Speak from your heart and be heard

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Welcome to my website and an invitation to explore new worlds and adventures. My short stories are personal, inspired by situations I’ve experienced or recollections of clients’situations. Characters are challenged to express their truth and speak up for themselves, risking life’s wrath when they don’t.

I invite you, my readers, to examine your truth and the potential outcomes of expressing it so you may empower yourself to design the life you want to live.

I’m passionate about writing. I believe that writing can bring the parts of our brain into harmony and nourish our soul. We live in a time when dinosaurs are extinct and life on this planet is at stake. Playing video games threatens to transcend human interaction and communication is often reduced to sound bytes. Speaking and recording our thoughts is more important than ever. This is our legacy.

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About The Promise

This love story is about a pole dancer and a patron.

Haunted by images of the maid killing her little brother, Misty dances to escape. While she shows her beautiful body to the world, her wounds are locked inside. Bonds of sisterhood with the dancers give her the courage and strength to heal her wounds.

As Ned comes into Misty’s life, he wrestles with his demons but remains stuck until Misty presents him with her gift of love and protects him from falling into evil ways.

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Featured Story

The Promise

Excerpt From the Promise

I’ll never forget the day I met Misty. You might think I’d regret that day, if you hadn’t seen her elegance, grace and serenity. If you hadn’t seen Misty move like an angel.

I’d left my office and stopped for a nightcap in Old Town Scottsdale. Six months had passed since my boss had ordered me to the bible church to “reclaim my inner man.”  Now, I’d given all that up and I found myself lonely in the evening, back at the bars on Stetson Drive. I’d dressed for the occasion with my best wrangler shirt and string tie, boots shined and black hair slicked back to perfection.

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Latest Works

The Replacement Child
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Monitored
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Sex Education
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Marriage under the Microscope

Putting marriage under the microscope was somewhat of a novelty back in the 80s when I was a graduate student in counseling. At the time, many therapists had run into roadblocks when they adopted approaches from behavioral therapies. Couples weren’t experiencing lasting change.

Popular “Behavior Exchange” approaches were based on the idea that social behaviors are akin to an exchange of goods. In a distressed relationship, “Mark and Marie” might be coached to work out more reciprocal behaviors such as, “If you take out the garbage, I’ll do the dishes.”

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When Parents are Toxic

When to Forgive?

What can you do if the source of your misery is your own parent? Just as there are good parents who mysteriously produce difficult children, there are truly toxic parents who have truly decent children.

In my work with a universe of clients, I’ve observed that although many parents may be predisposed to love their children unconditionally and protect them from harm, this is not universal. I’ve worked with many clients whose parents did not show love to them or protect them from abuse.

One client who came to me for healing and help in building self- esteem.  She had been physically punished and beaten, emotionally ridiculed and shamed, denied a voice and repeatedly sexually violated by a close relative as her mother looked the other way.

My inclination was to encourage her to sever ties with her widowed mother. But because I Continue reading

A PATH TO SELF ESTEEM: Helping Children Use their Words

April 18, 2016

Smiling African American parents coloring with their little boy.As a consultant in the elementary schools, I’m impressed when I hear a teacher let’s call her Ms. Jones-say to an angry, explosive child, “Jamie, can you use your words to tell us what’s wrong, please?” Children like Jamie would otherwise be stuck in their uncontrolled outbursts, which are upsetting to both them and us.

It is difficult for children to put their emotions into words. They are more inclined to have an emotional outburst than to say, “I’m mad at you,” and explain why. Their inclinations are to act out their feelings rather than use words to express them.

Miss Jones is a wise teacher. She knows that if she can help children learn to use words instead of actions to communicate their feelings, they will gain confidence in themselves.

Ms. Jones knows that the most useful response when others hurt our feelings, is to honestly say Continue reading

Violence and Twisted Psyches

Brain model made from rusty metal gearsWriters have become intrigued by people who’ve worked with veterans with post-traumatic stress and then become terrorists, wreaking their own violent acts. They’ve asked if the steady exposure to horror stories could have a profound impact. In her updated 2011 article in the HuffPost Media, Aimee Liu cited the examples of Major Hasan who went on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood and Robert Remington, the Yale psychiatry resident, who was arrested for amassing weapons which included illegal assault weapons and a sniper rifle. Both worked with trauma victims.  Liu asks:

“Could it be that there is something about the steady exposure to stories of the horror of war that twists the psyche?”

It seems likely that exposure to horror stories has the potential for inducing traumatic responses or even pain and empathic grief in the therapist or caregiver. In extreme cases, I suppose it could lead them to Continue reading

Deconstructing Hana on Bernie

April 8, 2016

iStock_000063873129_SmallReading Hana Schank’s comments in a Salon post of March 2nd made my blood boil. Hana implies that women over 45 are supporting Hillary, and those under 45 are “feeling the Bern.” Not on my watch.

I’m an “older something” woman, psychologist who supported Hillary in ’08 because I didn’t know better and because she might have seemed trustworthy then, before the debacles of her reign as secretary of state and the email fiasco. And that was before I became aware of her being bought off by Wall Street and the democratic establishment. I idealized Bill Clinton when I was too uninformed to know the pitfalls of some of his policies (Wall Street and Welfare). Bill had class, a well-thought-out philosophy and a deep intelligence. I’m not sure what that has to do with Hillary, even though she and Bill seem to be related and part of the dynasty.

Well, Continue reading

Memory and Trauma

April 5, 2016

Peter Levine, an expert and my guru on trauma, has written a new book, Memory and Trauma. I was blessed to hear him speak at our local Phoenix treasure, the Musical Instrument Museum.  A soothing setting for this topic.

What with all the shootings and gun violence, seems like we need him more than ever.

The more I understand about how early trauma starts, the more hopeful I feel that we can reduce the incidence of violent events. Peter presented an awesome case about a fourteen-month-old baby boy who’d experienced a very complicated and painful breech birth. Jack was suffering from many physical symptoms, including reflux, and had failed to bond with his mother following the complicated Cesarean delivery. He also showed angry responses to social overtures. Jack was about to go “under the knife” for correction of his physical problems when he was spared by Peter’s treatment. Continue reading