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Showing posts from August, 2016

Try This One Change with a Passive-Aggressive

By: Christine Hammond, LMHC

One of the most frustrating experiences is to live or work with someone who is constantly passive-aggressive (PA). Their refusal to accept responsibility even for the most minuet things is aggravating. At home or work, there is a constant flow of tasks needing completion which are outside normal expectations. PA’s will not take the initiative and they refuse to see that the task needs to be done in the first place. When they finally agree to completing a task, it is rarely on-time, it lacks the quality they are capable of performing, and there is no added creative value. However, when a PA decides they are going to achieve some level, they shine. This is perhaps because the expectations for their performance are already reduced to lower levels based on previous experiences. Or it could be that they conserve all of their energy by not doing other things so that they have more energy supply to complete what they want. Or it could be that unless they make the co…

What is Emotional Blackmail?

By: Christine Hammond, LMHC Movies love to portray the Inner and outer conflict that arises from being blackmailed, especially when someone’s life hangs in the balance. There is the villain (the blackmailer), the victim (the target), a demand (what is being asked for), and a threat (what negative thing will happen if the victim refuses to comply). But blackmail does not have to be a life or death threat to be real. It can be more subtle than that. Blackmail.Here are a couple of examples in everyday life. At school, one child says to another, “If you don’t say I’m the coolest, then I’ll beat you up.” In a neighborhood, it is a neighbor threatening to do property damage if turned into the homeowner’s board. At the office, a co-worker who knows some private personal information threatens to use it against another in exchange for a small fee. This type of blackmail has some sort of physical or tangible harm attached. Emotional Blackmail. This is a bit different. The threat is not tangible, …

The Power of Balanced Thinking

By: Christine Hammond, LMHC As a natural optimist, I’m great at seeing the glass half full. However, life has taught me that there are times when positive thinking can do more harm than good. For it is through the pain, suffering, hurt, sadness, and discouragement that a person gains strength, character, courage, determination, and perseverance.   Optimists. It is natural for an optimist to overlook the negative. However, dismissing uncomfortable topics arbitrarily without allowing the opportunity for self-reflection, leads to a lack of awareness. This avoidance can prevent healing in the most inward parts of a person thereby creating an environment where the same root issue resurfaces over and over. Pessimists. Likewise, it is natural for a pessimist to overlook the positive. But neglecting to embrace even the simple joys in life and feel the emotion can leave a person flat. This type of avoidance can also prevent healing because it seems like life will never get better again. Balance.

Exhausted and Overwhelmed – Understanding How Technology Can Steal Time and Destroy Focus

By: Dwight Bain

We all do it. We’ve all promised ourselves we won’t waste another hour on social media with mindless escapism, yet another week goes by and the projects pile up because of the need to‘like’ more cute pictures on Facebook.
So how can you protect yourself and your family from losing so much time on social media or the Internet? First, realize it’s happening, and that technology saturation leads to overexposure which only makes it worse, leading to elevated expectations which leads to depressed moods, then the dark emotions of envy over constant comparison and finally exhaustion.
Here are some proven steps to reclaim mental focus during this busy time of year. 1.Routines – build in healthy routines where you ‘unplug’ from technology to plug into your friends, family and faith.   2.Environment – find a way to get you and your family outside. Take a walk, walk the dog, or teach a child how to ride a bike, throw a Frisbee… whatever it takes to be outdoors where you can recharge a…

The Primary Purpose of Parenting

By: Christine Hammond, LMHC The primary purpose of parenting is to raise fully functional adults who can take care of themselves and make a positive contribution to society. Generally speaking, this should be accomplished by eighteen. After this age, parents have less verbal influence but can still be a positive role model through actions, not words. It is with intention that marriage and family are not mentioned. According to Erik Erikson’s Eight Stages of Psychosocial Development, the sixth stage, Intimacy vs. Isolation, does not begin until after eighteen. A person needs the successful outcome of the prior stage first, Identity vs. Confusion, which is realized in the teen years. When an adult understands who they are separate from their family and peers, they can then form a heathy attachment to another person. Here are ten examples of a fully functional adult. This list is not meant to be inclusive or exclusive; rather it is a spring board for discussion. 1.Value of hard work. There a…

Married to a Person Who Seems Addicted to Chaos?

By: Christine Hammond, LMHC
There seems to be a revolving door of crises at any given time. Just when things begin to slow down, another chaotic moment arises out of nowhere and demanding immediate attention. When the underlying cause is addressed, the spouse claims they have no responsibility for contributing to the disruption. They emotionally site numerous external sources for the problem, some of which are very accurate. And so the pattern continues to repeat. Is there a name for this? The name “Borderline” is not descriptive of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Rather, the old name of Chaotic Personality Disorder is more characteristic of the erratic behavioral pattern. Unfortunately, the DSM-V uses the name BPD. So what does it look like to be married to someone like this? Here are a few indicators.
1.Constant fear of abandonment. The spouse makes numerous gestures and attempts to reassure the BPD spouse of their fidelity which work only temporarily. After a period of time, t…

How to Set Adult Boundaries with Narcissistic Parents

By: Christine Hammond, LMHC
When adults realize they were the product of a narcissistic parent, it can shock them into a state of grief. Instantly, they go from idealizing the narcissist to grieving their lost childhood and the God-like image of their parent. Suddenly, the parent is transformed from larger than life to a deeply insecure human being. With the rose colored glasses off, the adult struggles to rewrite their history without a narcissistic perception. It is not an easy process. It requires time to recall events and alter them to a newly discovered reality. It entails massive energy to reprogram the negative words and competitive actions of the narcissist. It necessitates motivation to complete the process until a new level of healthy is achieved. But now that this process is finished, what new boundaries can keep the adult from falling back into old habits?
1.Think before speaking. Before visiting or speaking to a narcissistic parent, the adult should remember the parent is a …

7 Steps in Healing From a Narcissistic Parent

By: Christine Hammond, LMHC
Healing from a narcissistic parent has a positive effect on all of the other close relationships in a person’s life. The distorted perception of reality a narcissistic parent imposes on a child can have damaging consequences as an adult at work and home.  The lack of self-esteem, obsessive thinking, minimization of abuse, excessive anxiety, and fear based reactions are common among adult children of narcissists. By addressing the impact of narcissism, a person finds relief. Here are the seven steps towards healing:
1.Recognize Narcissistic Behavior. The first step in the healing process is to admit that there is something wrong with a parent’s behavior. A person can’t recover from something they refuse to acknowledge. Most narcissistic parents pick a favorite child, the “golden child,” who is treated as if they walk on water. The other children are frequently treated as inferior through belittlement, comparing, ignoring and even neglect. Occasionally, the par…