“Keynotes” are my brief comments about life and recovery and are intended to provide insight, inspiration, wisdom or humor to your day.

“Feeling the Pulse” refers to our ability to be empathetic and feel the feelings of another person, whether they live in our house, work alongside us in our job or referee our child’s sports game; basically anyone that we may encounter on a daily basis.

I’ve noticed that when I take my fingers off the pulse or wrist of another and in effect lose their heartbeat, then I’ve been prone to respond in word or deed insensitively, cold or worst, I may not even think about the other person at all. When I’ve done this, its led to some messy and regrettable situations that I’ve had to clean up when I “relocated the pulse” of the other and realized they were painfully impacted by my disconnect.

So what does feeling the pulse look like? It looks like asking yourself…

  1. What am I feeling and what’s gotten under my skin that’s causing me to feel this way?
  2. Based on what I feel, what’s the best way to convey my feelings to others?
  3. Is what I’m about to say going to bring me closer to or further away from what I want to accomplish with the other person?
  4. Is what I’m about to say or do going to help or harm the other person?
  5. Would I want what I’m about to say said to me in the same tone and manner?
  6. What’s the ripple effect here? How might my wife, son, daughter, co-worker or employee be impacted by my words and actions?
  7. If I want to give “unsolicited feedback” to someone else that I may be angry with, are my fingers on his/her pulse, which helps me to consider their feelings and how they may be impacted by what I’m about to say? 
  8. Am I comfortable with how I managed the encounter? If not, what “clean up” work do I need to do immediately? 

Pausing and briefly asking yourself these questions may determine if you continue to feel a strong heartbeat or a faint one in the life of another. Keep working to ensure that you feel the pulse of others!

Dr Ken McGill 

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About Dr Ken McGill

Dr. Ken McGill is an ordained minister and has been involved in counseling for more than 25 years. Dr. McGill holds a Bachelor's degree in Religion from Pacific Christian College (now Hope International University), a Certificate of Completion in the Alcohol and Drug Studies/Counseling Program from the University of California at Los Angeles and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University. Dr. McGill received his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Family Psychology from Azusa Pacific University in May, 2003. Dr. McGill's dissertation focused on the development of an integrated treatment program for the sexually addicted homeless population, and Ken was "personally mentored" by dissertation committee member Dr. Patrick Carnes, a pioneer in the field of sex addiction work. Dr. McGill authored a chapter in the text The Clinical Management of Sex Addiction, with his chapter addressing the homeless and sex addiction. Dr. McGill is also a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the States of Texas and California and Mississippi, and is a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist, through the International Institute for Trauma and Addictive Professionals (IITAP). Dr. McGill had a private practice in Glendora, CA (Aspen Counseling Center), Inglewood, CA (Faithful Central Bible Church), and Hattiesburg, MS (River of Life Church), specializing in the following areas with individuals, couples, families, groups and psychoeducational training: addictions and recovery, pre-marital, marital and family counseling, issues related to traumatization and abuse, as well as depression, grief, loss, anger management and men's and women's issues. Dr. McGill also provided psychotherapeutic treatment with Student-Athletes on the University of Southern Mississippi Football and Men's Basketball teams. Dr. McGill served as the Director of the Gentle Path Program, which is a seven-week residential program, for people who are challenged with sexual addiction, sexual anorexia, and relationship issues. Dr. McGill also supervised Doctoral students in the Southern Mississippi Psychology Internship Consortium with the University of Southern Mississippi. Dr. McGill was inducted into the Azusa Pacific University Academic Hall of Honor, School of Behavioral and Applied Sciences, in October, 2010. Dr. McGill currently works as a Private practice clinician with an office in Plano, Texas, providing treatment with people who are challenged in the areas mentioned above.

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