Q. I've attended your seminars several times and enjoyed the information you shared. Each time I've asked to meet with you privately to get your advice on a serious problem. Each time you've said, "I do not take personal clients, neither do I give advice." You said it graciously but the bottom line is that you turned down my request for help. So I am trying email because I have a serious problem and I need your advice. If that doesn't work, I'll try the phone next. I mean, what does it take for me to get some advice from you? I do not want to go to a stranger and cannot afford to pay for advice.

A. Thank you for letting me know you have enjoyed the information I've presented in seminars. I enjoy sharing information on current brain-function research. However, I am unclear as to where you got the idea that I do personal counseling. Whether in person, by email, snail-mail, or telephone, my answer remains the same: I do not take personal clients, neither do I give advice. I am at a loss to say this any more clearly.

If you perceive that you have a problem for which you need advice, I suggest you find a professional in your area whose expertise aligns with the problem you are trying to solve. And if it is a serious problem, you might want to do this sooner than later. And be prepared to pay for the professional's time. After all, would you expect your medical healthcare provider to treat you in a grocery-store parking lot free of charge?