‘A book of doing’: Local therapist’s book aims to empower people to solve their own problems
Carmel Valley marriage and family therapist Ron Muchnick, Ph.D recently published his first book, “At the End of the Day”.
Muchnick’s goal with the self-help book is to promote successful change in people’s lives through the implementation of his five-step SOLVE process: an effective way for people to rely on themselves for the answers to their problems, both personally and professionally.
“The SOLVE model is a process that empowers individuals to be aware and understand the problems they face in a more productive way,” said Muchnick, 75. “They will not only be able to develop action plans but most importantly will be able to self-initiate their plans into action.”
“It is not just a book of hope, it is a book of doing.”
Muchnick has been a marriage and family counselor for 30 years, also offering business consulting through his company Solution Focus Consulting. Before becoming a therapist, he had an entirely different professional life—he was in sales and marketing with companies like Coors and Gallo Winery and owned his own beverage distribution company in Florida.
“I call it my midlife transition,” Muchnick said of his decision to switch careers at 42. His wife Sherri is a therapist and the work sounded appealing and he wanted to explore a career that might be more impactful. Counseling was a little like sales and marketing in that it involved not staying too long on the problem side, making goals, creating plans and always moving toward a solution or sale. He kept his distribution company as he went through a Ph.D program over the next four years, beginning work as a licensed marriage and family therapist at the age of 45.
“I do think my career is a statement about the potential of change,” Muchnick said, adding that you never know what your final end game will be unless you take the opportunity to alter your course and make a productive change, “That keeps life exciting.”
Muchnick said his is a rewarding field in which he is able to make a difference one individual or one family at a time. The idea to write the book was really to describe the therapy model that he uses and have an impact on a larger number of people.
“It just works,” Muchnick said of the SOLVE process. “If I can explain in an easy way how to use this model, it has the potential of impacting a number of individuals to work through the issues and challenges they meet on a daily basis.”
“It allows the individual to feel empowered to use what they already possess—the assets, abilities and skills to resolve most issues that they can get stuck on. When you’re problem-drenched it feels like too much and we forget who are and everything we know and have accomplished,” Muchnick said. “The goal of the book is to have the SOLVE process become your personal problem-resolution system. You have the power and control to develop solutions for the problems you experience.”
Muchnick said his job as a therapist and consultant is to put himself out of business, giving his clients the understanding to create change for themselves—he is passionate about being the facilitator for those changes.
The book wasn’t too difficult to write as he lives the process in his work, he didn’t have to do heavy research. What took the most time in writing was developing the characters of Michael and Kim and the journey Michael goes on using the SOLVE process. The book is sprinkled with his subtle humor, like naming characters Guru Seeka Ansura and Dr. Structure.
Muchnick said the book is meant to be an easy read, he calls it a “B&B”, a beach and bathroom book.
“If you read the book, follow the steps and play with it, you will create change and you will do a better job is solving immediate issues,” Muchnick said. “It’s a book that has immediate benefits for the reader.”
Muchnick believes he has another book in him although he’s not yet sure what direction it will take yet.
“I like the idea of short, helpful and meaningful-type books that can help facilitate changes,” Muchnick said. “I have at least one more in the woodpile.”
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