he has a special dispensation to interfere any time with the others in the family and he’s always right, the last spoken tongue in cheek. Because of his natural wisdom he is so treated. They refer to him as “Punk” and clean his glasses for him because he always forgets to. His father is referred to as “the old fella” and is the acknowledged and much loved head of the clan whose new wife is adored by all.

That’s the point, any new arrival by marriage, or even a girl or boy friend or stray adopted by anyone in the family is enthusiastically embraced by them all. NO ONE is allowed to be put down or anything other than seen as the best that they are. They make mistakes and slips around this of course, but they recover and hew to the principal. Actually it’s not a matter of allowing, they just wouldn’t think of it any other way.

They’re not perfect but they are very warm, supporting and loving and if one of them needs the others they rally like lightning. In a community of families they are seen as a unit, THE Ryan’s, known as distinctive individuals and also as an equally distinct clan whose identity is of joyful togetherness sailing, with zest through the adventure of life.

The Conscious Mind and the Whole Self
Abraham, (as channelled by Esther Hicks) talks of the Universe as a great flow, a river that if we but tune into and surrender to it will flow with ease toward where we want to go. She spoke of when we do, our emotional guidance system sends us the signal of feeling good (and thus communicates to those who know how to watch for and read those signals) that we are in tune with the Universal mind and in alignment and on course. When we decide by using our conscious mind to go in another direction we experience strain and stress from fighting this titanic current. I had an insight that seems to be about the same thing but is different.
Imagine the conscious mind. It has its purposes and functions for which it has evolved or been designed for by the great creative mystery. It discriminates and decides, focuses and examines that which it can comprehend and we identify with that experience as if that’s all there is. Because it’s very narrow in what it can see though we can easily fall prey to anxiety, we can’t see the big picture because the conscious mind is meant for the fine, close work of focus on our immediate surroundings and thus by definition cannot see the BIG picture.
Now imagine a much vaster mind, literal, timeless and connected to the ‘all’ on a scale the conscious mind would not be able to comprehend. It doesn’t have to figure things out I don’t think, it already comprehends and KNOWS because it sees and experiences all and its actions are automatic as a part of the fact of comprehension. It sees and does instantly. This means that the river that Abraham talks about is not a river at all, it’s US! It’s a body so vast as to be immeasurable to the conscious mind; measurement is not a part of its reality at all. An analogy is the great dinosaurs that had to have a separate brain that ran the back end of their immense body. The little brain at the front might well have looked back at the huge thing behind it and not realized that vastness was in fact itself.
This all speaks to the value of meditation and being still to become aware of the signals from our greater self and also from our ‘Emotional Guidance System.’
That’s what ‘allowing’ is all about. It is a done deal we just need to allow it to happen.

Mental Blocks
I had the experience recently of speaking to a friend, a counsellor of a great deal of experience and it brought out the phenomenon of mental blocks and how they can immobilize us. This gentleman is from Asia and was a teacher there and I believe has a Masters degree. He had moved to Canada and developed a career in counselling and moved up in it to be the counselling director at more than one social service agency in Toronto and a noted speaker at numerous workshops which he’s become an expert at putting on.

He had been telling me about how he’d like to be a therapist in private practice at some point but felt intimidated because of what he took to be a lack of credentials and I had been telling him that wasn’t a problem as psychotherapy is an unregulated profession in Ontario and in my own opinion, knowing the system as it exists here, the best training was among the ‘lay’ therapists and not through Psychology or Psychiatry. He hadn’t gotten around to doing anything about it and as we kept in touch and I found myself sharing about the new changes in the health care system about to happen in Ontario.

Apparently a couple of years ago all the parties of the legislature had agreed there had to be improvement in the help available to the public for mental health care and as a major part of that they wanted to encourage people from outside the system of Psychology and Psychiatry to be more available for the public. They also seem to have thought that if they were going to promote us to the public, they should take the responsibility of regulating us and fair enough it seemed to me.

So now there is a new College of Psychotherapy being formed that is intended to be proclaimed and in effect by April 1st 2014 and will regulate everyone doing Psychotherapy in Ontario who is not already a medical doctor, a psychologist, a social worker, a nurse and one other profession I can't recall right now. These professionals are already regulated by their own colleges. All others will be under the new College of Psychotherapy.

Now my friend again said he thought it should be important for him to be registered, and indeed it now is going to be mandatory if he wants to do Psychotherapy at all, but he still didn’t see how he could. This, to use a technical term, boggled my mind as it is clear to me that he has enormous credibility and ability because of all the work he’s done and I know the legislation intends to ‘Grandparent’ the many of us who are now working so as to promote our availability to the public. Why couldn’t he get it? I’d explained quite a few times how he would have no trouble because of his background, in fact I frankly envied a bit the credentials he would be able to show on a portfolio when it comes time to apply. What was the problem?

This is where we both began to understand how a mental block can stand stubbornly in the way of progress at times. Despite everything I’d said to him to show him how his background would be evaluated, because of his background and the culture of his country that puts a lot of focus on academic educational credentials he just couldn’t get that here it was different. While academic degrees are indeed important if you want to be a Psychologist or Psychiatrist, that’s not how hundreds and perhaps thousands of Psychotherapists in Ontario are trained. Because of how the system has not been regulated, there are many private training schools that have grown up that teach how to be a psychotherapist and whose teaching is at the Masters level. There is much more reliance in this private system on people’s actual experience in and with therapy as clients or as students and on the assessments they go through before they can even join a school. These are the ways the schools determine if a candidate shows ability and is strong and mature enough to be able to do the work. Academic credentials are considered of secondary importance.

Yet even though I’d explained all this, a level of insecurity had prevented my friend from taking in what I’d said. It was so funny when we both understood what had been happening and in fact he told me I had to write this piece and put it out to help others, so here it is.

I wonder how many times my own mental blocks have prevented me from seeing what someone was trying to help me with? I wonder how many reading this has had this happen to them? Thinking back on the process I think I could have been of more help if I’d tried to get my friend to reflect on the process happening inside his mind as he was hearing me. If we’d been able to scan for the opinions he was carrying it probably would have become clear why I was feeling frustrated at not ‘getting through’ to him.

Of course first I would have had to tell him I was finding the process frustrating and ineffective and asked if we could try to understand what was going wrong as it didn’t take long once we started to question what was happening. I hope this helps you who are reading it to get through your own experiences of mental blocks with yourselves or others a little easier.

No One’s Expendable, building safety in Therapy
June 1st, 2012

It’s usual when in a ‘therapy’ group to be encouraged to ‘get your feelings out’ and if they are focused toward someone in the group then by all means let fly! I had never felt right about this and had assumed I just wasn’t ‘with the program’ so to speak. I became a therapist myself and when I had a rough experience running a group I of course went back into therapy with a therapist my wife had gotten to know in order to work out what had happened.

Sometime later that therapist introduced me to two therapists leading a small therapeutic community and I began attending the old Monday night drop in group. At one point unfinished business came up with that now ex therapist of mine and since he was in that group too we asked the circle for help and squared off to get into it. That was when things went in a radically different direction from most groups I had been in. My ex therapist (a fine man by the way) was used to what I was used to, mix it up and get the feelings out regardless, (“the truth shall make you free” school of therapy and to hell with how the other person ends up feeling). I was gritting my teeth to deal with the intensity I was feeling when suddenly the group leader stopped everything and asked “What’s your intention in asking to do this work?”

At first I was confused. You see in most therapy groups the other members are considered and often called ‘expendable relationships’. They are a focus for us to work out our emotions on and the expectation is you will get ‘cured’ and walk off into the night and never see them again. As I said that never felt right to me. Now my ex therapist was confused too it seemed and he was all for getting into the intensity of the feelings and expressing them. I was curious however and held off while I waited for clarity on what was unfolding. The long and the short of it was that for about 15 or 20 minutes the leader would not allow us to proceed until we agreed to the principle that we were aiming for was to come out the other end of this experience with a “heart connection” with each other and that if we weren’t willing to do that we would not be doing the work in that room. In other words we were not expendable relationships but in a partnership at that moment to grow ourselves and take responsibility, not find a target for the feelings and feel better at the cost of a present connection with the other person.

I suddenly felt that I had come home so to speak and as time went on came to experience those circles as the safest I had ever been in. I've gone on to do that same safety work in the groups I lead now. There are no expendable relationships, just divine human beings and partners in growing.

Philip Ames

Yes Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus
This month’s focus
Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus

As John Gray says in his ground breaking book released in 1992, “You can’t live with them, you can’t live without them.”

So much of how men operate is common to us all and the same is true of women. I’ve noticed I felt a lot of relief when I started studying John’s book. Like many men I’d found myself criticizing myself for things I have since come to realize are male traits, held in common to a greater or lesser degree by all men. And as a Therapist I’ve seen it in many another man as well and realized that it’s important that we don’t condemn ourselves for traits that are built in.

The desire to withdraw “into the cave” as John describes it is just a general way men respond to stress and challenges, pulling back to gnaw on an issue and to the upset of many of our women, becoming unavailable and unwilling to talk about what’s troubling us. That’s the problem, because when stressed that’s just how a woman naturally handles it, finding a sympathetic/empathic ear to share with, not to get fixed but just to release the charge by talking about it. It’s not rigid of course, I also at times like to share, perhaps as a result of all the years of training I’ve done, but still that cave is there when I’m feeling stressed....

Women of course as I said, often find a friend to share with and just that reduces the pressure they feel under so they can carry on with their lives. The man wants to fix himself and his woman too if she’s saying she’s under a load, and then he gets upset when his well meant efforts to help seem only to make the stress worse for her until he gives up in exasperation and starts to walk away leaving her feeling abandoned and alone.

That’s what happened to John Gray himself when he tried to help his wife when she was trying to cope with their daughter Lauren a week after she had been born. Fortunately two wonderful things happened, his wife Bonnie in distress asked him not to leave but just to hold her and let her talk and cry and John had the wisdom to listen and found to his amazement that it worked. He’d ‘fixed’ it just by holding and loving Bonnie while she cried and shared her feelings with him. She on the other hand felt her man was really there for her in the way she needed.

That was the beginning of John’s research as a therapist, using his humility and love, he was able to learn what Bonnie was teaching him, taking it into his practice to share with clients and then writing a magnificent book to help millions of people. I highly recommend it and the others he's written since.
Philip Ames / 416-200-4198

We'll believe in you until you can believe in yourself