I grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in the 1960’s when the world was in flux, surrounded by a community filled with cultured, liberal, educated people.
My parents gave me enormous freedom to do as I pleased. They encouraged me to embrace life in The City and all it offered.
My family looked perfect. Both my parents were Ivy League graduates. They both worked and were successful in their careers. Two kids three years apart — a boy and a girl. Private schools. Sleep away camps. Theatre and concerts galore. Weekends in The Country with friends.
We “had it all”.
Inside the truth was different.
My father suffered with untreated narcissistic borderline personality disorder with severe anxiety. You never knew when he was going to get angry. Verbal abuse was his modus operandi. My mother did nothing when he would rage, choosing to show up afterwards to sop up the tears. The good news is that I had a great relationship with my older brother and that made up for a lot of the bad stuff at home.
From the age of 8, I rode the bus to my activities. Alone. People would sit down next to me and talk. They prefaced their story by saying, “I haven’t told anyone this before, but I feel like I can trust you”.
From my perspective, this was normal.
I listened and began to understand how people appear one way on the outside. Yet, the truth was different. If they spoke about it, they felt better. So did I.
After a somewhat circuitous route in my 20’s (my father was fond of saying that “she’s finding herself and she is quite lost”), I completed graduate school.
Within 6 months of graduation, I opened a private counseling practice in downtown Boston. Since then my work has morphed as I have gained experience, wisdom and knowledge.
All my past has come together to create Plan C Strategies, an intelligent approach to thoughts and feelings so that the challenges in life are handled well all the time.
I am passionate about sharing techniques for understanding the universality of the human experience in the 21st century and consult privately with individuals, couples and families who are seeking to live their lives informed and educated on how to handle themselves.
For information about how learning about Plan C Strategies can dramatically improve your life, please call or text 617.584.7001
Joanne Dougan, M.Ed.
The Middle Aged Answerwoman
Creator of Plan C Strategies
Author, “Survival Tools for 21st Century Humans” (coming in 2017)
Walden School, 1973
Bard College, B.A., American Studies/Women’s Studies, 1977
University of Massachusetts, M.Ed., Counseling/Psychology, 1987
Wife. Mother. Aunt. Niece. Cousin. Friend. Neighbor. Nice to strangers, especially homeless women. Volunteer with Senior Citizens. Yogini. Warm water swimmer. Really good cook. Food-based skincare maven. Voracious reader. TV watcher. Daily hula hooper. Picture taker.
Connect. Only connect. – E.M. Forster
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