Family First

We live in a world driven by aspirations, public opinion, and striving to be the best. Why do we do this? The short and blunt answer might be: image management. At what cost? The short and blunt answer might be: our families. I have been one who has always strived to excel. I worked hard as a child to live up to my potential. I secured a scholarship to college, attended the best graduate programs in my field, ran for public office, sat on advisory boards, developed a successful business that … [Read more...]

Marriage counselor with a flip phone

I did it. I gave up my smartphone. In recent years more and more research has found correlations between smartphone use and marriage problems, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and emotional distance. I see it in my clients. I have counseled couples for years to be careful with their use so that the phone doesn't take away from family time. Unfortunately, I found that I was not feeling as happy, my kids would ask if I was done with my phone so they could spend time with me, and I wasted more … [Read more...]

Default or Intentional

A copy machine is designed with a default setting: push the button and it automatically makes one black and white copy. If you want something different, you must intentionally select the settings that you want: more copies, double-sided, enlarged, color. etc. This may work well with copy machines, but not so well with marriages and families. The default setting for many marriages and families is that of minimal connection, meals on the run, unplanned and heated exchanges about schedules, chores, … [Read more...]

Reach for Each Other

At this moment I sit next to my four-year-old son as he sleeps in his hospital bed. He is an incredible boy. A boy of strength, love, and character. He has endured eleven surgeries in the short 4 years of his life. Sitting with him through these painful, fear-invoking, and difficult trials in his life has had a tremendous impact on me. He didn’t ask for this. He doesn’t deserve it. But, he does ask for and deserve my hand as he reaches for it so I will hold him through his pain and never let … [Read more...]

Managing Life’s Roadblocks

There are times in our life plans when we feel like we have hit a brick wall. These types of barriers can be any obstacle, real or perceived, that prevents us from achieving a desired objective. This can occur in our personal life or in any type of relationship whether with a spouse, a family member, friend, or co-worker. We struggle to understand why the other person [whom we perceive to be the obstacle] cannot change to meet our [rational or irrational] needs. When we do approach roadblocks, … [Read more...]

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