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Concepts from "Finding Balance"

Below are some concepts from Dan's book "Finding Balance".


When I first introduced the Backyard concept, my understanding of it was rather narrow and somewhat sexist. I restricted the concept to merely “doings” and not “feelings”. I focused on: She – sewing, visiting, working out; He – golfing, working on his car, playing pool; Ours – working on the house together, vacations, visiting. Consequently, I missed stating the most important message inherent in this concept.

Lust Just Doesn't Cut It

There they were, seventeen years after they first met, sitting in my office wondering what went wrong. They had long ago stopped practising any kind of loving or caring behaviours toward each other. They were unhappy and frustrated.

Permission to Try New Things

One definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over
and expecting a different outcome."

Red Flag Theory

A message came to me late in the day to call a past client who wanted to start therapy again. We had spent several sessions the previous year examining her life. In particular, we looked at the choices she made regarding the men she invited into her life. Our sessions had suddenly stopped when she declared she had finally found “someone who really cares about me, my soul mate”.

Righteous Anger and the QL Meter

Righteous Anger and the QL Meter My client had been sick for almost a year. In response to the break-up of her marriage, she had made herself ill with feelings of hopelessness and despair. She kept asking all of the logical why questions about his feelings and behaviours. I challenged her by continually referring to the fact that, by asking the why questions, she was choosing to maintain her focus on the problem instead of moving on and finding a solution to her life in the present.

Significant Moments

Significant Moments

“We don’t have time for us anymore!” “We are too busy—work, kids, the house, we just survive.”

This is what I often hear when I suggest to couples that they need to set aside more time for each other. I suggest that they not only do “stuff” together, like fun and relaxing activities, but they have enough energy at the end of the work day to truly enjoy activities so it doesn’t feel like more work.

Slurp It Up

                       If I had my life to live over...
       If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time.


We don’t have a proper relationship. We are like brother and sister, or two friends who live together. We don’t fight but we don’t make love either.”

Yes, they needed to work on their communication, on spending time together. Yes, they needed to stop letting the world get their best time and energy. Yes, they needed to relearn to play as individuals and then as a couple.

Starting Over

       I just get in shape, and I injure my leg.
       I just get on a roll eating appropriately 
                      and it's Thanksgiving.                                                                                                              
Don't lose heart, just get up tomorrow and start over.
    After all: life is just a series of 'starting-over'!

Taking Better Care of Yourself

If educators are to survive and, even more so, if they are to thrive in education, new ways, better ways, more consciously decided upon ways of living their lives need to be considered. Being an educator in 2004 takes a special kind of person, a person who not only loves their students but one who also loves them self. A person who understands that to have a "good" year this year, next year, and in future years, it will take a conscious effort and a great deal of self-love and personal commitment to being in the best shape they can conceivably be.

The Language of #1

Rule #1 (2, 3, 4, etc.) – Make Your Partner #1 In Your Life!

He was the stereotypical male! The only time I ever saw him was when he got kicked out of the bedroom, and then he would come for only a session or two until “she came to her senses”. Hmm!

Weight Filter

Angry and impatient, she was referred to me because of her negative outbursts. Not so surprisingly, the first thing out of her mouth was, “If I could only lose 60 pounds, I would be happy and not angry.” She told me that for the past 35 years, she had been expressing a belief that she wouldn’t be so angry if only she weighed less. But since nothing much had changed in that time, she was still heavy and still unhappy.

Wellness Continuum

The continuum is not my creation, but I use it consistently with clients and in workshops. It shows the progression from sickness to wellness. What's most significant is that the majority of the population exists somewhere between sickness and absence from illness. We are satisfied with just not being ill, our goal is not to be ill rather than strive for wellness.

Wellness: Dimensions and Definitions

Recently, more organizations, agencies, and educational institutions are becoming more concerned about the health and well being of their employees. Apparently healthy employees make the difference between success and failure and ultimately the survival of many workplaces. Sick and absent workers make it very difficult to compete on the world market stage, whether it is goods or human resources. The effects of poor health are not only felt at the workplace but also in the home where relationships get strained and broken.

Work vs. Health Messages

It occurred to me one day that a belief I inherited from my Family of Origin was that 'work was the most important thing in my life'. This belief was making it very difficult for me to get and stay healthy. Because many of my clients were in the 50s age range and were definitely having a problem with health and burnout, I assumed this was an age-related issue.

Work vs. Real Life

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“You” Language

My client was talking about how he continually beat himself up so as to prevent anyone else from doing so! We were discussing Communication Theory 101—listening and speaking—and to demonstrate his poor communication skills, he kept interjecting examples of where and how he “screwed up”. It was his belief that he needed to put himself down before someone else did. He told me that this discounting of self came from an internal voice, which was a product of the people and experiences he had earlier in his life.