Jun 28

“Just because you cook in a crappy little kitchen does not justify a crappy meal!” So says Chef Jennifer Schaertl, author of GOURMET MEALS IN CRAPPY LITTLE KITCHENS. In it she tackles the myths about gourmet cooking and shows home cooks how to make fun and delectable meals despite the lack of counter space and high-tech, expensive appliances, and gadgets. She offers practical hints and tips that help make the most of any crappy little kitchen

This week Jennifer’s offering four brand-new, never before published, recipes developed just for you.  The FREE recipes are Holy Moly Chicken Pasole, which is a gourmet version of the Tortilla Soup, No Body Better Lay A Finger on My Corn Fritter, Make No Mistake Coffee Cake & Rhubarb Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend. It’s her way of saying “thank you” to her cookbook fans and friends.

So, enjoy these new recipes, and if you have your own blog, you have our permission to reprint them on your site.  Enjoy the upcoming holiday weekend. Hope it’s delicious!!

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Jan 27

At first glance, one might think that Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better, and Move On without Wasting Time or Money is slamming the psychotherapy field. However, upon closer inspection of his book, Therapy Revolution, you will learn that Zwolinski, a nationally and internationally licensed psychotherapist and addiction specialist, is suggesting that, as with any field, there are legitimate, competent players who follow best practices for therapists, as well as unethical persons who prey on persons who already are struggling with emotional issues.

In his book, the author encourages clients to empower themselves, by learning how to find help, get better and move on with their lives without getting caught up in “therapy addiction.” According to Zwolinski, many clients are trapped in bad therapeutic situations that not only aren’t helping them get better, but may actually be doing them more damage both emotionally and financially.

Zwolinski says that successful therapy must include five “fundamental ingredients.”
1. The therapist must be a motivated, experienced professional.
2. The therapist must use evidence-based treatments; that is, proven methods and techniques.
3. Therapy must be carried out in a reasonable treatment time frame.
4. The therapist’s hourly fee and the entire cost of the course of treatment must be fair and reasonable.
5. The patient must be a motivated patient.

In the interest of ensuring the client has control over his or her own therapeutic experience, the author has included several checklists throughout the book that can be used by the client in all stages of the therapeutic process – from selecting a therapist to determining when it is a time to move on. The author also includes a number of case studies that assist the client in recognizing what is considered good and acceptable therapeutic treatment, and identifying “red flag” situations where violations and ethical breaches have occurred.

These “red flag” situations are discussed in greater detail in the chapter, “Experienced, Ethical, Competent, and Caring – or Not.” Some are more obvious than others – the therapist is constantly late, has no empathy, behaves unprofessionally or blames the client. Some “red flag” situations are a bit more insidious, and thus, may not be easy for the patient to recognize right away. For instance, the author warns clients of therapists who are manipulative or dishonest, stating, “If a therapist tries to cover up failings or errors, especially if he says his failings or errors are actually “part of your therapy,” this shows he lacks foundational morals.”

Zwolinski also explains that while a client should be able to trust his or her therapist, this does not give the therapist license to use “emotional blackmail” to control his clients, who already are vulnerable:
“By the use of emotional blackmail, a person aims to control another and/or force another to do what the perpetrator wants by subtly or overtly threatening consequences, such as inducing overwhelming guilt in the victim.”

Another “red flag” situation is when the therapist begins to blur the boundaries of what is considered an ethical client/therapist relationships.

“When a therapist’s and patient’s lives intersect in some kind of relationship outside of therapy . . . this is a no-no. Having a professional or interpersonal relationship with a therapist is confusing, at best, and can possibly cause severe emotional suffering.”

Therapy Revolution is a book that is intended to help clients learn to advocate for themselves, establish ethical client therapist relationships and take responsibility for their therapeutic experiences, according to Zwolinski, who states, “By being a savvy consumer of therapy, you have learned how to actively be involved in healing yourself. Now that’s good therapy.”

Richard M. Zwolinski, LMHC, is a nationally and internationally licensed psychotherapist and addiction specialist, who has been practicing therapy for more than twenty years. He is a New York State-licensed mental health counselor.

For Information on Therapy Revolution
For More Information on a list of Counseling Centers

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Dec 08

Much of the news surrounding the whirlwind book tour of Sarah Palin has concerned the media itself, and Palin’s open disdain for it. Press coverage that gathers large crowds at book signings and speeches, apparently, is good. Press coverage that takes issue with any aspect of what Palin says or does at those book signings and speeches, apparently, is bad.

For instance, some members of the press took issue with the seeming contradiction between Palin’s use of a private jet as transportation between book signings and speeches, and the grass roots image she’s wanting to perpetuate by rolling into each of her public appearances on a bus. Palin interpreted that as a personal attack, and used her own new media outlet – her Facebook account – to counterattack, berating the media for raising the question at all. “The media showed the same out-of-proportion obsession with my personal arrangements, clothes, and hairstyles last year instead of focusing on the crucial issues involving the election,” Palin wrote on her Facebook page before poking a specific barb at CBS and “whatever professional integrity it still has.”

While Palin believes that media attention should be restricted to “crucial issues,” she didn’t hold her own memoir, “Going Rogue” to the same high standard. In this literary communication which was under her own control, Palin used approximately 100 pages, or nearly 25%, of the “Going Rogue” memoir not to address those “crucial issues,” but rather to air grievances she harbors against the McCain campaign team in particular and, of course, the media in general.

Seemingly from Palin’s perspective, when media coverage of her patriotism and family values is reported, the media has integrity. But when media coverage questions the disparity between her public image and her private actions, the media is unfair and obsessed. Palin is hardly the first celebrity to curse the source of their fame, while enjoying all the positive benefits of it at the same time. Reportedly Palin has seven million reasons to be grateful that anyone with press credentials ever got obsessed enough to make her a household name.

“We’re seeing this argument take shape where anyone who’s critical of Sarah Palin is portrayed as launching unfair personal attacks on her,” said Betsy Reed, co-editor of the Palin counter-memoir, “Going Rouge.” “It’s really important to tell the other side of her story… and not to fall prey to the Sarah Palin branding machine,” said Richard Kim, the other co-editor in a recent interview with the online political publication, “TruthOut.”

The Kim-Reed book about Sarah Palin is actually a collection of essays that was gathered as a biographical anthology, and released in book form on the same day as Palin’s own memoir. This counter-memoir, “Going Rouge,” initially gained attention due to the similarity of the titles and the satire of the book’s cover. The “Rogue” cover depicts Palin as a patriotic dream in front of blue skies, while the “Rouge” cover depicts Palin as an American nightmare in front of stormy skies.

"Going Rouge: An American Life" is the Memoir About Sarah Palin "Going Rouge: An American Nightmare" is the Counter-Memoir About Sarah Palin

“Although the cover has an element of satire, the book is not a parody. Our goal was to present a serious appraisal of Sarah Palin’s record and an assessment of her role in American politics,” Reed told “TruthOut.”

“She is a very well-packaged celebrity at this point, so we felt it was important to show her beneath the gloss,” said Reed.

“Going Rouge” has also been receiving major mass media coverage along with “Going Rogue” not just because of the media’s mistakes with talking about one book while showing the cover of the other, but also because it is the nature of free speech to find and express opposing views. For every point there is a counterpoint, and reporting the yeah-but side of any story is a pretty big part of the whole free speech paradigm.

No matter how diverse their politics, most American citizens can find common ground in the First Amendment. Despite individual opinions, there is a fundamental acknowledgement that the whole truth is not really found in any left-wing blog, right-wing television network, self-promoting Facebook page, carefully crafted memoir, or cleverly edited counter-memoir. The truth, most Americans agree, is found in the silent spaces between the noise of those who are arguing the loudest with each other to defend their own position.

As long as there is still is a right to free speech in the U.S., it is safe to say there will be a tabloid story for every celebrity, a negative news report for every politician, and a “Going Rouge” for every “Going Rogue.” And as long as there is a desire for the expansive existence that the uninhibited search for truth affords, the world has a need for them all.

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