Joan E. Childs presents FAIR FIGHTING RULES! Check out www.joanechilds.com Image provided by https://pixabay.com

Everyone knows that there is no intimacy without conflict; unless of course, you agree never to disagree. Then, you don’t have a healthy relationship; you have codependency. In healthy relationships, neither party subjugates their feelings to please the other. Conflicts need to be externalized and resolved. Couples need to have rules to argue by. Here are ten fair fighting rules that I learned from John Bradshaw that can be seen in his book: BRADSHAW: ON

Learn how to ask for what you need and express your feelings. Unless your partner hears from you what you are feeling and/or experiencing, he can never read your mind. It is important to express your truth even if it means hurting your loved one or making him angry. It takes courage to confront someone you love, but if you don’t, nothing gets accomplished and your resentment grows, hurting both you and the relationship. If your dude can’t handle your feelings, perhaps you don’t belong with him or you need to be in couples therapy to help work them through with a professional counselor.

It is important to hear what your partner is saying and for him to be willing to hear you.
Going back in history and collecting data to make your point of what is happening now, is not as effective as being specific about what just occurred. If today’s problem is a re-occurring theme that you let swept under the carpet for fear of his response, then perhaps you can give him an account of several instances when this occurred, but from now on, stay in the moment with current issues. Collecting stamps and storing them up, often causes you to blow your top and come out acting like a shrew.

Nothing turns a dude off more than having you lecture him and force advice down his throat. Lecturing is a sure way for him to check out. It will surely remind him of his mother or father, depending who did the lecturing when he was being scolded as a child. Use the CHANGE MODEL I wrote about in my other article or that you heard in the recent video.
Remember lecturing is an invitation for a fight.

Guess what? Judgment is another sure way to invite a fight. Whenever you throw judgments around, it will spin right back to you. Judgments and criticism can be interpreted as shame, creating further distance between you. Remember to stay in the I (CHANGE MODEL). Use self-responsible statements.

Nothing works better than being honest. Changing the facts to massage your point, exaggerating to make a point, or stretching the story only creates a stronger defense from the other side. Remember, the brain does three things with information and perception: it distorts information, it deletes information and it generalizes. It is very important to be as accurate and honest as you can. Three people can see an accident and all three can report it differently. This is because we all wear different filters when we perceive. Try hard to be rigorously honest. It’s your best bet.

Another sure way to lose his interest is to detail him to death. Dudes want the bottom line. Just make it brief and to the point. If he needs more information, he will ask for it. If you repeat the same things over and over, add insignificant details to magnify the case, you will lose your dude to something that interests him more. Sometimes less is more!

When you make him at fault, he will find a reason to make you at fault. If you use the CHANGE MODEL, you will avoid blaming. Remember, it’s not a blame game. Unless he abuses you, ignores you, or is MIA, don’t blame. If he does any of the ones mentioned in the above sentence, leave him!

This is a biggy! It’s real easy to unload a ton of shit on him; it’s harder to listen. And listen with a third ear. That takes practice. Most chics want to jump in and battle with their tongues. If you learn to listen, you may be surprised. Your dude may something you might have missed by jumping to conclusions or making assumptions. Good listening is at least 50% of communication. Sometimes it’s not what you say, it’s what you hear.

Many people have the bad habit of leashing out a laundry list when they argue. Remember, the goal is to stay with one thing at a time. If you present him with a list of character defects and instances that occurred last year, or maybe 5 or 10 years ago, he will either become defensive or check out. Many chics carry a gunnysack with them when they fight and stack up evidence that includes every infraction that occurred in their entire relationship. This is never foddered for resolution.
There’s an old expression: Would you rather be right or happy? Staying in there battling it out with effective fair fighting tools will be your best ticket to intimacy. Sure you will have differences. Who doesn’t? But, communication begins with discussion; not sex. Sex will not resolve your issues. Sex can be more exciting after the fight, but only with resolution. Many couples use sex as a distraction to the discussion; NOT A RESOLUTION. Use your tools to fight fair, and your sex life will improve!

If you still have difficulty resolving a conflict, you might want to consider setting up a session with a couple’s counselor. I have spent many years working with couples and I am thrilled to say that I use a technology designed by Hedy Schleifer called Encounter-centered Couples Therapy. I am a graduate of her three-year Master Class and have applied this methodology to hundreds of couples who have learned new ways to communicate and resolve issues that have played over and over in their relationships. I invite you to contact me if you want to learn how to “cross the bridge” to your partner’s world and re-connect to create a healthy, mature and sacred relational space.

Just contact me through this website and I will be happy to set up an appointment for you and your partner.
For further information, visit my couple’s therapy page on my website to learn more about healing your relationship.

Pamela Anne Glassman: An Angel to Remember – My Daughter’s Battle with Bipolar Disorder By Joan E Childs

Angel to Remember
Pamela Anne Glassman


Angel to Remember

She was breathtakingly beautiful, brilliant and bewitching!  She was passionate, powerful and precocious.  Her power to heal transcended anyone’s imagination.  She was a goddess, a seductress, a sleuth, seeker of the truth and transformer.  Pamela was a magician and worked her magic on all the wounded souls who had the good fortune to be in her presence and professional care.  She was relentless to a fault, persistent, driven by internal forces that were challenging to temper.  She stood her ground no matter the consequences, drew the lightening to herself to exorcise her patients who had been ravaged during their childhood.  She was Joan of Arc, Mother Teresa, Helen of Troy and Pami Annie Daisy, all rolled up in one sensational being.  She was a loving sister, a dedicated therapist, a compassionate friend, her Daddy’s little girl and my precious daughter.  We lost her to bipolar disorder and a dysfunctional sub-standard health system that today, still exists.

Her Birthday

October 1 was her birthday.  She would have been 53 years old.  Our lives were changed forever on that fateful morning eighteen years ago, when her mental illness pushed her out the window of a 15 story building.  Pami would never have made that decision.  She loved life, her family, friends, colleagues and clients, who until today, have never forgotten her life force and the impact she made on their lives. Her mental illness won the battle for life.  It sentenced her to death. It invaded her brain like a midnight stalker that slowly, surreptitiously, and steadfastly eroded her thought processes to believe she had been chosen as a mediator between God and Lucifer.  She had been made to believe that the devil was going to take her soul and cried out for help that never came.  Instead, she fell through the cracks of a system that failed her and so many others with mental illness.

Coping with the Grief

How could that have happened?  Why did she plunge fifteen stories to her death? What were the tortured thoughts that executed that decision?    I will never know.  I will never get closure.  This I have accepted.  I will never have the answer to those questions and more; this too I have accepted.  What I can never accept is the apathetic attitude our country has towards mental illness.   I made a choice never to be a victim.  I made a decision not to accept being just a survivor.  I chose to be a Phoenix, like the mythological bird that rises from the ashes to make a mission out of my loss; a loss that affected so many others and a loss that is pervasive in our country.  I want to eradicate the shame and stigma from mental illness.  I want to be a change agent for everyone who struggles with bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses.  I want to help families who have lost a loved one through suicide due to a mental disorder.  I want to help the families of veterans who lost their husbands, wives, fathers, sons, mothers and daughters.  Twenty-two veterans commit suicide every day.  This is an epidemic and must be treated.  Post- traumatic stress disorder is a mental illness that can and often does, lead to suicide.

Understanding the Loss, Celebrating Life!

Pami’s life and death must have meaning.  Her work and unyielding devotion to her patients must be honored.  It calls for action.  It calls for conscious raising.  It calls for help.  No longer can we look blindly away from reality.  No longer can we ignore the 6 plus million people in this country who suffer from bipolar disorder.  No longer can we look away from the 40, 000 suicides a year.  No longer can we maintain denial when we know that suicide is the second leading cause of death among young adults from the ages of 18-25.  It is the 10th leading cause of death in the US.  There are more suicides than homicides.  How can we remain indifferent? Passive?  Disinterested?  It is only when we encounter a loved one who suffers from a mental illness do we become militant in our quest for help.

Become a Phoenix

When the children of Sandy Hope Elementary were murdered by a madman, the parents became vigilant in their effort to raise the conscious awareness of gun control.  It was when Peter Craig Alderman, the 25 year old young man lost his life in the World Trade Center on 9/11 that his parents became advocates for change and created a foundation in honor of their son’s truncated life.  It was when John Walsh’s young son was abducted and murdered that he became a vigilante for finding predators.  We all chose to become a Phoenix.  We all chose to make our children’s lives matter.


I wrote this blog two days after Pam’s birthday.  I was reflecting on the impact she made on others that eighteen years later, when I announced her birthday on Facebook, more than one hundred responses were yielded, all of whom remembered who she was and what she did to make this world a better place.  It is way past midnight as I close this blog.  I was driven to post it before too much time passes since it was posted on Facebook.  She would have loved to have known the impression she made on others and the legacy she left to those who knew her well.

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday Pami.  From all of us who were lucky to have known you.  May you rest in peace.

I am EXCITED to share a sneak peak and more insight to the building of my Speaking Career! Joan E. Childs, Inspirational Keynote Speaker


Joan E. Childs presents, LIFE AFTER LOSS: Victim, Survivor or the Phoenix? Your Choice! Barry University


I am excited to share some great news and a sneak peak with all my readers.  One of the reasons you haven’t heard from me for a while is because I’ve been busy launching my career as a professional speaker.  My most recent presentation at Barry University where I spoke to the students and some faculty was videotaped so I could share some of the highlights with you.

My topic, LIFE AFTER LOSS: Victim, Survivor or The Phoenix, was very well received by the attendees, all from the school of Social Work.  Some of the reviews are shown here to illustrate the impact it made on them and what they took away with their experience.  Although very young and just beginning their journey, I presented information that is endemic to their profession.  Part of their learning is how to help their clients deal with loss and grief.  It was also not surprising how many of them had already experienced the loss of a loved one.  When asked how many had lost a loved one, every hand went up.

So the take away is that death is inevitable, certain and an unavoidable, inexorable part of life.  No one escapes the loss of a loved one, be it a parent, sibling, child, family member, friend or even a pet.  Using the grief model, I shared how I coped with my own loss, my 34-year-old brilliant, beautiful daughter, Pam, who plunged to her death from her father’s 15th story building on July 2, 1998.  Although barely any of them are even parents, they understood every parent’s worst nightmare as I shared my journey through grief and healing.

I was clear to let them know that even though her death was considered suicide, it was not her choice.   Her executioner was her mental illness that pushed her out the window.  Having suffered from bipolar disorder 1 for more than ten years, Pam was delusional and succumbed to the illness that invaded her mind and destroyed her life.  Bipolar I and the substandard health system were the culprits who caused her to fall through the cracks and lose her life.

My mission has been to morph the pain into purpose and to take the shame and stigma out of mental illness.  It is to give my daughter’s life and death meaning as I help others who suffer from grief and loss.  The choice to be a victim, survivor or a Phoenix, the mythological bird that rises from the ashes, is ours.  I chose to become a Phoenix and by helping others, I continue to help myself.

Although I will never have closure, I have moved on and healed on my journey to recovery.



INTERESTED in becoming a MEMBER of my NEW PROCESS GROUP? ADD TO YOUR CALENDAR OF EVENTS!!! CONTACT  (954) 568-1004 and sign up today!!


Anyone interested in becoming a member of my new process group that will begin in October, please contact me at (954) 568-1004. The group will run for 6 months, two hours each session and the fee is $85.00 per week. It will be held in the Hallandale office.  Apply only if you can commit to six months weekly. Space in limited to 8 persons and I already have one member committed.


My next group process will begin on Monday, November 7, 2016.  It is comprised of eight members who are stuck in behaviors that are interfering with the quality of their lives and are looking for growth and change.  The group will be maintained for six months, meeting every Monday for 26 weeks.  It requires a six-month commitment for each member.  Each member will be asked to read Schopenhauer’s Cure by Irvin Yalom.

The group is based on Irvin Yalom’s theory using his 10 curative factors for change.  It requires members with ego strengths able to tolerate non-judgmental, non-shaming confrontation.  It requires that members can be self-reflective and able to own their own shadow side.  It will be both experiential and didactic using Cognitive Behavioral and experiential modalities.

The cost of the group is $85.00 per week.  Each member will be responsible for the fee regardless of any absences, not unlike tuition.  The group begins precisely at 6:30 and ends at 8:30.  Anyone interested in joining can call for an interview.

Anyone active in any substance addiction would not be a candidate for this group.  Members are requested not to drink or use any drugs prior to any sessions.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.


WHERE IS YOUR OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL? LOOK INSIDE by Joan E. Childs, Inspirational Keynote Speaker



Not everyone can win an Olympic gold medal, however, everyone has a gold medal inside of them.  We are all champions.  We are all winners, even when we sometimes lose.  The gold can be found inside us if we take a deep look and follow our bliss.  Olympic gold medalists are athletes who have committed themselves to their goals, some since childhood.  Not everyone knows their goals in childhood, but those who do, follow their dreams to reality.  The common denominator in gold medal champions like swimmer Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky, runners like Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price, English Gardner, Elaine Thompson, Mo Farah, gymnasts like Simone Biles and all the others who gold medaled found their “zone”, that place that brings their wholeness together in one giant force.  It’s in that place that the flame within burns and connects with universal energy.  It takes years for those moments to happen.  Those years are filled with commitment, fortitude, determination, hard work, self-worth, a dedicated coach, mind/body/spirit connection, people who love and support you and sometimes, just plain good luck!

Not everyone can be an Olympic gold medalist.  Not everyone can sing like Barbra Streisand, dance like Mikhail Baryshnikov, Suzanne Farrell or Anna Pavlova.  Not everyone can be an entrepreneur like Warren Buffet, Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg nor a talent like Elvis, Michael Jackson or Prince.  We are each a shining star in our own destiny.    The trick is to allow it to express itself and commit to its life force.  And sometimes even doing all that is necessary and having the best of everyone behind you is not enough.  The truth is, we don’t always make it to the top.  However, what is most important is that we don’t need a gold medal to prove our worth.

Gold medals come in different fashions.  I may not be a wizard therapist but in my world, I give my best to my clients when they walk through my doors.  My daughter, Monica never graduated from high school.  She had learning disabilities in elementary school that was not diagnosed and treated the way they are today.  She received her GED and went to vocational school to become a hairdresser.  Today, after many years of personal and professional growth, she is a “hair designer” with a waiting list to get into her salon.  She stayed committed to the process, learning by apprenticing, trial and error and determination to be the best she could be.  That is a gold medalist.

When Susan Boyle walked to the center stage wearing a frumpy, unstylish dress and looked like she used an egg beater instead of a comb and brush declaring that she wanted to sing like Elaine Page, the audience snickered and looked at her in disbelief.  When Simon asked her name and age, she responded wearing a cherubic smile that melted the audience’s doubtful effect.  Tossing her hips from side to side, she replied, “I’m forty-seven and I’ve never been kissed,” she said in her Scottish brogue, “…and that’s only half of me.”  The audience broke their state of cynicism with a chuckle that morphed into a howl.  When Simon asked why she had come to Britain’s Got Talent, Susan’s response was as natural and spontaneous as when she told her name and age.  “I want to be a professional singer and always wanted to sing before a large audience.”

“What stopped you?”

“I never had the chance.  Perhaps now I have”.

“What are you going to sing for us?”

Looking directly at Simon with the innocence of a child and the confidence and pride of a seasoned artist, she spoke:

“I’m going to sing I DREAMED A DREAM from LES MISERABLES.”

Simon rolled his eyes, flashed a doubtful glance and gave her the cue to get started.  From the moment she belted out the first note, the audience was captivated.  Simon’s smile spread across his face.  Amanda covered her open mouth with both her hands in astonishment.  Pier bit his lower lip, gulping in disbelief and together with the audience, dumbfounded and mesmerized, they all rose in unison with a standing ovation, cheering even before she completed her last note. Susan Boyle seemed unaware that in the next ten minutes her life would change forever.  In ten minutes Susan Boyle had transformed herself into the singer she always knew she could be, and the world was eager to celebrate her stardom. Taking a bow, she strolled off stage, only to be prompted back to hear the results.  Hearing that she received all three “Yes’s”, she threw her arms in the air, stomped her feet and in the most humble manner, thanked the audience and gracefully blew them a kiss.

Perhaps I wasn’t totally accurate on every word that was exchanged between Susan and Simon.  But for sure, I am certain that in those few moments when the world had the unexpected pleasure and privilege to view her on national television, Susan Boyle catapulted to fame becoming the woman she was intended to be; evidence that the ordinary is extraordinary!

There is a Susan Boyle in each of us. There is an Olympic gold medalist in each of us. There is that need to become what we are intended to be.  It is true that if not for Britain’s Got Talent she may have gone her whole life unkissed, unmarried, and undiscovered.  However, she had to have the belief she had a special gift, take the risk to make it happen and the rest was up to fate.

Not unlike Susan, we all need the same thing if we want to follow our bliss.  Susan Boyle’s relationship with herself and having the faith that she could make it happen is something we must have if we are to make our dreams come true.  Walt Disney manifested his creative ideas; most of which he heard were absurd and preposterous.  Albert Einstein was relentless with his need to understand and develop the Theory of Relativity and Obama did it with a belief that change can occur; most of what many of us thought would never happen. Susan Boyle did it too.  It took courage, faith, and love of self, perhaps the most important relationship of all; to love oneself and to trust oneself.  Not unlike Disney, Einstein and Obama and all the other dreamers living among us, Susan Boyle showed us once again that anything is possible.

I always tell my clients that when a person decides to commit, the universe will cooperate.  Take the first step forward, and trust that the world will be the wind beneath your wings.


Joan E. Childs, LCSW



THE DONALD! OMG – Joan E. Childs, LCSW & Inspirational Keynote Speaker

I never considered writing a political blog.  It’s not my forte, but as a practicing psychotherapist, I felt compelled to post something on the psychodynamics and pathological behavior of the Republican nominee for president, Donald J Trump.  As I see it, we are in serious trouble if he becomes our next president.

In my opinion, Mr. Trump is the perfect storm for a disaster, or worse yet, an apocalypse.   I don’t know much about politics, but I have 40 years of experience and understanding about psychopathology.

The Donald, as he is so often referred to, is a complex combination of a garden variety of personality disorders.  He manifests the behaviors of a narcissistic personality disorder, coupled with borderline personality disorder, and worst of all, sociopathic personality traits, the last of which cannot be cured.  This triad plus money, power and an anxious country that is starving to hear his rhetoric, subjects us to a modern day Hitler.

Germany was prime for Adolph and America is prime for the Donald.  Even more alarming are the advanced nuclear weapons not available in WWII.   Add an over-indulged petulant child who has temper tantrums when things don’t go his way, poor impulse control, and no filter or container to consider the consequences of his monologues, diatribes and the spewing of his irrational and often untrue ramblings.  His flip-flopping, hypercritical, judgmental insulting remarks, stonewalling and egomaniacal, self-idealization should concern even his most ardent and zealous supporters.   As if this wasn’t enough, we are looking at a loose cannon who has absolutely no knowledge or experience in government or foreign policy; no specific remedies, no sincere interest in what’s really best for our country; no understanding of civility and certainly, no moral compass.  His racist, misogynous, hypocritical, xenophobic remarks cast a malevolent curse on our country. And if elected president, it would be his finger on the trigger! If I were his therapist, (thank the lord I am not), I would refer him to a psychiatrist for a medical evaluation and suggest he be placed on psychotropic medication.  He poses a threat not only to our country but to the world.

I am no fan of Hillary.  I think she exhibits characterological defects that frighten and alarm me. I too have trust issues with her that echo the present administration.  However, not unlike Mr. Bloomberg who nailed it at the National Democratic Convention, I too can see a “con” who preys on the fears of people with fictional stories to earn their support.  Hillary is no “con”.  She, like so many other politicians lies, manipulates, and bamboozles the public for their own aggrandizement, however, she is safer than the Donald.  She is smarter, more experienced, and most of all, more presidential!   (Oh! And a woman too!)

I get it that uneducated, angry, frightened people who are fed up with Washington would support the Donald, but what baffles me , is that even very elite, well-educated, highly intelligent, reasonable people are behind him.  What am I missing folks?  Have they all gone mad? Even Michael Wolff, a columnist for The Hollywood Reporter stated on CNN that Trump is an entertainer; Clinton is a politician.  Our culture would rather be entertained than bored.  This is no reality show folks!  This is reality!  God help us!

All that you have read has already been written, spoken about, televised with folks much more knowledgeable than me.  However, I want to have my voice heard as well.  My website offers me that opportunity.  I hope you will all vote.  Don’t stay home, because a “no” vote is a vote for the Donald!

“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.”





The Re-Invented Me (at 77)… It’s Never Too Late!! Launching My New Campaign!

Joan E. Childs, LCSW

Joan E. Childs, LCSW & Inspirational Keynote Speaker “Fit, Fabulous,Fierce and ready to Speak”

Hey everyone!

Just a brief note to let you know that I am launching my campaign this week to introduce myself as an inspirational keynote speaker.  I am ready to speak and I will be pitching my book, WHY DID SHE JUMP? My Daughter’s Battle with Bipolar Disorder along with my brand: Life After Loss: Victim, Survivor or the Phoenix.

I will keep you posted on all upcoming events; where and when I will be speaking.  In the meantime, please stay connected with me by visiting my website, while I keep you posted on all social media.

I am looking forward to sharing my message with all of you in hopes that I can help other families who are trying to cope and heal from loss and find the courage to take the pain and transform it into power as I have.  In addition, my mission is to take the stigma and shame out of mental illness.  There is not a family who does not have someone who is suffering from mental illness and it’s time we understand that it is a disease that needs proper treatment!

Thank you all for your support.


“I could identify with her story of the tragic loss of her daughter”- Review by Jo Ann DeCanto

Review Key Means Revaluate Or Reassess

“I could identify with her story of the tragic loss of her daughter.” Jo Ann DeCanto


Joan E. Childs recently spoke at our meeting of The Compassionate Friends, an organization that offers support to bereaved parents, grandparents, and siblings.  As a fellow bereaved parent, I could identify with her story of the tragic loss of her daughter.  She was warm and caring.  She explained how we will continue to miss our  child, but offered hope that we will be able to smile again and the pain will get softer.  

Jo Ann DeCanto

logo-the-compassionate-friends (1)

The Compassionate Friends:

Providing Grief Support After the Death of a Child

“The Compassionate Friends is about transforming the pain of grief into the elixir of hope. It takes people out of the isolation society imposes on the bereaved and lets them express their grief naturally. With the shedding of tears, healing comes. And the newly bereaved get to see people who have survived and are learning to live and love again.”

–Simon Stephens, founder of The Compassionate Friends

Find Support

When you suffer a loss, it’s important to understand the psychological, emotional and physical effects involved. The extremes that you’re dealing with are understandable and manageable, and there are steps you can take to begin working through the grief.

    • Locate a Chapter

      If you have suffered the death of a child or a friend, The Compassionate Friends is here to help you.To view the chapter lists, please insert a zip code.