Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Pledge to Believe With Intensity and Desire

Believe with intensity and desire. You are what you think you are. You are able to enhance the scope and quality of your life. What do you think?
You were not born to lose or fail. Why would you even remotely think you are inadequate or not up to the task at hand.

Allow your inner drive to have purpose. Every day we must have a purpose to fulfill. Every day we must visualize our purpose. Our spirit is our energy to fulfill our purpose. Every day take small simple steps but always remember to enjoy the ride.

Come to terms with who you are. Who you are and what you want to be must be separated from what the world tells you who you are and what you will be. The world is a pretty poor judge of who you are and what you will become. The world is wrong 99.9% of the time.

Begin each and every day looking at yourself in the mirror and then say out loud something positive about your self. Through the day smile at every person you meet and experience a moment of Joy each day. Everyday go outside even if it is only to your front porch, close your eyes, turn your face to the sky and say Thank You outloud. End every day with a thought of ONE thing you did well that day.

Life is full of wonder, like a child ask what, how and why of things. Curiosity creates knowledge and knowledge begets power. Nurture that power by asking questions about every new thing you encounter

Energy is the currency of the professional world today. You get to choose the energy whether positive or negative. You have the power of choice so never chose to be negative about yourself. You do not have to wait you can choose to take the wheel now and be the driver of your own bus.

Visualize!!! What is your vision for your health? What is your vision for your career? What is your vision for your family? If you have a vision you will find a way to overcome obstacles. What we think about will show up in our lives.

To cultivate positive energy; Smile more, Breathe deeply, Be thankful. It is impossible to be STRESSED and THANKFUL at the same time. Become to blessed to be stressed.

Be enthusiastic, Be focused, Be thankful. Nothing great was every achieved without enthusiasm. Do not abdicate-be the Chief Energy Officer (CEO) of your life.

Make a list of the people who believed in you and demonstrated that belief in some tangible way. Locate them if possible, Contact them, Thank them and Ask them what was the spark, energy or talent they saw in you?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Why There Always Will Be Cougars

Cougars are women who date younger men. In our culture, we comment on that situation with a mixture of disdain, envy and suspicion. By contrast, it is expected that an older man will date a younger woman. A lady of a substantially younger age by a man’s side is his trophy wife or arm candy. But the reverse tends not to be true.

On my radio shows (, I interviewed a female eye surgeon who is having a dickens of a time finding a man her age or older who is single and her intellectual equal since her divorce. So she has been dating younger men out of necessity.

A little research explains why most men date older women, while women date people substantially younger then themselves.

For the past half century in the United States, there have been on average 1050 boys for each 1000 girls born each year. According to Census Bureau statistics, the number of boys compared to girls continually decreases until at the age group of 30-34 when women now outnumber men.

In the U. S. in the decade of 20 to 29 by the latest 2008 statistics, there were 623,000 more men than women. But between ages 30-39, women outnumber men by 262,000. And it just gets worse as people get older.

For a woman of 40, that means that there are not enough men to provide a partner for her and every other woman in her age group. So dating a younger man may become necessary if she choses not to be alone.

If you are a woman over 40 who is looking for a mate that is your educational equal and you have an advanced or professional degree, good luck to you. The disparity between men and women educationally is growing every year. Substantially more than half of the advanced and professional degrees are awarded to women today. So the numbers disparity will only increase.

As Safire the Uppity Blues Woman sings in her song “Middle Aged Blues Boogie”

“Well seems like men my age are all married, boring or tired…
Got to find a young man if you want to feel desired.
Now some of my friends are worried ‘bout what some people might say.
I say ‘age ain’t nothin’ but a number.' The good Lord made it that way.”

In addition to all of the factors discussed above, spending time as widow is reduced since men die sooner by at least 5 years than women. So ladies, permission granted. Get out there and find an appropriate “youngun.”

What Is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?

On my radio show, "Relationships 101," I interview a man who has struggled with Posttraumatic Stress Order (PTSD) since 1979 when the airplane he was flying crashed. I listed a few of the prominent diagnostic indicators of this condition on air and promised that I would post the rest on my web site. Here they are, excerpted from the Diagnostic Criteria from DSM-IV. The DSM is the clinician’s Bible for diagnosing mental illnesses.
A. The person has been exposed to a traumatic event in which both of the following
were present:
(1) The person experienced, witnessed, or was confronted with an event or events that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others.
(2) The person’s response involved intense fear, helplessness, or horror.
B. The traumatic event is persistently reexperienced in one (or more) of the following ways:
(1) recurrent and intrusive distressing recollections of the event, including images, thoughts, or perceptions;
(2) recurrent distressing dreams of the event;
(3) acting or feeling as if the traumatic event were recurring (includes a sense of reliving the experience, illusions, hallucinations, and dissociative flashback episodes, including those that occur on awakening or when intoxicated);
(4) intense psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event;
(5) physiological reactivity on exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event.
C. Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma and numbing of general responsiveness (not present before the trauma) as indicated by three (or more) of the following:
(1) efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings, or conversation associated with the trauma;
(2) efforts to avoid activities, places, or people that arouse recollections of the trauma;
(3) inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma;
(4) markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities;
(5) feelings of detachment or estrangement from others;
(6) restricted range of affect ( e.g., unable to have loving feelings)
(7) sense of a foreshortened future (e.g., does not expect to have a career, marriage, children, or a normal life span).
D. Persistent symptoms of increased arousal (not present before the trauma), as indicated by two (or more) of the following:
(1) difficulty falling asleep;
(2) irritability or outbursts of anger;
(3) difficulty concentrating;
(4) hypervigilance
(5) exaggerated startle response;
E. Duration of the disturbance (symptoms in Criteria B, C, and D) is more han one month.
F. Disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
Acute: if duration of symptoms is less than three months
Chronic: if duration of symptoms is three months or more
With delayed onset: if onset of symptoms is at least six months after the stressor.
As you look over this list of symptoms of PTSD, imagine the stress that this condition places on the individual who has this illness, as well as on his/her intimate relationship.

“Dear Anonymous”

I had two strong reactions when I read the comment you posted on my blog. First of all, thank you for leaving it. I invite all of my readers to comment. It makes me feel the caring community I am building online.

My first was heartbreak for you. After five years with this woman and three sessions with a counselor, you are primarily being beaten up? It sounds like you haven’t gone back to see the counselor, and I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t. It is possible for a well-trained family systems therapist to work individually with one member of a couple and then bring the other partner into joint therapy. However, in order for that to work, it requires that the therapist know how to balance alliances to and join with both of you.

Clearly, your relationship issue with your significant other requires more skill than the male-bashing that this counselor does in the guise of therapy. It may seem like she is helping your s.o. by siding with her. But look at it this way. After 3 years, she’s still suffering from the after effects of the divorce and the counselor is both allowing and encouraging her to remain in her misery? Your s.o. has won only a small victory!

Your story is exactly why I wrote my first book, Helping Men Change: The Role of the Female Therapist. It was not because I felt that men needed to do all the changing in a relationship. However, that was the prevailing sentiment at that time. It was a time of feminists’ backlash against the power men had claimed in relationships up until the 1950’s. Helping Men Change was published in 1993 after an editor who heard my presentation about my men’s groups offered me a contract on the spot at the end. She said, “I’ve been looking for two years for the right woman to write this book. If you want a contact, you’ve got it.”

What made me “the right woman?” My ability to see relationships as systems. I believe to my core that relationship are an interlocking web of covert agreements that people strike between them that stabilize and perpetuate their relationship. So to blame one of them for all the relationship’s woes is simply not accurate. Nor is it fair. It really does take two to tango.

My other reaction was anger at the counselor. Male-bashing is simply not an adequate therapeutic strategy! Nor would the reverse be appropriate if a male were to perpetuate it on female clients. Her response to both of you belies unfinished business of her own that has created a major blind spot for her and has crept into her work. I can only theorize about what that might be. But I can tell you this. It is indefensible.

How do I work with couples differently from this? The core of how I work focuses around a few key questions. Often, they are not answered the first, the third, or even the tenth time I ask them. These are abstract, emotionally-laden issues. But they must be answered by people.

1. What are you getting out of continuing to fight with each other about this situation?
2. How is it helping you? (Yes, you read that correctly.)
3. What do you suppose you two would be thinking about and working with if you weren’t struggling with the aftermath of her divorce?
4. What’s in it for both of you to stay?

I don’t have to tell you that five years is a long time and a lot of investment. So it behooves you to advocate for your relationship by finding the best therapist you can to help you. And if your s.o. refuses to see anyone other than the person she’s been working with (who, as you see, has not been very helpful) then get some help to sort through your feelings and questions on your own.

If you can’t answer the questions above and would like my help, remember I offer a complimentary consultation. Just call my toll free number (888-546-1580) to schedule a appointment.

Losing a Best Friend

Have you ever lost a best friend? Dealing with the grief from that is important but doubly tough because unlike the loss of a close family member, society does not come to you with compassion. The loss of a best friend occurs more often than not by breaking up rather than by death but both will feel the same and both must be grieved.

Hear Dr. Beth discuss this on her radio show Relationships 101 on on Monday, May 21, 2012 after it is posted on line at noon. This link will take you there directly. It will be the last half of this show.

An archived recent show is called Friendship Interrupted. Dr. Beth spoke with Judy Dippel about her book Friendship Interrupted. They talked about when you lose a best friend, whether by death, irresolvable differences, or growing apart. This is a profound and unsettling experience that must be grieved to move on.

Many of us know of someone who is hurting because of losing a best friend. Why don‘t you take a moment and send this message to them. I am sure they would be comforted by knowing you care.

If you go to and at the top of the home page click on the JOIN you can receive a weekly notice of the guests and topics of the show to be posted that week. I do hope you join my caring community of frequent listeners.