Archives for Family

Addictive Relating

The Neuroscience of Why a Child is a Model Citizen, 2 of 2

Luis Sarabia via Compfight

In Part 1 we looked at better understanding the behavior of a child who is a model citizen everywhere but home by examining what inner strivings, or emotion-drives, the child is attempting to meet in each situation. In this post, the two areas below pertain to questions of how thoughts drive behaviors.
2. What beliefs (or thoughts) does the child's behavior say the child has learned to hold regarding how to best fulfill their core...
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Addictive Relating

The Neuroscience of Why a Child Is a Model Citizen — Everywhere But Home, 1 of 2

Patrick via Compfight

It can be baffling. How can the same child who is a model citizen at school or when visiting friends, etc., be so explosive or difficult to handle at home?

One client described this as follows:
"My 9 year old daughter gets angry at the drop of a hat. She yells, screams, throws things, slams doors, and accuses me of being mean, selfish, or hating her, or all of the above. When I try to explain why...
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Emotional Mastery

14 Tips to Survive — and Enjoy — the Holidays

The holidays can be stressful, but they don't have to be unnecessarily so! Remember, you always have a choice to create more peace of mind by accessing inner power to conscious pay attention to what you're focusing on with your thoughts.  This involves clarifying what you most value, and cultivating the practice of disallowing things of less value to compete. It can be fun!

Here are a few tips:
Make meaningful moments by letting go of...
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Addictive Relating

Restoring Safety: A Letter in Response to the Unfaithful Partner, 2 of 2

In Part 1 a letter template was included for one partner to write to the loved one they betrayed with infidelity. This post presents a letter for the betrayed partner to write in response.

While only one of many critical, the letter serves as an acknowledgement that the betrayed partner must also play an active role in opening their heart to essential processes for healing themselves, their relationship ... and yes, even the partner who betrayed them. The last part is...
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Addictive Relating

3 Basics of Working (Mindfully) with a Narcissist in Therapy: A Balancing Act, 1 of 5

In response to a recent post, How to Identify a Narcissist in Therapy, several readers requested a follow up post that outlines a few essentials of working with a client who presents with narcissistic "tendencies" or npd (narcissistic personality disorder) in couples or family therapy, so as to disarm or minimize the potentially destabilizing effects of these problematic behaviors both in the sessions themselves -- and on therapeutic processes and outcomes in general. Other readers also wanted to know...
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Addictive Relating

How to Identify a Narcissist In Family or Couples Counseling

How does a therapist identify a narcissist in therapy? In general, a therapist "knows" because of how much time and energy it takes to manage simple therapy processes. They come dictating the terms; letting you know they need to be in control, and want things done "their" way. 

And, if you're in family or couples counseling, how does a family member recognize them? How about you? Do you display narcissistic tendencies in a therapy session?

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Addictive Relating

5 Steps to Break a Habit of Arguing With Your Child, 2 of 3

Part 1 outlined five reasons why "arguing" with your children as a parent is a lose-lose proposition. Nobody wins, and you instead risk losing serious ground in terms of the effects on the relationship between you and your child. In human terms, it's safe to say that, based on the latest findings on the brain, attachment and neuroscience, key relationships intimately impact every aspect of human health and ongoing development, to include other relationships (, spouse, self, children that are siblings, etc.) in...
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Emotional Mastery

5 Reasons Why You Want to Avoid Arguing With Your Child, 1 of 3

Parenting is likely the most difficult job in the world. It's easy to get into fights that turn into parent-child power struggles. Regardless of the magnitude of an issue, however, whether it's a relatively minor one of brushing teeth or bigger ones over homework and curfews, there are several reasons parents want to pause and consider before getting into arguments - in fact, it's best to avoid them altogether (like a plague).

Let me clarify. This does not mean to allow children to do what they want; parents are responsible to fulfill, and not abdicate, their role as leaders. There is a clear difference, however, between dealing with disagreements in your parent roles of teacher, mentor and guide, and habitual patterns of dismissing, talking over one another, and attack-counter attack interactions.

There are at least five reasons to (seriously) consider before arguing with your child (or spouse for that matter).
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Addictive Relating

A Gift Guaranteed to Improve Your Love Life — and Brain? Make Your Relationship a Criticism-Free Zone

Here's a gift to add to your list of what to get him/her on that special day, which is guaranteed to boost your brain's capacity to work for you, and at the same time improve your love relationship. There's one condition, however: Both of you must give this gift wholeheartedly to one another to experience its life energizing effects.

What is this gift? It's the gift of making your relationship a criticism-free zone. There's perhaps nothing as corrosive to your physical health as well as your love relationship than criticism, at least certain types.

To clarify, expressing what you like or don't like are not criticisms per se. It is healthy to make descriptive observations of a problem, explore what actions or habits work or do not work, make suggestions or requests for something you'd like to see happen or stop occurring, and the like, for example. All of these, potentially, are relationship building actions.

In contrast, criticisms are detrimental to your health and relationship specifically because they are attempts to resolve issues through the use of words that attack or judge or label a partner's character in derogatory ways. What we're talking about here are words or phrases, such as shame-, guilt- or fear-inducing statements, which are purposefully designed to get the other to change or stop a certain behavior -- in other words, to give you the love you need, etc. They are also widespread because they consist of parenting practices most of us experienced as children.

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Addictive Relating

The Latest on Healthy, Long-Lasting Relationships? Three Types of Responses to Bids for Connection, 2 of 2

Advances in neuroscience inform us that our brains are social in nature, and that, as a species, we’re continually affecting one another’s mental and emotional states of mind and body. This is just one of the findings reported by cofounders of brain-based therapy, Drs. John Arden and Lloyd Linfor in the January/February 2010 publication of Psychotherapy Networker. “ In their words,
We write ‘brain’ as a singular, but in a real sense there’s no such thing as one, single brain—only brains and nervous systems in some sort of relationship to one another.
As discussed in Part 1, decades of research by Drs. John and Julie Gottman indicate that the longevity and happiness of a love relationship can be predicted with 97% accuracy, for couples in which both partners practiced habits of generosity and kindness toward the other. For the long haul, it takes two to tango.
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