Through this book I will take you on a journey. It is a journey that I have been on for the past twenty-five years interviewing, questioning, doing therapy and teaching. It has been a remarkable trip into the private lives of people. I am a professional voyeur and I have found that most people are interested in what I hear, what I see, and what I do. People want to know about others and they want to watch and learn. Read

In this book I have compiled a collection of stories about some common themes in peoples’ lives. In here, you can watch, learn, laugh and cry with me. If you have
always been interested people’s lives you will love this book.

You can start reading at any point. Check out the table of contents and see what strikes you. I cannot know what you are ready to find or need to learn. Perhaps you can just play along and open it up and see where your eyes have taken you. My hope is that you will recognize yourself or others and you will think, feel, and see exactly what you stopped here to learn.


This book is about people and common life experiences, exploring what makes us human; hoping to help teach us the lessons we need to learn. In the first chapter of his book, Dr. Benn writes that ‘at its core, the book is about trying and dreaming, taking the risk to fail or succeed.’ Each of Dr. Benn’s stories is full of life lessons, some humorous and some profound. For example…


On diversity: Chapter 16 — What’s the Difference?

“If you have to be told that you’re just like everyone else, that probably means you’re really not.”

On men: Chapter 9 — The BIG Cover-Up

“Jerry wondered why people didn’t like him. He wondered why he was never really close to anybody. Jerry couldn’t understand this phenomenon. After all, he was always willing to lend a hand…On the outside, Jerry looked like he had it all together. But on the inside, Jerry was scared, really scared.”

About his 8th grade football coach: Chapter 5 — Mr. Blake

“In psychology we often say that the bigger an ass someone is, the more pain they’re probably in.”

On raising children: Chapter 23 — Hey Buddy, Can You Spare a Dime?

“I don’t wish too much beauty on my children. I want them to earn what they get, and not have to compensate for their deficiencies by striving to be more physically beautiful. Being too attractive seems more like a curse than a blessing in the long run.”

On growing up: Chapter 27 – Welcome to Adulthood

“When I was a kid, wasting time not enjoying my youth, all I ever wanted was to be a grown-up.”

About group therapy: Chapter 21 — Misery Loves Company

“In this process of shared misery we get to connect, to feel important and to see that we are not alone – even though in the midst of our pain, in the privacy of our hell, sometimes it might feel that way. In group therapy the connection between members is the medicine we get to take and this leads members to feel hopeful and ready to tackle whatever their issues might be.”

On living: Chapter 12 — Dancing at the Center of the Universe

“I was so free and unencumbered. The music blared in my headphones for only me to hear and I let go, dancing a moon dance with my moon shadow. I found myself lost in the world, lost in the universe, lost in space and time, dancing to music only I could hear, with a person only I could see: me. Dancing with the moon and me. I was thisclose to crazy, and it was perfect.”

Find yourself in Stories From The Couch – 34 vignettes about you, the people in your life, and the things that make us human.