Our Interview today is with Dr. Patt Hollinger Pickett, a licensed Family Therapist from St. Louis, Missouri, USA, who has written a fantastic book, that received already lots of praise and awards, and very positive reviews – many from other therapists, who recommend her book to their clients.
In September her self-help guide book The Marriage Whisperer was named the “Book of the Month” by MidWest Review. To learn more about Dr. Hollinger and her work we asked her lots of questions:
How would you describe your book to someone who has not yet read it?
My book, The Marriage Whisperer: Tips to Improve Your Relationship Overnight, explains readers how relationships of couples can be brought to the next level. It’s a self-help title, inspired by over 10,000 conversations I had with clients. It delivers 70 couple stories with humor and includes practical tips and tools for lasting relationship improvement. Popular themes like communication, habits, chores, arguments, sex, and intimacy are explored in easy-read tales. It showcases simple stories and delivers simple solutions. Lots of couples found themselves in the book, and could through humor identify themselves. It’s not a blaming book, it offers solutions to take their relationship to the next level.
Is there a message in your book that you want your readers to grasp?
My primary message in the book is to keep your life in balance, something that is important to avoid marital neglect. Not having a balance in your life, such as work, marital life, family, hobbies etc. has long-term consequences for relationships.
“Will spend more time when …” we are in vacation, the kids are in school, the kids are out of the house, we are retired … NEVER works. If you don’t spent enough time together NOW, your interest changes and your attachment weakens. The challenge for couples is to find out how much is enough (time to spend together).
What inspired you to start writing?
I am a Marriage Therapist for over 20 years, and often heard from my clients: “I never thought about it
In seminars I asked: “Who wants a better marriage?” Barely anyone raised a hand… No one wanted to admit that their marriage was not in the best shape. However, now with my book reading it together with their partner, working together with the book, having debates and conversation / in a non-blaming, non-threatening way, couples can work on their relationship in privacy.
Are your characters based on real people?
Yes, but certainly keeping their anonymity.
What was the most difficult case you ever had.
Not one particularly, but often with couples where one thinks he/she is “right”, and constantly blaming the other person. The other stays either defensive, and argues, or the “yes, dear” person, who freezes in the relationship, and finally stepping out of it.
Challenge in therapy is to make people seeing their situation from a different angle, and opening up their line of thinking.
Considering a book from the first word you write to the moment you see it on a bookstore shelf, what’s your favorite part of the process?
Hearing people that know me : “That’s just like you” And I wanted the book to be my voice and have my voice. I did my best to write it, like I talk with my clients.
What’s your least favorite part of writing a book?
The meticulous editing process.
What is the best part of being a writer?
To be able to share what I have learned with a larger population.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything about your book?
I would have written it sooner. But at that time I had other priorities and I wanted to keep my life in balance. Relationships are often struggling due to the lack of balance.
What’s the most challenging part of being a writer?
Making the time to write.
What is ONE thing that you have done that brought you more readers?
Speaking engagements! And presentations.
Where’s the one place in the world you’d like to visit?
What is your favorite book?
I like to cook and like to read cook books.
How would a close friend describe you?
Very creative and honest to the point, without being insulting.
What’s one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you?
I am painting, do sewing, doing quilts, even a Firefighter T-shirt quilt. I am an avid gardener and love flowers and being a home gourmet cook. I am not a perfectionist.
Meet Dr. Patt Hollinger Pickett and her book here too:
Amazon Paperback, 214 pages, $18.40
MSI Press Youtube
What Reviewers Said About the Book:
“The Marriage Whisperer is a practical, accessible book for married couples seeking to improve their relationship. The chapters, on helpful topics such as communication, trust, intimacy, roles, etc. offer relevant illustrations, practical insights and excellent discussion starters for couples. I have begun working through it with my wife and we are finding it very helpful in enhancing our intimacy and communication, in particular. I also perform wedding ceremonies and am trained to do pre-marital counseling for the couples whose ceremonies I perform, and will be enthusiastically recommending this excellent book to this whom I counsel. Highly recommended!”
“The author clearly understands the various dynamics that impact how couples navigate their life issues, and has an amazing handle on why difficulties may be occurring and what can be done to improve them. With a wise, sensible, and professional touch, she invites the reader to consider respectful options and accommodations. The inclusion of tables, lists, and short paragraphs, which offer specific ideas on what needs to be done and how one can proceed, makes this a user-friendly support to couples.”
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