The Importance of Trust!

An Electronic Mental Health Newsletter from Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D., P.A. & Associates
Volume 12, Number 3

This E-Letter heralds the beginning of Spring. It is a time for renewal. Although we live in a world of mistrust, distrust, and deceit, it is important to remember that people are basically good. What we see on the news and in the media does not necessarily reflect the truth about who we are. Remind yourself of those who care; those who have asked how you are doing or who have done something for you. Do something for others out of kindness and respect. Perhaps slowly and surely, we can recapture the time when it was fashionable to be nice to people, to show respect and caring for others, and to believe what people are saying as the truth. For example, practice smiling at others and see if they smile back at you. After all, if we don’t start making changes in our culture, who will?

Our March E-Letter is about the Importance of Trust. Dr. K’s blog continues and our email of the month is about words from our childhood that have become lost. We hope you find the enclosed information helpful and interesting. We also thank you for reading our E-Letters and for the numerous comments and messages of support we have received.

Practice News

Research study.Our practice is participating in a research study to validate a behavioral health assessment program. B-Vitals was developed to provide pediatricians with a child’s behavioral health information prior to the office visit. Completed online by parents, the doctor will receive a report identifying any behavioral health issues.

We are looking for parents of 6 to 16 year old youngsters. If you wish to participate, go to and follow the instructions to register. Besides helping children and doctors, you will receive a $10 Amazon gift code for completing the surveys. It should take you no more than one-half hour and you will be quite helpful in developing this new assessment tool for pediatricians.

Low Cost Therapy. We are now able to provide lower cost therapy as Tara Passaretti, LMHC, has joined our practice. Tara is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Nationally Board Certified Counselor who has extensive experience working with children and families in private practice and in the court system. While she is being credentialed by the different insurance plans, she is able to provide counseling at a much lower fee. If you are in need of a therapist but do not have insurance or are unable to afford the high copays, Tara would be willing to see you. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call our office at 954 755-2885.

Testings.Support groups. Our ongoing weekly therapy groups have been quite successful. A men’s support group and a women’s support group are run by Dr. Jim Kaikobad and meets for one and one-half hours. The group is educational, supportive, and confidential and is limited to 8 people.

Benefits of these groups include significant cost reduction, time effectiveness, and the support and understanding of other members experiencing similar issues. If you or a family member would like to participate in either of these groups, please contact Jillian in our office at 954 755-2885.

Handouts from previous E-Letters can be found on our website, We invite you to read and download them if desired.


The foundation for any successful relationship is the ability to trust one another. Trust means that you can count on the other person to do what they say they will do. They will meet the expectations you have of them and that you can predict their behavior. In our world today, trust seems to be at a very low level. Just consider the huge amount of divorces which are mostly due to broken commitments or the repair man who promises to appear at a given time but doesn’t show up until a later time if at all that day.

Consider how our political system and news media have sunken to such low levels that one does not know who to believe or what is really true. False stories, innuendos, “walk backs”, and scathing attacks both ways have all destroyed our trust in these people and our institutions. For what end?

We have become numb to those who routinely lie to us, distort the truth, and even break the law. In fact, with many of our politicians, we have come to expect this. Is this all done in the pursuit of power? Probably, but what happens to us as a society when we can’t trust our leaders, our institutions, or the people we depend on.

Social media has also for a large part destroyed our ability to trust. It is good to hear from old friends and to connect with new ones. However, social media also allows people to be false, deceitful, and secretive. You can hide your texts and emails from others and be dishonest in what you say. You can even develop false personas to deceive your partners and others. Just consider the amount of lies and deceit that occurs on dating sites. It is standard to lie about your age on these sites. How does one start a relationship based on a lie? While this may get you what you want for the moment, it does destruction to those who believe in you.

The development of trust begins early in life based on the relationship between children and parents/caregivers. It is the first stage of psychosocial development according to Erik Erikson. If a child’s needs are met by parents and caregivers, they can begin to build a foundation of trust on others. However, if those needs go unmet or are frustrated, children learn early that they cannot depend on the outside world. Some of these children even develop attachment disorders. During adolescence, rejection by the peer group, bullying, or abuse can lead to the inability to trust others and perhaps even oneself. As mature adults, infidelity in relationships, addictions, and overall dishonesty all impair the ability to trust others.

In response, many have learned to close up and be defensive to others. They do not form dependable meaningful relationships and do not necessarily see friendships as being long term. They have also learned to accept that people cannot be trusted and have come to accept that. Some even will adopt that behavior because they think it brings them the rewards they want.

So how can we return to a more trusting society? It starts with each and every one of us. We need to be able to trust ourselves and then to be trustworthy. We need to have integrity, honesty, benevolence, and competence in what we do. We need to say what we mean and mean what we say. We need to be models to others and expect them to live up to what they say. We need to call out those who are being dishonest and not just accept it as a way of life. We need to expect higher standards from our leaders and hold each and every one accountable. We all need a system of values to live by and it starts with each of us. If not us, then who?

We offer the following information on The Importance of Trust:

To be trusted is a greater complement than being loved — George Macdonald


  • Trust is the ability to count on someone or something to do as we expect them to do
  • The ability to trust another depends on the belief in the honesty, fairness, and compassion of the other person
  • Trust is the foundation for all human relationships and determines how we interact with each other
  • Our ability to trust is formed early in our lives by our relationships with our parents, teachers, and caregivers
  • According to Erik Erickson, basic trust is the first state of psychosocial development that occurs during the first two years of life
  • Erikson believed that when successful, trust results in feelings of security and optimism; when unsuccessful, it results in insecurity and mistrust
  • Trust is consequently the ability to be vulnerable to others
  • Once trust is lost, it is extremely difficult to regain
  • In the absence of trust, anxiety in prominent and relationships stagnate
  • The four recognized components of trust are:
  • Integrity or honesty and ethics of a person
  • Competence or the ability to get things done
  • Predictability or the ability to achieve what is expected of the person
  • Benevolence or the kindness of a person
  • People with trust issues have often felt betrayed and had other negative experiences with those whom they trusted
  • Studies have shown that those who come from abusive homes or are the products of a contentious divorce have intimacy and commitment issues in relationships
  • Other causes of trust issues include social rejection during the teen years, traumatic experiences, dishonesty, and infidelity
  • In response, people often close up and develop defense mechanisms to insure they won’t be hurt again yet they may experience overwhelming anxiety
  • Trust issues appear to be on the rise over the past 10 years as technology makes it easier for people to be deceptive, secretive, confusing, and even fake

      • Live with integrity by developing and living by a value system
      • Be honest and transparent in your interactions with others…Say what you mean and mean what you say
      • Trust yourself by facing and overcoming the unpleasant parts of your personality
      • Listen to the feedback from others and become less defensive in your communications
      • Show respect and understanding of others even if you do not agree with them
      • Recognize the traumas, hurts, and disappointments in your lives caused by others and learn from these experiences
      • Seek professional help if you think you are unable to trust or be trusted
      • WE CAN HELP!
        Call us at 954 755-2885 or email us at

        Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D. P.A. and Associates
        5551 N University Drive, Suite 202
        Coral Springs FL 33067
        Copyright © 2017 by Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D.

        Dr. K’s Blog

        March 20, 2017

        First, I would like to thank all of you who read this blog and have been moved to reach out to me. People who I have not seen or spoken to in decades have sent me their heartfelt wishes and their personal memories of my wife. She had a great, beautiful impact on people and she truly had a well lived life.

        I question myself sometimes whether I should put my personal experiences out there yet I hope that by reading what I am going through, others can be helped. Our society does not prepare us to deal with the death of loved ones. So in some small way, maybe I can help.

        As time passes, the grieving continues. It has changed a bit but there are moments which are still very difficult. The most difficult part now of the grieving process is the loneliness. It is over six months now and I still have difficulty in accepting that she is gone. I still expect her to walk through the door or see her curled up in her favorite position reading a book. But I painfully know that will never happen again.

        The house is big and empty without her. I find myself filling my time with chores just to keep busy but when I am alone, it hurts. I miss her and our lives together. I feel so powerless that I cannot bring back those days. We think we are in so much control of our lives. And we are for some things, but for the most part, we are not. We just have to accept what is and what will be. Accepting what you don’t want to accept is quite a struggle.

        I am dealing with the loneliness by being with friends, taking a yoga class, and seeing my son and daughter. Yet there are always those moments where it truly hurts; words cannot describe it. But what else is there to do? I have been told by others who have lost loved ones that with time, it will get better. I hope they are right.

        February 20, 2017

        I wish I could say that it has gotten easier but it hasn’t. Another month has passed and the hurt remains as strong as it has ever been. This month brought the first Valentine’s Day without my wife and my daughter’s first birthday without her. I now realize that there will be many, many “firsts” most of which will be painful.

        It is still so hard to believe that I will never look into my wife’s eyes again. Never kiss her or touch her like I always did. Never hear her advice or support again. How does one accept never, especially when you don’t want to?

        I go out a little bit more. I see friends for dinner but for the most part, the evenings remain empty. The house also feels empty. My life is different. What I thought was important before is much less so if at all. Death changes your perspective but you cannot give in or give up. I continue to work and feel the satisfaction of helping others figure out their lives.

        I am fortunate to have friends who keep in touch to see how I am. I am fortunate to have children who despite their own grief, check in with me. I am fortunate to have had 50 wonderful years with my wife. So I try to count my blessings.

        I now believe that the only thing that will help me in this grieving process is just the passing of time.

        January 20, 2017

        It is now four months since my wife has passed and I can’t say that it has gotten any easier. I have gotten busier and in that sense, I have been preoccupied and am not dwelling on the sense of loss. But those moments when I am alone and are not doing anything are the most difficult moments. Friends have called me and invited me to make sure I am busy but you always have moments of aloneness which still hurt. I rationally know that my wife is gone but I still haven’t accepted it nor do I want to. My life is different. I am different. And it will never be the same.

        I don’t know how long it will take, if ever, to heal from this grief. People constantly ask me how am I doing and I find it a very hard question to answer. I know they mean well and are interested but what do you say. I am doing fine? I am not doing well? I am really just doing okay and keeping busy. That is probably the best I can say right now.

        Everywhere are constant reminders of the life I used to have. Some are poignant and other very sad. We dedicated the new office in my wife’s memory and seeing her picture gives me the feeling that she is with me all day long. I am glad we did that.

        I also went to the cemetery with my daughter and it was emotionally, one of the most difficult things I have ever done. Yet when we left I felt some comfort.

        I think my period of grieving will be over when I can truly accept that my wife has gone and that she had a wonderful life. I hope I can do that one day.

        December 19, 2016

        Another month has gone by and it doesn’t get any easier. In fact, the holidays highlight the emptiness and the loss. These are very difficult times and the powerlessness of not being able to change what happened is overwhelming. Keeping busy helps as it distracts from the grief yet even around people I feel alone. I grapple with acceptance and I am not there yet and probably won’t be for a long, long time.

        I also realize that I have changed. No longer do I have my best friend to travel with, to talk to, to learn from, and to share my private thoughts. My wife and I grew up and grew together and we shared many, many wonderful experiences. Now those experiences are over and all I have left are the memories and the possessions. Yes, my children are wonderful and we have a very good relationship. But they too have their own grief to deal with.

        I have found that death is the hardest part of life. Rationally, I understand that we will all pass at some time. But are we ever prepared for it? I give thanks that my wife did not suffer long; that is a blessing in itself. But I miss her.

        I have learned that despite all we control in our life, we are never really in control of what matters the most. I am glad that we had such a close and warm relationship yet, precisely because of this, it hurts now that she has passed.

        November 21, 2016

        It is now 2½ months since my wife died and the transition to acceptance is extremely difficult. Cognitively, it sounds like an easy task. But emotionally, it is one of the most difficult tasks I’ve ever faced in my life. I have spoken with others who have lost loved ones who seem to be the only ones who can understand what I am going through. They know the depths of emptiness and loneliness that one can only experience when one loses one’s partner. It is almost like a club of grievers who never ever really stop grieving. They just seem to put it aside to go on with their lives for the sake of themselves and others. They say that it gets better but the pain never leaves.

        How does one go from sharing everything with another to being alone? Things we were going to do, places we were going to travel to, renovations to the house, movies we were going to see, friends we were going to visit, and new experiences we were going to learn from are now all gone. They have to be done by me alone and yes I will do some of these but it is not the same. Ideas that I usually bounced off my wife or opinions where I needed her input now have to be decided only by me or by family and friends. Everything has changed internally since I am now a “me” and not a “we”.

        Thanksgiving is just around the corner and it has always been a family holiday for us. Yes I will be with my adult children but our loss will be paramount. As we always do, we will give thanks for our health and everything we have in life. We will also give thanks for having had my wife in our lives for as long as we had her. We will also give thanks that she is suffering no longer and we will remember her joy, her wit, her love for people, animals, and books, and her love for us.

        Email of the Month

        We would like to thank Paul L. for the following email:

        Heavens to Murgatroyd!

        Would you believe the email spell checker did not recognize the word murgatroyd? Lost words from our childhood: Words gone as fast as the buggy whip! Sad really!

        The other day a not so elderly (65) (I say 75) lady said something to her son about driving a Jalopy and he looked at her quizzically and said “What the heck is a Jalopy?” OMG (new phrase)! He never heard of the word jalopy!! She knew she was old but not that old.
        Well, I hope you are Hunky Dory after you read this and chuckle.

        About a month ago, I illuminated some old expressions that have become obsolete because of the inexorable march of technology. These phrases included “Don’t touch that dial,” “Carbon copy,” “You sound like a broken record” and “Hung out to dry.” Back in the olden days we had a lot of moxie. We’d put on our best bib and tucker to straighten up and fly right.

        Heavens to Betsy!
        Gee whillikers!
        Jumping Jehoshaphat!
        Holy moley!

        We were in like Flynn and living the life of Riley, and even a regular guy couldn’t accuse us of being a knucklehead, a nincompoop or a pill. Not for all the tea in China!

        Back in the olden days, life used to be swell, but when’s the last time anything was swell?

        Swell has gone the way of beehives, pageboys and the D.A.; of spats, knickers, fedoras, poodle skirts, saddle shoes and pedal pushers.

        Oh, my aching back. Kilroy was here, but he isn’t anymore.

        We wake up from what surely has been just a short nap, and before we can say, well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle!

        Or, this is a fine kettle of fish! We discover that the words we grew up with, the words that seemed omnipresent, as oxygen, have vanished with scarcely a notice from our tongues and our pens and our keyboards.

        Poof, go the words of our youth, the words we’ve left behind We blink, and they’re gone. Where have all those phrases gone?

        Long gone: Pshaw, The milkman did it.
        Hey! It’s your nickel.
        Don’t forget to pull the chain.
        Knee high to a grasshopper.
        Well, Fiddlesticks!
        Going like sixty.
        I’ll see you in the funny papers.
        Don’t take any wooden nickels.

        It turns out there are more of these lost words and expressions than Carter has liver pills. This can be disturbing stuff! (“Carter’s Little Liver Pills” are gone too!)

        We of a certain age have been blessed to live in changeable times. For a child each new word is like a shiny toy, a toy that has no age. We at the other end of the chronological arc have the advantage of remembering there are words that once did not exist and there were words that once strutted their hour upon the earthly stage and now are heard no more, except in our collective memory. It’s one of the greatest advantages of aging. See ya later, alligator!

        Till April…

        The information provided in this electronic newsletter is not a substitute for professional treatment. It is the opinions of the writers and is provided solely for educational purposes. For mental health care, seek a qualified professional.

        If you no longer wish to receive future E-Letter reminders, please send an email to requesting to be removed from this list.

        If you find this information interesting or helpful, please forward this E-Letter to your contacts and friends. Copyright © 2017 by Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D. P.A. and Associates.