July 4,  2012

Inside this Newsletter:

Message from Carolyn:

Happy Fourth of July! What an unbelievable hot summer with little rain and lots of fires here in Colorado. It’s also bear season again as Alan and I were awakened the other night by a mama bear trying to get on the greenhouse to get up to the birdfeeders. We scared her away, but she left her baby cub on the deck playing with my flowers. We’ve seen several mamas and cubs and think that one mama bear opened the back door to Alan’s new Mazda, as we looked out and the door was open, light on, and the bear was walking away. {And no we didn’t get any pictures—we were actually very afraid.}

Alan’s daughter Alecia had her baby on June 5 – a little boy named David Wayne Errickson, 7 ½ lbs. See picture below of me holding him the day he was born. He’s unbelievably cute!

Lots of changes going on in our household. Besides the grandbaby, Alan sold his townhouse in Capitol Hill in June {it sold in 10 days! Location, location, location.} Now we have no “city home,” and he has moved all the way in with me in the mountain house in Conifer. After 25 years together, we’re living together full time for the first time ever. My sister says that I’ll be having a lot of issues to write about in the near future. It is a big adjustment, especially since neither of us have alone time now and I’m a night person and he has to get up early. But so far, all is good.

I’ve been appearing on the Everyday Show on Fox 31 TV about once a month on a variety of relationship topics. The last topic was “Training Your Man.” Click here to see the video of the June 22 TV Show. But before all you men get offended, see my letters below from men who keep reading my article “Men Should Stand Up and Say No.” Besides, women can be trained as well. Just ask Alan.

You can now pick up my paperback books at The Clubhaus Restaurant in downtown Morrison at 106 Stone St., the purple building behind Tony Rigatonni’s Restaurant. The café is opening July 4 offering sandwiches and gumbo.

Since Alan and I will be spending a lot of time at our house in Tucson this winter, I’ll be switching much of my practice to phone counseling. I have actually had phone counseling clients around the country since the late 80’s (some I’ve never met). Studies say that phone therapy not only works as well as in-person therapy for clients, but clients are more likely to stay in therapy and work harder for longer with phone counseling since there’s no travel time or conflicting schedules. Many men and women talk to me from work during their lunch hour or even as they drive home. See the study below from the American Counseling Association.

Over the weekend I was on the Moll Anderson radio show in LA and below are the article and link to listen to the show on “Fireworks in the Bedroom.”

Hope everyone is doing well and staying cool!




Katie Holmes Breaks Free from Controlling Tom

Like many women, I’m sure that Katie Holmes had an idea of her perfect man when she was young. And like many of us, her idea was quite naïve. She said she had fantasized about Tom Cruise for years before dating and marrying him, having a poster on her wall of him as she grew up. The problem is that in our fantasies we never stop to find out what the tradeoffs might be when we’re with someone like Tom. Katie said Tom was the “man of her dreams.” That’s probably why she didn’t see the red flags that were so obvious to us.

I’m sure Katy liked Tom’s good looks, macho persona, and seeming control of his life. Those traits have pulled in many women to men we shouldn’t be with, and we end up finding out what Katy has finally realized: when you’re with a control freak – it’s always all about him. He doesn’t hear what you need, he doesn’t care how you feel or what you want, he doesn’t really value women, and he certainly doesn’t believe in equality in a marriage.

The Red Flags of Katy & Tom’s Marriage:

1) Whirlwind Romance
Katie and Tom became engaged after 2 months of dating. Had they dated a year before getting engaged, his controlling behavior would have reared its ugly head or she would have probably been warned by someone. I tell my female Denver clients that I coach for dating to watch out for men who rush them since it always ends badly. More often, men who rush women are commitmentphobics who bail in 3 months or so. The other men who rush are control freaks who make their decision about you and then make your decision about them as well. We’re often flattered that they want us so bad, but we shouldn’t be. These men are manipulative, analyzing the situation and making you an offer (or offers) you can’t refuse. Maybe the offer is marriage, maybe to pay off all your bills, maybe to have a baby, or maybe to set you up in business or the movies.

Tom offered Katie marriage and then trapped her by getting her pregnant (sure maybe she trapped him). Once a woman is pregnant with a man’s child or has that baby, she will endure many things to make it work, certainly including being controlled. When I ask my clients why they stayed with their controlling men, they say, “I just endured by focusing on my children for the last few years.”

2) Age Difference
It’s so easy for a man to take control of a woman who is 17 years his junior. Then you add to that Tom’s level of fame, and Katie didn’t have a chance. As little girls we’re taught to try and find someone to take care of us, so she probably thought she had hit the mother lode. Then when she got pregnant, she must have felt “Now I’ll be taken care of forever.” And maybe she and Suri will be taken care of, but she never realized the tradeoff. Any woman who has been controlled knows the truth: “Now that I’ve had his child, I’ll never be able to get this controlling SOB out of my life!”

3) Living in Seclusion
Tom and Katie lived a secluded lifestyle in Beverly Hills. Of course, most movie stars try to hide from the public eye, but Tom took it a step further. Their lives were so secretive that even their actual wedding date is unknown. Controlling men always isolate their women. OJ isolated Nicole Simpson to the point that her family didn’t even know he was abusing her. This is common. Their excuse? They say, “I love you so much that I want to keep you for myself.” Or they say, “What goes on in our home is nobody’s business but ours!” Controllers have to isolate because one girls’ night out telling your girlfriends what’s happening could be the end of their control.

4) Her Naïveté
It’s always the sweet and nice girls that end up with controlling men. My female Denver clients that are sweet, naïve and overgiving to others come to see me because they’ve been taken for a ride. Sometimes it’s being used financially, sometimes they’re being abused, but the common thread is that they’re always being controlled. Sure it’s partly their fault for playing victim to these controlling men. But what these victims don’t realize is that’s what a controlling man is looking for – someone naïve who is also a blank slate. That’s certainly what Tom Cruise wanted – someone he could turn into the “woman of his dreams.” The key phrase being “turn into.” Controlling men don’t understand that their controlling ways only breed resentment and ultimately the end of the relationship. My father was very controlling with my mother and when she finally left him, he asked me, “Why did your mother leave me?” I listed the reasons and then he asked, “But I let her do anything she wanted, and I always treated her that way and she never left before. Why now?”

These sweet, nice, naïve victims rarely speak up. They go along with the program until they’ve had enough. But once they get the courage to leave, they are done. My mother didn’t even want to see my father on his death bed. Anyone who has been controlled and abused understands this.

5) His Religion
The most obvious red flag of course is Tom’s attachment to Scientology. He lets it control his life, so it will of course control his family’s life. Not only was Katie controlled by Tom, but she had Scientology chaperones to control her every move. Again, the relationship probably happened so fast that Katie thought, “Once we’re married, he’ll trust me, and it will get better.” I had a couple I worked with in marriage counseling whose husband controlled her through religion. He told her that she was going against Christ if she finished school and worked instead of staying home with their children full-time. He quoted Bible verses. But Scientology has that beat: In Scientology traditional ceremonies, brides are told that "young men are free and may 'forget' their promises." Grooms are reminded that "girls need clothes and food and tender happiness and frills, a pan, a comb, and perhaps a cat ..."

This certainly does not promote equality in a marriage. Quite the opposite. And as a marriage counselor, I can tell you that “partnerships” are the only healthy relationships.

Tom Cruise started off his marriage controlling Katie Holmes, as is evident from this quote from Nina Callaway regarding Tom’s control preparing for the wedding. "Tom Cruise is famously controlling, and he's certainly been in charge of this wedding. Not only did he help choose Katie's wedding dress, but he's been on top of every detail from the menu to the gift bags. He's even said to have demanded that Katie go on a rigorous diet and fitness regimen … before the wedding. (Quote from http://marriage.about.com)

Many of us have sat in our homes thinking that Katie Holmes had turned into a Stepford wife, wondering how she could put up with Tom’s controlling ways. From us to you Katie, “We’re proud of you for leaving!”

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Get fireworks back in the bedroom

  1. Focus on sex again. Buy some sexy underwear. Read a sexy novel or pick up Cosmo and read an article about sex like the one about “60 Sex Skills: Guys Reveal the Most Mind-Blowing Bedroom Moves Women Have Ever Tried.”

  2. Remember back to what used to make you feel sexy together and try to make it happen again. Was in sex in a forbidden place, sex in a hotel, sex in the backseat of the car? Wherever it was, invite your mate to join you there again.

  3. Ask your mate, “What’s something that really turns you on that we haven’t done for a long time, or maybe ever. Then do it then or make a plan to do it soon.

  4. Instead of going out to dinner as usual, meet at a different restaurant and pretend you barely know each other and act like it’s a first date and that you’re trying to score. Then go home and make mad passionate love.

  5. Women want love talk. Tell your mate how proud you are of him or her, how attractive his or butt is, or anything that is a compliment and builds them up.

  6. Take the children out of the equation: literally if possible by sending them to a relative’s house. If not that, once the kids are handled, stop being “parents.” Do not talk about the children, do not think about the children. Act like you are two young teenagers getting away with something instead of parents.

Click here to hear Carolyn’s radio interview on the Moll Anderson Show in LA on this topic.

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Phone therapy helps keep depressed clients in treatment

June 6, 2012 | CT Daily
By Heather Rudow

Phone Therapy has the benefits of no travel time or conflicting schedules. Have some therapy during your lunch break or as you go to pick up the kids or commute home. You can schedule an hour or just a half hour. Work on your own personal issues or your marriage or dating coaching. It’s easier to squeeze in some quick help if you don’t have to drive to my office and park, etc. Cost is the same for phone therapy, but I may reduce the rates for therapy by phone starting in November.

A study from Northwestern University suggests that not only can depression be effectively treated over the phone, but phone therapy can also lead to more patients sticking with treatment.

For the study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers offered more than 300 patients with major depression 18 weeks of cognitive behavioral therapy, half of whom received treatment over the phone.

The results revealed that only 4 percent of patients receiving phone therapy dropped out during the first five weeks of treatment, compared with 13 percent of patients receiving face-to face treatment. The dropout rate was roughly the same for both groups after that.

“We were able to keep people in treatment using the telephone who would have otherwise dropped out,” lead researcher David Mohr told NPR, “and that group included people with more severe symptoms or other factors that might require continuing treatment. In the face-to-face group, many of those people never made it to week five, much less to the six-month follow-up session.” …. “Often, they need to travel some distance to get there,” he told NPR. “They may need to take time off of work or away from their family.”

Source: NPR

Heather Rudow is a staff writer for Counseling Today. Email her at hrudow@counseling.org.

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Client Feedback from Men

I am a 32 year old single father from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and I have a five year old in which I split custody with his mother. After reading your article "It's Time For Men To Stand Up and Say 'NO!'"; I felt compelled to email you. There was so much truth in you article it really stuck with me overnight. I began to look at certain situations in my life as well as some friends of mine. I was being demonized and I didn't even know it!

Men all deal with this differently. Some become angry and bitter; others depressed and indifferent. Some of this is generational in the sense that this is what I saw my mom or my dad go through. I think it is time for men to stand up and be proud of our part of society and more importantly the FAMILY. At the end of the day, both sexes need to treat each other with respect and stop trying to 'fix' past issues and stereotypes.

I posted part of your article on Facebook just to see what kind of reaction I would get from some female friends of mine. I received a lot of anger and a lack of responsibility because most of them look at men in general negatively. I will never take any responsibility away from men but women have a big responsibility here too to be sure that children get to have a relationship with their fathers, so that together we can start to try to repair the American family structure. Thanks again for your article.

~ Azriel

I read your article “Men Should Stand Up and Say No” and I agree. I do think that the time has come for women to be more in control. But with that comes responsibility. Both should work and give equally in the relationship even if the roles are different. These days many of us men aren't as good at careers or leadership as women. So women should be more understanding of us and accept us in our new role. Equally, we men should put in the work needed to carry some of the burden of a successful woman.

~ Tony

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Lower Prices with a Commitment

Reduced Rate Deals

Book 4 sessions
$160 per hour = $640 (savings of $80)
Must be completed within 5 weeks (1 1/2 months) of the date of the contract.

Book 8 sessions
$140 per hour = $1,120 (savings of $320)
Must be completed within 11 weeks (2 3/4 months) of the date of the contract.

Book 12 sessions
$120 per hour - $1,440 (savings of $720)
ust be completed within 16 weeks (4 months) of the date of the contract.

* These agreements do not apply to ½ hour sessions.

Call me for the contract if you are interested in one of these deals.

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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 more than15 years. She has been helping people like you improve your life and relationships for more than 30 years. Cosmo, US Weekly and other magazines quote her expert relationship advice, and McCall’s named her one of the “Top 6 Passion Doctors” in the country. 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 24 years.

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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.

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