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by Nicholas Wolff, LCSW, BCD, TEP
1. Read: Changing For Good: A Revolutionary Six-Stage Program For Overcoming Bad Habits and Moving Your Life Positively Forward by James Prochaska, John Norcross & Carlo DiClemente. Therapists from every discipline and model must read this book to understand what works and why when people achieve successful change. Anyone who seeks to make a change on their own will benefit from this book as well, which includes worksheets and information that promote self-change independent of professional support.

2. Donate: God's Love We Deliver which prepares and delivers nutritious, high-quality meals to people who, because of illness, are unable to provide or prepare meals for themselves. They also provide illness-specific nutrition education and counseling to our clients, families, care providers and other service organizations.

3. Donate: LASTWORDDESKS.COM - Lawrence O'Donnell of MSNBC has organized an effort to provide school desks for the children of Malawi, a country where the quality of education is poor. Changing the lives of children in countries as far away as Malawi may seem pie-in-the-sky and what-does-this-have-to-do-with-me, but here's the thing: in one of those classrooms may sit a future engineer or researcher or doctor who solves a human problem that benefits all of us. You never know.

4. "LIKE" my wife's facebook page for her book Possible Futures: Creative Thinking For The Speed of Life. Its free! There is new content every day. Food for thought...

5. Learn about: The Arts In The Armed Forces (AITAF) an organization created "to bridge the gap between the military and the performing arts communities by producing a series of free performances, under the structure of monologues and jazz, for a mixed military and civilian audience." In honor of Veteran's Day, for example, the AITAF hosted a free performance of monologues and jazz at the American Airlines Theater in New York City for men and women of the military and their families. Material is chosen for events like this "with an eye to what might speak to this particular audience, without being exclusively war-themed or focused." Nonprofit Uniting Soldiers and Performers in Common Cause" by Leonard Jacobs

6. Read: "The Spike and Other Improv Lessons" about improvisation as warm-up. "For me, improv is all about firing up parts of the mind and imagination in new ways," states Mark Rylance, currently appearing on Broadway in Le Bete, Tony-award winner for Boeing! Boeing!. "When you do improv you often inevitably start with an old feeling of boundaries and fear, of a sense that there's a right way to do things - and one point of improv is to try a new way that might not be quite right." "The Spike And Other Improv Lessons" by Patrick Healy

7. Celebrate the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell!! Hug a soldier and don't ask them who they go home to at night.

8. Practice peace in your heart.

9. Pray that we find a way to outlaw war. We can do better.

10. All of the above.

Nicholas Wolff's weekly training group in experiential and action methods for professional therapists, counselors and educators resumes on Wednesday January 19, 2011. Contact him at 631-366-4265 or


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