In This Issue…

1. Blog: Why Do People Feel Safe with Me?

2. Upcoming Events: Getting Real Weekend in Northern CA  April 17-18, 2021, Coach Training Webinar, Honesty Salon via zoom webinar format; free group coaching call (Nov 3), free tele summit on Conscious Communication.

3. The 10 Getting Real Truth Skills:  Let’s make the 10 Truth Skills a household word, helping to create a beneficial human presence on Planet Earth.

Why Do People Feel Safe with Me?

Sometimes the thought occurs to me, “I wonder why people feel safe with me.” I know I am not the only safe person in the world, but, over the years, I have gotten so much feedback—especially from friends and intimate partners—that it’s remarkably easy for them to tell me their most difficult truths. Now, if I got this feedback only from clients, it would not mean nearly as much—because a coaching relationship is quite different from a romantic one or a long-term friendship. And the feedback that I’m a safe person is not only something friends and lovers tell me. They show me they feel safe by telling me things that are not easy to hear—things like: my best friend telling me she fears I am in denial about my partner’s gambling addiction; my husband telling me that he had a one-night stand on his last business trip; my boyfriend telling me that he no longer finds me sexually attractive; my date telling me that he is in trouble with the IRS even though he lives a lavish lifestyle.

So, as I am wondering what makes me easy to talk to about such things, here are a few things that occur to me:

  1. I place a high value on being a safe person. I make it my intent to provide an open space for others to speak into.
  2. I am not judgmental, perfectionistic, critical, or unrealistic in my expectations about how people should be. I think this probably comes from or correlates with how I treat myself. I have a very forgiving relationship to my own foibles. I do see them. I believe I am realistically and compassionately self-critical. But I do not expect that I should be different. If I really want to change something, I’ll put in the work that this requires.
  3. I value learning and personal development….so I am super curious about how it is for others. And it just seems natural to me that even if the truth hurts, the insight and learning that comes from hearing someone’s uncensored truth is much more rewarding than staying comfortable.

As I ponder this short list, I know more could be written here. But I do not seek answers as much as I seek insight into how a person in the latter stages of life begins to come to terms with “this life I have lived.” Who have I shown myself to be? What have I contributed? Have I put into Life’s pot more than I have taken? What feels unfinished? As someone who has been alive for 80 years, these questions come up now more than they used to. So, as I bring questions like these into my awareness, I trust more will be revealed.

Upcoming Events

Getting Real: The Power of Conscious Communication  

A covid-safe in-person weekend workshop outdoors with Susan Campbell [Everyone will be screened with an interview; we will be seated 6 feet or more apart, wearing (personalized!) masks; group limited in size to assure safe distancing]

April 17-18, 2021  10am-5pm both days

Cost: $350

“You can only be as honest as you are self-aware.”

GETTING REAL teaches 10 truth skills that make you a more present, aware, spontaneous, authentic communicator. Most people have fears and insecurities which interfere with being fully present and honest. These insecurities can be healed. If you learn to put your attention on your here-now experience, rather than trying to control the outcome of your communications, you discover the real source of personal power, love, and inner security.

In this workshop, you will learn how to:

•   communicate with presence, authenticity, and spontaneity (even when you feel fear about it)

•   be aware of how you impact others

•   clear the air and keep it clear

•   repair rifts in trust and connection after a misunderstanding

•   keep your present relationships free of accumulated unfinished business

•   come back to being present after your fear-buttons have gotten pushed

•   communicate from the deepest parts of yourself—so you can be truly heard and accepted

•   notice and free yourself of all the ways you “go on automatic” as you communicate or listen

•   replace these “control patterns” with honest, spontaneous self-expression

•   recognize all the various disguises that mask the “need to control”

•   ask for what you want without being controlling

•   say “no” or mark your boundaries with compassion and sensitivity

•   embrace and value the silences in human communication

•   heal past trauma and unprocessed pain

•   communicate about difficult topics in ways that foster deep intimacy and trust

The workshop is intended for people who want to join with like-minded others to explore honesty as a spiritual awareness practice, getting to the essential self that is beyond conditioned fears, beliefs, and control patterns. Emphasis will be on developing communication skills and relationship practices that you can take home and integrate into your daily life.

Cost: $350

Time/date: April 17-18, 2021 (Sat-Sun), 10am-5pm both days

Location: Sebastopol, CA, one hour north of San Francisco (directions to follow registration)

REGISTER NOW: Call Susan’s landline, (707) 829-3646 or email:

Led by: Psychologist Susan Campbell has worked as a relationship coach for over 50 years. A former professor at the University of Massachusetts, she is author of 11 books on relationships and communication. Her website is

Coach Training Webinar: Facilitating Groups Using the 10 Getting Real Truth Skills (via Zoom)

 A 6-week webinar for new and experienced coaches with Susan Campbell, Ph.D., author of GETTING REAL and other titles, using Zoom

Time: 6  consecutive Thursdays, beginning Thursday, January 7, 2021, noon-1:30 pm Pacific time (3-4:30 pm Eastern time), and ending Feb 11.

Cost: $300 (visa, paypal, transferwise, and mastercard accepted)

To register or get more info, call or email Susan’s landline at (707) 829-3646 or

You will learn and practice how to facilitate workshops that teach Susan’s getting real practices in novel, fun, and useful ways. Specifically, you will learn how to:

-create a safe group context that welcomes emotional pain, vulnerability, and reactivity/triggering. (All these things can be used as grist for the healing and growth mill.)

-help clients develop their ability to be with emotional discomfort in a way that fosters healing trigger sensitivities and trauma

-work skillfully with difficult group members

-work skillfully with your most challenging group situations

-teach exercises that stretch participants’ capacity to ask for what they want and mark boundaries

-teach exercise that deal with learning from conflict and differences

-learn about stages of group development and which types of exercises work best at different stages

-teach exercises that help participants “relate more and control less”

-teach exercises that help participants learn to clear the air and keep it clear

-use your own authentic feelings and responses to participants in helpful ways—thus, refining yourself as an instrument for positive change

–teach exercises that help participants heal unfinished emotional business

–teach exercises that help participants develop their capacity for inner witnessing

You will also learn how to integrate these tools into your existing coaching style and repertoire.

You will be given homework assignments to practice with a homework partner on a separate phone call during the week.  This will require an additional hour per week of your time.

All calls will be recorded and archived on the web, so you can re-listen to calls or hear a call if you have to miss a session.

Bio: In addition to her Getting Real work, Susan has taught group process/group dynamics and T-groups at Stanford, Harvard, and UCLA business schools.

Honesty Salon in Webinar Format 

Next January-February I will offer a six-session Honesty Salon in webinar format (zoom). It is scheduled for 6 consecutive Wednesdays, beginning January 27, 2021, noon-1:15 pm Pacific time.

Cost is $200 for the 6 sessions. An Honesty Salon is a small group experience where we practice the 10 Truth Skills with one another, sharing whatever arises in the present moment. We use a set of simple communication guidelines that assist us in un-hooking from identification with mind chatter and being innocently open to whatever arises.

Between sessions, participants will have the option of meeting in dyads or triads to de-brief and do practice exercises. All sessions will be recorded and archived on a private page, so if you miss a session, the recording will be available to you.

To register or get more information, email me at  If you are interested in this offering, and the announced  time is not convenient, I may be able to change the time.  So please contact me about that at the email address above.

Deeper Relationships, Healthier Bodies

I am honored to be featured in The Healthy Couple Summit, a free interview series happening later this week! There you will also hear from many of my, and perhaps your, favorite relationship experts—including Lion Goodman and Carista Lumiere, Susan Bratton, and Ariele Ford. The interviews are conducted by my new friend and respected colleague, TJ Anderson, a rising star in the healthy lifestyles field.

The summit is about creating a healthy lifestyle that brings you and your partner together… and improves your energy, focus, mood, sex life and overall relationship.

To sign up, go to this link:

During this free event, you’ll learn how to…

  • Reduce physical stress, improve your relationship, and optimize your mind and body naturally.
  • Tap into the proven communications strategies for decreasing conflict in your relationship
  • Get closer with your partner. With a healthy, unburdened body, you can finally start enjoying a more passionate, sexy, healthy and stress-free relationship.

By working together with a romantic partner, you can improve your chances of success on your health journey.

Here, again is the link to sign up for this free series:

Free Monthly Group Coaching Call, Tuesday November 3

I will be hosting my free Getting Real group coaching call Tuesday, November 3, 4-5pm Pacific time.  We use a telephone conference line. To get on the conference line  from the US or Canada call (712) 770-4010 and then enter pin number 781976 (plus #).

On this month’s call, I will respond to everyone’s questions re problems you encounter in your interpersonal, family, or peer group relationships. I will also encourage dialogue about how to relate more and control less in your daily communications. As I address your questions, I will invite sharing from the group regarding your best practices for dealing with relationship problems. These calls always involve lively discussion and deep sharing. I hope you will join in.

To call in from the UK, dial: 44-330-998-1227 (local access number)

To call in from Germany, dial: 49-209-8829-4402 (local access number)

From France: 33-1-7890-0674

From Australia: 61-2-8077-0511

To find other local access numbers outside the US, contact

Replay Available 

If you miss the call and would like to access the recording, call (712) 770-4019 and then enter pin number 781976 (plus #).

The 10 Truth Skills You Need to Live Authentically

Here is a summary of the 10 truth skills detailed in the book, Getting Real. For those of you familiar with my latest book, Five-Minute Relationship Repair, you may see that that entire book is about truth skill #6, Taking Back Projections. This is such a complex and often difficult-to-master truth skill. So I thought it deserved a whole book. 

Now here’s the list:

1. Experiencing what is  You have a felt body-based sense of your present feelings and sensations. You can notice and not identify with your judgments, projections, and interpretations.

2. Being transparent  You can disclose to others what you are feeling, sensing, imagining, or saying to yourself—with the simple aim of “knowing and being known,” free of the need to explain or defend.

3. Knowing your intent  You can consciously reflect on the intent of your communication. Is it to relate or to control? Are you revealing yourself in the interest of transparency or are you managing and strategizing in order to avoid discomfort?

4. Asserting what you want and don’t want  You can express a desire clearly and impactfully, without expecting to get everything you ask for. You mark boundaries when you need to.

5. Thriving on feedback  You are open and curious about others’ impressions and reactions to you.  This is different from being dependent on others’ reactions.

6. Taking back projections  You know how to learn from situations where your buttons or “favorite fears” get triggered. You can differentiate your fear-stories from what really happened.

7. Revising an earlier statement  You can re-visit an interaction if your feelings change or if you discover later that you have mis-spoken or were on automatic. You can say, “If I had it to do over….”

8. Holding differences  You can hear and empathize with someone else’s feeling or viewpoint while at the same time holding a different feeling or viewpoint. You can “be with” the tension of holding both in your awareness at once.

9. Sharing mixed emotions  You can communicate your multiple feelings about an issue or situation, e.g. You may wish to clear the air with someone while also fearing that your words might feel hurtful to the other.

10. Embracing silence  You can allow some space after you have spoken. You do not fill in the space with explanation or justification. You can experience the nonverbal emanations in the silences during a conversation.  You can tolerate uncertainty, ambiguity, not knowing.

Practicing these skills brings you to a deep and abiding sense of serenity, presence, and compassion. These three words that describe the qualities that we begin to embody when we practice Getting Real

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