Thursday, June 22, 2017

Courageous Resilience & Creative Risk-Taking (CR2): The Art of Designing Disorder

The Stress Doc reflects on his Five Stage Courageous Resilience and Creative Risk-Taking Path with both a “Resiliency Rap” and essay.  The stages are:
1.  First an Agenda…Then into the Arena
2.  Aware-ily Jump in Over Your Head
3.  Strive to Survive the High Dive
4.  Thrive On "Thrustration"…Incubate to Illuminate
5.  Design for Escape, Error, Evaluation…and Creative Collaboration

Enjoy!  MG

Courageous Resilience & Creative Risk-Taking (CR2):
The Art of Designing Disorder

In the 1980s, my “Creative Risk-Taking” path certainly epitomized the paradoxical mantra of the head of a New Orleans law firm:  Strive High and Embrace Failure.  (Examples being trying to turn a mystical Mandala moment into a doctoral dissertation and fairly soon after dropping out of my doctoral program – “when academic flashdancing whirled to a burnout tango” – breaking into Cable Television, with no prior industry experience.)  Though at that tender age in my existential journey, it was less embrace and more “hold on for dear life.”  I was striving and failing yet living and learning at the creative edge.  (In fact, one thing I gleaned from my Cox Cable Chaos:  The only thing more dangerous than taking a big risk or not taking any risk…is taking a risk while minimizing the precarious reality of the situation.  See below essay, “Creative Risk-Taking:  The Art of Designing Disorder.”  It is an upgrade of an essay originally penned shortly after my two season TV run ended.)

And immediately below is a “Resiliency Rap” that reflects an almost four-decade journey whose primary goal has been to develop “courageous resilience and creative risk-taking” (CR2) muscles.  Actually, I’ve jumped into another learning curve encounter.  I’ve been reviewing some of my raps and rhymes with the goal of turning them into less abstract and more accessible offerings.  It becomes a dialogue with an earlier version of your own self.  But this time I’m conscious of wanting to further explore and develop my “Dr. Seuss of Stress for Adults (and kids of all ages)” voice.  So, the goal is pairing catchy rhythm with accessible language, bringing to the screen thought-provoking ideas and emotionally compelling images.  Would love to hear your thoughts on whether for you it works or not.  To more good adventures.  MG

Courageous Resilience & Creative Risk-Taking (CR2):
The Art of Designing Disorder

Preamble Trio:
1) The New “R and R”
2) Hide or Seek
3) Failing…Flying

The New “R and R”
Resilience and Risk
The new “R and R”
Where effort and pluck
With guidance and luck
Help you stretch and stick
Even when feeling stuck.
In this life to go far
Forsake the shooting star.
Never, ever pass the buck…
Better slog through the muck! 

Hide or Seek
You’ve been tossed aside
And question your berth
From reaping and sowing
Which way’s the wind blowing?
Will you choose to hide
In a mask of false pride?
Or still walk this earth
With the tide ebb and flowing?
All the time knowing
Not a clue where you’re going…
Sure, find a guide
But there’s still no free ride
For only you can decide
To fight for self-worth!

Is failing shameful?
Or a chance to learn
The purpose of painful
Life and living
To be forgiving
Perhaps even playful
If not successful, then
A point where you turn
To a shoulder graceful
A hug for the vulnerable
Opens Yin/Yang mindful
So “Right-Wrong” perceiving
Last gasp “achieving”
Just more self-deceiving.
Push back on the rabble
Release your time table
Till mythical flow grieving
Seeds magical conceiving:
Look, up in the sky…a Phoenix is believing!

Five Stages of the New "R and R" – Resilience and Risk-Taking

The first thought reading "risk-taking":
Getting married or bungee jumping?
Or cold sweats from public speaking?
(Is there a Xanax for the asking?)
Add "creative" to the edgy border:
It's "The Art of Designing Disorder!"

Sure, spend time on mission and goal
But the biggest fear:  losing control.
Before you leap without a net…
Build up your "T 'n T" asset:
Bring a "Tough 'n Tender" mindset!

Risk-taking, Risk-taking
Why are my legs still shaking?
Creative Risk-Taking
Will this be my unmasking?

1.  First an Agenda…Then into the Arena

Why must dark clouds of discontent
Electrify a mind hell bent
Before brain bolt is heaven sent?
One never breaks out of a rut
With "b.s." (be safe) chorus of, "Yes, but."

Climb upon a pregnant stage
Can one give birth at any age?
Let "why not?" be the dawn outrage.
Is it time:  the hero's journey?
To be contrary…now that's scary!

Risk-taking, Risk-taking
What will you be forsaking?
Creative Risk-Taking
Bring on the crazy-making?

2.  Aware-ily Jump in Over Your Head

Take the plunge; eyes wild and wide
Set book knowledge to the side
For Wonderland's dopamine ride.
Are you in flight or stage fright freezing?
It's passion-play…deep breaths, keep breathing.

Crisis mode; now high alarm
Go ahead, just take my arm
(Unless you have a lucky charm?)
Still, better do an inventory
Own your defects; no need for sorry.

Risk-taking, Risk-taking
Is your false pride a-quaking?
Creative Risk-Taking
Don't get tied to burnout staking.

3.  Strive to Survive the High Dive

Time to face your "Intimate FOE":
Fear of Exposure, oh no, oh no!
The Big Q:  Shall I stay or shall I go?
To "b.s." or not to "b.s."?
“No Pain…No Gain” for real success.

The formula to grow stronger:
Not black or white, “I’m right, you’re wronger”
But, Strive High…Embrace Failure!
Repetition with reflection…
Still, when soaring sans direction
Beware Icarus ** perspiration!

Risk-taking, Risk-taking
Is it a vision speaking?
Creative Risk-Taking
Or hallucination needing tweaking?

**  Icarus - in Greek mythology, son of Daedalus who, employing his father’s invention – wings of feather and wax – lost his life daring to fly too near the sun

4.  Thrive On "Thrustration"…Incubate to Illuminate

When ideas just won't unite
Your fishing line can't get a bite
Let conscious mind drift out of sight.
Volcanic dreams spark lava light.
Perhaps it’s finally time to huddle
Cold concepts too need chance to cuddle.

Forget willpower resolution
When torn between thrust and frustration
Try an incubation vacation:
Some subterranean obsession
For that newly hatched creation.
Let go to flow into your Zen
Up there…”Aha”:  rainbow horizon!

Risk-taking, Risk-taking
Surprise stops brain juice slaking.
Creative Risk-Taking
Now you’re the news that’s breaking!

5.  Design for Escape, Error, Evaluation…and Creative Collaboration

You unearthed the link; crawled through the cave
Survived the dark heart craze and crave.
It’s time to think outside the maze
To set some hollowed truths ablaze.
Now find a kindred-vexing view…one who
Makes the “strange familiar,” the opposite, too.
Like Lennon-McCartney and the Powers of Two. **
Still never forget:  To thine own self be true!

** Joshua Shenk, Powers of Two:  Finding the Essence of Innovation in Creative Pairs, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014

Through trial, error, and appraisal
Endless duels of angel and devil
Let you mine those sacred symbols.
Mystic silence…out of body travel
Now reveals the archetypal
Mandala ** vision of the soul
Spirit voice from a black hole
Are we ready?   Let's Rock and Roll!

**  Mandala - Sanskrit for "magic circle"; a meditative tool/artistic structure often revealing: a) a geometric – concentric and symmetric – patterning with a focal or centering point, b) a North-South, East-West axis, and c) an image of synthesis, signifying a higher or sacred “Self.”  Akin to an India rug pattern or the unfolding petals of a flower, for the pioneering psychoanalyst, Carl Jung, the Mandala was a cross-cultural symbol or archetype of the collective unconscious depicting psychological wholeness or his concept of "individuation," that is, psychic – persona and shadow, conscious and unconscious – integration.  Email for more information.


On this "Resilience and "Risk” voyage
An ongoing “Word Artist” passage
Often with a mercurial message:
Not "means to an end" nor a quest "one and done"…
Not when nightmare daze blocked a child’s sun…
Still, battles once lost may now be rerun
And the memory web can be respun
As the wheel of choice for “R and R” madhouse fun.
Oh, will you resist that old urge to run?

© Mark Gorkin  2015/17
Shrink Rap ™ Productions

Friday, June 16, 2017

Who Says “There’s No ‘I’ in Team”?: Diversity-Driven Team Performance

Reflecting on a military study, the Stress Doc analyzes the contrast in performance between demographically homogeneous and diverse teams.  And he tops off the essay with a lively “Resiliency Rap.”  Enjoy!  MG

Who Says “There’s No ‘I’ in Team”?:  Diversity-Driven Team Performance

Decades back, I read about a Naval research project involving submarine personnel.  The study examined the differences in small-group problem-solving performance between demographically homogeneous versus diverse teams. (This study was run before women were integrated into submarine service.)  Invariably, while taking more time to reach consensus, the diverse groups generated more creative problem-solving outcomes.  Why would this be?

Actually, homogeneous groups were able to reach a solution more quickly.  Isn’t that a benefit?  In a critical or crisis situation, when time is of the essence and all perspectives cannot be weighed, rapidly getting on the same page may provide an advantage.  However, when multifaceted insights and unanticipated problem-solving tactics and strategies are freely in play, then good surprises may happen:  a “helmets off” or “no rank in the room” climate that encourages input from all, (I know, I’m mixing military headgear if not metaphors), novel approaches emerge, there’s greater breadth and depth in questions and analysis, viewpoint-expanding conflict from challenging the conventional, time for disagreement and dialogue, even some off-the-beaten-path discoveries, all provide a “survival of the fittest” edge. 

Problem-Solving Barriers and Bridges

Because the homogeneous groups reached agreement quickly, perhaps, prematurely, they tended not to stretch their minds and answers beyond familiar, “tried and true” problem-solving territory.  According to Joshua Shenk, author of Powers of Two:  Finding the Essence of Innovation in Creative Pairs, “When members of a group look at situations the same way, and fail to appreciate difficulties coming down the pike, loyalty and devotion can outstrip independent thinking.”  Or as I once penned, “There may be no ‘I’ in team…but there are two ‘I’s in WINNING!”  And these “I”s can “C”:  in mutually reinforcing fashion, “Winning Teams” blend Individual Creativity and Interactive Community.  With Yin-Yang design flow, the Individual Creative pushes the Interactive Community to make the familiar strange; the Interactive Collective pushes the Individual Creative to make the strange familiar.  (More elaboration below.)

In contrast to the homogeneous, diverse groups first had to spend more time recognizing and understanding different motivations and assumptions, hidden agendas and biases.  Accounting for multiple points of view, the team had to design a more varied and complex operational mind map, as it were.  (Of course, there’s always the possibility that excessive conflict consumes too much time or results in a breakdown of communication, subverting the problem-solving process.  An inability to agree upon forest from trees not only exhausts energy, but can lead to a sense of being lost.  Perhaps because of their prior training, in this study, the diverse teams mostly circumvented such traps.)

One might say the diverse problem-solving milieu fostered “getting raw (as in raw and open beginner) and getting real.”  Then, wrestling with difference challenged teams to expand both their problem-defining arena as well as problem-solving tools, rules, and strategies.  From a high task perspective, positively grappling with conflict reaffirms the exploratory value of uncertainty and sharing; from a human touch vantage point, the yield is increased camaraderie and trust. I’ll call this high task-human touch pairing productive team synergy.  Yes, the “whole is greater (less conventional and/or more original) than the sum of its parts.”  That is, the enriched and unexpected communication among the parts, gets teams operating out of the box.  But, in addition, an optimal level of conflict and collaboration, leading to a real-time successful outcome, often achieves magic:  The parts have potential to become partners!

Endings and Beginnings

Finally, diversity is not only found in groups or teams.  As I am presently rediscovering, “dyadic diversity” also can generate synergetic problem-solving and partnership-performance punch.  Actually, the aforementioned read, Powers of Two:  Finding the Essence of Innovation in Creative Pairs, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014, provides potent illustration:  “The heart of creative connection is the felicitous and complementary combination of the familiar and the strange” (e.g., as noted earlier, the paradoxical aphorism, make the strange familiar, the familiar strange).  “The individuals in great dyads will be very much different and very much alike.  (Think John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Shenk’s prototypic example.  Lennon tempered McCartney’s tendency for soppy romanticism, while McCartney helped soften Lennon’s angry, hard-edge.)  These simultaneous extremes generate the deep rapport and energizing friction that defines a creative pair.”  I particularly like this line from Shenk:  We need similarities to give us ballast and differences to make us move.

And in a subsequent essay, I will illustrate recent partnerships helping provide both project focus and the opportunity for moving and exploring the creative potential of dyadic diversity.  But in closing, a revised rhythm and rhyme “Resiliency Rap” proclaiming the potency of individual voice and vital diversity or IC2Individual Creativity x Interactive Community – Teams.  Enjoy!  MG

Who Says “There’s No ‘I’ in Team”?

Do you ever want to scream
When you hear that tired theme?
Or see the poster in your dreams?
There is no “I” in team!

Of course, you need to check EGO
As you relate with sis and bro
But please, tell me it ain’t so:
Who needs an “I” for us to flow?
Groupthink makes it all mellow.

There’s no “I” in our team!

A group requires but one mind
Even if a little blind.
Leave complexity behind.
Just fall in line with the group grind!

No “I” in team means no brainstorming:
Revere (or fear) the one all-knowing.
And this is only the beginning…
But wait…an “aha” has me grinning:
Look…two “I”s in the word “WINNING!”

Who needs an “I” in team!

Marching to a different drum
No “hurry up, just get it done.”
Jazz riff bands now on the run
Still, keep fighting…Here Comes the Sun!

Crews that live by give and take
Despite ideas that seem half-baked
Are ones that learn from their mistakes
So, take those lead feet off the brake
To leave “No ‘I’ teams” in your wake!

I scream, you scream
Maybe there’s an “I” in team!

Open channels make all smarter
No superheroes or those martyrs.
Factions work a little harder
If not just “parts” but truly “partners.”

When heads do battle with their sighs
And conflict clears the darkened skies…
“Whole greater than its parts” surprise:
For parts that sing shall make wholes wise
A kaleidoscopic enterprise!

Can we be a diverse team?
I scream, you scream
We all design our own team!

© Mark Gorkin  2015/17

Shrink Rap ™ Productions

Mark Gorkin, MSW, LICSW, "The Stress Doc" ™, a nationally acclaimed speaker, writer, and "Psychohumorist" ™, is a founding partner and Stress Resilience and Trauma Debriefing Consultant for the Nepali Diaspora Behavioral Health & Wellness Initiative. Current Leadership Coach/Training Consultant for the international Embry-Riddle Aeronautics University at the Daytona, FL headquarters. A former Stress and Violence Prevention Consultant for the US Postal Service, he has led numerous Pre-Deployment Stress Resilience-Humor-Team Building Retreats for the US Army. Presently Mark does Critical Incident Debriefing for organizational/corporate clients of Business Health Services. The Doc is the author of Practice Safe Stress, The Four Faces of Anger, and Preserving Human Touch in a High-Tech World. Mark’s award-winning, USA Today Online "HotSite" – – was called a "workplace resource" by National Public Radio (NPR). For more info, email:

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

TRUTH Speak & the Stress Doc ™ Light Up the BRITE Internet Radio/Facebook Screen

TRUTH Speak & the Stress Doc ™ Light Up the BRITE Internet Radio/Facebook Screens in their June 9th partnership debut grappling with the challenge of "Communication between the Sexes."

Link to Pics and the Facebook Livestream

Evelyn Whitney, author of TRUTH Speak, and Mark Gorkin, the Stress Doc, author of Practice Safe Stress and The Four Faces of Anger, with lively host, Marty Chappell, bring awareness, provocative discussion, and "Aha" humor to the challenges of communication between (and within) the sexes.

The hour flies by, as do the quips, quotes, and powerful insights. I know you will enjoy this offering. MG

Seek the higher power of Stress Doc humor: May the Farce Be with You!

Don't miss your appointment with TRUTH Speak and the Stress Doc.


Evelyn Whitney, author of TRUTH Speak: Some Real Reasons Men and Women Can’t/Don’t Communicate, and Mark Gorkin, LICSW, the Stress Doc ™, are pairing up on Brite Radio .

The dynamic duo will be on The Marty & Katina Show, this Friday, June 9th at 7pm.

Evelyn and Mark will draw on both professional and personal experience, she as a Human Resource/Computer Science/Customer Service Expert and the Doc as a therapist (as well as a long-time student of therapy) and Psychohumorist ™. (He lets the audience decide where the emphasis on that word should go.)
Mark is also the author of Practice Safe Stress: Healing and Laughing in the Face of Stress, Burnout & Depression and The Four Faces of Anger: Transforming Hostility and Rage into Assertion and Passion.

In this lively and insightful hour:

Ø Discover the distractions, habits, and your emotional baggage that cloud, confuse, and corrupt the communication process
Ø Recognize how societal pressure/rules and gender assumptions become culprits in breaking down honest communication and intimate connection
Ø Gain tools and techniques for assessing your communication style, substance, and strategy
Ø Learn to take the dys out of “dysfunction” and the dis out of “disrespect”

Don’t miss your appointment with TRUTH Speak and the Stress Doc!

Two Stress Doc ditties:

Tenaci-Tea for Two: The Narcissist's Version

You for me and me for me
Oh how nurturing you will be.
Forget "to be or not to be"
Just simply think of Me, Me, Me!

Losing It…Resting It

You may think I’m at a loss
Not having you as a boss.
But when it’s just me
Not us or you…
Please, do not tell me what to do.

Even when you “know what’s best”
(Though never quite put to the test)
Let me flounder; wait...still better
A request: Geez, Louise…Just let it rest!

© Mark Gorkin 2014
Shrink Rap ™ Productions

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Anger “R & R”: Disarming Rage, Defusing Hostility, and Deflating the Bully -- Collection III

Last week and…this is my time of “Anger”:

1) Great video promo of Four Faces of Anger Stress Doc/Sovereign Health Centers webinar
2) “Outstanding webinar” (email for PPt Slides)
3) And a new Stress Doc ™ collection of Anger “R & R”:  (Shrink) Raps & Rhymes! (see collection following webinar material)

1) A great video promo for my “Four Faces of Anger:  Model & Method for Disarming Aggression and Conflict” Webinar for Sovereign Health Treatment Centers Breaking Attendance Records:  Over 600 Sign Ups

5 Minute Video getting "super awesome reviews":  synergistic blend of Stress Doc word artistry and Sovereign Health Group digital technology.

2) A great webinar:  “Please accept our sincere appreciation for the outstanding presentation you made to the Sovereign Health webinar; it was all time successful webinar! as we had highest number of registrations i.e. 622, and highest engagement till date. You have been the most astonishing Webinar speaker so far.”  SV, Sovereign Sr. Marketing Executive

You can request a copy of the free webinar: 
Shruti Vashisht
Sr. Marketing Executive |

Sovereign Health Group/Treatment Centers, HQ'd in San Clemente, CA; 1-hour Webinar on "Four Faces of Anger: Model & Method for Disarming Aggression and Conflict; highest number of registrations i.e. 622, and highest engagement till date.

May 17, 2017

Greetings Mark,
We are grateful for the time and effort you took to share your thoughts and experiences with our audience. The audience attentiveness was also very high. People are excited to watch your presentation on our website.
However, we are working on the webinar recording, so once it gets ready, I’ll share it with you. The points, which you covered, were so interesting that it has opened our eyes as well as minds. We will definitely incorporate the same in our daily lives. Your lively speaking style blends humor and researched conclusions well - it enabled our audience to remember several of your key points.

Judging from the comments of those who attended, the webinar was very successful!
I, once again, would like to express my sincerest gratitude towards you for such a commendable job and hope to get a chance to hear such motivational speeches from you in the future.
Many Thanks

Sr. Marketing Executive

Plot No: 78, 4th Floor, Sector-44 | Gurgaon | Haryana | 122002
Office: 91-124-416-6400 Ext 238 | Mobile: +91 981-021-8296

Sovereign Health Group Treatment Locations
Serving Adults, Adolescents, and Families
San Clemente, CA - Culver City, CA - Palm Springs, CA
San Diego, CA - Chandler, AZ - Fort Myers, FL - Delta, UT
Office: 888-889-1157

3) Anger “R & R”

Fast Food for Thought for a Digital Age:  Collection Three
Anger “R and R”:  Raps and Rhymes – Disarming Rage, Defusing Hostility, and Deflating the Bully

Anger! That double-edged power source. It's the high-octane emotion for blazing performance and for igniting a legitimate grievance. Yet, when it's bottled up we smolder away; when we erupt, it may engulf us. And, when we are the target of a volatile flamethrower, there will be scars.

Bullies, Bullies Everywhere
(Oh Where Is There a Shrink?)

How many bully types
Can you start to name?
All those shapes and stripes…
Seeking targets for mind games.

Know-it-alls and demons
Stalking you at work.
Can’t wipe out their venom
Just muttering, “You jerk!”

For they will tease and taunt
Get underneath your skin.
Your dreams they too will haunt…
Oh, where do you begin?

Bully for you, Bully for Me
It’s time for your third degree
Bully for Me, Bully for you
Why are you turning so blue?

Let’s give them a label
Let us expose their rear –
The mean and the miserable
Craving status and your fear.

They’re sharks in the water
Smelling beads of oozing blood
Preying on the weaker
To quench a power-hungry mood.

First the “HE Man” Nation
All those lusting for control.
Driven by H…“Humiliation”
And by E(2)…the “Empty” x “Envy” Fraternity
Trapped in a Type A-hole.

Next the “Savior” SHE Hound
Could be dudette or a dude
Ever bossing you around
Of course, for your own good!

Bully for you, Bully for Me
victim or Victor…can’t you see
Bully for Me, Bully for you
As long as you give Me my due.

There’s the one “Too BIG to Fire”
She shakes the money tree.
The top dogs give her a flyer and
Brown nose this mighty SHE.

The “Critical Aggressor”
Needs an “Approval Addict.”
They dance affixed together –
Codependent rules so strict.

Finally found your “Mr. Right”
You searched for nights and days
Who knew he’d be so uptight
With a first name of “Always!”  **

The “Explosive Flasher”
With face flame-throwing red.
A “blame-aholic” boozer:
To lose is to be dead!

Bully for you, Bully for Me
Now here’s My final decree
Bully for Me, Bully for you
Go find one to bully, too!

The “Hollywood Strong Silent Man”
With those big broad shoulders
For him to be strong…You be silent, ma’am!
Just watch him seethe and smolder.

Composed on the outside
On razor’s edge within:
The “Dr. Jekyl-Mr. Hyde”
Backstabs with a Cheshire grin!

Mr. “Hostile Humor’s”
Trail of tears scarcasm.
A serial abuser
Joking off…his orgasm!

These bulbs on the bully tree
Have two things in common:
“The World Evolves Around Me”
And there’s but one opinion:

[For these last lines to ring most true
Sing it just like “Tea for Two”]

You for Me and Me for Me
Oh how nurturing you will be.
Forget “To be or not to be”…
Just simply think of ME, ME, ME!

** (Can’t recall the name of the female comic from whom I head the “Always” punchline)

© Mark Gorkin  2015
Shrink Rap ™ Productions

HE Men and SHE Men

Know any HE Men – one of those strong silent types
Who hide feelings behind all kinds of stripes?
The “H” is for Humiliation, the “E” for Emptiness
Don’t expect ventilation; you’re asking them to undress!
Alas, for this one to be strong, you must be silent…
A small price to pay:  appeasing the violent!   ;-(

Next are the SHE Men – martyrs and Saviors
So quick with an “Amen” when providing their favors.
Of course, expecting rewards for “selfless” behaviors.
But when feeling ignored, start rattling their sabers.
Not to play favorites as I rant and rail:
HE Men and SHE Men may be male or female!

© Mark Gorkin  2015
Shrink Rap ™ Productions

“I” vs “You” Messaging

“You’re wrong!”; “I disagree”
Two words…yet it’s easy to see
Affirming “I”s show civility
Blaming “You”s blow hostility!
The “You” messenger’s mode is often attack
Learn to get this mad monkey off of your back.

Let go of tit-for-tat or “get even” rumor
Instead, perhaps, some subtle cutting-edge humor?

“It’s all your fault”; “You drive me crazy!”
Sounds like an assault from a mind that is lazy.
Do not be shy, here’s one good reply –
Looking eye to eye…with tone a tad dry:
“Time after time, I know you have said it…
Alas, you still give me way too much credit.”

© Mark Gorkin 2017
Shrink Rap ™ Productions

It’s a Long Way from Heaven
When a leader avoids the smoking baggage
How great the group fear of collateral damage?
Does toxic anger have most walking on shells?
Are you entrapped in the office from hell?
Whether explosive, dismissive, or silently passive
Can a culture survive when folks are submissive?

It’s a long way from heaven when duplicity-driven
By gossip, back-stabbin, and sneaky enmity
Has it become the trusty trident trinity?
24/7, 24/7
Whatever happened to heart & soul livin?

One no longer grasps the depth of the scam:
“I am as important as I think I am!”
Well known for all-consuming virtue
Is towering ego now a bronzed statue?
Naturally, forever erect…
As others must humbly genuflect.

It’s a long way from heaven when mostly pride-driven
By status, power, and money
Has it become the supreme trinity?
24/7, 24/7
Whatever happened to heart & soul livin?

Some with sly tact say matter of fact:
You, my good man, just have no impact!
Beware being caught between a hard place and a rock
By folk’s using the Law of Loyalty Loop & Lock:

Those who never want you to answer back
Always want you to back their answer
With, “Yes, sir, No sir, No excuse, sir!”

It’s a long way from heaven when hostility-driven
By “just kidding,” scarcasm, and put-down irony
Has it become our snappy trinity?
24/7, 24/7
Whatever happened to heart & soul livin?

Even with conflict just down the hall
Why not fight behind a virtual wall?
If the “e” in email stands for “escape”
Why bother dealing up front with a scrape.
Now when you send a post that does bristle
Is it less email and more an e-missile?

It’s a long way from heaven when TNT-driven
By “Time, Numbers &Technology”
Has it become today’s trinity?
24/7, 24/7
Whatever happened to heart & soul livin?
24/7, 24/7
Whatever happened to heart & soul livin?

Shrink Rap ™ Productions

I’m a Bully, I’m a Bully:  I’m a Bully, You’re a Nerdie – Part I

I’m a Bully, I’m a Bully
It’s getting way late
Clam up and listen to me
Gonna set you straight.

I’m a Bully, I’m a Bully
The “T-Rex of the School”
I’m a Bully, you’re a baby
You better follow my rules.

At home I must hide
Never good or smart enough.
When I escape outside
I’m king or queen of mean and tough!

I’ll make fun of you
Maybe curse you out.
What else can I do
Full of raging doubt.

I’m a Bully, I’m a Bully
You’re either weak or strong
I’m a Bully, who’s being silly?
Don’t ever tell me I am wrong!

I may not like myself
But I sure hate feeling sad.
So I’ll threaten your health
Now we both can feel bad.

When I put you down
I build myself up.
I’m like a volcano
That’s about to erupt.

I’m a Bully, I’m a Bully
Dark Prince of village and the hood
I’m a Bully, you’re a nerdie
Give me your money, phone, or food.

If you freeze from fear
My wolf pack will attack
The dazed stare of a wounded deer
All I’ll say:  “Better watch your back!”

My in-crowd may be jealous
Cause you’re pretty or smart.
We’ll gossip among us
Tearing your friends apart.

I’m a Bully, I’m a Bully
Are you lonely, out of your mind?
I’m a Bully, catch my fury
Time to Sandy Hook…or Columbine?

Some bullies have a snake sense
With a sudden toxic bite.
Don’t suffer in silence
Because of shame or utter fright.

When you see me come a hunting
Tell me, now what will you do?
Some keep forever running
Some form a rival gang or crew.

I’m a Bully, I’m a Bully
I won’t let you rest
I’m a Bully, ain’t it funny
I’m your biggest test.

Possible Discussion Questions

Before moving into Part II, the group might discuss the following:
1.  Does the Bully character seem real, like someone you know?  Why might someone engage in bully-type behavior?
2.  Can you describe a bully character that you know?  Have you ever engaged (or thought about engaging) in bully-type behavior.  If so, why; if not, why not?
3.  Have you ever experienced being bullied or made fun of and/or put down on a regular basis?
4.  If so, how did it feel?  What were your biggest fears or concerns, for yourself, with your friends, with your family, with classmates, etc.?
5.  If you have been bullied, or know someone who’s been bullied, how did you (or this individual) attempt to deal with the bully situation?
a) What specific steps or actions were taken?
b) Were some steps or actions helpful; were some steps not helpful, even harmful?
c) In hindsight, were actions not taken that might have been helpful?
6.  Or, if it’s easier to generate discussion, ask the group how they would deal with the bully situation described in the “Resiliency Rap” ™?

The level of group discussion and audience age/attention span, may determine the best time to read and discuss Part II.

I’m a Bully, I’m a Bully:  You’re a Nerdie, I’m a Needy – Part II

You don’t have to be a hero
Shouting “Make my day!”
You are not a zero
When you simply walk away.

Hey, it shows real nerve
To just stand; neither flee nor fight.
There is strength in smart reserve:
All that might still don’t make it right!

I’m a Bully, I’m a Bully
I pretend to be cool
I’m a Bully, can’t you see through me?
So who’s the bigger fool?

Don’t hang with kids or teens
Who think they’re the only stars.
Make one or two friends
Who like you for who you are.

But with chronic fears and safety
Alas, friends are not enough.
A rites of passage journey…
Facing your emotions – now that’s real scary stuff!

I’m a Bully, I’m a Bully
Maybe acting like a common thug
I’m a Bully, that’s real needy
For some tough loving wrapped in one bear hug.

Find a teacher-counselor guide
Someone you can really trust!
A grown-up by your side
Learning skills for feeling safe…is the only must!

A wise dolphin – man or woman
With wide open eyes and ears
As you swim the roughest ocean
No longer drowning in your tears.

I’m a Bully, I’m a Bully
Could this happen to me?
I’m a Bully, hey, my Nerdie
I need you to set me free.

Talking with a caring shepherd
Is not being a snitch
It’s not being a “b”-word
That rhymes with witch.

It takes real courage
To admit to having fear
And to do the right thing
When no one seems aware.

I’m a Bully, I’m a Bully
Still sitting on the fence
I’m a Bully, now I worry
Will I ever learn from experience?

What I despise in you
Is a haunting echo inside me.
By calling you a “Fag” or “Jew”
I take no responsibility!

I can’t admit it, but it’s plainly true
As a bully, I am sorry…
Cause I need all the help
Just as much as you!

Possible Discussion Questions

1.  What do you think of the “dealing with the bully strategies” suggested in the Rap?  Which ones seemed most or least helpful?
2.  Is it difficult to find or talk to a trustworthy adult about a bullying situation?  If so, what makes it difficult?
3.  There are schools that have conflict resolution programs led by trained students with adult counselor advisors.  Would it be easier to talk with a student/peer about bullying than with an adult?  If so, why?
4.  Is it possible that the “Bully” and the “Nerdie” might have some common fears and concerns, issues or problems?
5.  With adult and peer guidance, is it possible for a bully to recognize and admit his own pain and needs related to jealousy and unworthiness, as well as for love, acceptance, and validation?
6.  Is it possible for both the Bully and the Nerdie to change; to make healthier, more interpersonally successful psychosocial-behavioral adaptations; to not just “talk the talk, but to also walk it”?

©  Mark Gorkin  2014
Shrink Rap ™ Productions

BULLY Guy/Gal:  A Workplace Variation

[A variation on, yet in the tune of, the children’s song/camp favorite, “B-I-N-G-O”; can be sung as BULLY Gal]

{In this version, the four (or five lines) of each stanza are sung with the same melody as in the original; specifically, the last two lines of each stanza have the same melody as the first two lines.  The same rules apply to the B-U-L-L-Y chorus as in the B-I-N-G-O chorus.}

At my work, there’s a “big” dude
And Bully Guy’s his name, oh
Blaming me for what he did
Pumps his inflated ego.

B-U-L-L-Y… B-U-L-L-Y… B-U-L-L-Y…
And Bully Guy’s his name, sigh.

Stalking me all down the hall
Controlling is his game, oh
When did “scarcasm” get so cool?
Isn’t this against the rules?
Not when the boss’ bud, oh!

Why does he just pick on me?
The Guy should be ashamed, oh
Is he green with jealousy?
Or just a red bull guy, oh…

B-U-L-L-Y… B-U-L-L-Y… B-U-L-L-Y…
And Bully Guy’s his name, sigh.

Meetings are ruled by his “facts”
There is no room for doubt, oh
Speaking up gets you the axe
Or, he will just storm out, oh

Just because he makes it rain
All look the other way, oh
While morale goes down the drain
Does money make a hero?

B-U-L-L-Y… B-U-L-L-Y… B-U-L-L-Y…
And Bully Guy’s his name, sigh.

I must learn to take a stand
And overcome self-blame, oh
Not just bow to his demands
Nor play the helpless zero.

I will find one trustworthy
To talk out all my pain, oh
Then stand tall as an oak tree
Or walk away, nothing to say
But with my head held high, oh…

B-U-L-L-Y… B-U-L-L-Y… B-U-L-L-Y…
And Bully Guy’s his name, sigh.

Now I see…the real tragedy
Leaders’ heads in the sand, oh
A virus kills a company
When no one takes command, oh.

B-U-L-L-Y… B-U-L-L-Y… B-U-L-L-Y…
I’ve overcome self-doubt, oh
B-R-A-V-O… B-R-A-V-O… B-R-A-V-O…
I will give a shout, oh
No longer just an also ran
I now am my own wo/man
Cause I got the way hell out, Oh, Yeah!

© Mark Gorkin  2017
Shrink Rap ™ Productions

The Self-Righteous Rap

You didn't know life is all right or wrong
Your victor or victim…or just don't belong
There is no question; life's but bleak or white
Forget ambiguity when hooked on Freud-lite.

What happened to subtlety and shades of gray?
The world's drinking and shrinking its brain cells away
The rage that's stirred by mental oppression
Compels this shrink rap regression confession.

When others demand you follow their lead
(For they, of course, realize just what you need.)
Don't get upset over autonomy
Just ask where they go for a lobotomy.

Or, are you a martyr in self-imposed prison?
Denying your needs becomes heaven's vision.
When you've been hurt you just quietly pray
But wish you could scream,
"Go ahead, make my day!" (Pow, Pow)

There's a real craft to fine confrontation
But first let go of those "acc-you-sations"
Like "It's all your fault" or "you drive me crazy."
All this reveals is a mind that is lazy.

Be thoughtfully outraged and learn to reframe
Make the strange familiar, the familiar strange.
We really are at a critical juncture
So little time…so many egos to puncture. (Pop, Pop)

To disarm those who intimidate you
Some self-defense lessons in the art of "tongue fu."
With an all-knowing boss who wants to be feared, hey
One more grad of the Institute for the Compassion-Impaired.
The Institute for the Compassion-Impaired.

Or, if you've had enough of that self-righteous scam:
"I am as important as I think I am."
You don't have to listen to this bovine fodder
Just say you're allergic; it makes your ears water.

And for those who demean with, "Grow up, act your age"
Here's some advice that's worthy of a sage.
While only young once, it's true, however,
You intend to be immature forever.

So, if life's a soap opera: "As the Head Swells"
No need to be walking on those ego shells.
When the righteous start ranting they're all of a kind
The bigger the ego, the smaller the mind!

© Mark Gorkin 1992
Shrink Rap Productions

Mark Gorkin, MSW, LICSW, "The Stress Doc" ™, a nationally acclaimed speaker, writer, and "Psychohumorist" ™, is a founding partner and Stress Resilience and Trauma Debriefing Consultant for the Nepali Diaspora Behavioral Health & Wellness Initiative. Current Leadership Coach/Training Consultant for the international Embry-Riddle Aeronautics University at the Daytona, FL headquarters. A former Stress and Violence Prevention Consultant for the US Postal Service, he has led numerous Pre-Deployment Stress Resilience-Humor-Team Building Retreats for the US Army. Presently Mark does Critical Incident Debriefing for organizational/corporate clients of Business Health Services. The Doc is the author of Practice Safe Stress, The Four Faces of Anger, and Preserving Human Touch in a High-Tech World. Mark’s award-winning, USA Today Online "HotSite" – – was called a "workplace resource" by National Public Radio (NPR). For more info, email: