The Stress Doc Letter
Cybernotes from the Online Psychohumorist
JUL 2000, No. 1, Sect. 1
Fight when you can
Take flight when you must
Flow like a dream
In the Phoenix we trust!
Table of Contents
Heads Up: Media Exposure: Stress Doc's Best Medicine; AOL/Digital City Chat
and Online Psych Shrink Rap: Out of Control: Losing Your Self & Finding Your
Soul: Part I Shrink Rap: Out of Control: Losing Your Self & Finding Your
Soul: Part II Sect 2: Main Essay: Excessive Arousal - Activation: Phobia-Panic
Readers' Submissions: New Age Proverbs
1. Media Exposure:
A delightful interview by freelancer Andrea Poe appeared in the airport
magazine, The Washington Flyer. I've pasted the text below; check out the
accompanying pic by Steve Barrett; it's even more outrageous. (Me with my
"Shrink Rap" paraphernalia.) Here's the link: Washington
The StressDoc's Best Medicine By Andrea Poe
Laughing at patients might be considered a no-no by most therapists, but not
Mark Gorkin. Actually, this D.C.-based doc doesn't so much laugh at patients as
laugh with them. Each week, people from around the country gather in AOL's
cyber-community and ask Gorkin, a self-proclaimed "psychohumorist,"
about a range of life- and work-related issuesincluding on-the-job stress.
Gorkin likens his popular online chat (Tuesdays from 9: 30 to 11 p.m.) as
"an exhilarating, exhausting, 90-minute workout" in which he serves as
a "virtual Dear Abby." This gig has been so successful that it has led
to several other "Shrink Rap and Group Chat" gatherings on Digital
City and WebMD. [Editor's Note: The Tuesday night chat is with AOL/Digital City:
<A HREF="aol://2719:3-4759-DC%20Support%20Chat">DC Support
Growing up in New York, Gorkin never planned to carve out a career with his
wit. "I can't say I was a natural-born comedian, but I was a natural-born
neurotic," he laughs. "That runs in the family, my Jewish Tennessee
Williams family." Funniness found him, he claims, when "life's
absurdities" hit. Gorkin was penning his doctoral dissertation in social
work at Tulane University in New Orleans when he switched gears from social work
to psychotherapy. In the late 1980s, he moved to D.C., opened a therapy practice
and began calling himself the StressDoc. Asked why he chose Washington, he
explains, "If New York City and New Orleans had a love child, it would look
like Washington, D.C."
The city's mercurial climate also jibed with Gorkin's services. "Because
of the political nature of the area, there's a lot of change and reorganization,
which breeds uncertainty and anxiety," he says. Not surprisingly, his
workshops and seminars on stress, violence and team building are in demand at
government agencies. But it's not just government that needs help with burnout
prevention. Gorkin travels around the country working with corporations,
teaching things like conflict resolution and stress management techniques that
use-you guessed ithumor.
Despite the laughs, therapy is serious business to Gorkin. "Laughter can
break down the fear," he says. "By safely blowing off steam, you can
really tackle problems." What are Gorkin's parting words on how to live a
sane and stress-free life? "May the farce be with you." Rimshot,
Gorkin and his monthly newsletter, StressDoc Newsletter, can be found at
www.stressdoc.com. His book, Practice Safe Stress With the StressDoc, will be
published by D.C.-based AdviceZone.com this summer.
2. Chat Groups: a) Stop by my AOL/Digital City "Shrink Rap (TM) and
Group Chat," Tuesdays, 9:30-11pm EDT <A HREF="aol://2719:3-4759-DC%20Support%20Chat">DC
Support Chat< /A> . It's a dynamic, lively, at times witty and always
warm, thoughtful and supportive problem-solving group. We raise questions and
share our ideas, hopes and experiences with each other.
b) The Stress Doc on AOL/iVillage's Online Psych
The Stress Doc leads his lively, monthly mutually supportive one hour
"Practice Safe Stress" Support Group for Online Psych on the first
Thursday of the month, 10-11pm EDT <A HREF="aol://4344:972.chatmain.1267092.521492389">
OLP Chat</A> .
Shrink Rap (TM):
Out of Control: From Losing Self to Finding Your Soul
What images or emotions come to mind when you read the phrase, "Out of
control?" Do you picture someone screaming violently or hysterically or,
perhaps, someone coming unglued in a panic state? Or maybe you work in a field
office and out of touch HQ policies and procedures (or lack thereof) evoke that
sense of vulnerability and helplessness. Yet, what about the idea of
"letting go," trusting in a different and, hopefully, higher and wiser
authority? Also, can you envision being "out of control" as a
momentary escape from a habituated, addicted or compulsive state? Here your mind
is no longer trapped in a rigid cast; its more like wet clay capable of being
sensorially and sensually shaped and sculpted with novel fluidity and elegant
simplicity. Of course, your hands are an essential part of this potentially
synergistic redesign process.
Control has been on my mind big time. I was returning to my family of origin
roots New York City. While American novelist, Thomas Wolfe, may have been
right "You Cant Go Home Again" two recent episodes (with
Type A personalities what do you expect its the Big "A" for
Apple) highlighted that you can go home and feel out of control again. Or, at
least, you may have to deal with some powerful dynamics. This two part Shrink
Rap Essay is an attempt to better understand the dangers and opportunities for
"losing self" or "recovering some soul" when dealing with
"out of control" issues regarding: a) an aging parents inexorable
mind-body deterioration (Part I) and b) highly cerebral, cynical and controlling
research analysts before and during a corporate workshop (Part II).
Individual/Family Perspective -- Part I: Can "The Last Angry Man"
A classic aggressive (and likely manic-depressive) personality, my father
survived over thirty years as a salesman in the heart and heat of the jungle
New York Citys garment center. Eventually, all that pressure and angry
flamethrowing seemed to culminate in a serious case of burnout and premature
retirement. Walking (or perhaps crawling) away from work had its ups and downs.
Some of the former aggression (and need for achievement) got productively
exercised and exorcised on a tennis court; some tension would be released by
competitive and confrontative jousting between two fairly hyperreactive adults
parents. And like Old Faithful, boiling steam would build and, at some point,
culminate in an eruption.
More specifically, when feeling endangered, my father would use raw
aggression to frighten and push people away. (My mother once shared a dream of
being streamrolled, literally, by dad.) My mothers arsenal involved
intellectual condescension along with insisting on the last word. If she couldnt
sufficiently release her anxiety, then a high pitched verbal explosion ensued.
This aggressive system of give and take, and make up, mostly worked because
these two often exasperating yet mostly lovable oddballs, despite some
personality frictions and communicational dysfunctions, were genuinely fond of
each other. (The saving grace occurred about fifteen years before my father
retired. He slugged out some hard-earned understanding and emotional release
through a dozen years of group therapy. For a man of his generation, this was
pretty damn heroic!)
However, these last few years, aging and a life of fighting depression and
just fighting have exacted a toll, especially on my old man. In his mid-70s,
prostate cancer and a series of strokes, a fairly serious one preceded by Bells
Palsy, for a while definitely compromised memory and motor control. (And whether
his memory had previously been weakened by years of shock therapy is a debatable
point; though I can readily imagine a burning desire to forget the ECT trauma
Still, his considerable recovery from these physical and psychic blows has
been nigh miraculous. All the hours of tennis over the last thirty years, being
in basically good physical condition (though with a cholesterol problem) were
likely the prophylactic, if not lifesaving, factors. My father finally had a
mission as important as his former career his recovery: a) he started a low
fat, high fruit and high fiber diet; he sticks to grilled salmon in restaurants,
b) hes now taking cholesterol-lowering medication, c) he continues with a
less intense tennis regimen, and d) hes added daily walks on a tread mill.
Dad has had to learn to not overexert and to pace himself. (This being no small
accomplishment for an honorary member of the Type A Hall of Fame.)
However, despite these adaptive adjustments, he still harbors a Type A
Achilles heel: rapidly going on anger alert if not an openly enraged state, when
feeling endangered by a perceived adversary. And, of course, the world is still
populated by "goniffs or thieves and crooks; not to mention a spouse who
can quickly trigger his over reactive hot buttons.
The Red Flag
A very recent explosive encounter may have brought them both to a critical
more literal than figurative turning point. My folks were planning a
theater outing. When presented a list of potential plays, my father mentally
ruled one out because of the complexity of the background subject matter the
field of physics and Heisenbergs "Uncertainty Principle." (Please
Im my fathers son. ;-) However, he neglected to share this
mental edit with my mother, though initially he was convinced he had. In the
plays aftermath, my father kept aggressively questioning why she had made the
selection. My mother increasingly exasperated by his badgering and disbelieving,
finally exploded. Suddenly, my father started losing his balance, facial muscles
tightened and his mind processing slowed as if unexpectedly enveloped in a
disorienting fog. If he wasnt having a mini-stroke, he sure was on the edge.
Not surprisingly, this sequence scared them both, and the retelling of this
trial by ire was practically the first words each shared separately with me. My
intuition told me to start with my father. Seeing him alone in the kitchen, I
coolly announced, "Come with me into my office," and directed dad to
the living room couch. We sat side by side. After reviewing some of the details,
I asked, "Dad, how does it feel having an impaired memory and these
periodic motor control attacks?" While the acute attacks are disturbing, he
felt the loss of memory and having to slow down was not such a big deal.
I wasnt convinced. I wondered if all that has gone on these last couple of
years doesnt have him feeling compromised, maybe sometimes feeling like
damaged goods. He paused, eyed me thoughtfully and, then, for me a flash of
insight or, at least, a hypothesis worth testing. I asked if some of the rage
and shame associated with years of shock therapy wasnt getting reawakened
now. Both his past shock years and present stroke phase provoke a kindred and
painful feeling of not being a full or complete man.
My father again disavowed awareness but conceded these feelings may be
rumbling around his unconscious. I was persistent because feelings of
humiliation and helplessness so often ignite defensive aggression. For my old
man, this eruption can easily be a diversion away from his depressive history
and potential; it may cover past and present feelings of being out of control.
Affirmations and Interventions
After affirming the importance of connecting to some of these feelings, of
getting centered to lower the magnitude of his fiery reaction, dad countered
with some humor: "I better get centered so I wont lose my balance."
We then went over some constructive "I" messages to use with mom when
he senses mounting tension. The message, "I cant handle this right
now," dad thought would work.
Finally, my mother and I also had an exchange. She and I have a less
consistent history of being able to openly discuss and emotionally battle tough
issues without wounding each other. Certainly, I could empathize with her
frustration. Two weeks before she had been venting about the challenges living
with dad since his strokes. But in the same breath she clearly said, "I
will bear with him
He was such a savior for me with mom (her mother had a
variety of physical illnesses, leg amputations) and Rusty (an uncle in and out
of mental hospitals the last ten years of his life). I owe him." With eyes
starting to water, I touched her hand and nodded my head.
Now I encouraged her to set limits on her hot reactor tendencies (tactfully
acknowledging this can be an issue for me as well). She initially countered,
"Sometimes I just cant hold it in any longer." I encouraged her to
call a friend or to call me or Larry. (When they are in New York, my folks
return to the Queens apartment, now inhabited full-time by my brother. However,
when it comes to sharing feelings these three usually have a "Dont Ask,
Dont Tell" policy.)
I could feel a beat of hesitancy upon volunteering for the family crisis
hotline post. But my conscious outreach seems to be less anxious ambivalence and
more a sign of having grappled with and having achieved fairly clear and healthy
boundaries with my mother. Amen!
So here are some existential questions: 1) can his crisis challenge my father
to confront past and present narcissistic injury while channeling shame,
helplessness and anxiety into constructive assertion rather than
self-destructive aggression? and 2) can my mother, historically uncomfortable
with and ashamed of her emotional pain and vulnerabilities, reach out for help,
acknowledge dependency needs and talk out her fear and anger without bottling up
tension and then lashing out? (I always had a gnawing uneasiness and lurking
sense of shame around a favorite pronouncement of hers: "God helps those
who help themselves.")
If each can modify just enough habitual yet increasingly self-defeating ways
of maintaining control perhaps these two heroic, embattled survivors can carve
out more inner peace. At the same time, with such an "its never too
late" learning curve, mom and dad just might give renewed meaning and life
to the concept of soul mates. And Id even bestow my highest honor: Here's to
the future "Practice Safe Stress" poster couple!
Out of Control: From Losing Self to Finding Your Soul
Organizational Perspective Part II: Even the Type A Can Learn to Play
My recent New York City adventure generated another "losing control to
find your soul" experience: leading a workshop for a major Wall Street
brokerage/mortgage banking house. Actually, this saga began to unfold about
three weeks before. An Administrative Assistant or Associate (I believe) calls
inquiring about my availability to lead a workshop for about 100 Research
Analysts on an upcoming division retreat. A search engine led her to the Stress
Doc Web Site; she senses my humorous and interactive approach will be just what
these hard-driving Type A professionals need. (Useful to know that "A"
in Type A can also stand for "Analyst," not just for
"Attorney.") I email some promo material. Once again, "Hype
When her boss, the Director of Global Research returns my call, reality hits.
Hes a bit antsy about too much interactive stuff. And he stresses how bright,
cynical and impatient these analysts are: "Youll have to grab them
immediately or forget it." The analysts are forever tied to their wireless,
yet nonetheless umbilical cell phones. I let him know my Type A-NYC pedigree
(throwing in my elitist Stuyvesant High School status). I wanted to reassure
this head honcho that I could be as pompous and ego-maniacal as any of his
The Director still wants to ponder the selection. The next day we agree to a
temporary win/win. The company will pay $1,000 for a group interview at their
Midtown headquarters. Next stop, "Stress Doc in the Lions Den."
The Group Interview
The players: two very cerebral, very analytical male analysts, a bright
female administrative associate and a very sharp, very animated if not hypomanic,
Research Director. (For example, I barely kept pace with this guy as we
crisscrossed through the labyrinthine hallways and offices
And Im a fast
The first question: What was my operational philosophy for this workshop?
Huh??? I suddenly shifted into workshop performance mode. And after several
minutes, the committee seemed impressed with my verbal skills and truth in
advertising: "Have Stress? Will Travel: A Smart Mouth for Hire!"
But this talk of a discussion-drawing exercise on the sources of work stress
this is getting a bit too touchy-feely. And how would it work
with 130 ("130?") in amphitheater-style seating? These folks arent
likely to be keen on moving around to form small groups. And besides, "Youll
be lucky to get fifty minutes for your hour workshop." And for good
measure: "When youre time is up the curtain comes down
and on your
head if need be!"
If I still havent gotten the subtle point, another example. The Director
belabors that analysts may do four or five hours of research for a sales team
presentation. He then asks and answers his own question: "Do you know how
much time the analyst has for his pitch? Fifty-five seconds! These folks dont
like having their time wasted." Sans doute!
We were still grappling with the philosophy and the feasibility of the
drawing exercise when a dealmaking flash occurred. I reminded the Director of
the very positive program testimonial from the head of Human Resources of a
major, international Washington, DC law firm. This legal Director had noted her
initial reticence about using the drawing exercise with firm managers and
administrators. These professionals were familiar with lecture-type
presentations. She was, "amazed at how enthusiastic people were with the
Mr. Wall Street Wizard calmly played a trump card, "Yes, I spoke with
Ms. W (law firm HR Director). She was quite pleased. However, when I asked her
if she would do this unconventional program with her attorneys
replied, Of course not." Ugh
I was bloodied but still standing. The Director, who earlier had announced
needing to leave our meeting at a certain time (and, of course, left promptly)
had a parting observation. Without tipping his hand, he observed: "You make
your points clearly and succinctly and you dont come across as an arrogant
I was a bit taken aback by such a prescient remark. As it turned out, Mr.
Global Research had been a Theater Director in a previous, pre-MBA/suit
incarnation. He did have more personality than the others.
Anyway, with the remaining troika, I smoothly asked, "Shall we do the
numbers?" (I could not resist.) And we basically divided up presentation
and exercise segments into five minute intervals. If I happened to be especially
hypomanic that day we just might be able to shrink an hour workshop (that really
should be at least 75 minutes) into a fifty minute hour. Ugh, ugh.
I hung around for a final one-on-one with the Research Director. During the
interim I chatted with the Administrative Assistant. She expressed confidence
about the contract. During the closing encounter, the Director still wasnt
showing all his cards. We got as far as doing an invoice which broke out the
$1000 fee for todays interview from the fee for an actual workshop. This way
he could pay me the grand even if we dont collaborate on the workshop. Life
on the edge.
Two days later, an email from the woman who had initiated the process: Its
The workshop ballroom is no lions den. With a power point display on a
huge screen and 140 Research Analysts with cell phones and microphones that
admit an eerie red light when clicked on (an electronic thumbs up or down?) this
feels more like "The Stress Doc Does the Cyber Coliseum." (Then again,
I did see the recent Gladiator film. Ah, "Grandiosity the name is Gorkin!")
Actually, Im sufficiently concerned about the cramped seating to ask an
assistant if people might be willing to work on the floor for the drawing
exercise. She says, "No way!"
Well, despite some anxious moments, the brain kicks into starting gear. My
opening remarks grab the rooms attention: "Having met with your
organizing committee and having heard some of the earlier program discussion, I
know time pressure is a great concern. We'll be hard-pressed to carve out a full
hour. Yet, as a psychotherapist I understand time pressure quite well: my
clients only get fifty minutes for their therapeutic hour. But now that the shoes
on the other foot
Im feeling stressed, especially as I want to do a couple
of exercises. So lets get down to work."
And a bit surprisingly, the troops fairly quickly clustered into groups of
five and six and animatedly engaged my "Three B" Stress
Barometer" Exercise: How does your Brain, your Body and your Behavior let
you know when youre really STRESSED!" After some feedback from a few
groups, nervous laughter broke out when I acknowledged that, "We have an
audience of experts and it seems as if most of you belong here." And after
my five minute, rapid-fire highlights of "The Four Stages of Burnout,"
everybody knew they belonged here!
Now the stage was set for the big test: the main discussion-drawing exercise.
(Normally, I break the audience tension evoked by the vivid burnout stages with
a "Shrink Rap" (TM) performed in Blues Brothers hat, black sunglasses
and a black tambourine. However, in the pre-workshop planning battle, I
reluctantly agreed to drop the "rap" to keep in the centerpiece
exercise. My rapping has a role modeling effect; it gives an audience permission
to engage in some playful and a bit outrageous behavior. (In fact, upon
completing a "Shrink Rap," I inform the audience that my capacity for
rapping means only one thing: "Absolutely no appropriate sense of
shame.") These somewhat stuffed suits, however, have been deprived of this
self-consciousness reducing jump start. Gulp!
Yet again, the troops rallied and in teams of four discussed and designed
this twofold question: 1) How does stress influence your ability to be organized
and productive and 2) How does your own degree of organization as well as the
degree of organization within the company as a whole affect your stress levels?
People moved out of seats to work more effectively; some groups even took to the
carpet to draw. ;-) And throughout the exercise, there was an energetic buzz and
background laughter. Despite the enthusiastic engagement, I remained conscious
of the fifty-minute hour glass. I asked for a half-dozen (of the 30 +) teams who
felt compelled to show off and briefly explain their designs. (I figured there
had to be some Type A narcissists, not to mention some collegial rivalry.)
First one, then two
then, seemingly, two-dozen representatives with
drawings eagerly poured out of the stands. So many folks, in fact, that I
initially could not limit the spotlight to a handful. So another operational
flash: we formed a Mardi Gras second line. (I knew those sixteen years in
"The Big Easy" would come in handy.) And with a rousing rendition of
"When the Saints Go Marching In," the drawings were proudly held aloft
as the reps followed my playfully strutting and singing lead. Upon completion of
the line display, I selected a few of the most outrageous and artistic pictures.
Then the audience called out their preferences from impossible monsters to
Amidst the cacophony, I sided up to the Director and observed: "We dont
want to cut all this energy off prematurely." He gave me a non-nonsense
stare, looked at his watch and stated, "You have eight minutes."
Clearly this was an objective sign I had won over many of his
"cynical" analysts along with this time-driven task master.
We wrapped up with some useful tips for developing "Psychological
Hardiness" in times of change and my classic, "The Secret of
Wisdom." (Email if you havent caught either one.) And while the closing
applause and check stroked heart and pocketbook, this workshop also worked on a
more soulful level.
To Control or Not to Control
Two parties appeared to garner real growth from this existential and
interactive encounter the Stress Doc and these stock analysts, both
management and the research professionals. Here are some outcomes of grappling
constructively with control issues from an individual and systems perspective.
A. Stress Doc Growth
1. Stand Up for Convictions, Consensus and Compromise. The key to the success
of the pre-workshop planning meeting was holding fast to the critical role of
the interactive discussion-drawing exercise. Even in the face of possibly not
being selected by this firm, I was going with my exercise track record. The
exercise had seemingly magical results with other "tough nuts to
crack." Why not with Wall-nuts! ;-)
In addition, this management/selection committee learned that I would
logically and passionately fight for a principle. At the same time, flexibility
was demonstrated by dropping the Shrink Rap and agreeing to a very tight time
2. Making Edits on the Fly. No matter how much rehearsal, a significantly
streamlined version of "The Four Stages of Burnout" requires some
improvisation: assessing the energy and attentiveness of the audience while
delivering material, then making cuts and adjustments spontaneously. Talk about
an element of being out of control! And yet, it worked. While definitely on the
line, there was more mastery of the material than could be anticipated or
imagined. (Some times theres no way of really knowing how cold the water
other than by jumping in.)
And when an audience member expressed confusion about an aspect of the
drawing instructions, I successfully simplified the task instead of belaboring
the original directives. So again, sometimes one must let go to discover the
unexpected degree of control actually possessed.
3. Competing with the Big Boys. Maybe this Stress Doc Daniel is ready to
enter more lions (or at least, more bears and bulls) dens. Im taking
the recent achievement as a sign of being at the top of my public
speaking/workshop leading game. Maybe now I can finally overcome a reluctance to
set fees in line with a hard-earned evolutionary fitness.
Making money has never been my "modus operandi" (even though for
years annual income has been a source of discontent regarding self-worth.) The
driving force has been the challenge of evolving as a therapist, speaker,
consultant and writer. Perhaps, finally, the two are not inherently
B. Management/Organizational Growth
1. Challenging Diagnostic Assumptions. First and foremost, the workshop
affirmed the Directors risk-taking instincts despite his concerns and
ambivalence about giving up significant control of the workshop agenda.
The workshop also raised some questions about his appraisal of analysts as
being totally cynical and self-absorbed with Beavis & Butthead attention
spans for things not directly work-related. Given the right learning context and
orchestra leader, these analysts made some truly insightful, playful and
2. Rethinking the Lone Ranger Image. The analysts cooked up their own spicy
interactive gumbo. Solitary researching would be hard-pressed to generate the
group humor and creative problem-solving energy released through open
discussion, free association and exaggerated design. Theres no way to be a
Mardi Gras second liner as a lone ranger. And the recognition and appreciation
from an audience of peers is a memorable moment that touches the heart as well
as the ego. And all this occurred despite or, perhaps, because of the time
limits built into the exercise.
Before my presentation, an analyst addressing the entire group, had dryly
noted that group participation is extolled at retreats but not practiced in
daily operations. The program certainly provided dramatic (and comedic) evidence
for considering a paradigm shift. Shifting from individual control (often
dysfunctional hoarding and territoriality) to an organizational process that
rewards both professional autonomy and team coordination is definitely a
3. Becoming 4 C"-ing
Moving out of a comfort zone, helped many of these Type As relax and, for
a change, earn some "C"s: "Compassion" and
"Camaraderie" along with enhanced "Consciousness and
"Creativity." To become more foreseeing and to discover a little
secondline soul power all within a therapeutic hour is the trade surplus
for letting go of some control and exploring new learning/performing domains. In
fact, this letting go process can evolve another "C"
"Courage!" As previously observed in the aftermath of a high anxiety
and totally out of control television apprenticeship decades ago: "Errors
of judgment or design rarely signify incompetence; they more likely reveal
inexperience or immaturity, perhaps even boldness. Our so-called failures can be
channeled as guiding streams (sometimes raging rivers) of danger and opportunity
that often widen and deepen a risk-taking passage. If we can just immerse
ourselves in these unpredictable yet, ultimately, rejuvenating waters."
Definitely a philosophy that will help you
Practice Safe Stress!
Editors Note: In a follow-up phone call, the Director said while many
thought it was great, there were a group that grumbled that my presentation was
a waste of time. Initially taken aback, at first I agreed with his judgment:
"Those cynical bastards!" His good news, bad news assessment triggered
hard reflection. What I came up with is this: My fifty minutes was as dynamic
and effective as humanly possible. I shared that there are people who are afraid
of getting out of their box. These individuals try to control others and to
rigidly protect their "Intimate FOE" ("Fear of Exposure")
through a judgmental, cynical cover. Perhaps, if the organization can move into
more team collaboration these folks will get on a successful bandwagon. If not,
perhaps they need to find a more conventional working environment.
And another sign of maturational growth was being able to hear his message as
feedback, not as criticism to be taken personally. And the final control lesson:
You can't always please everyone, no matter how wonderful the message or the
(c) Mark Gorkin 2000 Shrink Rap Productions