The girl cats are bonding

I’ve written about how my Tabby Mae has been grieving for her cuddling mate Midnight who died 10months ago and recently she sat hugging the scratching post he loved. Also how his young ginger girlfriend Ruby who is a bully likes tough love and Mae will have none of that! Well tonight it happened on the lounge both girls lay sleeping and Mae put her leg over Ruby which is a great sign of bonding!

Midnight and MaeIMG_20160205_230929


Family Portrait Memories for Generations

Family members are not that keen to get together in a Studio because some think it’s corny. Nevertheless at least they dress up enough and the result can be appreciated for generations to come. This is my family with my daughter Tina and her husband Bill Nicolitsis (with the halo), son Nick and daughter Talia on the left. Then my son Paul Zagoridis and his wife Nella, daughters Sabrina and Gaby on the end. Pepi and I have centre stage.


Bougainville Women Seminar

An interview with Dr. Affie Adagio:

“These statements from the people in Bougainville just brought me to tears,” said Dr Affie Adagio, when she announced that the statemnts would be read out publicly. “What happened in Bougainville needs to be known. It was truly awful,” she said.

“I was helping Waratah Rosemarie Gillespie out by typing the sworn statements to go in her book Running with Rebels, behind the lies in Bougainville’s hidden war (Ginibi Productions). The statements are so powerful and so terrible I felt I needed to do something myself so I have organised for them to be read out by actors at the Theaterette in Parliament House at 2pm. on Wednesday 11th March.”

“It’s appropriate that this is International Women’s Week,” Dr Adagio said, “because in Bougainville the women are the landowners. They started the war on Bougainville because they didn’t want their stolen land dug up for copper.”

“That all happened 20 years ago and the mine is still shut down,” she said. “Those women were truly strong. They had to be.? Australia sent over guns and helicopters to kill them so the mine could be reoponed. The PNG soldiers went on a rampage of rape, torture, looting, burning and killing. We have sworn statements about what happened. And they tried to kill Waratah too, to stop her taking medicines to the hospital through the blockade that Australia put on the island.”

“This record of bad behaviour needs to be confronted loudly and publicly,” Dr Adagio explained. “What we forget becomes repeated”

“We are bringing Joanne Apea-Bosco-Dateransi, a landowner from Panguna, down to tell us about the situation on Bougainville now.”

Everyone is welcome to come to NSW Parliament House in Macquarie Street, at 2pm on Wednesday 11th March to hear the reading. $10 (or $5 for concession/students). This is to help us pay Joanne’s fare from Bougainville and for light refreshments afterwards.

Lynda Stoner, Andrew Vial, Fran Macpherson, Isobel Kirk, Gillian Levett, Jonathan Marshall and others are helping by coming to read out the some of the statements. So this should be an impressive event.

Dr Affie Adagio may be contacted for further comments: 0421 101 163


Seminar Commemorating International Women’s Day –
Strength of the Women of Bougainville

The Humanist Society of NSW, The United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA NSW), and
The Women’s International League for Peace and Feedom (WILPF NSW)

Theaterette, State Parliament House, Macquarie Street Sydney

Wednesday 11 March 2009: 2-5pm
Opened by Lee Rhiannon, MLC

Dr. Affie Adagio as MC

Hear about the strength of the Women of Bougainville who made world history

Waratah Rosemarie Gillespie will share some of her experiences on
Bougainville – woven with the wisdom of the women of theland.

Sworn Statements of eyewitnesses in Bougainville will be read out by actors
such as: Lynda Stoner, Andrew Vial, Belinda Giblin, Fran Macpherson, Isobel Kirk,
Gillian Levett, Janice Potten and Jonathan Marshall

A short documentary Lateline film will be screened followed by
Joanne Apea-Bosco-Dateransi, a landowner from Panguna

Women’s Chorus singing songs celebrating IWD

UN Resolution 1325: Valerie Weekes presenting a talk on the rights of women
in conflict situations. Dr. Stefania Sidelecky presenting WILPF 1325 update

Light Refreshments provided at 4.30pm
Enquiries: (02) 4787 1446 or email:

Happy New Year

Look at the futur 1, Martin BOULANGER, Lyon, FranceI wish you all a Happy New Year with happiness and love in your lives.? The festivities found me recuperating from a shoulder injury, as you know,? but now I am feeling more agile. My mind has turned to new year resolutions that we often make, some do-able and some unrealistic. Far better to set realistic goals so as to have a better chance of achieving them and less chance of failure with the outcome of guilt.

I am fascinated at the passion with which
we make new year resolutions
as though with the new year comes
a magic drive to achieve the unachievable
of the past year!
then after a few days we find ourselves
slipping back to old unacceptable behaviours
bummer! we blame the gods
better to not become intoxicated by the
passion of the promise of the new year
and rationally make a plan to get things done
things which we believe are best for us
and are more likely to succeed with

power imbalance

Talk 1, photo by Dora Pete, Nagytarcsa, Pest, HungaryWhen two people enter into a relationship it quite often happens that they slip into roles as though they are on opposite ends of a ‘see saw’ and this causes a perceived power imbalance where one feels overpowered by the other. The dominant partner increases their ability to be outspoken and the passive partner becomes even more quiet. But it can be an illusion because the partner who appears dominant is behaving that way because they feel unheard and the one who appears passive actually controls the relationship through passive aggression – both contribute to the disintegration of the relationship. It is vital that the couple stops the aggressive dance and looks at the whole situation with a willingness to talk through and to resolve the issue at hand, rather than trying to win the battle.

they love each other dearly yet
when they came to me for therapy
there was so much hate in their eyes!
at first each accused the other of being
cruel and not caring of the other
then they progressed to being curious
as to how they could possibly resolve this problem
finally they set some goals which seemed promising
and their demeanour towards each other was
much warmer as they left and prepared for the festivities

Talk 1, photo by Dora Pete, Nagytarcsa, Hungary,, loving dialogue

Adult children

silhouetted friends 1, photo by aernst, PA, United States,Parents have the responsibility to provide a safe and nurturing environment for their children. Being a role model for a loving relationship is both satisfying for the parents and rewarding for the children because it helps them all live a functional, healthy lifestyle. When children become adults it is important that parents learn how to let go and let their adult children get on with their lives. Parents can trust that their childrearing practices were beneficial and that their adult children will make the appropriate choices in life. Sometimes this parenting stage can be the most difficult part of all, because we need to observe and not interfere or make comments no matter how useful we think they may be. At such times our contributions can be perceived as criticisms or disapproval. What makes it difficult is that we need to then change the parenting role from one that’s based on responsibility and guidance to one based on validation and support.

Simone was concerned about her son who
was out of work and his marriage was suffering
she could not help herself and at the first opportunity
lost her cool and criticised Joseph in an attempt to
snap him out of his lethargy, or so she thought!
but her daughter-in-law, Sue, defended him
and what was intended to be a rescue mission
by a caring mother, then turned out to be a disaster
Joseph felt incompetent,
Sue became protective of her husband and
Simone was demoralised
it would have been more useful if Simone
kept her supportive parent role until
Joseph found himself again with the
support of his wife

13th Step Syndrome

Couple kissing, photo by Margarit RalevIn March 11 2006 I wrote about avoiding the 13th Step which means “screwing someone crazier than you” – a term clarified by Dr. Stephen Jurd (a leading addiction psychiatrist). There have been more comments on this post than any other post I have written. The more recent comment on 12/10/07 by the author of Damn That Ojeda! website is worth mentioning here because of the enthusiasm with which the message is being relayed, and in order to correct the interpretation of my qualifications. The author refers to Coulter, ‘a right winged journalist’, intending to promote her book whilst appearing on a Carlson program which should discourage similar types from being edified because they are described as having…

spewed out such horrendous slanderous nonsense for no other reason than to let them promote more of their hate [which] will be diagnosed by me as having Dr. Affie Adagio Syndrome.

Allow me to explain.

Dr. Adagio herself does not have this condition. She’s a physician consulting chemically addicted clients and helping them go through the 12 steps of recovery. A noble and worthwhile cause indeed.

But in her treatments and counseling, she’s added one more step:

The 13th Step: Don’t Screw Anyone Crazier Than You

This, I would argue, is the problem with Carlson, et al. They allow themselves to electronically bed with Crazy Coulter for no justifiable reason. If she’s such a callous moron with nothing noteworthy to say before she goes on your show, why would you think your own program will be any different?

As the good doctor explains:

“It is not helpful to enter into an intimate relationship with someone who needs our assistance to recover from any illness or needs to improve their skills.”

Affie’s response: The author of Damn That Ojeda! has, indeed, the correct interpretation of the use of the term 13th Step which I also intended for people outside the 12 Step recovery program. This is because I believe it is a symbolic term of that extra step in any program which trains professionals to provide a service to others and therefore be responsible for not abusing the privilege.

One important correction that needs to be highlighted is that I am a qualified Family Therapist/Life Coach specialising in compulsion and recovery (addictions), a Doctor of Philosophy not a Medical Doctor or Physician. My PhD research was in Compulsion and Recovery and as a result I believe in a diversity of approaches – a synthesis or a balanced approach to recovery.

Couple kissing, photo by Margarit Ralev

Authority over Autocracy

Authority, photo by Daniel, San Antonio, United StatesThe difference between authority and autocracy is as huge as the difference between functional and dysfunctional or negotiation and abuse. Having authority when we want to make a point means we are using our assertive skills to get a point understood whilst keeping it short and sweet. When a point is made in an autocratic punitive manner and wordy then the lesson is lost. Our defenses block out any information that is given to us in a loud critical manner. Whether this method is used on children or adults the outcome can be the same – a failure to communicate.

young people who were Wards of the State
and in our residential program
had experienced autocratic punitive communication
throughout their lives and they
had become dysfunctional!
over a short period of time we befriended them
and the model was one based on assertive skills
yet maintaining the authority as their carers
the change in their behaviour which became
much more mellow was indeed a relief
and proved that better results are gained
in this manner and transforms conflict

Authority, photo by Daniel, San Antonio, United States

Making amends

Time heals all wounds, photo by Tim Ambler, Chattanooga, USAFriendships can be lifelong, providing the parties involved eliminate the resentments which can occur naturally. It is well known that ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ and moods become problematic between close relationships even friends. When a resentment festers it is easily settled by making amends. In this way the relationship is made the priority and restored. Otherwise grudges develop and power games are fostered with sad endings.

it was fascinating that although Geoff was
such a difficult person to get on with
he had such longlasting friendships
years and years with the same friends
this was a skill, indeed!
when examined closely, it became apparent
that he had the ability of making amends
and much easier than most people
therefore any disagreements were
easily swept away and the
friendship made longlasting

Time heals all wounds, photo by Tim Ambler, Chattanooga, USA

sex with no shame

834694_feet_in_the_sand.jpgAny sexual activity that does not hurt another person and takes place between consenting adults is sex with no shame. This does not mean something that involves rape or violation of a person’s rights including children. If you are not sure check it out with someone you respect who is knowledgeable about legal and moral issues.

They spoke to me about their sex that
keeps them close and happy
it was unusual in many ways
compared to most sexual acts which
are supported by our society
she felt worried that it was shameful
I asked who was it hurting and
they responded no one but that
their parents would be disgusted
if they knew but then they realised that
this is their private life and no one has
the right to know or judge
instead they need to enjoy the
happiness they share
and have sex with no shame