Career and Honors

Beliefs about Counseling and Coaching


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Most Recent Paper:

After Separation: Reflections on the Plight of the Alienated Child

SERVICES | Resolving Life Impasses

From the moment of birth until our confrontation with our final days, our human lives move through a series of challenging episodes. At the beginning of life, the pace of change and the unfolding of developmental transitions come with astonishing rapidity. After a while - usually with the entry into elementary school - there follows a period of some consolidation and relative quiescence. This, however, quickly gives way to the destabilization and turbulence characteristic of adolescence as we encounter the need to create our identities, to ready ourselves for separation from our families of origin, and to assume adult responsibilities.

After surmounting all such preparatory challenges, however, we are not permitted to continue the journey of life unruffled for very long. For each of us, the years of unfolding of our maturity are filled intermittently with ever greater challenge and with the need to master the complexities of new assignments, novel problems to be solved, and a host of agonizing moral dilemmas embedded in so many of them. Among the predictable periods of adult challenge are such matters as:

  • The final formation of sexual and occupational identity
  • Separating from the family of origin
  • “Singles” dilemmas and courtship turbulence
  • Building intimate relationships
  • The transition to parenthood
  • Mastering early parenting requirements
  • Dual career marital stress
  • Marital ennui
  • The “sandwich” phenomenon (having to care for children and one’s parents at the same time)
  • The leave-taking of children and empty nest turbulence
  • Filling the empty nest with a reorganized life
  • Career burnout or career transition
  • Retirement realignment
  • Adjustment to bereavement
  • The final challenge: the acceptance of death

In addition to such normative and predictable life crises, a majority of us must also endure one or more agonizing life dilemmas that fate may cruelly inflict on us. I refer here to such matters as:

  • Problems with infertility and the possibility of adoption
  • Family pain brought on by special needs children
  • Children’s learning/behavior difficulties
  • Marital dissolution and later stepfamily creation
  • Self or family members’ adjustment to serious illness
  • Premature death of a loved one
  • Externally inflicted traumas of all kinds (extra-marital affairs, natural disasters, criminal acts, litigation, auto accidents, severe reversals of financial status, and others).

So many of us find ourselves in one or another of these rapids of change and do not know how or where to swim through them. We experience a sense of being overwhelmed and feel without the resources to avoid the rocks in front of us or even to continue without drowning altogether. I have made it my life’s work to understand the nature of the distress experienced by clients who find themselves in any of these episodes of personal life turbulence, and I stand ready to help facilitate a resolution of the challenge for most who come to consult in our offices.

IF YOU SEE YOURSELF IN THIS DESCRIPTION, COUNSELING CAN BE OF HELP. In the supportive and understanding counseling environment, you can be taught practical skills for rising to and overcoming the life challenges that now may appear to be confusing or overwhelming. Please consider using one of the links provided below...