Are you psychologically wounded and unaware?


7 Self-improvement lessons
Every Adult Should Study

By Peter K. Gerlach, MSW


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  Updated  05-01-2015 

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      This free educational site is devoted to breaking a toxic ancestral [wounds + unawareness] cycle that stresses us all (you) directly and/or indirectly. The site content is a free seven-lesson self-improvement course. This article summarizes the content of each lesson and provides links to them. Each lesson includes articles, worksheets, quizzes, resources, a link index, and a hyperlinked study guide. These lessons build on each other, so study them in order.

      This YouTube video clip overviews these seven lessons:

      This unique course is based on my 36 years' research and experience as a family-systems and trauma-recovery therapist, blended with the wisdom of scores of wise teachers and clinicians. The course integrates theories on personalities + communication + grief + relationships + families + parenting. In working with well over 1,000 average women and men in my therapy practice and classes, I have never met one adult who had integrated these topics into an effective lifestyle. Nor have I seen any course like this one.

      Most people (like you?) are unaware of what you'll find in this practical course. That means that their (your) kids and grandkids are unaware too. To understand why this course and site exist, please study these first...

  • the introduction to this nonprofit, ad-free Web site,

  • these underlying premises; and ...

  • this overview of the lethal [wounds + unawareness] cycle, and... .

  • If some terms are unclear, see this glossary.

How to Break the lethal [wounds + unawareness] Cycle

Course Outline

Lesson 1: Assess yourself for inherited psychological wounds, and reduce any you find by freeing your true Self to guide you.

Lesson 2: Learn to think, communicate, and problem-solve effectively.

Lesson 3: Learn about bonding, losses, and healthy grieving, and grow pro-grief relationships.

Lesson 4: Learn relationship basics, and optimize your relationships.

Lesson 5: Learn family basics, and evolve a high-nurturance ("functional") family

Lesson 6: Learn effective-parenting basics, and raise Grown Nurtured Children (GNCs)

Lesson 7: Apply Lessons 1-6 to evolve a high-nurturance stepfamily and avoid probable psychological or legal re/divorce.

      Many of the Web pages in Lessons 1-7 include brief YouTube videos.

      This Break the Cycle Web site is augmented by an international  FaceBook discussion group. The group has 1520 members as of 01-01-2015.

      The final sections of this Web site are...

Options for alerting other people to the [wounds + unawareness] cycle and how to break it; and...

Suggestions to human-service professionals on how to use these ideas to help clients reduce psychological wounds, live better lives, and increase the nurturance-level of their families. (under construction).

  Lesson Outlines

      The title links below will take you to each lesson. 

LESSON 1)  WOUND HEALING. A high majority of average women and men are unaware of carrying up to six specific psychological wounds from early-childhood abandonment, neglect, and abuse (trauma). This Lesson shows you how to assess for such wounds and reduce them by freeing your true Self to guide you. 

      This keystone Lesson has four parts, following an introductory overview of addictions:

  • Learn about personality subselves and Grown Wounded Children (GWCs);

  • Assess yourself for up to six psychological wounds;

  • Evolve and work an effective plan to free your true Self from false-self dominance and reduce your wounds; and...

  • Learn how to spot and relate to other wounded people

LESSON 2)  EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION - Effective communication and thinking is essential for all relationships, families, and organizations - yet our ancestors and schools don't teach these basics and seven skills. Test your knowledge by taking this quiz. This lesson has four parts:

  • Basic concepts - what you need to know about communicating;.

  • Seven powerful skills. If you can't name and describe the skills, you're not using them.

  • Useful communication tools and resources, and...

  • Key relationship applications of these basics, skills, and tools..

      To sample Lesson-2 topics, see these YouTube videos. They're meant to augment, not replace, the lesson study guide.

LESSON 3) LEARN TO DO "GOOD GRIEF" - We all have losses (broken bonds) throughout our lives. Unawareness and ignorance of healthy mourning  promotes incomplete grief. That promotes significant psychological and physical problems like "depression," addictions, obesity, and diabetes. These four parts  show you how to spot and finish incomplete grief, and grow a "pro-grief" family.

  • Basics - what you and your kids need to know about bonding, losses, and healthy grief;

  • Assess yourself or others for incomplete grief.

  • Complete any unfinished grief, and form healthy new bonds.

  • Learn to support other grievers effectively

      To sample Lesson-3 topics, see these YouTube video clips.

LESSON 4)  OPTIMIZE YOUR RELATIONSHIPS - The thriving counseling and therapy industry exists partly because millions of people "can't get along with" (relate to) each other. The primary reasons for this are widespread psychological wounds + ignorance of Lessons 1 thru 4.

      This Lesson provides effective-relationship basics and how to apply them to relationships with your subselves (inner family); Higher Power; your family members, and other adults and kids. To learn what you need to learn about relationships, try this quiz.

      Lesson 4 has five sequential parts.

  • relationship basics

  • relating to yourself,

  • how to solve relationship problems

  • primary relationships, divorce, and ex-mate relations; and...

  • relating effectively to a Higher Power.

      These YouTube videos augment Lesson 4 materials.

LESSON 5)  IMPROVE YOUR FAMILY'S FUNCTIONING - The wide range of personal and social problems suggests that the current family norm is dysfunction. Use Lessons 1-4 to understand the ingredients of a high-nurturance ("functional") family. Then assess the nurturance level of your childhood and current families, and improve the current level as needed.

      To learn what you need to learn about families, take t6his quizLesson-5 parts are:

  • Basic concepts you need to know about all families (like yours)

  • Traits of a high-nurturance ("functional") family

  • Identify and resolve typical "family problems" using knowledge and skills from Lessons 1 thru 4

      To sample Lesson-5 topics, see these brief YouTube videos.

LESSON 6)  EFFECTIVE PARENTING - Unseen psychological wounds are epidemic because of widespread early-childhood abandonment, abuse, and neglect (trauma). This Lesson outlines the developmental and special needs of kids and teens, and how to fill those needs (to nurture) effectively. Without major progress at Lessons 1-6, psychologically-wounded adults  (GWCs) risk unintentionally passing their inherited injuries and unawareness on to their kids.

      Lesson-6 covers:

  • Normal developmental needs of typical minor kids,

  • Effective-parenting basics, including...

    • traits of effective parents

    • communicating effectively with children and teens, and...

    • guidelines for effective child discipline.

      Most of these ideas apply to effective grandparenting.

      To sample Lesson-6 topics, study these YouTube videos.

  LESSON 7)  STEPFAMILIES - Because divorce is so prevalent, millions of stepfamilies exist. Sociologists estimate that typical U.S. stepfamily re/marriages fail more often than first-marriage families. From 36 years' study and counseling over 1,000 stepfamily adults, this Lesson provides stepfamily basics, and applies Lessons 1 thru 6 toward growing a stable, high-nurturance re/marriage and stepfamily. Sequential parts include...

  • Learn stepfamily basics, myths, and realities;

  • Essential courtship education - make three informed choices to avoid probable re/divorce;

  • Stepkids' special needs, and effective co-parenting (stepparenting and bioparenting); and...

  • Avoid or resolve common stepfamily role and relationship problems.

      To sample Lesson-7 topics, see these ad-free YouTube videos.

Apply this knowledge: alert other people to the lethal [wounds + unawareness] cycle and its effects and encourage them to end it. Options:

  • Use your awareness and knowledge from this course to build a high-nurturance family and protect your descendents from the [wounds + unawareness] cycle. As you do...

  • Alert other people to the cycle and its effects, and their options for breaking it.

The last section of this Web site is under construction. It will be a free online course for human-service professionals based on the 7 lessons above. I believe that most professionals on all levels are partially unaware of these topics. Many are psychologically wounded and don't know it., which degrades the effectiveness of their work and their health.

      This self-improvement course will propose how human-service professionals can use their training and skills to help troubled persons, couples, and families...

  • reduce their wounds and free their true Self to guide them,

  • increase their awareness and knowledge,

  • function better, and

  • protect their kids from inheriting this lethal cycle.

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      This page outlines the contents of a seven-lesson online self-improvement course for all adults. The course is free, and is based on 36 years' professional research into human development and behavior. It aims to help people - specially parents - understand and break the lethal [wounds + unawareness] cycle that promotes all personal, relationship, family, and societal problems.       

  This toxic cycle is silently spreading down the generations
and crippling kids and societies around the world
. There are many options for breaking it!

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      Pause, breathe, and reflect - why did you read this outline? Did you get what you needed? If not, what do you need? Who's answering these questions - your true Self, or someone else?

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