Down To Earth Newsletter
Volume 11 – Issue 3 – April, 2012
Introducing Arizona Psychodrama Institute – Established in February 2012, the Arizona Psychodrama Institute unites creative individuals from across Arizona (Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, Flagstaff, and Tucson) under the common mission of teaching Psychodrama, Sociometry, and Group Psychotherapy to organizations, professionals, and students whose practices would be enhanced by using action methods.
Our website offers an e-store where therapists can find psychodrama resources collected in one convenient place. Sign up for our newsletter to be the first to find out about training opportunities like having Four Directors on One Fabulous Day, or the Sociometry Blitz.
Debunking Myths – I’m Entitled to my Privacy!
Myth: Divorced adults frequently find it preferable to withhold certain bits of information from their ex-spouses. Favorite areas of secrecy include new dating partners, vacation plans, large purchases, promotions or raises, layoffs or firings, thinking of moving to another state, minor legal charges like speeding tickets, and cosmetic surgery, among a host of others.
When only adults are involved, this is a fairly simple undertaking. However, when the divorced pair share children, maintaining that privacy requires enlisting the help of the children. Adults who feel entitled to their privacy often task young children with helping them maintain their privacy by telling the children “not to tell” the other parent such-and-such or that the other parent “doesn’t need to know” what goes on in the household.
Fact: Although it would be nice to assert your right to privacy as an adult, Divorced parents with children simply do not have that right. I understand it may sound like heresy to imply that your ex has a right to know what you’re up to, and I’m not actually saying that at all. I don’t think they have much call to know your business once you are divorced, but it’s not about the rights of the adults.
The problem is that whatever goes on in your household, where your children live, is a part of their life. If you are planning a trip to Disneyland, that is part of their life, their story, their world and you are no longer the sole owner of the information or the experience. As soon as something becomes a part of the child’s experience, he has every right to share about his world with his other parent. He has a right to go to the other parent’s house and talk excitedly about how he’s going to ride the rollercoasters and meet Mickey Mouse.
Likewise, if you, as an adult, have been diagnosed with diabetes, that is an event in the child’s life, too. It is his parent who has gotten sick. That’s very scary and he will need people to talk to about that. It is not fair to tell him that he can’t share that information with the other parent.
If there are things that you simply cannot let the other parent know, for whatever reason, make sure the child doesn’t know, then, either. It’s not fair to put them into that position.
Finally, think about what you’re even asking the child to do – keep a secret from his parent. You might think it’s okay because you’re only asking him to keep a secret from the “bad” parent, the parent who “doesn’t deserve” to know the truth, but a kid is not going to see it that way. They will simply learn to keep secrets from parents and they’ll get good at it. That will not come in so handy for you when they turn 14.
Previous Discussion Question: What characteristics do you look for in a boyfriend or girlfriend?
Richard R., a FIRST-ISSUE reader from Wisconsin, offers this response: For a woman to interest me, she’s gotta have her life together. She needs to have an education, an occupation, and know what she likes to do for fun. If she gives up her whole life to be with me, all she becomes is a huge burden and the relationship, although very fun at first, eventually becomes a drag.
Alright, Richard! Fantastic answer! Watch your mailbox, Dr. Marlo Sunglasses are on their way to you.
April Discussion Question: Which Holiday was your favorite as a child and which is your favorite now?
E-mail answers to: firstname.lastname@example.org and answers will appear in the next newsletter. Your state of residence, your first name and last initial will be used unless you tell us not to use them. Anyone who responds and also includes a mailing address will receive our Dr. Marlo Sunglasses!
Thought For The Day: At the first sign of a misunderstanding, slow the conversation down.
PERSONAL GROWTH EXERCISE
To spotlight our E-Coaching services, our newsletter includes a personal growth exercise. These exercises illustrate the kinds of activities our clients are asked to complete when they are using our E-Coaching services. The exercises printed here are quite general in nature, but the exercises sent to our E-Coaching clients are individualized to meet each client’s specific needs. E-Coaching Sessions are available for $50 each.
Breakfast With The Birdies
Two baby thrashers were recently hatched in my back yard. Each morning, for about a week and a half, I took my breakfast out into the backyard to have “Breakfast with the Birdies.” I watched the parents as they flew out of the yard, stayed away for 2, 3, or 5 minutes, then came back with a single piece of food. They approached their nest and two begging babies and fed the tidbit to one of the babies, then flew off again. Shortly, the other parent would fly in with a single bite of food, feed one baby, then fly off. While I sat, enjoying bite after bite of my breakfast, I became very aware of how much work two creatures were going through to ensure the survival of their offspring.
I became so grateful for grocery stores and prepared foods and for not having to hunt down my meals, bite by bite and for not having to wait, hungry, for each bite of food to be brought to me by a kind spirit. Suddenly my run-of-the-mill breakfast seemed to be 5-star, first class, gourmet dining.
Your challenge this month, should you choose to accept, is to eat your meals somewhere out in nature where you can watch wildlife gathering and consuming their meals as well. Bring a journal with you and maybe a camera. Record what you witness, what you think, feel, and what you experience while comparing and contrasting your meals with those of your fellow inhabitants of the planet. You might watch bees or ants, birds or squirrels, ducks, geese, butterflies, deer, or spiders, whatever you have in your environment.
For a FREE 5-Session Trial of E-Coaching, send us a report of how this activity worked for you! We may share your report in our next newsletter with your name, last initial, and state of residence (unless you tell us not to). Send to FreeSessions@drmarlo.com. (Offer Expires 5-15-12)
E-Coaching! Try it Now Before the Rates Go Up!
We have traditionally offered a 10-session consultation package for people who are not diagnosed with any mental illness who would just like some coaching, some guidance, or some personal growth for $500. This price will go up to $650 on July 15th. If you’d like to try it quick before the rates go up, call 480-705-5007 to make the $500 payment, then send an e-mail to DrMarlo@drmarlo.com, expressing your specific area of concern to begin!
Publish Your Work – Promote your Practice – Two ways to publish – for free as a semi-anonymous author (your state of residence, your first name and last initial will be used), or, for $25, as a professional promoting a mental health practice (your full name, with credentials, address, phone number, and e-mail address will be included). We reserve the right to decline to publish any submissions. Send creative contributions to: email@example.com. Currently holding steady at 2680 subscribers.
Dr. Marlo in the Media
“Making Marriage a Success” by Jaleh Donaldson – a complilation book in which Dr. Marlo Archer is quoted.
Join us on Facebook! Click here – Information on Dr. Marlo’s Practice and other resources that are available.
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Woodpecker Note Cards – 20 blank notecards adorned by a photo of a hungry woodpecker atop an agave bloom to send your heartfelt messages
Journal – Wild Burro from Oatman, AZ will guard your innermost thoughts, recorded in this helpful journal.
Arizona Psychodrama Institute offers therapists the chance for CE’s and personal growth! –Marlo J. Archer, Ph.D.