Showing posts from February, 2006

Our Life Pathways, by John Wagner

Harville Hendrix makes this observation about marriage. In our society marriage is viewed as choose a mate, climb into a box, settle in and then take your first close look at who you married, stay put if you like what you see. If you don’t like what you see, climb out of the box and scout around for another mate. Whether or not marriage works depends upon your ability to attract a good partner. The common solution to an unhappy marriage is to divorce and start over. Some couples stay in the box, tighten the lid, and put up with a disappointing relationship for the rest of their lives.

Let us propose a more hopeful view of love relationships. Hendrix states, “Marriage is not some static state between two unchanging people; but rather it is a psychological and spiritual journey that, as romantic love began to play a more substantial role in mate selection, begins in the ecstasy of attraction, meanders through the rocky stretch of self-discovery, and ends in the creation of an intimate an…

Children and Storm Stress- Building emotional recovery after natural disasters, By Dwight Bain

Monster storms like Hurricanes, Tsunamis, Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Floods, Blizzards, Forest Fires and Mud Slides destroy more than communities- they destroy the emotional security and stability in the lives of everyone, especially in our children. Knowing what to do and say will help you to make a positive difference in the lives of children during the process of rebuilding. Here are some key elements to equip you to better serve children who have been emotionally traumatized by natural disasters.

How are children affected? It depends on the age of the child. The younger the child, the more they look to their parents for emotional security and strength. If a Mom or Dad are “shell-shocked" or “numb” and not able to manage their own emotions or responsibilities; the child will feel that pressure and become very confused and further stressed. Remember, it's normal to be overwhelmed by a major natural disaster, which is why it's going to be so important for caregivers to …

Connection Conniption ~ Understanding Adjustment Disorders in Teenagers, by Aaron Welch, LMHC

What are some ways I can know that my teenager is having a hard time with adjustment?

* A noticeable change in grades
* When teens isolate themselves (headphones all the time, hide in their room, avoid family time)
* Attempts to "escape" (video games, books, pornography, etc...) instead of connect.
* Behavior changes: getting into trouble at home or school
* Outbursts of anger or frustration
* Depression: decreased interest in activities they usually like, low motivation, etc.
* Self-mutilation: "cutting", excessive piercings,
* Substance abuse
* Sexual activity
* Suicide attempts

Watch closely for signs that your teenager is completely pulling away from family relationships. All teenagers long for independence from family to some extent, but if the isolation becomes excessive then you need to reach out to them in a loving and direct way. Teenagers will resist these advances but don't take that personally. They truly need this time of connection with you.
Remember that the…

~ Intimate Connections ~ Understanding the tender & tough sides of a growing relationship, By Dwight Bain, Nationally Certified Counselor

Have you ever noticed that some couples can quickly move from being fired up with romantic passion for their partner to acting like a bully-boss who just wants to passionately fire them like a needless employee. It’s no wonder that people are more cautious about opening up their hearts to another person, because they have likely witnessed the process of intense romantic chemistry quickly eroding into hateful rejection and ugly conflicts. Everybody talks about wanting a relationship where they are loved and accepted, yet few are willing to take the chance of being hurt again, which makes it easy to wonder, “Is an intimate relationship even possible anymore?” and if so, “How do you get one?”

Intimacy is about seeing into someone’s heart and mind and learning to connect with them in multiple ways to feel close, accepted and loved on the inside, no matter what kind of pressure might be happening on the outside. Listen to the word if it is slowly spoken… ‘In-to-see-me’ since true intimacy i…

Mean Girls- Understanding the psychological issues behind Mother/Daughter Conflict

Moms & girls. They can’t stand to be apart- or just can’t stand each other. One of the most complex, challenging, confusing as well as rewarding and meaningful relationships in life can be found between mothers and their daughters. This psychological tension could occur early as early as childhood or be delayed until the teen years, and in extreme cases create problems for decades. At its worst, the friction and fights generated by these conflicts can destroy a relationship for good and even ripple into breaking a family apart.

Understanding what is causing the conflict in a home is the beginning of solving the problem. When a young woman is engaged in a major power struggle with her mother their home moves from a safe place to a war zone that can spin dangerously out of control.

The five most common conflict styles girls may experience during the journey to becoming a young woman are listed below. Once the traits are identified that describe the tension in your home, use these pare…

How do you motivate people toward making a major change?

Here's the secret... you can't motivate people, (and I've been a motivational speaker for thirty years!), but you can motivate yourself. Here are a few insights to show you the real source of personal power and that is in understanding how Mood influences Motivation.

First principle- Motivation and Mood are connected, with Mood being the primary psychological driver. People can't change until these two internal drives are connected since one fuels the other.

Second principle- Motivation without Mood is a temporary change at best, since the individual stays in a passive state, waiting and waiting on the externals to crank up their energy (think about a cheering session of 'rah-rah/ blah-blah' that pumps up the moment, without creating lasting change).

Third principle- Mood alone without Motivation is like chasing a pleasurable feeling, you might catch it, but not for long. (think of somewhere between the classic rock song lyrics of 'I'm hooked on a feeling&…

Some people say that gambling is just a game and isn't a big deal- what do you say?

Remember the main difference between the two issues. Games are fun and amusing, while compulsive gambling is about avoiding feelings with addiction.

Every form of addiction comes from the compulsive need to cover up some type of inner pain. While many people think it's easy to stop a behavior like gambling that is used by many people for recreation, entertainment or just passing the time, it's not. Not for a person who is overwhelmed and highly stressed, because it can quickly turn into an uncontrollable desire that can destroy everything good in life.

Addictions are becoming more common and include the compulsive need for alcohol, drugs, sex, spending, food or gambling; all of which can become life dominating at first and then eventually life-destroying.

Here are 4 of the most likely reasons that trigger this driven and destructive psychological force.
Loneliness- which is solved with connected relationships and social interaction
Unfulfilled- which is solved by knowing and livin…

What emotional & psychological pressures are facing the Gulf Hurricane survivors?

Hurricane Katrina, Rita or Wilma survivors are likely to face what I refer to as a psychological 'storm' as they go through the instability of moving from shelter to shelter, or temporary housing situation to the risk of losing their temporary housing with no options in sight. This 'storm' will bring more than the dangerous surge of wind and water, because it's an on-going storm of financial chaos, hopelessness, despair, anxiety and possible homelessness.

Some people will press on until they discover a new place to call 'home.' Many others are still numb from their life being wiped out over a weekend in 2005 and are just too exhausted to try again.

If it's true that only the strong survive, then some will grow really strong and bounce back fast and we will call them remarkable and heroic. Sadly for the youngest, oldest and most traumatized it will be just the opposite. They will grow weaker and quieter and some will just give up and wait to die and we …