Psych Central

Archive for September, 2010

Is It a Loving Relationship or an Addiction?

Monday, September 27th, 2010

“Looking back I see my affair as a breakdown, as simply illness. It was a sickness, an emotional plague. It was equally as threatening as an alcohol or drug problem. I can honestly say it was the worst feeling I ever experienced.”

As suggested above in this glimpse from Ethel Person’s book Dreams of Love and Fateful Encounters: The Power Of Romantic Passions ( p.155), there is a striking correspondence between the psychological dynamics for addiction or substance dependence and the patterns of use, impairment, increased tolerance and withdrawal found in addictive relating.

Addictive relating, as evidenced by the proliferation of books on the subject, is all too common, painful and suffered by both men and women. In my work with people trapped in addictive relationships, it becomes clear that their efforts to “ desperately keep someone” has much more to do with needing the other at any cost than about sharing a loving relationship.


Can No-Fault Divorce Actually Help Marriages?

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

On August 15, 2010 Governor Patterson signed the no-fault divorce bill making New York the 50th and final state to adopt no-fault divorce. What that means is that on October 15, 2010 a spouse who wants to be divorced will no longer be required to make allegations and prove marital fault by the other spouse.

For divorce actions commenced on or after that date, a person will only be required to swear that the relationship between them and their partner has broken down irretrievably for a period of at least six months. The divorce will only be granted once all the economic issues are resolved and there has been “equitable distribution.”


Coping In The Aftermath of Suicide

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

On Friday 9/10/10, World Suicide Prevention Day, the federal government announced the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention aimed at promoting public awareness and prevention programs.

The need could not be more pressing. Every year in the U. S., suicide claims the life of 34,000 people. It is the second leading cause of death in college students,  the third leading cause of death in adolescents and young adults and the US military suicide rate is at an all time high.

Then There Are The Survivors.

For every suicide there is an estimated six or more “suicide survivors,” people who are left behind trying to cope with this traumatic loss.  They include spouses, parents, siblings, friends and relatives who need support but often have a difficult time getting it.


The Pain and Promise of Anniversary Events

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

We have learned that in the aftermath of traumatic events, the unconscious has an uncanny sense of timing and the body remembers.

  • “I was anxious all day – I didn’t realize until night that it was the 4th Anniversary of my son’s death in Iraq.”
  • “There’s something about the feel of the air and the angle of the sun on days before 9/11 that trips me and I’m crying with those images of the devastation and horror.

The Anniversaries of traumatic events carry with them the pain of remembering and the promise of finding a way to go on. Much like the impact of trauma itself- they won’t let us forget until we find a way to remember on our own terms.


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Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP & Dianne Kane, DSW are the authors of Healing Together: A Couple's Guide to Coping with Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress. Pick up the book today!

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