i was diagnosed with multiple personality disorders and depression while in navy bootcamp in which i was kicked out.  for the past 15+ years i have struggled with a feeling of "emptiness" that has consumed my life.  i barely keep jobs, i work part time now but dread the thought of working 40hr weeks.  i have a 3.6+ gpa in pre-engineering but, for the past 10 years i havent made more than between $10,000 - $15,000.  not because im not smart enough, but because i dont like people, and i just plain dont care anymore.  im 33 know going on 34, work for a cleaning company and still cant bring myself to apply myself.  most of the time i feel like whats the point.  im tired of always busting my butt to get ahead only to be passed over everytime.  if i do more work, with more efficiency than anyone else at a particular job, they just give me more to do, same pay, more work, while those who are doing less are still getting paid the same amount of money.

Hi = my guess is you're a normal Gown Wounded Child (GWC) who has survived significant early-childhood abandonment, neglect, and abuse. If this is true, you can evolve a much more satisfying, productive life by applying online "lesson 1" at  It's free, no ads. Questions are welcome - Pete


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Peter Gerlach, MSW


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.


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.

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

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

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

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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