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Basic Communication

 October, 2011

Quote of the month


"Good communication 

does not mean that you have to speak in perfectly formed sentences and paragraphs. 

It isn't about slickness. 
Simple and clear 
go a long way."

 by John Kotter, Harvard Professor 


My Philosophy
My therapeutic philosophy is a combination of believing that discussions of the past can help you to understand where you have come from, which allows you to be able to define where you are today, which further aids in the creating of goals needed to help you reach your full potential.  I will treat you with compassion, understanding and respect knowing that asking for help is not an easy thing to do. 

Life is not always easy.  It doesn't come with a manual.  But it usually does come with an instinct to seek help when it is needed.


I welcome the opportunity to help you work through current issues and to look at your future with a sense of hope and purpose.


Masters Degree - Applied Psychology from Seton Hall University


Post-Masters Degree -Marriage and Family Therapy from Seton Hall University


Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Associate


Certified Facilitator  of Prepare/Enrich 

Pre-Marital Program


Private Practice 

since 2008


NJ work experience totaling 5 years


Married 23 years


Mother of 2 teenage daughters 


Lived in Indiana, 

New Jersey and Texas


Passionate about 

what I do




As we head into preparation for yet another holiday season full of excitement, friends, family, and of course the dreaded.....communicating with others about our needs, wishes and concerns, let us visit some basic techniques for exchanging that information.


Remember to breathe during this upcoming fall season and stop to take in all that it means.  For some, its memories of years gone by and for others its first time experiences in a new place and for still others it's a time of new challenges in a very familiar surrounding.


Please forward this email to anyone you feel may benefit from its content.




Maryellen Dabal, MA, LMFTA

Southlake Counseling & Neurofeedback Center

420 North Carroll Ave Suite 140

Southlake, TX 76092



Missed previous newsletters??

Go to  Click on the newsletters link at the bottom of the home page. Enjoy.....



From The Positive Perspective.......


As we watch the leaves changing and football season is in full swing (Go Dragons!!, Go Razorbacks!! and Go Jets!!) we begin to make those holiday plans with our work places, families and friends.  Everyone has their own idea of how to make that day special and perfect.  Well, what if their idea doesn't match yours and you have to plan this day/event together?  Does one person have to give in?  Does the discussion have to end in an argument?  Keep in mind the following tips when planning events with others and things are sure to go just a little bit smoother.


Keep to the facts.  List the goals that need to be accomplished for the day/event.    

Ex.  Dinner for 20 people at 3pm on Sunday, November 27th


Take the goal and break it down into different tasks.

Ex. Planning the meal, cooking the meal, invitations, RSVP's, d�cor, clean up


Sit (or email if you have to) with whoever needs to be involved in the planning and see if their task list differs from yours.  Use "I" statements to explain why you agree or disagree with what the other person has on their list. 

Ex. "I think the evening would go smoother if we used my idea of setting the table earlier in the day so as not to rush as guests are arriving.  What do you think?"


Still disagreeing on an issue?  Discuss the area and all the options for completing that task.  If the event is in one person's home, they may have an upper hand in deciding a particular item.  In the end ask yourself, is it worth arguing about? 

Ex. Will the decision to have chicken or pork for the meal make a difference in the relationship in a month?  If the answer is no, then it might be wise to move on and let one person choose how to handle that item.  If it is something that will matter in a month, then it is worth discussing calmly until a decision has been reached.


Once you are clear as to who has what responsibility, be sure everyone has confirmed their role.

Ex.  So I will send the invites and you will handle the RSVP's.


Confirm periodically that everyone is on task.

Ex.  Let's meet again in 3 weeks to see what we have accomplished and what has yet to be done.


If you run into a task that is harder than originally expected, revisit options for that item and try another approach or bring additional people in to help on that task.

Ex. I couldn't get the speaker we originally discussed to come to our dinner event so we need other ideas for a speaker.  Can anyone help?


Proceed through the event once the day arrives as best as you can with what has been accomplished.

Ex. We had 4 extra people show up to the event that said they responded but we didn't have them on the list.  I have four more chairs in the basement, we will make it work.


Acknowledge all those that helped make the event go smoothly. (that may make it easier to ask for their help the next time you plan something.)

Ex. I want to make a toast to all those who helped make this evening possible, especially Sue and Joe for being there from the beginning. 




Planning an event can be fun and exciting but also challenging.  It helps to look at it From The Positive Perspective......



I welcome feedback regarding the newsletter or questions about my practice.  I can be reached at  I cannot, however, give advice through email. For more information on my practice please visit my website:

I wish you well...