Theory and Practice


I’ve never really believed in fate. Things happen when they happen, and I’ve never really put much stock in a celestial pattern behind it all.

But sometimes, like the Rolling Stones said, you get what you need.

I was driving home to see my friends and family for Christmas. Then my alignment failed and I slid off the road and into the median, scraping up the side of my car and leaving me with two front wheels that pointed in two different directions. On its own it wasn’t that bad, except this was the second Christmas in a row that something like this had happened. I was more than a little upset. I doubt many of my clients would’ve recognized me from the colorful language coming out of my mouth that night as I hobbled into the nearest mechanic.

I used a number of coping skills that night to keep my head on my shoulders. Though, in the moment all I felt was brimstone and hell-fire, I finally got a chance to practice what I preach.

I often tell my clients that it is important to practice in the real world what they learn in session. As I am quick to point out, it is easy to talk about using a coping skill. It is another thing entirely to put it into practice. I needed a taste of my own medicine, and the universe obliged, as it tends to do.

It’s easy to tell other people what to do. I often wonder if I have any right to assume the things I know could possibly apply to someone else’s problems. Having gone through this recent ordeal, however, I feel vindicated. I survived using the same tools I teach my clients. An “I told you so” moment if ever I’ve had one.

That, I think is the difference between theory and practice. Anyone can tell you what to do. There’s a special power in doing it yourself first. Maybe that’s the trick.


  1. Very insightful. Sometimes things happen that are beyond your control. When you can accept that, deal with it, and overcome it, you are an adult.