Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Now I Can "Rationally" Tell You...

      I have some AMAZING news to share with you today! But first, some background...

     After 16 years of working with couples and individuals in various treatment settings, I have come to understand that relationships don’t have to be that hard. We are all walking around on this earth trying to connect with others and build meaningful and satisfying bonds. But for so many there is something getting in the way of this experience, something preventing individuals and couples from having the joyful life they want and deserve.

    You would think it would be different by now. After all, humans have been roaming the planet for hundreds of thousands of years, somehow we humans have made it this far. We have more ways than ever to stay connected: smart phones, e-mails, text messaging, e-mail chatting, Internet social networks, access to travel. Go to any bookstore and you’ll find dozens of books which instruct people how to stay in fulfilling relationships. Turn on any daytime talk show and you’ll see “experts” sharing how to have better communication, more pleasure, happier unions. More and more American states and worldwide governments are legally recognizing marriage equality. Given all this, why are so many relationships so unsatisfying?

    Because most people are never taught the intelligent and practical tools and skills of Rational Relating that create and enhance serenity, joy, and fulfillment in an intimate connection. They are at a loss how to maintain authentic connections with other humans on a consistent basis. They do not have role models or guides to demonstrate and teach the intricacies of negotiations and compromise. They do not understand that love, attention, respect, and honor, are given to one’s self before they can be truly received from someone else.

    Today I am thrilled to announce that my new book, "Rational Relating" has been picked up for publishing and distribution by Red Skies Publishing for a February, 2013, release date. "Rational Relating" is a mindful and cognitive approach to enhancing relationships with others. It offers a step-by-step framework that enables couples to expand joy, serenity, and pleasure, while minimizing, pain, resentment, and suffering. It demonstrates how relationship "pillars" can be strengthened and maintained by promoting integrity, communication, compassion, responsibility, and compromise in connection with others. It is the culmination of my 16 years of practicing and studying the art and science or relationships, and I can't wait to share it with you!

    If you are interested in learning more, booking me as a speaker with your organization or group, or coming to see me in New York City for counseling or education, feel free to contact me at, or call me at 347-227-7707.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Summer Readin' Had Me A Blast: Two Ways To Cool Your Soul In The Heat

The Summer of 2012 is going down in my mind as the best ever.  Even though, like you, I am witnessing record breaking heat, random acts of violence, an unstable economy, and a nasty political campaign.  At the same time, I am feeling more joy, fulfillment, and potential than at any other point in my life.  Why?  Because I have been reading new books written by two of my living heroes that have completely changed the game for me on how I'm approaching this thing called "world."

The first is written by spiritual leader, author, and "demotivational speaker," Jacob Glass.  For the last two decades, Glass has shared his messages of wisdom, inspiration, and peace with mass audiences in the Southern California region.  He has assisted tens of thousands of people (myself included) in making permanent changes by eliminating toxic relationships, and finding ways to pursue dreams with humor, patience, and love.  Now anyone can access his work.  His latest book, "Starve A Bully, Feed A Champion" provides a series of helpful and insightful tips for coping with the stressors that we are all facing in today's world.  Chapters such as, "An Attitude of Gratitude," "Just Like Me!", "The Proof Is In The Fruitage," and "A World Of Wonder", offer essential tips for helping you to see the world, and your relationships with others, in a completely fresh way.  It reminds me that although I cannot change the violence, the extreme weather, or political mudslinging, I do choose how I experience and react it to it.

The other book that is helping me tap into a whole new level of empowerment and self-efficacy this summer is titled, "The Charge: Activating the 10 Human Drives That Make You Feel Alive."  Written by New York Times best-selling author Brendon Burchard, "The Charge" offers a concise and brilliant outline that helps the reader, regardless of your location or situation, access a focused and conscientious ascension in your daily life.  It helps you to note where you are getting "stuck", and then how to take focused and intelligent steps in a healthier direction.  What I love about Burchard's work is that he presents profoundly instructive concepts in ways that are down-to-earth, easy-to-follow, ethical, and effective.  His ideas are grounded in Positive Psychology, a decade of training some of the world's top speakers, and advances in Neuroscience.  I began reading his books and studying his trainings about a year ago. And I can honestly tell you that his information has made a substantial difference in my work, in my income, and most importantly, in the joy I experience on a day-to-day basis.

In my private psychotherapy practice in New York City I help individuals and couples cope with feelings related to global and personal violence, challenges in relationships, and the basic "blahs" of daily living.  While each person's emotional experience is unique and personal, I have found unequivocally that emotional pain becomes alleviated when perspective is changed.  When one stops fighting reality with "shoulds", and begins living reality with humility and acceptance, then they make room for emotional changes.  My work helps people understand how they can integrate tools of healing, growth, and resilience, into every day situations and circumstances.  To learn more, feel free to respond to this email, or call me at 347-227-7707.  Also feel free to check out my Therapick profile where you can see a short video of my work, and free profiles of other therapists in your area.

So please don't let these long hot messy days bring you down.  Take back your mind, take back your mood, take back your life by checking out this new reading material.  Let me know how I can help.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Why I'm Getting "Lost In Staten Island" on June 28th

Loving someone with a severe mental illness is challenging.  But losing that person to suicide is one of the hardest things a family can ever go through.  Surviving such a loss takes patience, courage, hope, and even humor.  Fortunately, New York playwright Richard Sheinmel has brought all of these elements together in his groundbreaking new play, "Lost In Staten Island," now playing through July 1st at La Mama in Manhattan, 74E E.4th Street in the East Village, for only $18.  

Based on true events that took place in Sheinmel's family, "Lost In Staten Island" offers the audience a glimpse of how a family absorbs the shock and horror of losing a son and a brother in such a tragic way.  After the death of his brother, the character of Mitch (Sheinmel) must return home to accompany his mother on a day full of difficult but necessary tasks.  Alternately humorous and heartfelt, the drive takes them to unexpected places, where nerves are bared, secrets revealed, and confessions made. Although he grew up in “the forgotten borough,” he finds the familiar roads hard to navigate when landmarks change.

I am proud to be hosting a discussion panel following the performance on Thursday, June 28th, that will address the themes brought up in the play, and will help the audience learn practical and effective ways to survive such devastation.  I am thrilled to be joined on stage by following panel:
Richard Sheinmel (Playwright, Performer) was born on Coney Island, and is a graduate of both LaGuardia HS for Music and the Performing Arts and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.  His produced plays include Downtown Dysfunctionals (librettist; Zipper Theater, 2001) where he met his longtime collaborator composer and lyricist Clay Zambo, Jitter (Arclight Theatre, 2006), and the Modern Living series which began in 2006,  in the club at La MaMa ETC and is currently now playing, of which the Post Modern Living edition was published in “Plays and Playwrights 2011” and is available for download at    For more information or to contact Richard go to

Deniece Chi (Family Coordinator at National Alliance On Mentally Ill) turned to NAMI for help in January 2005, two weeks after her daughter Lucy was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. A single mom at the time, Deniece decided to educate herself about her daughter’s condition, particularly since she was finding that the existence of mental illness was often denied in her Caribbean culture. Her commitment to the program led to her hire in January 2010 as NAMI-NYC Metro’s Family and Basics Coordinator and State Trainer. Since then, Deniece has taught over 50 classes and has graduated over 500 parents and professionals. Deniece has been instrumental in NAMI-NYC Metro’s use of NAMI Basics to train workers in the child welfare system and parent advocates in the mental health and child welfare systems. She is honored to be able to help family members find the support, respect and services that they deserve.

Kathy McGuire (Volunteer with American Foundation For Suicide Prevention) provides support, aid, and comfort to those who have lost someone to suicide after losing her own father to suicide in 1971.   Her day job is a Sales Assistant with a Wall Street  brokerage firm.    Kathy was born and raised in New York City in the exact middle of the baby boom and remained a lifetime resident.   Her favorite things in the world:  swimming, kayaking, birdwatching, book clubs, and the Russian Bath-House.  Ongoing reminder to herself:  To get to LaMama ET more often. 

So please consider joining me for a night of entertainment, education, and healing.  Even if you can't come on June 28th, the show is definitely worth seeing.  Tickets are only $18 and available for purchase here.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Finding The Quality of Equality

History was made this past month when President Obama endorsed same-sex marriage in the United States.  There has been much media coverage and celebration of this courageous and progressive statement.  But what I find missing in all the arguments around same-sex marriage is how people intend to maintain the quality of their equality.  In a country where over half of heterosexual marriages end in divorce, do GLBT couples truly want to replicate the exact same dynamics?  Or is there a way to change the approach to couple-hood so that all relationships can be politically and emotionally satisfying?

Of course I am completely supportive of equal marriage rights for all.  But I am also in favor of couples becoming better educated, more prepared, and further counseled about taking this legal step in their relationship.  I believe that Marriage Family Therapists like myself would see a lot less business if people learned basic relationship skill sets before they committed to a lifetime together.  My psychotherapy practice assists individuals and couples in learning effective and proactive tools that can be easily implemented outside the therapy room, so that relationships remain a source of empowerment, fulfillment, and fun.

I have always believed that arts and entertainment, especially theater, can be a great source of learning and reflection. To that end, I am thrilled to be facilitating a panel discussion after "A Dance For Rylie" on Wednesday, June 13th, at 45 Bleecker Street, at 5pm.  This innovative and groundbreaking musical examines the political and medical intricacies of a serodiscordant relationship (meaning one is HIV positive and the other is HIV negative).  It demonstrates the essential role of compassion, communication, and compromise, in building and sustaining a long term and joyful union.  I hope you will join me on June 13th, or any one of the other performances, for this beautiful and eloquent play.  The tickets are only $18, and are on sale here.  

The biggest mistake one can make in a relationship is to wait until it's over to ask for help.  Would you wait until the house burned down to call the fire department?  Then please consider how counseling can help you maintain the quality of your equality before the arguments, the resentments, and the anger build up.  To discuss further, please feel to reach me at, or call at 347-227-7707.  If you or anyone you know wants to see a video profile of my work, please check out my Therapick page. 

I hope your summer is starting "should-less"!  Let me know how I can help. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

It Goes Without Saying Doesn't Go Without Saying

I recently was listening to a podcast during which a discussion ensued about the importance of effective HIV prevention, education tools. and fundraisers like the AIDS Walk.  During this dialogue, the guest repeatedly told the hosts, "It goes without saying...", as if everyone was in unanimous agreement about how to help prevent HIV, and this "should" have already be known.  This exchange made me realize how assumptions, shaming, and "shoulds" can impair effective communication not only in public spheres, but in personal relationships.

From where I sit, nothing goes without saying.  It doesn't matter if you are communicating to a million listeners, or one primary partner, believing that something just goes without saying, and you shouldn't have to use words to express yourself, greatly impairs your ability to relate with others, to build trust, and to form deeper connections.  Nothing compromises a relationship as much as verbally shutting down.  When someone says "I shouldn't have to __________[show affection, say 'thank you', give attention, or say 'I love you']", they are literally damaging the structure of their relationship, and creating a breeding ground of disconnection, fear, and withdrawal.

My private practice assists individuals and couples learn how to use effective communication strategies that enable deeper intimacy and joy with others.  A significant part of that has included challenging and unlearning harmful "shoulds" that impair one's ability to connect and build loving relationships with others.  And another essential ingredient involves reducing the amount of assumptions and misunderstandings that take place verbally and non-verbally throughout the course of a relationship.  It is through these changes that it becomes possible to make choices and decisions that allow loving connections with others to flourish.  If you are interested in learning more, please don't hesitate to contact me at, or call me at 347-227-7707.  Or to see a video preview of my work, please check out my Therapick profile where you can see me and dozens of other therapists in your area.  Late night appointments are available on request.

Speaking of communication and HIV/AIDS services, I am proud to be walking again this year in the 2012 New York AIDS Walk.  The funds raised provide meals, medical care, mental health, and case management services that maximize the quality and quantity of life for people living with HIV.  If you are able, please donate what you can here. 

I hope you are having a great week, and let me know how I can help,

Thursday, April 5, 2012

FREE Rational Relating Workshop Monday April 23rd

You've Heard Relationships Covered From Every Perspective...Except This One
Relating with other humans doesn't have to be that complicated! Why do the majority of relationships end in pain, hurt, and anger? Because most people are never taught the intelligent and practical tools and skills necessary for finding and enhancing serenity, joy, and gratitude in an intimate relationship. They are at a loss as to how to maintain authentic connections with other humans on a consistent basis. They don’t have role models or guides to demonstrate and teach the intricacies of negotiations and compromise. They don’t understand that love, attention, respect, and honor, are given to one’s self before they can be truly received from someone else.

After 15 years of helping couples and individuals in relationships, I have found certain "pillars" to be the present in all successful relationship "structures." These are:


As with any structure, these pillars need to be proactively attended to and reinforced consistently in order to weather the storms and stressors of every day living. This workshop will offer participants the opportunity to learn fun and effective ways to integrate these pillars into their every day relationships.

Join us for a FREE evening of information, fun, and learning! 

Monday, April 23rd, at 7:30pm, at 311 W. 43rd Street, 8th Floor

Questions? Please write me at

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

YOU Are Enough!!

I recently had the good fortune to spend time with a five-month-old child.  He was patient, calm, loving, totally open to giving and receiving kindness and affection.  He did not have to be told that he was valuable or perfect, he simply lived that truth.  I found myself wanting to protect him from the inevitable messages he will receive from this world - that somehow he is not good enough, strong enough, deserving enough.  I wanted him to grow up remembering every day:  YOU ARE ENOUGH!

Sadly, most people grow up being told the opposite.  Children are rarely given clear and effective instructions of how to dismiss toxic messages that instruct that difference is bad, individuality is inferior, emotions are weak.  Adults tend to internalize these messages and use them to negatively perceive themselves as "old," "fat," "addicted," "damaged," "weary," "unaccomplished," "infected," "disappointed," "unlovable," and "inadequate."  These pejorative labels then become the templates upon which people build unhealthy relationships, make harmful decisions, and suffer great emotional difficulty.

It doesn't have to be this way!!  My book "Absolutely Should-less" offers a step-by-step guide to challenging and unlearning any message that suggests you are not worthy, not valuable, not good enough.  My therapy practice helps people understand there is no universal committee that is judging how much you should weigh, how much money you should be making, whom you should and shouldn't be attracted to, or what you should look like.  These are all internalized messages people receive that are designed to make them depressed, powerless, defeated, and consequently spend money on products they don't really need.

Clearly, a newborn child needs no help in this area.  But as adults living in this world, we need to be disciplined and determined to challenge and dispute harmful or painful beliefs.  Therapy can help.  To learn more about my work, or to find a therapist in your area, please feel free to check out my Therapick profile. From there you can also search for therapists in your area, and see a 2-3 minute video describing how each counselor works.  This service empowers the consumer to investigate and learn more about the professional they may wish to see.

My private practice assists individuals and couples learn the long-held (and usually unconscious) thought patterns that result in anger, stress, depression, hopelessness, and suffering.  I have found unequivocally that when people challenge and alter certain beliefs they experience a sense of relief, calm, satisfaction, and empowerment.  It is through these changes that it is possible to make affirmative and effective decisions that last a lifetime!  If you are interested in learning more, please don't hesitate to contact me at, or call me at 347-227-7707.
I hope you have a wonderful spring, and let me know how I can help!