Archives for February, 2012


God, Religion, Bigotry, Slavery, Compassion Overload, Etc.

Richard and I (C.R.) had a recent conversation about God, religion, bigotry, slavery, compassion overload, and reader comments (and in case this isn't enough, some other pretty big topics). Here's the gist of it:

There seems to be a surge in discussion about morality, ethics, religion and God throughout the media recently (perhaps it's the upcoming presidential election). Here at PsychCentral, Dr. Greg Popchak's new Faith On The Couch blog, written from a Catholic perspective, is a welcome addition to this discussion.

His recent post, Losing My Religion-Should Anyone Care? The Social And Psychological Benefits Of Religion Faith got plenty of heated responses (which we enjoyed following).

We have to ask: Why is it okay to express real intolerance for religious beliefs, especially the belief in God, when it wouldn't be okay in most circles to use the same kinds of attacks on any other set of sincere beliefs?

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Back From The Edge: Borderline Personality Disorder Video

Reader Suzanne Thompson sent us this link to a film she encourages anyone living with someone with borderline personality or who has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder themselves, to watch.

We watched only part of it (we hope to finish it this week, time permitting) but agree with Suzanne that this is something PsychCentral readers would find interesting and helpful. (Your comments are welcome).
Back From The Edge Video

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Educating An Alienating Parent

Why does a parent become an *alienating parent, or amputative parent as Toronto-based therapist Victoria Lorient-Faibish calls them? After all, it is reasonable (and common) to have hurt feelings, anger, and sadness during and after a divorce — at least for a while.

But why are some parents able to step back from the hurt and say to themselves, it's time to move on and put my child first, while others seem to be blinded by rage? It's hard for most parents to grasp that in their quest for revenge, alienating parents are willing to sacrifice their child's well being in order to exact revenge on the target parent (the former spouse).

Are alienating parents less able than others to reflect objectively on what they are doing to their child — and themselves? Or can they tell the difference between right and wrong but just don't care?
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Broken Hearts All Around: Divorce And Revenge

In his powerful, must-read book, Divorce Poison, Dr. Richard A. Warshak offers solid advice for anyone whose life has been "poisoned" by divorce or parental alienation (emotional abuse/brainwashing of children for the sake of revenge).

We've written posts in the past (see links, below and read the post comments!) about parents and children who are victims of vengeful spouses aka alienating parents. Now we'd like to write a bit about the alienating parents themselves, based on insights from Dr. Warshak among others.

Psychologists, counselors, including (and maybe especially) the armchair variety, seem to not shy away from positing theories about why people act the way they do. With alienating parents, this is hard to do with any measure of objectivity because while we ponder, their victims suffer. And because the victims aren't just former spouses, but also their own children, it feels rather heartless to analyze and assess. What we long to do is simply scoop up the children and put them in a safe place.

But Dr. Warshak shows that deciding on what that safe place might be isn't so simple. Despite intensity of the Parental Alienation campaign that's being waged, most courts and therapists are loathe to remove children from one parent to another. And since the children have been brainwashed for years to hate the alienated parent, they are likely to tell the judge that they "hate" the alienated parent. Sometimes, the children are even coached to say this.
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Patient Rights

Could Sadness And Shyness Be Mental Illnesses?

C.R. writes: No. The title of this blog post isn't a joke. It is based on a series of alarming articles I just read about the new edition of the perennially controversial DSM.

In a Reuters piece, Peter Kinderman, a British clinical psychologist and head of the Institute of Psychology at Liverpool University was quoted as saying:
"The proposed revision to DSM ... will exacerbate the problems that result from trying to fit a medical, diagnostic system to problems that just don't fit nicely into those boxes," said Peter Kinderman at a briefing about widespread concerns over the book in London.
He said the new edition - known as DSM-5 - "will pathologise a wide range of problems which should never be thought of as mental illnesses".
"Many people who are shy, bereaved, eccentric, or have unconventional romantic lives will suddenly find themselves labeled as mentally ill," he said. "It's not humane, it's not scientific, and it won't help decide what help a person needs.
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Goals and Objectives

Seven Old Fashioned Ideas That Can Make Marriage Last

Richard's out. C.R. writes:

Is anyone really surprised by the findings in this UCLA study on marriage? As PsychCentral's Rick Nauert reported, couples that are willing to make "sacrifices" have better, longer-lasting marriages than people who aren't.

Still, I have a problem with the language. "Sacrifice" implies something that costs you—big time. An online dictionary defines the definition of sacrifice (after the offering of a life as propitiation or homage)  as: the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim. 

"Surrender" and "destruction" don't give me the warm fuzzies. Here are some of my own ideas (based on a variety of sources) of what makes a marriage satisfying and lasting. You are welcome to add your own ideas in the comments:

When both spouses view marriage as (at least somewhat) more important than self. I know that this is going to tick off people who feel that self-actualization is the be all and end all. But I have personally witnessed friends' marriages self-destructing when each person is very focused on their own needs (whether they be spiritual, emotional or physical).

Putting the marriage first is slightly different than putting the other person first (although certainly in marriage as in any relationship, that has to happen at least some of the time).
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