June 18, 2009

Inside this Newsletter:

Happy Father's Day! I'm not flying back to Charlotte, N.C. this year to see my father, but he is 85 and in assisted living and doing pretty well -- for having dementia. I talk to him every week and he remembers me, and sometimes he even talks back to me a little bit. Alan is a father too of course, and we have a deal. He loves my fried chicken, so I make it for him twice a year: once on Father's Day and again on his birthday in November. So it's fried chicken weekend !! Happy Summer (summer officially starts June 21)! I hope it's finally really here! My garden is starting to look fabulous and so lush with all the rain we've had! 

But the "BIG NEWS" is that my new website is finally finished and you all have to go to my site and see it!!!!

www.carolyn@carolynsays.com. I now have clips of my Oprah shows, and many of my quotes from Cosmo and other magazines. Go in and take my quiz: "Do You Need Counseling?(unless you're afraid of the answer!)


Special New Client Rates

Don't Forget that I have SPECIAL RATES FOR JUNE FOR NEW CLIENTS (1 weeks left!)

Start your summer off by cleaning up your relationship issues in June!
Special June Rate: $140/hr (instead of usual $180/hr).

  • Just for the month of June

  • Just for new clients

Tell Your Friends Who Need Me!

New Group Starting Tuesday, June 30 

New Group Counseling Date postponed until Tuesday, June 30.

Please join us! 


  • It's cheaper, only $60 per session for two hours. 

  • You find out what others think about your situation. 

  • You get feedback on how you may be coming across to others 

  • You get to help others understand their own issues while you learn more about relationships in general. 

  • You gain a feeling of camaraderie, i.e. that you're not alone in your situation. 

  • It gets you out of the house and in a social environment discussing something that is important to you. 

Info on Group Sessions
Group meets from 6pm to 8pm every other Tuesday, beginning of each month, beginning Tuesday, June 30. Each group has up to 8 members (both men and women, singles and marrieds) and each meeting costs $60. Initial sign up for the group does require you to sign a contract for 6 sessions, and once you've signed up you must try to keep your calendar clear for each month's meeting. Since the group rate is based on 8 members, it is expected that you show up for all of those meetings. Unless you are excused by telling the group a minimum of one session (two weeks) ahead of time that you can't come to a certain session, you will be charged for that session. Call me for more information at 303-333-1888.

Carolyn Bushong's office, located at 360 Monroe Street, Suite 290, Cherry Creek, 80209.
Ph: (303) 333-1888, Fax: (303) 333-1889, and website: http://www.carolynsays.com

Getting More Emotional Intimacy from Your Father

Growing up, most of us had fathers who modeled after John Wayne and prided themselves in few words.  The silent, unemotional type was considered strong and unwavering.  As little girls, we believed it and wanted a man like that, thinking that men who showed emotions were weak.  Little boys saw this is how they were supposed to be and most continued trying to emulate their dads and John Wayne.  And sometimes, it's vice versa, some of us little girls modeled after our fathers (me included), and some men married their dads in female form.  This idea of strong (unemotional) has messed with both sexes and messed up our relationships for several generations now.  Getting more emotional intimacy from your father will first of all make you feel more loved, and second of all will help your romantic relationships in that you are less likely to go after the strong, silent type or become/remain the strong silent type in your relationships. 

To create intimacy with your father, whether you are a man or a woman, you must be the one to take the first step and begin to be emotionally intimate with him.  That means that you don't walk on egg shells, holding back things he might not want to hear.  That means that you don't edit around him to protect him. That means you don't go through your mother to tell him unpleasant things.  For you to get to know him, you must let him get to know the real you first, even if that means starting with what you're not happy about. 

Tell him how you feel about the fact that he may have "provided" for you but what you really wanted from him was to feel close. Tell him it's not too late, and that you want him to be there now. You want to know about him--his weaknesses, problems, trials and tribulations. You want him to share his feelings about life with you--business, family, friends, politics. Ask instead of treating you like a child that he treat you like a friend--an adult friend. 

Creating intimacy with your father begins with demanding that he be emotionally honest about his life and his relationships. For instance, say, "Dad, if working that hard is the key to a good life, how come you don't seem happy, and why did mom end up leaving you?" Holding dad accountable includes asking him why he sent your brother to an expensive East Coast school instead of you. It includes asking him to share his fears and regrets in life.  Without this interchange, our fathers still hold power in the relationship, and women are then likely to give power to the next man we meet, and men are likely to try and live up to his expectations. Once we break through our fathers' facades and see them as real people with the same needs, feelings, and fears as we have, we'll be able to hold other people accountable. 

Let him know you love him but will not accept the relationship as it has been. Demand an equal relationship with him. When he says, "I'll never stop being your father," say, "Fine, but you can no longer treat me like a child. You must treat me with the same respect that you would give one of your friends. If not, I won't talk to you or spend time with you." 

Jerry, one of my clients that is going through a divorce stood up to his father recently when his father was telling him to "be nice" so that the ex-wife won't keep their grandchild from them.  He said, "First of all, this isn't about you, and second of all, I expect you to be supportive of me!  A father who is supportive would say, "She better not hurt my son or there will be hell to pay!  Where are your emotions?  Where is your protective instinct for me?  I need to feel that you are there for me now more than ever!"  Once he held his father accountable for his bad behavior, his father apologized and even agreed with him. 

Vicki, a forty-year-old single woman who had little interest in dating, had quite a few problems dealing with her father. It was difficult to hold him accountable when they had hardly spoken since her mother's suicide. Then, with the help of my support group, she confronted her boss and an old boyfriend. She decided she might as well handle dad; after all, she was on a roll. Her father was in the middle of another divorce and reached out to her under the guise of asking her to do some work for his business. It gave her the opportunity to say "Not until we resolve our personal problems." She asked him to meet in my office. He agreed.  During the session, Vicki and her father cleared up a lot of misconceptions.  He explained his side, that he felt that Vicki's mother had turned her against him after their divorce. Though Vicki told him she had felt that it was all his fault, she now better understood his side.  Vicki felt her father never loved her as much as he loved her sisters. He always gave them things, but not her. He said that he didn't think she needed anything. They realized how much alike they are. She pointed out that he always rewarded ineptness by rescuing the weak, and that he had done that with her mom, her sisters, and the younger woman who was now divorcing him and taking him to the cleaners. Vicki asked him why he didn't admire her strength. He said he'd never understood that he was rescuing. He felt that Vicki didn't need him and he didn't know how to relate to her. He had never seen her point of view before.  He admitted that he used to think he was always right, but now he was "mellowing in his old age, and could try to understand her now." He asked, "Can I drop by your house for a cup of coffee sometime and just talk?" As they left, he was reminiscing about when he used to help put her hair in pigtails. He told her he was really glad they were doing this.  

{This is an excerpt from Carolyn's book Loving Him Without Losing You (Eight Steps to Emotional Intimacy Without Addiction), pages 142-145.}

Mother and Daughter Break-Up Team 

A newsletter subscriber sent me this letter about how she and her daughter both decided they deserved more in life than what they are getting from their mates:

Hello Carolyn. I've been forwarding your newsletters to my daughter whenever I receive them. She appreciates your wisdom and ideas (as do I) and we often discuss them afterwards. Last month she informed me she is splitting up with her partner of 12 years, initiated by her. She is hurting b/c it didn't work out, but also knows enough to realize that she will not settle, deserves more, and wants to move forward. Would it be possible to add her e-mail address to your list of people? Her particulars are below.

On a different note, and coincidentally, I too have initiated the break-up of my 8-year relationship with the doctor I had told you about during my story I sent awhile back. There are so many reasons why I did this, too many to mention here, but suffice it to say I initially "signed up" for the relationship because the agreed-upon goal was to get engaged (which we did over 2 years ago) get our own place to make a fresh start together, including marriage. Everything stopped after the engagement. I feel and rightly so, that he did not keep his word to me, so away I go. I'm not going to wait another year for...well, for anything b/c that's exactly how I've been feeling living with him --- always waiting..... The house we've been living in is the one he shared with his wife (deceased) and his four children (who are grown and moved out). I didn't think it was too much to ask to get our own place, have a house built (use the proceeds of this one toward a new one) that I would also contribute to and decorate with both our tastes, and he agreed to this. But his actions tell a different story, I see now that he prefers the status quo....remain passive.....don't make too many changes.....yes, the word is stagnate. And I've had enough. Thanks so much. 

EP, Canada

About Carolyn

Carolyn Bushong, L.P.C., is an expert on relationships and a licensed therapist. She is known for being one of the top relationship therapists in the country and the author of 3 relationship books. She has appeared on Oprah, the View, and many other TV shows, and she has been giving relationship advice on Denver radio for 10 years. She has been helping people like you improve your life and relationships for more than 25 years. Cosmo, US Weekly and other magazines quote her expert relationship advice, and she writes articles for on-line article banks. Carolyn Bushong always has fresh, up-to-date, hot information on topics that will inspire you and change your life and improve your relationships. She has clients all over the country, some who come into her office and others who receive Carolyn's expert advice through phone counseling. Carolyn Bushong is an excellent psychotherapist, but she also lives what she teaches, as she is in a happy, healthy relationship with Alan, her mate of 21 years.

Email me your Topics & Ideas for the newsletter at Carolyn@carolynsays.com>

How to get Carolyn Bushong's Relationship Advice:

Individual Counseling: l hour or hr sessions in office or phone, Health Insurance covers a portion.
Couples Counseling:
1 hr. sessions, Health Ins. covers a portion.
Group Counseling: Tuesday night group meets 5:30 - 7:30 pm, 8 members, less expensive.
Purchase Carolyn Bushong's books: for sale in her office, on her website or B&N.com.
Subscribe to free email newsletter: www.carolynsays.com

Phone Counseling is a great way to do therapy, especially for the really busy person who's constantly on the go, or the person who is shy or hesitant to talk about their problem, or when the weather is bad and you don't want to drive to a therapist's office. It just makes sense in this day and age to be able to call and discuss a problem and get advice on a situation with having to leave work and drive to my office.

Email Advice: Visit Carolyn's website for more information.

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