Archive for May, 2019

At Affordable Relationship Counseling, Dr. Cunningham is always on the lookout for affordable date ideas. Below are some ideas:

  1. The nearly 200M San Diego Public Library building opened in 2013 and is free to enter. It is a site to behold and explore.
  2. On various Tuesday’s each month, the museums in Balboa Park offer free general admission to residents if the County of San Diego and to active military and their dependents. Be prepared to show valid identification with residency information on it.
  3. Admission to the Botanical Building is always free. The lath building was built for the 1915-16 Exposition and now houses over 2100 tropical plants and palms. It is open every day except Thursdays and is one of the most photographed spots in San Diego. You can picnic on the grassy areas in front of it, too.
  4. Admission to the Timken Museum in Balboa Park is free. Not only does it House American, French, and Russian works of art but its one of the most important Midcentury buildings in San Diego.
  5. Visit Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala, founded in 1758 by Junipero Serra. Pair a visit here with time wandering around Old Town. Splurge on a margarita at Casa Guadalajara to finish the day.
  6. A walk, run, bike ride, or skate down the Mission Beach Boardwalk is an awesome way to spend the day in San Diego. For extra excitement, hit the rollercoaster at seaside Belmont Park Amusement.
  7. Tide pool in La Jolla or Hotel Del tide pools. Carrillo National Monument also has tide pools. Check times.
  8. Organize a late night grunion run from March through August during full or new moon cycles.
  9. Go to an outdoor movie in summer at Waterfront Park.
  10. Walk the meditation garden at the Self Realization Fellowship in Encinitas (open to public).

Call 619 9906203 to see if it makes sense to book an initial appointment to jumpstart your couples connection! Make the call today!

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img_8174At Affordable Counseling, issues of unresolved attachment from one’s family of origin are often connected to patterns of relational functioning in adult life. Sometimes people that have passed continue to occupy space in ways that can interfere with healthy attachment patterns. Writing letters and poetry to a missed parent in therapy may aid in resolution to unfinished business with the deceased. The following poem illustrates this intervention:

“I Still Hear You”

The one organ of contact with existence is Love.

It pulls me backward to your grave,

     Where we talked today…

          Amidst anthills, wilted flowers, and stoic little flags.

Five years, Dad.

Without you, who remembers me?

My loneliness conspires against gratitude’s purest form.

Resentment of your wildman persona

     Rivals childlike reverence for my idealized memory. 

Why are you gone?

Is this message at your burial site my consolation prize?

The marker’s command reassures me that you will…finally…”rest in peace.”

When did YOU ever take orders?

I stand here, staring down, feeling small again.

Hesitant, blood red polished nail, tracing letters of your name,

     etched so bold,

And I fall swiftly through my life passages.

Trusting you,

Moving away from you,

Gaining initiative,

Becoming industrious,

Becoming “me”

Reciting your lessons,

Repeating our promises,

Trying for intimacy

Yet remaining pulled to you,

     as if sucked into a Black Hole,

And I, too, maintain that gravitationally unique orbit pattern.

Manifest Destiny of Dads and Daughters. 

Ambivalence simmers inside.

I mix up the guilt with blessings and blaspheme.

Remarkable how in sacred silence,

     your influence gathers momentum.

Admonishments, affirmations, advice, your chuckle,

Half-expecting you to wink back for an instant…

I caress gently that indifferent marble slab,

     as if to wipe off your sweat.

Quietude screams in my brain.

I break the silence with a soft cry-whisper,

     calling to your memory, entreating you to sign.

I can taste the answer somewhere in my spinal synapses.

For still, Dad, I CAN HEAR YOU in crazy shapes and glimmers,

A kind of shimmery, immutable, star-spangled design.


                                                                August, 2002.


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