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October 30, 2020

Dear Drama Observers, Every now and then, I come across something I wrote a while back that seems more relevant now than when I first wrote it. I feel that way about parts of this week’s letter that were originally penned over three years ago. *** In the summer of 1997, I drove into downtown […]

October 23, 2020

Dear Drama Observers, There are two questions that leave us vexed about Drama People, also referred to as emotional manipulators, narcissists, or unreasonable people. Those are some of the more clinical terms. In moments of exasperation, we might descend into the use of dirty terms, many of which were derived from the combination of body […]

October 16, 2020

Dear Drama Observers, I’ve had an enduring interest in those who manipulate (frequently referred to in this letter as Drama People) and in those who get manipulated, the latter group being the ones who frequent my office. Why are some people manipulatable while others seem less so? In some ways, it’s easier to understand the […]

October 9, 2020

Dear Drama Observers, A few years ago, I wrote about something called “the porcupine dance,” a phrase that depicts what characterizes many relationships. Even for those of us who have no rhythm, we can cut quite a rug with this one. I’ve summarized it below: *** A desire for connection draws us toward people. But […]

October 2, 2020

Dear Drama Observers, I had a client once who recounted what it was like growing up in her crazy family. The lead characters in this dysfunctional drama were Mom and Dad, but what drove her even more nuts was the way in which all the other family members played their supporting roles. I told her […]

September 25, 2020

Dear Drama Observers, Psychologist Henry Cloud writes that he once led an adult group comprised of ten individuals who met once a week for the purpose of enhancing their personal and relational growth. Henry’s teaching methods can sometimes be, let’s just say, unconventional. One evening, he arrived at the group carrying a baseball bat. After […]

September 18, 2020

Dear Drama Observers, Here’s something I posted a little over two years ago: Have you ever had that experience of reading or hearing a term that you sort of knew what it meant but weren’t quite sure? You were familiar with it, but since it’s not part of your everyday vernacular, the term’s meaning was […]

September 11, 2020

Dear Drama Observers, For those of us in our early twenties or older, the images of 911 will never be erased from our memories. We all remember right where we were when we heard the news. I had just finished an appointment in my office and checked my messages. My heart raced as I heard […]

September 4, 2020

Dear Drama Observers, I’d like to tell you the story of a couple I worked with once who are not unlike many other couples I’ve seen over the years. Actually, the wife was the one I ended up helping after the husband quickly opted out. More on that in a moment. Fred and Wilma (not […]

August 28, 2020

Dear Drama Observers, I have somewhat of a love-hate relationship with the word, codependency. On the one hand, it’s a useful term for describing a dynamic occurring between substance abusers and those in their relational orbit. On the other hand, it’s devolved into a psychobabble shorthand of sorts for describing things having little to do […]