I’ve been doing a large number of radio interviews since the publication of Stop Whining, Start Living a few weeks ago. I enjoy them, because I connect with fellow talk-show hosts around the country. I’m challenged with great questions, and I have an opportunity to meet new listeners.
One particular interviewer asked me: “Why did you give up private practice for radio?” My answer? Because I can help more people per square inch of time.
That is exactly true, but after thinking more about this question during the week, there is more. Having been trained, licensed, and in private practice as a Marriage, Family, and Child Therapist, I have had innumerable experiences with people dealing with a wide range of problems. Looking back, it seems that suffering and problems fill the amount of time allotted to them. That means that generally (read: not always) most “problems” can be dealt with in a shorter amount of time with a change in how you look at the problem. In other words, the “fix” is most often just looking at the same facts in a different way.
For example, a recent female caller was annoyed at her mother being in constant “schmooze” mode. It seemed incredible to have someone complain about “too much lovey-dovey behavior” from a parent! I asked her about her childhood. Bingo. Her mother had been cold, unloving, critical, etc. I told the caller that it was understandable that she was uncomfortable with loving behavior from her mom, considering she spent an entire childhood getting the opposite. And this big switch explained why the caller felt that her mom wasn’t being sincere.
One could imagine a year or so of joint and individual therapy to “resolve” the resentments and other feelings. But it took thirty seconds for me to help this woman open her heart to her mother trying to make up for the past. I explained that the other options were that her mother ignored her completely or continued to be horrible. Trying to make it up to her is a demonstration of humility and love.
My caller cried as I told her to “let go” into it, and that as difficult as it was for her to accept the love because it felt to foreign – that the same was true for her mother! The caller thanked me and remarked how she had never looked at it that way and that it changed everything.
When people call my radio program, they already know that the time they’ll have is quite brief, and they know “the rules.” They are open to a “smack in the head” (V8 style!), and in the “heart” from me, and they fill this brief time with intensity.
People who read my books (currently Stop Whining, Start Living) write me that within a few chapters, they feel a change that others notice! They feel “released.” I believe a lot of important changes in life can happen quite quickly and the feedback we get from listeners and readers shows that the students are ready – and I’m grateful that so many people have accepted me as a teacher.