Here are the resources from my book LEAPFROG: How to hold a civil conversation in an uncivil era. Visit my BOOKS page for more information.

Learn more

Cultural Differences

I went in as a grandmother and came home realizing that age is an artificial barrier to friendship. My
 fellow teachers—each younger than either of my two sons—had become my closest friends.

I ate boiled meat and noodles with my fingers and loved it. I learned to squat over a never-quite-large-enough hole in the floor. And I learned how to make “herring under fur.”

On a higher plane, I began to understand anew the values I hold dear. Visiting different cultures, particularly living among and working beside the local people, can be life-changing.

I speak to these things and more on my Facebook Author Page.

For additional information see David A Gershaw, Person Perception: East vs. West.

Here’s a fascinating article on How Diversity Makes Us Smarter from Scientific American. 


Friendship is a recurring theme in my memoir, At Home on the Kazakh Steppe. The friends I made there helped me feel a part of a community, they brought laughter back into my life, and they taught me much.

Here are some questions on friendship that still intrigue me after thirty years.

How important is similarity in friendship?

Learn more

Here is a list of songs about friendship:

Learn more

Here is a list of movies about friendship:

Learn more

And here are a few books and other readings on friendship:

Learn more

Gestalt Psychotherapy

What is Gestalt? I’m asked this so often, I thought I’d take a stab.

Gestalt psychology (Gestalt theory) came out of research on perception in the early 1920s.

The theory holds that in our quest for explanation, humans make a “whole” from the individual parts we experience. We fill in the blanks, literally, using information from previous experiences, assumptions, and even wishful thinking.  The trick is to know we are doing it at the time.

Gestalt theorists use terms like figure and ground; introjection, confluence, retroflection, deflection, proflection, egotism, projection, and polarities. Gestalt psychotherapists try not to. 

Gestalt psychotherapy pulls from this research and uses exploration, experiment, and experience in our work.

Learn more


To learn more about this fascinating country, its history, its politics, its culture, and the people who live there visit any of these useful resources:

Sources from within Kazakhstan

Learn more

Sources from outside Kazakhstan

Learn more

Ways to Travel

A Few Great Starting Places

Learn more


Learn more