Archive for the ‘Healthy Anger’ Category

How Therapy Can Prevent Premature Aging By Tackling Stress and Depression

July 14th, 2015 No Comments

Anger and Stress Management Tips for Satisfying Relationships

west los angeles therapy for stress

 

At the age of 37 Brittany, a quality control manager, woke up each day wishing the night had lasted a little longer. That awful feeling of dread permeated her body with sweat. She had been slipping at work and the factory owners had noticed that she wasn’t her usual sharp self. It didn’t seem like she was trying any less hard or with less interest in her job. But the jeans coming off the production line and shipped to stores were being sent back with broken zippers and fabric tears.

Even though she was still relatively young, she felt as if she were 20 years older, and  her recent annual physical showed that her heart, blood pressure and skin were all showing signs of deterioration usually seen in older people. Her 50 year old husband Derek looked more like her son and with commensurate energy!

Too tired to cook in the evenings, Brittany’s kids ate fast food. The guilt stressed her out some more. Brittany’s husband tried to understand his wife’s reduced interest and ability to concentrate on family life. She seemed to forget even the most routine of things, like the meds their son needed for his asthma.

 

west los angeles stress management therapy

Stress and Depression Alter Your View of Reality

 

Trying to Manage Stress and Depression on Your Own Makes Matters Worse

Withdrawing into her shell to hide from this awful experience, Brittany became depressed. It was a low grade depression that lasted for years. She was too ashamed to seek help and didn’t want to take pills. Her doctor had previously noticed how anxious and stressed she was, and offered anxiety medication. But she declined, thinking she could beat it on her own.

Not able to connect with her family because of her depression, she became a stranger to her family. There was little conversation other than routine matters, because Brittany slept most of the time she was home. It was as if she was an elderly frail person who appeared to be in early dementia due to the effects of stress on her memory. Derek and their two young teenage boys felt helpless. They had lost their upbeat, energetic, sharp and funny family member who was always there to rely on. Nothing they said or did cheered her up. She complained of pain which turned out to be arthritis following early menopause.

The depression led to Brittany having to take more and more time off work. She was relieved when she couldn’t go in, but later felt self-loathing and critical of herself. Depression feeds on those two factors, making her more stressed and less able to function normally. She was often unaware of the time, and as days rolled into one another, her personal hygiene suffered. Friends stopped dropping in and calling, and her sons barely poked their heads into her bedroom door. Derek tried several times to take her to the doctor but she was too scared to face her condition, and was terrified of being told that she needed to see a psychiatrist.

 west los angeles stress management

Stress and Depression Accelerates the Aging Process

Brittany’s problems stemmed from having reduced levels of the hormone klotho that regulates the aging process. When women are stressed and depressed, they have lower levels of klotho, making them less cognitively proficient, adding to the risk for Alzheimer’s disease, as reported in an article in Translational Psychiatry, 2015.  This hormone appears to be the link between chronic stress and premature aging diseases and death. It has a protective function in maintaining mental acuity and physical health.

What if Brittany had addressed her stress in therapy at its earliest stage?

She might have felt safe enough to talk to her family about her fear of letting them down, and being less than perfect. They probably would have reassured her, and as a family may have distributed the stress more equitably. The likelihood of depression would have been minimal. Brittany would have developed emotional intelligence skills that would have kept her stress under control.

What if Brittany had taken preventive action by attending therapy and learning the source of her stress before it led to depression?

She would have stopped the stress from becoming chronic and harmful to her memory and physical health.

In therapy she would have learned how to understand and accept that she couldn’t control everything and everyone.

She would have learned to express her feelings in the moments of uncertainty and unpredictability, freeing up space to think and use reasonable logic to manage here anxiety.

Most of all Brittany would have made the connection between her childhood relationship stress and her current relationship stress, so that she could separate them out, and use her adult intelligent mind to cope differently.

What if Brittany had gone to therapy when she became anxious about losing her job?

She would have learned that it was normal but coming from a place inside her that lacked confidence and always wanted to prove herself.  Treating herself as human rather than superwoman might have been a goal, together with being comfortable talking openly about her shame about not being good enough – thereby removing the harmful effect of stress on her hormonal system.

Practicing a non-judgmental and more self-compassionate stance towards herself would have kept those klotho hormones at their optimal levels, so that she looked young and kept her faculties razor sharp. That would have meant quality experiences with her family and colleagues.

 

Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

AUTHOR OF:' Now You Want Me, Now You Don't! Fear of Intimacy: Ten ways to recognize it and ten ways to manage it in your relationship.

You might also like:

Five Benefits of Mindfulness

Unresolved Anger and Stress Keeps You Depressed Longer

Pull Out the Roots of Your Anger and Stress By Exercising Amid Nature

 

 

Disclaimer: this article is for educational and informational purposes only. There is no liability on the part of Dr. Raymond for any reactions you may have when reading the material or following the suggestions therein. Interacting with this material does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Raymond.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Four Ways to Silence Your Self-Critical Voice

December 2nd, 2014 No Comments

Anger and Stress Management Tips for Satisfying Relationships

west los angeles psychotherapy for anger based self-criticism

After a relaxing weekend, thirty-three year old Daniel hated when he felt that feeling in the pit of his stomach, reminding him that a new week was about to begin. He enjoyed his two-days-a-week off so much that the transition was painful and anxiety provoking. The thought of leaving his ‘treasure island’ and re-entering the world of reality made him nauseous as he prepared to tear himself away from his personal paradise of ‘do-nothing-and relax’ time.

He had to up date his financial records; getting the flyers and ads out for new listings he had procured for his real estate business and keep appointments with his ten-year-old son Drew’s school meetings. He had to go back to being a robot to get through this week, just like every other.

The only way he could get himself ready for the job was to whip himself into a state of frenzy and panic – imagining the urgency with which he had to attend to the tasks as hand, for if he didn’t – he was a lazy, useless, unproductive, undeserving layabout!

west los angeles anger management therapy

That self-critical voice raised its volume and began pounding Daniel with guilt.

He was bad for doing nothing and enjoying it! He should be ashamed of himself letting so many important jobs stay undone. He needed to make up for it in a hurry because he had wasted to much precious time already.

Daniel got himself out of his reverie like a donkey gets up after being lashed unmercifully to do the bidding of its master. This master wanted to punish him for retreating into his care-free bubble and forgetting his duties. This unforgiving, over-active slave driver insisted that Daniel wasn’t going to enjoy any part of his working week as atonement for the two days of rest-and-recreation he had stolen.

He was filled with shame, comparing himself to his hard working parents who rarely took time to rest or play with him and his brother. Their lives were filled with jobs that seemed caring and that Daniel thought he should be grateful for. But he never was! All he wanted was for his parents to spend time with him, enjoying his company and he theirs.

He felt weak and helpless as that self-critical task-master inside him went on and on, louder and louder until Daniel gave in and shut himself out of his paradise. He began to tackle the jobs on his list like a demon, to erase the guilt evoked by his self-critical voice. As he got into the rhythm of his tasks, he detached himself completely from the haven he had just left. While he was on ‘duty,’ being a ‘good boy,’ he wasn’t allowed to have any contact, even in his imagination with his ‘off-time’ paradise. Masochism was the only way to manage his overwhelming anger.

But at the end of his robotic week, when he had paid for his crime of having time off, he melted right back into his precious island where that inner-critic was quiet until just before the next week began. What peace, what joy – heaven!

Until the whole cycle started again!

west los angeles therapy for self-criticism

How Can Daniel Silence His Inner Self-Critic?

  1. Identify the source of that voice from childhood – is it his dad’s voice making him feel ashamed of playing and having fun? Or is it his mom’s admonishments to be a ‘man’ and do more jobs around the house? May be it’s a grandparent who snubs him for not being a ‘good boy,’ and deprives him of treats.

Whatever the combination of voices, Daniel has taken ownership and beating himself up with it. So he has to disown that voice and give it back to those it really belonged to.

  1. Develop his own voice so that the harsh self-critical one doesn’t come back and fill the empty space. He needs to make his voice represent his own beliefs, not those of his childhood carers. He doesn’t need to compare himself to his parents, and he no longer needs their approval in order to feel loved.

Doing that involves deciding what his beliefs are about working and playing. Is it okay with him to rest, play, unwind, and switch off? If so, when, how, and in what circumstances?

  1. Remove the stark split between work and play.

Allowing himself time each day to rest and switch off will alter that punitive swing of the pendulum threatening him into action with shame and guilt. Having something to enjoy each day makes the working week bearable and balanced.

  1. Create a more organic rhythm for work, play, rest, peace and relationships.

Focusing on what he is doing and has done at a time of recreation quietens the self-critical voice until it disappears. Getting in touch with your own natural rhythms liberates Daniel from shame and guilt.

Now Daniel can face any day with energy and positive anticipation. He doesn’t have to browbeat himself through his self-critical voice, because it has been quietened. In time, that voice becomes more validating, giving him permission to be himself and approve of it.

copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D. 2014

AUTHOR OF: Now You Want Me, Now You Don't! Fear of Intimacy: Ten ways to recognize it and ten ways to manage it in your relationship.

You might also like:

Do you numb yourself in order to manage your angry outbursts, only to have them explode later on?

Unresolved anger and stress keeps you depressed longer

Shirked responsibility gets turned into self-hatred and anger – masochistic anger part 4

 

Disclaimer: this article is for informational and educative purposes only. Dr. Raymond is not responsible for any reactions you may have when reading the content or using the suggestions therein. Interacting with this material does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Jeanette Raymond



Three Ways To Harness Your Anger, Hate and Frustration to Get What You Want

November 17th, 2014 Comments Off on Three Ways To Harness Your Anger, Hate and Frustration to Get What You Want

 

Anger and Stress Management Tips for Satisfying Relationships

 

Without the frustration of error or lack-1

Are you envious of other peoples relationships?

Are you consumed with frustration that other people seem to get what they want and have the 'perfect' relationship while you are struggling to get off the ground?

When you are feeling unfulfilled and unhappy in your own relationship, other couples are viewed in idealistic terms. You imagine that just because they are out together or buying groceries together that their relationship must be warm and stress free.

You wan the same thing! You don't know why you can't have it, and you feel life is treating you unfairly, despite you being a 'good' person.

Thats what happened to thirty-seven year old Jocelyn after her marriage ended in divorce.

She was filled with rage that she had given her all in the marriage and yet it hadn't been enough to make it work.

Enraged by her husband being away a lot and shirking his responsibilities, she filled herself up with hate for him for making her end up alone with two children.

She kept the anger and hate inside, pretending that she was doing okay. But she also looked for any excuse to tear a strip off her husband when he wasn't paying what she felt she needed to maintain her household with the children. She wanted that money, and atonement money – she wanted him to bleed.

She tried to act like a single person and go out with friends but she felt even more angry that she had to start going out and date again!

Jocelyn found a million reasons why she would never find a partner again. So everytime a possiblity arose she stamped on it by saying, " I'm too fat, I'm too old, I'm not funny and I'm not sexy!"

It worked. She made sure she never got a date – it was a great way to hang onto the anger and hatred.

Yet the anger and hate never went away. In fact it got a lot worse. Jocelyn couldn't stand the fact that he was enjoying his life while her life was going down the drain.

relationship problems psychotherapy, Los Angeles

What are Jocelyn's options for dealing with the anger and hate?

She can sit back and complain about her misfortune, treating herself as a helpless victim on the one hand, and as a merciless avenger on the other hand when she gets mad at her ex-husband.

She can fill herself up with anger about life being unfair and leave no room to take in care and find a good connection.

She can blind herself to the love that is available because it doesn't match her wish to turn back the clock and force the marriage to work.

She can seethe with frustration, release stress hormones into her body and get sick.

She can have a fit about the fact that her efforts aren't being rewarded immediately or consistently,.

 OR

She can use that  frustration and the excess adrenaline that it produces to make it happen for her.

 

glad to be with each other

Three ways Jocelyn can use her frustration, anger and hate to get her share of the good things in life

1. Tune into the discomfort in her body whenever she is frustrated, revengeful and angry. Notice the enormous energy that could overwhelms her, but is at her disposal to channel –

2. Imagine the choice she has –

  • use the anger, hate and frustration for destructive purposes – throwing a tantrum because she isn't given what she want.
  • use the energy to get in touch with DESIRE.and use that force to open up a space inside where she can allow others to touch her, make her laugh, care for her and make her feel wanted.

3. Frustration is the mother of desire

Choose the second more hopeful option and put herself out there as the valuable person she is. Emotional energy can be used to wake up DESIRE for life and all that it offers. Without desire there is only destructive tendencies because no one took care of you the way you wanted. Fierce desire makes you walk through fire and wade through snake filled swamps.

When Jocelyn wants her life to be happy with a new boyfriend more than she wants to feel the power of anger, then she uses frustration transformed into desire to get her wish.

She needs to look for and take what she wants, not wait for someone to rescue her. That's where the frustration comes in handy. It catapults Jocelyn into a 'must have' place rather than a ' have to wait and see' place or a passive aggressive place just to get even. Taking revenge and punishing will only keep Jocelyn in a strait jacket of rage hoping it will burn the reality of the broken marriage into it's original attractive experience. Desire on the other hand is self-empowrering because it comes from the frustration of not being gratified by the person you depend on to care for you.

 

As the famous British Psychologist and Pediatrician Donald Winnicott said – a mother has to refrain from indulging a child all the time or anticipating every need. Without the feeling of frustration the child will never want to do something badly enough to grow and develop the skills and the pride of self-care.          

copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D. 2014

AUTHOR OF: Now You Want Me, Now You Don't! Fear of Intimacy: Ten ways to recognize it and ten ways to manage it in your relationship.

You might also like:

Three ways anger at your partner's infedity saves your relationship for good

Managing anger that comes from feeling unwanted and insecure

Angry that your partner isn't who you signed up for?

Latest Media articles where I give expert advice

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The Stir Cafemom; The Eight Types of Marriage – Which One Do You Have?

Disclaimer: this article is for informational and educative purposes only. Dr. Raymond is not responsible for any reactions you may have when reading the content or using the suggestions therein. Interacting with this material does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Jeanette Raymond



Checklist to Tell if You Are In an Abusive Relationship

September 23rd, 2014 1 Comment

 

Anger and Stress Management Tips for Satisfying Relationships

 

6 signs of abusive relationships

If you are in an abusive relationship you probably don't know it.

You don't recognize that your relationship is any different to others or to the one you grew up in.

So here is a twelve item checklist to help you discover whether you are in an abusive relationship, so you don't have to suffer like the NFL'S Ray Rice's wife Jany, Ray McDonald's finance, Adrian Peterson's daughter, or Greg Hardy's  domestic violence victims.

If only those victims could have been assertive and put themselves in an equal position in their relationships, they may have been less likely to be abused.

But when you feel powerless, insecure and stressed, it's tough. Seeking therapy is too scary.

 

wound up tied up

          Twelve Item Checklist

1.You are verbally ridiculed but remain quiet.

2.You role in the relationship is demeaned in front of others yet you accept it without protest.

3.Your partner blames you when things don’t according to plan, you buy into it, and try harder to please next time.

4.You keep silent about your hurt and pain, ashamed about the relationship that you chose and are now trapped in.

5.You cling to hope that your partner will change if you are ‘better’ and more patient.

6.You try to win love and affection from a position of subordination, and are rewarded by humiliation.

7.You have fantasies of running away and or retaliating against your partner, which keep you going in your darkest hours.

8.You long for the moments when your partner is warm, to obliterate all the times when you were neglected, blamed and punished.

9. When your partner is loving it's as if you are in heaven. You forget all the bad times, seeing only the nice side of your partner. You invest everything in the moment, feeling powerful that you and only you brought out the good stuff in your partner, that you always knew was there.

10. You are always ruminating on what you have said or done wrong to make sense of your partner's emotional, physical or verbal abuse.

11.  You protect your partner when other people comment on the way they behave.

12. You give up your autonomy and activities to keep your partner from getting anxious and angry about your living a life that is separate from them.

            

Next time I will write about how to help yourself if you are the victim of domestic violence.

 

copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

AUTHOR OF: Now You Want Me, Now You Don't! Fear of Intimacy: Ten ways to recognize it and ten ways to manage it in your relationship.

You might also like:

Imagine couples with Ray Rice and his Wife

How to be equal partners in your relationship

How to get your partner to admit they need professional help when they won't admit their problems

 

Disclaimer: this article is for informational and educative purposes only. Dr. Raymond is not responsible for any reactions you may have when reading the content or using the suggestions therein. Interacting with this material does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Jeanette Raymond



Five Benefits of Mindfulness

September 3rd, 2014 No Comments

Anger and Stress Management Tips for Satisfying Relationships by Dr. Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

 

mindfulness benefits

 

Mindfulness is a hot topic in the area of anger and stress managment. But do you know what it is?

Have you got any idea of what it entails and how it can aid you in dealing with your anger and stress?

psychotherapy for partner selection, Los Angeles

 

Let's start with what Mindfulness is not!

Mindfulness is not meditation.

Mindfulness is not digging into yourself and discovering your unconscious wishes.

Mindfulness is not getting rid of all your thoughts and feelings

Mindfulness is not about detachment from the people and world around you

Mindfulness is not an escape from bad feelings like hurt, pain, anger, fear or envy.

Now let's look at what mindfulness is and how it can be of use to you.

1. In his book 'The Mindful Brain', Daniel Siegel describes mindulfulness as being aware of your mind and it's processes, so that you are not operating on auto pilot.

2. Mindful awarness involves reflection of what you are thinking, doing and feeling so that you are conscious of the choices you are making, and can opt for different ones to better your moment to moment, day to day life.

Benefit: when you feel irritated and angry you can sense it in your body, as you tune into your muscle tension, teeth clenching and sighing. You can then formulate words to describe your anger, and then share it in the moment. Putting your emotional experience into words, dampens the intensity of the feelings, and helps you stay and feel in control. Others experience you as genuine, adapting the converstion accordingly. You don't store anger and it doesn't build up into stress that makes you sick.

fed up but silent

3. Reflecting on your mind and what it is thinking and doing gives you the opportunity to empower yourself, instead of just being reactive and blaming everyone and everything around you for your actions.

Benefit:you are in full control of your reactions and responses. You can choose to interpret other peoples motives in a more benign way, instead of letting your autopilot take you to the same old place of rejection and hurt. You don't feel helpless and you avoid the shame and guilt of being 'reactive.'

4. Tuning into your mental proceses puts you in the here-and-now, so that you fully participate in and experience the person you are with, the surroundings you are in and the needs you have at that time.

angel but devil in disguise  

Benefit:   staying in the present releases you from captivity. Your past negative experiences predispose you to be over cautious and dismiss anything that looks or feels good as sinister, suspicious or a fluke. Mindful awareness focuses you on the reality in front of you so that you see and create a more positive life experience.

5. Embedding yourself in the here-and-now allows you to meet your need for connection with someone else, or to be apart and take care of hurt, pain or fear. Feeling your emotions as they arise means you take care of yourself in a natural organic manner. You don't brush it off and let it build up into intense anger or resentment.

Benefit: you never get hijacked by your frustration, anger or pessimism. You tolerate the bad feelings with the good and give both equal space. You have more of you to use as a resource because you are not trying to suppress feelings that you don't approve of. That's how you build self-compassion and compassion for others.

6. You don't hide from yourself, so you come across as authentic from the inside out. The image you show to others matches what you feel inside, making relating easy, and fun.

Benefit: you are at peace with yourself, non-judgmental and accepting. You have more space to be curious about others and invite them to be with you rather than perform certain functions for you. Relating becomes more meaningul and satisfying.

bend and stretch together for flexibility

7. Reflecting in a mindful way about what you actually want or are conflicted about builds self-compassion and patience for your process. It reduces the judge inside you that wants you to be perfect.

Benefit:flexibility of spirit means you can adapt to the situations around you without getting into a panic or fearing bad outcomes. Being in step with the world around you makes life easier than if you were fighting it to suit what you think it should be.

8. Mindfulness is cheap in terms of financial outlay and you don't need to depend on others to do it. But you do need to see it as a way of being, not just a 15 minute mental exercise as if you were going to the gym or jogging. It has to become like a skin that you wear and adapt to depending on your emotional state.

Benefit:being a mindfully aware person means you can start to read others more accurately. You get to understand the dynamics of the relationships you are in and most of all, you develop the fortitude to enjoy emotional intimacy instead of fearing it.

copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

AUTHOR OF: Now You Want Me, Now You Don't! Fear of Intimacy: Ten ways to recognize it and ten ways to manage it in your relationship.

You might also like:

Four ways to turn anger into love

How to get your partner to listen to your side of things without tuning out

How to deal with panic when anger managment doesn't work

 

Disclaimer: this article is for informational and educative purposes only. Dr. Raymond is not responsible for any reactions you may have when reading the content or using the suggestions therein. Interacting with this material does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Jeanette Raymond



Three Ways To Stand Up To Passive Aggressive People

August 11th, 2014 No Comments

 

Anger and Stress Management Tips for Satisfying Relationships by Dr. Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

west los angeles anger management therapy

Don't you just grit your teeth and want to tear your hair out with fury when your loved ones pretend they are not angry or upset, yet make snide remarks?

Don't you feel that they are trying to be better than you, by trying to be in full control of their anger, only to let it out in far more cruel ways?

Aren't you longing to get them to show their rage and be equally human with you?

If so then you want to have a more authentic and intimate relationship, which involves being open and upfront with your emotions, including anger.

Loved ones who use passive aggressiveness to handle their feelings are afraid of emotionally intimacy.

  •   They would rather withdraw and poke you from afar so that they can shield themselves from the impact they have on you, and vice versa.
  •   They prefer to take what they believe is the moral high ground, so that they can feel superior. Putting themselves on top is a way of avoiding emotional closeness.
  •   They get a kick out of playing the martyr role and force you to become the abuser who is harming them.

 

Why live in a place of frustration? All it does is bring you stress and cause you to hate your loved ones. You have more fights and battles about who is the better person or who is the most honest.

You can't make a martyr change with your anger or revengefull thoughts. Nor can you compete with them for martyrdom!

What you can do is to make them look in the mirror and show them how they care more about:

  • being superior than having a strong connection with you
  • being safe behind the walls of martyrdom than taking the risk of learning how to be emotionally intimate and strong simultaneously
  • seeing you as the monster so they can feel good about themselves.

Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

AUTHOR OF: Now You Want Me, Now You Don't! Fear of Intimacy: Ten ways to recognize it and ten ways to manage it in your relationship.

You might also like:

Avoid the pain of losing loved ones becasue of anger issues

How to be equal partners in your marriage

Dealing with anger when you feel emotionally blackmailed

 

Disclaimer: this article is for informational and educative purposes only. Dr. Raymond is not responsible for any reactions you may have when reading the content or using the suggestions therein. Interacting with this material does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Jeanette Raymond



Three Ways Anger At Your Partner’s Infidelity Saves Your Relationship – For Good!

July 16th, 2014 No Comments

 

Anger and Stress Management Tips for Satisfying Relationships by Dr. Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

using anger full inforgraph 6

 

It's normal, healthy and appropriate to be furious when you discover that your partner cheated on you.

It's good that you get worked up and are full of indignation.

It's useful that your angry energy gives you so much adrenalin that you feel you can move mountains.

BUT DO YOU WANT TO GO FOR THE JUGULAR AND KILL OFF THE FOUNDATION OF THE RELATIONSHIP THAT HAS BEEN CRACKED

OR DO YOU WANT TO TAKE CHARGE, AND RE-CRAFT THE CONNECTION THAT YOU BELIEVED WAS RELIABLE AND STRONG?

Yes, I know – how could I suggest that you accept and forgive and pretend that nothing has happened?

I am not asking you to do that.

I am suggesting that infidelity is a sign that one person in the relationship wants to grow and expand and the other wants to keep things exactly the way they are.

When one partner sees the other ones need to have some life outside the terms of the original relationship parameters, having an affair is often the only way to crack that sealed box open and let it breathe.

If you are the one being cheated on, then you feel betrayed, and can't see why. Your natural instinct is to protect yourself and take revenge, punishing your partner by ending things or clamping down even harder on the rules.

BUT WHAT IF YOU REALIZED THAT CHEATING GOT YOUR ATTENTION lLIKE NOTHING ELSE DID – AND YOU DISCOVERED THAT YOU HAD NO IDEA THAT YOUR PARTNER NEEDED TO GROW AND DEVELOP RATHER THAN STAY MUMMIFIED IN A GLASS BOX THAT FELT GOOD TO YOU, BUT MUMMIFIED THEM?

Then you could benefit by implenting these three strategies below that help you to grow along with your partner.

You also benefit by keeping pace with your partner and preventing the need to communicate in such drastic ways,,  like having affairs.

You are no longer waiting to be victimized again.

Three ways to use your anger productively when your partner is unfaithful to save your relationship

  • learn about all the signs that your partner was feeling trapped – which you previously were oblivious to.
  • ask yourself what the benefits were to you of being blind – and was it worth the consequences now
  • direct the anger towards creating a more flexible and airy relationship together with your partner

REMEMBER THAT WHEN YOU TRY AND CLING ONTO A RELATIONSHIP WHERE GROWING AND CHANGING IS A FORM OF BETRAYAL THEN YOU ARE THE ONE CHEATING YOUR PARTNER OUT OF THEIR BIRTHRIGHT AND DOING THE SAME TO YOURSELF.

 

Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

AUTHOR OF: Now You Want Me, Now You Don't! Fear of Intimacy: Ten ways to recognize it and ten ways to manage it in your relationship.

You might also like:

How to deal with a partner who lies and cheats

Rules about how to be secure in your relationship can end it

Is anger the only way you can whip people into loving you?

 

Disclaimer: this article is for informational and educative purposes only. Dr. Raymond is not responsible for any reactions you may have when reading the content or using the suggestions therein. Interacting with this material does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Jeanette Raymond



Expressing Anger Appropriately is a natural Pain Relief Mechanism

June 7th, 2014 1 Comment

Anger and Stress Management Tips for Satisfying Relationships by Dr. Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

stress, back pain

Unable to sleep for the third night in a row, thirty-six-year-old Orrin, an investment analyst, got up and took his prescribed pain killers for his lower back pain and sciatica. The relief was temporary and he awoke from a drowsy state with intense throbbing pain down his right buttock, thigh and leg. His lower back pain made it difficult for him to get out of bed, so he used the cane he kept near him to push himself up. He was angry that the pain medications weren’t working, and even angrier that all the physical therapy and meditative exercises he performed regularly had little to no effect.

At work, using his ergonomic chair and work station, the pain persisted, and the stress gave him a nagging headache. When he missed the perfect moment to make a trade for one of his customers, he wasn’t aware of being angry and he just kept going, trying to compensate by working harder. As the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia, 2007 indicated, chronic pain not only makes you uncomfortable, but impairs memory and concentration

He hated the carefree attitude of many of his colleagues, believing that they were shortchanging their customers, and ultimately tarring him with the same brush. He nipped his rising anger in the bud and tried to outdo the performance he had achieved yesterday. But the stress of being mocked by the team elevated the pain in his lower back, and gave him stomach cramps. He was in agony, and took more pain medication that gave him little or no relief. He tried walking around to relieve the pressure on his sciatic nerve but he was so tense that it was a washout.

inflamed intestines

 

His thirty-eight-year-old wife Amy offered to massage his back. It felt both relieving and anxiety provoking. He recalled the times when he’d longed for his mother to soothe his headaches and stomach aches, his cuts and bruises and his fears and doubts – but she usually palmed him off with candy and/or video games. He remembered how angry he used to get, but he never showed it, terrified that if he did, she would retaliate with her rage. His mother’s rage was unpredictable and fierce. She would throw food around, hurt he dog and yell at Orrin just for being around! He had prided himself for not losing his cool as he grew up. But was it worth it?

Orrin grew to be afraid of his back pain and stomach cramps returning when the medications wore off, or when he went back to his stressful work environment. It was the same fear he had as a kid when he anticipated the pain that would come with his mother’s smacks and verbal abuse. Negative emotions interfere with the brain processing of actual pain, increasing the anticipating of pain, which in many cases makes it worse, as reported by Gastroenterology, 2011.

Later in the week as Orrin’s throbbing lower back pain prevented him from sitting in his office chair, he found himself welling up in tears.  Sadness enveloped him, making his pain feel even worse, as outlined in an article published in Biological Psychiatry, 2010 – which found that sadness disrupts some neurocircuit pathways in the brain that process pain.  Sadness and depression drive the pain, making it feel much more intolerable.

Despite the sadness, Orrin was very aware of his anger and didn’t ignore or re-label it as ‘just frustration.’  He was furious that the one thing that usually distracted him from the pain – his high pressured and fast paced work – was not possible. He swore and cussed under his breath, threw down his briefcase and went outside. Walking along a nearby nature trail he let out his anger. Sometimes it was by kicking a twig and other times by repetitively banging one rock on another, while swearing and cussing to the squawking crows around.

 

man with headache

 

A couple of minutes later his pain had substantially subsided. He couldn’t understand it, but the relief was palpable. The Annals of Behavioral  Medicine 2013  published an article demonstrating that only Anger Awareness and Expression Training (AAET) was effective in promoting emotional processing and expression leading to less pain, particularly in headaches. The authors indicated that the paid reduction comes when swearing triggers the fight-or-flight response of stress, obliterating the link between fear of pain and the pain itself.

Having put his emotional pain into words by expressing his hurt and anger that he harbored over so many years, released his physical pain. The journal Emotion reported in 2007, that attempts to suppress anger amplifies all the irritating and uncomfortable aspects of pain perception. So by taking the muzzle off his anger reduced the sensitivity of the pain receptors and brought some respite.

 

Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

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Disclaimer: this article is for informational and educative purposes only. Dr. Raymond is not responsible for any reactions you may have when reading the content or using the suggestions therein. Interacting with this material does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Jeanette Raymond



OCD Therapy May Involve Getting in Touch with Suppressed Anger

June 18th, 2013 No Comments

Anger and Stress Management Tips for Satisfying Relationships by Dr. Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

west los angeles therapy for ocd and anger

For the seventh time in less than a minute twenty-five year old Denise, a proof reader, found herself checking that she had marked the page she ended on before she closed the book. Each time she put the book down and tried to get out of her chair a huge wave of anxiety and panic swept over her. She couldn’t be sure she had marked the last page she had read and that meant that she would have to start the book all over again. As the panic washed over her she ‘knew’ that she had marked the page but she wasn’t positive until she had checked again. A blanket of relief came over her when she found the page marked, but it was instantly replaced by another dose of doubt that started the checking cycle all over again. It was as if she couldn’t hold on to that proof for more than a Nano second. Irritation and annoyance gave her a break from the anxiety and panic, but she was exhausted with these obsessive doubts, and her compulsive checking.

Feeling fatigued and depleted of energy Denise had no desire to go to her twenty-five year old sister Eileen’s birthday party. She just wanted to stay home and veg out. Just two hours ago she had been looking forward to the party. She had thought about what to wear and imagined playing with her two-year old niece Shelly and her one year old nephew Felix. But now it just seemed too much of a burden. 

west los angeles anger managemen

photograph copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

One set of OCD syptoms lessened only to start up another set of OCD symptoms

The more she thought of the effort she would have to make to get ready and drive over to her sister’s place the more she started to worry about the notes she made as she did her proof reading. Were they complete? Were they legible? Would she be able to remember the nuanced points she needed to highlight as she prepared her final draft? The thoughts became so loud in her head that she had to go back and check all her notes, and not just the ones she had made that day. Panic drove her to check and recheck the entire set of notes she had made since starting the book, all the way to the penultimate chapter that she was now on.

Denise was consumed by the job. There was a mild rush of anxiety as she checked each page of notes, scanning for legibility and errors. But overall there was a massive sense of relief, as if she’d just been dropped into a soft feather bed. She felt weightless and free despite the rumblings of anxiety about her notes. By the time she had finished it was late and the party would be coming to an end.

west lost angeles counseling for anger and ocd symptoms

photograph copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

Obsessive thoughts rescued Denise from having to face her envy of Eileen

The obsessive thoughts and compulsive acts had made Denise uncomfortable in the moment but they saved her from a fate much worse. For years she had been envious of her sister. Eileen had been the golden girl doing everything in life at the expected time and being praised for it by her parents. Denise was less outgoing and yearned for a slower pace of life. She found some peace and comfort when Eileen got married and moved out. She and her parents enjoyed their time, doing stuff together without any pressure on her to grow up and be like her sister. But then the first grandchild came along and her mother in particular was enchanted. She spent more and more time with Shelly and then when Felix came along both grandparents built their lives around Eileen and the grandkids. Denise’s comfortable existence was shattered.

 

Suppressed anger often leads to Obsessive Compulsive (OC) symptoms

She was angry and frightened at having to go it alone. Eileen had a smooth transition from home to marriage and family, but Denise was thrown in at the deep end and her rage was enormous. But the shame of her envy and anger was overwhelming. She couldn’t live with it choking her every waking moment. She couldn’t get rid of it either, so the only safe compromise was to distract herself from the envy and rage – by focusing on checking and rechecking her work. It did the trick since she never felt bad about her sister or the loss of her parents company. That took care of the stress that otherwise threatened to swallow her up.

Treatment for OCD and suppressed anger

photograph copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

Why on earth would OCD be useful?

Obsessive Compulsive behaviors often come to rescue you from anger and rage that feels shameful and destructive. An article in the Journal Cognitive Therapy and Research 2004 reported that people high in OC symptoms tended to experience more anger than those without OC behaviors. They also had greater difficulty controlling the anger and suppressed it as a way of managing the negative experience of their rage.

Another piece of research published in the Industrial Psychology Journal in 2001 showed that people with OC symptoms experience attacks of anger that become intolerable and result in depression to quiet it down.

 

OCD Therapy – Denise went to therapy from time to get relief from the exhaustion and annoyance of her OC symptoms. Each time she tried out the strategies of self-talk and refocusing it worked for a short time and then just like her OC it came back as strong as ever. But what did eventually make the OC go away was when Denise was able to feel safe enough to deal with her anger, envy and shame in therapy. Taking the risk of feeling those awful feelings freed her from the need to screen them, hide from them and ruin her life in the process. So when you want to know how to cure OCD think of the long term, go in for the long haul and deal with all the unbearable emotions that OCD may cover up and you will be free.

Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

You might also like:

Understanding your panic attacks, part 1 – facing your dilemas

Understanding your panic attacks, part 2 – getting past shame

Understanding your panic attack, part 3 – fear of going it alone

Disclaimer: this article is for informational and educative purposes only. Dr. Raymond is not responsible for any reactions you may have when reading the content or using the suggestions therein. Interacting with this material does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

 

 



Do you numb yourself in order to manage your angry outbursts only to have them explode later on?

June 11th, 2013 No Comments

Anger and Stress Management Tips for Satisfying Relationships by Dr. Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

 

 

west los angeles anger managment psychotherapy

 

If your partner is threatening to leave if you don’t go to anger management therapy, then you are probably trying to be quiet and unassuming to avoid risking an angry outburst.

 

But ironically you are only making it more likely that you will have more angry explosions, more often and of a fiercer nature.

That’s what thirty-seven year old clothing importer Dorian discovered after he came to therapy. He was terrified that his wife Amelia, a thirty-three year old nurse would leave him and never let him see their child due to be born in a couple of months. He didn’t want to come to therapy. But he came to appease Amelia and reduce the risk of devastating loss.

Dorian was very quiet in therapy. It was hard to believe he could have angry outbursts and frighten Amelia to such an extent that she wanted to end the relationship and protect her unborn child. He spoke in a matter of fact manner, calmly, clearly and logically. He understood and owned his problem and he got why Amelia had presented him with an ultimatum. He was willing to do what I suggested and practice the skills that he wanted me to teach him.

The only problem was he didn’t show any emotion. He was like a machine saying all the right things to show his commitment except talk about the experience of being angry. He had ready answers for why he shouldn’t be angry, and how he knew that there were better ways of communicating. Dorian was in perfect control of himself during therapy and for most of the time when he went about his daily business. He successfully numbed himself to whatever triggers could have made him and most other regular folks angry, or so it seemed in the moment. What he didn’t realize was that he was building a massive pyre on which to burn and destroy himself and those around him when the fuse was eventually lit.

What he really wanted was to be seen and heard as a person with good intentions.

But he never felt the comfort of knowing that Amelia “got” him, so he would keep trying and when he reached breaking point he would explode in anger, misery, and terror that his efforts were useless. He would find his heart going like an express train when he felt misunderstood or not given credit for things he had thought of and carried out, like that time when he had got up at the crack of dawn to do the laundry and make breakfast when Amelia was resting during a nauseous phase in her pregnancy. All he got was a criticism for being noisy!

At first Dorian related these incidents as if he were reading the weather forecast. But then he started to relive them and he began to notice his body reacting with tension, breathing difficulty and rapid heart rate. The memories became real and alive. His voice choked up and he became agitated when he recalled countless incidents of this nature that accumulated into a tinder box of pain and hurt ready to ignite when the sore wound was poked again. That’s when I was able to witness, acknowledge and soothe his pain, shame and grief at his lack of success in getting through to Amelia except by angry outbursts.

As he shared more of his emotions by talking about them, Dorian noticed that he didn’t fear going home every day. His heart rate didn’t escalate to bursting point whenever he had to relate to Amelia. Things were calmer and the relationship settled down into a more stable and relaxed routine.

west los angeles anger management counseling

So what happened to make Dorian calmer and less likely to explode?

As the journal PLoS ONE reported in 2013, talking and reporting on strong feelings of anger reduce heart rate and stress. Dorian’s experience of reliving his painful experiences in therapy meant that he was reporting them as if they were happening in the moment. He expressed in words what he had been stuffing in an undigested manner that previously would have exploded when he got triggered by an accusation.

Dorian learned that expressing himself in words got him acknowledgement and understanding – in other words he got his message across.

That led to him feeling calmer and more able to have a discussion based on what the issues of the moment happened to be. Instead of fighting for entry into Amelia’s awareness, he was now showing her in a way that was relevant and not clouded by weeks and months of pent up pain and anger. Putting strong feelings, especially anger into words meant that Dorian was not reacting to raw and messy stuff inside him, but expressing the genuine impact that relating to Amelia evoked in him. It was not shameful or childish any more, once it was put into words. It was just real.

Yes, Dorian had to pay a price – he had to feel those feelings up front and deal with the pain and hurt, the wish to punish and retaliate and the sheer anguish and desperation of trying to get accepted and understood. He hated reliving these moments when the feelings came rushing in and he felt like he was drowning without a life jacket. He often avoided therapy to skip out on experiencing his feelings.

 

west los angeles anger management for couples

But as time went on and he got used to it he realized that the feelings got smaller and went away sooner.

They became tolerable and he was then able to share them in the moment with Amelia. It was a long hard road with many bumps but the threat of losing Amelia and their child was enough to encourage Dorian to sustain the course with clear and lasting benefits. He is no longer labeled as one who has explosive bursts of anger, but one who just like everyone else gets angry from time to time but expresses it in words and gets it attended to.

Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

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How to deal with panic when anger management doesn't work

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Disclaimer: this article is for informational and educative purposes only. Dr. Raymond is not responsible for any reactions you may have when reading the content or using the suggestions therein. Interacting with this material does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.