Suzy Chase-Motzkin


About Character and Understanding




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Though I feel as though I lived an idyllic childhood, there were moments of deep frustration and hurt over the actions and words from others. But, I was lucky enough to have the right kind of support to help me navigate through those difficult times. My father, holding a PhD in psychology, was quick to supply the tools to help me re-frame and work through whatever situation challenged my self-worth and confidence. The dinnertime conversations that my brother and I experienced with our parents were a valuable training ground. Ways of thinking were explored; helping us develop a better understanding of other people’s perspectives. Our parents connected us with many different kinds of people throughout our childhood and they rarely criticized or judged other’s unique perspectives. My husband, Dave, and I also cherished those mealtime moments with our own children. Now adults working in the health care field, Julian and Chelsey developed a compassionate way of being. Both have been advocates of accepting and connecting with a great variety of people from a very young age. They understand the value of differences among people and celebrate creativity and unique ways of thinking. Instead of standing in judgment, they have learned and grown through varied experiences with others. Psychologist, Abraham Maslow wrote a paper called “A Theory of Human Motivation”, for the Psychological Review in 1943. His refined theory in 1970 of a “Hierarchy of Needs” included the following: Physiological (food-water-shelter), Safety (security, stability, freedom from fear), Love/Belonging (friends, family, love), Self-Esteem (Achievement, recognition, respect), and Self-Actualization (Fulfillment, creativity, pursuing talent). These needs have proven to be a framework for psychologists and educators in their quest to understand human motivation. When the basic needs are not met, the emotional system becomes anxious and tense. Because of this, people either retreat or act out. If these basic needs are supported, people can move about their life as motivated and happy individuals. The early years of development are important in shaping self-confidence and self-esteem. The family plays an important role in supporting the emotional development of a child. A parent or guardian can articulate constructive comments and questions to guide a child positively, while the child navigates through a world of disappointments and challenges. Siblings who are loving and supportive can also help with positive development during the early years at home. When a child is faced with bullying in the family, either by a parent, guardian, or a sibling, they will create defense mechanisms. These attitudes or behaviors can carry throughout the child’s life negatively. Their own ability to nurture and support might become stunted because of constant negative feedback from the family while growing up. Negativity becomes a habit and continues to perpetuate unless there is intervention. When at school, a child wants more than anything to belong to the group. If their sense of self is compromised, the child can easily be a target for others. If the child is struggling for acknowledgment and power, they may act out against others, as they may have seen others do successfully. What those individuals who bully others do not know, is how it may affect them down the road. There may be a troubling inability to truly care for and love others, which would lead to unfulfilling relationships. For those who are acted out upon, without the support of others to buoy their self-esteem, there may be a constant sense of inferiority. A lack of self-confidence may affect how one may choose a mate, or move about in their professional development. It is a delicate balance to give the right kind of support with a dose of realism. It is irresponsible to continue to tell a child they are better than others, but it is also irresponsible to foist limitations on their potential. Every child/human is born with unlimited potential and every one should be supported for their individuality and unique perspective. We need to act kindly, compassionately, and in support of others. In doing so, we buoy our own sense of self. There is plenty of room in life for everyone to live successfully. There will be others who are more gifted in certain areas of their lives, as you are more gifted in other areas of your life. If self-esteem is fostered, where there is an understanding that we all have our own special qualities, we can more easily support other’s successes. Let’s continue to reach out to people and give them the support they need to value their own existence. It is our differences that make this world an interesting place. Our children need to understand, accept, and celebrate these differences. We are all important parts of the whole.

    After reading PERRY'S FRIENDS, group discuses the story line, their personal experiences and perspectives, and then share ideas for positive actions and outcomes.


     Guidelines are set and monitored by the facilitator.

    Small groups can immediately begin improvisational skits depicting their solutions.


    Groups can refine skits; joining together to perform a collaborative assembly.

    A unique aspect of this program is that each participant chooses the character type they want to play and how many lines they want. They can share their special talents; becoming fully invested in the process of making a production.

    This co-creation experience elevates self-esteem and positively changes group dynamics.  Benefits are far reaching and inspiring for both mind and soul.

    Please tell me more about this program.

    View Sample Character Questionnaire and Full Production/Assembly Format


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Perry's Star

Imagery and


Perry Heals


and Wellness

Perry Sees


and Intuition





Perry's Friends

Character and Understanding




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