Isadora Alman, M.F.T., is a California licensed marriage and relationship therapist, a Board-certified sexologist, author and lecturer. Her syndicated sex and relationship column “Ask Isadora” ran in alternative weekly papers worldwide for 25+ years. Web surfers can find her columns on her online free interactive Sexuality Forum www.askisadora.com(link is external).
You can read more about Isadora and see her latest posts here.
We contacted Isadora for an interview and she kindly accepted our invitation, so here it is.
Q. Why did you become a therapist?
I was a volunteer on a sex information hotline (www.sfsi.org) and saw how much information on communications, relationships and sexuality was needed in the world and how much I could contribute here.
Q. What single piece of advice can you give readers about how to live a happy fulfilling life?
Be clear about what you want, be as specific as possible, and then go get it.
Q. What have you found to be the most common cause of depression and how can people overcome it?
Other than biological causes, repressed anger is often a contributing factor. Acknowledge what you’re angry about and do something about it.
Q. In your experience what the single biggest cause of divorce/relationship breakdown and how can it be averted before it’s too late?
Communication, communication, communication – with oneself first and then with your partner.
Q. What do you like most about being a therapist?
I love being of use to people and helping them find answers to their problems.
Q. What do you like least about being a therapist?
It’s often saddening and frustrating to see how people get in their own way in life.
Q. What is the major cause of stress nowadays and how can people best deal with it?
People cause their own stress with “musts” and “have to’s”. Self talk in the form of “What do I WANT here” is often helpful in sorting it out.
Q. What is the best way to deal with grief?
Communicating with others, comforting oneself with good memories, and waiting it out. The intensity of grief will lessen.
Q. If you had your life to live over again what would you change if anything?
Nothing much. I am very satisfied with my life.
Q. What is the funniest /most bizarre/most inspirational thing that has happened to you in dealing with your clients?
I once saw in my office 3 sides of a romantic triangle individually, accidentally, with none of the parties aware the others had consulted me.