Posts Tagged ‘marriage and family therapy’

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

“Finally, Maslow gently railed against the conformist ideology of the times. We can learn one key lesson from self-actualizers, he said: fulfillment in life never comes from following the crowd, but only from being faithful to one’s yearnings and talents. Social adjustment should never under no circumstance be seen as a way to happiness: rather, the path may lie in resisting prevailing values. As he often asked rhetorically, ‘The question is–adjustment to what?’ p. 216

The Right To Be Human, Edward 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

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.

I had a very interesting experience last Saturday morning. I was making breakfast at home for Lori and myself. Lori and I have been married for 21 years, and this was shaping up as a typical Saturday morning. A quick breakfast together, followed by an hour or two of household chores.
Lori was sitting with her laptop, at the breakfast counter, totally engrossed in working on a holiday show for the students at Alfred Adler Elementary, so the breakfast preparation was left to me. As I was making the eggs, I remembered a work email I had forgotten to send out, and was mildly annoyed with myself over this omission. I then glanced at Lori happily typing away, completely oblivious to anything else other than what she was creating.

That is when it happened. Obi Wan would call it “turning to the dark side.” Alfred Adler called it feeling “less than.” My thoughts went, “Why isn’t SHE helping out with breakfast?” “No wonder I forgot that email. I am doing more than my share,” etc, etc. Within a minute or two, I had talked myself into a very bad place. All too often, when I get myself in this state, I make a sarcastic joke, and damage the most important relation- ship in my life.

This time was different. I looked again at how happy she was to be doing exactly what she was doing in that moment. I thought about how much she gives of herself to the school, how hard she works, and her passion for giving each student a chance to be involved. Anger??? I no longer recognized the feelings of the previous few minutes.

Alfred Adler spoke of conjunctive vs disjunctive emotions. Those that pull us together, or push us apart. Rudolf Dreikurs said thought and emotions always work in tandem. Thought provides the direction, emotions provide the force of our move- ments. My thoughts, as evidenced by my self-talk, had pro- vided direction toward some strong disjunctive emotions, and subsequently, just in the nick of time I might add, some strong conjunctive emotions. Our self talk can induce disjunctive or conjunctive emotions towards ourselves as well.

So think back to the hectic times of the holidays behind us, as we were all busily rushing about trying to do all the things that needed to be done. As you move through 2012 and interact with the ones that matter the most to you – as well as your fellow man at home, at work, at the mall – remember the old adage, “guard your thoughts.”

We wish you many happy thoughts and (the natural conse- quence) conjunctive emotions.

” A power-drunk person does not enjoy his victory when you admit defeat” Rudolf Dreikurs

Florida Adlerain Annual Conference, March 1-3, 2012
www.adlerflorida.org

Disconnectedness is the source of almost all human problems, such as what is called mental illness, drug addiction, violence crime, school failure, spousal and child abuse, to mention a few.

1.From birth on, children form beliefs about their self-worth.
2. Praise and encouragement are not the same thing. Praise rewards a child for performed acts (performance base esteem) Encouragement conveys acceptance of a child for the mere fact he or she exist. “When things go poorly you will always have a place” (authenticity). It separates the deed from the doer.
3. The differences between encouragement and pressure are substantial.

Specific ways to encourage young children:

A. Look for strengths.
B. Divide large tasks into smaller, more manageable ones.
C. Provide opportunities for each child to contribute. Give real jobs.
D. Avoid regularly doing for the child what the child can do for herself.
E. Recognize effort and improvement.
F. Demonstrate learning from mistakes. Have the courage to be imperfect!
G. Simply enjoy being with your child as they are.

Your specific applications of encouragement:

1. One of my child’s assets is:
2. One way I can give him a real job is:
3. Other ways to encourage:

“A child needs encouragement like a plant needs water.”
–Rudolf Dreikurs

One of the most important propositions, which underlie the entire idea of cooperation, is the ability to participate in the give and take of life. To achieve a satisfying marriage of equality and cooperation, which in turn will lead to felicity and lifelong happiness, it is necessary for you to give in—TO REFUSE TO FIGHT- and to GO ALONG WITH YOUR MATE- out of strength and confidence and not out of weakness. By taking the position and keeping to it, you can change, improve, and save your marriage. Your stubbornness, being always “right,” and demanding your own way, and the like will doom your marriage to unhappiness.