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Sometimes You Just Need a Fixer

There are times you may find yourself in a jam at work or your personal life that could ruin it for you. You may find you have all kinds of people and questions coming at you… you just don’t know how to handle it. That is where I come in. Let me handle it. Let me. Fix it.

One call and it is done.



Marital Conflict is Not a Mental Health Disorder

When two people form a union, whether a legal union – such as marriage, or a domestic partnership, there will be conflict. These are the facts of life. How conflict is managed depends upon a number of factors. The most important of which, is how conflict was handled in that person’s family growing up. The other factor is personality of the individuals. The statistical data regarding the success of marriage counseling is inconclusive, but given that more couples are seeking therapy than ever before, and the divorce rate is on the higher, it seems that seeking psychological help for a non-mental health problem may not be the answer.

Studies show that one of the reasons marriage counseling and therapy do not work is that the marriage is treated as if it is a mental disorder. It is also treated as if it is a single entity forgetting that there are two distinct individuals involved in the relationship, ergo, the conflict. Marital conflict does not occur because either or both the parties suffer from some pre-existing mental health disorder. Marital or relationship conflict exists because of the breakdown or non-existence of effective communication and negotiation skills between two opposing forces.

Yes, that is correct. From the moment a couple meets and decides they want to pursue a relationship they are two opposing forces. Each come into the relationship as two different people who want differing things. Even the things they want have varying degrees of differences.

Somehow people entering a marriage, especially first marriages, do so with the belief that when two people love each other, everything will just work out. This is the biggest mistake people make. Many do not talk about important details that are necessary to operate a successful marriage; yet are shocked when conflict arises.

Marriage is a legal union. Romance, religion, and everything else aside, it is a legal union. If a person goes into a business relationship with his or her best friend, it is a legal union. If they do so without a clear understanding of where they want that business to go, and what steps they need to take in order to get there, that business union will fail, and so most likely will the friendship.

According to most research reports, couples do not seek marriage therapy or counseling until they have reached the point of marital dysfunction. Then, the therapy is only as successful as the couple’s desire to make it work, and the willingness to make some changes.

Some couples stay in therapy for years; only to divorce anyhow.

Marital or relationship conflict is not a mental health disorder. It is an inability to resolve conflict.

Mediation is not about fixing anyone or anything, it is about resolving conflict that affects the marriage. When a couple take their marriage to a therapist, the fingers invariably start pointing and the inevitable labeling starts and what was He Said/She Said becomes He’s Crazy/She’s Crazy.

When marriage counseling does not work, people then seek a lawyer. At this point the conflict has risen to a level they now have new things to fight over. Children and property, and whose fault it is. If they cannot come to a resolution, then often a family mediator is hired to help resolve the conflict. Even in mediations where it is clear that divorce is happening, the argument returns to the marital conflict. This is a clear sign that neither of the parties want to divorce, they just feel helpless and unable to live with ongoing conflict.

Most mediations end in resolution, meaning the parties come to an agreement regarding child custody, child support, and marital assets. Many times, they even come to an agreement over why the marriage was broken.

That is something to think about.

Why not seek mediation in the first place? Resolve marital conflict before it becomes divorce and child custody conflict. Let a divorce mediator help you mediate your marital conflict, before it becomes a case for the courts, or a big payday for the lawyers.


Blinder, Martin G., and Martin Kirschenbaum. “The Technique of Married Couple Group Therapy.” Archives of General Psychiatry 17, no. 1 (July 1, 1967): 44–52. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1967.01730250046007.
Dinkmeyer, D., and J. Carlson. “Adlerian Marriage Therapy.” The Family Journal 1, no. 2 (April 1, 1993): 144–49. doi:10.1177/1066480793012005.
Markman, Howard J., and Lane L. Ritchie. “Couples Relationship Education and Couples Therapy: Healthy Marriage or Strange Bedfellows?” Family Process 54, no. 4 (December 2015): 655–71. doi:10.1111/famp.12191.
“Marriage Counseling Statistics.” http://www.MarriageGuardian.com. Accessed May 7, 2017. http://www.marriageguardian.com/marriage-counseling-statistics.html.
“Marriage Counseling Statistics – Marriage | Laws.com.” Accessed May 7, 2017. http://marriage.laws.com/marriage-counseling/marriage-counseling-statistics.


Part Two in the Series: The Gifted Child Twice Exceptional Students and a Need to Raise the Standards of Teaching

When I think of those who are gifted, I do not think of students who are “smart” and make straight As. I think of students who are different, students who indeed march to the beat of a different drummer. I think of the Lord Byrons, Mary Shellys,  Einsteins, Disneys, Thoreaus, Dickinsons, Poes, Oscar Wildes, Thomas Hardys, Galileos, and others who in one regard or the other were seen as social outcasts, oddballs, or perhaps even insane. In our more modern times, I think of the Robin Williams, the Martin Lawrences, the Robert Downy, Jr.s, Curt Cobains, Jim Morrisons, Jimmy Hendricks, Janice Joplins; individuals whose minds were/are so bright, so different, so busy they use(d) and abuse(d) substances to curtail their mental activity-  to feel normal.

I often told my high school students that the mind of a brilliant individual is like a Ferrari, if not taught the dangers as well as the thrills, it can become deadly to the individual and even those around him or her. There has often been stated a fine line between genius and insanity. Hitler, Manson, Stalin, and others come to mind. If we continue as educators only to see those who are as researcher Renzulli (2012) ­­­­­notes, “school house” gifted as our brightest and best, we might find we are losing great minds, or either allowing them to run amuck.

I also feel that in order for these students to be identified and nurtured that our teachers need to, as I have stated before, not just be gifted certified teachers, but gifted teachers themselves. Too many teachers obtain gifted certification because they, “…cannot teach ‘these’ kids another year.” These kids being on-level students. That is not a very reliable prerequisite for obtaining a certification to teach students how to operate their Ferraris.

I find that in a standardized world teachers are not equipped or supported in the teaching of truly gifted students to color outside the lines. Teachers who become gifted certified so that they do not have to deal with discipline problems or have to differentiate the curriculum to meet the needs of students who need more support than others are generally rudely awakened. These teachers are ill-prepared for the emotional intensity of the truly gifted child, and may find themselves, as suggested by Grant & Piechowski ( as cited in Sword, 2001), unwittingly damaging the child by fueling anxiety in the child’s need for perfection. How does one perfectly color outside the lines? As a teacher of on-level students, I was often chastised, threatened, and cajoled due to my “unorthodox” teaching methods. They were considered unorthodox because I challenged my students to question everything, everyone. Even those considered off limits.

One of the statements I made often in conversations with administration is that we cannot expect to teach our students to think critically if we lead them to believe either by commission or omission that there are certain tenets that are to never be questioned. Recent researchers (Corriveau, Chen, & Harris, 2015)studied the performance of students who have been taught Bible stories as fact vs. those students brought up in non-religious homes and found that students who are taught such stories as the creation story, Noah and the Flood, the Tower of Babel, Samson and the Philistines, have difficulty distinguishing between fact and fiction. If we want our students to fully develop their intellectual gifts, we must first stop insulting their intelligence.

The most important action I could take as a teacher of students identified as special education or non-identified at all, was to lead them in the direction of finding their talent, their gift and to develop it. The hardest part of that for any teacher is breaking through all the scar tissue formed over the years to protect the child’s esteem.

Some ways in which I help my students find their gifts. If a child is good at art, some assignments should be tailored to draw (pardon the pun) upon that talent, and it can still meet the standards. If a child is talented in music, that child can create a composition that identifies the mood, tone, theme, and action of a work of literature. If a child has a flair for the dramatics, then he or she should be given the task of creating a skit or a one man/woman show to demonstrate mastery of a concept.

One of the ways I differentiated was through tiered assignments. Each tier was worth a different point value, so each student has an opportunity to make an A. 250/250; 150/150; 75/75, for example. Students perform better when given choices that allow them to draw upon their talents, interests, ability (Beckley, 1998) and yes, even to some degree work ethic. These projects each have a rubric and students are given that rubric with the minimum expectations stated, and that to meet these means a C for that project. When given these clear expectations – with Ds and Fs not even offered, students seem to naturally strive towards the A. Imagine that.

Teachers need to unlock their own Ferraris and get back in the driver’s seat when it comes to educating students. Administrators need to break down this word and do what literally translated it means. It does not mean to rule or govern, it means to provide care. Care and nurture to teachers, means they in turn can care for and nurture their students.




Beckley, D. (1998). Gifted and Learning Disabled: Twice Exceptional Students. Retrieved from http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED424711

Corriveau, K. H. ., Chen, E. E. ., & Harris, P. L. . (2015). Judgments About Fact and Fiction by Children From Religious and Nonreligious Backgrounds. Cognitive Science, 39(2), 353–382. https://doi.org/10.1111/cogs.12138

Renzulli, J. S. (2012). Reexamining the Role of Gifted Education and Talent Development for the 21st Century: A Four-Part Theoretical Approach. Gifted Child Quarterly, 56(3), 150–159. https://doi.org/10.1177/0016986212444901

Sword, L. (2001). Psycho-social needs: Understanding the emotional, intellectual and social uniqueness of growing up gifted. Victoria, Australia: Gifted and Creative Services. Retrieved from http://www.darshana-ganatra.com/files/Psycho_social_Needs_of_Gifted_Children_Kopie.pdf

Mediation and Listening Skills

Being an effective mediator is not unlike being a good therapist. Listening skills, the ability to clarify, restate, and even challenge what a client says is a part of being a good mediator.
Mediators, like therapists, do not take sides. Whereas therapy is designed to treat the symptoms of the problem, when the problem involves family, neighbor, employment, or societal conflict, mediation can help to resolve the problem, thus empowering clients on either side of the problem to move forward with their lives.
Choosing a mediator with a background in psychology means you have chosen someone who knows the value of listening with compassion and understanding. The art of impartiality and compassion is one that while learned, it is one that comes naturally to those who are drawn to the helping professions.  
A good mediator, like a good therapist draws upon theory and practice in order to meet the needs of clients. Being stuck in one technique is ineffective when dealing with the complexities of human conflict. 
A good mediator sees the clients as persons, and not simply a problem to be resolved. 
Mediate: Problem Solved.  


Eric Fromm: Six Rules of Listening

Aiden Booth: Internet Marketer?


The average email user receives “offers” nearly every day, sometimes several times a day with promises of making it rich while doing literally nothing. The catch phrase: “passive income”. There are several Internet marketers online who prey upon individuals looking for a way of making a living working from home. These postings can often be found in job searches and they look like legitimate job offers, with many promising a lucrative money making opportunity, and video testimonials from individuals who are lounging by their pools, or dining on their yachts.


Enter Here


A few clicks and the job seeker has pulled out a credit card to buy into this “best kept secret” that is worth thousands, but is being officered “practically free”. A product is downloaded with free or nearly free advice on how to earn thousands, even millions doing nothing. It all sounds good. One such Internet marketer lures his “members” in through a training program. It turns out the way members make money is by selling the training program, and sponsoring others to sell the program, but it is “not multilevel marketing”.


For a Limited Time, Only


It is highly coincidental that no matter what day of the week or year you happen upon one of these Internet marketing offers, the offer is for that day only. Each click made takes the member from a free or nearly free membership to an elite, or exclusive membership. Each click means more money spent.


Introducing Aidan Booth


Aidan Booth has one such site, however, his appears to be a bit more legitimate, as he offers a free “Online Passive Income Blueprint” of his Internet marketing plan that provides a blueprint of five proven business models.


Affiliate Marketing

Selling Ad Space



*Info-product Software Services


Aidan Booth’s Blueprint provides helpful and insightful information on how to get started with each of these business models. Then there is information about a level above the “free” Online Passive Income Blueprint, this is Blueprint Pro. There is a link embedded in the free product that leads to an informational video, and Aidan Booth, who is extremely affable provides a teaser, “If you really want to be successful…. then, click the button below the video.” One click and you are taken directly to PayPal where in one more click you are committing to $97.00 per month for your exclusive membership that “unlocks” everything there is to know about earning an online passive income. As with the other online opportunities, with the exclusive or elite membership, the individual is marketing Info-product Software Services. Reselling the selling tools.


Caveat Emptor


Beware, that once you have received the free or nearly free information, the Internet marketer has your email address, and you will be inundated with emails offering you opportunity after opportunity, to which if you do not respond within a certain time frame will be offered to the next individual.


Finding Aidan Booth


A general Internet search of Aidan Booth reveals several articles discussing whether or not his opportunities are scams, and then several Aidan Booth sites with software/Internet products of various titles, which would lead one to conclude, yes, Aidan Booth, Online Marketer, is an Online Marketing Scam Artist.

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