Archives for May, 2011

Book Lists

Five Life-Changing Mental Health Books

For Mental Health Awareness Day, I've picked out five of the most amazingly informative, life-changing mental health books I've ever read:

Loneliness; Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection
by John Cacioppo and William Patrick

The Noonday Demon; an Atlas of Depression
by Andrew Solomon

Against Depression
by Peter D. Kramer

Woman; an Intimate Geography
by Natalie Angiers
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How Loneliness Sabotages Love

So here's one of Life's ironies: Chronic loneliness sabotages love.
The condition of being lonely creates brain changes which result in self-defeating beliefs and negative attitudes, which in turn generate a self-fulfilling loop of relationship failure and further isolation.
So, the very people who need and crave love most, wind up being the folks least likely to be able to accept it.
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Emotions and Feelings

The Trap of Low Relationship Trust

We're caught in a trap
I can't walk out
Because I love you too much, Baby.
-Elvis Presley
So you find this amazing other person...and the love is there...the chemistry is there...even the friendship / genuine liking / mutual enjoyment of one another is there!!!

And yet?...the relationship is a hell hole. Why?

Because romantic relationships also require a deep level of trust.

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Study with Your Kids to Develop Trust

I've been blogging about trust this week, and I'll be back to talking about trust and romantic relationships next time.

But tomorrow I'm giving  a talk entitled Math Success for All Students, and here's what I plan on saying about trust as it relates to kids and parents:

Openness, visibility, day-to-day intimacy, fosters TRUST.

Back in 1990 I read Iron John, and Robert Bly's theory about fathers and sons stuck with me. Bly suggested that throughout most of human history, children could see the work that their parents and other adults did. Hunter-gatherer societies were very public and transparent.

Bly believes that there is a basic developmental need for children to work next to their parents, see what their parents do and how they think and solve problems
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Emotions and Feelings

A Dozen Ways to Betray Your Partner

You don't sleep around...and that makes you a loyal partner, right?

In fact, there's a tad more involved.

In The Science of Trust, John Gottman states, clearly and simply:
A committed romantic relationship is a contract of mutual trust, mutual respect, mutual protection, and mutual nurturance. (p 350)
Yes, sexual betrayal is one way of betraying your partner. But Gottman comes up with twelve more!
Read 'em and weep (as I did)...and then use them as a checklist towards becoming a better partner (as I am in process of attempting):
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Emotions and Feelings

Why Do Relationships Fail?

Here comes an example of why learning and science are my life's passions.

Because wait long enough, and some amazingly smart and dedicated researcher might come up with a break-through that changes your life.

Maybe it's medical. Maybe technological.

Or, as the field of neuroscience advances, the light bulb that clicks on is more and more often psychological.

OK, soooo.....

Why do relationships fail?

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Emotions and Feelings

Now is Not Forever

I send out this poem by John O'Donohue to the couples I know who are suffering, and suggest they keep in mind that Now is not necessarily Forever.

For Love In a Time of Conflict
When the gentleness between you hardens
And you fall out of your belonging with each other.
May the depths you have reached hold you still.

When no true word can be said, or heard,
And you mirror each other in the script of hurt,
When even the silence has become raw and torn,
May you hear again an echo of your first music.
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