MY NOVEL–
READING THE SIGNS: A PARANORMAL LOVE STORY

Ted Jones, campus chaplain and English Professor in downtown Denver, doesn’t need more problems. His life has been full of them. More than a few of the clergy seem to think of the church as a sex club, and those who administer the English Department are vipers. Yet, at the beseeching of the spirit of an old woman who appears floating near the stained glass window of St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church, Ted soon becomes involved with Sharon, the deceased woman’s grown granddaughter.

Damaged though she is, Sharon responds, trying to return the steadfast love that Ted offers. After her grandmother died, she lost that capacity in herself and couldn’t find it in any of the people who professed to love her.

Although Sharon and Ted’s trials are multiple, their love forms the crux of the novel. Such love reaches beyond time and space as we normally conceive them, to involve intersecting planes of existence that touch both past and future.

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While fiction, and centrally a love story, it is essentially true. My experiences teaching at CU Denver and the Episcopal Cathedral stick very close to the facts.

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Please help me launch this project by preordering copies on my website, using PayPal or another method (personal check, MO).  Paypal buttons will soon be up on the Writing Page.

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The novel ends with a vision of meeting Sharon on the fields of eternity:

For a moment, my earthly sight blurred with tears, I glimpsed Sharon and me. We stood on fields of gold, there, where chronos meets kairos, and earthly time rolls into eternity.

I think this will be the cover.

Therapists often see couples facing a very real dilemma: After years and years together, one or both partners no longer feel as “in love” as they were before.

Is it possible to fall back in love? Absolutely, but it takes time and effort from both spouses. Below, marriage therapists offer a short list of advice they give couples at this crossroad.

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The greater is the gap between what love calls you to do and what you actually do, the deeper the depression you can fall into. The way to find joy is to leave the cage, not to make it prettier. Why do you think the waiting rooms of psychologists and psychiatrists are filled with successful people who realized after twenty or thirty years of work that money, a career and a house in the suburbs do not bring peace of mind and joy of heart?

They keep hoping that by changing the external conditions of their lives – earn more money, be in a better physical shape, have another partner or travel more – will change how they feel. It never works because the emptiness is not around them. The emptiness is within them. And the only way to come back to life is to acknowledge that little voice rising from your heart and begging you to return to love, to return to truth.

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How much of an impact does emotional intelligence (EQ) have on your professional success? The short answer is: a lot! It’s a powerful way to focus your energy in one direction with a tremendous result. Of all the people we’ve studied at work, we’ve found that 90% of top performers are high in emotional intelligence. You can be a top performer without emotional intelligence, but the chances are slim.

Emotional intelligence is the “something” in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions that achieve positive results. Emotional intelligence is made up of four core skills that pair up under two primary competencies: personal competence and social competence.

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If a friend told you his wallet was stolen from his back pocket while he was in a strange city, what would you think? You might feel sorry for him and offer him sympathy, but you may also think, “He shouldn’t have been carrying his wallet in his back pocket in a strange place.” Though that’s a normal way to think, it’s not necessarily reasonable: wallets are stolen all the time, regardless of where they’re kept. The urge to blame the victim in that scenario stems from the just world fallacy, which is the idea that every action has just consequences. Optimistically, it says everything happens for a reason. But from a more cynical point of view, however, it says you get what you deserve. This isn’t true, of course: bad things happen to people who don’t deserve it all the time, and vice versa. But this idea seeps into many areas of everyday life, from parental advice to jury verdicts. To avoid making this mistake, stick to the facts, and try not to judge a situation based on information you don’t yet have. Learn more about the just world fallacy in the videos below.>

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The Key Predictors of Divorce
November 13th, 2016

For 40 years, the University of Washington psychology professor and his team of researchers at the Gottman Institute have studied couples’ interactions to determine the key predictors of divorce — or as Gottman calls them, “the four horsemen of the apocalypse.” The first sign is contempt, followed by criticism, defensiveness and stonewalling, a term for emotionally withdrawing from your partner.

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Everybody hates a liar. It’s not so much that a liar has misled us; it’s the fact that many of them build lies upon other lies, and absolutely refuse to come clean in many cases. Is it a problem with communication? Is something broken in their psyche? Or do they simply think that they can seriously get away with whatever it is they have planned, just so long as they can keep up the ridiculous rationalizations?

It’s hard to tell, and there are a million reasons why an individual lies. We all do it, every day. Most lies are harmless, though. Others? Not so much. The question is, how can you tell if someone is telling more than just a white lie? What if you suspect there’s a pattern at play, and that an individual’s lies are a symptom of a larger problem?

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One in five American adults will experience a mental health disorder in a given year. That makes it highly likely many of us know someone who is dealing with a psychological condition. But when it comes to understanding these disorders, we often fall flat.

In honor of World Mental Health Day, we rounded up some of the most important mental health discoveries made this year. If anything, they’re proof that continued education and advocacy is critical when it comes to making life easier for those diagnosed:

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Williams started practicing yoga after she was diagnosed with a constellation of mental health disorders that she believes stem from an incident in 2013 in which her infant son, Silas stopped breathing and had to be revived.

“He basically died and came back to life,” Williams told The Huffington Post.

Though her son returned to perfect health, Williams had difficulty letting go of what happened. She would get triggered every time her son would whine or cry and even had multiple episodes of self-harm, she said.

After months of struggling, Williams sought help from her doctor, who diagnosed her with major depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition to going to therapy, Williams decided to make a lifestyle change and pick up a hobby. That’s when she found yoga.

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Given how many of us are affected by infidelity ― twenty-one percent of married men and around 15 percent of married women have cheated on their spouses, according to the General Social Survey at the University of Chicago― it’s worth exploring our beliefs about cheaters and their capacity for change. Does “once a cheater, always a cheater” always ring true?

Below, psychologists and therapists who work with couples share their thoughts on whether or not an unfaithful spouse can change their ways.

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To an outside observer, Amanda Leventhal, a college student at the University of Missouri, appears to have it all together. Perfect grades, a good group of friends, involvement in her campus choir group—she’s not someone many would characterize as “depressed.” And yet, she is. It wasn’t until Leventhal penned an essay on her secret struggle with anxiety and depression that her friends knew anything was even wrong.

Antidepressant ads and pop-culture portrayals of depression often paint the same picture: withdrawal from friends or favorite activities, trouble sleeping, and crying. While those are signs, the problem is that there are many faces of depression. It also looks like Kristen Bell. It looks like Olympic swimmer Allison Schmitt. It looks like your colleague who just got promoted or your friend who just got engaged. They are part of a growing contingent suffering from what’s been dubbed high-functioning depression. And because a stigma is still attached, many keep their sadness hidden and no one knows anything is wrong—sometimes until it’s too late.

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Thomas Ramey Watson is an affiliate faculty member of Regis University's College of Professional Studies. He has served as an Episcopal chaplain (lay), trained as a psychotherapist, done postdoctoral work at Cambridge University, and was named a Research Fellow at Yale University.

In addition to his scholarly writings, he is a published author of poetry and fiction.

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