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Showing posts from February, 2013

Loneliness: The Case of the Romantic Partner Dilemma

Laura Hull, MA, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Valentine’s Day week has the same holiday prerequisite as most other “major” holidays, the prerequisite being the potential to make us feel miserable.It can be a time of fun and celebration or a painful reminder of what is missing in life, in this case, a romantic partner.For years, I never really knew the whole story behind Valentine’s Day.All I knew was that as a child it meant trading Valentine cards with classmates and maybe the occasional love note with the classroom crush.Ah! If only life could stay so simple!Even though I now know the “real” story of how we came to celebrate Valentine’s Day, I am still not convinced it is much more than a conspiracy between jewelers, florist, candy companies and card companies to make us part with more money after a frenzied Christmas buying season.By the beginning of February, commercials run frequently on television and radio, reminding us that we need to show our love by buying expensiv…

The Lonely Side of Mothering

By Chris Hammond
I have been told many times that the best years of my life are when I was a stay-at-home-mom.The comment came from an older woman who looked at me with envy while I struggled to change a diaper in a restroom with another child tugging on my pants.Or the comment came from a friend who was driving to work after just having dropped off her child at daycare while I’m at home picking up sticky Cheerios off the sofa.Or the comment came from my husband who wished he could stay at home instead of going to work every day while I’m wishing desperately for adult conversation about anything other than the kids.For me, some of the loneliest years of my life came when I “got to” stay home with my kids.
Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not being ungrateful for the opportunity to be at home and watch my kids take their first step, play on the playground, pick on their siblings, or have one of their countless accidents that resulted in numerous trips to the emergency room.I’m extremely grate…

The Valentine's Day Fail Process

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If you feel Lonely without a card or candy does it mean you aren’t Loved?
By Dwight Bain It’s the worst day of the year for millions. No, I’m not talking about April 15th when Income Taxes are due- I’m referring to Valentine’s Day. Turns out this ‘romantic’ holiday has become one of the loneliest and least popular holidays according to the National Retail Federation. Here’s how American’s listed out their preferences for special days– 93% - Christmas/Hanukkah 87.8% - July 4th 83% - Mother’s Day 82% - Easter 77% - Father’s Day 60% -Valentine’s Day 54.2% -St. Patrick’s Day With all the promotions on TV you might think Valentines is more about money than it is about love since the aaverage guy will spend $169 on jewelry, clothes, perfume, flowers or dining out… (twice as much as women will spend according to the National Retail Federation).The Greeting Card Association reports that people will send about 150 million cards to show their love, in all American’s will spend $17.6…

Formulas That Can Lead to Depression

Brian M. Murray, MS, IMH
If you are feeling depressed there may be something you can do to relieve it. Feeling depressed can be due to an imbalance in the brain neurotransmitter called Serotonin of which medication from a medical doctor can help to stabilize. While antidepressants can help lift mood this is often not the sole culprit for depression. Studies show that the most effective way to relieve depression is through both mood stabilizers and talk therapy such as mental health counseling. Talk therapy helps bring a person to understanding and healing of why the depression is occurring in the first place with a goal of getting off of being dependent on mood stabilizing medications. There are times however when the body has a chronic problem with producing enough Serotonin to hold the lifted mood. In this case long term treatment with medications may be necessary under a medical doctor’s care.
When focusing on talk therapy there are three ways (formulas) that can help to relieve s…

Struggling With Parenting? Direct Parents are Motivating

By Chris Hammond
When your child comes home with a bad grade on a test, you sit them down immediately and try to help them set new goals for improving their grade.You explain about the importance of setting long-term goals and how their current behavior is not consistent with what they want out of life.You never miss an opportunity to encourage and motivate your child to become what you already know they are capable of becoming.But there is no doubt during the moments of disappointment and stress that your child’s wishes and opinions are second to yours.After all, you are the parent and they are the child.
You are a Direct Parent.As a direct parent, your favorite questions will be centered around the word “What”.What are you doing?What are you trying to accomplish? What is your point?You are goal-oriented, focused, and motivating but you can easily overpower your child to the point of bullying and therefore miss an opportunity for tenderness, compassion, and mercy.If your child is like …

Struggling With Parenting? Cautious Parents are Aware

By Chris Hammond
“Failing to plan is planning to fail.”This is one of your favorite quotes and your child already knows it by heart.You are a careful planner in every activity with many detailed lists in order by priority and usually color coded for easy reference. This is responsible behavior and irresponsible behavior is not having a plan because danger lurks behind every corner and you might be unprepared.It is important that you set the proper example for your child in behavior, thought, and control of your emotions so you are very careful about what you say, how you say it and explaining why you do what you do.
You are a Cautious Parent.As a cautious parent, your favorite questions will be centered around the word “Why”.Why did you do that?Why didn’t you finish that?Why aren’t you doing it this way?Cautious parents are detail oriented, analytical, and perfectionists but when pushed they can become irrationally moody and over explain.If your child is like you, they will ask a ton of…

Struggling With Parenting? Bookkeeper Parents are Fair

By Chris Hammond
In your head you keep a constant ledger and running total of all the gifts, grades, thank-you notes, kind acts, punishments, harsh words, phone calls, and hugs for each child.You carefully check the ledger daily to ensure that your kids are all getting equal time, attention, and punishment as the thought you might be unfair to one child is extremely painful.It may sound exhausting, but the alternative of appearing to favor one child over the other is far worse than having to maintain the ledger.
You are a Bookkeeper Parent.As a bookkeeper parent, your favorite questions will be centered around the word “How”.How are you going to do that?How do you feel?How are you doing?Bookkeeper parents are very fair, diplomatic, and loyal but can easily get their feelings hurt in the process of parenting especially when accused of being unfair, undiplomatic and disloyal.If your child is like you, they appreciate your fairness and see such an act as love.
The Good.Because you pay atten…

Struggling With Parenting? Active Parents are Fun

By Chris Hammond
Having kids is a blast.There are so many places to show them, so many things to explore, so many things to do and so little time.It seems as if your calendar is always full and it probably is with birthday parties, trips to the zoo, new playgrounds, play dates with friends, soccer practices and just going to stores.At home there are plenty of toys, games, crafts, and most likely an entire room devoted to the kids where they can play for endless hours.You like all of the activity and encourage your kid to try new things constantly.
You are an Active parent.As an active parent, your favorite questions will be centered around the word “Who”.Who else is going? Who are your friends?Who do you want to be?You are interested in the people in your kid’s world and usually use your kid’s interaction with others as an indication of how well adjusted they are.If your child is like-minded, this conversation is easy but if not your child shuts down and can’t seem to figure out why thi…

Feeling Stuck? Do Things Differently!

Brian M. Murray, MS, IMH
Feeling stuck in life can bring about unsettling emotions and negative thinking. It can create questions in the mind about life, career, family and a whole host of other thinking patterns that can lead to major changes. Often the source of frustration for feeling stuck isn't so much about the position someone finds themselves as it is about how they think about how they see themselves in their current situation. This negative thinking pattern over time can lead into other issues such as low self-esteem, self-worth, depression and anxiety. To head this off at the pass before it gets to that level and therapy is needed to reverse course there are a few things a person can do to help get directed back into a positive mindset.
Watch out for and filter internal self dialogue that has a critical voice saying something that leads to thinking "I'm not good enough and I'm incompetent." This can lead to feelings of guilt and shame which has an unde…