My Favorite Web Comic About Sex: maybe the beginning of a new series on sex

Most of us think we know a lot about sex. Why wouldn’t we think we know a lot? Our culture is sex obsessed while at the same time tells us that sex is taboo. The result is sex ends up always being in the air while also being shrouded in myth and mystery. 

It’s not much better for therapist. Most counselors don’t have a class on sexuality. Heck in my own training as a therapist, even though saying this feels like betraying my favorite professor, basic information about sex was painfully lacking. The worst part was being caught between feeling like I ought to know a lot about sex and knowing that I had no idea how to find good information. Enter Emily Nagoski Ph.D, a sex educator who makes the science of sex fun and simple. I just fished her cleverly titled book Come as You Are (affiliate) and was floored. So I looked her up online and ran across the web comic where she describes sexual desire and women. I thought it only right I pass it on. Enjoy!

TL;DR:

Sexual desire, especially for women, is a combination of an accelerator AND a break. Most of the time couples have trouble with sex/desire/arousal the major issue is the accelerator being pushed when the break is still on. The break is sensitive to stress. So the best aphrodisiac is to ease off the break instead of push harder on the accelerator. 

Action Question: What turns my woman off? How can I remove that barrier? 

Come As You Are is a great read.  If you’d like your own copy click the link below (affiliate). This books is a must read for every woman and everyone in a relationship with a woman. Oh, and if you know anyone who needs to know about this stuff, please share it with them!

Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life

P.S. I’m playing with the idea of talking more about what I learned from this book in a series called ‘Not Safe for Work Christianity’ (NSfC). NSfC would talk about things like: 

  •               Why BDSM makes (a strange sort of) sense
  •               How vaginas and scrotums are the same thing #homology
  •               Why your friend always goes back to that jerk 

I’d address all of these issues from my perspective as a christian and as a therapist who occasionally deals with sexual issues. If you think that would be cool, let me know in the poll. 

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I’m Jordan Harris. I have a PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy. I’ve dedicated myself to being an excellent father and a thoughtful husband. I’ve studied hypnosis with Douglas Flemons, one of the most innovate and imaginative therapist on the planet, and I’m pretty sure, after specializing in couples therapy, that emotional connection is what it’s all about. Please leave a comment. I’d LOVE to hear from you. 

***the links for the book are affiliate links meaning if you buy from this link I’ll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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An open letter to my students I: What therapy is about, how to do it, and what most therapist get wrong

Hello!

So you’ve decided to become a therapist. I hope that it is as fulfilling as you hoped it would be when you enrolled. For me therapy, at times, has been filled full with magic. I mean that in the most literal sense of the word. Therapy is magic and practicing therapy well makes you a magician, but as with all magic there is a cost. Therapy will break your heart. I once heard a wise man say that you give advice not to avoid struggle, struggle is inevitable, but to help someone find their way through struggle. I hope these letters are a light in dark places.

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As a therapist, researcher, scholar, and student I have had a few fundamental truths. The first thing I’ve learned is that we know a lot less than we say that we know. Twenty years from now most of the “latest” and “greatest” discoveries will not only turn out to be duds, but actually actively harmful, like how we used to irradiate appendices to reduce their size and ended up giving thousands cancer, or how we would blood let people to get ride of disease, or drill holes in to peoples heads, or would remove the eyes of blind people which disrupts their sleep cycle, and so on and so on. “Progress” has made lots of costly mistakes.

However, I’ve also learned a second thing, in every field there are fundamentals that nearly everyone agrees on. These fundamentals often have high upsides and small downsides. I’ve made it my life’s mission to not do the fancy therapy I read about in textbooks but to simply master the fundamentals. Ironically, the more I simply pay attention to the fundamentals, the more I find myself enacting magic.

In our field of psychotherapy, there are a few fundamentals. One of these is that first and foremost psychotherapy is about helping people to manage their emotions. That’s it. That’s all we do. We do not give advice. We do not try to convince or change a client’s mind. When someone comes into therapy your only job is to help them managage emotions which they would rather not feel.

That’s it.

Others will say that therapy is about “cognitive restructuring” or “self actualization” or “finding solutions”. They are wrong because when people can manage their emotions they find themselves thinking differently (#cognitionsrestructured) and they come up with their own solutions. This is because emotions are the lens through which we navigate the world. If you assist people in changing their lens, then all sorts of options open up for them. This is a hard thing to swallow because we’ve been sold a false view of rationality. The funny thing is that the people who propose the false view of reason are the same ones who get the most frustrated when people don’t behave “rationally.” We all know that false view of rationality is false because we’ve all had the experience of saying “man, I’m not going to eat that doughnut,”

or, “I’m going to go work out tomorrow,”

or, “I’m going to study for this test,”

or, “This is going to be my last drink,”

or, “okay this is my last cigarette. I mean it this time.”

or, “I’ll read that book after I read watch this one show.” 

And we all know what happens. We know what would be good to do, but we just don’t feel like we can do it. Going against emotion is a Sisyphean effort. 

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But there is a real issue because most of us weren’t taught how to work with emotion or how emotion is the foundation of logic. More on that later.

Your job as a psychotherapist is to help people with the emotions they negate, or don’t want to feel. The primary way we (humans) deal with difficult emotions is through relationships. Others will tell you that we need to be “independent”. Bullox. We are either healthily dependent or unhealthily dependent. There is no independent.

So what your clients need most is you. They need you to show up and care and listen. If you do that you are 50% of the way there and MILES ahead of many therapist I meet. Too many therapist think therapy is accomplished through some sort of technique or intervention. The relationship IS the intervention. The research on Common Factors bears this out. The research on trust bears this out. The research on attachment and affect regulation bears this out.

Your job as a psychotherapist is to help people mange difficult emotions. You do this when you listen and care. If you do this you are 50% of the way there.

On a practical level this means learning and investing in therapy models which focus on the relationship as the main method of change. This is why I love Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy. This is why I think Trust Based Relational Intervention is a great model. This is why I think you can not learn Solution Focused Brief Therapy without also learning Motivational Interviewing. And this is why you almost never go wrong studying on Carl Rodgers and Client Centered models.

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I’m Jordan Harris. I have a PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy. I’ve dedicated myself to being an excellent father and a thoughtful husband. I’ve studied hypnosis with Douglas Flemons, one of the most innovate and imaginative therapist on the planet, and I’m pretty sure, after specializing in couples therapy, that emotional connection is what it’s all about. Please leave a comment. I’d LOVE to hear from you. 

 

 

My most embarrassing moment (or; the one thing which ruins them all)

When I was a young boy, I mean like really young, I remember going to a magical place called Camp Saint Joe. Camp Saint Joe was a sports summer camp hosted at a private catholic school which had found itself, due to migration over the years, in inner city Baltimore.

That’s me. Right in the middle!

In the morning we’d play baseball, late mornings we’d go swimming, and in the early noontime we’d walk across the parking lot and have lunch in the cafeteria. In the afternoon we’d play video games in the basement of the gym. This is where I was first introduced to Sonic the hedgehog and Sega Genesis. Camp Saint Joe was a young boys dream.

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The best day of summer camp, hands down, was Oriole Day. On Oriole day if you wore Baltimore Oriole swag you got free ice cream. So of course, the five year old nerd boy that I was I had to have an oriole shirt. And of course, the good mom that my mom is she took me to Wal-mart and got me one. The next day I was Jazzed! I coming back from swimming and changing in the locker room while a friend and we’re talking, and I’m jazzed I’m at summer camp, and I have on my oriole shirt, and I’m about to get free ice-cream.

BANG BANG. I jump and Coach Norton (far right) comes barreling into the locker room. “Comon!” He yells.

My friend and I rush upstairs and across the street. We were late for lunch. I’m standing in the back of the line when another boy asks me, “hey man. Where are your pants?”

“They’re under my shirt” I reply, and look down thinking man my pants are really short today. I lift up my shirt to show him and all I see are tighty whities. I’d forgotten to put on my shorts. “Hey please don’t tell anyone” I look up at the older boy and beg.

“Okay.” The older boy says. We go in and I sit down. A few minuets later another older kid comes up to me and asks, “hey I heard you didn’t have any pants.” He told! Then another kid comes, then two, and pretty soon I look around and can feel all the other kids looking and whispering. I look across to one of the adults and I can see that they know.

And they know that I know.

     And I know that they know that I know.

          And they know that I know that they know that I know.

               And no one does anything about it.

At some point I get up the courage up to ask one of the counselors if I can go back to the gym and get my pants. “Sorry. We can’t get back into the gym until after lunch.”

No! No! No!

I sat at that table, with everyone knowing, feeling alone for what felt like an eternity. The worse part of it all was I knew I wasn’t going to get any ice cream, because how could I walk across the cafeteria in my underwear? I began to feel a stupid for even being so excited.


Shame. It’s the thing no one wants to talk about. It’s that sinking feeling that tells us that we are bad.

Shame is very different from its brother, guilt. Guilt says you did something bad. You violated one of your values and now you need to fix it. Guilt is about behavior.

Shame, on the other hand is very different. Shame is about you. Shame is about who you are. Shame says you are bad, dirty, disgusting and because of that you are unworthy of love and belonging. In our moments of greatest needs we need each other. We need to reach out and connect. Shame is the biggest barrier to resolving our pain because shame tells us we don’t deserve connection.

Funny thing is shame is dispelled by the same thing as everything else. The darkness of shame can not stand to the light of truth. When you feel shame you need to talk about it. You need responsive relationships. We need people who can say, yeah, I’ve been there. So let me be the first to say, “yeah I’ve been there. And not just when I was a little boy.”

When we have someone we can share with at this level it’s deeply and profoundly healing. My wife does an excellent job of giving me space to share at this level and slowly, slowly I’m learning its okay to have these feelings. I am safe with her. She’s home.

This is what a good parent does. A good parent dispels shame. This is also what a good therapist does. It doesn’t have to be a therapist or a parent though. It could be anyone who’s a little further down the path of life.

For me, in that moment, when I was a little kid sitting in that cafeteria it was old man Ruckawitz.


Mr. Ruckawitz was old. I don’t know how old, but he felt old. I was around five, so he must have been, I don’t know around 40 maybe. He felt like he was 100. I wasn’t in his group at camp. I never had him as a counselor. I only knew him because he manned the ice cream shop on campus.

I didn’t see him come up behind me that day. I just remember his face. He tapped me on my shoulder. I turned around.

“Hey. What kind of ice cream would you like?”

I was shocked.

“Um, I guess. I don’t know.”

“You can have any you want.” He said and twitched his nose. He had a tick, and seemed a nervous man.

I don’t remember what kind I got. I think I got cotton candy. I may have just gotten an ice cream sandwich. I don’t remember but it doesn’t matter. What mattered was that he showed up.

The number one thing which haunts me as a therapist

All that we see or seem

Is but a dream within a dream

-edgar allen poe


I have dreams about clients. From time to time tiny doppelgangers of clients roam around my head at night. It’s understandable. Because we’re working with clients all day therapist spend more time with clients than co workers, so naturally clients roam the hallways of our minds.

Not to long ago I had a client, Kyla, roaming around my mind. I’d not seen Kyla for a few months. She’d discharged from the Medicaid funded treatment center where I worked and within in a week relapsed. Her dad found her in a car cradling a bottle of vodka.

I had to go to a training the week she was discharged so I missed seeing her off. The week before she was discharged she and another client gave me a gift.

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After I got the call from Kyla’s dad telling me what happened, I looked up Poe and the poem. Something about it haunts me.


I stand amid the roar

on a surf-tormented shore

and I hold within my hand

grains of the golden sand

how few, yet how they creep

through my fingers to the deep.

while I weep, while I weep.

Oh god, can I not grasp

them with a tighter clasp?

oh god, can I not save

one from the pitless wave

is all that we see or seem

but a dream within a dream?


After I’d heard about her cradling that bottle I was a man possessed by doubts. Maybe if I had been there working with her instead of at the training … maybe if I had requested an additional week of treatment from her insurance company…. maybe if I had known then what I know now… maybe if the Medicaid system wasn’t designed to fail…

There are many clients I have not helped. I’m not ashamed to say that. I feel guilty not being guilty, but that’s about it. I simply wast trained nor given the guidance to help certain people when I first became a therapist. So I don’t feel bad about the past because I couldn’t have done anything and I don’t feel bad about the present because I now know my limits. That helps me sleep at night. If clients I’ve failed are ghost, then most of them are of Casper’s brood– friendly.

Yet there are some that linger. There are some that haunt me.

I’m haunted by Jamiel. Jamiel was abused by his grandmother and deemed a lost cause by his elderly foster mother. I still remember that moment when I knew I was going to fail him. The image of Jamiel is forever frozen in a frame of him squatting outside in the summer heat, with a stick in hand poking at the dirt. Meanwhile foster mother sits inside and grumbles at me about how she’s sending him to a state home because at night Jamiel rummages in the dark recesses of the cupboard and devours whole boxes of Little Debbies delights.

That was the beginning of the end because foster mom did send him away to a group home where at best he’d be overlooked and forgotten. All because I couldn’t convince foster mom that him stealing food was not the problem.


how few, yet how they creep

through my fingers to the deep

while I weep, while I weep. 


I’m haunted by Jamie. She was a little on the cousin of a client and a little on the slow side. In my mind the movie begins with me helping her with her homework.

“What’s this?” I asked looking over a math problem with her.

“I don’t know” Jamie answered.

“Count it out.” I prompted.

“1,2,3,4,5,” she started, “6, 7 ,8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, … 100?”

And suddenly I was very aware that this 8 year old couldn’t count past thirty, that that was not a very good sign for her future, and that I had neither the time nor the skill to help her make up the gap her public school had left her.


Oh god, can I not grasp

them with a tighter clasp?

oh god, can I not save

one from the pitless wave


Some times in my daydreams these two come back to me. They are older now and I know in that dream like way where you just know, but have no idea how you know, that Jamiel is in jail. He’s been in solitary confinement several times for being violent. I also know that Jamie has several kids. She’s dropped out of high school and never went back. In the dream they just stare.

“I’m sorry!” I plead. “There was nothing I could do. I didn’t know how.” But they don’t respond. Their stare is conviction enough.

The thing about the failures is not that I failed. Failure in and off itself is painful but failure doesn’t haunt me. Failure is washed away with the next success. The thing about failure is the nagging feeling that because I failed, they will never have another opportunity. Because I couldn’t do it, the hopes they had for their future are now merely a dream.

Maybe to think this way is hubris or craziness. I don’t know. All I know is that life works because we make it work. Because we go out into the world and make change happen. If we don’t there is no guarantee someone else will come along and fix it for us. No, I am not the last hope for Kyla, Jamiel, or Jamie. But someone has to stand up for them, and there is no guarantee that someone else will.

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I’m Jordan Harris. I have a PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy. I’ve dedicated myself to being an excellent father and a thoughtful husband. I’ve studied hypnosis with Douglas Flemons, one of the most innovate and imaginative therapist on the planet, and I’m pretty sure, after specializing in couples therapy, that emotional connection is what it’s all about. PLEASE leave a comment. I’d LOVE to hear from you. 

Passive Income 101-your set it and forget it portfolio 

I recently got off of a long talk with my friend Katie Riley. We talked a long time about how easy (but scary) it is to fly anywhere for free, how to get a cheap masters degree (it involves an extended stay in Europe) and the set it and forget it way to invest in real estate. Afterwards it got me thinking, and I decided to skip a few steps and just tell you about the set it and forget it way to invest in stocks.

So a bit more of a pre-amble.

  1. This is about investing. You and I can not time the market. We can not win trying to buy low and sell high. This will crush us every time. We are looking for long term gains (at least 5 years out and more likely 10 years out).
  2. There is another crash coming. The market will tank again. We know this. If you’re going to invest, you have to be comfortable with this, knowing that the market always has recovered and soared to even higher heights. This is the nature of stocks.
  3. You need to do your own investing. Advisers don’t work for you. They work for their company. This means their interest and your interest are not always aligned. If you do get an adviser, they should be a fiduciary. Most of that is too complicated for us. Besides most advisers do not out perform the market over time, which means if you just do what the market does, overtime you will outproduce most advisers-hence you don’t need them.
  4. You need to use Vanguard. Hands down they have the lowest fees for investing. Low fees means you have more money in your accounts, due to the magic of compound interest adds up to a lot of money over time.

To invest you only need four tools.

  1. VTSAX- this is Vangaurd’s Total Stock Market Fund. This is probably the most powerful tool in your passive income portfolio. Because stocks are so powerful this will give you the most bang for your buck with the least amount of risk. the big thing to remember, of course, is that we are investing. That means looking for long term gains through the magic of compounding. there will certainly be crashes and bubbles bursting, but over time this will give us the strongest return on our investment.
  2.  VBMFX- So, say you don’t want to invest all your money in one fund, despite that fact that the larger the fund the more security we have. Or say you simply want to smooth out the ride that stocks can be, then you’re going to want bonds. In fact, some studies show that a 10-25% allocation of bonds (can’t believe I just said that, I sound like one of those investment people now) actually outperforms an all stock portfolio, but only slightly. If you just want the stability that bonds produce, and the added bump in income then you’ll want to invest 10% of your portfolio in Vangaurd’s Total Bond Market Fund.
  3. VTIBX (Vangaurd’s Total International Bond Fund) and VTIAX (Vangaurd’s Total International Stock Fund). If you want to invest internationally, well all you need is VTSAX! Yes, it is the US fund, but most US companies are international companies, which is part of what makes VTSAX so stable, as far as investing goes. Think about it companies like Google and Apple have HUGE international markets. However, if you just want to increase added security look at Vangaurds Total International Stock Market Fund Ex-US. if You’d like to add security to this security you can add Vangaurd’s Total International Bond Market Fund.

The major downside of these international funds, to my view, are the increased amount of money spent on fees. The US based VTSAX has an expense ratio currently of 0.04%. The international stock fund VTIAX has an expense ratio of 0.11%. nearly triple. However these small expenses mean a lot of money is because compound interest. However, it’s still a LOT better than most other companies. This is also why you want Vanguard funds, they are by far the cheapest. Other companies can charge you up to 1% in expenses. This is enormous! But they know most people don’t understand compound interest and and terrified of investing good thing you’re not one of those people anymore.

That’s it. This is the simple path to wealth. It will take time. Investing even a small amount and letting it grow will have exponential effects on your retirement accounts. Investing 50 or more of your income every year will allow you to become financially independent in 16 years or less.

 

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Jordan Harris just passed his PhD defense and is waiting for conferral in august of 2017 (YAY). He is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Licensed Professional Counselor. He has over 5 years of experience counseling individuals, couples, and families from a wide diversity of backgrounds. He sees clients both in his office and consults online. You can contact him at 318-238-0586 with him online or connect with him through email at jharris@cccofwm.com or follow him on twitter @changeencounter. Also, he is not your financial adviser and information provided should be used at your discretion

If my mom went to therapy (or how to pick a therapist)

Momma!

How are you? I finished S-town. Incredible. I love brilliant people like John B., and I get now why you are disappointed in him. He was a racist. It makes me a little sad that he would not like people like us. Although he didn’t just hate black people, he hated everyone. Even himself. I think that’s what’s sad about the story. You can’t hate others without hating yourself, and in the end that hate killed him.

Anyway, yes, so therapy. You want to see someone or are you asking for a friend? Either way, here is my advice.

First, you should like and respect your therapist. Everything else I’m going to tell you should be filtered through this lens. If you break one of my recommendations but you like and respect your therapist good for you! If it ain’t broke don’t fix it! The single biggest predictor of success in therapy is the therapist-client relationship.

Next, you want to look for a fully licensed Marriage and Family therapist (LMFT), Professional Counselor (LPC) or Social worker (LCSW). Do not under any circumstances go to anyone who isn’t fully licensed. See what happens is after we therapist graduate from therapy school we have a degree, but we have no idea what we’re doing. Licensure boards know this and make us gain experience for 2-4 years in order to become “fully licensed.” In the mean time, the agencies that new therapist work at offer counseling with them at low cost. One clinic I worked at charged $10 and another one $25. This is really cheap especially since most fully licensed therapist charge anywhere from $100-$150. Trouble is going to a new therapist verses a fully licensed professional is like going to see a Nurses Aid instead of the Physician.

Also, I’d stay away from someone licensed as a drug or alcohol counselor. Most addiction counselors just try to convince and shame you into not using drugs.  But one of the things we know is that addiction is a way to self medicate past wounds. So if the best way you can deal with your pain is by using drugs, I assume your pain must be pretty bad and I’d rather not take away your most effective strategy for dealing with that kind of pain.

So what should you look for?

It might help if I break down the different degrees

  1. Psychiatrist- these are MDs trained in medication. Most are not trained in counseling. Truth is medication doesn’t have a great track record for much besides stabilization. Most medication takes about a month to get working, so you shouldn’t be changing very often. Also, any decent psychiatrist will give you a referral to a counselor. So if they change your meds regularly and don’t recommend counseling you need to switch to a different doctor.
  2. Psychologist- these used to be the most highly trained therapist. Now they mostly focus on testing. Testing is helpful if you think you have autism, a learning disability, or some sort of delay. But we’re not looking for those things. We’re looking for clinical skill.
  3. Social workers- they are trained mostly in case management. They are great at making sure you are connected to local resources like food banks, getting medicaid, or enrolling in other assistance programs. Some of them do work clinically. You’ll want to look for a LCSW- Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
  4. Professional Counselor- They are trained in counseling from a individual standpoint. Typically they are licensed as an LPC- Licensed Professional Counselor.
  5. Marriage and Family Therapist- These are NOT marriage therapist. They actually are just as bad at marital counseling (the hardest form of counseling) as anyone else. They are trained to look at how your problem makes sense in the context of your relationships. You want an LMFT- Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

So, on top of being fully licensed you want to find someone who has a certification. Most clinical training for therapist is abysmal. If your therapist has a certification that often times means they’ve had a master therapist give them moment by moment feedback on how to work with an issue. This is what we want. Also, if someone has a Ph.D ignore it. I went into a Ph.D program to become a better clinician and …well…eh… it didn’t help me become a better clinician. All a Ph.D means is you’ve read more books and written more papers. If someone has a Ph.D ignore it. I means nothing about clinical skill. If I could do it over again I’d have just found things I wanted to get certified in. We are looking for clinical skill.

Here’s a short list of some of the top certifications in the field

  1. EMDR- top trauma certification.
  2. EFT- the top marriage certification. DON’T GO TO ANYONE ELSE FOR MARRIAGE ISSUES.
  3. MBST-general anxiety, bipolar, depression stuff.
  4. DBT -general anxiety, bipolar, depression stuff.

There are a few other ones, but as long as your going to a fully licensed therapist with a certification they you are MILES ahead of the game. It will cost you, but every dollar will be worth it. If you need help paying let me know. I’ll talk to Laura and try and help you out.

The final thing is that you should like and respect your therapist. Yes, I’ll say it again. The single biggest predictor of success in therapy is the therapist-client relationship. A good therapist should be trained in helping you feel comfortable- which means you should like them. So if your gut is telling you it’s not a good fit, then bounce. Just please, keep looking until you find a good one.

Anyway, that’s my advice. Let me know how it goes. Oh, and sorry I didn’t call you on Monday. I got busy writing for my blog and then it was 11 o’clock … so yeah. I’ll try and call you later this week okay?

Love you!

Your manchild.

Ps. What’s our next podcast going to be? I’m thinking Revisionist History, Making Oprah, or LaVar Burton Reads? Whatcha think?

 

Passive Income 101- Stocks, Bonds, and Funds.

A little recap: If you own stock, you own part of a company. So if you own Pixar stock then everyone at Pixar is working to earn you money. As Pixar was bought by Disney, then everyone at Disney is working to make you money. Disney bought the Star Wars movie franchise. If you own Disney stock then every time a new Star Wars Movie is released you get a slice of the pie. Stocks are excellent at combating inflation, which is important because your money is always losing value. 

Bonds are money you are paid to lend. If you own a Pixar 10 year bond then Pixar promises to pay you every year for 10 years, plus give the money back at the end of 10 years. Bonds are great for dealing with deflation (when the cost of goods goes down) because when things are cheap money buys more!

 

Funds are your security. If you invest in a group of business, you’re more likely to get a return. The more stocks or bonds you invest in, the more stocks and bonds in your fund, the more likely you’ll get a return. Funds increase certainty in investing.

This is why investing in total stock market and total bond market funds are the way to go. But first, make sure you understand how the market works.

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Jordan Harris just passed his PhD defense and is waiting for conferral in august of 2017 (YAY). He is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Licensed Professional Counselor. He has over 5 years of experience counseling individuals, couples, and families from a wide diversity of backgrounds. He sees clients both in his office and consults online. You can contact him at 318-238-0586 with him online or connect with him through email at jharris@cccofwm.com or follow him on twitter @changeencounter. Also, he is not your financial adviser and information provided should be used at your discretion.

Passive Income 101-The Three Rules

For a long time money scared me. 401ks, S&P 500, IRAs. What does any of that mean? You might as well have said, “Yeah I’ve got my flux capacitor in a C-3P0 run by my 808 and heartbreaks.” Because I didn’t understand money I stayed away from it.

However, over time I’ve come to see why its so important to understand how money works. I’ve also learned that in any arena you can go very far if you just follow the fundamentals. As long as you do the fundamentals well, they will carry you most of the way. The fundamental method of investing today is Index Funds. Or you can go crazy and invest in Index funds. I’ll get more into that later, but first let’s go deep into the three rules because the rules make the method make sense.

What most of us aren’t taught is how safe investing is. In fact if you only invested the day before every crash you’d still be doing really well. I’ll get more into this later.

 

Here’s a calculator about how much you really make an hour. When I learned about this it blew my mind. The funny thing is none of this is new. Back in the 50s-60s there was a movement that talked all about this. Your Money Or Your Life, which was a workshop then a bestselling book, is kinda of the book that started it all, at least for the modern era.

Those are the three rules: invest, save, avoid debt. Next I’ll be talking about what stocks, bonds, are and some of the basic rules of the stock market.

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Jordan Harris just passed his PhD defense and is waiting for conferral in august of 2017 (YAY). He is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Licensed Professional Counselor. He has over 5 years of experience counseling individuals, couples, and families from a wide diversity of backgrounds. He sees clients both in his office and consults online. You can contact him at 318-238-0586 with him online or connect with him through email at jharris@cccofwm.com or follow him on twitter @changeencounter. Also, he is not your financial adviser and information provided should be used at your discretion.

Passive Income 101-Why?

Here are the links I told you guys about. Here’s the post from Collins which got me hooked on why this was important. I’m sure after hearing a bit about my story you understand why it resonated with me. I’m also including the link to his stock series. This will be where I’ll be drawing most of my info. Feel free to comment. It’ll help me get clearer in explaining and understanding.

Also, I’d love it if you guys subscribed. You can do that below!

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Jordan Harris just passed his PhD defense and is waiting for conferral in august of 2017 (YAY). He is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Licensed Professional Counselor. He has over 5 years of experience counseling individuals, couples, and families from a wide diversity of backgrounds. He sees clients both in his office and consults online. You can contact him at 318-238-0586 with him online or connect with him through email at jharris@cccofwm.com or follow him on twitter @changeencounter. Also, he is not your financial adviser and information provided should be used at your discretion.

Vampires, Poltergeist, and The Vicious Cycle

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Once upon a time I spent a summer on the other side of the planet in a place called Papua New Guinea or PNG as the locals call it. It was really good for me to meet black people who were different than Black Americans, as I felt like I was so different from the Black Americans I knew. I remember one night in particular, I was talking with a friend’s sister. We’ll call her Red, because she, like her brother, had red hair (yes, black people can have red hair).

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/photographs-redheads-of-color_us_55db9929e4b0a40aa3abf017

We’re out on the bush talking philosophy with this lady from the bush when she asked me about vampires.

“Do you believe in vampires? I don’t know if I do.” This might seem strange for a 30-something woman to ask me, a then 23 year old boy if vampires exist, but in the bush it was well known that tree spirits inhabited the local river. Besides, I was an expert on vampires, as I had recently read the twilight saga at my sister’s request about a year earlier. I looked deep into her eyes and said,

“Think about it this way. Wouldn’t they want us to think they didn’t exist?” I said, trying to put a twinkle in my eye. Her eyes widened in awareness.

“You’re right!” She gasped. And I almost choked on my spit.

I have no idea what happened after that. In the morning she’d gone back to her village, so I never got the chance to say vampires are not real enemies. But there are real enemies. Poltergeists are real. The amalgamation of negative energy, left over from relationships gone awry. And they don’t want us to think they exist.

The other day I was working on some stuff and I had to run out to the school library to print something out. My wife was on the phone so I didn’t say anything to her. I didn’t want to interrupt her conversation with her brother. Besides I would only be a minute. Of course I’d forgotten that I’m a bibliophile. I’ve got a serious thing for books. I can’t walk past one without cracking it open, leafing through its pages, and sniffing deep, talking long draughts of its moldy, mildewy scent.

Of course I came back an hour and a half later. My wife was, ahem, upset?

“Where were you? You didn’t even take your phone!” She snapped as I came into the bedroom. Apparently she’d been in bed for a while, not sleeping.

The poltergeist had entered the room and was tempting me. Trying to get me to feed it negative energy. I wanted to say “Back off. I’m a grown man. You don’t have to check on me.”

To which my wife would have replied. “You think you can control everything! You don’t get to just do that! You don’t get to just walk out and not say anything,” which of course would have only fed the poltergeist.

But I didn’t give in. I sat down on the bed and said “You were scared, huh love? You thought something might have happened to me.”

“Yes!” She said exasperated. “I didn’t know where you were.”

“I’m sorry. I got caught up at the library.”

“Can you just not do that next time?”She asked. She wasn’t even angry anymore.

It’s not always easy to do. Sometimes the poltergeist gets me before I know he’s there. But I’m getting better at catching him when he rears his head. See here’s the thing – Poltergeists are the enemy. They will lie and make you feel like your partner is the enemy, but above all you must remember that your partner is just that, your partner. The enemy is the poltergeist, and he WILL feed off of your negative emotions and put a huge wedge between you two. And when you learn this it will bring you two closer. Nothing brings a couple closer together than dealing with poltergeist.

A friend of mine calls their poltergeist their cycle. They say things like “we got caught in our cycle, but we were able to see it.” Or “we almost got caught in our cycle, but I noticed we were doing it again.” I’ve heard of others calling it a wolf or a dragon which comes in and rips into their relationship. I don’t care what you call it as long as you remember who the real enemy is, and that as you fight against the enemy you will grow closer with your partner.

Jordan Harris just passed his PhD defense and is waiting for conferral in august of 2017 (YAY). He is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Licensed Professional Counselor. He has over 5 years of experience counseling individuals, couples, and families from a wide diversity of backgrounds. He sees clients both in his office and consults online. You can contact him at 318-238-0586 with him online or connect with him through email at jharris@cccofwm.com or follow him on twitter @changeencounter.