DEAR ABBY: A friend who lives out of town asked me if she can stay with me for a few days. We often host each other. However, she also mentioned that she has a bedbug infestation.
I could take precautions, but some friends have said it was nervy of her to even ask because it put me in an awkward position. I honestly would prefer she not come, but I feel guilty. Any advice?
- Possible Host in New York
DEAR POSSIBLE HOST: Yes. Tell your friend you would love to see her, but in light of her revelation, you think it would be better if she stays in a hotel during this visit. And unless you are absolutely sure that her home and clothing are insect-free, entertain her away from your dwelling. Bedbugs can cling to everything - suitcases, clothing, you name it. Hostess, protect thyself.
DEAR ABBY: My husband died three years ago and I'm still grieving deeply. Time hasn't made it easier; in fact, it's getting more difficult. No one around me understands or even cares, for that matter.
How do I find a good therapist? I don't know what questions to ask to see if I can trust him or her with my thoughts, and if we would get along. Any suggestions?
- Dying of a Broken Heart
DEAR DYING: A way to find a good therapist would be to ask friends and/or your doctor for referrals and explain that since your husband's death your grief hasn't lessened. Your state psychological association can also provide the names of members who specialize in grief counseling.
Interview several prospective therapists. A question you should ask is how many patients with your problem he or she has successfully treated. However, the bottom line is whether you feel the therapist listens well and has the compassion to help you, which is as important as any diploma hanging on the wall. You'll know when you meet someone you are comfortable with.