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A Hump On Your Back & A Limp

Dr.Gaughan has a phrase he uses with clients to help them understand their wants and needs.


DR. DANIEL GAUGHAN: Hello, my name is DJ Gaughan. I’m a psychologist in private practice in Phoenix, Arizona and I’ve been working in family law for over 30 years. And from the very beginning of my practice, I’ve always worked towards resolution for the people that I’m working with. I came into the family law arena, I think, somewhat naively many years ago, believing that that’s the way it was supposed to be; psychologists are supposed to help people. The first rule of psychology, as I learned at graduate school, was, “Do no harm,” make sure you’re helping people, not hurting people.

And when I started into family law, I saw a lot of people getting hurt by the entire process. And sometimes, unfortunately, it was even the mental-health professionals that I don’t think were necessarily contributing in a positive way. Or if they were trying to contribute in a positive way, it was getting twisted around sometimes by the attorneys in that adversarial process of litigation.

So I approach all of my cases by what I call “Dr. Gaughan’s rule.” And that rule is my job is to help you bridge the gap to reach an agreement that you can live with moving forward in the future. And by that I don’t mean a hump on your back and a limp.

One time and one time only, I did have one of the people working with me in a couples’ divorce case and I said, “My job is to help you bridge the gap, reach an agreement you can live with moving forward into the future.” And they said, “Well, I guess you could live with anything.” And that’s when I came with “Not a lump on your back and a limp.”

The goal of all of the work I do is to help people have something that works for them to keep them out of the time machine, to keep them from going backwards, and keep them moving forward in a productive way that benefits them and benefits their children. Thank you.