Dad is Sad

A truly heartwarming scene:  as friends and family dab their eyes, a 19-year-old young man, in Special Ed since middle school for both “behavioral” and “cognitive” learning disabilities, hears his name called, and with unself-conscious delight on his face shuffles across the platform to loud applause.  He receives a warm hug from the principal – […]

Paying attention pays

“Attention” is getting a lot of attention these days, and rightfully so. We routinely joke about everybody’s shorter attention spans and chronic anxiety – “I don’t want to think about that, I’ve got too much going on right now.” Way back before personal computers and Walkmen, we already had big concerns about the effect modern […]

Reflections on Actually Helping

There are certainly a lot of credible reasons to hesitate to talk to a professional about problems and situations that have a personal, emotional piece. Sometimes, it’s nothing more than worrying that it might make things an even bigger problem than they already are. So, it’s fine to be cautious, but  –  there comes a […]

Choosing to Consult

It was never totally clear to me what the characteristics were of someone choosing to seek consultation. It wasn’t always an outright crisis, but sometimes it was because something had recently “blown up” and needed to be talked about. More often there were all kinds of mixed messages going back and forth, demands and nudges […]

How dealing with people works at the workplace

Contrary to some schools of thought, successful “people management” is not really a science – it’s more an art. But it’s also a skill that can be learned.  Some managers are naturally blessed with the right temperament for handling people – which mostly means they make fewer unforced errors at the beginning. But, with a little self-nudge and an […]

A Classic “Ask Shaun”

Shaun, when do I pull the plug on my immature, s***-for-brains, possibly dangerous ex, who – here we go again – is playing games, is not paying child support, and is barely even trying to keep his end of the visitation agreement?  I know boys need their Dads – my sons sure do totally adore theirs – and I […]

Home and Work

“My workplace is home. My actual home is Hell.” I remember starting out mildly amused at the way she said it, assuming she was exaggerating slightly, but I got very sad – for everyone – when it was clear from her moist eyes, that she mostly meant it. For her, her workplace was where there […]

The Premise Behind “90 for 90”

As I look back at all those client-contact moments and sessions, all the way to the beginning of my professional career, I’m hoping to see as clearly as possible what were the things that helped – really  – what were the crucial elements to the best outcomes? I can’t get past the conclusion that it […]

Managing Is Not For Wusses

Not everyone slides easily into managing. I’ve seen highly-competent self-starters, responsible for big projects involving huge dollar amounts, totally fall apart when called upon to handle a “people” problem in the workplace. Too often, they “handle” it by simply avoiding it, letting it fester and play out, then – when the situation has broken wide-open […]