Show on map
When you are open to experiencing and learning from everything--every disappointment, every surprise, every piece of feedback, whether laudatory or critical--then you cannot be threatened.
My passion is helping people heal their past wounds and triggers, so they can live fully in the present moment with the ability to see and accept “what is.” In my coaching, my writing, and my workshops I offer communication tools and awareness practices that help people free themselves from all the ways they go on automatic instead of communicating authentically and honestly. I believe “honesty is the only hope for relationships.” But most people cannot be honest because their personalities are riddled with defensive, self-protective communication habits. I help people notice when they are stuck in such a “control pattern,” so they can pause and get in touch with what they are really feeling, thinking, or wanting—and express this in a way that is real, open, vulnerable, and undefended.
I am a trained Gestalt Therapist, having been mentored by the most prominent early pioneers in this work. Over the past 45 years, I have developed my own approach to personal development called The Getting Real Work. It has its roots in Gestalt Therapy, group dynamics, Jungian therapy, Sensory Awareness, and Buddhist Psychology. I have trained dozens of people to be Getting Real Coaches and Honesty Salon facilitators. The Getting Real Work teaches “10 Truth Skills You Need to Live an Authentic Life.” We practice these Truth Skills in the Honesty Salons that I lead and teach others to lead.
In addition to being an internationally know professional speaker and seminar leader, I am a fairly prolific author of self-help books on relationships. I have written 11 books on relationships, including three best sellers: The Couples’ Journey: Intimacy as a Path to Wholeness (which was the first relationship book to view intimacy as a spiritual voyage); Getting Real: 10 Truth Skills You Need to Live and Authentic Life, and From Chaos to Confidence: Survival Strategies for the New Workplace (which was a featured selection of the Newbridge Book Club and is the subject of a popular business training film produced by CRM Films). My books are available in French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Greek, and German.
I also write for popular magazines such as, New Woman, Cosmopolitan, Self, Seventeen, New Age, Science of Mind, and Yoga Journal. Articles about me and my work have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Houston Chronicle, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Bridal Guide, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, Men’s Health, Yoga Journal, and Harvard Business Review.
For 12 years in the 60’s and 70’s I was a member of the Graduate Faculty at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, where I started that school’s couple and family therapy training program.
I am currently on the Adjunct Faculty at Saybrook University in San Francisco in the Organizational Systems Department, teaching courses in Consultation Skills and Conflict Resolution.
I had my own reality TV show in 2003 called Truth In Love, which aired on the ABC affiliate network, UPN. And I have appeared on numerous talk shows over the past thirty-five years, including CNN’s “News Night,” “Good Morning America,” “The Dr. Dean Edel Show,” and “People Are Talking.”
My work on conflict resolution is widely distributed via Psychology Today Magazine’s “experts in the field” audio series, where I haave two titles, “A Guide to Open Communication,” and “Why Opposites Attract.”
My approach to relationship coaching draws from my extensive post-graduate training in systems theory, group dynamics, Gestalt therapy, Bioenergetics, Reichian therapy, Jungian psychology, Buddhist mindfulness practice, the Gurdjieff work, somatic psychology, Holotropic breathwork, process consultation, family systems therapy, and trauma recovery work.
In my personal life, I have always been a super-achiever, a risk-taker, and an avid adventurer. During my 40's, I sailed my 47 foot sailboat half-way around the world. I have also lived and done business in other cultures, notably Mexico. And I made my first million by the age of 33. I had a great relationship with my parents and siblings, which I think gave me a jump-start on life. I am so grateful that I was lucky enough to be born to mature, spiritually and psychologically aware, parents.
The Reason I Became A Helping Professional
Because I felt "lucky" to be born to mature, spiritually and psychologically aware, parents, I have always felt I wanted to give something back to the world. I did not think I was "special," but just lucky. Yet I seemed to always feel some sense of mission or purpose, and I knew it had to do with human relationships. I watched carefully how my parents did relationship. And I took notes (in my little mind). I knew our family was not like the fairly dysfunctional families I saw around me--where people seemed afraid to speak up about their needs and feelings.
So I felt an inner calling to help our culture change so that all people would feel safer expressing their true selves, especially if those people felt unique or "different," or "alone."
All my life I have been the type of person that people seem to want to be around. They seek me out for advice and counsel, and they trust me with their darkest secrets, knowing I will hold these with care and respect--that I will not judge them.
It was not difficult to decide to become a psychologist and to specialize in relationships. I have been doing this for 45 years, and I never experienced anything like burnout or boredom.
As an adult, I was lucky enough to meet many powerful and talented teachers who wanted to mentor me. This was in the day when there were very few women in positions of power. I think these mentors saw in me someone who was not afraid to own my inner authority, and perhaps as someone who could carry on their legacy and help it live.
So I did what came naturally to me, and kept learning and doing research on the topic of relationships. Later in life, I did experience a painful divorce, which further fueled my desire to understand the "best practices" for creating and sustaining fulfilling relationships.
I know we teach what we need to learn, and I have certainly learned a lot from my clients and students. I am grateful for finding this opportunity to serve--in a profession that affords me the opportunity to grow and learn and be tested by life every day.
|Time in Practice||25 years +|
|I practice in||All areas, please inquire|
|I offer my services||At my office|
Willing To Meet in Public Locations like Starbucks (please inquire)
Via a webcam
|I am fluent in||English|
Whether with friends, lovers, neighbors, family members or ...