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About the Author


Dr. Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D.

Named by Cosmopolitan Magazine as one of the country’s top relationship experts, award winning psychotherapist, syndicated columnist and radio host, Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized counselor, author and speaker. He has appeared on CNN, Good Morning America, Fox & Friends, CBS News, NBC News, Beauty and The Geek and The Greg Behrendt Show. In addition, numerous radio shows and national magazines have interviewed him. Most recently, Dr. Goldsmith served as the national spokesperson for the Mars Candy My M&M’s Treasured Moments Challenge.

Since 2002, his weekly column, Emotional Fitness, which is syndicated by Scripps-Howard News Service, runs in The Ventura County Star, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Orange County Register, The Detroit News, The Cincinnati Post, The San Diego Union-Tribune and over 150 other newspapers giving him a readership in the millions. In addition, his popular monthly business column has appeared in over 200 other publications. Dr. Goldsmith also hosts a weekly radio show on the most award-winning station in Southern California, KCLU/NPR, with 80,000 listeners in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara.

The Author's web site

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Baby Boomers Emotional Support

In order to get your emotional needs met, you must be proactive and ask for what you need. This may mean asking for a hug or your hand to be held when you are feeling a bit shaky. Getting comfortable with sharing your needs is the first step.

By stating your needs, you will you have a greater chance of having them answered. If you expect someone to read your mind, most likely you won't get the support you need.

Those who are unable to ask or expect others to just know what they need are more likely to become less stable as their hearts remain unhealed and they stay stressed out. This can cause people to be introverted or even irritable because they don't feel good about themselves.

It would be great if we could all be totally self-contained and not need the emotional support of others. But if life were supposed to be that way, we wouldn't feel the need to want and give love.

These days getting a pat on the back or loving words from someone can be as easy as opening up your Facebook page or sending a text. "Just touching base" is a good opening line if you want to reconnect with someone via e-mail or social networking. By the way, I don't think it's a good idea to make electronic contact your only source for emotional support; there's a big world out there with lots of other people who need and want to feel connected.

Being in close proximity to another human being is really the best way to feel emotional support. A phone call can work (for a while), but face-to-face contact is really the best way to go. This is not about romance. It's about having a person (or people) who will listen to what is going on in your heart. Just talking about your pain will help diminish it, and you will create a stronger bond with the person who is listening. This is basically how therapy works.

If you really can't find a person or just aren't feeling strong enough to reach out, even to a family member, having an animal can make a big difference. A pet may not be able to help you think your way through a problem, but having one can make you calmer, and the unconditional love of an animal is always uplifting.

If you are wondering why you need emotional support in the first place, the answer is simple: you're human. Very few people can do life all by themselves, and those who choose to are missing out on one of the best parts of being alive.

- Dr. Barton Goldsmith, marriage and family therapist, can be reached at 818-879-9996 or via e-mail at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). He has lived and practiced in Westlake Village for more than a decade. Hear him live on KCLU Radio, 88.3 FM, from noon to 1 p.m. Mondays.


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