A Note from Arlene

Arlene Harder

Welcome to the Support4Change Blog!

I have had a continuous online presence for more than sixteen years with four websites, the last of which was Support4Change. Now I am in the process of bringing many of my previous articles here to my blog.

If you would like to learn more about me, please visit my bio page. If you would like to subscribe to my newsletter, you can do so here.


Diversions for You and Your Friends

If you are a subscriber to the Support4Change Newsletter, this is the newsletter you will receive today, February 27, 2017. For more features and articles by Arlene, be sure to subscribe.

Diversions for You and Your Friends is a new feature of the blog, which will appear every Monday.

6444-balloon-what%27s-up-4-x-3We all know that life has its ups and downs. When we’re up, we don’t pay much attention to our good fortune.

However, when we run into physical or emotional trouble, which is part and parcel of the human condition, our thoughts cannot help but focus on our problems. It may be a child who is addicted to drugs or is failing school. A husband may announce he wants a divorce. We may need to help an aging parent. Added to these situations, bills may threaten to pull the rug out from under any security we thought we had. Read More

Common Sources of Vitality

Explore a method for using images and symbols connected to sources of healing and strength in order to become more vibrant and healthy

When was the last time you thought about the miracle of your body? If you’re like most of us, you don’t pay a lot of attention to it unless it complains. When our body is going about its business, keeping us functioning from day to day, we don’t stop to consider how wonderful it is, nor do we think about all the ways our bodies are supported by simple things we do.

However, in working with clients, and in my own experience, I’ve learned that paying attention to these resources increases the impact they can have on one’s sense of vitality. And since your physical well-being is connected to your emotional, mental and spiritual well-being, by paying greater attention to these aspects of your life, not only will you reinforce your body’s natural healing mechanism when that is needed, but your mental faculties will improve and your spirit will be lifted. Read More

Transformation Now! (or maybe later) 

Explore how we progress toward change by negotiating five discrete stages, from our “comfort zone” to a place where we are able to maintain momentum for change.

In the January/February 2002 edition of Psychotherapy Networker there is an article by the name I’ve given this title. It appeared in a feature called “From Research to Practice” and discussed a large cross-sectional study of 3,000 people. What they found was very interesting. We generally do not enter therapy to actively resolve our problems, reduce our symptoms and retool our lives. Rather, we tend to negotiate five discrete stages as we progress toward change. Read More

When I Am Gone

This poem of the world we leave behind can encourage us to take good care of the earth for future generations.


If the Portuguese sailors on Mauritius in 1600 could see into the future, they would have hesitated before wiping out those queer dodo birds. But our lifespans fit into no more than 70 or 80 or 90 years.

Had they been able to visualize the need for their descendants to see these delightfully incongruous birds alive, they might have saved a few for us. But one of the reasons we are short-sighted is because our lives are relatively short. Thus we are predisposed to focus only on what is happening during our lifespan and are short-sighted because our lives are relatively short. We are predisposed to focus only on what is happening during those 70 or 80 or 90 years from our birth to our death. Read More

The Marriage Contract Game

If you are having a conflict with your spouse, it may be time to look at the expectations of your invisible marriage contract.

Chess king and pawns.jpgAs noted in last week’s post, Marriage’s Invisible Contract, when we agree to marry or to live together, we all have expectations concerning what we’re willing to give our partner, as well as what we want to get from him or her. Whether verbalized or not, these assumptions fall into three general categories that frequently are sources of marital and personal trouble if they aren’t understood by both people.

You can play the Marriage Contract Game by printing two copies of this page and having each of you look carefully through the sample statements and questions, exploring which ones are part of what you each believe is in your contract. Especially notice the ones about which you feel strongly, as they are ones most likely to cause trouble if they conflict with the expectations of your partner. Read More