The Main Perks of Being Involved in a Group Coaching Program

“I personally have worked with a Psychiatrist, a Psychologist doing long-term psychotherapy, and am presently paying big bucks for a Group Coaching Program in business.  I am not the least bit embarrassed to admit these things, and in fact, I am quite proud of myself for publicly stating this.  Let me explain why.  It took me almost 40 years to get over myself. Yes, that’s what I said. I was prideful – so prideful that I could not and would not ask for help, even when I needed it.  I am so glad that I got the slap in the face and wake-up call that saved my life so I could seek the help of professionals.  I must say that I would not be where I am today if I had not sought the help I needed. For that reason, I am proud of me and explain to others, even the very strongest people will know when to raise their hand and say, ‘It is my time now.  I am going to do this for me.’  You are worth this. Get the coaching you deserve”

~ Dr. Gayle Joplin Hall

Group Coaching by a professional has many perks, but for the sake of keeping this article to a fairly short reading span, I am going to list five of those benefits.  These include (but are not limited to):

1)    You will very quickly learn that there are many others who are facing the same or similar situations as yourself.  This will help you understand that your issue is not “different” and rather, that it is a fairly common or “normal” problem that needs to be dealt with through coaching.

2)    Learning is shared exponentially through the group format. As the group grows, the learning amongst the members is more freely shared.  Members become teachers.  We all learn from each other.  Any time that learning is taking place, no matter how it is happening, it is a good – no – it is a great thing! Learning is the key element to personal and professional growth.

3)    A support system is quickly developed between members in the group.  This is evident in almost every group I have ever belonged to…yes, some more than others.  The camaraderie may end up being one of the main reasons you want to belong to the group and stay with the group.  You like your new friends so much that the coaching session is very enjoyable for you each week (as it should be).

4)    There is “safety” in numbers.  By this, I simply mean that you instantly feel comfort and welcomed from the very first teleseminar because you know that you are not alone.  Just knowing you will not be on the call by yourself (or on the computer if you choose to dial in that way), provides you with enough security that you look forward to the sessions.

5)    Group Coaching is affordable in a way totally different than private coaching can ever be.  For less than $10 per week, my clients can listen in to a session every Tuesday and have an encore presentation if they miss that session.  There is virtually little to no reason most people could not be members of my Group Coaching Sessions, if they want to be.  The sessions are jam-packed with information in a “discussion-style-format.”  Plus, here is the biggie.  You, the listener, will help decide the subject and topic for coaching sessions.  Each week, prior to the next teleseminar, I will ask you to submit your subject or issue you’d like to have discussed (if you have one). The bulk of emails and subject matter will help determine the topic up for discussion.  Pretty cool, huh?

So, if you have ever dreamed of having your own Coach, like professional athletes, movie stars, singers, and rock idols, now is your perfect chance to have the first Session on Tuesday 14 August 2012 for absolutely FREE.  Yes, it is FREE!  For the next month, the membership-based program costs you only $1.00.  Beginning with 18 September, the weekly Coaching Program is $39.99 per month, billed on a recurring basis.  You may quit at any time, for any reason.  For those who pay in advance after the first free session, there is a sizeable discount.

Now, if this rocks your planet, please “like” the FB biz/fan page of Dr. Hall on Call, like the FB Page of Exceptional Living, and then go to: to get registered before it is too late.  I can’t wait to see you on the call!


Domestic Violence – Dr. Gayle J. Hall – Documentary from Dr. Hall on Call™, Part 1 of 4

Domestic Violence – Dr. Gayle J. Hall

Domestic Violence – Dr. Gayle J. Hall, Domestic Violence – Dr. Gayle J. Hall,

Domestic Violence – Dr. Gayle J. Hall

Domestic Violence – Dr. Gayle J. HallDomestic Violence – Dr. Gayle J. Hall

Freedom in America After 9/11-The Impact of the Tenth Anniversary on Society, Soldiers, and Survivors

never-forget-gayle-hall “America is much more than a geographical fact. It is a political and moral fact – the first community in which men set out in principle to institutionalize freedom, responsible government, and human equality.” – Adlai Stevenson.

Ten years have passed since the attacks against the United States of America on that dreadful day of September 11, 2001. When the first tower of the World Trade Center was hit by the jet, my son-in law called me and said, “Gayle, turn on the news, you have to see this.” I thought he was playing a practical joke on me, because he often did that. I was getting ready for work, but walked into my bedroom and did turn on my television just in time to witness another suicide jet as it was forced to crash into the second tower.

I stood there in horror. Wait a minute—wasn't this the land of the free? Aren't we supposed to be guaranteed freedom by living in America? My leading thought with the first jet was that there had been a terrible error and how could that have happened. I quickly realized after the second jet that this was no blunder on anyone's part. America was under attack!

Within minutes our airwaves were taken over. Flights were frozen in mid-air. As we all know, the third jet was hijacked and crashed into the Pentagon. Children were killed who were in the day-care facility on site. The fourth jet, United Airlines Flight 93, was overtaken by brave passengers and crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. Over 3,000 Americans were killed on this one horrific day. I cried, prayed, and begged God to help these families. I felt helpless.

What is the psychological impact for the families of those victims who perished on 9/11, ten years ago? What is the meaning of freedom to those of us who live in the United States and what does freedom really mean? Have you thought about this, since that horrendous day ten years ago, on 9/11?

A flashbulb memory, a psychological impact, has been forever planted in my mind from that day and my guess is that one has been planted in yours also. You likely remember where you were, what you were doing, and exactly what you thought when you first heard the news of the al-Qaeda terrorists attacks. This memory will not fade. It is just there and on 9/11, you will relive those memories over and over again. Please pray for the families of all of the victims of 9/11.

Do not forget about the heroes that day. When I have visited New York, I have come back home and had others ask me what I thought of NYC and each time I tell them the same thing, “I love New York.” On that day, the entire city became heroes. People who did not know each other were helping. In case you have never visited, it is difficult to drive in NYC and even difficult at times, to hail a cab. The traffic parted, so the emergency vehicles could get through. I personally have never witnessed anything like this before. As everyone was trying to run out of the buildings, firefighters and first-responders were running in to save people trapped in the towers. Did you know that 343 firefighters lost their lives that day trying to save others? There were so many heroes. The loss of lives could have been so much greater.

As a result of that day, 9/11, George Bush, Jr., sent our men and women to war. I remember, just like you do, the look on our President's face as he sat reading a storybook to children, paused for a moment to receive the news of the suicide bombing of the twin towers, and then continuing with his reading. Our soldiers were sent first to Iraq, then to Afghanistan, and now some are being brought back home.

My own son-in-law has done two tours in Iraq and is preparing to deploy to Afghanistan. Obama is stating he is pulling out the troops…yet more soldiers are still going over. I personally know of one soldier whose father died while he was serving in Afghanistan. He was given time off to get home for his father's funeral, sent back to Afghanistan to serve out his last ten days of service, and is now back with his family. The cost of war is driving me insane.

When is enough going to be enough? Freedom is not free, that is certain. I was so angry that our nation, the greatest nation on this earth, could be attacked, that I supported war, I supported us going overseas, I supported everything the government was telling us we should do. Nevertheless, what I have discovered, as I have become more educated through self-discovery and reading, is that our government does not provide us with direct information. So much is kept from us intentionally. Lack of honesty, lack of integrity, lack of commitment from elected officials, and lack of straightforward communication from the press is dead wrong and it is driving me insane.

Is this war we have been fighting really about what happened on 9/11, or did our government use that as an excuse to go to war? Is this war about oil, freedom for other countries, or what? What is this war about? My own thoughts will be kept as my own.

I am so very proud to be an American and have traveled extensively to other countries who do not live without fear of being under attack. My freedom means so much to me. Be sure to see the vlog I made regarding “Freedom” – it is now posted on my website, as well as on YouTube.

Freedom never comes without a price. Freedom is not a right, it is a privilege. I would love to know your thoughts, and especially love to hear the thoughts from our soldiers and Veterans.

God bless America.

This article is fondly dedicated to our military personnel and to all of those who gave their service, lives, and to the families affected on 9/11/2001. God bless you.

©Copyright — Gayle Joplin Hall, PhD. All rights reserved worldwide. None of this material may be downloaded or reproduced without written permission from the author.

Reasons Why America’s Greed Will Constantly Lead Us to War

“God bless America, land that I love. Stand beside Her, and guide Her, through the night with a light from above. From the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans white with foam, God bless America, my home sweet home.” — Irving Berlin.

This is the most difficult of all articles I have written to date. Today, 22 Navy SEALS were among the 25 U.W. special operations forces and other service members shot down in their CH-47 Chinook Helicopter as it was arriving to provide reinforcement for our other troops in Kabul, Afghanistan. Apparently, the Taliban is claiming to have shot down the helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade.

Every single day, our U.S. soldiers put their uniforms on or wake up wearing them, go out into battle, and never have the peace of mind knowing if they will return to their quarters that night. Sounds gruesome, doesn’t it? This is war and war is reality. Ask the families who did not lose their soldiers today if they know for certain they will hear from their loved one next week.I mean no disrespect to anyone. I have family members who are serving or who have served in the military. I am proud of them for doing their job, because I believe this to be honorable. I love our soldiers—all of them.

This day marked the single most deadliest loss of American lives in battle in Afghanistan. When will we say, “Enough is enough? When will we, as a Country, stop being so covetous in thinking it is our job to fix the world?” I was so upset when I read about the news on CNN that I cried for an hour. I spoke with my son shortly afterward and he inquired what was wrong with me. He could hear it in my voice. I told him about the CH-47 being shot down. Although my own son or daughter was not on that helicopter, you would have to know me personally to understand my feelings. First, I was heartbroken and sad for the brave soldiers and their families. Then, I became angry. I say now, again, “Enough is enough. We are at war because of greed. In my opinion, this is why we are fighting and what America is doing–because of our own greed.”

These are three of my reasons for believing why greed leads us to war:

1). The U.S. sticks its nose in where it should not. It is actually quite simple and although I am terrible with math and algorithms, this formula is easy. If someone attacks us, we should go to war, get in there, bomb the hell out of them, and get it over with. Then we should bring our soldiers back home. Period.

2). We were attacked on 9/11/2001—a day most of us will never forget. Innocent lives were snatched right out from those twin towers, as others watched in horror. Flashbulb memories are implanted in some of our minds forever, as a result of this. Greed has kept us in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, not the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, if you really think about it. The U.S. is greedy, has a necessity to improve Western access to Iraqi oil, and has spent trillions of dollars on this war. Look at the financial crisis our Country is in now, all due to fighting a war filled with greed.

3). The U.S. has some belief it is our duty to save the world. Each time there is a crisis, we run to the aid of another country, whether that be with troops to fight their war-as we did 45 years ago in Vietnam, send supplies when a natural disaster hits, such as a tsunami, or the earthquake in Haiti. We sent our American troops to help there also. We have become filled with greed in thinking we can save the world. The fact of the matter, it that we cannot do that. A realist would tell you this is not possible.

I hope these three reasons listed above help you understand why I believe greed leads us to war. For those who do not know me, you may be thinking, “What a terrible person she is, to be so cold, to be so filled with hate and vile for others.” Nothing could be further from the truth. I love people. I love the people of all countries. I do not love people who are haters, bigots, stereotype others, and who are prejudice. War is about killing; however, this is for protection, not for righteousness.

In the United States, we have people who are starving—babies and children who are lucky if they get one meal a day at a shelter for the homeless. In the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, entire families are turned away if there is not enough room for them. They are forced to stay out in this 100 degree heat. Battered women and their children may have no place to stay and no food to eat. The isolated elderly in their own homes, can sometimes not pay their electricity payments, get their utilities shut off, and are victimized by their own family members who steal their social security checks from their online accounts.

As the saying goes, “Freedom is not free.” It never has been and it never will be free. Remove the “G” from the word “greed” and replace it with the letter “F”. The new word becomes, “Freed.” I just made that up as I was writing this. How about if we turn our greed into freed and make this a better society so fewer of our United States soldiers will have to die in war, as they did today? Every single day, a war is happening right here in America, the land of the free.

©Copyright — Gayle Joplin Hall, PhD. All rights reserved worldwide. None of this material may be downloaded or reproduced without written permission from the author.

U.S. Navy Seals and Special Forces

Domestic Violence Victims and Soldiers – What Do They Have in Common?

“A battlefield is a battlefield. I don't care where you are fighting it. Unless you have lived through fearing for your life on a nightly basis, you cannot imagine what war is like.” – Dr. Gayle J. Hall.

A victim of domestic violence fights for her life on a daily basis, just like a soldier on the front line of combat fights for his. Now, this may be difficult for soldiers to understand and may even make some angry. They may say, “I sure did not see any women out there on the front line with me when I was at war. What the hell! How can you possibly compare the two?” Here is my reply to those remarks. You are 100% correct. A woman may not be on the front line of combat in Iraq or Afghanistan. Nevertheless, if a woman is living in a ferocious domestic violence situation in her own home, she may be facing the front line of combat nightly right in her own living room with the very same person she must sleep next to.

The following are four common denominators between victims of domestic violence and soldiers once they are out of the war zone:

1). Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). We are now seeing a higher rate of PTSD with our soldiers returning from war than ever before. My belief is that the soldiers understand they can talk about what they have witnessed without the feelings of shame and guilt. On the other hand, victims of domestic violence who suffer from PTSD (and not all do — only about 20%), still have some of the symptoms of PTSD more than five years after being out of the abusive relationship. Domestic violence victims who fit this category may still suffer from flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, and sleeplessness.

2). Both the victims of domestic violence and soldiers have problems with maintaining attention for any period of time. This common factor causes them to be restless. They have been trained to listen for sounds so they may take control of their situation during an attack. A battered woman must learn to flee her abuser or retaliate, while the soldier has learned to kill or be killed.

3). Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is very common for any survivor of abuse or soldier returning from war. This means the person is a “worrier” and worries about anything and everything, for no apparent reason. For the survivor of domestic violence, she has been under the rule of her mate and has not been allowed to think for herself. Regarding the soldier, he has been told 24/7 what to do and must now try to blend back into society and make decisions daily. This may seem easy to a regular person; however, for a soldier, having to make daily decisions may be overwhelming at first. Both the soldier and the battered woman may suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

4). Proximity and personal space will be common issues for both the domestic violence victim and soldier returning from war. Victims of domestic violence have sometimes been kept from their friends and family during the relationship with their abuser. They may want extreme closeness, or may be so used to abandonment, they prefer being left alone. Soldiers have, for the most part, been in groups and sub-groups. They are used to their “own kind” and this is their preference. They would choose to not venture into large crowds of unknown people and may not even be comfortable going to the grocery store.

I hope these four descriptors of similarities for domestic violence survivors and soldiers have helped you understand some of the complications from living in a battlefield. War is war and adapting afterward takes time, both for victims of domestic violence, as well as soldiers in our Armed Forces. Thank you, God, for our brave warriors!

©Copyright — Gayle Joplin Hall, PhD. All rights reserved worldwide. None of this material may be downloaded or reproduced without written permission from the author.

Domestic Violence Prevention: The Final Article in This Series of Six on Domestic Violence

“We must help the victims of domestic violence look into the mirror and name this problem so they can begin receiving help.  Education is the key in the class rooms across the nation, to discuss domestic violence and date rape, train our family counselors and therapists, and others who are not knowledgeable with the battered woman syndrome, to recognize the signs.  As a society, we must address our lawmakers and those in power to take action and realize this is a serious and deadly issue.” — Dr. Gayle J. Hall

Time and time again, I have heard a battered woman say she knows something is wrong with her or with the relationship, but she does not know what it is.  She does not know why she gets slapped or screamed at because she thinks she is a good wife.  This same woman then proceeds to rationalize and justify her husband's actions for his anger and rage.  After all is said and done, she is worried about getting home on time and what he may think of her if she is late.  I was that same woman.  I consider myself to be smart, yet I had no clue that domestic violence could ever happen to me…not to me.

What can we do to prevent domestic violence?  I have a brilliant idea and plan.  This must be implemented before abuse is ever triggered.  The following is my five-step-plan.

1).  Go into schools, as young as elementary age, up through high school and into the universities.  Have age-appropriate literature, such as brochures, available to pass out, as well as refrigerator magnets, for all to take with them after the 30-minute presentation on what domestic violence and “date rape” is.  Again, the discussion and presentation would be catered for the age of the audience.  Allow time for questions at the end.  When I gave a presentation to a group of 65 women and men at a local college, half of them in the room stood up and wanted to tell their story of being in a domestic violent relationship.  They just needed empowered to do so.

2).  Hold community fairs and free public events.  Invite churches to set up booths, invite the local battered women's shelters to set up tables with their literature, invite women's organizations to participate, and call this a “Day of Learning and Loving” or whatever.  Just get the public involved and get the information out there about preventing domestic violence.

3).  Train the counselors, therapists, life coaches, and anyone who may work in treating or guiding the victims of domestic violence.  I can only speak for the local Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas, area providers, as well as providers in two other states, and I must say that those affiliated with agencies who provide care for abused victims, or those who are experts in the field, such as myself, are the ones who can provide the proper guidance.   Victims and survivors of domestic violence have indicated they often feel misunderstood by their therapists when they seek help.  This happens when one seeks out an untrained life coach, counselor, or therapist who does not know the dynamics of domestic violence.  Research has indicated many therapists and counselors in family practice have not received proper training suitable for helping guide the victim in a domestic violent relationship.  Training is critical.  A family therapist more than likely does not have proper training and neither do many marriage and family counselors, according to research and LMFT own self-reports.  The best help and guidance for a victim of domestic violence is one who is a professional or expert in that field and not one who does it part time, or acts like they understand it.

One word of caution here, please.  Marriage counseling can cause more damage and harm to the victim of domestic violence, than good.  Never under any certain terms should a couple seek marriage or family counseling when there is domestic violence in the home.  Only properly trained life coaches, therapists, or counselors with domestic violence knowledge and education should be working with the victim.

4).  Train the law enforcement officials and 911 operators.  This may sound senseless; however, you may be surprised at the differences in response rates right here in this Metroplex region.  There needs to be a universal response system in place for handling domestic violence calls, instead of taking it lightly and assuming that the call is just a husband and wife yelling at each other and everything is no big deal.  When will people understand that domestic violence is the number one killer of women between the ages of 15 to 44 years of age?

5).  Contact the local and national organizations for domestic violence and ask what you can do to help.  In Texas, this is; The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) and at the national level; National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV).  You can also do volunteer work at a local battered women's shelters.  They are always looking for volunteer services.

Hopefully, this five-step-plan provided you with some information to take action in creating a program and strategy to implement prevention of domestic violence and raise awareness.  Please help us educate others about this very important issue.  I hope you have benefited and enjoyed reading this six-part-series of articles on domestic violence.

Please read articles one through five in this six-part series on domestic violence.  The sixth article concludes this series, but don't you worry…there will be more articles in the month of September, plus, an upcoming book jam-packed with guidance, stories, and love about how to shine your way out from hiding behind the shame of domestic violence.  You will not want to miss out!

©Copyright — Gayle Joplin Hall, PhD.  All rights reserved worldwide.  None of this material may be downloaded or reproduced without written permission from the author.

Domestic Violence: The Downfall of Domestic Violence – Part Five, in a Series of Six

“I am a survivor of domestic violence.  Three of my closest and dearest friends never knew the hell I lived through during my battlefield.  Victims are the best at hiding our secrets from the world.  Our shame and blame defines us, strips our souls, and masks our identities.” — Dr. Gayle J. Hall.

One dear friend in Kansas City who has been with me for over 20 years, had an inkling that something was wrong; however, I was forced to move 13 hours away.   I made two new friends in the small town I moved to and saw each of them during separate venues.  They never suspected one thing was wrong with me, although one of my girlfriends asked me once why I was always leaving class so quickly and could not go for coffee or talk afterwards.  My excuse was that I had to pick up my little boy from his preschool.  I often wondered what might have happened if either of those two friends had known about the domestic violence before I had him arrested the night he tried to kill me.

A battered woman is hesitant to tell anyone about domestic violence because she is ashamed.  The motives behind “not telling the big secret” are numerous and may vary.  One common downfall is the issue of trust and being able to find a therapist, life coach, or counselor who the victim feels she is safe with.  After all, the victim's partner was supposed to be the one person in the world she could turn to for providing safety, yet he betrayed her.  Trusting anyone, after being a victim of domestic violence, takes a very long time.  The victim will become withdrawn from friends or family, or both, and as a result of this isolation, the abuse becomes more rampant.  The victim will learn to live without the ability to trust anyone.

Another downfall is that women in chronic abusive relationships blame themselves for the violence.  They feel they deserve the blame because if they were better wives or lovers, their partners or husbands would love them more and attack them less.  When the victim does finally seek help, quite often she will mask the real reason for the visit, due to blaming of self and others.

Chronic illnesses may also be a result and downfall of being a battered woman.  Reports have indicated the victim may suffer prolonged periods of anxiety, depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and more.

Labels hurt people and they certainly harm a woman who has survived and conquered domestic violence.  Downfalls from domestic violence can be changed from living with disgrace to “living with grace and dignity.”  I am a survivor of domestic violence.  I suffer from OCD, GAD, and yes, I have PTSD.  I take prescribed medication for these illnesses.  I am not proud of this.  Nevertheless, I am not living in shame, nor am I in hiding.  I am living with grace and dignity.  I paid my price dearly during my years of abuse and now it is my calling to give back to others.

I still cannot sit with my back facing a doorway.  I still cannot put anything over my face or nose, for fear of not being able to breathe.  I still do not like dark rooms, except for when I am sleeping.  I do not like elevators or tunnels.  I am afraid of empty stairwells when I am the only person walking in them.  I do not like parking garages.  I still prefer sleeping alone.  I became an excellent marksman.  I will remember details of your face upon meeting you and be able to tell you what you were wearing.  I can provide distinct descriptions.  You see, once a person is ever attacked, has become a victim of a violent crime, or suffered at the hands of an abuser, any abuser, they learn survival tactics and skills.  I learned them well.  I also took many types of extracurricular classes during my training to help other battered women when I knew this was my calling.

Resiliency is my core and my backbone.  I have many quirks, but I am strong, I am a woman, and I am a survivor of domestic violence.  Watch me now, as I help you become resilient and restore your grace and dignity, also.

Hopefully you read the fourth article titled; “A Few Signs of Domestic Violence You Cannot Ignore – Part Four, in a Series of Six.”

Please read the final article in this series of six on domestic violence titled, “Domestic Violence Prevention.”

©Copyright — Gayle Joplin Hall, PhD.  All rights reserved worldwide.  None of this material may be downloaded or reproduced without written permission from the author.

A Few Signs of Domestic Violence You Cannot Ignore – Part Four, in a Series of Six

“My personality and entire lifestyle changed.  I had to quit my active involvement with the Chamber of Commerce, could not call on my big corporate accounts with male clients, and was accused daily of having affairs.  My long-time friends did not know the hell I was living through. I was so ashamed.” — Dr. Gayle J. Hall.

Is your co-worker constantly making excuses for being late to work or missing work more frequently than normal?  Is your friend unavailable to meet you for lunch dates with no apparent reason, after getting into a new relationship?  Does she seem different, withdrawn, or  unhappy, when she used to be a bubbly, cheerful person?  All of these may be signals or signs of domestic violence.

The outward signs of physical bruising, black eyes, or broken bones are naturally, easy to spot.  Have you ever noticed a woman with a black eye and point-blank asked her how she got that?  If you have noticed this and not asked her, why not?  A person usually does not get a black eye unless they have undergone eye surgery or been smacked in the eye with brutal force.

The tanning salon I used for six months, there was a girl at the counter who had two black eyes.  I was not going to ignore what I already knew to be the truth.  I knew she had been a victim of domestic violence.  So I calmly said something akin to, “Wow, that must have really hurt getting those black eyes.  Are you okay?”  The  young woman looked away from me and lied, stating that she ran into a door.  Now, almost everyone knows when you run into a door your eyes are not the first thing that will hit the door.  I remarked, “I am surprised you do not have bruising on your forehead, too.  You were really lucky, huh?”  She looked up at me then and said, “Yeah, I guess I was really lucky that time.”  Her face was drawn and she was very sad.  I asked if I could hug her and she told me I could.  As I gave her a gentle hug, I whispered in her ear that I knew what had really happened—domestic violence.  I told her there were places she could go to talk about this and get some help.  I wrote my number down on the back of one of their business cards and asked her to call me if she ever wanted to.

Domestic violence causes loss of productivity in the work place more than employers understand.  Many supervisors blame employees tardiness on laziness, when in fact, this may be due to violence in the home.  The employees will not admit the truth for fear of being blamed or being ashamed.

One of the abusive characteristics of the batterer is to isolate his victim away from her place of employment, cutting her off from financial income and security,  while removing her source of social support from friends.  Additionally, by doing so, the abuser is forcing more control over his victim of domestic violence by making her rely on him for full support for food, fuel, and hygiene.  He may keep her trapped inside the home and not allow her to leave the house, even to purchase groceries.  In extreme cases, the batterer may limit her intake of food.

Isolation is a dominant factor in the abuser's mind.  He likes to remove his battered woman from society, her friends, and from her family.  The abuser may make the victim out-of-state thousands of miles from her home, just so he can have even more power and domination over his victim.

If you have a friend or co-worker who seems to have changed her personality drastically over the past few months, inquire what is going on in her life.  Most victims of domestic violence will not tell you what is wrong at first, because they have been threatened with harm by their abuser.  Very often, the threat of harm has been promised against a family member, such as their children, or their parents.

The principal key to take away from reading this article is to remember that domestic violence is not always visible.  One must be willing to step up and ask if help is needed, if uncertainties exist.  You could save a life by asking a simple question or showing that you care and gaining the victim's trust.  The first step is to gain the victim's trust enough that she can feel safe enough to talk with you.  Leaving an abusive partner is not an easy process.  Sometimes it takes the support of several people to provide enough courage to finally leave.

Please read the previous, third article titled, “Domestic Violence:  Recognizing the Three Phases – Part Three, in a Series of Six.”

Watch for and read the fifth article in this series of six on domestic violence titled, “Domestic Violence:  The Downfall of Domestic Violence—Part Five, in a Series of Six.”

©Copyright — Gayle Joplin Hall, PhD.  All rights reserved worldwide.  None of this material may be downloaded or reproduced without written permission from the author.

Domestic Violence: Recognizing the Three Phases – Part Three, in a Series of Six

“I just could not understand the rage in the beginning. It was like the harder I tried to be perfect, the angrier he would become. I was beautiful–the perfect wife, perfect mother, perfect in my job, and kept a perfect home. What was I doing wrong to make him act this way, threaten me, and scream at me until he frothed at the mouth with ire?” – Dr. Gayle J. Hall.

The first time I noticed hostility or minor violence was one evening when we, as a couple, were preparing dinner together. We were not married yet, nor living together, and were in kitchen of my home making a meal. He was chopping tomatoes for a salad and as he was speaking about his ex-wife, he started chopping harder and harder with the chef knife. I asked him politely to have a seat and let me finish preparing the meal. That one statement made him angry. He picked up the oval platter that was a gift to me from a dear friend, slammed it down into the sink, and told me to “shut up.” My prized platter was chipped beyond repair and I was frightened of this man I thought I loved. The next day, I broke up with him. He begged forgiveness, told me it would never happen again, and I took him back. Three months later, we were married. Four days after our wedding, I experienced domestic violence in the full realm, although at that time, I still had no clue what or why this was happening to me. My new husband chased me from the minute he got home from work, while screaming profanity and calling me a whore, in my home for hours. He later apologized. I so was exhausted that I finally went to bed. I woke up in the wee hours of the morning because I could not breathe. He had a pillow over my face and was trying to smother me, as he was laughing. He stood up in the bed and hovered over me, threatened to make me quit my successful advertising company, and demanded that I never speak with another man. I was pregnant with his child. I knew right then that I would divorce this man that I had just married. This was the beginning of a very long seven-year marriage. Yes, this story I just told you is one of many nights of terror, as I lived in a relationship laced full of domestic violence. I had no idea this could ever happen to someone like me, a loving, peaceful, happy woman.

Regardless of the type of domestic violence occurring in the home, there are three distinct phases, coined by the pioneer L. Walker, as the “Cycle of Violence.” These are the tension building phase, the acute phase, and the final phase. The following paragraphs provide brief descriptions of each phase.

1). The first phase in the cycle of violence is tension building, otherwise known as “walking on eggshells” for the battered woman. She never knows what may set her partner off in a rage. The woman is on high alert at all times, because she cannot do anything right. If she has cooked a perfect meal, her abuser may be angry because he wanted to take her out to dinner. If she waits until he gets home to ask him what he would like for dinner, the abuser may be angry or become violent because she is supposed to know what it is he wants for dinner. The abuse may be emotional, psychological, or verbal threats, such as mocking, screaming, yelling, manipulation, humiliation, or threats to leave. Sometimes, there may be minor physical violence during the tension-building phase. This phase may last for hours, or even days.

2). The second phase in the cycle of violence is known as the acute phase. The batterer may become extremely violent, either sexually or physically. The victim may be denied sleeping or eating. She may be tied up or restrained, locked up in the home, chased down by a vehicle if she escapes the home, beaten, choked, have broken bones, or be assaulted with a weapon. This is the shortest of all phases in the cycle of violence.

3). The final phase in the cycle of violence is the calm phase, otherwise known as the honeymoon period. The abuser is charming, promises to never hurt the victim again, may buy gifts and seem remorseful. He may ask for forgiveness. The abuser has very often even acted like nothing ever happened in the first place.

It needs to be noted that although each couple's story may be different or unique, the cycles of violence are not. As the duration of the relationship progresses, the cycles become shorter and occur more frequently. The victim is most likely to ask for help from family members or clergy, before seeking professional help. If she does ask for help, it is most likely to transpire during the honeymoon period.

Drugs and alcohol may make violence worse, but they do not cause abuse. Many batterers are sober, yet they still degrade, harm, or beat their partners. I have been free of that domestic violent relationship for 15 years. My abuser was a miserable alcoholic, hateful husband, and pathetic, terrible father.

Please read the previous, second article in this series of six on domestic violence titled, “DV: Descriptions of Physical, Emotional, and Psychological Abuse—Part Two, in a Series of Six.”

Watch for the fourth article in this series of six on domestic violence titled, “Domestic Violence: A Few Signs of Domestic Violence You Cannot Ignore—Part Four, in a Series of Six.”

©Copyright — Gayle Joplin Hall, PhD.  All rights reserved worldwide.  None of this material may be downloaded or reproduced without written permission from the author.

Domestic Violence: Vivid Descriptions of Physical, Emotional, and Psychological Abuse – Part Two, in a Series of Six.

Domestic Violence Description

She looks normal, right?

“Even to this day, it is difficult to discuss with some people and provide vivid descriptions what really happens in a domestic violent situation. This is because some do not want to hear the truth and the facts.  More than ever before, I feel it is my duty to tell, to inform, to educate, anyone and everyone, who will listen.  This is my ‘job' and calling from God.” — Dr. Gayle J. Hall.

Have you ever noticed a woman in the grocery store or at work who has a black eye, marks on her neck, or seems extremely anxious for no apparent reason and wondered why that might be?  Quite possibly, she may be a victim of domestic violence.  Oddly enough, just last night, my son and his colleague were at their apartment when a young woman came over with her baby in her arms, asking to use the phone.  She had been beaten up by her boyfriend.  She dialed 911.  Before the police arrived, the abuser tried to cause trouble with my son.  Fortunately, the police arrived and hauled the batterer off to jail.  That telephone call may have saved a life.

Domestic violence is the principal cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 to 44 years old, more than all other forms of violence, including muggings, burglary, and automobile accidents.  Many victims of domestic violence seek treatment for their physical abuse before meeting their emotional needs.  Women may seek help for physical injuries from a hospital or medical clinic.  The emotional and psychological abuse is ongoing and may last long after the relationship has ended.

Physical abuse during domestic violence may include any of the following; Choking, biting, kicking, throwing, slapping, hitting, punching, breaking bones, confinement or restraining, assaulting with a knife or firearm, raping, forced group sex, or sexual bondage.  This list is not comprehensive.

Emotional and psychological abuse are very closely related, but they are not the same.  A good definition of emotional abuse is the humiliation and intimidation of another person.  Examples of emotional abuse in domestic violence by your partner may include, but are not limited to; name-calling, insulting remarks, verbally abuses your children or your pets, threatens to leave you or threatens to make you leave, governs all the money and decisions in the household, prevents you from working or seeing your friends, isolates you from your family members, restricts you from talking on the phone, refuses to take you out in public or socialize with you, criticizes or belittles you in public or in person, manipulates you with lies, tells you that you are worthless and cannot make it without him, accuses you of having affairs, ridicules your beliefs or thoughts, tries to change the person you are, frequently ignores your requests and feelings, withholds sex or intimacy, or intimidates you through body language or facial expression.

Psychological abuse occurs when a person's rational and emotional thinking is undesirably impacted due to extreme and repeated measures of power imbalance.  Another way of stating this would be; emotional abuse that is so intimidating as to cause  adverse psychological reactions and impact the person's psyche and psychological health over a long period of time, can be considered psychological abuse.  Examples of this may include that the victim of domestic violence suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), panic attacks, depression, or severe anxiety.

Hopefully, by reading this article, you will have gained a more clear understanding of the differences between physical, emotional, and psychological abuse in a domestic violent relationship.

The one constant that will not change is this…a woman will not leave the relationship until she has the support and courage to do so.  She cannot just walk out.  Domestic violence is a matter of control by the abuser.  Please read the first of six articles in this series titled, “Domestic Violence:  What It Is – Part One, in a Series of Six.”

Watch for the third article in this series of six on domestic violence titled, “Domestic Violence:  Recognizing the Three Phases – Part Three, in a Series of Six.

©Copyright — Gayle Joplin Hall, PhD.  All rights reserved worldwide.  None of this material may be downloaded or reproduced without written permission from the author.

Domestic Violence: What It Is – Part One, in a Series of Six

“When I used to hear stories about men beating up their wives, I figured the wives were cheating around.  I never, ever, heard my father raise his voice to my mother, so this was foreign to me.  What goes on behind closed doors is someone's own business, right?” — Dr. Gayle J. Hall, (my thoughts in the 70's and 80's) before I became knowledgeable.

Domestic violence is a serious problem that affects one out of four women in the United States.  The numbers may change according to whether the people questioned are speaking about their former or current relationships.  The abuse may be physical, emotional, or psychological.

Socioeconomic status is not a determining factor of domestic violence in the home.  Domestic violence crosses all boundaries and borders, knows all colors, all ages, and affects women and children.  This is multigenerational.  A child who witnesses domestic violence may grow up to be a victim of domestic violence or become the batterer himself.

Lenore Walker defined domestic violence as behavior characterized by the exploitation of power and control by one person over another who are or have been in an intimate relationship.  This is further described as violence between people who live together and occurs when a family member, partner, or ex-partner attempts to physically or psychologically dominate another.

A battered woman is a victim of domestic violence who has sustained emotional, physical, or psychological abuse by her batterer or partner.  For purposes of the articles in this series, I will refer to the victim as a woman and the batterer as a man, due to the fact that in 95% of all reported cases of domestic violence, the abuser is a male and the victim is a female.  There are same sex couples who report abuse and males may also suffer at the hands of a female abuser.  However, this is not the norm.

Sadly, when I interviewed professional therapists last fall who worked with victims of domestic violence at women's centers, I heard over and over again that quite often, the woman would walk in the door and state that “something was wrong, but they didn't know what it was.”  The victim did not think of herself as a victim.  She thought she had said and done things inappropriately to make her mate angry—so angry that he would slap her, call her derogatory names, hurt the children, or threaten to leave her.  The victim's main concern was how to make her husband or mate “happy” and how she could do a better job at home.  It never crossed the victim's mind that this was not her fault, but rather, the batterer's problem of control.  Many times after that first visit, the client would not come back for months.  It took months for the victim to realize there really was a problem and that she was not to blame.

Women have been victims of domestic violence throughout centuries.  Nonetheless, society has only been discussing this problem since the late 1970's.  Safe houses and women's shelters exist in almost every city, with several, in large metropolitan areas.  There are numerous shelters in the Dallas/Ft. Worth vicinity.  None of them have empty beds.  Is this because there is more brutality now, might it be because women are realizing what domestic violence is, or is it because women can finally ask for help and go to a safe haven instead of risk being killed or having their children injured?  What do you think?

Please read the second article in this series of six on domestic violence titled, “Domestic Violence:  Vivid Descriptions of Physical, Emotional, and Psychological Abuse—Part Two, in a Series of Six.”

©Copyright — Gayle Joplin Hall, PhD.  All rights reserved worldwide.  None of this material may be downloaded or reproduced without written permission from the author.

The Effects of War on the Families of Soldiers

Nate Roberts and wife, Daisy, 2009.

“I'm just trying to be a father, raise a daughter and a son, be a lover to their mother, everything to everyone…yeah, I'm real good under pressure being all that I can be…I just work straight through the holidays, and sometimes all night long…'cause freedom don't come free.. I'm an American, an American Soldier.” — Toby Keith, excerpts from his song, “American Soldier.”

When the soldier receives his or her orders for going to war, this not only impacts the warrior, but also, the family.  As a military spouse, the partner must prepare for being apart from his or her soldier for long periods of time.  If the couple has children, care must be taken to ensure the family understands that “daddy” or “mommy” is coming back home after war.

Quite often, it is more up to spouse of the deployed, than anyone else in the family, as to how well the family unit will adjust during the soldier's deployment period.  It is vital for the soldier to believe he or she has 100% trust and support from their spouse (assuming he or she is married) before, during, and after deployment.

The following are four suggestions for the spouse to make the complete deployment easier for the soldier and the family:

(1). Maintain the same routines (in life, at home, work, or school) before, during, and after deployment as closely as possible.  This is what your soldier is used to, your children are used to, and this provides the soldier comfort knowing all is status quo.

(2). Once the soldier has deployed, join a support group with others, reach out to family members or trusted friends, and just talk about your feelings. There will be some difficult days, but always know people care.

(3). Keep your cell phone on 24/7.  There are times the soldier stands in a line and waits three hours just to hear your voice.  Things we take for granted every day, are important to a soldier who has a spouse. Keep yourself available for those calls, Skype, and the internet as often as possible.  What he or she wants to hear from you are normal, everyday activities. This is comforting to the one who is at war.

(4). Make no major life changes and by no means, vacant the deployment post.  The soldier needs to know their spouse is waiting for them during R&R.  Again, the soldier needs to be assured the family is right there waiting his or her return.

When the soldier returns from war, there will be an adjustment period for the entire family.  If the soldier is married, the spouse has had to maintain the household during the entire deployment period. This has become the norm.  The following are four suggestions for a smooth transition for families when the soldier returns from war:

(1). Understand it may take time for sharing of household duties, such as bill-paying, putting children to bed, preparing dinner, and simple things, such as grocery shopping.  Your soldier has been fighting a war and has not been doing any of these “normal” things.

(2). Psychologically, your soldier may need counseling or therapy.  Your family may also need help in recognizing some of the symptoms from battling in war so you can help cope with your loved one.  Furthermore, the family members may need support, either through reading, therapy, or talking with the VA, about how to handle the issues that may arise from their soldier who has endured war and come back home. There are things that should be said and things that should never be said to a warrior, even when that person is your spouse.  Education is the key.

(3). Give the soldier space.  There is no set time limit on how soon a soldier can reintegrate back into a normal everyday routine, even at home.  Your partner may want to make love with you every night for two weeks straight, and then not want intimacy for the next month.  Try to remember there may be flashbacks, or numbing, especially if they have been in active combat zones, and what used to be “normal” for you as a couple or family, may take time to be “normal” once again.

(4). Possibly, the most difficult adjustment for the family when the soldier returns from war is the social aspect.  If your family is used to attending church services every Sunday, the soldier may not wish to go immediately.  If the company you work for is hosting a large company party, your soldier might not want to attend that. If it is normal for you to go to the mall with your children, this may make the soldier uncomfortable, especially if there are crowds.  Even going to a bowling alley, movie theater, or things we consider to be “normal” may make your soldier feel uncomfortable at first.  Please remember to give your partner some time to readjust to social settings.  The soldier is trained to scan people in crowds, look for differences, and notice what we would never notice.  The social aspect of reintegration back into society is one many would rarely think of.

I personally, have never been a military spouse or even been in the military.  Nonetheless, I have counseled many military wives and numerous soldiers and understand the conflicts faced during war.  War is war.  There is no need for the home to be a battlefield, also.

With these suggestions, a lot of love, and a little bit of work, the families not only can survive the consequences of war, they can become a more closely knit entity than they were before.  It does take work, but who ever said being in the military was easy?

Please feel free to contribute your thoughts to this blog.  I appreciate your input!

©Copyright — Gayle Joplin Hall, PhD.  All rights reserved worldwide.  None of this material may be downloaded or reproduced without written permission from the author.