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Alcohol and Drug Addiction Stage One
Alcohol and Drug Addiction- Stage One During the initial stage of addiction the addicts' character is permanently altered. T...
Parenting is Climate Control
Parenting is Climate Control Blog posted September 21, 2013 Summer is almost over and the school year has already begun. Mos...
Addiction is a Family Affair
Thirty years ago, I was introduced recovery. It was not long after my 27th birthday. Because I come from generations of famil...
350 People Die Of Addiction Each Day- Is It Time To Rethink Rehab?
Every year in the U.S., 120,000 people die of addiction. That’s 350 a day. Desperate to save the life of an addict, a ...
Sexual addiction is best described as a progressive intimacy disorder characterized by compulsive sexual thoughts and acts. L...
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Your significant other's ex is coming into town and he/she wants to go out to dinner with them alone. How do you react?
When we enter into a relationship we are well aware that our significant others had a history before us, they even have exes that they once had a special bond with, it’s just a normal part of life.
The topic of exes can sometimes be a sore point, and it can be hard to think about anyone else besides ourselves being so close to our significant others.
Luckily, most exes fall off the face of the earth into the abyss of the past, never to be seen again. These are the easiest to deal with. You never have to think about them. You could even just pretend that they don’t exist if you really wanted to!
Sometimes they can make an occasional appearance into your other half’s world via email, phone or by posting incredibly obnoxious and irritating things on your their Facebook page. Again, easy to tolerate even though you may feel a slight pang of jealousy -...
Creating and Maintaining Healthy Boundaries
Boundaries are the mental, emotional and even physical limits that we create for ourselves which prevent outside forces from getting into our personal space and defining who we are and how we live our lives. These boundaries preserve our integrity and give us the power to take responsibility for our own actions and take control of our life.
Establishing personal boundaries can be challenging and we can easily feel like we are being selfish by letting others know what we want and what isn’t acceptable for us. We need to realize that each and every one of us deserves to be treated the way that we want and it is more than OK to put ourselves first.
Maintaining these boundaries can be just as hard, if not harder, than creating them in the first place. How many of you have ever said yes to something even though you really didn’t want to do it – or said no to someone and then felt guilty about it afterwards? Have you ever chang...
The new school year is upon us. This brings out different kinds of emotions for everyone. Most children dread it. Many parents savor it. Of course there are always exceptions to every rule. I have mixed emotions. While I welcome the change of weather and the quieter house, I know I will miss seeing my kids during the day. However, the school days, just like the summer, are only temporary. Before we know it Christmas will be here. Then comes February vacation and Spring break. It all goes so quickly that it reminds me of the expression, this too shall pass. Whether it is something you savor or dread, time always marches on.
Excerpts from "The Disease to Please" (Harriet B. Braiker)
Additional annotations by Molly Pierce, MA, LPC, NCC
Has anyone ever told you that you’re a people-pleaser? Don’t be so flattered…it’s not really a compliment. It feels better to view people-pleasing as an admirable attribute, rather than look at it for what it truly is: a serious psychological problem.
In actuality, the “disease to please” is a compulsive — even addictive — behavior pattern in which you feel controlled by your need to please others, and addicted to their approval. At the same time, you feel out of control over the pressures and demands on your life that these needs have created.
The Disease to Please is comprised of three components: (1) People-Pleasing Mindsets, or distorted ways of thinking; (2) People-Pleasing Habits, or compulsive behaviors; and (3) People-Pleasing Feelings, or fearful emotions.
If you fall into this category, your ...
Just like almost everyone else, I multi-task several times a day. Lately I have started to debate the effectiveness of this. By spreading my thought processes out over several tasks instead of one, I now firmly believe I am less productive. How about you? Are you a multi-tasker? Who isn't nowadays! Maybe it is time to rethink this. Just like any other habit, the multi-tasking habit can be unlearned. Or, put another way, we all have the ability to replace this habit with another -a habit that is more efficient. Multi-tasking is sort of like only being a small part present in each task we do. However, when you focus on just one task (the opposite), it feels like you are truly present. In addition studies have shown one-tasking to be much, much more efficient.
Because of this I have decided to eliminate multi-tasking from my life. I am going to use self hypnosis, Reiki and EFTto train myself to replace multi-tasking with one-tasking-or focus on one thing at a time. From here on in, I pla...
Whenever our loved one does something that is upsetting to us, our natural inclination is to either ignore it or confront them. When we ignore it, eventually it’ll build up and we’ll end up expressing it in a negative or explosive way. When we address the situation by confronting them, they will probably get defensive. It’s human nature. The bottom line is we won’t get our needs met and depending upon how we express it; it may make matters worse. The solution lies in using an I-Statement. It’s a more productive way to let someone we love know they’re hurting us. If you try this communication technique, you’ll find that your loved one may be more responsive and open to what you have to say. Even better, they may change.
An I-Statement is a way to express how you feel without placing blame. It’s a way to communicate on a more intimate level. Let’s say your husband spends too much time on the computer and you’re hurt because he ...
[Published in the Washington Blade]
When planning your wedding, don’t forget to plan your marriage. Pre-marital planning includes, but goes beyond, figuring out the mechanics of the marriage. It involves developing a deeper level of personal insight, a better understanding of your finances and of the relationship itself. You can avoid nasty surprises later on by learning about and addressing discrepancies in your and your partner’s expectations for the future before tying the knot. Make sure you discuss the following:
1. Communication. Give yourself and your fiancé permission to discuss concerns even if you’re afraid it will hurt the other’s feelings or result in an argument. Conflict is good. It gives us the opportunity to practice problem solving. Agree on rules for arguing which should include no name-calling, threats or idle ultimatums. When you argue, be honest with yourself about whether your goal is to resolve an issue or win an argument. Avoid m...
[Published in Baltimore OUTloud]
Protecting the Abuser
"Frequent fliers" in emergency rooms often present with lacerations and bruises, attributing their injuries to clumsiness. The nurse might ask "Has anyone punched, kicked or touched your body in a manner that caused injury? But if the victim answers "no," the focus usually turns to the injuries themselves, rather than finding out why the patient keeps slipping in the shower or tripping over gargoyles.
Victims of domestic violence often go to great lengths to hide their abuse due to shame, a desire to protect their abuser, or fear of negative consequences. They often feel ashamed, believing that they deserve the abuse due to perceived and unforgivable personal defects which the abuser is all to willing to reinforce, such as being "ugly," "stupid" or "selfish."
Self-Loathing and Self-Blame
The victim is convinced that the abuser loves them, especially following a serious beating, when a brief honeymoon period ensues characterize...
Musicians/Actor Sober Coach
You love the party lifestyle but now it is has gotten out of hand. It is affecting you professionally and personally. The paparazzi can be quite unforgiving by posting negative pictures, negative comments and stories about a bad night on the town or a botched performance. Your agent wants you to go to rehab for a month, but you don’t want to. Maybe you are in the middle of a tour or filming for a movie and can’t take the time away from your busy life to check into a treatment program. Maybe you simply don’t want to go. Maybe you went and didn’t like it or it didn’t work for you.
The one thing you do know is that you are tired of feeling like this. You feel helpless, hopeless and frustrated. You need a pill, a fix, a drink, anything to keep you going. Life has become unbearable and unmanageable. You can’t be ‘on’ all the time anymore without a drug or drink and your hectic lifestyle keeps you constantly going. ...
For many families, these have not been the best of times. But cultivating gratitude when times are hard can be one of the best things we can do for ourselves and those we love.
Being Grateful Pays Off
Research shows that, relative to people who don’t pay special attention to expressing gratitude,
Grateful people are happier. They have positive feelings more frequently and more strongly. They talk about their lives with a greater sense of satisfaction and optimism. They have lower levels of depression and less stress. They are more likely to make progress toward important personal goals.
Grateful people are healthier. When people start focusing on expressing gratitude, the amount of time they spend exercising goes up. They sleep longer and their sleep is more restful. They have more vitality, and fewer physical problems.
Grateful people get more of what they want from life. People who focus on gratitude are more likely to make progress toward important personal go...
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