Why “Nickel Therapy, Ask a Psychologist?”
Why have I added the Ask a Psychologist Page?
When I was a skinny (not in a good way–in a ‘frizzy head’s too big for my body sort of way) and weird seventh grader, shy to the point of panic–I read a sentence in the Ann Landers column which helped me a lot. (Though I was way too desperately trying to be cool to ever admit it.)
The young man who had the courage to write to Ann Landers (a hugely brave person in my eyes) was about my age. His question was about being embarrassed when he made mistakes. Well, I could certainly relate to that. My solution was to stay in hiding. Ann Landers had a better idea. Ann suggested that when this fella made a mistake or knocked something over or tripped, he turn to those around and say: “Boy, when I mess up, it’s really a beaut!”
I latched onto that sentence like a lifeline. Forget all the psychological theories and well meant platitudes about being myself. What I needed was to know–specifically and safely–what to say.
I decided to add the “Ask a Psychologist: Nickel Therapy” page thinking that there are other kids and people like me who appreciate the direct approach now and then. Another influence came from reading the “Can This Marriage Be Saved?” section in the Redbook magazines in the shop where my mother had her hair done. I liked that section because the writer was relating the problems of real people.
Later today the response to the following question will be posted.
Dear Dr. DeShong:
I’ve been married over twenty years. I love my husband and ours is the most important relationship in my life. Still when I need to talk about something emotional or difficult, I find I have a better conversation with my friends. For years my husband was fine with it, we both had a lot going on. But now that’s not true and he asks me why he only knows what’s going on with me when he hears me on the phone with someone else.
Both of us wish we were closer, but he’s a lousy listener and tends to take what I say personally. Instead of supporting me, he sometimes takes the side of the other person which makes me mad and I withdraw. What now?
Signed: Married with Friends