How to Hire the Right Spouse

Companies go to great lengths to write job descriptions and analyze the psychological profile of a potential hire. But when it comes to choosing a spouse, most of us just wing it and pray it works out. Bill Hybels, in his book Courageous Leadership, outlines three qualities to look for in a potential hire: character, chemistry, competency. What if we applied this to finding a spouse? Most of us choose a spouse solely on chemistry. While chemistry is certainly important and serves as an indicator of compatibility, it changes with time. The chemistry, or emotional connection that my wife and I had … continue reading…

How to Grieve–Part 3

We all grieve in unique ways—even among loved ones, there can be differences in expressions of grief. Our personalities have much to do with that, as do some cultural influences, including ‘family culture’. This blog is not a detailed 1-2-3 step process of ‘how to grieve’; rather, I would like to suggest ways of marking your grief, as you move forward—even unsteadily. Grieving well is important to the integration of your loss into your life. When you start on the road of grief, one of the first reminders of loss you bump up against is facing the first holiday, birthday, … continue reading…

The Process of Grief–Part 2

As I mentioned in my previous blog, in the realm of counseling, there is a commonly understood process of grief. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross was a woman who spent much time researching those in hospice care who were in the process of dying, so that she could learn how we as humans approach death. She identified 5 stages of dying which described those with terminal illness, who know about their impending deaths, and how they integrate that knowledge in their last days. These stages have also been applied to those who are grieving a loss—with understanding the differences from those experiencing death. … continue reading…

Grieving–Part 1

Grieving a loss is a universal experience. We all suffer pain at the loss of someone we love. And no matter how ‘prepared’ you might be (illness, service in war) you are never really ready for the actual experience and ‘finality’ of death. Why does death affect you the way it does? Although you cognitively know about death, you react to the emotional ‘cut off’ of the relationship—that reflection and exchange of love is no longer there. And it feels devastating. Even animals react to death in surprisingly emotional ways. There are examples of elephants and gorillas showing incredibly ‘human’ … continue reading…

…So, am I crazy?

I have been asked this question in counseling more times than I can count, and each time it surprises me. This may not be news to you, but I want to be sure you know we don’t use the term ‘crazy’ in the field of psychotherapy! The word actually was used many years ago as a term to describe someone who was psychotic, who was behaving in bazaar ways. But using it today to describe someone who is psychotic is like using the word ‘crippled’ for someone who has a physical disability. Sadly, there are people who have mental illness … continue reading…