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Talking Circles to Enable Reconciliation: Giving Voice – Having Voice

Native Peoples and Canada

Using talking circles to bridge generations, peoples and cultures…

Pat Green (a recognized Native Elder) and Gary Direnfeld (a recognized Social Worker) bring their worlds together in the service of reconciliation.

pat-green

Recognizing that the trials and tribulations of Native Peoples is the outcome of colonization, stripping Native Peoples of their voice, Pat and Gary seek to provide a forum, enabling voices to be heard. Owning one’s experience validates lives, facilitates healing and helps others learn to speak peacefully such that others may hear and learn.

The objective is to use talking circles as a medium to enable conversation about the Native experience to enable understanding, trust, and respectful relationships on behalf of the individual, and between people and cultures.

gary-2015-headThese Talking Circles are available to First Nations Peoples, non-aboriginal peoples and meetings of both

Through conversation comes understanding. Through understanding comes reconciliation.

If you would like to book time for Pat and Gary to provide a Talking Circle for your group (First Nation, school, college/university, workplace, organization), please contact us through gary@yoursocialworker.com

Talking Circles can be scheduled for a half day or evening or full day experience.

Pat and Gary enable discussion on the Aboriginal experience in Canada and impact of colonialism on Aboriginal communities and families as well as on the collective Canadian views of indigenous people. The goal is to foster personal and mutual understanding and acceptance.

Meeting areas are to be set up in a circle to encourage mutuality and a respectful dialogue among equals.

 

Pat Green is a Mohawk, wolf clan, from Six Nations Ontario.  He is a father, grandfather, brother, partner and uncle. He has always put his family first.  Pat is a pipe carrier, sweat lodge keeper, drummer (lead singer 40+yrs), traditional dancer and speaker. Pat has spent his career helping aboriginal people in various capacities. Pat has a unique way of blending contemporary therapies with traditional ceremonies having worked in setting such as: Secretary of State, Employment & Immigration, Corrections Canada, Native Child and Family Services, Addiction Counselling and other various Native centers.

Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas and Georgina Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America. He consults to mental health professionals as well as to mediators and collaborative law professionals about good practice as well as building their practice.

To arrange service, please contact us through; gary@yoursocialworker.com

 

I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker. Check out all my services and then call me if you need help with a personal issue, mental health concern, child behavior or relationship, divorce or separation issue or even help growing your practice. I am available in person and by Skype.

https://garydirenfeld.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/gary-feb-12.jpg?w=200&h=301

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

gary@yoursocialworker.com
www.yoursocialworker.com for counseling and support

www.garydirenfeld.com – to build your successful practice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep Your Smart Phones On: It’s a workshop!

Last week I provided my workshop helping peacemakers build a successful practice.

What was really neat is that as I was presenting, people were actually making modifications to websites, taking notes on what they will do differently and using their social media. I encouraged people to keep their smart phones on and laptops open. I encouraged tweeting and posting to Facebook, taking pictures and videos during the workshop. People were immediately implementing and practicing what I was explaining for them to do! We really put the “work” back into workshop. Here is a summary of the evaluations. (30 people attended and 20 handed in their evaluation.)

Evaluation Feedback Summary

Training Session: Building, Brand, Market, Close: Building your successful peacemaking practice

Date:                           March 2, 2018 :

Group/duration:          York Collaborative Practice group, full day workshop.

Scale 1 – 5

The workshop was well organized

4.2 – 84%

The content and scope met my expectations

3.95 – 79%

The presenter’s preparedness for the course and knowledge regarding the course content

4.45 – 89%

The presenter’s ability to add value/information beyond the scope of the course

4.2 – 84%

How much of the information covered in this workshop was new to you?

60%

Which term best describes your overall experience?

4.14 – 82.8%

 

What was the most important thing you gained from this workshop?

  • A lot of marketing info
  • It is important to be creative, resourceful and entrepreneurial advice on how to improve my professional profile and language to use/avoid
  • Learning to own what I do and offer and how to explain in simple meaningful terms to others including potential clients.
  • Expanding my view of “collaborative” in marketing and grabbing the “low hanging fruit”.
  • The importance of using language on the level of the receiver. Something I knew and do, nice to have it confirmed.
  • Social media usage. Target your client group and business group.
  • Helpful to be aware and understand the need and benefit to BRAND and MARKET.
  • Self-process and discussion of simpler language.
  • Tips around expanding service I can offer and plain English information.
  • Marketing, Marketing, Marketing.
  • Practical tips on how to market my practice online – breaking it down extremely well.
  • Getting our ego out of the way.
  • Language and words are important. Be more thoughtful.
  • Great ideas and new ways to approach language on my website – re: jargon / not-simple.
  • Website drafting – language.

 

I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker. Check out all my services and then call me if you need help with a personal issue, mental health concern, child behavior or relationship, divorce or separation issue or even help growing your practice. I am available in person and by Skype.

https://garydirenfeld.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/gary-feb-12.jpg?w=200&h=301

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

gary@yoursocialworker.com
www.yoursocialworker.com for counseling and support

www.garydirenfeld.com – to build your successful practice

facebook-logo   linked-in-logo   twitter-logo

Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas and Georgina Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America. He consults to mental health professionals as well as to mediators and collaborative law professionals about good practice as well as building their practice.

Conflict? 3 Choices. Choose one.

Conflict is so insidious.

It seeps into a relationship and from then on everything said is interpreted negatively.

We ascribe negative connotations to any words or actions by the other. No one can win for losing and matters escalate.

This is when people need to step back and take stock. This is when people need to examine their own ego.

Some would say they must set the record straight and correct every perceived transgression. The thinking is that this is better than leaving things lie. Not true though. By seeking to set the record straight or correct the misperception of the other, one’s actions are still only perceived as a transgression. When in conflict, no one wants to be corrected or told they are wrong. Setting the record straight becomes the objective as the real issue of concern is forgotten.

How to release oneself from this circular and ever escalating quagmire? Several choices:

  1. Withdraw. Recognize that in this conundrum, there is no such thing as the last word. Leave it alone. Let it go. Separate your own ego from the conflict and the other. Your worth is not dependent on the other agreement with your point of view.
  1. Empathize. While suspending your emotions for the moment, key into the emotion of the other. Be curious. Wonder what is going on and how they perceive things. Open up the dialogue if only from their perspective. Again, keep your ego in check. As you hear more about the other, their views, issues and concerns, you may learn more and they feel heard This releases tension and opens up the possibility for a reconciliation of views and the relationship.
  1. Mediate. Some differences require a third party to keep things safe and act as an emotional translator while keeping and eye on the substantive issues of concern. The mediator can funnel the information between persons to help facilitate delivery and reception in a way that may lose the taint of conflict. The mediator can help persons determine and address the underlying issues of concern rather than getting caught up in the sidetracking nature of misperceptions and projections of blame and shame. This process may help resolve not only the issue at hand, but may also help restore some semblance of a relationship, if only a working relationship.

Key with either strategy is managing one’s own ego – that need for validation and approval – to be right and respected. When in conflict those things go out the door and depending on ones own internal sense of security, one can be quite fragile. So the real challenge in managing and overcoming conflict is more about mustering a sense of personal validation.

Say to yourself: “I am fine regardless of what I perceive the other to think about me, my views and/or this situation. This conflict doesn’t define me. Let it go and if possible, address what is really important.

Managing oneself and ones ego is the real secret to living with or overcoming conflict with whichever strategy you choose.

I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker. Check out all my services and then call me if you need help with a personal issue, mental health concern, child behavior or relationship, divorce or separation issue or even help growing your practice. I am available in person and by Skype.

https://garydirenfeld.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/gary-feb-12.jpg?w=200&h=301

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

gary@yoursocialworker.com
www.yoursocialworker.com for counseling and support

www.garydirenfeld.com – to build your successful practice

facebook-logo   linked-in-logo   twitter-logo

Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas and Georgina Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America. He consults to mental health professionals as well as to mediators and collaborative law professionals about good practice as well as building their practice.

Please See My Adult Child

A parent phones on behalf of their adult child. The parent wants to set up a counseling appointment. I ask to speak with the adult child.

In speaking with the adult child, the adult child advises he doesn’t know why he needs counseling. He advises he doesn’t think he has any particular problems.

I speak with the parent again. The parent explains acts of violence, drug and/or alcohol abuse, anxiety and depression, lack of motivation. There may have been a recommendation from the family doctor or even psychiatrist for counseling. There is likely some past attempt at counseling that was unfruitful.

My heart goes out to the parents in these circumstances. They are often at odds with each other in terms of how to manage their adult child.

In circumstances such as these, counseling the adult child gives the appearance of providing something helpful. However, it is not uncommon for counseling in these situations to be unproductive. The adult child may attend. Money is spent. Nothing changes.

If the recipient of service cannot identify their own need for the service, the likelihood of any change in the behavior of the person is limited. What may transpire is just another failed counseling attempt.

I typically decline to see the adult child in these circumstances. I do however offer to meet with both parents.

Parents are in distress. Parents do want a solutions. Parents are often at odds with each other about how to proceed and whether a tough love or understanding approach might be best suited to their child.

I can only tell you that if the adult child has no skin in the game counseling is a dubious endeavor.

To create the skin in the game, some impetus for change, it may be necessary for the parents to take some concerted action together and meaningfully. What that action is really depends upon the situation and doesn’t necessarily mean kicking the adult child from the home as some parents’ fear.

So, if you are concerned about an adult child who declines to seek help and make the call on their own, rather than calling on their behalf, call to speak with the counselor yourself. Explore your situation more fully and see if there are strategies you as parents can implement that may facilitate some motivation on the part of your child to consider change.

As social workers we would be delighted to be helpful. It’s always best to start with whoever is most in distress. This may be the parents.

I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker. Check out all my services and then call me if you need help with a personal issue, mental health concern, child behavior or relationship, divorce or separation issue or even help growing your practice. I am available in person and by Skype.

https://garydirenfeld.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/gary-feb-12.jpg?w=200&h=301

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

gary@yoursocialworker.com
www.yoursocialworker.com for counseling and support

www.garydirenfeld.com – to build your successful practice

 

facebook-logo   linked-in-logo   twitter-logo

Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas and Georgina Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America. He consults to mental health professionals as well as to mediators and collaborative law professionals about good practice as well as building their practice.

What Does a Child Call the Step Parent?

Some separated parents face a difficult decision when one or other parent establishes a new and committed relationship: What to call the stepparent?

What a child calls a stepparent can set the stage for battles or deeply loving relationships. The direction this takes is greatly determined by the relationship between the natural parents and the respective security of each parent’s relationship with their children. Age of child will also factor in with regard to the child’s comfort in addressing the stepparent with special terms.

Preschool age children tend to take more naturally to calling a stepparent mom or dad. For them, a mom or dad is a loving person in authority who has serious responsibility for their care. Some school age children may be less inclined to call a stepparent mom or dad owing to concerns of loyalty to the natural parent, while others may feel embarrassed calling a step parent by their proper name when out in public. Hence school age children are at times seen to call a stepparent by their proper name in private and by mom or dad, in public. Teenagers are far more apt to just call a stepparent by their proper name and tend not to feel the discomfort sometimes experienced by the younger school age children.

Parents themselves may take issue with their child calling another adult mom or dad. There may be concern of their relationship being diminished if the child uses their name towards the stepparent. If there is conflict between the natural parents, the perceived threat to a parent’s relationship with their child may intensify if a child then calls the stepparent mom or dad. In such cases, the child may then be subject to a tug of war where one parents expects the child to address the stepparent as mom or dad while the other parent admonishes the child, “you only have one mother or father”. In these situations, the child is caught in the middle and either annoys one, other or both parents, or alternately, learns to lie about the situation to avoid harassment.

Parents have a number of strategies to find the right name for a stepparent. In some cases they simply let the child-stepparent relationship speak for itself and thus take their lead from the child. In other cases, natural parents meet and discuss the matter and come to a mutual solution. Some parents find a compromise solution by finding similar, but different terms such as mom/mommy and dad/daddy. Where there are cultural differences, the term used by one culture may be different that that used by another culture and hence there may be no conflict by using the respective cultural term. Other persons use special names or pet names.

Parents must remember that whatever one chooses to do, sets the stage for what the other may do. Thus care is advised if one parent makes a decision that they wouldn’t like the other parent to take.

The child’s perspective is to have loving and caring relationship with all parents – natural and step. The child seeks to avoid conflict and get on with the job of being a kid. If the child is caught up in the struggle of what to call a stepparent, the child can be distracted from school and behavioral or emotional problems may arise.

What is really being discussed is the process of adjustment. Natural parents and stepparents must understand that the process does take time and with time, they all can learn that kids may have loving and caring relationship with multiple persons where loving one takes nothing away from loving another regardless of what they are called.

Best advise? Concentrate on loving your child and what the child calls you will be secondary to a great relationship because that’s what it’s really about.

I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker. Check out all my services and then call me if you need help with a personal issue, mental health concern, child behavior or relationship, divorce or separation issue or even help growing your practice. I am available in person and by Skype.

https://garydirenfeld.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/gary-feb-12.jpg?w=200&h=301

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

gary@yoursocialworker.com
www.yoursocialworker.com for counseling and support

www.garydirenfeld.com – to build your successful practice

 

facebook-logo   linked-in-logo   twitter-logo

Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas and Georgina Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America. He consults to mental health professionals as well as to mediators and collaborative law professionals about good practice as well as building their practice.

For a better LAST impression, do this:

We all finish something or somewhere. How you finish says a lot about you. How you finish is your last chance to leave a good impression.

Whether it is a project, school, job, student placement, group, committee, FINISH STRONG.

Complete what you have to complete. Don’t shirk responsibilities knowing you are moving on.

FINISH STRONG.

It is the last mile that really demonstrates who you are, your perseverance, your commitment, your attitude.

FINISH STRONG.

You never know who you will meet again, how your past performance will come back to someone’s attention.

FINISH STRONG.

Be in charge of the final glimpse you leave. Let others know how you will be perceived.

FINISH STRONG.

Feel good about yourself, appreciating your own efforts, durability and reliability.

FINISH STRONG.

How you end, how you leave is all on you and what your legacy shall be. For a better last impression…

FINISH STRONG.

I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker. Check out all my services and then call me if you need help with a personal issue, mental health concern, child behavior or relationship, divorce or separation issue or even help growing your practice. I am available in person and by Skype.

https://garydirenfeld.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/gary-feb-12.jpg?w=200&h=301

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

gary@yoursocialworker.com
www.yoursocialworker.com for counseling and support

www.garydirenfeld.com – to build your successful practice

 

facebook-logo   linked-in-logo   twitter-logo

Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas and Georgina Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America. He consults to mental health professionals as well as to mediators and collaborative law professionals about good practice as well as building their practice.

Contemplating a Choice? Consider these words first…

My dad was an extraordinary man. It was the mid 1950’s, post WW2 where he fought overseas against the Nazis.

Now, living in North York, Ontario, my parents owned a home which they could barely afford. Given we are Jewish, the home was smack-dab in the middle of the Jewish part of the city. They decided to take in a border to help with the mortgage.

A German man came calling for the basement apartment.

The most natural thing for a Jewish man, post WW2 living in the heart of the Jewish part of town to do would be to turn this German fellow away . However, my dad remembered what it meant to be an immigrant, and my dad and my mom were anything but prejudiced. He not only rented the basement to the man against the consternation of friends and extended family but helped him get established in his business. They remained life-long friends.

Fast forward to 1989. I moved from Toronto to marry my wife and live in Hamilton. I changed my place of employment to work in a major Hamilton institution. Within 3 months I decided to leave that job in view of ethical issues in the workplace that I would not accept.

Newly married. Jobless.

While I was contemplating moving into private practice, I met up with Walter, my dad’s life-long friend. My dad had long since passed away. There was much to reminisce about.

Upon hearing the news of my unemployment, Walter offered me a job. Double my salary plus commission – sales. He was “paying it forward” to me. I couldn’t say no. My wife agreed.

The week prior to starting work, I was restless/anxious. I loved being a social worker. Although having accepted the job, I now wanted out. I felt sheepish about telling Walter.

We went for lunch and I explained my dilemma. I told him I was unable to work for him. I told him I was going to start my own practice.

Walter was amazingly supportive and the words he spoke have stayed with me to this day. He said, “You have to differentiate between temptation and opportunity. I tempted you. It wasn’t your opportunity.”

Differentiate between temptation and opportunity.

I think of those words whenever I am making a big decision. When making any decision.

Differentiate between temptation and opportunity.

Those words have made a profound difference in my life. Feel free to use them in your life when contemplating a decision.

If they work for you and help you make a better choice, think of Walter and my dad.

I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker. Check out all my services and then call me if you need help with a personal issue, mental health concern, child behavior or relationship, divorce or separation issue or even help growing your practice. I am available in person and by Skype.

https://garydirenfeld.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/gary-feb-12.jpg?w=200&h=301

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

gary@yoursocialworker.com
www.yoursocialworker.com for counseling and support

www.garydirenfeld.com – to build your successful practice

 

facebook-logo   linked-in-logo   twitter-logo

Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas and Georgina Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America. He consults to mental health professionals as well as to mediators and collaborative law professionals about good practice as well as building their practice.

Healing: An Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Collaboration

Over the years I had a number of chance meetings with a fellow who may best be regarded as a Native Elder. He certainly impressed me with his knowledge of Native traditions. His work is predominantly with indigenous persons who find themselves in conflict with each other or the law.

20180131_160654-1As luck would have it, I had opportunity to have him join me in a meeting to help resolve parenting matters between two indigenous parents. We got along well, worked well together and developed a mutual respect.

I also had the fortune of attending a traditional sweat he conducted as he does with some regularity. He has been my “go to” person when in need of a consultation from an aboriginal perspective.

Although our meetings have been few, I always seem to come away with a better understanding and appreciation of Native culture and also with a feeling of how little I still know.

That fellow is Pat Green of Six Nations, Mohawk, Wolf Clan.

Given my experiences with Pat and the opportunities I have enjoyed working with indigenous people, I suggested to him we collaborate to share our knowledge and facilitate healing of indigenous families and communities. He accepted.

Pat and I are now collaborating to combine our knowledge, experience and training and apply it to Native healing. If you or your group would like our joint expertise to facilitate a healing circle or healing workshop, we would be delighted to discuss and be of service.

We have vetted each other and feel safe with each other. Our views of life and family are more similar than our cultural differences.  Our believe is that our combined backgrounds could do much to help others heal.

If you think we can be of service, please do get in touch with me. It would be our pleasure to discuss and be of service.

I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker. Check out all my services and then call me if you need help with a personal issue, mental health concern, child behavior or relationship, divorce or separation issue or even help growing your practice. I am available in person and by Skype.

https://garydirenfeld.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/gary-feb-12.jpg?w=200&h=301

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

gary@yoursocialworker.com
www.yoursocialworker.com for counseling and support

www.garydirenfeld.com – to build your successful practice

 

facebook-logo   linked-in-logo   twitter-logo

Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas and Georgina Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America. He consults to mental health professionals as well as to mediators and collaborative law professionals about good practice as well as building their practice.

Choosing Mr. Right – 6 Strategies for Safer Decisions….

Some women find it difficult finding Mr. Right. They may be jumping into the relationship too quickly.  These strategies may save a lot of disappointment and hurt:

1) Determine if this should even get started:

For whatever reason, men of limited virtue seem to have radar for vulnerable women. So the first question to ask him is, “Are you single”. If not, don’t even bother to ask anything else, just run. Developing rapport with a married man or a man living with another woman is just asking for trouble.

2) Find out if he is still licking old wounds:

If the fellow is separated, find out how long the separation has been. If too short, he may still be carrying a torch for the other woman. Not long enough and he may not have looked at himself to figure out his own contribution to the demise. Somewhere in the middle and he may just be sexually hungry. In any event, it can take six months to well over a year to get past a prior relationship and be ready for another. Be careful not to be his transitional relationship or just the answer to his pent up sexual frustration. These relationships tend not to last.

3) Take a drinking/drug inventory:

The more the booze (or drugs), the greater likelihood of problems. Ask him how much he drinks. You aren’t looking for his assessment of his drinking, but actual numbers. So, if he says he is a social drinker, ask him how often he socializes, with whom and how many alcoholic beverages per occasion. More than six drinks a week or more than 4 per occasion and the risk of problems begin to escalate. It would be wise to take a pass. As for illicit drugs, totally out of the question.

4) Check out his respect for you:

Assuming the fellow is unattached, not licking old wounds, and not drinking more than a little, start slow and get to know him. Emotional attachment clouds rational judgement, so use your head before your heart. As you get to know each other through dating, make your own preferences known. See if you share in decisions and if your input is accepted and valued. If decision-making is all one-sided there is a big clue that you do not have a voice in the relationship. Further, if values and goals are different or if there are behaviors at issue, discuss them. If these issues cannot be resolved or if you find your views dismissed now then sex, marriage, cohabiting or having children will not make this any better. You might be better off leaving now and starting the process again.

5) Put your health first:

If indeed you are ready for sex, the fellow must wear a condom. There simply is no other device that can reduce the risk of getting a sexually transmitted disease. While you are at it, practice another form of contraception at the same time. No one contraceptive is 100% foolproof. Combining a contraceptive with a condom will greatly reduce the risk of both contraception and STDs. If the fellow refuses to wear a condom or one is not available, then no intercourse. If the fellow objects, he is telling you that your health is secondary to his sexual gratification. This is not the basis of a caring relationship and signals an exit point.

6) Continue to get to know each other:

If you have gotten this far and now think this relationship has substance, continue to court for at least a year before cohabiting or marriage. People are often on their best behavior in the beginning of relationships. A period of courtship allows the couple to get comfortable with each other such that their true self emerges. See if you like him then. If so, then consider formalizing your relationship. If you find yourself being marginalized, pulled from old friends and/or family, this could be a sign that you are being isolated to only be available to the fellow. If this is the case, run.

Just like it takes time and effort to churn milk into butter, it takes time to determine the goodness of fit in relationships. Slow the process down and take the above strategies as steps along the way. The goal is a stable, healthy and sustainable relationship to truly meet mutual needs and interests rather than a quick jump into the pool, holding your nose, hoping the water isn’t polluted. Finding Mr. Right requires time and choices.

I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker. Check out all my services and then call me if you need help with a personal issue, mental health concern, child behavior or relationship, divorce or separation issue or even help growing your practice. I am available in person and by Skype.

https://garydirenfeld.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/gary-feb-12.jpg?w=200&h=301

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

gary@yoursocialworker.com
www.yoursocialworker.com for counseling and support

www.garydirenfeld.com – to build your successful practice

 

facebook-logo   linked-in-logo   twitter-logo

Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas and Georgina Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America. He consults to mental health professionals as well as to mediators and collaborative law professionals about good practice as well as building their practice.

 

Want to Build a Successful Practice? Answer two questions…

If you want to grow your peacemaking practice, consider these two questions;

  1. What do you hope to help others achieve through your service?
  2. What are all the ways you can help others achieve the outcome you seek for them?

Once you answer those two questions, forget about websites and blog telling me what you are… tell me what you hope to help your clients achieve and the many ways you can go about it. That is how you build your practice and service offerings.

Put that on your website and in your blogs. Speak to people about meeting their needs and how you can go about doing so.

When people ask me what I do for a living, I tell them, “I help people feel better about themselves and I help people get along with others as best as possible.”

I have a long list of ways I go about it.

The rest is commentary and details.

Believing in the power of collaborative practice, mediation and other peacemaking approaches, I am keen to help others build successful practices

I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker. Check out all my services and then call me if you need help with a personal issue, mental health concern, child behavior or relationship, divorce or separation issue or even help growing your practice. I am available in person and by Skype.

https://garydirenfeld.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/gary-feb-12.jpg?w=200&h=301

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

gary@yoursocialworker.com
www.yoursocialworker.com for counseling and support

www.garydirenfeld.com – to build your successful practice

 

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Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas and Georgina Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America. He consults to mental health professionals as well as to mediators and collaborative law professionals about good practice as well as building their practice.