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I am ever grateful for the intense training I had and for my continuing commitment to study in Bowen Family Systems Theory. Here is a favorite quote I keep in the back of my mind when working with couples at www.cunninghamtherapy.com

“When any member of an emotional system can control his own emotional reactiveness and accurately observe the functioning of the system and his/her part in it, and can avoid counter attacking when he is provoked and when he can maintain an active relationship with the other key members without withdrawing or becoming silent, the entire system will change in a series of predictable ways.”

Family Therapy in Clinical Practice, page 486, Dr. Murray Bowen, pioneer in marriage and family therapy.

Systems couples counseling can result in transformative marital dynamics. Call Dr. Barbara Cunningham at 619 990-6203 for a complimentary telephone consultation.

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As a marriage and family therapist in San Diego, I practice couples therapy and individual therapy using an intergenerational perspective. I specialize in helping couples and individuals live more meaningfully in their most important relationships. Relationship counseling and individual counseling is better to seek sooner rather than later when one experiences chronic challenges in relational functioning. Research has shown that couples typically wait 6 years before seeking couples counseling. It is wiser to get help earlier and before problems fester, causing resentments to harden and become more resistant to treatment.

Dr. Murray Bowen was a pioneer of marriage and family therapy.   He believed that human beings live in interdependent emotional systems. His insights are profound. I am guided, in large part, by his ideas. James Framo, another early MFT leader, observed that clinically, Bowen’s ideas address the basic question of how one can deal with one’s family’s nuttiness without cutting off from the family. Just as Socrates urged people, “Know thyself,” Dr. Bowen encouraged people to “Know your family.”  Such an effort can enhance one’s ability to live in a more fulfilled way in one’s current relationships. In an early post I listed five of my favorite quotes from Murray Bowen. Below are *more quotes that typify Bowen’s deep and unique  level of understanding of the human condition:

“Family systems theory is based on the assumptions that the human is a product of evolution and that human behavior is significantly regulated by the same natural processes that regulate the behavior of all other living things….Homo sapiens are far more like other life forms than different from them.”

“One of the most important aspects of family dysfunction is an equal degree of overfunction in another part of the family system. It is factual that dysfunctioning and overfunctioning exist together. ..An example would be the dominating (overfunctioning) mother and passive father.”

“The more a therapist learns about a family, the more the family learns about itself; and the more the family learns, the more the therapist learns, in a cycle which continues.”

“The overall [clinical] goal [is] to help family members become ‘system experts’ who could know [their family system] so well that the family could readjust itself without the help of an outside expert, if and when the family system was again stressed.”

“Relationships are cyclical. There is one phase of calm, comfortable closeness. This can shift to anxious, uncomfortable overcloseness with the incorporation of the ‘self” of one by the ‘self ‘ of the other. There there is the phase of distant rejection in which the two can literally repel each other. In some families, the relationship can cycle through the phases at frequent intervals. In oher families, the cycle can stay relatively fixed for long periods.”

“The basic building block of any emotional system is the triangle. ”

“Important changes [between the couple] accompany the birth of children.”

“The problem of the ‘triangled’ child presents one of the most difficult problems in family psychotherapy.

Dr. Murray Bowen was one of the important pioneers in marriage and family therapy. As a clinician who specializes in relationship counseling, I am guided, in large part, by his ideas. To learn more about my model of practice, visit me at http://www.Cunninghamtherapy.com or call 619 9906203 for a complimentary telephone consultation.

* Quotes are cited from FAMILY THERAPY IN CLINICAL PRACTICE by Murray Bowen (1978)

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Role of the Therapist (Typical Intervention Techniques and Process Used in Sessions)

Bowen family systems theory is unique in its emphasis upon the self-development of the therapist.  Thus, I continually work on an increasingly healthy separation from my own family of origin in a way that I still remain connected. 

Friedman (1991) points out that “Bowen has consistently maintained that it is hard for the patient to mature beyond the maturity level of the therapist, no matter how good his or her technique” (p. 138).  In fact, Friedman explains that “In Bowen theory, the differentiation of the therapist is the technique” (p. 138).  One cannot possibly be a Bowen therapist merely by reading about it or taking workshops (Kerr, 1981).  The therapist must go through an emotional transformation, which happens experientially after continued exposure to revisiting one’s family of origin while applying the complex ideas of the theory.  Work with one’s family of origin and work with a supervisor is a central part of the therapist’s development.  Similarly, psychoanalysts must first complete their own psychoanalysis with a supervising analyst, before they are deemed competent to analyze clients.

It is important to maintain a non-anxious presence.  To be objective and to promote differentiation in others is directly related to the being of the therapist, not to his/her technical skills (Friedman, 1991).  To be able to think in terms of the system and not the emotionality or content requires a high level of differentiation.  I push myself to work continually at separating my thoughts from feelings and knowing where I stop and my client begins.

I am warm, respectful, engaging, and matter of fact in asking questions.  I maintain a collaborative atmosphere in all stages of treatment.  The process of gathering family facts is, in itself, collaborative and inherently conducive to reducing anxiety.  Additionally, the types of questions asked move the client toward a deepening appreciation for pattern and process.  In a sense, I assume the role of researcher and am always curious.  One question leads to another, and the calmer I am, the more I can call on my best thinking to expand the line of questioning into broadening perspectives.  Eventually, clients begin to see replicating patterns from past to present and connections between events in their nuclear families and family of origin legacies.

I encourage family members to speak through me rather than to each other.  By remaining a non-anxious presence in a triangle, I can induce a change in the relationship of the other two that would not occur if the same things were said in the absence of the therapist.

In my work with couples, I work to identify and reflect back repetitive, dysfunctional cycles of interaction early in treatment.  For example, I want to identify patterns such as distancer/pursuer, overfunction/underfunction, or withdrawer/blamer.  Initial progress is facilitated if the couple becomes aware of their pattern early in treatment and works toward interrupting it.

There are times when I depart from The Bowen method of having a couple talk through me.  For example, in the early phases of marital therapy, I believe that it is important to assess a couple’s ability to talk to one another about sensitive material.  To assess their ability to connect with one another, I may ask them to turn to one another and repeat important things to the other that they have just said to me.  I watch their verbal and nonverbal styles of communication carefully.  As treatment continues, I use the same method to heighten important material.  I encourage communication in which one assumes responsibility for oneself, whether it is about expressing wishes for space or connection. 

I am a coach, in that I teach differentiation moves, or ways that the client can increase his/her neutrality, especially in hot triangles.  I also act as an educator in teaching the family about family systems dynamics.  Often, I diagram or illustrate BFST concepts on a white board to increase clients’ ability to think about their processes in a systemic way.  Homework may include relevant readings and letter writing assignments, which may or may not be mailed.  Clients may be asked to journal and/or generate questions to ask their extended family members.  Photograph albums and videos brought to session touch the past, adding a rich layer of experience to the treatment and also enhancing the joining effort of the therapist.  This material may also aid in the effort to bridge cutoff, resolve attachment, or make contact with the deceased.  Socratic questions that highlight process over content challenge the client to engage his/her cognitive process. 

Kerr and Bowen (1988) encourage therapists to use humor and playfulness where appropriate, but warn that the maturity and differentiation of the therapist is critical to communicating that what is taken so seriously by the family can be seen in a humorous light.  The client is honored as the expert on his/her own family and is often asked questions that lead him/her to take responsibility for his/her part in a family problem.  A helpful guideline is that within the session, I work on making myself “small.”  Such an effort means that I have succeeded in being a non-anxious presence who does not overfunction for the client.

To learn more about this model of therapy practice, visit Dr. Cunningham’s web site at http://www.Cunninghamtherapy.com. Dr. Cunningham, whose practice is conveniently located in the heart of San Diego, specializes in treating individuals and couples.

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 Bowen family systems, a seminal theory in the field of marriage and family therapy, is the cornerstone upon which I base my work. 

Murray Bowen (1978) believed that it was possible to move towards a science of human behavior.  His positivist view clearly reflected his assumption that a real world exists that is independent of an observer’s subjective perceptions of it (Papero, 1990).  More conservatively, I embrace a postpositivist perspective, in that reality “. . .can never be fully apprehended, only approximated” (Guba, 1990, p. 22).  I believe that it is impossible for the observer not to affect the observed and vice-versa, but certain patterns can be identified regardless of these effects.  Thus, although I am guided by Bowen theory, I am not a purist and have modified my application of the theory in some respects.

  Bowen family systems is a natural systems theory that is based on evolution and biology.  It is aimed at enlarging one’s view of family functioning by exploring emotional processes over at least three generations.  Bowen (1978) introduced eight interlocking concepts that must be viewed in relation to one another to be understood properly.  These concepts include: differentiation of self; triangles; nuclear family emotional processes; family projection process; multigenerational transmission process; sibling position; emotional cutoff; and societal emotional process.

Bowen (1978) believed that there is an order and predictability to human relationships.  The relative ease or dis-ease of a system is primarily determined by the emotional maturity of its leaders.  Thus, clinical work is conceptualized from the top down.  Work on the self of the therapist begets improvement in clients, just as work on the leader of a family begets improved functioning in its members.  By changing one’s role in a system, one can improve one’s situation. 

The central assumption underlying Bowen’s (1978) thinking is that there is a chronic anxiety that exists in all life forms.  BFST holds that “. . . we have more in common with other forms of protoplasm than we differ from them” (Friedman, 1991, p. 135).  Furthermore, biological evolution is viewed as the most important influence on how a family functions, and basic patterns are viewed as being the same across cultures.  

Core to BFST is the concept of differentiation of self, and working to increase differentiation in self is a lifelong process (Papero, 1990).  Differentiation of self is inversely related to chronic levels of anxiety.  The ability to choose between thinking and feeling and the ability to differentiate oneself from another person (i.e. knowing where one stops and the other begins) are the basic tenets that describe the emotionally mature or differentiated individual (Bowen, 1978).  Friedman (1991) emphasizes that it is erroneous to equate differentiation with individuation, autonomy, or independence.  Instead,  “. . . it has less to do with a person’s behavior than. . . with his or her emotional being. . . . it has to do with the fabric of one’s existence, one’s integrity” (p. 141).

BFST is unique in its tendency to think in terms of universal rather than discrete classifications (e.g. physical illness/emotional illness).  From this perspective, functioning exists on a continuum.  In fact, what exists in extreme conditions such as schizophrenia exists, to a degree, in all families (Kerr & Bowen, 1988).  

From Bowen’s (1978) perspective, people have much less emotional autonomy than previously assumed.  While Freud (1924) viewed humans as motivated by unconscious forces rather than by rational thinking (which limited their autonomy from their inner selves), BFST sees people as functioning in limiting ways that reflect their familial environment (Kerr & Bowen, 1988).   I believe that both intrapsychic and interpsychic limitations upon autonomy must be respected when conceptualizing a case.

From the perspective of BFST, the two vectors within the familial environment influencing chronic anxiety are people’s reactivity to their personal space being intruded upon and their complementary need for connection.  The cliche “Can’t live with them and can’t without them” describes this common dilemma.  Patterns of emotional functioning are all related to the ways a family deals with its members impinging upon one another or, in reaction to impingement, disengaging from one another.

It is important to emphasize that BFST does not deny emotions.  It is quite the opposite.  BFST is unique in that emotional, feeling and intellectual systems are differentiated from one another.  “The term emotional–as in emotional system  . . . is used to avoid a dichotomy between the psychological and the physical, and the emphasis on thinking is not to deny feeling but to emphasize the importance of self-regulation in the process of differentiation” (Friedman, 1991, p. 136).  In a broader sense, the emotional system can be conceptualized as automatic functioning or as a kind of instinctual reaction.  The emotional system is more than the brain.  It also includes the mind, the body and our relationships. 

The feeling system involves the subjective experience that helps us be aware of what is going on in our body and in our environment.  For example, our body system may become reactive, and this sets off a chain of events that becomes the subjective experience of pain.  In contrast to emotions which are not felt, people can be aware of feelings just by feeling them. Kerr and Bowen (1988) explain that “Feelings appear to be an intellectual or cognitive awareness of the more superficial aspects of the emotional system” (p. 31). 

Bowen (1978) defined the intellectual system as that part of us that is unique.  It is the system that allows us to reason and be objective.  Our intellectual system allows us to draw conclusions, gather facts, and observe.  It is also the system that allows for the subjectivity that is illuminated by feeling states, such as racial bias.  Furthermore, the intellectual system gives us the awareness that our reasoning can be clouded by subjectivity.  To the extent that one’s intellectual system can consider facts in spite of a feeling state is the extent to which one is able to process his/her experience from a differentiated position. 

Bowen (1978) believed these three systems occurred not only within the individual, but also in the entire family system.  Triangles in a family, for example, are anchored in the emotional system, in that there is anxiety around attachment and distance.  BFST attempts to use family relationships to help the individual to understand his/her intellectual, feeling, and emotional systems.

Certain phenomena in families illustrate the reciprocal nature of the family unit.  For example, one individual may gain strength in relationship to another person having lost or given up strength (Kerr & Bowen, 1988).  Thus, one can only comprehend functioning in the context of the functioning of the other people close to him/her.  Kerr and Bowen (1988) explain that “The degree of polarized extremes that these reciprocal traits reach is influenced by the degree to which family members define the differences between them as a problem and anxiously focus on ‘correcting’ those differences” (p. 8).

I believe that people are doing the best they can with the tools that they have at any given time.  I also view the principles of psychic determinism (Freud, 1924; Brenner, 1973) and evolution as complementary.  One thing follows naturally from another. To attend to the evolving process between people while at the same time analyzing the evolving process within people is the heart and soul of my theory of change.

To learn more about my model of practice and pick up some free relationship tips just for stopping by, visit http://www.Cunninghamtherapy.com

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See full size imageAt my marriage counseling practice in San Diego, I encourage couples to make their relationship their number one priority. Often times, couples’ reality needs and daily demands create a gaping hole in the social life of the couple. I recommend weekly date nights to keep the couple’s relationship at the top of the hierarchy of things to do. Below is a list of free dates couples can enjoy in our beautiful San Diego playground, as cited by San Diego.Org:

1. Head to San Diego’s many beaches, all free to the public, to swim, body surf or hang-ten. Play in the sand, collect seashells or just bask in the sun.

2. Visit La Jolla Cove and see the magnificent sunset on the ocean. La Jolla Cove is one of the most spectacular natural settings in the world.

3. Visit downtown San Diego’s Seaport Village for hours of free entertainment, leisurely strolling and window-shopping. Enjoy a laid-back day of hanging out in the grass and watching the many passing yachts and ships on picturesque San Diego Bay, or take in the sights from one of the many bay-view eateries.

4. Stroll through the 16½-block historic Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego and view the renovated turn-of-the-century Victorian architecture, home to boutiques, art galleries, specialty shops and more.

5. Fly a kite along the grassy field in the Tecolote Shores of Mission Bay Park, a 4,600-acre aquatic park. Here, away from trees and overhead wires, friends and family gather to launch colorful kites into the bay breezes.

6. Enjoy free organ concerts at 2 p.m. on Sundays at the Spreckels Organ Pavillion in Balboa Park. The Organ Pavillion features one of world’s largest outdoor pipe organs, a San Diego landmark since 1914, where organists play traditional favorites, waltzes and show tunes on enormous 32-foot pipes.

7. Visit Old Town and witness the living legacy of San Diego history. Guests are also invited to wander free through Old Town’s historic buildings, including the blacksmith shop, Seeley Stables, Stewart House, Estudillo House and the oldest schoolhouse in San Diego.

8. Bike or jog along Mission Bay Park’s many trails. Joggers and walkers share more than 20 miles of scenic running paths that wind through sunlight and shade near the shoreline and feature workout courses at planned stations along the route.

9. Visit the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista for a free tour of the 150-acre facility, including training fields and tracks, athlete dorms and the Otay Lake Reservoir. Tours are offered daily from the Copley Visitor Center between 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m-3 p.m. on Sunday.

10. Stargaze outside the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park on the first Wednesday of every month. The San Diego Astronomy Association sets up huge telescopes to offer guests a great view of all the stars in the night sky.

11. Take a scenic, one-hour drive to Mt. Laguna. Once there, hop out for an invigorating hike and enjoy the fresh mountain air whispering through the pines.

12. Step back in time with a stop in Julian, a century-old gold mining town in the Cuyamaca Mountains. Pick up a free map at the Chamber of Commerce for a self-guided walking tour of the area’s historic sites and later enjoy a slice of homemade apple pie – a Julian specialty!

13. Grab your picnic basket and head to Torrey Pines State Park where you can watch talented and daring hang-gliders do tricks in the strong winds that sweep along the coastline cliffs.

14. The 59 Mile Scenic Drive allows travelers to take in all of the must-see places in San Diego.

15. Rollerblade, skateboard or bicycle along the Mission Beach Boardwalk, a scenic 3-mile boardwalk along picturesque Mission and Pacific Beaches.

16. Visit Mission Trails Regional Park to explore the cultural, historical and recreational aspects of San Diego. Stop at the Visitor’s Center and learn about the wonders of nature and the people who once lived on the land. Or, roam through the park’s 40 miles of natural and developed hiking and biking trails.

17. Go scuba diving or snorkeling off San Diego’s shores and see spectacular creatures of the sea. La Jolla Cove offers some of the clearest waters on the California coast, as well as miles of protected underwater preserves to explore.

18. Go bird watching at the Torrey Pines State Reserve. Located high above Torrey Pines State Beach, the area is home of the rare and ancient Torrey Pine as well as a beautiful protected habitat for swifts, thrashers, woodpeckers and wrentits.

19. Stroll through Balboa Park and marvel at its beautiful Spanish Colonial Revival architecture. While there, take advantage of the park’s variety of offerings, including 15 museums (select museums free on Tuesdays for San Diego residents), free daily park tours, public organ concerts (Sundays), and spectacular gardens (seven are free daily).

20. Visit other museums around town that offer similar free days. In its La Jolla facility, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego is free on the third Tuesday of each month; the downtown facility is free daily.

21. Gather family, friends and firewood for a cozy beach bonfire at one of the beaches in San Diego County, including Coronado Beach, La Jolla Shores and Mission Beach.

22. Explore the tidepools in Point Loma at low tide and get up close and personal with flowery anemones, scampering shore crabs, elusive octopus, spongy deadman’s fingers and many other magnificent sea creatures.

23. Drive to the top of Mt. Soledad in La Jolla for breathtaking, 360-degree views of San Diego, including the gently curving La Jolla coastline and Mission Bay. Spectacular views of San Diego’s East County communities also await guests at the top of Mt. Helix.

24. Visit the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and experience the natural beauty of the desert. The 600,000-acre park is one of the largest state parks in the United States and each spring, following winter rains, explodes into a rainbow of colorful wildflower blossoms.

25. Take a scenic walk along The Big Bay, San Diego’s “largest attraction.” With 27 miles of waterfront featuring bayside parks, marinas, hundreds of shops and restaurants, and miles of promenades and bikeways, the Big Bay appeals to all ages and interests.

Date nights are an important part of any conscientious couples’s week. It is important to care and nurture your relationship, just as you care and nurture your children.To learn more about my effective model of practice, visit me on the web at http:www.Cunninghamtherapy.com and get some free tips just for stopping!

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In my marriage counseling practice, I often have couples ask me to teach them communication skills in order to improve their marriage. I always tell them that people can make more long lasting progress in improving their relationship when they focus on their own part in driving the reactive emotional process running between them rather than on learning new communication techniques. Yes, it is helpful to learn tools, such as how to initiate what John Gottman calls “soft startups.” If you want your partner to be able to “hear” you, for example, it is important to set the stage for a positive exchange. Open with a genuine compliment before you make a request. Learn ways to make effective repair attempts once embroiled in a heated discussion. Research by Markman and Notarius (1994) found that relationships can withstand significant conflict as long as it is offset by much more positive communication, through expressions of love, appreciation, respect, and enjoyable interaction. John Gottman’s research identifies four lethal forms of communication: stonewalling, contemptuousness, criticalness, or defensiveness. He identifies these communication styles as the “Four Horsemen of the Apocolypse.” In reality, couples fight because of  a real or perceived threat to attachment safety. Thus, learning “techniques” does not get at the underlying emotional issues. To learn more about my model of practice and get some free tips just for stopping, visit my web site at http://www.Cunninghamtherapy.com

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Quotes 1.jpg - Favorite quotes, poems, and scripture

(http://www.Cunninghamtherapy.com)

“There is nothing in schizophrenia that is not also present in all of us. Schizophrenia is made up of the essence of human experience many times distilled. With our incapacity to look at ourselves, we have much to learn about ourselves from studying the least mature of us.”
Murray Bowen, M.D.

“Diagnosis is not destiny.”
Gerald Weissmann, M.D., They All Laughed at Christopher Columbus

“I haven’t failed. I’ve found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Benjamin Franklin

“Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power.”
Seneca

“We are continuously faced by great opportunities brilliantly
disguised as insoluble problems.”
Lee Iacocca

“Questions focus our thinking. Ask empowering questions like:
What’s good about this? What’s not perfect about it yet? What
am I going to do next time? How can I do this and have fun doing
it?”
Charles Connolly

“Quality questions create a quality life. Successful people ask
better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.”
Anthony Robbins

“We all live with the objective of being happy;
our lives are all different and yet the same.”
Anne Frank

“Remember, no one can make you feel
inferior without your consent.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

“Thoughts have power; thoughts are energy. And you can make your world or break it by your thinking.”
Susan Taylor

“Confidence, like art, never comes from having all the answers; it comes from being open to all the questions.”
Earl Gray Stevens

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
John Wooden

“To work in the world lovingly means that we are defining what we
will be for, rather than reacting to what we are against.”
Christina Baldwin

“I feel that in this field (psychotherapy) it (scientific research) should
not be our only tool. It’s like a Procrustean bed, which leaves out so
much of what transpires in psychotherapy. The effort of science is to
study facts, but psychotherapy deals in meanings.”
Jerome Frank

“The wider paradigm of relationships and family transcends old
group definitions. The discovery of our connections to all other
men, women, and children joins us to another family. Indeed,
seeing ourselves as a planetary family struggling to solve its
problems, rather than as assorted people and nations assessing
blame or exporting solutions, could be the ultimate shift in
perspective.”
Marilyn Ferguson

“Obstacles are necessary for success… victory comes only
after many struggles and countless defeats. Yet each
struggle, each defeat, sharpens your skills and strengths,
your courage and your endurance, your ability and your
confidence and thus each obstacle is a comrade-in-arms
forcing you to become better… or quit. Each rebuff is an
opportunity to move forward; turn away from them, avoid
them, and you throw away your future.”
Og Mandino ( Motivational Author & Speaker)

“You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him
to find it within himself.”
Galileo

“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”
Kahlil Gibrán (The Prophet)

“Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the
attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way
your mind looks at what happens.”
John Homer Miller

“I don’t know the key to Success. But the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”
Bill Cosby

“The highest reward for a person’s toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it.”
John Ruskin

“The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to
hold in higher regard those who think alike than those who
think differently.”
Friedrich Nietzche

“It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.”
Oriah Mountain Dreamer

“You gain strength, experience and confidence by every
experience where you really stop to look fear in the face.”
You must do the thing you cannot do.
Eleanor Roosevelt

“Wisdom comes by disillusionment.”
George Santayana

“The best years of your life are the ones in which you
decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on
your mother, the ecology or the president. You realize that
you control your own destiny.”
Albert Ellis

“Faith is a passionate intuition.”
William Wordsworth

“Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.”
Harvey Fierstein

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”
Anais Ninn

“What is hateful to you, do not to your fellowman. That is
the whole Torah; the rest is commentary. Go and study.”
Rabbi Hillel

“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have,
and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be
careful lest you let other people spend it for you.”
Carl Sandburg

“Resolve to be thyself; and know, that he who finds himself, looses his
misery.”
Mathew Arnold

“Man’s main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become what he
potentially is.”
Erich Fromm

“Eighty percent of success is showing up.”
Woody Allen

“The possible’s slow fuse is lit by the Imagination.”
Emily Dickinson

“Great minds have purposes; little minds have wishes.
Little minds are subdued by misfortunes; great minds
rise above them.”
Washington Irving

“Life is 10% of what happens to you, and 90% of how you respond to it.”
Charles Swindoll

“Love is an act of faith, and whoever is of little faith is also of little love.”
Eric Fromm

“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”
Carl Gustav Jung

“Psychotherapy must remain an obstinate attempt of two
people to recover the wholeness of being human through the
relationship between them.” R.D. Laing

“Two strong “I’s” make more likely a stable “we.” Barbara Cunningham

“The really happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery when on a detour.”
Unknown

“A great marriage is not when the ‘perfect couple’ comes together. It is when an
imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.”
Dave Meurer

“We know accurately only when we know little; with knowledge doubt increases.”
Goethe

“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.”
Langston Hughes

“What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but
rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of
him. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any
cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be
fulfilled by him.”
Victor Frankel

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
Winston Churchill

“One thing that comes out in myths is that at the bottom of
the abyss comes the voice of salvation. The black moment is
the moment when the real message of transformation is
going to come. At the darkest moment comes the light.”
Joseph Campbell

“No one ever became great by imitation” Samuel Johnson

“To look at something as though we had never seen it before requires great courage.”
Henri Matisse

“In most cases, strengths and weaknesses are two sides of the same coin. A strength in one situation is a weakness in another, yet often the person can’t switch gears. It’s a very subtle thing to talk about strengths and weaknesses because almost always they’re the same thing.” Steve Jobs

“If you and I agree all the time, then one of us is redundant.”
Charles Wang

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
Dr. Seuss.

“If there is no struggle there is no progress.”
Fredrick Douglas

“We must not allow other people’s limited perceptions to define us.”
Virginia Satir.

And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.
Erica Jong

It is right it should be so;
Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro’ the world we safely go.

Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine.
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.
William Blake

If you want to learn more about Dr. Cunningham’s model of practice, visit her at http://www.Cunninghamtherapy.com

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