Counseling, Therapy, & Life Coaching by Innovative Counseling Services Inc.
for Individuals, Couples, Children, and Families

DID, a Psychological Disorder of Great Intrigue

Have you seen the move Split, the terrifying story of a man with 23 multiple personalities?

According to an article in the Huffington Post, “the plot takes your breath away.” But even as the movie progresses, the viewer gets a glimpse into what it’s like to be a man with an extreme dissociative identity disorder (DID).

Previously known as multiple personality disorder (MPD), the psychology community has made great strides in understanding how to treat people afflicted with DID.

Tango From Chaos to Creativity by jean Pollack Ph.D.If you enjoyed and were intrigued by Split, my book Tango from Chaos to Creativity: How Multiple Personalities Emerge can share even more about how someone can heal from this challenging and often life-debilitating disorder.

Tango is a haunting story of a man’s devastating abuse which comes to light through his years of therapy with me. Through our work using EMDR, my client learns how to integrate his varied personalities to fully realize himself as a whole person.

A work of creative nonfiction, the book shares the true life and healing of this courageous man – his abuse, his words, and his poetry.

To buy my book, go to Xlibris, or Amazon.

Fired from your job?

Fired from your job? Without help, many people who have been fired are negatively effected in their functioning at their current job and/or in their personal lives.

Many times, being fired results in feelings of humiliation, fear, and betrayal. Losing a job can leave you lacking confidence, anxious, and depressed if you don’t get help.

Cognitive reframing (which means learning to rethink your conclusions about yourself and focus on your successes rather than on your failures) is a very effective tool.
EMDR therapy is also very effective in lessening the emotional attachment to any ‘traumatic’ events in our life. It helps us learn how to deal with the ‘trauma’ and get rid of the anxiety and depression that may follow if you believe that it was your fault.

After practicing cognitive reframing you will eventually see a decrease in symptoms of anxiety and depression. For more information about depression, anxiety, cognitive reframing and/or EMDR therapy please visit my websites and set up a consultation @ or for coaching and or counseling in person, by SKYPE or phone sessions.

Major Changes: Plant the Seeds and Let the Growth Begin

Screen shot 2012-08-06 at 3.51.06 PMI never thought I would start over after the age of 60. But, yes, I have made that exact decision. Some days I wonder, “What the hell was I thinking?”. I want to crawl back to the safety and comfort of what was—to wake up knowing what I could expect each day.

I sold my house because I felt it was “owning me” with all its upkeep and expenses. The first weeks after selling my house, I moved in temporarily with my sister and her partner. They were so welcoming yet I felt lost at times. I felt alone and I couldn’t think past the moment. I had a constant knot in my gut accompanied by anxious thoughts, “Where am I going to go after this?”.

At the same time, I was amazed I was able to live with so few favorite and necessary things. I find comfort in spending time with the man I love and his support has been wonderful. He and I have vague plans together, but the future is unknown. How can I explain the feelings of loss, discomfort, and fear, but at the same time feeling free, so open, and excited about change?

And I accept this. I meditate daily on transitioning and positive affirmations. I give gratitude for the love and support I have as well as for my work. I enjoy helping my clients to ease into new patterns of living, to begin being brave, ready, and cognizant as they make those changes. I counsel and offer life coaching to my clients through their life transitions. Right now, I am doing the same for me.

The structure of my office, a place to listen and support others by creatively helping, is exceptionally welcome at this time in life. It’s so important to open up to change and know that we are constantly changing even when we feel no movement, which can be subtle and sublime at times. Recently, my friend reminded me, “a seed has been planted, now the growth will begin.”

Have you ever felt like you made a choice—a life change, relationship shift, a physical move, or career decision—and then realized after you made it, it didn’t feel perfect or seamless? I believe that sometimes change doesn’t have to feel right at the time. We need to give ourselves time to acclimate and trust the journey.

I am now commuting to work, stopping at my storage unit periodically to, for example, pick up a car seat for my visiting granddaughter and then today replacing it after an enjoyable visit with my daughter and her 6-year-old. When I see my favorite things in the storage unit, I miss them, so I retrieved a couple of items before locking up my memories again.

The memories, no matter where I am, remain so poignant. When living in my house, I was comfortable with memories of the 28 years I raised my children. But memories weren’t enough to keep me there. I had a routine, familiarity, and yet, I felt stuck for a few years before I impulsively put my house back on the market and accepted the first offer I received.

As I went through my belongings, I felt tearful letting go of the large overstuffed chair where I read stories to my children and grandchildren. Even the sculptures the children made in school left me torn and guilty when I tossed some of them. The soft, loving memories were vivid and eventually, I could let go without tears. Memories seem to be embedded deeply in our hearts and our brain seems to remember and relive the loving, sweet, wonderful memories and eventually forget the negative.

Did I make the right decision? There is no right or wrong, just a movement or a rut. It’s a huge change from autonomy back to dependence. The lesson I’m learning is to let go, trust, and to ask for help when I need it. This is a wonderful and an uncomfortable lesson for me.

For now, two months later, I continue on my journey, lifting the anchor as my course changes. Some days, I feel like my wings have been clipped and I am free to soar.

Learn more about starting over again at sixty or any age. No matter your transition, as a life coach or therapist, I can help you embrace change so you can let the growth begin. No matter what kind of relationships you have, the one with yourself is where it begins.

Visit my practice and get to know me and how I can help you through life or relationship transitions at

Your Relationship’s Spiritual Meaning


At the beginning of a new relationship, you feel magical.

You and your partner experience intense bonding, passion, and arousal for the first few months. But then, you slowly begin to see the whole person and recognize his or her flaws. This time in the relationship can be challenging but it also can be an opportunity to learn your relationship’s spiritual meaning.

All relationships begin with the relationship you have with yourself which requires balance and self responsibility. These can seem hard to manage but as a coach, I can help you set goals, support you, and make you accountable. Balance also helps you set boundaries to create time for yourself to rejuvenate so you have energy to give others.

Important Points to Ponder

• What traits do you admire in your partner?
• Take responsibility for your side in the relationship. But ask yourself what qualities can you learn with this person?
• Be more open and compassionate but also learn to set boundaries.
• Use this relationship as lessons to learn more about yourself.

Of course, these points are helpful only if your relationship is NOT abusive in any way.

As a relationship coach, I can help you through your current relationship and help you find a way to embrace the opportunity to grow with your current partner. Contact me for a phone, online, or in-person session.

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The Best Gifts for Your Partner Are Free

Bow Green

Credit: Dreamstime

The countdown to Christmas and holidays is here. This time of year we want to think of the best gifts to give our partner or loved ones. Here are some gifts to give and they are free!

1. Reignite your spark. Touch your partner more, listen to a physical need he or she has and make sure you do it often. It’s a free gift that keeps giving.

According to an article on how to fall in love again quoting expert Wendy Walsh, a clinical psychologist and founder of

Long-term couples don’t touch enough. When we touch—especially skin-to-skin—we get a little rush of the brain chemicals that help trigger those loving feelings. Think about how often you and your partner actually share physical contact on a daily basis. If it’s just a quick peck on the lips before and after work, make an effort to step up your game.

Walsh cites research showing that a 20-second hug can trigger a significant oxytocin release. “Most married couples hug for three seconds or less,” she says. “So I advise them, two to three times a day, to stop what they’re doing and hold a long, calm embrace. It can change your biochemistry, and you’ll begin to bond again.”

2. Put a timed limit on technology. Instead, focus on your partnership and just being and enjoying your partner and his or her company.

I have seen thousands of couples in my practice and everyone wants three basic things: unconditional love, respect and acceptance. This is a great gift to give yourself your partner and/or your family going into the new year.

3. Plan a vacation or staycation. Choosing which gift to buy your partner can be nerve-wracking, difficult, or you can spend a lot of money to feel like you bought what he or she really wants. The fact is, feeling whole and together, with a strong partnership is what most people want. If you plan a shared vacation or staycation, you are away from your every day shared lives. This can help you both break negative patterns and get focused on each other’s needs.

Before you go, though, have an honest conversation about your expectations, says Alexandra Solomon, licensed clinical therapist at the Family Institute at Northwestern University.

4. Compliment your partner and be grateful of  life’s positives. Remind yourself of what you value and why in your life and tell your partner why you enjoy him or her. People like to feel appreciated. Try to focus more on the good things and less on the hardships in life or with your partner. So much of our reality is defined by our perspective. Look outward with a softer, more positive gaze and you will be surprised by the goodness you can see and appreciate.

These are all gifts that can make you and your relationship thrive through the holiday season and for years to come. Christmas can be a rushed and stressful time of giving gifts that are not really needed or wanted. Let this be the year you make your relationships, communication, enjoyment and satisfactions last throughout the entire year!

PS Wrap a little something up just to be safe!

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