That Relationship Show Podcast interviews Jonice Webb, PhD writer of “Running on Empty.” Jonice’s book is about when everything about your upbringing was okay but something was somehow missing and you struggle. It is describes emotional neglect, it’s long term affects on a person and their relationships and how to heal. If your emotions were unattended to, dismissed, ignored or put down, this podcast and this book are for you.
I landed upon this video and it was extremely moving to me. What was most touching was when the animals felt heard, validated and understood there seemed to be a healing of some sort. I think we all crave and long to be heard, understood and validated. We need our untold stories to be seen. “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.” Maya Angelou
I rescued three feral kittens last July. We put a blanket out and their mother (we trapped and fixed her and now feed her) sleeps on our recliner in the backyard all day. I wish she could be tamed and a home found for her but she is too feral. Makes me sad because I know she wants to be close when she gazes at me through my kitchen window but her nervous system has been programmed to tell her humans are not safe. When this occurred to me I also thought, “I bet this happens to humans, too. Bad things happen, they get scared and then the nervous system tells them certain things or relationships aren’t safe. We call this trauma. We never know what anyone has been through and what might cause a reaction. All beings should be handled with care, love and compassion.”
She now sleeps at the back door on a pillow all night. She ate some food at the back door while I watched at the door window yesterday. She is getting closer. Will I tame her? I don’t know.
The “On The Couch” podcast with Naomi Rather and Deborah Curtis. They interviewed Jim Thomas, EFT trainer. This podcast’s focus is on what it feels like to be male or identify as male in a relationship during these days. He talks about the pressures and struggles men experience. Check it out here.
Dr. Sue Johnson is an author, clinical psychologist, researcher, professor, and a leading innovator in the field of couple therapy and adult attachment. Sue is the author of the 2008 bestseller Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love. Her latest book for professionals is Attachment Theory in Practice (2019).
She is the founding director of the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT). She spends much of the year training therapists in EFT around the world, and also holds positions at the University of Ottawa, Alliant University (San Diego), and the University of British Columbia. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia. Check out the article here.
Have you ever met someone who is extremely and naturally happy and thankful? I have. And, I often think they are amazing. It is like they were born with an extra large gratitude muscle. They are like my cat, Lydia, the eternal optimist. No matter how grouchy my older cat gets around her she manages to keep on purring and purring.
Looking around for some research I found that some people may be more prone to be naturally grateful because of certain genetic factors. Okay. So, what about the rest of us who struggle to see the silver lining in everything?
Well, there is good news for us. We can learn this skill! Just like yoga it may be an intentional practice at first. But, if we practice it regularly can have lasting effects (just like yoga) like noting positive things around us more naturally. Yup. Just writing down three things you are thankful for daily for a period of time can get the ball rolling. Try it. You may be pleasantly surprised.
One thing, if I understand the literature and research correctly, is that you truly have to be grateful and have that thankful feeling inside of you when you put something on your list. It can’t just be a rote exercise. So, I suggest listing things you easily and truly can be thankful for and see what happens.
Den and Naomi interview and welcome New York Times Bestselling author Dr. Emily Nagoski, expert on women's sexual wellbeing. Using warmth and humor, she covers everything women need to know--from the impact of stress on women's health and well-being to modern day romance novels to the importance of bringing joy and pleasure to our lives. PODCAST
Why Am I So Anxious?
Every human feels anxiety on occasion; it is a part of life. All of us know what it is like to feel worry, nervousness, fear, and concern. We feel nervous when we have to give a speech, go for a job interview, or walk into our boss’s office for the annual performance appraisal. We know it’s normal to feel a surge of fear when we unexpectedly see a photo of a snake or look down from the top of a tall building. Most of us manage these kinds of anxious feelings fairly well and are able to carry on with our lives without much difficulty. These feelings don’t disrupt our lives.
But millions of people (an estimated 15% of the population) suffer from devastating and constant anxiety that severely affects their lives, sometimes resulting in living in highly restricted ways. These people experience panic attacks, phobias, extreme shyness, obsessive thoughts, and compulsive behaviors. The feeling of anxiety is a constant and dominating force that disrupts their lives. Some become prisoners in their own homes, unable to leave to work, drive, or visit the grocery store. For these people, anxiety is much more than just an occasional wave of apprehension.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
An anxiety disorder affects a person’s behavior, thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations. The most common anxiety disorders include the following:
Social anxiety or social phobia is a fear of being around other people. People who suffer from this disorder always feel self-conscious around others. They have the feeling that everyone is watching them and staring at them, being critical in some way. Because the anxiety is so painful, they learn to stay away from social situations and avoid other people. Some eventually need to be alone at all times, in a room with the door closed. The feeling is pervasive and constant and even happens with people they know.
People who have social anxiety know that their thoughts and fears are not rational. They are aware that others are not actually judging or evaluating them at every moment. But this knowledge does not make the feelings disappear
Panic disorder is a condition where a person has panic attacks without warning. According to the National Institutes of Mental Health, about 5% of the adult American population suffers from panic attacks. Some experts say that this number is actually higher, since many people experience panic attacks but never receive treatment.
Common symptoms of panic include:
• Racing or pounding heart
• Sweaty palms
• Feelings of terror
There are three basic ways to treat depression: psychotherapy, self help, and medication. Many people respond best to a combination of two or more methods.
1. Psychotherapy: Individual treatment exploring one’s beliefs and ways of thinking and relating, and learning new ways of thinking, relating, and behaving. Family and couples therapy are very helpful, especially if one's relationships are affecting one's mood or one's mood is starting affect one's relationships. Relationships matter and the support of family and friends is essential for recovery. Depression often causes isolation, which tends to feed the depression and make it worse. Relief can come through connecting with others. Couple or family therapy can help with this by promoting connection.
2. Self-help: Exploring one’s beliefs and ways of thinking on one’s own.
3. Medication: Altering one’s brain chemistry by taking antidepressant medication.
A physician may recommend medication when four conditions exist:
1. The patient’s depression is moderate to severe.
2. The patient has suffered at least one previous depressive episodes.
3. There is a family history of depression.
4. The patient asks for medication only and refuses psychotherapy.
There are four types of antidepressant medication available today:
• Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)
• Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
• Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
• Other compounds that work with dopamine, and norepinephrine
The TCAs and MAOIs have been used for decades. The SSRIs (such as Prozac) and structurally unrelated compounds are newer and are being prescribed more and more frequently. They have fewer and less pronounced side effects than the TCAs and MAOIs.
Treatment without Medicine
One of the leading methods for treating depression is cognitive therapy. Cognitive therapists help depressed clients feel better by identifying how faulty ways of thinking are making him or her feel bad. The client analyzes his or her thoughts and beliefs, and learns to substitute more healthy ways of thinking and believing. Many mental health professionals believe that the ideal treatment of clinical depression is medication in conjunction with psychotherapy. Meditation and yoga have been found helpful. Emotionally Focused Therapy may also help.
Prevention of Depression
1. Identify your risk factors and be aware of where you are vulnerable. Each of us has unique risk factors, such as things we were taught in our families of origin, values we have learned, and the presence or absence of a family history of depression. Anything that has been learned can be unlearned and replaced with something healthier.
2. Learn to manage stress. You can learn proven techniques for calming and relaxing yourself. Consider taking a stress management class or buying a set of relaxation tapes.
3. Learn problem-solving skills. Many people who develop depression never learned problem-solving skills. They need to develop the ability to see problems from many viewpoints and to look for a variety of solutions.
4. Build your life around things you can control. Learn to recognize what you can control and what you can’t. Avoid spending much effort on situations that won’t pay off for you.
5. Learn self-acceptance. Instead of rejecting the parts of yourself you don’t like, learn to manage them more productively.
6. Become aware of selective perception. Observe how you generate ideas and opinions about people and events. Remember that these are just your views, not necessarily objective facts.
7. Focus on the future, not the past. Depressed people tend to be focused on the past. People who set goals and focus on the future tend to be more positive about life.
8. Develop a sense of purpose. Many depressed people lack a sense of purpose or meaning. This means they have no goals and nothing in the future drawing them forward. To prevent depression, develop your sense of purpose and meaning.
9. Strengthen your emotional boundaries and set limits. Boundaries define your role in a social situation. They determine how you will or won’t behave in a given situation. Having clear, strong boundaries is empowering, while boundary violations make you feel victimized and helpless. Setting limits means having and enforcing rules for the behaviors you expect in a relationship.
10. Build positive and healthy relationships. Think about what you need from others in relationships. Learn to read people and trust your instincts about which people are good for you.
11. Avoid isolation. Talk to others about what’s going on with you. If you keep your thoughts to yourself, you may be unaware that your thoughts are distorted. If you share them with another person, you can become more objective.
David D. Burns, M.D., Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy. New York, Avon Books, 1980.
Michael Yapko, Ph.D., Breaking the Patterns of Depression. New York, Doubleday, 1997.
Evelyn Schmechtig -Cochran