Welcome. Let’s begin with why academia is killing relationships.

Welcome to the beginning.

When I’m honest I’ll admit that I did not become a therapist to help people. I became a therapist to analyze people. I was a wannabe anthropology student who figured I should do something with my life that would help others. So I chose studying people and how to help them change. However, all of that shifted once I got into my masters program.

My masters program wasn’t about helping people change. It was about helping me change. For two years my life was changed, both by a professor who picked on me (#microaggressions) and by professors who poured into and subtly mentored me. Whether one out weighed the other, who can tell. I can tell you that both were wrong in one huge way because there is more to helping people than the therapist being changed. Therapeutic change- better called relational change-is not just about showing up and being a kind, healthy person. There are specific things we need to know and do in order to be healthy. Unfortunately most of the time these things are locked away in academics’ books and at conferences.

I have a friend who is always telling me I would be great in academia, which makes me cringe. It’s true that I know the few things I know REALLY well, but I’m not a fan of academia because academia is where ideas go to die. There is so much infighting and squabbling that if an idea does manages to make it out of the fray the normal person can’t distinguish whether it’s a good idea or not.

I’ll give you an example.

Did you know that we know how to have happy marriages? It is not a mystery anymore. We can predict with over 90% accuracy who will make it and who won’t. We can fix marriages around 80% of the time. And we know that one of the biggest problems for the other 20% is that they’ve waited about 6 years before they even ask for help.

The fact that only marriage specialists know this is a problem because every six months I hear about another college buddy getting divorced or a mentor who had an affair. It isn’t supposed to be this way. This is important to me because our world is hurting. I’m a fan of grass roots change, and from my perspective marriages are the linchpin. If a marriage is changed then you’ve changed a family. Change a handful of families and you’ve changed a community for this generation and the next.

What I’d like to do over the next ten posts is to share some of that with you. I’ll outline a few things we know about family relationships. This will apply to all relationships, whether it’s between mother-son, sister-sister, husband-wife or whatever. I’m going to get really specific and use the lens of marriage because there are only a few patterns of relationship, and if you understand them now you can better move through the pain later. I’m tired of seeing people hurting and sick and lost in their pain when they don’t have to be.

So I’m going to pass on what I’ve learned to you. If it resonates, pass it on to others. If it doesn’t, let me know what doesn’t click.

Thanks for the feedback in advance.

I appreciate it.