Monthly Archives: March 2016

The Five Freedoms

Virginia Satir (1916-1988) was a pioneer in the field of Family Therapy and internationally acclaimed as a therapist, educator, and author. She was known for her special warmth and for her remarkable insight into human communication and self-esteem.

Based on her conviction that people are capable of continued growth, change and new understanding, her goal was to improve relationships and communication within the family unit. Virginia Satir stayed at the forefront of human growth and family therapy until her death in 1988.

In facilitating Couple’s communication discussions, I routinely provide The Five Freedoms in handout materials. No matter how many times I read them, I am always struck by the simplicity and powerfulness of Satir’s “Five Freedoms” and I am moved to a more connected place deep within myself.

I hope they are meaningful to you and would love to hear, by email, what you think!


By Virginia Satir

What is here,
Instead of what should be,
Was, or will be

What one feels and thinks
Instead of what one should

What one feels,
Instead of what one ought

For what one wants,
Instead of always waiting
For permission

In one’s own behalf,
Instead of choosing to be
Only “secure”
And not rocking the boat


Remember, only YOU can make it happen!


Original Content by Jackie Black, Ph.D., BCC
”The Five Freedoms”reprinted with permission ~

You are invited to stay in the know by listening to
Dr. Jackie’s Relationship-focused Podcast

On Being Single

I bet you didn’t know there are 100+ million single men and women in the United States today.

What does being single mean to you?

Being single is not…

  • an affliction
  • a condition
  • an unfortunate state
  • a problem
  • something that you need to change

Being single is not evidence …

  • that you are not lovable
  • that there is something wrong with you
  • that you need to be better, different or more

Each one of us has a unique purpose. We create meaningful work, rich relationships and a magnificent, fulfilling life when we live on purpose. When we live from our being we live a life in alignment with our vision, values and life purpose.

When we live from our being we can genuinely love and be loved by others.

Don’t confuse being single with living a life that is “less than.” Avoid judging and comparing the lives of others. Richness, passion, satisfaction, fulfillment and personal reward come in many different packages.

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About Having Needs and Getting Them Met by Others

It is our personal responsibility to become mindful and stay mindful of our own needs and wants as well as the needs and wants of our partners, children and others in our family and social systems.

I think most of us are better at keeping track of what others need and want than we are staying current with our own needs and ourselves.

  • Are you comfortable with the notion that it is your right to have needs and that you cannot meet all your needs?
  • Are you clear about some or many of your current needs? Do you recognize your needs and respect them?
  • Do you have a good understanding of which needs you can meet and which needs can/must be met by others?
  • Do you agree, at least in concept, that it is acceptable and, in fact, reasonable to ask others to meet some of your needs?
  • How able and willing are you to honor your needs and ask others to help you meet your needs?
  • In the U.S. especially, we are becoming a culture of “do-it-yourselfers.” Autonomy, self-reliance, self-sufficiency and independence are too highly valued and I think we are taking some of these behaviors and beliefs to a dangerous extreme.

Some of us are actually excluding others and not taking advantage of help and support when we could or should do so.

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Get a Life

I received a copy of the following speech from a very dear friend. I am always grateful to be reminded of what is truly important. I hope this is a welcome reminder for you too.

[The following is a speech made by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anna Quindlen]

“I’m a novelist. My work is human nature. Real life is all I know. Don’t ever confuse the two, your life and your work.

You will walk out of here this afternoon with only one thing that no one else has. There will be hundreds of people out there with your same degree… there will be thousands of people doing what you want to do for a living. But you will be the only person alive who has sole custody of your life. Your particular life. Your entire life. Not just your life at a desk, or your life on a bus, or in a car, or at the computer. Not just the life of your mind, but the life of your heart. Not just your bank account, but your soul.

People don’t talk about the soul very much anymore. It’s so much easier to write a resume than to craft a spirit. But a resume is a cold comfort on a winter night, or when you’re sad, or broke, or lonely, or when you’ve gotten back the test results and they’re not so good.

Here is my resume: I am a good mother to three children. I have tried never to let my profession stand in the way of being a good parent. I no longer consider myself the center of the universe. I show up. I listen. I try to laugh.

I am a good friend to my husband. I have tried to make marriage vows mean what they say. I am a good friend to my friends, and they to me. Without them, there would be nothing to say to you today, because I would be a cardboard cutout. But I call them on the phone, and I meet them for lunch. I would be rotten, or at best mediocre at my job, if those other things were not true. You cannot be really first rate at your work if your work is all you are.

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After Divorce: Falling in Love or Falling for Comfort

Healing from divorce is not easy. It is often a long and excruciating process and always brings out strong emotions.

The divorce process frequently leaves people feeling:

  • Lonely
  • Flawed
  • Enraged
  • Undesirable
  • Helpless
  • Empty
  • Emotionally raw and overwhelmed

An important part of divorce is the repair process. The repair process includes learning to honor and heal the many normal and natural emotions of divorce:

  • Anger at yourself and your ex-partner
  • Shame and guilt that haunts you and keeps you stuck and unable to think about many of the alternatives and possibilities
  • Sadness and despair over the loss of the relationship
  • Anxiety over the disruption of the family
  • Loss of a lifetime of hopes, dreams, expectations

I recommend that you wait to start dating until you complete the repair process and regain some of your personal strength and resilience. I strongly urge you not to move in with anyone or get into a committed relationship during this all-important process.

The repair process takes more or less time depending on various factors:

  • What was the nature and structure of your relationship?
  • How much conflict, resentment, or power struggles did you have in your marriage?
  • How available are you to the normal, natural and necessary feelings you are feeling?
  • How strong is your external support system?

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Dr Jackie Black Newsletter

Hello. I am Dr. Jackie Black, your Couples in Trouble Expert. Since 1999, I have guided many formerly frustrated and desperately unhappy Couples in Trouble to happiness, closeness and having more fun together than they ever imagined. My years of experience combined with your commitment to your personal growth will enable you to welcome the results you have always wanted and never believed were possible in your marriage.

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