About the Book:
In contrast to the typical self-help books authored by professionals where the clinician attempts to impart his or her wisdom to the reading audience, “The Tail Wags the Dog” is comprised entirely of lessons learned by the author from her patients. Based on the premise that when done properly, therapy is a reciprocal learning experience, this book shares two hundred life lessons imparted to the author by her patients over a period of almost three decades. Derived entirely from the literally thousands of hours spent interacting in a therapeutic environment with a wide variety of individuals, the book is free from the typical “psychobabble” and jargon that fills pages and says nothing. Rather, the direct, easy-to-understand language results in a book that has true relevance to each and every one of us. Running the gamut from parenting issues to addictive problems to interpersonal interaction styles to relationship struggles to psychological/psychiatric diagnoses to just plain making it through our day to day life, “The Tail Wags the Dog” ends up being a virtual guide to living life at an optimal level while navigating its inevitable struggles.
Read an Excerpt:
Working with people as they plowed through their psychological struggles of varying severity taught me an enormous amount about the human life condition. By guiding people through their tears, anger, grief, pain, laughter, fears, hallucinations, delusions, obsessions, anxieties, insecurities I learned that therapy is not “just listening to people’s problems” and applying the latest empirically proven treatment methods. Rather it is experiencing the vast array of emotions along with the people with whom one is working so that the therapist can provide them with the skills to help them successfully maneuver their way through the forest of their emotional pain.
In so doing, I soon realized that I was getting as much (if not more) wisdom from my patients as they were from me. Although this may superficially appear to be contradictory, after several years of doing therapy, I began to recognize certain patterns in human interactions. There were certain principles which seemed to surface time and time again—significant patterns, which, when recognized and heeded, helped my patients understand why we behave, feel and interact with others the manner in which we do.
The eventual acknowledgement and subsequent respect of these so-called life lessons served as the genesis of this book. Whether relevant to parenting children, struggling with psychological/psychiatric symptoms, interacting with a spouse or family member, functioning in the workplace, or, simply conversing with those with whom we interact in our daily life, this books is designed to share those basic truisms which I have been fortunate enough to learn from my patients over the years.
Having the privilege of sharing the inner most thoughts and feelings of so many people as they foraged their way through their psychological struggles, allowed me to be exposed to more wisdom than any person could learn in a lifetime of formalized education. It is this wisdom (presented in terms of basic statements which can serve as actual guides to living life) which this book offers its readers. It is presented with genuine pride and the sincere hope that these lessons learned from my patients prove to be as valuable to the reader as they have been to so many others with whom I have some into contact.