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Please note that these testimonials have to be anonymous -- ethical therapists protect the identity of potential and actual clients.
I am enjoying your book tremendously and benefiting greatly - taking it slow as there is a lot of pertinent information and insight. It explained a lot of what I went through and am coming out of with my husband’s verbal abuse towards me (from his childhood abuses, etc...) and what I am currently going through as a parent with some post trauma.
This was the first time I've seen these concepts explained so well and succinctly. I'm very sensitive to it as a past marriage counselor had accused me of "playing the victim" - while it was my husband that had been using those tactics in his abuse towards me... I went years before I realized I was being emotionally/verbally abused (all that crazy making and the counselor (male) didn't even catch it). That's not what I was experiencing at that time, but I am able to identify it as something I have been struggling with more recently since my husband's affair had been revealed.
Anyway... I was concerned the book was more expensive than it was worth...but it has been worth it...I'm feeling more confident that I can change the way I'm behaving towards my kids... I grew up in a "yelling" house with little praise, moderate criticism (authoritative/parochial upbringing). I had started off being the kind of parent I wanted to be until the marriage was too stressed.
I'm happy to say that since the truth about my h's affair came out he stopped the abuse. I'm working diligently to stop yelling during those stressful times when my post trauma (or hormones) creep up! Your book is helping me develop tools to bring peace to my kids and show them the love that got buried in all the adult problems.
I'm not very far into the book yet, but it's already been a great reinforcement and encouragement to me.... priceless.
Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated your book, "End Verbal Abuse and Save Your Marriage." [This was an earlier, unpublished version of The Healing is Mutual.]
Having just finished reading it, I can tell you that it has been the single most powerful influence on my working towards saving my marriage. It really opened my eyes to things that I was unwittingly thinking and doing in response to my wife's abusive behavior! We have been in and out of counseling for more than a year now, without much in the way of a "breakthrough." I've read the other books on the subject and, as I said above, yours has been the most insightful.
I hope that, as she reads your book herself (she has promised to do so), my wife will arrive at a similar "ah-ha!" realization to the one I had as I started to figure out what goes on in my mind during our "fights."
Just want to say I received the materials and started to work ‘on me’. The first thing I read was all the shorter bonus materials. Then I covered my computer with sticky notes bearing my affirmations. I am deep into the e-book as well.
My eyes have certainly been opened and I am putting what I am learning into thought and practice. This may or may not help my marriage, but it will certainly help me with other relationships, like my children, extended family and friends.
In a nut shell, my husband is definitely going through a mid-life crisis, although he has a controlling and verbally abusive nature (apparently since I’ve known him (25 yrs), just didn’t realize at the time we started out) it has escalated and I got lost in the mire. I am finding my strength again thanks to your helpful information.
Hello Dr. Deb
I can't thank you enough for your book it has helped us so much!! If only we would have used it 23 years ago!
Now this is more then a suggestion I am begging you to do a much shorter version( about 20 pages or so) that can be used for marriage prep, school, councilors, family studies type course's and here especially how wonderful it would be to have something for our children who are all now older teens and beginning their lives and relationships and who are in dire need of tools and insight into their upbringing.We still have two daughters at home for one more year and our boys (the ones most effected) come and go for short stints.
A short family style version I believe would help bring healing to our family. I hope you agree and can act on this request.
I thank you fro your time and this opportunity to contribute my ideas.
Thank you for your interest and support.
I have finished reading your book some time ago and go back to it for a reference from time to time.
My husband, though reluctant at first, read the book as well. Initially he found everything that is wrong with me but eventually realized that he acts in a certain way. At the end we agreed that we are speaking different "love"
Your book was an eye opener, gave me answers to a lot of "unknown" that I didn't understand before. It was an initial step to open a dialogue between me and my husband. Looking for more help, I was given another book called "Five Love Languages" and that helped us understand what are our respective needs to feel loved.
Overall our marriage has improved a lot. I have learned to set boundaries, communicate them before there is a problem and stick to them. (I will let you know how it works next summer before another influx of relatives). In any case I decided to take care of myself. Went for a facial last week, started yoga again. I have (almost) decided to retire permanently next March.
Thank you for all material you've sent. It was and still is a big help!
--BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA
Dear Dr. Deb,
Your information is awesome! From your book to your newsletters. I am really trying to apply the information in your book regarding constructive criticism. I love the idea of finding three (or more) positive things to say before correcting, and then using questions. I still find it hard to use questions because I don't get good response from my daughter. But I am working on using that entire process. Working on this process forces me to put more thought into what I am going to say and allows me to root out things that I know will bring a negative response.
I believe my daughter is imitating my husband's abusive behavior patterns. She is very much out of control in her speech and actions. I know she is confused and angry. All of this makes normal conversation very difficult. She has developed victim thinking and blaming. This makes any kind of discipline difficult.
Your article on assertiveness came at just the right time. Because we are reading your book as a family, my husband has changed drastically in his conversation and is no longer outright verbally abusive. This has changed my behavior. I am calmer and not as angry and upset. Dealing with my daughter is still difficult. She feels we have messed up her life but like my husband has put the blame on me.
Because I have been applying your information on assertiveness, I no longer feel I am fighting her for control of conversations when I need to tell her things that I feel are important. The hardest thing to control is the volume of my voice. This is due to my childhood. But my volume is a lot lower and moving in the direction of complete control.
I can already see the difference in my daughter. Our conversations are calmer and she is listening more and more. I can tell she is more at peace with herself and not as angry as she used to be.
We have begun counseling. Using your information on how to fnd a good counselor was invaluable. Although we all have our choices to make, I feel we now are all in the best position to get the help we need to heal, grow, and finally leave behind us this horrible destructive thing called abuse.
"You have been such a wonderful help. I don’t know how to thank you properly. Debby, you have a wonderful heart and you have restored my lacking hope in mankind as a whole over these past couple of weeks. I have dealt with therapists and psychologists much over my life due to my own demons from abuse. It is nice to know that professionals care as much as the survivors like myself do.
Please stay safe and bunker down for the hurricane. I hope and pray it passes you by without causing you any harm.
This world could do with many more people like you. If it were possible, I would send you a great big digital hug. You are truly an asset to your profession. "
- NORTH CAROLINA
“We saw someone two years ago. He didn’t make one suggestion. Thank you Dr. Deb. In this one session, you’ve helped more than numerous other sessions with other therapists.”
“We never went to therapy before. The perception I had was that you speak and the therapist just listens. What I enjoy is your interactions. You help people reach conclusions. You have unique opinions that are very refreshing.”
"You have turned my husband around - he's kind, sensitive, asks me how I feel - You're amazing! Dr Deb, after only 2 sessions of phone counseling with you my friends have noticed a difference in me I can't tell you how much this means to me"
“I think there’s a hypnotic power in you! When I leave your office I feel I can attack a mountain! That’s the effectiveness of your treatment.”
“Counseling with you is like a lightbulb moment every time. You have already produced positive changes.”
“With DrDeb’s insight and guidance I was able to transform my life!”
“We need more people like you in the world.”
“One reason I feel so comfortable working with you is that you tell us stuff about yourself. To know that you’re human too, helps me.”
“Now things are going very well. You helped me see how my addiction was a manifestation of my low self esteem. I was running away, copping out.”
“Communication between my wife and me is significantly enhanced and her communication with her mom is very much better. Between us there is more passion and appreciation for each other.”
“You saved my life by managing my case properly. Deb—you’re good!”
DrDeb, When doing phone caunseling with you, you were very helpful, understanding and unlike many others, you were understanding of my financial situation and did not act greedy.
I wanted to let you know that words cannot describe what you have done for our family, the change, the joy, the calm. Each and everyone of us feels a tremendous uplifting and are excited to live again. My thought everyday is how to get other people with similar problems to know of your work and achievements to be able to help them as well. Your approach is very different than any other. Others have said that in an abusive relationship nothing helps, well we have news for them! The process is not an easy one, however it is worth every moment, every effort and much more. We have received our lives back and I thank you dearly for that.
G-d bless you
Coming here, the thing I appreciate most is learning to convey how I feel. You made an excellent suggestion last week: Every time I find myself not listening to her, I should tell her how much I appreciate her. That helped a lot. Well, this week, she cancelled the attorney and put her ring back on.
I actually want to walk on eggshells to make sure to be in tune with what my wife needs. In the past, when she would grumble, I'd just grumble back.
You were there for us. We wouldn't have gotten this far without your help. I found all the sessions helpful to recognize her needs and understand the dynamics of the relationship better. On the other hand, I realized I needed to set clearer boundaries myself, not just make her happy and give in to her fears. The exercises were very useful.
My husband is doing really good and I'm doing really good. He is hurt, yes (because I was talking to another man for a year), but I think we're getting there.I think he understands his part of the problem and he's trying to rectify it. My feeling is--I love him and I think our future together is going to be a good one.
My fiance has shown such a remarkable difference in his few sessions with you. He's more sensitive, aware of his own behavior, including things he says that are hurtful. He thinks about them and then comes back and apologizes; it's not a quick "I'm sorry" just to get rid of me. He accepts what he's done wrong. I was very surprised, in fact, amazed.
Since I came here, you took the fear of him away from me. I don't care about what he will do, now. I do what I need to do for me. I don't want to be afraid of him, but if I am, I will call the police, now. You woke me up. This is how strong I'm becoming: Two weeks ago, I had a fight with my brother-in-law (my sister's brother) who treats her the same way my husband was treating me. We were talking about my sister who wants to get a divorce.
For 17 years, I saw the abuse and kept quiet. But on this day, I said to him, "You're the same as my husband; that's why when I came to you, frightened, you never helped me. Today, you are not going to hurt my sister any more."
He explained that when I used to come to him, he didn't want to get involved. I cried when he said that. "You're a monster!" I told him. What kind of person are you to not want to help?" I guess I was upset, crying, so he said, "You're crazy," and I said, "No, NOW, I'm healthy."
I told him, "You've hurt your children. They came to me crying." The 16 year old wants to run away. He said, "You're lying." I said, "No, and if something happens to them, it will be on you." After a while, he came back to me and apologized and said he was sorry. I told him, "Maybe God sent me to you to wake you up."
DrDeb, you woke me up. I had been shut down, but now I'm me again. I'm happy."
Hi Dr. Deb, I think your web site may have contributed to my wife to put off the divorce for now. Thank you so much for providing all this info on your site. This is our situation, I have a problem controlling my anger, which had resulted in me verbally abusing my wife w/o even knowing it at 1st. She says it's like I have two different personalities, one she's in love with and the other she's afraid of. I think I made significant changes in how I express my anger.
Thanks again for your help. Your website alone is a great inspiration and I look forward to continuing to learn from it. Thanks again, your kindness has really meant a lot! Take care! M
Dear Dr. Deb,
I was surfing the web and came across your web site and felt the need to drop you a note to say how much I like your web site! Its so well thought out and seems to be near perfect advice and informational resource for those individuals searching around for a good therapist...a task that can be extremely difficult for the lay person. Just so you know, I'm in the counseling field myself working towards my LMHC & CAP.
I couldn't agree more with your section on why you are not an insurance provider. Anyway, to make a long story short, I just wanted to drop you a note and tell you how good it makes me feel to know that there are really good professionals in this field here in South Florida. I hope to be in private practice one day myself. You inspire me to keep working hard towards my goals.
Dear Dr. Deb,
Imagine my surprise at finding you so easily by doing a Google search! There you are in bold color inviting folks to participate in all manner of counseling services. I'm amazed!...
I am a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin. My academic work includes a primary undergrad degree in psychology, a second undergrad degree in philosophy, and on-going "professionalization" of my Spanish (my family and I spent five years living in Costa Rica). I am a 35 yr. old mother of two teenagers and husband and I have been married for almost 17 years.
I write today mostly to express my gratitude for your piece titled "Postmodern ethics and our theories: Doing therapy versus being therapists." I have been struggling to find a good theoretical "fit" in this second semester of my program. In your words and example, I believe I have found my match! I guess that makes this a fan letter!
Given the seriousness of my interest, I've already made library requests for over half of the articles and books you cited in your written work. I've also checked out the website for Nova Southeastern, and was excited to see that they offer graduate certificate programs and a host of other flexible on-line learning options that may help me to gain some similar skills and training.
Know that you have a fan here in rural Wisconsin and that your words, experience and philosophy have helped one counselor-in-training to find her footing.
Dear Debby, You have a clear "voice" on your webpage for the Registry. I wish more therapists knew how to communicate quickly who they are and who they like to work with. It's great to have you on board.
William J. Doherty, Ph.D.
National Registry of Marriage Friendly Therapists, LLC
1769 Lexington Ave. N. #117
St. Paul, MN 55113
Fax (651) 636-4705
I like the way you write your articles. You put things in a simple perspective that can be related to in everyday life. After reading your articles I look back through my life to see if anything that you said fit into the way I live my life. If I notice similar patterns I try and follow your advise to make the necessary changes. I also asked my fiancée what she feels are the top five things that she would like to see me work on to make me a better person and to build a healthy relationship.
I also like the way you show how a person became the way they are. Most of the books and articles that I have read from other authors seem to be one sided. Some chapters are interesting, but I usually find myself putting the book down as I feel they are not helping me understand. It seems as though most authors/therapist lean toward telling the victim to leave the relationship; that the perpetrator will never change. I feel that is untrue in many cases as people truly do want to change their behavior and will work at it endlessly.
Hi, Thank you for the newsletter. It came at a time when I was so desperate for advice as to how to handle a man who is now out of control with his abuse and irrational thoughts. He has accused me of everthing under the sun that it is now so ridiculous, insane and almost comical. He has really lost the plot.
He talks loudly in order to drown my voice that I usually have to abandon the conversation. He is so worried about being found out that he is fighting back desperately and not relenting. In fact now that I'm not supporting his behaviour, the verbal abuse is becoming so obvious. Hi is losing control of me. But i do so appreciate the newletter because it's pointing me to the right direction. I will now build my self esteem up and see if time will be kind to us.
Can you send the issue of Dr Deb's newsletter on Self v. Selfishness. I missed it and would like to read it. Excellent article on - The Line Between Giving and Giving Up Yourself. From a mental/verbal abuser - You rock and have helped save my marriage!
I love your website and related articles. Extremly informatiive and so on point!
The information in your newsletters have clearly shown me that I am in a relationship that is both emotionally and mentally abusive. In learning more about abuse sadly, I recognized that I have begun to abuse him also. At this very moment I am making preparations to leave.
Thank you again for sharing your knowledge with fairness and in a way that the information can be understood by anyone.
your information is right on--the "professional" marriage counselors had no idea what I was telling them about psychological abuse- either they were badly trained, lazy or afraid to confront my wife, or all of the above--do you put on seminars--this would be a great topic for people in Denver--it seems to be a silent epidemic in marriages---thanks for your time.
Hello I anxiously await your newsletters every month. You have helped me save oir marriage when none else had faith. Thank you! I also got your book and still am reading it. Thanks
i wanted to drop a line and say that I look forward to reading your newsletter. I'm enjoying it....its informative, not too much info and a quick read.
FLORIDA Thanks again
My fiancee and I got married 2-3 months ago. Everything's gone very well. I thought you helped her tremndously with her individual issues. We're content and happy and very blessed."--FLORIDA
I am half way through your book and it is helping me to realize things that I would have looked over or thought of as "What's the big deal?" I am not a big fan of therapists. I always felt that they choose sides and never truly understood what you were trying to convey. One thing I can say is your book does not do this and I am actually able to reflect over my past and recall times when I should have apologized for my mouth rather than make excuses for it.
My husband moved back in and I attribute his changes to you, DrDeb. He's not yelling any more. Before, he would send people to h-ll. He's not doing this any more.
“DrDeb, you were helpful with your insights and your sense of understanding.”
“You’re very, very intuitive. You’ve done more in two conversations than another therapist can do in two months.”
Downloaded and have already read everthing once. Awesome stuff here. Really opened my eyes.