Counseling/feelings

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Question
The greatest comfort for me is in one way "being/feeling sad". That said, I do not mean being depressed (that is a bit different). It's like I am being myself when I'm sad. The onyl thing is I wish I could express sadness around other people so I don't have to do it all alone in front of sad youtube videos all alone. Is being sad sometime an escape? Is this normal? And what do you say to such people like me? Where to look for help?

Answer
Carl - several possibilities: (1) you're stuck in grieving some important losses in your life because you lack the requisites for healthy grief:  http://sfhelp.org/grief/basics.htm

2) you may have inherited psychological wounds that hinder healthy grieving:  http://sfhelp.org/gwc/gwc.htm and

3) you may lack awareness of the grief process:  http://sfhelp.org/grief/quiz3.htm

I encourage you to take a long-range view and study online lessons 1 and 3:

http://sfhelp.org/gwc/guide1.htm  and http://sfhelp.org/grief/guide3.htm

If these bring up new questions, please ask! - Pete

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Peter Gerlach, MSW

Expertise

I can answer questions about mood disorders, depression, suicide, relationships, communication skills, problem solving, clear thinking, bonding disorders, trauma recovery, addiction management, grieving, shame, guilt, fear, reality distortion, and trust disorders; courtship, family functioning, "problem kids," mediation, (re)marriage, divorce, stepfamilies, stepparenting, boundaries, self-neglect, abuse, parental neglect, personality subselves, ("parts work"). I cannot answer legal or medical questions.

Experience

I maintained a private therapy practice near Chicago for 27 years, and have worked with over 1,000 men, women, couples, and families on a wide range of personal and family problems. I have been in personal recovery from growing up in an alcoholic family since 1986, and have worked with five therapists to heal my own psychological wounds. I maintained a "warm (phone) line" for callers on the topics above for 20 years, and have taught over 200 seminars and classes in midwestern universities, churches, support groups, and schools since 1981. I have practiced internal-family therapy ("parts work") with trauma-recoverers since 1991.

Organizations
National Stepfamily Resource Center (NSRC) Experts Council; SelfGrowth.com Compassion and Choices, and Final Exit Network

Publications
# Several hundred articles in my non-profit "Break the Cycle!" Web site at http://sfhelp.org These articles are augmented by over 150 educational YouTube videos .

# six books on childhood-trauma recovery, effective communication, and stepfamily courtship, coparenting, and management.

Education/Credentials
A bachelors degree in mechanical engineering (BSME, 1959) from Stanford University, a Masters degree in clinical Social Work, (MSW, 1981), and over 500 hours of post-grad training in the topics above - including clinical hypnosis, spirituality, codependence, addicrtion-management, and guided imagery. My post-grad traning includes two 9-month internships on doing internal-family therapy at the University of Illinois.

Awards and Honors
Hundreds of grateful emails and comments from students and clients all over the world.

Past/Present Clients
Over 1,000 average Midwestern-US women, men, couples, and families. A physical disability limits me to doing telephone and Skype counseling now.

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