Mar 30 2017

John Gottman Relationship Scales: Evaluate Your Relationship Here

If you are interested in thinking about the strengths and vulnerabilities of your relationship, here is a survey for you to explore.

1.    Staying emotionally connected ___, or becoming emotionally distant___

Check all items below:

  • Just simply talking to one another.     Not a problem___     A problem___
  • Staying emotionally in touch with each other.   Not a problem___     A problem___
  • Feeling taken for granted?    Not a problem___     A problem___
  • Don’t feel like my partner knows me very well right now.  Not a problem___A problem___
  • Partner is (or I am) emotionally disengaged.         Not a problem___     A problem___
  • Spending time together.   Not a problem___     A problem___

2.    Handling  job and other stresses effectively____, or experiencing the “spill over” of non-relationship issues

Check all items below:

  • Helping each other reduce daily stresses     Not a problem___     A problem___
  •     Talking about these stresses together    Not a problem___     A problem___
  • Talking together about stress in a helpful manner   Not a problem___     A problem___
  • Partner listening with understanding about my stresses and worries  Not a problem___     A problem___
  • Partner takes job or other stresses out on me   Not a problem___     A problem___
  • Partner takes job stresses out on the children or others in our life   Not a problem___     A problem___

 

3.    Handling issues or disagreements well ___, or gridlocking on one or more issues____

Check all items below:

  • Differences  have arisen between us that seem very basic   Not a problem___     A problem___
  • These differences seem unresolvable    Not a problem___     A problem___
  • We are living day to day with hurts      Not a problem___     A problem___
  • Our positions are getting entrenched     Not a problem___     A problem___
  • It looks like I will never get what I hoped for    Not a problem___     A problem___
  • I am very worried that these issues may damage our relationship   Not a problem___     A problem___

_

4. The marriage is romantic and passionate___, or the it is becoming passionless; the fire has gone out____

Check all the items below:

  • My partner has stopped being verbally affectionate.     Not a problem___    A problem___
  • My partner expresses love and admiration less frequently.  Not a problem___ A problem___
  • We rarely touch each other.  Not a problem___     A problem___
  • My partner (or I) have stoped feeling very romantic. Not a problem___ A problem___
  • We rarely cuddle.   Not a problem___ A problem___
  • We have few tender or passionate moments.       Not a problem___ A problem___

5.    Our sex life is fine_____, or there are problems in this area____

Check all the items below:

  • The frequency of sex.        Not a problem___ A problem___
  • The satisfaction I or my partner get from sex.     Not a problem___ A problem___
  • Being able to talk about sexual problems.    Not a problem___ A problem___
  • The two of us wanting different things sexually.   Not a problem___ A problem___
  • Problems of desire.     Not a problem___ A problem___
  • The amount of love in our lovemaking.    Not a problem___ A problem___

6. An important event (like the birth of a child, job loss, changes in job, or residence, an illness, the death of a loved one) has occurred in our lives_____. The relationship is dealing with this well____, or it is not___.

Check all items below:

  • We have very different points of view on how to handle things.
  • This event has led my partner to be very distant.
  • This event has made us both irritable.
  • This event has led to a lot of fighting.
  • I’m worried about how this will turn out.
  • We are now taking up very different positions.

 

7. Major issues about children have arisen (this could be about whether or not to have a child).____ The relationship is handling these well_____, or it is not_____.

Check all items below:

  • We have very different points of view on goals for the children.
  • We have different positions on what to discipline the children for.
  • We have different positions on how to discipline the children.
  • We have issues about how to be close to our children.
  • We are not talking about these issues very well.
  • There is a lot of tension or anger about these issues.

 

 

8. Major issues or events have arisen about in-laws, a relative, or relatives._____The relationship is handling these well_____, or it is not_____.

Check all items below:

  • I feel unaccepted by my partner’s family.
  • I sometimes wonder which family my partner is in.
  • I feel unaccepted by my own family.
  • There is tension between us and what might happen.
  • This issue has generated a lot of irritability.
  • I am worried about how this is going to turn out.

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Mar 18 2017

Obamacare 2017: 10 Talking Points for Advocacy

I. Introduction

I’m writing for my family, friends and the public to advocate for Obamacare.

Right now, it seems the Senate will vote against the repeal and replacement legislation proposed by House Republicans, but there is still a fight and it will help if we all understand the honest benefits of Obamacare and the Republican lies.

Here are the 10 Obamacare Talking Points:

  1. Children should be allowed to stay on their parent’s policies until age 26.
  2. No denial of coverage for pre-existing condition and NO high-risk insurance pools.
  3. Individuals and employers should have a mandate to get insurance.
  4. Americans should get financial help to cover costs of insurance.
  5. The increased taxes on individuals earning more than $200,000 and families earning more than $250,000 should remain in place.
  6. The 80/20 Plan where Insurance companies have to pay at least 80% of their income on health care costs for customers should remain in place.
  7. Insurance companies should continue to be forced to present any request to raise insurance premiums over 10% to be reviewed.
  8. Federal funds should be used to fund the “risk corridor” program so that insurance companies can be protected from financial losses.
  9. All states should expand medicaid.
  10. Insurance benefits should have no limits in coverage and offer free preventative care.

 

II. Research Supporting the 10 Talking Points

 

  1. Children should be allowed to stay on their parent’s policies until age 26.

The law that children between the age of 19 and 26 be allowed to stay on their parent’s insurance policies has had universal support in our country among Republicans and Democrats.

You may find it surprising to know that in 2010,  13 million Americans between the ages of 19 and 29 were uninsured. This figure represented about 27% of the total 47 million Americans were uninsured.

So, this population was important for healthcare planners to get insured. About 3 million became insured on their parents policies and many others bought insurance in the insurance markets.

 

 

Click here for a youtube video describing this aspect of Obamcare in more detail.

Youtube video on Obamacare 19-26 year old access to insurance.

 

      2. No denial of coverage for pre-existing condition and NO high-risk insurance pools.

Obamacare guaranteeing insurance coverage for Americans with pre-existing conditions was a radical breakthrough.

For the first time in history, Americans could not be denied coverage or have their coverage terminated because they were sick. It seems shocking to write this sentence…how could an advanced, rich country like America neglect its most vulnerable citizens and allow insurance companies to reap profits by excluding and dumping sick customers.

So, this provision has also received widespread support, but the current Republican proposal begins to limit this provision ever so quietly. They say everyone will be covered, but they create a loophole where Americans must have “continual coverage”, meaning their insurance must not lapse. If it does, the insurance company can demand a 30% premium increase, so the sick person must pay more, as was true in the past.

The other part of the Republican plan is to use “high-risk insurance pools” for Americans with pre-existing conditions and serious health problems. High-risk pools have been used before and several problems were identified, especially related to cost and access. OBamacare is considered by many experts to be better because it focuses on increasing coverage among more healthy, young people so the premiums paid by younger people will help pay for the more costly care of older people.

Here is a short video describing the problems with high-risk insurance pools:

High-risk insurance pools vs. Obamacare

 

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Aug 06 2016

Relaxation Script

Relaxation Script

Prepare to relax by finding a comfortable place where you won’t be disturbed for 20-30 minutes…loosen any tight or restrictive clothing and remember relaxation is something that happens all by itself if you let it…

and learning to allow relax is allowing relaxation to happen…no one really knows exactly how you relax, but as you think relaxing thoughts, your body responds by letting go…

we don’t really know how you walk, talk, ore scratch your head…you just decide to do these things and your body responds…in the same way your body responds to your decision to let go and relax…

as you learn to relax, please don’t concern yourself with how quickly you are relaxing or whether you are relaxing deeply enough…

you will find, as you practice relaxation, that at different times, you will relax at different rates…sometimes relaxation will occur slowly and subtly…

other times you will relax very deeply, very quickly…

and it really doesn’t matter how you relax at this time, just that you notice how relaxation feels to you when it does occur..

as you begin to let go and begin to notice the sensations of relaxation you have …

that learning to relax is learning to allow relaxation to happen. Your body knows how to relax and as you begin to breathe more deeply, relax your muscles, and use peaceful imagery you will be able to relax, feel more comfortable, and manage challenges more easily.

just allow the intelligence of your body and mind guide you…

Start by finding a spot furthest away from where you are and stare at it. You will notice your eyes becoming slightly tired, they may begin to blink, signaling you are ready to close your eyes and move from your external focus to an internal focus.

Begin to relax more deeply by taking 3 deep, slow breaths.

As you inhale, let that “in” breath be associated with fresh air, peacefulness and relaxation.

As you exhale, let that “out” breath be associated with the release of any unnecessary stress and tension.

As you breath more deeply, allow the muscles in your body to also more deeply relax. Begin with the muscles in your feet and legs, take a deep breath and as you “let go”, allow the muscles in your feet and legs to more deeply relax.

Then the muscles in your stomach and chest…lower back and upper back…arms and hands…neck and shoulders…face and even the muscles around your tongue…allow those muscles to more deeply relax.As you find your body becoming more relaxed, you may notice that your mind is also becoming more quiet, calm and still.

Take a few moments and enjoy this comfortable feeling in your mind and body.

Relaxation is something you learn to do and the more you do it, the easier it becomes…

In order to deepen your level of relaxation, allow an image of a staircase with 10 stairs come into your mind. Notice what the staircase looks like, whether it is wooden or steel, spiral or straight, indoors or outdoors…

Imagine that as you step down each stair, you are stepping into a deeper and deeper level of relaxation. Count backwards from 10 to 1, and when you get to 1 imagine stepping off the stair into a peaceful place, maybe your favorite vacation place or an imaginary beach, woods, or by a pond, whatever comes to your mind… just allow yourself to go there…

So begin to count backwards to yourself from 10…9…8…deeper and deeper…7…6…5…4…3…2…and 1.

Now, allow an image to form in your mind of that safe and beautiful place and just be there…notice what you can see, hear, feel, and smell in that peaceful place…enjoy being there and stay as long as you want…as you allow yourself to become more and more deeply relaxed…

Continue to breathe deeply and comfortably. When you are ready to come back, start to open your eyes, notice the increased light against your eyes and any sounds in the room. Stretch your muscles. Come back refreshed, relaxed and feeling better than before.

When you wake up, write or draw about your relaxation experience and the peaceful place you imagined. Allow yourself to explore any of this experience that you want.

From Guided Imagery for Self-Healing, by Marty Rossman (2000)

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Aug 02 2016

Victories 2016: Acknowledging the Positives

I have a lot of experience in what’s called the “men’s work” field in the Chicago area. Most of my experience is with the Victories of the Heart, formerly known as the Men’s Room.

While it’s somewhat known my 2006-2008 involvement and ending with Victories was problematic, it does not reflect on this organization’s efforts to offer quality programs.

The two founding leaders, Bob Mark and Buddy Portugal (deceased)and the second leadership team, Paul Kachoris and Kevin Fitzpatrick are/were creative, brilliant and effective therapists and workshop leaders. They are/were sincere and dynamic men who changed many men’s lives and their loved ones’ lives for the better.

This does not mean  they were perfect and I discuss some of the difficulties I had with these men in other writing. It’s been many years since I was actively involved and the men who are in key leadership positions are really terrific guys.

The woman on the Board is a well known and highly respected therapist, teacher and author. Her input and influence is certain to enhance the organization and programs.

Since 2008, there have been many positive changes in the organization which I am very happy to see and acknowledge. These changes include:

  • movement towards a team style of leadership
  • leadership training and development
  • sensitivity and reduction of the dual-relationship problem within the organization
  • improvement in the support group program
  • development of ethics policies and standards.
  • inclusion of women on the Board
  • more diverse programs, especially the Couples weekend and Shame workshops
  • Continue Reading »

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Apr 30 2015

American Psychological Association’s (APA) Support of Torture

The APA’s support and involvement in the Bush/Cheney’s Administration’s torture program is back in the news. There are many details about this program and you can read about them here, here, here, and here.

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Apr 04 2015

Give and Take in Marriage: Men should accept influence from their wives

John Gottman’s research informs a key factor in the work I do with couples. His longitudinal research shows one key to a successful marriage is for men to learn to accept influence from their wives.

When the give and take in a marriage stops and the husband rejects the influence of his wife, the marriage is more likely to end in divorce.

For more information, click here.

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Mar 14 2015

Bibliography: Mindfulness Series

 Imagery Bibliography Specific

Hall, Eric, Hall, Carol, Stradling, Pamela, Young, Diane.(2006). Guided imagery: Creative interventions in counselling and psychotherapy. London:Sage Books

Hopper, J. P. (2014, August 26). Recovered memories of abuse: scientific journals and resources. Retrieved from Jim Hopper, PhD: http://jimhopper.com/

Levine, P. R. (2008). Healing Trauma: A pioneering program for restoring the wisdom to your body. Boulder: Sounds True.

Levine, P. R. (2011). In an unspoken voice: How the body releases trauma and restores goodness. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books.

Rossman, M. L. (2000). Guided imagery for self-healing. Novato, CA: HJ Kramer/New World Library.

Siegel, D. J. (2012). Pocket guide to interpersonal neurobiology: An integrative handbook of the mind. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.

Mindfulness Bibliography

(2014, March 11). Retrieved from The Psychology of Secrets: http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/~wegner/secrecy.htm

Bernard, S. J. (2007, May 18). Fatal Injuries Among Children by Race and Ethnicity — United States, 1999–2002. Retrieved from Center for Disease Control: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR): http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5605a1.htm

Berry, J. (1985, May 23). The tragedy of Gilbert Gauthe. Retrieved January 28, 2014, from Bishop Accountability.org: http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news/1985_05_23_Berry_TheTragedy.htm

Blaustein, M. E. (2010). Treating traumatic stress in children and adolescents: How to foster resilience through attachment, self-regulation, and competency. New York: Guilford Press.

Boynton, R. (1994, November 28). Till death do us part: the trial of Janet Malcom and Jeffrey Masson. Retrieved from Robert S. Boynton: http://www.robertboynton.com/articleDisplay.php?article_id=20

Brackinridge, C. (2001). Spoilsports: Understanding and preventing sexual exploitation in sport. London: Routledge.

Bremner, J. (1999, April). Does stress damage the brain? Retrieved from PubMed.gov: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10202566

Butler, Susan. (1986). Non-Competitive games for people of all ages.

Catherall, D. R. (1992). Back from the brink: A family guide to overcoming traumatic stress. New York: Bantam Books.

CDC. (2010). Leading Causes of Death in Males in the United States. Retrieved from Center for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/men/lcod/2010/LCOD_WHITEmen2010.pdf

CDC. (2012, August 24). Sexual violence at a glance. Retrieved March 4, 2015, from CEnters for Disease Control 1991-2011 high school youth risk behavior survey data.

Child Maltreatment Facts at a Glance: Center for Disease Control. (2014). Retrieved January 8, 2015, from National Criminal Justice Reference Resource: https://www.ncjrs.gov/childabuse/prevalence.html

College, H. (1985). The complete letters fo Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Fliess, 1887-1904, excerpts. Retrieved from Frued-Fleiss Letters-Haverford College.

Courtois, C. A. (1999). Recollections of sexual abuse: Treatment principles and guidelines. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.

Davidson, R. J. (2012). The emotional life of your brain: How its unique patterns affect the way you think, feel and live- and how you can change them . London: Hudson Street Press.

Davidson, R. J., & with Begley, S. (2012). The emotional life of your brain. New York: Hudson Street Press Penguin Group.

Duncan, B. L., Miller, S., Wampold, B. E., & Hubble, M. A. (2010). The heart & soul of Change: Delivering what works in therapy. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Eisen, J. (2014, August 21). Sigmund Freud and the Cover-Up of “The Aetiology of Hysteria”. Retrieved from Jonathon Eisen: http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ciencia/supressed_inventions/suppressed_inventions16.htm

Emerson, D. &. (2011). Overcoming trauma through yoga: Reclaiming your body. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books.

Freud ccc. (2014, August 25). Retrieved from Rigorous Intuition: http://www.rigorousintuition.ca/board2/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=38086

Gartner, R. B. (1997). Memories of sexual betrayal: Truth, fantasy, repression, and dissociation. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, Inc.

Gottman, J. (1999). The marriage clinic: A scientifically-based marital therapy. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.

Gottman, J. (n.d.). Raising Emotionally Intelligent Children.

Hall, Eric, Hall, Carol, Stradling, Pamela, Young, Diane.(2006). Guided imagery: Creative interventions in counselling and psychotherapy. London:Sage Books

Hall, S. (2013, June 17). Repairing bad memories. Retrieved from MIT Technology Review: http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/515981/repairing-bad-memories/

Herman, J. (1992). Trauma and recovery: The aftermath of violence-from domestic abuse to political terror. New York: Basic Books.

Hopper, J. P. (2014, August 26). Recovered memories of abuse: scientific journals and resources. Retrieved from Jim Hopper, PhD: http://jimhopper.com/

Hudgins, M. K. (2002). Experiential treatment for PTSD: The therapeutic spiral model. New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Imber-Black, E. (1998, July 1). The Power of Secrets. Retrieved from Psychology Today: http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200909/the-power-secrets

Kempe, H. C. (1962). The battered child syndrome. Journal of the American Medical Association , 181:17-24. Retrieved from file:///C:/Users/Bill%20Martin/Downloads/The_Battered_Child_Syndrome_sm.pdf

Kimmerling, R., Ouimette, P., & Wolfe, J. (2002). Gender and PTSD. New York: The Guilford Press.

Levine, P. R. (2008). Healing Trauma: A pioneering program for restoring the wisdom to your body. Boulder: Sounds True.

Levine, P. R. (2011). In an unspoken voice: How the body releases trauma and restores goodness. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books.

Lewis, T., Amini, F., & Lannon, R. (2001). A general theory of love. New York: Vintage Books.

Masson v. New Yorker Magazine, Inc. (89-1799), 501 U.S. 496. (1991). Retrieved from Cornell University Law School Legal Information: http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/89-1799.ZO.html

Masson, J. M. (1984). The assault on truth: Freud’s suppression of the seduction theory. New York: Harper Perrennial.

McCarthy, J. (2009). Deep deception: Ireland’s swimming scandals. Dublin: The Obrien Press Ltd.

McKay, M. F. (1994). Couple skills. Oakland : New Harbinger Publications.

Memory. (n.d.). Retrieved FEbruary 14, 2014, from Memory: http://psychology4a.com/memory%202.htm

Meyers, J. (2008). A short history of child protection in America. Retrieved from A short history of child protection in America: http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/publishing/insights_law_society/ChildProtectionHistory.authcheckdam.pdf

Mintz, s. (2015, January 8). Placing childhood sexual abuse in historical perspective. Retrieved January 8, 2015, from The Immanent Frame: http://blogs.ssrc.org/tif/2012/07/13/placing-childhood-sexual-abuse-in-historical-perspective/

Ogden, Pat.(2015). Sensorimotor psychotherapy: Interventions for trauma and attachment. New York: W.W. Norton & Company

Penn state scandal fast facts. (2015, January 25). Retrieved from CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/28/us/penn-state-scandal-fast-facts/

Pope, K. (2001, October 21). Sex with clients. Retrieved from Ken Pope: http://www.kspope.com/sexiss/sexencyc.php

Robinson, P. (1993). Freud and his critics. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Rossman, M. L. (2000). Guided imagery for self-healing. Novato, CA: HJ Kramer/New World Library.

Rothschild, B. (2000). The body remembers: The psychophysiology of trauma and trauma treatment. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.

Schiller, D. M.-H. (2009, November 9). Preventing Preventing the return of fear in humans using reconsolidation update mechanisms. Retrieved from Nature: http://www.psych.nyu.edu/phelpslab/files/Schiller_nature.pdf

Siegel, D. J. (2012). Pocket guide to interpersonal neurobiology: An integrative handbook of the mind. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.

Siegel, D. M. (2010). About interpersonal neurobiology. Retrieved from Daniel Siegel: Inspire to rewire: http://www.drdansiegel.com/about/interpersonal_neurobiology/

Snowball, O. (2014, September 18). Cegrin Goodman Teen Institute and Operation Snowball. Retrieved from http://www.os-cgti.org/

Sobel, Jeffrey. (1984).  Everybody Wins:393 non-competitive games for young children.

Sullaway, F. J. (19709). Freud, Biologist of the Mind. New York: Harvard University Press.

Tannen, D. (1990). You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation. New York: William Morrow and Company.

Taylor, K. (2004). Brainwashing: The science of thought control. New York: Oxford University Press.

The second mile sandusky scandal: Searching for truth in a fog of deception. (2012, August 1). Retrieved from http://notpsu.blogspot.com/2012/08/dr-alycia-chambers-psychological.html

Triplett, H. (2004). The misnomer of Freud’s “seduction theory”. The Journal of the History of Ideas, 65-4, p 647-665.

Van der Kolk, B. A. (1996). Traumatic stress: The effects of overwhelming experience on mind, body, and society. New York: Guilford Press.

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WHO. (2002). World Report on Violence and Health: Summary. Retrieved January 29, 2014, from World Health Organization: http://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/violence/world_report/en/summary_en.pdf

Wright, L. (1994). Remembering satan: A tragic case of recovered memory. New York: Vintage Books.

No responses yet

Feb 22 2015

Sandra Bland’s Arrest = the clash of two human being’s implicit memory systems.

Implicit memory is a type of long term memory which has an unconscious influence on the way we think, feel and behave. In a stressful situation, our implicit memory systems kick in and we react in a “same pattern over and over way.” For Sandra, an educated woman sensitized to systemic brutality of African Americans, she was upset by what she experienced as a unnecessary police stop and the lack of courtesy and professionalism (already determined by authorities) of the policeman. For the policeman, I can only speculate, he experienced some type of victimization himself early in his life that caused him to react so harshly. The policeman clearly becomes emotionally hijacked, meaning he is adrenalized, his thinking slowed down, and he is reacting automatically (unconsciously) to his mistaken view Sandra is a threat to him. Maybe an earlier trauma, abuse by someone in authority, taunting by bullies, or some other victimization is related to his unprofessional treatment of Sandra.

For more information on implicit memory, watch this video.

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Jan 01 2015

Fee Schedule

 Fee Schedule
$40,000 and less                             $90
$40-$60,000                                   $130
$60-80,000                                     $150
$80,000  & over                               $175
Determination of fees also include assets such as real estate and stock funds.

Dec 09 2014

A Review: Clearing the Path: Opening the Spiritual Frontier by Dr. Robert Mark

Summary: Dr. Mark gets an A+ for writing an interesting narrative of his personal and professional development. However, a diminished grade for encouraging people to dispense with their critical thinking to entertain the possibility of higher powers and alternative realities. Discouraging a belief in science is a surprising part of this book and therapists especially should not take this advice seriously, lest they begin to practice unethically.
My acknowledgement: I was involved in Dr. Mark’s men’s program and have insights about him and his work. Perhaps there is no good ending in a relationship with people or organizations. This was true for me, so any negative views I express may be colored by my ending experiences.

I was very curious about this book when I learned it had been written and recently had a chance to read it. I surprisingly enjoyed it, as an autobiographical account of the author’s development as a human being and professional therapist. In person, Dr. Mark is both impressive and charismatic.

As the depth of his book demonstrates, he’s intelligent and highly skilled as a therapist. You can tell he has an ease and comfort with traditional forms of therapy and having seen him in action, I can confirm he is an exceptional agent of change in people’s lives.

Continue Reading »

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