Posts Tagged ‘Couples counseling’

My guests are wife and husband Geri Carter and Tim Evans, both Adlerian psychologists and family therapists. After celebrating our great empathic therapies conference this past weekend, we spend most of the show talking about the importance of relationship and how to make a good marriage the center of our lives. Podcast: …

http://prn.fm/category/archives/the-dr-peter-breggin-hour/#axzz2SVyRV592

Regarded by many as “the conscience of psychiatry” for his efforts to promote mental wellness and reform health care, Dr. Breggin is a staunch advocate against the over-diagnosis and overuse of psychiatric medications, the oppressive drugging of children, electroshock “therapy,” and fictitious biological theories promoting “chemical imbalances” in the brain. Dr. Breggin will present a full-day workshop on psychiatric drug withdrawal in children. For more information go to: www.adlerflorida.org.

“Adults adopt the stance of being “cool” and free from intense feelings of any sort. But such counter-valuing is another form of suppressing our highest nature:

If you are a man and you are are not struck dumb by your woman once in a while, you’re missing something, you’re being blind to something which is there—and vice versa, of course. As a matter of fact, there is as much de-sacrilizing of the male by our females as there is the other way around. It’s just isn’t done. Its permitted, I think, still for a husband to adore his wife: that is, to get really sloppy about it in a nice way. I don’t think it’s possible anymore for a woman to get sloppy about their husbands. I think that is forbidden.”

Abraham Maslow in The Right to Be Human, by Ed Hoffman

Check this out about labeling our children, its only a minute.

By Timothy D. Evans and Raymond J. Corsini

Grousing is a common behavior that is highly destructive to relationships. It increases interpersonal conflict and provokes revenge while generating attitudes of resentment and no cooperation. Parents grouse at their children because they believe it will make them more responsible. One or both members of a couple may grouse at each other, convinced they know what is best for their partner. Despite its prevalence, grousing is a discouraging way of interacting. It destroys the potential for developing an encouraging and intimate relationship.

What is grousing? Webster defines grouse as “to grumble or complain.” It is related to the word “grouch.” Roget equates the term with “fret, chafe, frown, crab, or pout.” The usual synonym for grousing is nagging. The phrase, “Get off my back” means to stop grousing.

The initial step in encouragement training is to teach couples, parents, and teachers how their seemingly innocuous behavior irritates and discourages others. Nothing will improve in marriage until one starts working on him- or herself without trying to change the other person (Evans, 1989; Meredith & Evans, 1990). Marriage reconstruction requires the grouser to stop nagging, complaining, arguing, judging, criticizing, punishing, or rewarding (anything that irritates the other person). In short, the grouser needs to shut up and be pleasant.

GROUSING EXERCISE: An especially effective exercise for improving relationships entails the elimination of grousing for 4 consecutive days. After the therapist explains what it means to grouse, the following directions are given to couples or individuals: If you are guilty of grousing, are you willing to stop it for four consecutive days? If so, here is the assignment: You must stop grousing immediately and completely for four consecutive days. If you’ve been attacking, criticizing, yelling, reminding, nagging, threatening, bringing up the past, comparing, or pointing out mistakes, stop it now. This includes all negative behavior, no matter how “nicely” presented or well-intentioned.

Instead of grousing, act “as if” you are a sensible and self-controlled person who has decided to get off your spouse’s back and enjoy their company in spite of their shortcomings. You are not to do anything else other than to avoid grousing at your partner, child, or the person closes to you. After four consecutive days you have the choice of reverting to your old behavior.

You are only to participate in this exercise if you agree to do it for four consecutive days. This means that if you go for three days and grouse, you need to start over. You are not to perform this exercise with the intention of shaping-up the other person. You are changing your behavior because it is the decent and reasonable thing to do.

Assuming you follow through with this experiment, what might happen! There are several possibilities:

1. You will feel better about yourself. After all, who likes to be a prison guard monitoring someone’s behavior?

2. You will look better. Nags look like nags.

3. You will show/generate goodwill. Your mate will have evidence of your intention to improve the marriage.

4. You will become a more encouraging person.

5. You will reduce tension.

Your family will develop a friendly, supportive atmosphere. The Grousing Exercise is one that benefits everyone as both therapists and their clients can encourage themselves and their families. Practicing encouragement via the elimination of grousing is a win-win quality relationship proposal. ‘

REFERENCES

Evans, T. (1989). The Art of Encouragement. Athens, GA: University of Georgia, Center for Continuing Education.

Meredith, C., & Evans, T. (1990). Encouragement in the Family, Individual Psychology, 46, 187-192.

The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families ~ Vol. 2, No. 1 (1994) pp. 70

[1] Appeared in: The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families ~ Vol. 2, No. 1 (1994) pp. 70

Life is made of one-third what I choose to do with my thoughts, behaviors, and attitude. Another one-third is the choices people around me make, in which I have no control. Hopefully, my wife will continue to choose to be with me. I cannot control her choice. I can decide how I will behave in hopes that she will find me pleasant and interesting, but in the end, the choice is hers. The final third, which again I cannot control, is what the universe, biology, nature, or what some believe God determines. I have no control over a hurricane hitting Tampa, my cat having heart disease, or a friend getting cancer. This is biology. I do have a choice in how I interpret and relate to those specific events (again my one-third).

If we live long enough, we will encounter events that force us to face our vulnerability as human beings. This can be interpreted as an injustice because “I have been doing everything right (if there is such a way) therefore nothing bad should ever happen to me.” This “injustice” may be because of someone else’s choice or biology. When it occurs, I will experience vulnerability and know that I am not totally independent. Some may guard against these feelings of vulnerability and say his wife’s cancer is the work of the devil. These life events will test our emotional self-reliance (self-responsibility) and push us to need others.

When we confront and experience our vulnerability we receive a dose of humility, which connects us to others. From these incidents, we will learn there is only one genuine need we all have and that is other people.

Since the beginning of time, human beings have misbehaved and made poor choices. Take for example the story of Joseph in the Book of Genesis. His brothers sold Joseph, the youngest and special son, into slavery. This was the beginning of Joseph’s trouble. He was falsely accused of having sex with his owner’s wife and thrown into prison. Yet he survived. Before he reached age 30 he was appointed as a top official by the ruler of Egypt. He predicted a famine and was put in charge of a food storage that saved the region. His brothers were forced to journey into the city seeking food, starving, and begging. Who did they appear before? Joseph! His chance to get even.

So it would seem that justice will prevail and what goes around comes around. His brothers did not recognize him and Joseph’s natural inclination was revenge. However, Joseph recognized that revenge was an easy way out. The courageous choice — and the only way to be happy — was forgiveness. One difference between happy and unhappy individuals is the ability to forgive.

Tragedy, error, inhumanity, and struggle will not go away. However, the realization that you have a choice in how you respond is powerful and influences your happiness and well-being, in spite of the other two-thirds. Forgiveness is done through the use of good psychology. It requires courage, emotional self-reliance, and a desire to be free.

Anyone who has done you harm will continue to have a stranglehold on your life, until you are willing to forgive them and free yourself from the resentment, anger, hurt, injustice, and sometime hatred.

Joseph took an active approach to the injustice and pain inflicted upon him. He used the situation to become socially interested instead of self-interested.

Forgiveness is an active process that requires these steps:
• I will not bring up the incident again and use it against you.
• I will not talk to others about this incident.
• I will not let this incident stand between our personal relationships.
• To do this I will not dwell or ruminate over the problem or punish you by withdrawing and keeping emotional distance.
• I will free the relationship to develop, unhindered of the past wrongs.

1.) Just stopping (we have the power to choose) the above useless, hurtful, and disrespectful behavior often opens the door for a more friendly and cooperative relationship. Mind own behavior.

2.) Participating and cooperating as equal partners, friends and lovers. Marriage of equality.

3.) Accepting each other as equally dignified human beings while at the same time encouraging each other to become more and more unique. Freeing each other to be.

4.) Mutual trust and mutual respect.

5.) Unconditional regard and acceptance.

6.) Regular family meetings and shared responsibility.

7.) Having fun together.

1. CRITICISM (EVEN CONTRUCTIVE CRITICISM)
2. BLAMING AND THREATING
3. COMPLAINING AND NAGGING
4. DEFENSIVENESS
5. STONE WALLING
6. COMPARING AND COMPETING
7. OBSERVING, JUDGING, AND CONTROLLING
8. TRYING TO CHANGE EACH OTHER & CONTROLING
9. CONTEMPT FOR EACH OTHER (BODY LANGUAGE, EYE ROLLING)
10. ANGER CREATED AND USED AGAINST EACH OTHER
11. JEALOUSY CREATED AND USED TO CONTROL EACH OTHER

www.adlerflorida.org