Pink Flower Header
In this issue...
newsletter comments and new feature
website and youtube features
free workshop
interesting articles
fall schedule

Contact: 734.424.2797 or e-mail.

 

June Newsletter...tomatoes

 

It finally seems like summer! I'm relieved! Last year I had for me what was a small tomato farm. I had 18 plants which produced a plethora of tomatoes to share with others. I'm planting a number of varieties this year as well. Here are two bowls from last year's crop.

 

I love summer -- more time to be outside in my flower garden, time to sit on our new deck with friends and family, and time to relax and sit in the outdoor swing by the arbor in our back yard. Plus, I take a little time away from offering additional things.

 

I have two "away times" planned - one to visit my long-time friends in the San Francisco Bay Area. We have been friends since the late 60's.They are part of my alternative family. I will visit them in mid-July for a few days. Mid to late August, I will travel to New York to see my daughter and granddaughter. I give my clients notice about the times that I will be unavailable.

 

I always try to do a little lighter reading in the summer. Two books that are tops for my summer reading are: The Social Animal by David Brooks (I think it probably isn't so "light.") and Your Dog Is Your Mirror, the Emotional Capacity of Our Dogs and Ourselves by Kevin Behan.

 

I have one more FREE workshop planned for June 12 at Crazy Wisdom Bookstore from 2 - 4:30 pm., The title is: A Deeper Understanding of Anger, Its Pros and Cons. See announcement below.

 

Newsletter Comments and New Feature...

 

I envision my newsletter as offering more than just announcements of workshops, etc. I want it to be interesting, educational, inspiring, and fun. I want it to reflect who I am and some of my interests as well as letting you know about the different workshops and programs I offer.

 

Previously, I have included recommendations for particular websites that I thought you might find interesting and/or helpful. I will continue including a few entries about relationships, parenting, health, the brain, and other psycho-education pieces.

 

However, I am going to more regularly include some YouTube and website suggestions that I have found interesting. I hope you will check them out. Sometimes the suggestions will be educational, other times inspirational, sometimes humorous, now and again musical. There will be a variety, not necessarily all in every newsletter.

 

I would love to hear from you if you do indeed check some of them out and like their inclusion. I will choose a variety from the following categories, so scroll down to locate them.

 

Website & YouTube Features

   relationships

   parenting

   health & emotional well-being

   inspirational

   the brain

   humor

   musical

 

Website and YouTube Features

 

Musical: Playing For Change

Playing for Change features musicians from around the world. Check out Episode 46: Three Little Birds, the first song on their new album being "Everything's Going to Be Alright."

 

 

Inspiration: A Hug for The World

The Most Inspirational Video Ever!!! -
The Most Inspirational Video Ever!!!
 "Hug for the World"

 

Relationships:   Just One Thing, What's Your Heart Say? 

Interesting relationship article. 

 

Humor: Twin Babies Having a Conversation

Free Workshop

 

A Deeper Understanding of Anger ~ It's Pros and Cons

June 12th       2 - 4:30pm

 

Crazy Wisdom Bookstore ~ 114 S. Main Street in Ann Arbor

 

Many folks have difficulty expressing anger; others freely express anger. Yet all of us need to learn to use our anger impulse to identify the underlying feeling of hurt lying beneath the anger.

 

Anger is not a primary emotion. It's a physiological signal that something doesn't feel "right", that we feel misunderstood, taken for granted, ignored, insulted, etc.

 

Come to this workshop to learn more about anger - where it comes from, how to use it for discovery of underlying feelings, and how to safely express anger. Anger can be our friend if we decipher its deeper meaning and its relevance for self care. So often anger is destructive in relationships, while if used constructively, it can improve and enrich our relationships.

 

Everyone welcome! Registration fee: FREE

 

While free, please call 734.424.2797 to register.

 

Interesting Articles

 

The Kind of Person You Would Be,

If It Weren't for Your Feelings & Ego

published on February 25, 2011 in Psychology Today by Stephen Stosny

 

Steven Stosny writes regularly for Psychology Today's Blog. His blog is entitled Anger in

the Age of Entitlement. Click here to read the article that I am recommending.

 

Steven Stosny did training for Imago therapists in this area about two years ago. Periodically, Imago Relationship Therapy of Michigan (IRTM), the professional organization for Imago therapists in Southeastern Michigan, bring trainers in from elsewhere. Steven Stosny and Pat Love did three days of training for us.   

 

 

Schwarzenegger, Divorce, & an Old Joke about Directions

 by Tim Atkinson, Director of Imago Relatioships International

 

The break-up between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver reached such epic proportions of tragedy this week, that I prefer to start this post with a joke.

 

I was visiting Washington, DC, and got horribly lost. I asked a passer-by directions to the White House. He looked me up and down and finally said "Well, I wouldn't start from here."

 

A colleague and I were just talking about a study that's due to published soon, which says that people who get divorced usually don't get any happier as a result. So imagine yourself in the situation of the ex-Governor of California and his delightful actress wife, with their 25 year-old marriage and four children. I guess you heard the news, it turns out that there's a fifth child, by another woman, born over 8 years ago. Ms. Shriver only just heard about it. You can read all about it in the NY Times and probably every other publication in the country.

 

It's a pretty spectacular "infidelity" story. But for most of us, lacking the amazing thick skin and tolerance of major celebrities, it only takes an affair, and perhaps a little lying to our partner, to put us right at the kind of relationship low-point that appears to be a "Terminator" (groan!) for this couple.

 

Now, if you believe the stats that divorce isn't going to make you happier, I would say that if you want to be happy in life, you probably don't want to start off at the point where your partner is furious that you were unfaithful, and has lost complete confidence in you because you lied about it for a long time. Or even a short time. Although if you are in that position we did recently publish an article in YourTango that can show you the way forwards.

 

I am talking from first-hand experience, from my first marriage. I did divorce my first wife after she was unfaithful, and although the story wasn't as spectacular as California's previous first family, it felt pretty awful to me. And the divorce was followed by a ghastly period in my life, until my second wife rescued me from misery. I've learned a great deal about couples therapy since then, which is probably why I'm enjoying my marriage more each day, after over a decade of wonderful experiences.

 

I think there is a simple lesson from the news about Arnold Schwarzenegger. Don't ever let if get that bad. I've been surveying couples for quite a while now, and it seems to me that many of us have quite a high tolerance for relationship problems. We will unhappily slog on, putting up with coldness, distance, anger, fights and all the rest of it, believing somehow it will sort itself out somehow. Meanwhile things get worse, and that's when people get vulnerable to a kind word from an attractive, caring person, who provides the attention and admiration that they are missing from the marriage.

 

Who can blame a partner for seeking the love they need elsewhere, if they can't get it from their spouse? But if you want to be happy, and most of us do, it just doesn't seem to be the best way to go about it.

 

Sadly for many couples, they don't actually see much alternative. I surveyed a couple of hundred visitors to our website, and asked them why they were a bit hesitant to try out couples therapy. It turns out that most people I surveyed are worried that their relationship is beyond hope, because somehow they are with the wrong partner. They see therapy as a process which will just stir up all sorts of hidden problems, and make things worse.

 

Gosh - there has to be some good news here somewhere. And there is!

 

There's hundreds of thousands of couples, who through Imago, discovered that they really did get it right when they fell in love with their partner. When people fall in love, we don't get it wrong. We're attracted to our partner for very real and important reasons, often closely connected with our past, and our emotional needs.

 

Here's another piece of good news. Practically every couple goes through some kind of struggle together - we call it the power struggle. The reason that's good news, is because if you are in a struggle with your partner, it means that you are just like all the rest of us. If your struggle is harder or more challenging, then it might mean the forces that attract you are stronger too. And if your energy has gone flat, and the relationship feels dead, it might simply mean that you are the kind of people who tend to protect yourselves against difficult emotions.

 

So let's revisit the old joke about directions. If you want to be happy, try to avoid having to start by picking up the pieces after infidelity. If you want to be happy, a great place to start is where you first find you are having problems in your relationship.

 

Your relationship problems are the direction arrows to deeper love and more connection.

 

Now when I read sentences like the one above, I often get a bit worried. Maybe it sounds a bit too optimistic? A little too hopeful? Unrealistic? Impractical?

 

Not in Imago. Imago is all about going underneath the problems and frustrations in your relationship, and finding out what is really happening at a deeper level of emotional need. It's a non-judgmental process, no-one gets blamed, or comes out as the bad guy. You come out feeling good, and finding ways to live your life in a richer way. It's an amazing experience, getting to know your partner on a deeper level. But please, if you want to be really happy, try it out when the problems first come up. Don't let yourself get to a place where divorce seems unavoidable, because the chances are breaking-up won't make you happier.

 

Schedule for the Fall

 

Discover a New Way to Love Couples Weekend is September 30 - October 2. Check my website for more information.

 

FREE Workshops at Crazy Wisdom Bookstore are scheduled for: Sept. 18, Oct. 16, Nov. 20 

all from 2 - 4:30 pm.I will choose from the following topics:

 How to Improve Your Relationship Without Talking About It

 Gender Differences

 Our Amazing Brain

 Forgiveness & Amends Making

 Boundaries

 Voice Dialogue, Psychology of the SELVES

 

You will receive my next newsletter mid to late August with announcements about the FREE workshops and the couples weekend.

 

 I have some new features in this newsletter which I hope you enjoy. Let me know what you think.