Apr 102008
Authors: Bijah Gibson

In his new book “Stories from the Couch and Other Telling Tales,” psychologist and CSU adjunct professor Dr. Mark Benn addresses common human problems through short stories.

Benn, who teaches both undergraduate and graduate level courses and works in the University Counseling Center, hopes that everyone will be able to relate to the stories in his book.

“It’s a collection of 34 vignettes that is really about life,” Benn said.

Benn said he believes all people are connected by the problems of everyday life. With such sentiment, Benn said readers are likely to find themselves in a story or two.

“If we filled the biggest stadium in the world with people they would all have one thing in common: they all have problems,” Benn said. “You’ll find yourself in this book.”

The everyday problems addressed in the book include issues of poverty, addiction, money and abuse. Benn said the stories come from his own life and the lives of others.

His first story, titled “Watch Out for that Tree,” is driven by a metaphor in which humans are compared to trees, and explains how accidents can leave lasting scars.

While each story stands alone in its tale and message, most are fairly short, two to three pages long. Benn said he hopes readers will find his stories entertaining, and that the book is great for busy readers, as they can pick any story and get through it quickly.

“It’s good bathroom reading and airplane material,” Benn said.

Benn has established himself as a figure on campus, having been honored with a Best Teacher Award in 2004, and a 2007 Collegian poll found him to be one of the most popular among CSU professors.

For Benn, this book is a product of experience combined with the many years of listening to other’s stories. Despite being a published author, Benn said he’d like to remain humble about his achievement.

“I’m not braggy. I will not require my students to buy this,” Benn said.

“Stories from the Couch” is now for sale in the Campus Bookstore and at Amazon.com.

Staff writer Bijah Gibson can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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