Archives for November, 2012

General

Tis the Season for Stress

This past weekend, I had a customer service experience with a manager so appalling that the assistant manager felt the need to step in and say apologetically (and by way of explanation), "She's had a really rough night."  My husband said later, only half-jokingly, "Doesn't that manager know you reserve that stuff for those closest to you?"

Now that the holiday season is in full swing, a lot of people are feeling the stress....
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Communication

Assertiveness Skills

My baby is the most decisive person I know.  She'll grab the book out of your hand, turn it over for one final moment of contemplation, and toss it high in the air.  Done.  Decision made.  No regrets.

A minute later, I might reintroduce the book.  She'll consider, but as if she's never seen it before.  It may receive attention, or a lob. What's notable is that it seems to be an entirely new...
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General

Gobble Gobble: How Entitlement Eats Appreciation

"I deserve to be happy," says one client with a tear-stained face.

"I don't deserve to be treated this way," says another.

"He doesn't deserve me," wails a third.

In a sense, all three are right.  Yet none of them is happy in their relationships, or with their overall lives.  And with Thanksgiving upon us, it's a good time to reflect on why that might be, and see if anything instructive can be found.

...
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Communication

Use It or Lose It

Last weekend, my husband and I had a night away from the baby for the first time (she's just past ten months).  Some parents have told me that seems so soon; for others, it seems incredibly late.  If we had local family, I'm sure it would have happened for us sooner.

In fact, we'd arranged an overnight trip four or five months ago during a visit from my mother, but...
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Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Attack of the “Shoulds”

"I should be happy."

"I should be having a great time."

"I should have been appreciating the moment with my daughter.  Instead, my mind was on the laundry that needed to get done, and how to get her down for her nap, "

These are thoughts expressed by some of my clients.  I've also had them myself.  Not that "shoulds" are relegated to parents alone, but I know that for me, they've...
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General

The Other Bonding Time

In a moment of narcissism, I googled "Bonding Time Blog."  I guess I just wanted to see my name up in lights.  What I found was the Family "Bond"ing Time blog, which chronicles the lives of Nathan and Elisa Bond, 38 and 36 years old respectively, who were diagnosed with Stage III rectal cancer (Nathan) and Stage IV breast cancer (Elisa) within months of each other.  They have an 18-month-old...
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Communication

The Good Cholesterol Theory of Marriage

"I know I shouldn't attack him," my client--let's call her Amanda--sobs.  "Sometimes I just feel so scared that I'm going to lose him, and so alone.  I try to grab onto him but it pushes him away.  It's because I love him so much."

I nod encouragingly, trying to keep the tears from my own eyes.  In the world of emotionally focused therapy (EFT), we've hit pay dirt.  This is it, what we've been...
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General

Tale of Two Rookie Moms

"I never used to be this anxious of a person," my client said.  "At least, I don't think I was."

She was in her early forties, a stay-home mom, surprised to find that she couldn't entirely remember her earlier self.  She was that person not very long ago, after all, her baby being only six months old.

"New motherhood can feel like a vortex," I said.  I had only emerged from it myself two months prior,...
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Communication

The Things You Do For Love

Like all parents, I'd like to keep my child as distress-free as possible.  That's not exactly the same as happy.  I mean, I'd like perpetually happy, who wouldn't, but I'm willing to negotiate.  I'll take non-crying.

The truth is, after almost ten months of hearing my baby cry, my tolerance for her distress remains surprisingly low.  That leads me to do all sorts of ridiculous things.

Case in point: Sometimes she sits in...
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The Burrito Fight

I've got this great young couple, newly married, and they're sweet and funny and in love.  They're not remotely on the rocks.  But I could see it getting there, and so could they, and that's why they've started therapy.

Here's the dynamic: She gets critical...
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