The Book
I created this book to help my clients clarify for themselves and then for others what they mean by what they say.  As an extension of my work over the years, I have written a number of articles about some of the more commonly misunderstood words and ideas over which my clients were having conflict.

The Blessing of Language?
Although our human language is clearly a blessing in many ways, it can itself become a barrier to good communication.  Words can provide understanding, intimacy and the ability to achieve commonly shared goals, but they can also produce confusion, hostility and painful consequences when used inappropriately or irresponsibly.

The Words We Use
You will find that, in this book, my basic approach to defining a word will be somewhat different from that used in a standard dictionary.  A typical dictionary, out of necessity, must usually limit a word’s definition to a brief, generally accepted meaning and then provide synonyms and antonyms of that word, along with some examples of how the word can be used in a sentence.  For my purposes, I will define a word or explain a concept so that it can be more completely understood and thus more effectively applied in everyday life.  I have found that providing a more thorough description of a word or idea is usually more helpful for real-world use than a technical vocabulary definition.

Definitions for the Real-World
Some chapters fit specifically within the book’s title.  They “define” a particular word, such as selfishness or forgiveness, and expand on the working definition to make it a usable concept for real-world relationships.  Other chapters are included, not so much to define a concept as to provide additional skills for relating well to others. 

A Resource to Understanding
You will not have to read this book from front to back to find it useful.  Think of it as a resource to be used on a “need to know” basis.  Feel free to pick and choose those topics that are relevant for you at any given time. The issues discussed in these chapters have consistently been among the more difficult for many of my clients to understand and which they say have been most helpful to them in their therapy. 

I hope you will find Definitions for Living helpful in your daily communication and in the building of effective relationships with others, both personally and professionally.

Making Sense of Words and Ideas
that Define Our Lives



"Words can provide
understanding, intimacy and the ability to achieve commonly shared goals, but they can also produce confusion, hostility and painful consequences when used inappropriately or irresponsibly."
– Roy Austin, PhD
Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Each chapter in “Definitions for Living” deals with a different aspect of communication and can be read in whatever order suits your interest. Each chapter is full of practical tips that can make life and relationships more satisfying in fulfilling.

Introduction

Introduction

This section lays out what “Definitions for Living” is all about. It makes the case for just how important effective communication is to overall happiness. Language can be a blessing or a curse depending on how well you know how to use it.

Chapter 6

Chapter 6 (sample)

This is just one of the chapters of “Definitions for Living” that offers concrete advice on how to deal with life’s challenges. Chapter 6 shows you ten ways that you can disarm and protect yourself against the verbal punches that come your way.