Just a word about my professional background. My core training is Gestalt Therapy. Key concepts are the interactive and experience cycle. There are five positions in the cycle: Awareness, Energy-Action, Contact, Resolution, and Withdrawal.   The idea is that for any endeavor we pass through each of these positions in order to acheive completion and satisfaction.

A simple example: My awareness tells me I’m hungry, I mobilize (energy action) to get food and prepare it, I eat it (Contact), I am satisfied, say to myself that was good, and push away from the table (Resoultion and Withdrawal).  The last two positions in the cycle are about letting go.

Many of us have difficulty letting go. We can stay too long, going back for seconds and thirds even when we are no longer hungry. Or we leave too early, not eating enough or not placing enough importance on good nutrition and eating habits (Leaving early may look like letting go but it is often dysfuntional and a premature break ofContact that some people associate with anxiety over loss, others fear of entrapment or engulfment).

Balanced letting go uses acquired wisdom that tells us when to leave, when to back off and give others space, to notice when we feel sated, and many other important experiences in life whether it’s about food, love, sex, writing a blog, playing video games,staying at a party, so on and so forth. Knowing when to let go in a way that serves us and others is not easy. When we understand it, we are more secure and confident, and have fewer relationship and emotional disturbances.

Let’s discuss letting go. If you have a question, wish to share an experience, want some help, or have some music on the topic, come join the discussion. On the Psych ‘n’ Roll Radio Facebook page I posted a scene from my upcoming novel FINAL SHOT, in which the protagonist finally gets it that he must let go of the woman he’s in love with. I’ve reposted it here.


Aja had tears in her eyes and gave him a bittersweet look. She kissed him on the lips, and pulled him close. “Thank you for coming to get me. I’ll always be grateful. I love you,” she said. “And I’m sorry for what I did to you. But darling, I have to go.”

Ike wanted to hold onto her. But she separated herself from him and ran. The door slammed shut in her wake. Ike shook his head to bring himself into focus and then pushed up from the floor. The words, But darling, I have to go,confused the hell out of him. He took off after her. Near the entrance he saw an envelope on the floor. He ran past it and out into the hallway. Halfway to the elevator he saw its sliding door close. He gathered himself and ran to the exit and down the stairs, knowing full well that even if he were in his best shape he’d never get down in time to catch up to her. Nevertheless, he had to try. He labored down the thirty flights of stairs. When he arrived on the ground floor, winded and feeling the pain of lungs not yet fully healed, he turned at the main lobby. At the entrance, Wagner held open the door. He tried to get Ike’s attention. But Ike ran through the doorman’s stop signal.

Ike looked up and down the street. He saw no signs of Aja’s beautifully tall and graceful presence. He saw a cab waiting at the light on the corner of Riverside Drive and thought the passenger looked like her. He was about to go after the taxi when Wagner approached him.

“You looking for the woman who just ran out?”

“Yeah,” Ike said, nearly breathless.

“She told me to tell you not to. She said to read the letter.”

“That’s it?”

“That’s it.”

Ike nodded. He took in a slow, deep breath and felt the inhaled air calm his body. He was letting her go. So much of what had happened and what was still happening to him had that as the lesson.

He had to let go.

“Wagner, I need you to do something.”

“What is it?”

“Call the police and send them up to my apartment.”

 “Adios” — Linda Ronstadt

“Aja” — Steely Dan

“Never Get over You” — George Harrison

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