Interview With Janet Lee Whitney, MA, LMFT


Janet Lee Whitney, MA, LMFT has been a licensed psychotherapist, since 1982. She is the author of the book and program entitled Facing Your Fears and Following Your Dreams.

Her specialties include, improving relationships, treating anxiety and depression, treating eating disorders and sexual addiction, helping families with troubled youth and teens, providing vocational guidance, and using positive psychology to help individuals discover and grow their own personal strengths.

Having personally trained with John Gray, the author of Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus, Janet led couples and singles groups for over 10 years, based on John Grayโ€™s work. Helping couples understand one another and accept the differences is an exciting process. Improving and clarifying communication skills gives couples such a better opportunity to have a meaningful and deep connection.

The Facing Your Fears program is being used by therapists across the country. Groups and individuals can increase their success in all areas of their lives by uncovering and changing the ways they are self- sabotaging their dreams and their purpose for being on this planet. Using the principles in The Facing Your Fears program, along with the Law of Attraction, individuals have been witnessing the transformation of their lives and finding new pathways to happiness and fulfillment.

With the use of positive psychology, Janet helps individuals, couples and groups discover their innate strengths and unique gifts and talents that lend themselves towards successful careers, family life and enjoyment of all that life has to offer.

Having been part owner in a sexual addiction program and director of an eating disorder program, Janet works with individuals, couples and families in any addiction arena. The expertise in treating food, substance or sexual addiction allows individuals and families to recover from an addiction to return to a full and rewarding life.

Janet has been using guided meditation, narrative therapy, goal setting and motivational psychology in her work with groups and individuals.

In her personal life, Janet has walked the 500 mile Camino alone, in Spain, climbed Half Dome twice, climbed Mt Whitney, run marathons, completed triathlons and traveled to many countries with her 3 kids. All 3 kids have bungee jumped off the cliffs in Costa Rica, and Janet and her 2 oldest children and parachute jumped out of airplanes. They live their lives as an example of how to Face Your Fears.

What tends to happen when a woman suddenly stops chasing a man?

There are 3 scenarios of what can happen when a woman stops chasing a man.

#1) The most common response from a man when a woman stops chasing him, is that he becomes the pursuer. This dynamic is based on the history of human kind. Men have been the hunters and women the receivers. If a woman has been too available to a man, he often thinks there has to be something wrong with the woman. Thoughts like” Is she too needy?” ” Is she desperate/” or”something feels out of balance here.” Somewhere deep inside he may enjoy the attention so when the woman withdraws her energy, he may actually start to realize that he has feelings for her. The saying that ” Distance makes the heart grow fonder” seems to usually apply to the male species. For women, distance makes them detach and begin to look elsewhere. If you add up these traditional roles of hunter and pursuer, the most likely benefit for a woman to stop chasing is to let him feel that he misses her and it may bring him around.

#2) The second response may be that the man may feel relief. She may have been chasing him because he was not as interested in her than she was in him. There are definitely some woman who want the guy who is unavailable, emotionally, physically or because they are in a relationship. These women usually like the safety of distance being already built into the relationship. In the book, The Dance of Intimacy” Dr. Harriet Lerner describes how people are comfortable with a certain amount of distance in their relationships and that humans tend to seek out people and relationships with whatever distance is comfortable for them. Thus a woman who feels safer with more distance, will go after a man that is aloof, or unavailable because of his commitment to someone else or his relationship issues that have caused him to create distance in intimate relationships. Men typically do not want to hurt women so he may not have been as clear with his disinterest, so that when she backs up, he breathes a sigh of relief.

#3) The third result may be that the woman has stopped chasing because she sees that there is no possibility of a real match. She may be the one closing the door, permanently. It is interesting to note that woman have a tendency, historically, to give a relationship a longer chance to develop or improve. Once they realize it is not what they thought it was going to be, women are notorious for closing the door and bolting it shut. A man may come back around to see if they can salvage the relationship, if the woman has made a definite decision that this relationship is wrong for her, the woman does not even give him a chance. Men are often surprised at how decisive and unbending the otherwise open woman has become towards him.

In any event, chasing anyone seems to have its drawbacks. Developing a friendship and establishing trust with another person gives a couple a better chance of a lasting relationship.

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