Working Together in the Family

July 25, 2016
Hosted by Kathy J. Ellis

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Episode Description

Families are a ‘system’ and every person plays a part in how that system operates. Just like a place of business when everyone works together things go smoothly and people and the business have success. Is your household relaxed and cooperative? Are people respectful and getting along? How are the day to day activities going? Everyone brushing their teeth and going to bed on time? Chores getting done? Are you having fun in between the chores, school, work, meals, and time spent on the road transporting kids, picking up groceries, etc.? Are you spending enough time together? This Monday I’ll be talking about making the household work. Everyone has a role in a family! If everyone focuses on their “job” and finds pride in their contribution then the whole family improves and grows. Parents have their jobs and roll, too. This is what allows children to grow up thinking for themselves and contributing to their communities.

Make Life Work

Make Life Work

Archives Available on VoiceAmerica Empowerment Channel

Hello and welcome to Make Life Work where I’ll be talking about people, culture and everything "humanity" (animals, too as they're part of humanity). It might sound like a mix between psychology and cultural anthropology classes but much more entertaining. I’ll talk about how we shape culture and how it traps us, and look at how the expectations of social groups and families impact how we think, feel and behave. It’s impossible to separate the nature of people and the influence of society. We all have a little something we have to deal with and we often get in the way of our success and happiness. The great news is just a little change goes a very long way. Society can't change if people don't grow as humans and people won't change if society fails to evolve. We need to attend to both, the health of society and the health of people.

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Kathy J. Ellis

Kathy J. Ellis

After 35 years as a Marriage, Family and Child therapist (LMFT) I’m starting my “retirement career” as a radio host, life coach (and food blogger and photographer). In my career I’ve worked with many different people from all walks of life and all ages. I’ve opened businesses; work in many different settings, and provided training and education. I’ve studied communication skills, physiological psychology (it’s all about the brain!), social and educational psychology. I’m also a keen observer of how the culture and society shapes individual beliefs, attitudes and behavior. If I had to pick an approach to therapy it would be Cognitive Behavioral, but the truth is that people are not theories, they are not books, nor are they a clinical diagnosis. The first thing I say to new interns is “Now, throw away the books.” What I want to know is what people think more then they feel. It doesn’t take a therapist to see what someone is feeling, but we can’t see what a person is thinking. Of course, feelings have their place and are so important, when they’re not screwing around with someone’s ability to make a safe and sound decision, muster up confidence, tolerate mistreatment or grow up.

Now I just want to share what I know about people and culture, and if anyone learns something, laughs a little and feels a bit better about themselves then that would be an added bonus!

For the whole story, my credentials and experience please go to http://makelifeworktoday.com.

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Episode Directory

September 2016

August 2016

July 2016

Elizabeth Burton


Elizabeth is a well respected landscape designer in Santa Cruz. She started and ran her business and raised her son as a single mom. Her business is very successful and her son is a well spoken, kind, bright young man now in college. And she also found ways to travel and see parts of the world close to her heart.
She has a perspective on life that is both optimistic and realistic. She's worked hard to get this far and she has learned much along the way.
Elizabeth and I were friends in high school but haven't been in touch until a few years ago. Since then we've become reacquainted. After 40 years she has remained the same kind, encouraging, and creative person she was as a teen. Please email me if you have any questions for Elizabeth and how she made her life work for her. View Guest page

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Julie Choquette, MFTI


Julie Choquette, MA, MFTI, is a Marriage and Family Intern. She earned her Master’s of Arts from Sacramento State University and she has worked in the human service field 20 years. She’s worked the mental health the crisis line, provided court advocacy for sexual assault victims and battered women, and work in a busy inter-city shelter. She has worked with a variety of people with differing socio-economics and ethnicity. She has been a caseworker for domestic violence and homeless shelters. She has years of experience counseling parents and children with an array of challenges including substance abuse, child abuse and neglect, mental health, and criminality. Julie also has experience working with Nevada County Victim/Witness center as a advocate for victims of crime including domestic violence, sexual assault, child molest, elder abuse and homicide and is experienced in working with individuals in crisis due to traumatic experiences. View Guest page

Episode Listing:

Louise Hallquist


Louise is an incredible artist and musician in Sonoma County, CA. Her artistic interests and talents are broad and she has such creative vision. She was also a single mother of 2 while pursuing her passion and she was resourceful in making it all work out. Her children are young adults now making their own way in the world. She is close to her children who have the same sweet temperament and independence as their mother. They're starting families of their own and Louise is delighted to be a grandmother. Louise is married now and living the rural life where she continues to create beautiful art and crafts. Please email if you have any questions for Louise and how she followed her passion. Louise was friends with me and Elizabeth in high school and we, too, got in contact a few years ago. I've had the fortune to visit both Elizabeth and Louise but they haven't seen each other for decades. This will be fun. View Guest page

Episode Listing:

Doris Jones

Doris Jones, LCSW, is retiring as Licensed Clinical Social Worker and therapist. She is originally from Jeanerette Louisiana and now lives in Santa Rosa California. Doris attended Grambling State University, where she continues as an involved and active alumna. She studied social work at San Francisco State University. Her experience is varied and rich, from supervising clinical staff in residential treatment programs, providing individual and group therapy at Kaiser Permanente and working with couples and families to adjunct professor. Doris is dedicated to the health and well being of people and community. She donates much of her time to working with young women and girls. And, as a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority she just joined 22,000 Soro sisters in Atlanta for its 67th Boule Dinner. They set a Guinness World Record for the largest plated dinner. And in 2016, Doris received the Regional Director's EAF Chapter Leadership Award at from the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. View Guest page

Episode Listing:

Daniel Patterson


My guest Daniel Patterson is a high school administrator in Newport Beach, California. He has his BA degree in Rhetoric and Media Studies and a MA degree in Education from Willamette University, Salem OR, and his Administrative Credential from UC Irvine, CA. Daniel spent 10 years in the classroom where he expanded his understanding of what kids need to grow into independent, competent adults. And for the last 14 years he's applied what he learned to his Vice Principle position where he upends traditional modes of communication and interventions to find lasting solutions for students and families. Daniel helps parents and kids develop their own student, parent, and life skills. He also integrates a strong social media presence and writing to utilize his sense of humor and offset the high pace and high stress aspects of his job. In his many articles he discuses common sense, practical approaches to teaching and training children. Join us as we talk about these effective tools. View Guest page

Episode Listing:

Fiona Tankard


The themes of death and love have always interested British writer Fiona Tankard and feature in her latest book Ruby and the Ghost Dog about 10-year-old Ruby, who has to cope with the death of her father and the upheaval of moving to another country. She is helped by the power of love, plus a bit of magic - and a ghost dog! Fiona has woven many of her own experiences into the book, including the deaths of her mother, her husband Alan and some of her pets. Fiona has a degree in English & American Literature, postgrad qualifications in teaching and publishing and worked as a teacher trainer before editing the popular British lifestyle magazine ITALY. Fiona and Alan moved into a ruin in Umbria, Italy in 1994. The ghost dog in the book is based on Gaspare, an English Setter she rescued in 2009. He is very much alive and lives with Fiona's other rescue dog Mana, cat Misty and seven alpacas. View Guest page

Episode Listing:

Alison Jennings Wohleb


Alison Jennings Wohleb is an artist in California. She raised three sons as a single mother. Her son, Ian, was a young man when he died in 2014 of complications from a brain injury from an auto collision in 2009.Alison is very good at helping people understand we don’t need to say all the things we say when confronted with this unspeakable loss. We always want other people to feel good but out of awkwardness we often say dismissive things like “You’ll heal with time.”, “Things happen for a reason.” “It’s about moving on.”. Sometimes the best thing we can say is nothing. Just learn to 'be' with someone else and let them have that piece of their their humanity. Ian was such an incredibly kind, smart and funny man. Why and how does a parent "deal" with the loss of their child? To remember them everyday by waking up every morning, no matter how hard that can be. “When he died the light dimmed”. View Guest page

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