The Therapist Profile: Reflections

Writing my profile for websites for therapists, such as, has always been a challenge for me. With each new website, I’ve discovered new clearer ways to answer the questions about my work. It’s hard to put into words my practice and approach and how I might be the kind of therapist you would work well with. I definitely look at other people’s profiles for inspiration, more to see how they word things, if they start with questions, what kinds of phrases they use that seem to be really clear  than to paraphrase. My profile is unique and I explain art therapy in the way I think of it from how I experience working as an art therapist, but I’m still not too satisfied with it. It’s an ever evolving process for me, so I’ve often changed my profile on (the Main Encyclopedia of psychotherapsits), when I am in the process of putting it on it  other websites.

I’ve recently joined the relatively new website and community of healers/doctors/providers, lighthouselgbt: Safe Space for LGBTQ + Wellness. The first part of the Lighthouse Profile defines the space and providers in this way: “We are a group of NYC based providers who have devoted our careers to caring for LGBTQ+ patients.” This is the link if you’d like to check out the website:

I am very excited to be part of the Lighthouse community, especially right now with the political climate we are forced to endure. It is more than ever important to find your “tribe(s)”, no matter whether virtual or “real world”. As an extreme introvert, I need meaningful soul to soul  person to person connections with other like minded open tolerant curious and out of the box people, including in my work as an art therapist. (I have yet to find a group of artists/writers/galleries/publishers/creative professionals that feeds me. Here I am in NYC and the NY Art World is not for me at all, but I’ve never quite found something. I do have plenty of friends whose careers involve creativity and the “arts”, and social media places to share my work, but it is not quite a real community of people for me. I’m hopeful I will find this eventually. I put this in parentheses because it is a whole other topic to explore that is on my mind lately.)

Identity: “Who am I and what am I about?” is a lifelong voyage of discovery. I’m a work in progress. The longer I live, the clearer I am at articulating who I am in whatever sphere of life, and then I’m able to look back and see how I’ve always been this way and are just in process of becoming more fully who I am, constantly evolving. I am passionate about evolving and becoming increasingly aware of ways that I want to present myself to the world more accurately. Whenever I have an “Ah ha” moment, I realize this was who I was even back when I was a 7 year old just being me, without as many barriers to being able to be myself. I understand when my clients report that they have bravely forayed into proclaiming their discovery of their gender or something else and gotten reactions of “you never said this before. You’re not this and that so how is it you say you are this (gender, career, creative mode of expression.) It can be as simple as “But you’re a performer, youre not a visual artist.” “You’ve always been “xyz”. Even, “You should talk to your parent. They are so nice or they are your family.” Someone has gotten to the point of taking a brave stand and boundary with an abuser and doesn’t always get this validated; in fact often people devalue whatever you’re proclaiming. I recently read someone’s essay about their identity as an asexual person and what it is about for them. The comments were downright nasty, some insinuating that you can’t say you’re asexual because you had sex in that relationship or you’re talking about having sex, so you’re not asexual. I’m happy that now there is a phrase, “the asexual spectrum”, which was invented to explain especially to such limited bullying individuals that being asexual is not that simple and only works when not a label slapped on someone.

I can say that most of the barriers I have had to being myself have been self created, but maybe I woulnd’t have created these barriers to radical full self acceptance and standing fully in the light if the world were a lot safer and more openminded and accepting.

“Be yourself. Everybody else is taken.”As I wrote that I think of Oscar Wilde’s words in a way I haven’t before. The two sentences are kind of a dialectic in the sense that being yourself involves having to define yourself in relation to other humans because we use language, verbal and non verbal, to express or hold back who we are. We can’t get out of the aspect of self acceptance that involves negating a sort of “norm” communicated to us by society and their constructs and clarifying taking space as unique and beyond the norm. There should be no “box” to be inside of or outside of in any arena of life; of course that is a fantasy. Imagine being born into a world where gender was a spectrum, where polyamory, monogamy and a romantic approaches and of were all just choices like the color of a t shirt and that your shape, size and color of your skin were seen like a box of magic markers. You wouldn’t need to focus on what you are not and what does not resonate with you as who you are. There would be freedom to be and freedom to play. My challenge: “What gender are you today?” which was the main focus of my last art show, “#Bathroom Art Only” would be like deciding on a cereal for breakfast. Some people want the same breakfast every day; others want different things or no breakfast, or have the same breakfast for years and at age 37 decide to have a completely new breakfast. It would be the ideal of “live and let live”, “whatever floats your boat” and the maxim would be “Be yourself. Be free to be yourself. Be free to evolve and change in your concept of yourself.” with no need to refer to others.

There is a therapy phrase, “ego syntonic” and another one “ego distonic”. I like these phrases because they get to the heart of self acceptanc, self worth and learning how to navigate an unsafe unpredictable world we all have to live in. Something is ego syntonic if it is in sync with who you are and your values and aspirations, like when you put on a t shirt and it fits you in size as well as what it looks like and what kind of t shirt it is. Jobs can be seen in this way. If you are working at a job that is deadening you and feels like it’s not what you want to do or the people you work with are people you would not choose to be around, the job is ego distonic. When I worked cleaning the house of a science fiction writer in the summer during college, it was ego syntonic because he was nice and weird and non critical and paid me cash and the job was temporary; a job doesn’t have to be on your career path to be ego syntonic; it just needs to match who you are and your wants and needs. Same with any relationship. Therapy for example. If you feel comfortable with your therapist for whatever reasons and that there are minimal blocks in the way of your accomplishing your therapy goals created by the therapist, or even if the therapist has done so and you are able to address it, then the therapeutic realtinoship is ego syntonic; at certain points in therapy, it can be very therapeutic for you to notice and tell your therapist that they have said or done something that was not ok with you. Then you have an opportunity for the therapist to adjust/correct and you are improving your communication in important relationships and growth occurs. Often we discover what is ego syntonic by experiencing something as ego distonic. That’s the “everybody else is taken.” part of the dialectic. It means asking “Is this for me or for the other person?” “Am I ok with this or am I now not ok with it even if I was in the past?” “Is this something I want now in my life or not?” “How does this serve my growth or impede it?” The more you can clarify what is ego distonic, you also clarify what is ego syntonic. The process is unique for each person.

As an artist and person who has a deep need to approach life creatively and express myself creatively, I have always been someone who tries many of the t shirts on, or has different breakfasts every day. I like to shape shift and morph and copy and try on things; I learn best by watching how someone does something and trying it out, but reshaping it to do it my way. I don’t learn well by being told what to do in a rigid way or being told what I did wrong. My college was ego syntonic to the way I learn and the kinds of people I needed to find for my life, so I was able to grow as a person during thpse important years. I like seeing diversity and experiencing diversity, as I am easily bored and like the new. At the same time I don’t gravitate towards situations involving meeting new people in a social context. As a therapist I enjoy meeting new clients because I am curious and interested in how unque and fascinating each person’s inner life, identity and approach to life is. As an artist, I often try out new things and then in that process, keep repeating something I’ve stumbled upon. With drawing especially, it involves looking at other people’s drawings or images; to draw musical instruments for my Warrior Series, I looked up musical instruments from other cultures, especially middle eastern and African.

Using the line from Annie Hall comparing relationships to sharks, as an artist I need to be like a shark, constantly moving. The dialect between me the artist and me the art therapist is being the shark and the snail. As a therapist I slow down and stay with whatever the client brings in to explore and process.

Back to the Concept of the Selfie and What it Means for Art Therapy and Psychology…

In my first post on the selfie, I had grand ambitions to write on a number of different aspects of the selfie. Here was my list of topics, not in any particular order:

1. The selfie and art therapy: is there anything going on in art therapy connected directly to the making of selfies?
2. The how to and what not to do: finding lots of links about making great selfies versus bad boring ones and sites that like to show the different categtories of bad selfies vs good ones.
3. the celebrity selfie and its effects on non celebrity selfies.
4. Selfies and Social Media: what it means to “post” a selfie after taking the photo. new variations include the “belfie” as body parts can depict self portraits.
3. Creative uses of the selfie: what are some selfies that go beyond casual and become “Art”? how do you think outside the box of the selfie!
4. Woman and selfies: the male gaze versus the female gazing at herself. Selfies for self-esteem…
5. The new pathologies associated with taking selfies to an extreme. As with anything, if you become addicted to making selfies, you will of course get sick, just like people addicted to the internet or social media or gambling. Too much of anything and your system is way out of balance.
6. Selfies and psychosis: while we are at it, besides ocd and addiction, are people incorporating selfies into their psychotic episodes?

A long time ago, I actually did find an article about a man who got so addicted and obsessed with taking selfies that he decompensated (became very unstable). I am interested to see if I can find this article and whether there were further reports on him or anyone else having brought the selfie to the level of pathology…

I finally found the article, which I remembered was about a British man, a selfie addict with body dysmorphic disorder which definitely got triggered or worsened by his taking selfies all day long. He stopped functioning and tried to kill himself. Here is the link to the article:

Short Post: “Thanks for Sharing”

I intend to post a whole series about the phenomenon of the “Selfie”, and started writing a long complicated post. However, I will be out of town next week, so I probably won’t post then unless I find something great to “reblog”.

So this post is about the film, “Thanks for Sharing”, starring Mark Ruffalo and a with a great supporting appearance by the singer/performer Pink who turns out to be a really good actress. Gwyneth Paltrow and Tim Robbins and Joely Richardson. ImDB describes the movie as “A romantic comedy that brings together three disparate characters who are learning to face a challenging and often confusing world as they struggle together against a common demon: sex addiction.”

It’s directed and partly written by Stuart Blumberg who is known for writing the movie, “The Kids Are Alright.”

This movie did not get much attention before, during or after its run in the movie theaters, however, I went to it and actually really liked it and I think it is very under appreciated. I have told many patients to see it as I work with a lot of people who attend 12 Step Meetings of various kinds and for whom the 12 Step Program is a healing and integral part of their lives and recovery.

Anyway, what struck me the most about the movie is that the 12 Step Program, in this case S.A. Sex Addicts Anonymous (there is also SLA, Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous) is the main character portrayed on many levels in the flim.

Well, I just learned something: there are 4 different 12 step programs that address this kind of addiction/compulsionnn, not just the above two:

Sexaholics Anonymous (SA)
Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA)
Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA)
Sexual Compulsives Anonymous (SCA)

FOr a good description of the differences between these, here is the link I found:

THat’s what I love about blogging. I learn as I write! As the main character, SA links all the characters together, not just the main one played by Mark Ruffalo. In the opening shots the camera goes down streets in NYC, and what I found great was that the cinematographer captured the point of view of people with sex addiction in terms of their having a different brain response to stimuli in the environment, especially visual stimuli. As the camera goes down a crowded day time NY street, it captures how just about anything, not just people, but inanimate objects, can be taken in as a sexual stimuli, and gives you an idea of the brain of a sex addict getting “triggered” by anything, even a fire hydrant or street light, as well as any random person walking down the street of any gender.

The movie captures the essence of the 12 Step Recovery System which is not for everybody as it follows an abstinence sobriety model, not a moderation/balance model. It is highly effective for many people with sex addiction issues though. The main human character in the film has about 5 years “sobriety” which means he has had no sexual activity including masturbation in 5 years. The longer recovered addict played by Tim Robbins is his sponser and the Ruffalo character is sponsoring a newly in recovery, forced to go to 12 steps person who is still out of contol. Pink enters the movie later and is also a sex addict with little recovery time. So the movie does a good job portraying the different challenges of 12 Step Receovery for the long recovered married addict, the 5 year person with the challenge of having to stop avoiding dating and relationships to more fully recover, and the struggling beginning addicts who are stumbling along having a lot of trouble staying sober and “slipping” while still going to meetings. What saves the two early recovery people is that they bond and help each other because they are on the same level. Ruffalo refuses to sponsor the new sponsee because he is not actively doing anything in his recovery and not being truthful in the meetings or with his sponsor.

For the long recovered addict played by Tim Robbins, there is a great portrayal of a split that can happen with 12 Step Recovery. His SA sponsor role model self is very dedicated and he has saved his marriage and developped a kind of father son relationship with his sponsee, thus making progress with SA while in his personal life, he is having a lot of trouble with his son who is also an addict. He does not accept or validate his son and his disagreements with his wife are about the son. So his main conflict involves changing as a father and stopping hiding behind the replacement father role of being a better sponsor to his sponsee than father to his son…

The Ruffalo character has the challenge of starting to date someone and figuring out how to “come out” about his sex addiction without scaring away his potential girlfriend, and being challenged by relapse and the messiness of life that he cannot avoid anywya.

THe movie zeroes in on the special fellowship of the people at this SA meeting and the way it can be a supportive community, but the challenge is to go back out in the world and manage on your own with your sobriety. The movie is complex enough that we see several different kinds of challenges faced by the characters in SA, as well as seeing how they fare trying to explain their addiction and recovery to non addicts. Because the movie takes on the challenge of sex addiction, which is not understood by the mainstream culture very deeply and which has a lot of shame associated with it, it does have a lot of gorund to cover and cannot be extensive, so unfortunately it only shows people identified as heterosexual with these struggles, and would have been a deeper movie if there were characters from the LGBTQ community.

Much more can be said, but I will end with a few important 12 Step phrases that were important in the film and quite helpful to anyone. “CLean your own side of the street” said by a non sex addict, the partner of the Tim Robbins character, about how she has managed to stay in her relationship and be growing in it. She is aware that she has her own work to do on herself and that her husband’s sex addiction is his “Side of the street” and his problem, not hers. “THanks for sharing” is of course the title and based on what people say in meetings in response to someone sharing their struggles. This phrase is actually very meaningful, it covers the attitude of gratefulness for recovery and rebirth and second and third chances as well as a grateful attitude towards everyone who comes to a meeting. All can equally share no matter how much sober time they have. It is the “Sharing” and community that really aids in the healing process and can be true for any kind of therapeutic healing or group. The mere act of sharing and being validated is very powerful for anyone struggling with mental illness and/or addiction. The two minor characters with little experience sober are sharing with each other outside the meeting and it actually works, because the writer knew not to drama things up and have them sleep with each other. Instead they are learning to have a non sexual relationship through SA, which is incredibly healing for them to “share” in the kind of friendship neither has yet experienced.

So I highly recommend this film as a great effort at portraying some aspects of 12 Step Recovery and the humanity of a person who has done the kind of terrible behaviors sex addicts are compelled to do. This is the other side of it, so we can have compassion for all the characters wherever they are in their recovery, and understand the struggles they have due to a probably biological as well as environmentally caused disorder/imbalance.

Interview About My Art Therapy Career!

Interview About My Art Therapy Career!

I am very excited to announce that the first of a two part interview that took place in my studio/office with art therapist Victoria Scarborough is now online at the above link! The interview is about how I started out in the field, my past experience, my present experience and current projects I am working on, as well as how I balance being an artist with being an art therapist. As on this blog, there is some personal information in it, in case you don’t want to know too much about me. (ie. patients out there and former patients and others, only read it if you don’t mind knowing a bit about how my personal life impacts my professional life…)

I will announce on this blog when she posts Part 2 of the interview.

Polyamory and The Prejudices Against It

Ok. This is not going to be scholarly or exhaustive. Wikipedia covers so much information about this lifestyle choice including guidelines for therapists working with polyamorous patients, a topic I will touch upon in this post.

I do confess that I was quite ignorant about this topic until I started working with a polyamorous or “poly” patient, a young woman, a few years ago, and then I got interested as I learned a lot from her and others. I have worked with LGBTQ people who are polyamorous as well as heterosexuals who are polyamorous; there isn’t any difference in the philosophy or approach to relationships based on your sexuality, as polyamory is concerned with the topic of relationships between humans, more than sexuality and sexual or gender identity.

I approached the topic with an open and curious mind from the beginning and did not fall into the therapist trap of thinking that polyamory was an issue to be addressed as some kind of “problem”, but more that it would be a part of her discussion of her relationship issues. I was not unaware of this kind of lifestyle but had not gotten the chance to see it up close and learn about it.

As I said there are many scholarly studies as well as organizations, etc. around this topic. I just want to address the major misconceptions and stereotypes our monogamy oriented society has created towards polyamory. Imagine the President of the United States being an open polyamorous person. Once you do that, if you can even imagine it being possible right now in our current society, you can imagine the mainstream culture about so called family values’ view of it… Our society seems to expect the president to be married anyway, so the concept of a “single” president is just as foreign. Here are some misconceptions and “stereotypes” related to this minority group:

1. Polyamory is the same thing as polygamy.
Nope. Polygamy usually involves a man married to or involved with and cohabitating with multiple women and in rare minorities a woman with several male partners/husbands. The only thing in common here is that both groups exist in subcultures that accept and ascribe to these lifestyles. Polyamorous individuals emphasize equality in relationships, so a person may have multiple lovers or partners, but his or her partners usually also have multiple partners. It by definition is against there being a double standard in relationships. Gender equality is another big part if it. So actually polyamory is a very good approach towards no tolerance of any double standards, such as “I can love/be with others but she cannot…”

2. Leading directly to another common falsity, namely that polyamorous people are polyamorous in order to be promiscuous, or that polyamory is mainly about sex and being able to have sex with a lot of people.
The very term polyamory derives from “poly” meaning many and the amorous part means love, thus “many loves”. While many polyamorous people have a healthy sex life, most people who choose this lifestyle think of themselves as having and maintaining several romantic relationships at the same time and are more focused on the whole relationship, and not just the sexual aspects of the relationship. In fact many of the people who don’t choose this lifestyle are more promiscuous, for example, individuals who are single but choose to have sex with a lot of people or some people who suffer from sex addictions. Some sex addicts will have multiple sex partners in the span of a day or two. Some sex addicted individuals are in “monogamous” relationships but are actually leading a double life and secretly having many sexual encounters with strangers. In contrast, a polyamorous individual tends to be focused on getting to know a new person as a prospective romantic partner and, while s/he may be having sex with several lovers, these are actual relationships, not anonymous encounters. Each person involved is aware of the other person’s relationships and this kind of lifestyle tends to be concerned with openness and honesty, so secretive behavior is not sought out or encouraged. If your partner tells you about going on a date with someone else and you are accustomed to this type of behavior and would do the same, you are not very likely to be invested in secretive behavior.

3. Here is another false idea about polyamory: Most polyamorous people are gay men, thus even implying a stereotype that gay men do not like or engage much in monogamy. Well we know this is not true. First of all,many women of whatever sexuality are polyamorous too as are heterosexual men. In addition, this is quite false as LGBTQ populations are right now fighting for the right to get married and be thus recognized by society for being in monogamous relationships. Yes it is true that in places like New York, many gay men are comfortable with “open” relationships, not requiring complete monogamous fidelity. However, it is a big leap from being in a serious relationship and engaging in sex on the side once in a while that is tolerated or enjoyed by your partner and/or engaging in other sorts of casual sex in an open relationship to being polyamorous. The former that I described may be more common among some gay men, but it is an example of precisely how far that behavior is from polyamory. Also of course, there are plenty of gay men who are very monogamous anyway.

4. Anyway we now come to a very common misconception in our monogamy oriented society, that a polyamorous relationship is the same thing as an “open” relationship. Here the terms are confused. Basically all polyamorous relationships could be considered “open relationships” but not all open relationships are polyamorous. The contract in a typical so called open relationship is a rather vague permission from each partner for the other to be with other partners. Polyamorous relationships are more structured and involve a more complete concrete and detailed contract between multiple people. Which leads to misconception number 4, a bad trap most people fall into out of ignorance or plain prejudice.

5. Polyamorous people are in multiple love relationships at the same time because they aren’t equipped with the ability to communicate well in relationships and don’t take loving long-term relationships seriously. Very wrong. Quite the contrary; many polyamorous people have much better communication skills than monogamous couples. As such relationships involve establishing ground rules and a kind of very spelled out no secrets contract between each individual and couple, communication
in an open and honest way is a given most if the time, as well as a necessity for people leading this lifestyle to be comfortable in their relationships. Many polyamorous people have highly developed skills at communicating and working things out in their relationships, as jealousy is not clouding their judgment. This is a long topic, so suffice it to say that often the frustrations a very good communicator faces in being polyamorous is dealing with people who are new to it or who do not live up to the principle of all parties involved understanding the agreements… Sometimes a monogamy oriented person thinks they can be polyamorous but actually hasn’t thought it out enough and really is not able to follow the main principles of it. That is why most “poly” people look for other people that are very much identified as poly because there will be less misunderstandings. For obvious reasons monogamy and polyamory just do not mix at all because they represent opposing philosophy. Yet I would propose that there is plenty of room in our society for both lifestyles to coexist better if these misconceptions I am listing here were to get cleared up. In addition society would have to value them equally. That will take a while. Just take President Kennedy and his clan as an example of monogamy in its worst aspects. Cheating, double lives, the fantasy of “Camelot” of the Kennedy presidency. Not sure I’ve read exactly how many sexual partners he squeezed into his lifetime…

6. Monogamy is the be all and end all, and polyamorous people are simply unable to be monogamous. This is patently false. Some polyamorous people have tried out monogamy and simply found it limiting or just that this lifestyle was not for them, and so they chose to be polyamorous as it was their preference, not a judgment about monogamy or an inability to be monogamous. Polyamorous people, whatever their sexuality, often have a “primary” relationship that may last longer and be taken more seriously than their other romantic relationships, but usually the philosophy is that one can live or be in love with more than one “life” partner at the same time without trivializing any of these relationships. To simplify, polyamory is really by definition the opposite of monogamy, in the sense that many monogamous people believe there is “the one” out there, while polyamorous people place less importance on this kind of “soul mate” philosophy. So called “serial monogamists” tend to operate under the principle that each of their relationships is an attempt at being with the one love of one’s life, and the final one that “works out” ie. doesn’t end, is the one person one is meant to be with, or else the best choice possible. One could argue that a person who is in one serious relationship followed by another is not that different from a polyamorous person. The polyamorous person simply chooses to engage in more than one relationship at a time. A monogamous person could end up having more relationships than a polyamorous person in a lifetime. A side note, people also commonly think incorrectly that polyamory has some kind of emphasis on quantity over quality.

7. Polyamorous people are mostly into group sex and other types of “kinky” behavior. Some are, but plenty of polyamorous people do not engage in that kind of behavior. Some monogamous couples engage in this kind of behavior so it is not exclusive to any particular lifestyle choice.

8. If a polyamorous person goes to therapy, they probably need to examine their lifestyle and figure out what causes them to “not be able” to be monogamous or even that the person needs to try to change this choice if lifestyle. While this sounds ridiculous, you would be surprised at how many therapists out there think polyamory is some kind of deviant behavior that must have roots in the persons upbringing or sexual development or related to the persons parents failed relationships or something like that. This misconception sounds a lot like the old one where a parent might bring their son or daughter to therapy to make them “not gay”. Unfortunately this used to be common.

In any case, when a polyamorous individual chooses to engage in therapy, most often the reasons are the same as with anyone else, ie. issues around anxiety, depression, creative blocks and career issues, and low self-esteem (this low self-esteem is about the individual’s struggles with negative self-image and has little to do with being polyamorous, by the way…) Of course when you’re in therapy your relationships with your parents and other family members often get discussed as do your romantic relationships and your own comfort with your sexuality. However the emphasis is on each particular relationship with each individual. In some cases a polyamorous person will find him or herself involved with someone claiming to be polyamorous but actually not following the principles around ground rules and openness. So someone may come to therapy and say that s/he stopped dating a person after they discovered that this person’s partner was unaware that’s/he was dating that person. Some people claim to be polyamorous and may consciously think they want to be, but might not truly understand what it involves and are actually not cut out for the kind of open communication this lifestyle tends to require or lend itself to.

9. Polyamorous people are abnormal because they don’t get jealous or possessive, otherwise known as the false idea that monogamy is the best way to live and the best kind of relationship to have. Also not true. Our society finds it easier to follow this mainstream idea that one should aspire to loving one person and walking into the sunset with that “soul mate”. While it is true that people who really are polyamorous do not get jealous or possessive most of the time, this is not abnormal, it is simply different. If you want to stretch your mind, one could even posit the idea that ideally individuals would be neither jealous nor possessive. Indeed, imagine if society dictated that you should only have one child as people having two or more children were thought to be incapable of loving two or more children at the same time. To most people that sounds crazy, or we would live in a society where having only one child was the way to go. In a sense polyamorous people simply believe that they can and do have romantic and sexual feelings for more than one person at the same time and also do not mind if their lovers or partners also do the same. To some extent most people tend to try to decrease their jealousy and possessiveness anyway as these qualities usually do not help one to have a healthy and equal relationship with a partner. Perhaps polyamorous people are actually just better at putting this principle in action, or perhaps I am now suggesting that monogamy turns out to be a choice for people who simply are unable to love another one the way that polyamorous people are, that monogamy is simply easier, less challenging and just happens to be the norm, and we could “take a page from their book” as the saying goes…