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Who’s Talking Now, The Owl or the Crocodile?

October 24, 2012

In today’s high stress, fast paced world, our relationships with spouses, children and others may be the most difficult and important things we deal with! My name is Dr. Seymour Boorstein M.D.  I am a practicing psychiatrist and for over fifty years I have been helping people deal with their relationship problems.

Early on, I began to notice that most, if not all, of the issues in relationship problems can ultimately be traced back to inner fear.  But fear is not always a bad thing.  For instance, if you are driving down the street and a small child runs out in front of your car, you want your fear to impel you to slam on the brakes quickly. This is perhaps our most ancient of emotions and has served all animals well throughout history. This emotional reaction stems from the limbic part of our brain, sometimes referred to as our reptilian brain. This part of our brain reacts very quickly when frightened.

However, most of the time in relationships, this quick reaction time can get us into trouble. If your partner in a relationship, whether spouse, child, co-worker, etc., says or does something to anger or annoy you, an immediate fear-based, quick response may cause more damage than if you had taken some time to calmly and rationally deal with the situation. The part of the brain which operates more slowly and rationally is called the cortical brain.

If we can learn to control which part of our brain is responding to the situation, then we can begin to heal damaged relationships. To help my patients understand these concepts I invented the characters of the “Crocodile,” our limbic reptilian brain, and the “Owl,” our loving and wise cortical brain.

Over the years I had so much success with these characters that I decided to write a book with these tools for the general public. Instead of a heavy, serious self-help book, I chose to use a whimsical, color-illustrated humorous approach so that people would have a fun time reading about it and putting these helpful concepts into practice in their relationships.

The book Who’s Talking Now, The Owl or the Crocodile? uses real-life stories about couples facing problems in their relationships and how they have used the tools I present to get to the root of their fear issues, thus gently resolving these issues so that all parties involved may benefit.


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