{44AF374F-1E40-424D-ACD8-B3937A65A15F}Img400

 Are You Getting The Love You Crave?

One of the greatest resources for marriage and family is the book by Harvile Hendrix (Harville Hendrix, Ph.D. – ISBN 10: 0-8050-6895-3) and, in the twentieth anniversary edition, joined by his wife Helen Lakelley Hunt accurately titled “Getting The Love You Want”.  This is a brief summary* aimed to get you interested enough to buy the book and use it, along with the exercises and maybe even a therapist to make your romantic relationship into the best love of your life.

SUMMARY   by H. Holt & Company

One of my main realizations in Getting The Love You Want was that the two individuals in a relationship need to let go of the illusion that they are the centre of the universe and learn to see each other as equal partners. There are indeed two people in the relationship. When two individuals surrender their centrality, something unexpected occurs – the relationship itself  becomes the center. Once that fundamental shift occurs, they can begin to work with the unconscious purpose of their relationship, not against it. They can begin to accept the fact that being in an intimate love relationship calls forth all the unresolved issues of their childhood, and that they can learn how to work together to resolve them.  We are born in relationship, we are wounded in relationship, and we can be healed in relationship. Indeed, we cannot be fully healed outside of a relationship.  This is the idea that resonated with so many couples.

  • The first step is become more conscious of our old wounds. We look into the past for evidence of how we were denied adequate nurturing and how we repressed essential parts of our being. We do this through therapy, prayer, and reflection, and by becoming more astute observers of everyday events.  As we gather new insights, we share them with our partners, because we no longer assume they can read our minds.  When our partners share their thoughts and feelings with us, we listen with understanding and compassion, knowing that this sharing is a sacred trust.  Gradually we start to “reimage” our partners, to see them as they really are wounded children seeking salvation.
  • Once we have this more accurate image, we begin to redesign our relationships to heal our wounds.

“To do this, we first build an atmosphere of safety and trust.  By closing our exits, renewing our commitment to each other, and deliberately pleasuring each other, we create a safe and nurturing environment.”  

We add to this feeling of safety and validation by learning to communicate openly and effectively.  As we overcome our resistance to this new way of relating, we begin to see our partners with even more clarity.  We learn that they have fears and weaknesses and desires that they have never shared with us.  We listen to their criticisms of us and realize that these illuminate our own darkness.  We tell ourselves: “My partner has something to say about me. There is probably a measure of truth in this comment.”  Gradually we come to accept the fullness, the dark and the light of our own being.

  • The next step in the healing process is perhaps the most difficult: we make a decision to act on the information we are acquiring about ourselves and our partners and become our partner’s healers. We go against our instinct to focus on our own needs and make a conscious choice to focus on theirs.  To do this, we must conquer our fear of change.  As we respond to our partners’ needs, we are surprised to discover that, in healing our partners, we are slowly reclaiming parts of our own lost selves.  We are integrating parts of our being that were cut off in childhood.  We find ourselves regaining our capacity to think and to feel, to be sexually and spiritually alive, and to express ourselves in creative ways.
  • Dec 16th 2008006_editedAs we reflect on all that we are learning, we see that the painful moments in life are in reality opportunities for growth. Instead of blocking the pain, we ask ourselves: “What  truth is trying to emerge at this moment?  What primal feelings are hiding beneath these feelings of sadness, anxiety, and frustration?” We learn that the underlying feelings are pain and rage and the fear of death, and that these feelings are common to us all.  Finally, we find a safe and growth-producing way to express these powerful emotions and no longer allow them jeopardize our relationships.
  • One by one, the elements of our marriage that were once unconscious-the fears, the anger, the childhood needs, the archaic pain-are brought to the surface, first to find acceptance, then, ultimately, to be resolved. As our wounds heal and as more hidden parts of ourselves come into our awareness, we have a new sense of our inherent unity and wholeness.

For more information on how to get the love you want contact us today!

* This brief summary was originally published by Henry Holt and Company and the entire summary can be found at: http://www.peace.ca/gettingtheloveyouwant.htm

Where do you put your faith?

I work in the Durham region at a Physio and Chiro clinic.  It seems lately that our clinic is cursed.  I do not believe you can be cursed if you have a love for God.  God is bigger than the boogeyman and he is the healer of all things – even when evil seems to have come into play. My co-workers and I have all suffered tremendous obstacles in our lives, e.g. illnesses, injuries, hospitalizations, alcoholism, death, surgeries. Everything seems to be overwhelming us at this time.  When my boss left yesterday for a week’s vacation in England, he stated, “Well, I hope the plane doesn’t crash!! ”  We all giggled but it really was NOT funny.

In these stressful times, it is very hard to remain positive.  I find that when issues arise, I say a prayer, let it out and leave it to God.  He will help you work it out, just ask Him.  Skeptics will say to me, “Yeah right” but it does work.  We often hear the sayings, “Things happen for a reason”, “It was meant to be”, whatever your belief is, God or your Superior Being is the ruler of all.  Someone is definitely ruling and my faith is in God.

 

Photo credit: Prawny from morguefile.com


Photo credit: DuBoix from morguefile.com

TV – Mental Health Analogy

If I were to try to explain how I feel it would go something like this.

I am a TV. I have many channels. During a day my channels get changed. A few channels come in clear without a lot of “fuzzy”. Some channels I’m not sure have been seen.

I think that each channel has a job and an emotion. Some of the channels seem functional and rational and carry on in a somewhat normal way. Some channels don’t even seem to be in the right language for me to understand. Some are just crazy with distorted images and ideas. Some are really boring. (great for sleeping)

I am not always aware of what channel I am on. I think when an emotion happens to me, my TV flips around looking for the right channel to be on. If the right channel isn’t available fast enough it either just KEEPS FLIPPING or stops on the BAD channel.

Flipping constantly is one of the worst feelings. It causes headaches and exhaustion and panic. This feeling of “flipping” makes me look for a “quick fix” to make it stop. I’d definitely unplug myself if possible, or reboot or refresh. This channel isn’t even a channel…it just keeps going and going and makes me want to run and cry. It sometimes makes me speak out of turn or out loud and makes me hear way too much noise at once.

Landing on the BAD channel is my worst fear. It’s the channel NO ONE SUBSCRIBES TO. It’s run by the devil I’m sure. It’s all violent with twisted images and loud annoying noises. It has dinosaurs and creatures without faces. It has trees that whisper bad things and babies that cry out for help. It has shadows in the corners watching from unknown places. The good people are actually bad people who will get you. It’s an extremely scary channel and makes everything feel not real. It gives nightmares and night sweats and other bad things I can’t even mention because they are too bad. Suicide is always a good option that makes sense on this channel.

The religious channel is my favorite. It has great love (and music). This channel has hope and calmness and meaning to life. It has God in charge of all feelings and beliefs. Everything is beautiful and simple. Things move at the right speed. If I could just pick one channel this would be the one. I pray every night that I wake up on this channel. If I am on this channel I don’t want to do ANYTHING that will make the channel change. I find myself avoiding life sometimes in fear it will get changed. Sometimes I get really excited to die while on this channel or just become too overwhelmed with the beauty of the world.

The cartoon channel, a mostly good one, filled with Muppets and laughter and games. Everything is a cartoon and not real. Everything is funny and seems silly. People seem puppet-like and voices change. Everyone is an actor and backgrounds are just pretend. People can’t really die but they might explode once in a while. It can be a confusing channel but it’s one I actually like. Caution to myself not to hurt myself while on this channel. It’s easy to be impulsive on this one and make bad decisions. Laughing inappropriately makes a person look crazy so a lot of self-control is needed.

Some channels are set for days at a time. They are like “sub channels” These include:

  • Food channel – vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, meat-eater, eat by colors, eat by food groups, don’t eat, overeat, make yourself sick, nuts and seeds only, junk food only etc.
  • Sex channel – female attraction, male attraction. No attraction, attraction to objects, attraction to pain
  • Sexuality channel – male, female, both, neither, gay, bi, non-human
  • Relationship channel – not sure this one is included

Someday I’m going to find the remote.   When I do, I’ll get to pick any channel I want. I will also change my package to not include the bad channels. They are such a waste of time and energy.


Photo credit: kondition from morguefile.com

~ Dedicated to Kareem and also Becky~

~Rest in Everlasting Peace. ~

When experiencing loss and grief, we may ask many questions yet never receive answers:

  • Why take them from us so young?
  • What could have been done to prevent this from happening? Or to help?
  • Was I not a good enough influence or foster better choices?
  • Will I get over this pain?
  • How can I be there for my family when I can barely be there for myself?
  • Is this fair?

We may toss and turn trying to find answers to these questions. We may question our faith and our reality, pondering what we truly are living for. When such tragedy strikes our families and friends, what good can come out of it?

It is very normal to have these questions, to worry, to be concerned. Feelings of helplessness, fear, anxiety, and sadness can become overwhelming. During our time of grief, coping with simple life tasks can be difficult. Take your time. Don’t rush into the hustle and bustle of life’s demands. Find comfort through loved ones who are also grieving, and accept support from those friends and others who want to extend care to you during this difficult time.

Prayer. For those who place faith in God, praying for strength, and sometimes just praying for survival can provide comfort and peace during the grieving process. When we question God’s plans, the best source to turn to is God Himself, reading time-tested and true ancient wisdom. Through prayer and scripture, we may not find the answers we are looking for, however we may find serenity, and regain our strength, hope and possibly even confidence in God’s plan for all of us.

Questions of faith and uncertainty can be addressed in counselling. Incorporating spirituality might just restore the hope that is essential to life and death.  Call us today.

 

Travelling to a foreign country can be rather exciting and stressful at the same time. You don’t know the customs, the people, the geographic area etc.. Even going to the USA from Canada, when you don’t travel much, can elevate stress levels. Thoughts that lean toward negativity, whether they are about airport check-in, customs and security, the type of plane, people or otherwise, can disrupt, worsen and even ruin a perfectly fine holiday away.

It is important to plan ahead, not just with practical things like packing, cars and sights to see, with who you are going to meet, but also planning how we are going to handle changes in plans, monkey wrenches and even attitudes about spending money.  Keeping positive, despite the normal unexpected challenges, is not an easy skill. We are, therefore, prudent to set some internal guidelines to keep our spirits up and to have a fun time. Discovering new ways to interpret the actions and motivations of others can help us stay in a positive frame of mind. Training our mind means shifting thoughts that fuel negative emotions and actions toward the intentional selection of  thoughts that fuel positive emotional and behavioural states.

Viewing all people as generally good, kind and caring can go a long way as can the thought; “I am to be polite, kind and courteous no matter the situation”. On our trip this past weekend, to Washington DC and the Baltimore area, we had plenty of opportunity to get flustered or “out-of-sorts” and that negative voice in the back of my head offered numerous reasons to do so.  Some of the situations that could easily have turned into awful experiences, based upon my potential handling of the moment, actually turned out quite well because I did not listen to my “stinkin thinkin” … for very long anyway.  “Take a few really deep breaths” was the message to myself as the girl at the check-in counter became… well let’s just say… a little disconcerting and a whole lot unfriendly!

For some time now, I have repeatedly discovered that being gracious begets a similar response. Being good, kind, understanding, patient etc. mostly leads to receiving similar responses from others. This may not be right at the moment, yet it seems to be a very consistent phenomenon provided we wait for it. In a hurried and rushed world we may often want results right away, expecting people to be nice immediately just because we have been. Is there a time limit or expiry date on goodness and graciousness? Can we ever really give too much of this.

Make any trip, experience or journey out of your comfort zone more positive by being mindful of your own thought selection. We can increasingly search for, reach for and develop more thoughts that portray a “goodness to gracious” view, thereby improving our journey along this road of life.

 

Business & Women Fight Back

This video ad is one company’s effort to help people acknowledge the destructive qualities of negative thinking. While it is noble, it still falls short of a positive psychological perspective by suggesting “fat talk” are the women’s own thoughts. We grow up hearing things like, “This is your attitude”, “Change your thoughts”, and “You have a bad attitude” rather than more inclusive conversations about what Carl Jung referred to as the “collective unconscious”.

We all have what I love calling “stinkin’ thinkin'”. No one is immune however, if you are or if you know someone who is without negative thinking, I would sure love an interview; find out how to be totally positive… (mild sarcasm noted).

“Fat Talk”, “Ugly Talk”, “Unworthy Talk” and “Stupid Talk” are collections of thoughts that, in narrative terms, are simply groups of thought or schemata that have been loaded onto our minds. Born with little data or thought on our minds, we are cognitively loaded with zillions and gazillions of data or thoughts. Family, friends, acquaintances, media, nature, in fact, all experiences are saved on our minds; many to be used at some later point as reference material to assist us with the myriad of tasks in life.

Narrative theory suggests the very thoughts we select to focus on make up a story about ourselves, others and our world. As this story shifts, possibly becoming more negative in nature, our emotional state and related behaviour also become more negative and burdensome. This is quite an empowering view however, as it indicates we are capable of selecting different thoughts or “re-writing” our stories. The women in the video discovered just how negative their story about body image had become by seeing thoughts right before their own eyes. This is one helpful tool to change thought patterns toward a healthier narrative.

Seeking assistance is a strength. It takes courage to recruit a professional counsellor to help uncover and understand the thoughts underlying negativity in our lives. At Jeff Packer MSW & Associates, we provide a safe, confidential and empowering space where you can improve your awareness of the factors contributing to problematic areas and develop the tools to rewrite your life more positively.

To fight off negative talk and improve your story, call us today !