Archives for March, 2012


To Leave or Not To Leave The Nest: Mammoni and Beyond

"You can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it's all right." ~ Maya Angelou.
In today's blog I wanted to talk more about home. Home is many things to each of us.

As a therapist I hear a lot of parents talk about their children leaving home. Most parents I encounter are anxious for their children to emancipate and leave home once they graduate from high school. Parents worry and think they must have somehow failed if their children "fail to launch" or seem unable to "leave the nest."

I wonder sometimes about the premise upon which leaving home is based.

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Home and The Meaning of Place

"Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration." ~ Charles Dickens.

For each of us the word home evokes many thoughts, images, feelings, and even body sensations. The mention of certain foods, recipes, and gatherings at holidays can create a sense of belonging and togetherness. This isn't true for everyone.

As a psychotherapist I often hear about the problems people have with families and their family of origin. It is a hard issue to deal with. Sometimes people resolve these issues and many times they don't. For those that do not there may be a legacy of suffering that can come to form the future for these individuals. Without a sense of home, there is a sense of emptiness and longing. In some way we all must create a sense of place and a feeling of home.

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Acceptance, Forgiveness and Reconciliation: Part Two

"Happiness can only exist in acceptance." ~ George Orwell.

In last week's blog we looked at forgiveness and the benefits of forgiveness. Today we will further discuss the model of acceptance, which some people prefer over the model of forgiveness. We will also explore reconciliation.

Acceptance is seeing things or a thing as it is. In his book The Power of Now: A guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, Eckhart Tolle tells about living in the now, and speaks about acceptance as, "...the moment that judgment stops through acceptance of what is, you are free of the mind. You have made room for love, for joy, for peace."

Acceptance is very close to forgiveness. One may arrive at the same place by following a different path. If someone has done you wrong, you have a choice to forgive the person and the wrong. You also have the choice to accept what the situation is, including what was done and the person who did it.
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Acceptance, Forgiveness, and Reconciliation: Part One

"Hate suits him better than forgiveness. Immersed in hate he doesn't have to do anything; he can be paralyzed, and the rigidity of hatred makes a kind of shelter for him." ~ John Updike, Rabbit, Run

Time does not heal all wounds. It cannot. Often, time needs help from you. Time may soften the blow, erase some of the scars, and even cloud your memory of the hurt, but without your active participation, time cannot, and will not, heal the wounds of betrayal.

Making Peace With The Past

Perhaps the only thing harder than accepting that betrayal happened and healing from that betrayal is finding the courage to forgive others (or yourself) and move on. Moving on is impossible without making peace--peace with the person who betrayed you, peace with yourself, peace with the circumstance that led to the act, and peace with time. Your self-esteem is dependent on your ability to forgive or accept and to let go.

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Self-Esteem and The Gift of Challenging People: Part Seven

"Patience in a moment of anger can save you a thousand days of pain." ~ Chinese Proverb
This is the final blog in the series on The Gift of Challenging People and how this interfaces with your self-esteem.  In today's blog we will look at mediation and dispute resolution as well as removing difficult or challenging people from your life.

Mediation and Dispute resolution are skills for resolving conflicts. These skills are used in divorces, custody disputes, landlord-tenant issues, employer-employee relations, and nuclear disarmament.

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Self-Esteem and The Gift of Challenging People: Part Six

"Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better." ~ Albert Camus

In this post we will look at dealing with difficult people, the second chance, and communication. Please refer back to the earlier posts by the same name in parts one through five.

Dealing With Difficult People

If you have identified a difficult person in your life, it is time for you to apply your knowledge, empathy, and skill building where your own self-esteem is concerned. People with personality disorders are people. They may be difficult, but this is because they have a disorder.

Someone with cancer may be difficult, and someone with a broken leg may be as well. We don't throw people away just because they are challenging.
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Self-Esteem and The Gift of Challenging People: Part Five

"All of us might wish at times that we lived in a more tranquil world, but we don't. And if our times are difficult and perplexing, so are they challenging and filled with opportunity."~Robert Kennedy
We have been exploring challenging people and the effect this can have on our self-esteem. In today's blog we will look at the Narcissistic Personality, the Obsessive-Compulsive Personality, and the Depressive Personality. In part six we will explore how to deal with challenging people.

Let's jump on in.

The Narcissistic Personality

American Gigolo, Citizen Kane, and Patton are all movies showing the ultimate narcissist. Boogie Nights is a more contemporary film with a good portrayal of the narcissistic personality. Daniel Day Lewis won an academy award for his portrayal of a narcissistic personality in the film There Will Be Blood.
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Self-Esteem and The Gift of Challenging People: Part 4

"Healing is a matter of time, but it is also a matter of opportunity."~Hippocrates
This is part 4 of Self-Esteem and The Gift of Challenging People. Feel free to review the previous three blogs to follow the story.

We have been discussing the types of challenging or difficult people. We are working with the premise that many challenging folks are challenging due to personality traits that have assumed an enduring pattern in their life. The pattern is not in harmony with the norm of the person's culture.

Today we will look at a couple of more personality types that have taken on a life of their own in the media. They are controversial and at times overused. They also make good subject matter for Hollywood films.
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Self-Esteem And The Gift of Challenging People: Part Three

"The healthy man doe not torture others. Generally, it is the tortured who turn into torturers."---Carl Jung

In the previous two blogs we have been discussing self-esteem and the gift of challenging people. In the first blog, we looked at the characteristics of challenging people who may be in your life. In part two, we began looking at the types of challenging people. This blog will continue with the discussion around types of challenging folks.

This is not intended for readers to use to diagnose self or others. It can be useful information as a beginning point to understand why some people may be more difficult for you and others. We will continue with this discussion and cover what you can do about being in a relationship with someone who is challenging. We don't want to give up on others just because it may be a challenge.

The Schizotypal Personality

This personality is discussed in the DSM-IV-TR as one characterized by "a pervasive pattern of social and interpersonal deficits marked by acute discomfort with, and reduced capacity for, close relationships as well as by cognitive or perceptual distortions and eccentricities of behavior."

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