Monday, March 26, 2007

Innovative Prison Project Utilizes Landmark Education Course Concepts

Moving beyond prison system

From the Philadelphia Inquirer
By David Parrish

Today, everyone is concerned about crime. We all live with the threat of becoming victims.

The alarming costs of crime include loss of life, traumatized people, disrupted families, and the enormous financial burden involved in maintaining a police presence and housing an ever-growing prison population.

The evidence continues to indicate that what we are doing to reduce crime is not working, and yet the actions we take continue to be the same.

I have worked in the prison system for 33 years as a psychologist and an administrator. I have interviewed thousands of inmates and watched as the justice system processed them through the prison experience.

I have concluded that our social perceptions of people we call criminals are the source of our ineffective actions.

Psychologically, this is fairly simple to see. If you perceive and relate to someone in a particular way, it is highly likely that person will behave consistent with your expectations.

This is evident when frustrated parents see their teenage children as "problems" and punish them with restrictions. The teens fight these attempts at control and escalate into more risky forms of behavior.

In our justice system, we label people as "criminals," confine them, punish them, and subject them to experiences that leave them with the conclusion that they are no good.

Then we expect them to change into good, law-abiding citizens.

This process often starts with a one-time, nonviolent offense. But after being processed through our system, the offender begins to see himself as a criminal for life and is then willing to escalate to more serious offenses because he no longer sees a future in which he is on an equal playing field with the rest of society.

Last year, at Riverfront Prison, in Camden, we introduced a transformational approach toward inmates that we call the Impact Project.

Our project has been granted permission to utilize leading-edge technology designed by Landmark Education, an internationally recognized industry leader in the training and development field.

At Riverfront, this approach helps reveal to the incarcerated offenders how their view of the world around them - and of themselves - results in their destructive and threatening behaviors.

In turn, the program enables those who supervise the inmates to get at the sources of criminal behavior, and thus help change it rather than just impose their moral judgments.

Prisoners are oriented toward a new view of themselves and the world, one that empowers them to imagine and create a future that breaks the cycle of incarceration.

Inmates at Riverfront must qualify for the Impact Project.

To qualify, inmates must be within a year of parole eligibility, pass an interview by a committee consisting of custody and treatment staff, and make written agreements for full participation, which includes committing to completing a high school education.

Currently, 85 of our 1,000 inmates are enrolled in the program.

The project begins with a three-day, 36-hour intensive "Breakthrough Course." This is a rigorous inquiry that provides the inmates with a clear picture of how they developed anti-social identities, and leaves them with the choice of who they want to be in the future.

Then the inmates participating in the course are moved together into a housing unit and guided to establish a peer learning community where they practice using their newly acquired self-transformational tools in everyday situations.

Follow-up seminars are provided to expand on the foundation material.

The project provides inmates with continual programming and support for the duration of their incarceration and even after their release.

So far, two of the "graduates" have been released. Both seem to be doing well in adjusting to society outside.

This weekend, I am scheduled to make a public presentation of this crime-fighting strategy.

I will speak at 3 p.m. Sunday at the First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St., Philadelphia. Admission is free. For more information call: 610-329-6755.

I hope to prompt a new conversation about crime in which we collectively transform our approach to dealing with it.

Slowing, if not ending, the cycle of crime and incarceration will create a safer environment for all of us.

David Parrish, a forensic psychologist, is administrator of Riverfront State Prison, in Camden.

Original Article

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Landmark Self Expression and Leadership tackles the revitalization of a New Jersey Town

Jamesburg packs revitalization meeting

From the Princeton Packet
By: Audrey Levine, Special Writer

The meeting focused on finding ways to better the downtown business district.

JAMESBURG — More than 100 residents attended a meeting at the Grace M. Breckwedel School to talk about how to improve the borough's downtown.
The March 15 meeting was sponsored by the Jamesburg Revitalization Coalition. Those who attended helped fill out a survey that asked respondents to list possible ways to improve the downtown area.
The coalition, an independent organization of homeowners and business owners in Jamesburg, has joined with three students from the Rutgers Bloustein School of Policy and Planning to begin looking at ways to revitalize the area.
Downtown Jamesburg extends from Buckelew Avenue, and along East and West Railroad avenues, according to Elliot Stroul, president of the coalition.
Mr. Stroul said that the students did research for, and prepared, a visual presentation of the different options for changing downtown Jamesburg in the categories of steets, pedestrians, buildings, signs, parking, open space and mobility.
Some of the proposed options included creating a Main Street with a tree-lined boulevard as a median; creating a sidewalk with outdoor seating from restaurants; building two-story row houses; and using banner-style signs.
Residents in attendance rated the options on a scale of negative 10 to positive 10, based on how appropriate they believed the choices to be for the town.
After the presentation, attendees filled out a written survey that asked about conditions in Jamesburg and what changes might improve the area.
Mr. Stroul said the results, along with those taken at the coalition's Feb. 17 meeting, will be given to the Rutgers students. He said the students would then draw up a plan of proposed changes to be presented in late April or early May.
"We will then review it with the Land Use Board and the Township Council," Mr. Stroul said. "We will prioritize what projects need to be done and try to get the money from Middlesex County."
According to Teddy Ehmann, secretary of the coalition and owner of Family Framers, the coalition wants to involve the community in planning any changes.
He said he began work on the renovation project, dubbed "I Love Jamesburg," after taking a leadership course with Landmark Education, which works with people who are looking to make a difference in their communities.
"This project is to benefit the community," he said.
Many of the residents in attendance said they were glad to have some input in the possible changes for downtown Jamesburg.
"I am interested in the future of Jamesburg," said resident Dan Dobromilsky. "They asked very good questions and these are the types of things we need to analyze to have the best future for Jamesburg."
Resident Gail Somers also said she wants to be involved in what is going to happen.
"I want to see it move in the right direction," she said.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Landmark Self Expression and Leadership Project Takes on Abandoned Lots in Chicago

Olympic ambitions for lots

From: The Booster Wicker Park
January 24, 2007
By ANITRA ROWE Staff Writer
Sean Parnell of Wrigleyville is doing his part to get Chicago ready for its 2016 Olympic bid.

Parnell doesn't have millions for a new temporary stadium. But he does have a plan to turn abandoned Chicago properties into points of community pride.

And Parnell believes that this local activism could help transform Chicago over the next decade -- creating more complete streetscapes that would impress the likes of the visiting International Olympic Committee, and strengthen the city.

Parnell is compiling a list of Chicago's most ugly, dangerous and neglected properties for his "Chicago Abandoned Lot Project."

His initial goal is to fix up five properties by March 22, but Parnell also has committed to tackling troubled properties in the long-term.

Parnell worries that when the IOC visits Chicago, and travels through the areas on the South Side where the Olympics might be held, the blighted areas they see "may lead them to think that Chicago may not be up to the world standard set by previous Olympic cities."

"I think the Olympic Committee holds American cities to a higher standard and may not perceive Chicago up to that standard," Parnell said.

Outside of Olympic ambitions, Parnell said he also fears for those who live near the wide swaths of vacant land that stretch across the South Side and the West Side's abandoned buildings.

In his youth, Parnell said he found these landscapes "strangely intriguing."

But now Parnell said he knows how dangerous blight can be. And as a marketing consultant with experience in research and networking, Parnell thinks he can do something about it.

Parnell's project is an outgrowth of a leadership seminar he's taking through the international Landmark Education program. Chicago's Landmark Education office is at 820 N. Orleans.

Parnell said his role in the lot transformation process will be one of a catalyst and a plan maker.

After putting together his list of community eyesores, and "whittling down" the options to an initial five, he'll contact the property owners and talk to them about their development plans.

Then, Parnell said he will offer to help the property owners make their sites the best they can be.

That could mean locating a buyer or developer for the site, Parnell said, or finding a development compromise that's agreeable to neighboring properties, where previous plans may have failed.

Parnell said lots are abandoned for a variety of reasons. The property at hand could be at the center of a law suit, he said, or the landowner might be waiting for the property to increase in value.

But while a property sits neglected, Parnell said it often become a magnet for garbage, graffiti, gang activity and drug dealing. When abandoned properties catch fire, a number of additional hazards are presented, he said.

Each site Parnell approaches will have different development possibilities, he said. Some will work best as neighborhood gardens or parks, while others could be developed to serve community needs, such as grocery stores, hair salons and restaurants.

Parnell said many abandoned North Side lots -- and lots on the near West and South sides -- have been developed in the past 10 to 15 years, as gentrification has pushed up and out from the city's center.

While the change has been largely positive, Parnell said many people also have been priced out of these neighborhoods.

By working with communities near the lots he undertakes, Parnell said he'll focus on improving sites without displacing those who live nearby.

For more information about Parnell's project, visit, or to recommend a property, e-mail Parnell at

Thursday, March 22, 2007

New Zealand Landmark Education Graduates Bring Clean Water Project to Zambia

Bringing joy to the world ...

From the The Star
Canterbury, New Zealand
Les and Bridgette Richards no longer have concerns about an empty future without children.

The Bromley couple, who had been trying to conceive since they married in 1999, will not only have their own child next month – they are also helping make the lives of children in Zambia a whole lot better.

Mr Richards, 39, is the planning manager for Tip Top and last year took on a personal project he called “Ice Creams for Africa”. The project was inspired by his participation in a course run by Landmark Education.

He originally wanted to bring joy to the children in Kafue, where the couple’s sponsored child Yvonne, 8, lives with her family, by sending them a container of frozen icecreams to try.

He emailed colleagues to see if they wanted to help. Nearly 30 came on board and the group then contacted ChildFund New Zealand for advice.
ChildFund told them the most pressing need in the Kafue Project where Yvonne lived was a clean water supply.

A target of $28,000 was set, to buy a “joy pump” – a children’s merry-go-round whose circular motion pumps water from a borehole to a tank.

At the same time as the project was kicking off, the Richards were having their last IVF treatment.

And now their baby daughter is due on April 9.

Mr Richards attributes the Landmark Education course with turning their lives around. Instead of focussing on themselves, they were taught to think about how they could help others. Good things seemed to eventuate since they took on that mindset.

So far “Ice Creams for Africa” has raised $7000.

# To find out more about the project see

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Landmark Education offers Landmark Forum in Seoul South Korea

SAN FRANCISCO, Landmark Education is offering its flagship program, The Landmark Forum, in the Korean language for the first time on March 23, 24, 25, and 27 in Seoul, South Korea. With the launch of The Landmark Forum in South Korea, Landmark Education has expanded its operations to 25 countries.

Over the years, Seoul, a forward-thinking city of over 10 million people, has offered its citizen's state-of-the art technology in schools and set the standard of educational excellence throughout the country.

"We look forward to The Landmark Forum providing South Koreans with an opportunity to experience breakthroughs in effectiveness and communication," said Landmark Education's representative in Seoul, Hyunsu Cho.

According to Jerome Downes, Landmark Education's executive in Japan and Southeast Asia, "Offering The Landmark Forum in Seoul, South Korea, represents Landmark Education's commitment to making these unique programs available where there is a demand." Landmark Education also offers The Landmark Forum in simplified and traditional Chinese, Thai, Japanese, English, French, German, Hebrew and Spanish.

Landmark Education, founded in 1991, provides innovative personal growth and development programs to individuals, organizations, communities and institutions. With more than 50 offices in 25 countries, Landmark Education is a worldwide leader in the training and personal development industry, with more than 160,000 people participating in its programs each year. Landmark Education's more than 50 programs -- including its flagship course, The Landmark Forum -- are the products of extensive research, and produce breakthroughs in effectiveness and communication.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Landmark Education Grad Writes Book to Empower Women

Single Working Moms, A Journey to Greatness - Author Cheryl Parker Moves, Leadership Program

NEW YORK, March 14 /CNW/ -- With her recently self-published book,
"Single Working Moms, A Journey to Greatness," Cheryl Parker has added book
author to an already diverse repertoire of professional roles that includes
National Spokesperson for Organ Donation until 1999, President of Cheryl's
Mops and Dusters and Financial Services Consultant. "Single Working Moms, A
Journey to Greatness" is a work of empowerment and inspiration -- inspired by
Cheryl's life experiences -- that chronicles the lives and victories of other
single moms and addresses topics ranging from grieving relationships through
loss and divorce to parenting and finances. The book also serves as an
instructive resource by offering expertise on issues including: Promoting
Yourself Back into the Workplace, Decorating on a Dime, Time Management,
Organizing Our Kids, and Healthy Snacks In Minutes.
Confronted by the unexpected death of her eight-year-old daughter Rachel
in 1998, Cheryl left her corporate career in Telecommunications in search of a
path that would impact her community and make a difference. Four years later,
Cheryl was busy juggling three businesses and raising her son, but felt
hampered by personal obstacles that were preventing her from living a life of
inspiration and empowerment. Following a friend's recommendation, Cheryl
completed the Landmark Forum in February of 2006 and enrolled in Landmark's
Self Expression and Leadership Program that June. While in the Self-Expression
and Leadership Program, Cheryl discovered that her ultimate life goal was "to
create something that could empower and inspire women to create abundance and
vitality in their lives." On November 24th, 2006, Cheryl made her dream a
reality with the publication of "Single Working Moms, A Journey to Greatness."
Cheryl remains an active public speaker and advocate for single mothers and
has committed part of the proceeds of her book to local women's organizations.
To learn more about "Single Working Moms, A Journey to Greatness" or to
contact Cheryl for public speaking engagements, please visit her website at

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Landmark Graduate Creates Opportunity for Children to Give Books to Other Children

Reprinted from

Glo. Twp. students give books 'from the heart'

Books recently took on a different meaning for students at Loring-Flemming Elementary School in Gloucester Township.
The school launched its first "Books from the Heart" this year. The project asked students to bring in a book for needy children in Camden.
"Books from the Heart" began in January and ended last week. Through the drive, the school collected 1,155 books.
"The goal was 500. We went far above what I expected," Lisa Bair, a second-grade teacher at Loring-Flemming, said.
Bair introduced "Books from the Heart" to the school as part of a "personal education."
"It's called Landmark Education. I had to develop a project that would benefit people in my world," she said.
Bair explained the core meaning of the "Books from the Heart" project.
"The purpose for the students here was to teach them about generosity and compassion. It was to also give something to students who have nothing," she said.
As part of the project, students could only donate new children's books. To purchase those books, they needed to complete a chore at home to earn money, Bair said.
"We sent home a form asking parents how many books they would donate," she added.
So, students cleaned their rooms, washed the dishes, and took out the trash frequently - all to earn an allowance needed to participate in "Books from the Heart."
"It taught them responsibility," Bair said.
Students donated books that were appropriate for their age level to the project, Bair said. The final 1,155 books were delivered to Sumner School in Camden last week.
"The reaction was lovely," Bair said.
Bair attributed the overwhelming response to a desire to give embedded in Loring-Flemming Elementary School.
"We have a very generous population here," she said.
Bair indicated that she hopes to continue "Books from the Heart" next year.
"We may end up getting it district-wide," she said.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Self- Expression and Leadership Program Project Works to Stop Child Labor

Landmark Graduates and Jewelry Business Owners Launch a Clear Concicence Project

See Coverage on KTVU News Oakland, CA

Lori Bonn Designs, a 15-year old jewelry business based in Oakland, CA, founded by Lori Bonn Gallagher and operated by her husband, Bill Gallagher, has launched a long term industry project called Clear Conscience jewelry and accessories that will provide the consumer a choice to purchase products that are environmentally neutral and socially positive.

For years, the Gallaghers have been concerned about the environmental and social impact of mining gemstones and the production of jewelry. By creating a clear standard in the industry, Lori Bonn Designs goal is to build both consumer demand for “Clear Conscience” products as well as increase the available sources of responsible materials and manufacturing. It is their hope that their program will lead to a standard in the industry for Clear Conscience jewelry and accessories.

The Kimberley Process is a start but it only applies to diamonds and focuses on reducing conflict diamonds. Lori Bonn Designs is interested in gems of all colors and in the metal-smithing and manufacturing process that goes into the entire jewelry making process -- from mining to manufacturing. They would like to be able to say that their product did not fund a war, had a positive impact on the communities it came from and was environmentally neutral.

Lori Bonn Designs has turned down producing their goods in shops and factories that had poor, unhealthy or questionable working conditions.

To assist in their project, the Gallaghers are seeking advice, support and participation of suppliers, other designers, retailers, educational institutions and consumers. Once adopted, anyone purchasing a Clear Conscience product will know that the item was produced in a responsible manner without harm to the environment or the people in the communities from which it came. Lori Bonn Designs are talking with producers, retailers, and development partners now to develop the first proposed standard.

Lori Bonn Designs recognizes that while there are jewelry and accessory products that are made and come from responsible sources, not all are produced in this manner. The concern of the Gallagher’s is that there are many communities around the world that have been harmed by the environmental impact of material production and have had negative social impact from unsafe and unfair labor practices.

Without a standard, the average consumer has little way of knowing the impact of their purchases. Misdirected consumer backlash due to lack of knowledge or misinformation could even harm communities that can least afford it. Clear Conscience accessories creates the possibility that an informed consumer and a cohesive, aligned industry will have a positive impact on the communities which we trade and give consumers a “clear conscience” when purchasing their baubles, bangles and beads.

See the coverage on KTVU News Oakland, CA

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Landmark Graduate Creates Project to Allow Policy Makers and Welfare Recipients to Truly Understand Each Other

How the Other Half Lives: "Walk a Mile" dares welfare policymakers and welfare recipients to swap lives

How's this for a devastatingly simple solution to an age-old social problem? While Natasha Grossman was studying social work and interning at a welfare-reform lobbying organization in Washington state, she saw first-hand the cultural gap that existed between welfare policy-makers and welfare recipients.

"Why can't members of each group spend time together learning about how the other works and lives?" Grossman asked. After participating in one of Landmark's community-focused programs, Grossman answered her own question by forming the "Walk a Mile" program, which is now used in the U.S. Congress as well as 25 states.

During the month-long program, welfare policymakers agree to feed their families on a typical food-stamp budget. They also chat with welfare recipients twice a week on the phone about recent challenges. Lawmakers learn the effects of their legislation on people's lives, and welfare recipients experience the difficult work of crafting new social policy. "Walk a Mile" has graduated many proponents, including legislators who testify to being more informed about the adversities poor people face and recipients who can claim better, more appropriate services, as well as a newfound political voice.

"I'm not the sort of person who does things like this, really," Grossman concedes. "I'm not an expert on welfare. I have never been a welfare recipient. Had it not been for the coaching, project management skills, and confidence I learned through Landmark's program, "Walk a Mile" would have remained a good idea, nothing more. I'm just someone who got passionate and took action."

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Landmark Education graduate creates photography workshop for children of cancer patients

Learning center for cancer patients' children teaches new frames of reference

Seattle Times
March 1, 2007
By Alan Berner Staff Photographer

Through My Eyes, Photography taught to kids at Hutch Cancer Research Center
Hutch School

A camera company used to advertise, "You push the button, we do the rest" — as if good photography comes from a machine instead of the head, heart and eye.

The camera in our culture has led to the perfection of the snapshot — small, stiff figures, standing against a flat background. But photography that connects and elicits an emotional response comes first from within.

That shows at the Hutch School, a one-of-a-kind learning center for children of patients with blood cancers, and sometimes for the young patients themselves. Youngsters in grades K through 12 from across the country attend the school for a time, most of them for more than three months, while a family member receives bone-marrow or stem-cell transplants through the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

Two volunteers, Jerry Gay and David Whelan, taught three classes in photography there last month. Their students take pictures of each other so they can give family members a framed portrait. (Gay is a former Seattle Times staff photographer and Pulitzer Prize winner. Whelan is a high-tech corporate executive and former studio photographer.) Students in a recent class had 27 black-and-white frames to work with on donated point-and-shoots. They learned to get close, eyeball-to-eyeball, explore patterns, fill frames and not to be afraid of trying new angles. They took their "photo safari" to a park and the roof of the school with youthful abandon and creativity.

One of Whelan's goals was for "the students to use photography to share their world with each other." For Gay, it's "not just what they see but how they see, and that they can make a difference."

They photographed contrails in the sky, street signs and their shoes, but mainly each other.

Mandi, 13, from Bellingham, was "surprised. It made me look at different points of view and express myself ... that by looking at one thing, so much could be going on."

In the end, they learned by practicing a maxim from legendary photographer Robert Capa: "If your photographs aren't good enough, you're not close enough."

Monday, March 5, 2007

Landmark Education Grad brings Muslims and Non Muslims together to paint peace mural

The Muslim Observer, Regional, Houstonian

Painting for Peace at Rice University Houston Texas

Houston Muslims are working with their fellow non-Muslims to paint several paintings representing Peace and Unity. The paintings will be displayed on Saturday, August 5th at the Rice University Ley Student Center (Farnsworth Pavilion) at 11 a.m. The exhibition will remain at Rice University through August 25, 2006. There is no admission fee.

The project was created by Dr. Imrana Malik, a Houston physician. “As a Muslim, I feel very heavy-hearted about the negative view of Muslims and Islam today,” Dr. Malik said. “The tragic and unfortunate ‘reality’ is that Muslims are viewed as violent individuals based on the actions of a few radicals. Working with our fellow neighbors to paint these paintings is an expression of our stand for Peace and Unity. We are hoping to make this into an annual event, as well as get national involvement by reproducing this effort in other US cities, such as New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.”

Dr. Malik developed this project, while participating in a Landmark Education leadership program, the coursework for which included creating a project that benefits the community (

For more information, call 832-563-0199 or E-Mail ImranaM@HotMail.Com

Link to Original Article
Murals for Peace Website

London Times Article about Landmark Education

Recently a London Times reporter did the Landmark Forum and wrote about her experience.

From The Sunday Times December 17, 2006

Managing my inner brat
When Helen McNutt went on a personal development course, she was hoping for sympathy over her failed relationships. The truth was harder to take

It’s Friday morning. It has been nearly three weeks since I finished with my boyfriend of five and a half years. I’m at a seminar called the Landmark Forum, standing in front of a microphone in a room of 150 strangers, answering the questions of a bespectacled Australian called David. He has asked me what area of my life I want to change. I have answered “relationships”; specifically, that I don’t want future ones to work out as my last one did. My boyfriend didn’t love me, I said; also, he tried to control me.
“So, Helen, give me an example of your boyfriend trying to control you,” says David.

“Well, a few weeks ago ... God, this sounds really stupid.”

“Don’t worry, it always does.”

“Okay, so we were catching the train. I was starving and didn’t have any money on me, so I asked him for 50p for a packet of crisps, and he said no. He didn’t want me to get crisps because afterwards, I’d moan I was fat.” (Also, he thought we’d miss the train — I leave this bit out.) “Then what happened?” “I got really angry because he was trying to control me.”

“Then what?” “Erm, I stole his Mars bar.”

From the crisp incident, we unpick my relationship, which involves — you guessed it — going back to my childhood. I tell David about my dad, who worked ridiculously hard when I was young and who I felt I didn’t see much of. Whenever he was around, I resented him telling me what to do. But the way I framed it, he was never there and he didn’t love me. In my head, I’d grown up hating the feeling of being dominated, and associated it with people not loving me.

As we talk this through at the seminar and I answer some more questions, it dawns on me that I’ve been playing out the relationship I had with my dad with my boyfriend.

“I’ve been a brat, haven’t I?” David nods and hands me some tissues.

This is not what I expected. Most personal development work is about making you realise how great you are. It seems someone forgot to tell this to Landmark. I am made to realise that neither my boyfriend nor my dad ever stopped loving me — that was just my interpretation. One of Landmark’s key tenets is that most of the stuff that happens means absolutely nothing in itself — we add meaning to it. The meaning we give is largely based on what happened to us during our childhood; it’s rarely grounded in reality. I therefore take my boyfriend’s “no” to mean, “I don’t love you”. Realising that I am a brat, a seven-year-old girl stuck inside a 27-year- old’s body, is surprisingly liberating.

Now, I know about relationships. I make my living writing about them. I speak to experts, read their books and go to their seminars. I know that nobody can be more or less than 50% responsible for a relationship, that falling in love is just hormones, and that the only way to make a relationship work long-term is to re-create it moment by moment. I thought I’d applied all this wisdom to my own relationship, but I realised I had only talked about it.

So, I call my ex-boyfriend. I tell him I’m sorry, that I’ve been a brat and that I love him. He agrees, and tells me he is still angry with me. Then I call my dad and say the same things: he is lovely about it.

During the rest of the seminar, we work through other issues. We uncover the traits that have made us successful and those that have held us back. And we work out what stories we’ve been telling ourselves that have been running our lives for us. It’s not hugging your inner child. It is acknowledging that what happened when you were young shaped you into who you are today. And then getting over it.

When you begin to examine your behaviour in a rigorous way, you see that things you always thought were “their fault” are at least partly yours. Although this is initially uncomfortable, it is also empowering — victims can’t change things, perpetrators can. So, throughout the weekend I’m back on my mobile, contacting friends, ex-friends, family, even my dad’s ex-fiancĂ©, cleaning up the past and letting these people know I love them. Scary? Yes, but the people I speak to are delighted.

A few days later, I meet up with my ex. We sit down, and, as you do in post-relationship analysis, he begins to go through everything I did wrong. I now understand that I am just as responsible as he is for the breakdown of our relationship, that he did love me and that he was a saint to put up with as much as he did. Instead of “yeah, buts”, I simply nod and apologise. I don’t want to go back — all the seminars in the world won’t alter the fact that we’ re not right for each other — but the last thing we say to each other is, “I love you.” That seven-year- old girl? She’s finally been put to bed.

Link to Original London Times Article: