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I was an engineer
(BSME from Stanford), trainer, and manager for GT&E and IBM for 17 years.
In 1979, I began my second career by earning a Master's degree in social
work (MSW) from George Williams college near Chicago. That led to being a professional
educator, and therapist in private practice. I began by specializing in
work with couples, divorcing families, and stepfamilies, partly
motivated by own divorce and experience as a stepfather and stepson.
My engineering training and experience has unexpectedly been of great
benefit in my therapy with people and families. It taught me how to
analyze complex human problems
and break them into manageable projects. Since 1979, I've only met two
other therapists with this unusual engineering--business-clinical
It has also led me to the systematic study of human communication -
including thinking and hypnosis - for over 40 years.
in this Web site and these related
summarize what I've learned so far. One learning:
fewer than 5% of "educated"
people (like you?) know how to
They don't know what they don't know, or what their unawareness costs
them, their kids, and our troubled society and world.
In 1986 (at age 48), I discovered both
my parents had been functional alcoholics, our family was very
dysfunctional, and my childhood was very traumatic. That epiphany
sparked an obsessive quest to understand addiction, "family
dysfunction," the effects of growing up in a
family, and how to assess and
six psychological wounds.
That quest has led me to evolve
my life mission and the theme of this Web site -
improving personal and family
health by educating people (like you) on how to
toxic wounds and
from passing down the generations.
I have designed and led over 400 classes and seminars for adults and teens on interpersonal communications
grieving, anger management, addictions,
divorce recovery; effective parenting; and
My sponsors have included the State of Illinois;
Cook County States Attorney's Office, the Catholic Diocese (Family Life
Office) of Rockford IL, Mothers Without Custody, major
Chicago-area businesses; Governors State, Northwestern, Northeastern Illinois, and Northern
Illinois universities; and many local schools, churches, and mental-health agencies.
appeared on local and national radio and NBC television speaking on these topics.
I was a board member of a large suburban-Chicago mental health center for
seven years, including a term a president. I was also president of the local
high school's Citizen's Advisory Council
Three decades of clinical study and research, 27 years' personal
wound recovery, and seven decades of life experience, have
contributed to my forming the premises
that underlie this site and my work.
At age 75, I am deeply concerned about crippling
global indifference to...
teaching kids and adults to think and communicate more effectively,
the pandemic toxic
of unqualified child conception and parenting,
psychological and legal divorce; and...
damage we humans are doing to our Earth.
To do something constructive about several of these issues, I have
uploaded over 170 brief, educational
the 7 sequential
Lessons in this Web site.
The videos are meant to help visual and auditory learners grasp the
main ideas in this course. Many articles and worksheets in this site
have one or more of these videos embedded in it.
To optimize your learning,
study the online lessons, not just the videos.
I've been confined to a wheelchair since 2006 because of an incurable muscle-wasting disease. I had to retire from
my private therapy practice in January
2006, and now do
phone consultations from Portland, Oregon (USA).
My main focus since 1986 has been on assisting people in...
In 1981, my second divorce and life-long anxiety, pretense, and
isolation caused me to hit personal bottom. I was 43,
childless, and alone. That led to discovering that I was a normal "ACoA":-
the Adult Child of an Alcoholic family, I began proactive
"recovery" in 1986. That led to learning about the roots and effects
of addiction, including relationship addiction -
Over time, hundreds of students and troubled therapy clients taught
me that common ACoA problems like
shame, depression, isolation, reality distortion, distrust, anxiety,
numbness, confusion, and divorce were common to all kids who
experienced early-childhood abandonment, neglect, and abuse
Since then, affirmations from viewers of my YouTube videos from all over the world
consistently indicate that inheriting psychological [wounds and
unawareness] is a problem in all cultures,.
My quest to understand
these wounds and how to
and reduce them (lesson 1) has led me to shift from childhood atheism to
belief in a benign, accessible, responsive
Higher P)ower It also
me to learn and practice
inner-family therapy since 1992. Both of these have profoundly changed my life and work.
My work with over 1,000 average Midwestern-US clients suggests that...
over 80% of the adults in typical
troubled (American) lives, relationships, and families are
Grown Wounded Children (GWCs),
formation and operation, and...
communication and problem-solving, and...
and healthy grief; and...
relationships and families, and...
Test your knowledge of
these topics by taking these
typical GWCs don't (want to) know this or what it
means to them and their kids
until they accumulate stress and
- usually in mid-life; and...
the American (and
global?) public is unaware of - and uninterested in - this epidemic
[wounds + ignorance] cycle.
I began broadcasting what I've learned about solving
problems on the Web in 1999. Since then, my nonprofit, ad-free Web site has evolved in structure and content. In May of 2009, I
began enlarging the site's
scope to all families, and shifting the format to a free 7-module self-improvement
to help offset the toxic unawareness above.
I've never seen another book, program, or Web site
focused on understanding and breaking the toiuc [wounds + unawareness] cycle. If you know of one,
please let me know!
If you don't need to know my background in stepfamilies, go
Stepfamily Therapy and
I spent two years (full time) researching lay and professional stepfamily literature published between 1979 and 1980 for my social work
Master's-degree thesis, and have taken over 400 hours of clinical
post-graduate training in a wide range of topics since then. I have
consulted with well over 1,000 typical Mid-western
divorcing and stepfamily
co-founded the nonprofit Stepfamily Association of Illinois, Inc. (SAI) with interested
others in 1981. Shortly after that, I was invited to join the
Board of Directors of the Stepfamily
Association of America (SAA) by its founders, Drs. John and Emily Visher. I later served on
Advisory Council, and was invited to rejoin the Board in March, 2002 by
President Marjorie Engel.
I took over 3,000 calls on the Stepfamily inFormation "warm-line." I moderated
the "Stepfamily Issues" chat at Divorcenet.comfor two years, and have
answered over 500 online stepparenting questions at
AllExperts.com. I rejoined AllExperts.com
2008 as an expert in effective communication and counseling.
I have learned from over 1,000 typical
family adults from all walks of life, in over 18,000 hours of personal consultations, classes,
and workshops. I have published my learnings in this (evolving) non-profit Web
site, several magazines, and a series of
guidebooks for lay and
professional readers. I was also a
contributing editor for SAA's e-magazine Your Stepfamily Online.
created a modular 18-hour class
for stepfamily adults, and led versions of it for scores of groups in
the Chicago area. One module is a unique three-hour stepfamily
role-play for groups of 12 or
more people to raise their awareness experientially. That class is the basis
Lesson 7 in this Web site. I also taught a half-day portion of a
weekend seminar to 40 groups of remarrying couples.
perspective on consulting with me by phone or Skype, read this and view
me, click this.
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- totally anonymous, no advertizing.