December 2005

Down To Earth Newsletter
Volume 4 – Issue 12 – December, 2005

Psychodrama Seminar –
I will again be assisting the outrageously talented Marcie Edmonds in a Psychodrama Workshop on Saturday, January 28th at her Ahwatukee Office.  The workshop is open to clients or professionals who would like an introduction to psychodrama in a gorgeous setting.  Call Marcie at (602) 460-8270 now to reserve your spot or use the PayPal link at the bottom of this newsletter.  Several clients did OUTSTANDING work at the December seminar and I’m already looking forward to the leaps and bounds others will make in January!

Debunking Myths – A GED isn’t as good as a Diploma

: Lots of kids are coming into my practice right now, fed up with school, and they are declaring that they’re just going to quit school, get their GED, and go to work, and skip several useless years of high school.  Meanwhile, their parents are convinced that the GED is never going to be as good as the High School Diploma, so the parents try to keep the kid in school.  I am often called in, as the ‘referee’ to field this question – Is a GED really as good as a Diploma or not?
Fact: Generally, yes, the GED is just as good as a Diploma.  However, there are a few caveats.  First the arguments supporting a GED as equivalent to a Diploma…

Most employers hiring minimum wage workers, for entry-level jobs don’t care either way.  Since they tend to also hire high school students who have neither a GED nor a Diploma, for an employee to have one or the other is simply a bonus.

Many colleges will accept applicants with the GED or a Diploma.  Although a college is an institution of higher learning, it is also a business and if you want to pay them tuition, they want to have you, as long as you won’t make too much trouble for them on campus.

Finally, for a 16 or 17-year old to have a GED earlier than they could possibly have a Diploma often looks good for the youngster.  It may show that they are motivated to get on with their lives and their careers.  A 16-year-old with a GED will be a desirable hire or college applicant.

Now the drawbacks…  If you happen to be 19 or 20 years old and you don’t have either a GED or a Diploma, don’t expect an invitation to enter college or even to work for minimum wage.  If you want those things, you’ll really have to work hard to convince someone that you’d be responsible enough to succeed.  The GED “advantage” expires on what would have been your high school graduation date.

Additionally, if you have higher goals for yourself than selling insurance or managing a retail clothing outlet, the GED might hold you back when you are compared to others that have a Diploma.  You aren’t necessarily going to get admitted to Harvard with a GED, but my guess is that lots of people who go for a GED probably have no intention of trying to get into Harvard.

The final thing that makes the biggest difference is whether or not the kid is actually going to get the GED, or if he just wants to quit school, hang out, watch TV, and play video games all day while the rest of his age peers sit in Sophomore Biology class.

If a kid is just using the GED as an excuse to do nothing, then there is no advantage.  I coach parents that if a drop-out doesn’t HAVE his GED in 60 days, he’s not very likely to have it in a year, either.  If you’re going to make an agreement with your kid that he can drop out and get a GED, put a time limit on it and make sure that the kid knows, very clearly, what you are going to do or expect if he doesn’t have the GED in 60 days and then you must be prepared to follow-through.

November Discussion Question:  What is it about being alone that makes many people avoid it like the plague?

Sue P., in Oklahoma, offered this:

I find being alone is a good time, a time to reflect and self examine my
thoughts. Its also a creative time for me as an artist. I enjoy being
with folks, but my alone time is a very special place for me.  I feel
that some people don't like themselves and afraid to be alone for fear of
finding out why, maybe they don't want to know!

Congrats, Sue, your Down To Earth prizes are on their way!

December Discussion Question:  What is the most meaningful thing you do during the Holidays?

E-mail answers to: and answers will appear next month.  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 Down To Earth temporary tattoos until supplies are exhausted.

Thought For The Day:  A compliment is easily squashed, just put a “BUT” into it.

FEATURED ARTICLE – When You Wish Upon A Star…

As you may have heard, Walt Disney World is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary this year, with all kinds of special events, including a Marathon that will cover 26.2 magical miles through the enchanted land of Walt Disney World.  How Magic!

When we look at those outrageous accomplishments side-by-side, the building of an empire that has fascinated children and adults for over half a century and the continual coverage of over 26 miles on foot, both may sound impossible, but yet, clearly both have occurred and will continue to occur over time, so you will need to dispel the myth that either of these are impossible.

So, am I asking you to build a theme park, run a marathon, or simply create a business that will last over 50 years?  I’m not specifically suggesting you do any of that, but what I am suggesting is that you at least consider that it might be possible.

If we tell ourselves that we will never get a new job or a new house or have a baby, then those things simply won’t happen.  We’ll be right.  We will not reach those goals.  However, if we dare to dream of promotions, passionate relationships, and rewarding hobbies, then we start to make those things happen.

We can never have everything we want, but if we wish for nothing, we will be certain that that’s exactly what we’ll get.  Nothing.

Take advantage of the Holiday season to let your heart dream.  Look forward to 2006 with a spark in your eye and a bounce in your step.  Anything you dare to dream just might come true!

The Psychology Session – Internet Radio ShowHost Devin Jones and Dr. Marlo were featured in the December, 2005 issue of the APA Monitor

about this show that broadcasts live every Monday from 11:30a-12:30p at  We welcome suggestions for topics or guests we should have on the show.  You can also advertise on our show for $5 per 15-second spot .  E-mail suggestions or inquiries to

Dr. Marlo’s Movie Madness – Entertainment & Education – Join us on the Third Thursday of each month for a free movie with a mental health theme.  Interested parties can stay after the movie for a discussion about the movie.  One credit informal CE awarded for a $10 fee.  Upcoming Features:  January 19 – Monster, February 9 (NOTE: Second Thursday) – King of Hearts, March 16 – Mine Own Executioner, April 20 – Pay it Forward, May 18 – Crash, June 15 – Door to Door..  Networking at 7:15pm, Movie at 7:30pm, Discussion until 10:00pm.  Sign up for Movie Madness updates by sending a blank e-mail with ‘subscribe’ in the subject line to


Not sure if face-to-face therapy is for you?  Don’t have time to drive across town to appointments?  Just have a quick question or two?  E-Therapy is for you!  Dr. Marlo provides e-mail consultation and phone sessions.  Go to to select a 30 or 60-minute phone or live chat session or e-mail consultations.  Perfect for people outside of Arizona, people too busy to come into the office, or people who want to investigate therapy a little bit before coming in for face-to-face sessions.  Give it a try!

Publish Your Work – Promote your PracticeTwo 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 $10, 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:

Dr. Marlo in the Media – Check out “Parent Trap” by Cheriese Chambers in December’s Arizona Parenting.  The article discusses the dangers of trying harder to be your child’s friend than his/her parent.

How did I get on this Mailing List?This mailing list started with all of my family and friends and colleagues, about 5 years ago.  Since then, I have added just about any e-mail address I come across as well as people who request to join the mailing list.  If you do not want to be on this list, you can unsubscribe by clicking the unsubscribe link below.  I continue to subscribe people upon receiving their e-mail addresses because I get positive feedback for doing so from many of those I subscribe.   My apologies if you are not one of them.

Be good to yourself this Holiday Season!  –Marlo J. Archer, Ph.D.

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