Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Why Men Who Fear Women Become Raging Bulls

June 11th, 2015 No Comments

Anger and Stress Management Tips for Satisfying Relationships

los angeles therapy for fear based rage     

 

west los angeles therapy for men who are scared of womenwest los angeles therapy for men who are afraid of women

 

 

 

 

 

Are you a man who is an obedient, loyal, dependable guy with your female partner?

Do you give her the authority to make decisions, take the lead and initiative on parenting, spending money and organizing your social life?

Then you may be very conflicted about having no power yourself just so you can ensure that you are loved and cared for.

Maybe you just don't know which part of you to go with?

What will the consequences be if you take on a more authoritative role?

How will it be if you continue to avoid asserting yourself?

You know that inside you there is a raging bull ready to smash everything that smacks of needing to depend on your female partner for care.

And it comes out when you can't take being the obedient little 'good boy' any longer.

If this your only exit strategy and does it actually work?

This video gives you a deeper look at the two waring sides of yourself you carry as a heavy load.

You will also get a wonderful tip on how to quell the war inside you, and peacefully co-exist with both sides in balance.

 

 

 

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:

Feeling insecure in your relationship makes you more prone to angry outbursts

Should you apologize after an explosion of anger?

How to manage when two parts of you want different things

Disclaimer: this video 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.

 



Are You and Your Partner Getting Off on Addictive Rage?

May 29th, 2015 No Comments

Anger and Stress Management Tips for Satisfying Relationships

 

west los angeles anger management for couples

Jackson just found out that his partner Stacey has been keeping a secret about a friendship with a past romantic friend. It all came spilling out when he saw a text message on her phone while she was in the bathroom and he was getting ready for bed. Stunned, he gave Stacey the cold shoulder when they got into bed. But inside he was smoldering. The lightest touch from Stacey ignited his rage, setting off a cascade of accusations that he wanted her to plead guilty to.

Enraged and humiliated about being duped, Jackson wanted to get back in control. One part of him wanted to beat the truth out of her and feel strong doing it, while another part of him wanted a denial so the relationship remained secure. It was hard to know which part of himself he should fight for.

Furious at his audacity, Stacey yelled that he was overreacting

Jackson went ballistic. He just saw a text that made it clear that something is going on between them. It  looked suspicious. How could she pretend he made it up?

Hiis head  throbbed and he felt his heart racing as he began interrogating Stacey. He imagined all the ways he had been kept in the dark and made a fool of. His imagination ran riot, and he wanted to get every last drop of “admission ” out of her.

Desperate to calm him down and get to sleep, Stacey decided to answer his questions directly hoping it would do the trick. There was no risk for her since she had nothing to hide.

But each time she answered him Jackson’s fire got stoked again. To him, it was as if she was proving that there was no smoke without fire!

west los angeles therapy for anger and rage

How did those angry fires get started?

He was taken back to a place where his parents and grandparents had played with his mind, making him question what he saw, felt and knew with his own senses. They would mock his mind, destroy it and then put their own minds into the spot where his belonged. It was a form of cruel obliteration. He had no way of fighting for his right to his own thoughts, his own feelings and his own interpretation of events.

But now, as an adult, he wasn’t going to allow that anymore. He was going to fight tooth and nail for the truth of his own reality, even if he had to take his relationship to the brink of destruction.

Stacey on the other hand was taken back to a place of being a ‘naughty girl’ and getting spanked by her dad when she broke a rule and tried to hide it from her parents. Getting caught was humiliating and negated her as a person. When Jackson accused her of keeping secrets about her other romantic partners, it felt as if she were being treated like that naughty girl who should own up to her bad deeds, take the punishment, feel ashamed and behave!

west los angeles anger management counseling

Both were experiencing the destabilizing feeling of having their minds messed with.

Both got furious and wanted their reality and truth to win out. But they reacted differently. Jackson went into offensive mode and Stacey responded in the defensive mode.

After a while exhaustion set in. Jackson couldn’t keep up the desperate attempt to have his experience verified, and Stacey failed in her quest to defend herself. They went off to their corners until the next bell of suspicion brought them back into the boxing ring.

west los angeles anger management couples therapy

Name calling and labeling cooled them off

Stacey sloughed it off by calling Jackson jealous and paranoid.

Jackson stepped back by thinking of Stacey as ‘out there,’ without appropriate standards of behavior.

Then they would miss each other and start talking again, enjoying the exciting connection they enjoyed when they first met – until Stacey’s interaction with a guy from her past started the whole ball of suspicion rolling again. Jackson threatened to leave and Stacey tried to appease him. They couldn’t go on like this for much longer.

west los angeles anger management therapy for couples

 

Couples therapy helped tease out the addictive quality of their relationship

Jackson couldn’t rage at his family members when they messed with his mind, BUT HE CAN NOW, when Stacey‘s actions push those same buttons.

Stacey couldn’t rage at her father when he spanked her and made her feel humiliated, BUT SHE CAN NOW, when Jackson pushes provokes her in the same spot.

Each of them felt powerful when they got enraged, and that was addictive. It made them want to continue the cycle so that they could feel the surge and 'high' that rageful power gives. After a respite to recharge their physical batteries, they were at it again.

Once they realized how this addicition kept fueling each other’s dormant fires, they began to feel less personally persecuted, and humiliated. They learned to understand the triggers for one and other and make allowances, without fighting to the death for their version of reality to prevail. Both were real and valid and important.

Couples therapy helped calm the rage as they processed their experiences of having their minds messed with, allowing them to have a more authentic relationship.

 

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:

Feeling insecure makes you more prone to angry outbursts

How to express anger when you feel used and abused

Ray Rice and his wife in couples therapy

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.

 



Two Ways to Overcome the Anger When Your Partner Insists on Seeing You in a Negative Light

May 6th, 2015 No Comments

Anger and Stress Management Tips for Satisfying Relationships

west los angeles therapy for anger and stress in marriage

Do you feel frustrated and angry when other people like you, and see your worth, BUT your partner thinks you are a waste of space and is always complaining about you?

Why be pushed and pulled, when you know who you really are and like it?

All you get is insomnia, anxiety, pain and suffering.

Maybe you have a wish that one day your partner will stop being blind and see what a treasure you are, and be eternally grateful!

You know that it is unlikely.  You can hope and wait for ever, OR you can take steps to fulfill that wish yourself.

Being assertive makes you self-empowered, which in turn grounds and centers your sense of self. You don't rely on your partner or others defining you.

This video tells you how to do that by following 2 steps, on a consistent basis. Do it for yourself or work with me individually so that you can end your suffering.

 

 

 

 

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 turn envy into togetherness

Three ways to manage the anxiety about pleasing loved ones

Are you at war with your partner or yourself?

Disclaimer: this video 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.

 



Dream About Failing an Interview Helped Damien Trust Himself (Part 3 of Damien’s story)

April 24th, 2015 No Comments

 

Dream Analysis To Help With Anger and Stress Management

West Los Angeles Dream Analysis and Psychotherapy

 

After a great deal of doubt and uncertainty about choosing the right woman to marry, Damien finally married his fiancé. He felt peaceful and solid. The pendulum that swung between his attachment towards his mother and that toward Leila kept still. Working on the dream images about the day of his execution and that of the alligator had soothed his conflicted soul and allowed him to make the choice that had been so stressful.

The first few weeks of marriage were good. The couple settled into a routine as he went back to work and Leila became a home maker. He enjoyed being welcomed home with a nice meal. Talking to his mate about his challenges at the lab where he worked was relieving. Having company watching TV and a warm receptive body next to him at night was comforting.

But three months into the marriage, Damien found himself wanting to do his own thing after the evening meal.

He went back to doing the solitary things he used to do before he got married. Leila read books about married life and fed him information about what couples should do at certain points in their marriage – such as have sex three to four times a week in their first six months together. They were supposed go out with other couples twice a week, and visit in-laws at least once a month.

Damien and Leila operated on rules rather than on what they spontaneously felt and wanted. He became restless and started looking outside the relationship for stimulation and fulfillment. He wanted to learn more about money, cosmology and geophysics. The joy he first felt on going home after work dissipated, and he was hungry for something else.

Until he had this dream and we worked on it in his therapy.

“I was on a scooter following two policemen up a mountain. My scooter was semi motorized and half the foot type one.  At the top of the mountain was this big building. It was like a business building, rectangular with several floors. It was black. When I got there I was in a black suit. I went in for an interview. I thought there would be just a few others but the hall was full of people and they were looking at me. I was given an assignment. I had a syringe in a black bag. It had medicine in it but I didn’t know that. I was told to go out into the forest around the building and find the medication that needed to go in the syringe. I was out there for 4 hours and couldn’t find anything, Then I thought I found it and went back inside the building. The interview was over. I was told I had failed, because the medication was already in the syringe and I should have known that.”

 

west los angeles psychotherapy and dream interpretation

Damien was shocked as he told me his dream.

He couldn’t get over the fact that he had lost an important opportunity because he didn’t realize that he “already had the answer.” We likened this to his experience of the marriage – that he saw it as a job that needed doing, without realizing that it was already done and all he had to do was recognize it and use it to feed his soul, but, that he didn’t trust himself.

Similarly he and his wife sought rules about how they should conduct their marriage so that they were within the bounds of normality as if they had no sense of it in their bones. No wonder it wasn’t working! There was no juice in the books his wife read or in the cosmos he was chasing for answers to personal contentment. The dream demonstrated that he already possessed the things that were potentially fulfilling – all he had to do was recognize it, develop the emotional desire to see it, trust it and use it.

The color black is a prominent feature in the dream – his black suit, and the black building, showing how everything on the outside is black. He is unable to see his authentic self through his black suit. Nor can he see through to the real workings of the building (a representation of him that is rule bound with the rectangular hard angled exterior) because it is black. The dream illuminates his insides – showing  him that he has a reliable core, despite past bad experiences – it’s okay to trust his instincts and his desires, his intuition and his beliefs.

 

expert dream analysis west los angeles

He didn’t need to climb a hill follow two policemen to motivate him into being whatever his fate had in store. That suggests that he is now ready to give up depending on parental figures (the policeman). He didn’t need to be his own judge and jury like the people interviewing and judging him. He had already made it.

The scooter he drove was part manual and part motorized indicating that Damien was partially on the way to automating his way of operating in the world, making it less burdensome – trusting that the machine would work.  TRUST in his core self was the issue at stake and he came face to face with it in this dream.

Damien is learning to trust his gut in his waking life, but he is struggling with being an emotional intimacy with his wife. The next dream will bring that drama on stage..

 

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 a Dream Can Help You Overcome Your Fear Of Making Your Own Choices    (part 1 of Damien's story)

How a Dream About and Aligator Helpd Damien Chose Between His Mother and His Fiance  (part 2 of Damien's story)

How Your Dream Can Free You From Trying to Win Your Parents Approval

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.



Shameful Anger is Detoxifed By the Pain of a Bone Fracture

April 7th, 2015 1 Comment

Anger and Stress Management Tips for Satisfying Relationships

 

   west los angeles therapy for anger and shamephoto copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.

A long awaited vacation was coming up for thirty-nine-year-old Alex who was looking forward to seeing his younger sister Fiona, 3000 miles away. He wanted to go with her to an exhibition of ancient and modern pottery that they both loved. Practicing throwing pots in a class on ceramic ware, he had made a gift for Fiona’s family using a special design with a color tint of his creation.

A week before his flight to Salem Oregon where Fiona lived with her husband and two children, Alex began to imagine that Fiona would be too busy to join him in visiting the exhibits and having fun at their old haunts. He recalled previous occasions when he had high hopes of rekindling their childhood closeness, only to find that she was either non-committal, busy, or with him in body but not in spirit.

 

west los angeles counseling for anger management

Not wanting to be disappointed again, Alex began to talk himself out of the trip.

It wasn’t that big of a deal to see the pottery exhibition! Fiona wouldn’t like his gift anyway! She would have other priorities and just pay lip service to him. He would be alone and wouldn’t enjoy anything!

So different to the bond they had shared growing up, trying to support each other against a critical mother and a stressed father who never made them feel loved and valued as kids.

When had they drifted apart? How did Fiona become so difficult to pin down when he wanted to be with her and share his life? Why was it that she could call him up when she couldn’t sleep and talk about her troubles with her husband Jeremy, but not tolerate hearing about his life experiences?

 

west los angeles therapy for mind-body therapy

Five days before his departure date Alex was ready to cancel the trip. His right foot had swollen up and looked bruised

He had no memory of twisting it or hurting it in the last few days. He was in pain and couldn’t imagine walking around exhibits or waiting in line to get on and off the plane. He was furious that this injury should happen at this particular moment, spoiling his vacation and reunion with Fiona.

He huffed and puffed feeling that life was unfair. The angrier he got the worse the pain. Just doing the most basic of self-care activities increased the pain, until he got a CT scan that showed a tiny fracture.

As he spouted anger about his foot needing to be put in a special boot, it became apparent that Alex’s anger was deep and as penetrating as the pain in his foot. Good job he was already working on his relationships in therapy – the pattern of connections that usually made him upset, disappointed, resentful, anxious and of course angry.

west los angeles anger and stress management therapy

Once his foot was encased in a boot to allow it to heal, Alex was able to focus on the real reasons for his spoiler voice dousing his desire for the sibling reunion.

As we talked about Fiona rejecting him in his imagination, it became apparent that Fiona’s husband was the ‘third party’ interloper that he was viewing as an enemy.   Jeremy’s presence became the ‘fracture’ in the sibling relationship. Fiona had mentioned that he was a bit jealous of the special world she and Alex went to when they were together. That set of some anxiety and anger for Alex. That made him want to cancel the trip because he didn’t want to deal with Fiona and her jealous husband. He wanted her all to himself.

Alex was proud of the relationship he had with his sister. It transcended their unhappy childhood, his unhappy marriage and divorce, and Fiona’s on-again-off-again marriage. He could always claim Fiona as ‘his.’ He was her brother before she married and had children. She was more ‘his’ than belonging to her husband or children. He enjoyed exerting that right – it felt legitimate. It felt good and powerful and intoxicating. It was a victory – putting to rest all those times he tried and failed to get his dad’s attention on him and away from her mother. Now he could do that with his sister – get her all to himself – away from her husband and kids – what a triumph!

When Alex realized what his hidden motives were, he had the opportunity to think about having a good bond with Fiona while honoring her marriage and motherhood. In therapy he was able to acknowledge his need for possessive victory and talk more about the thorny issue of the triangle – Alex, Fiona and her husband.

 He was grateful to his bone fracture, the pain it caused and the chance it gave him to understand his emotional pain regarding his special relationship with Fiona.  These shameful emotions were too much to bear up front, and needed to go first through his foot – to be externalized, before he could manage to confront them without shame. Alex was able to bypass the shame and find ways to connect with his sister without trying to extricate her from her family – less competition, less possessiveness and less jealousy and less victory – all boiling down to less pain.

 

Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D. 2015

 

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 relationships."

You might also like:

Expressing anger appropriately is a natural pain relief mechanism

Is fear of standing up for yourself causing you allergies?

Fear of disapproval and rejection brings on Tinnitus

 

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 Control Rage When You Feel Abandoned

March 25th, 2015 1 Comment

Anger and Stress Management Tips for Satisfying Relationships

Los Angeles Anger Management Therapy

 

The sounds of begging and pleading for another chance fell on32-year-old Trudy’s deaf ears. Her 35-year-old husband Max had promised to stop using alcohol and drugs umpteen times, but he never got sober for more than a day or two. She had been let down too often, and now needed to protect herself from being seduced by those pitiful eyes, and his attentive ways.

Enraged at losing Trudy and their 5 year old daughter Sasha, Max spent most of his time enraged that he couldn’t get Trudy to listen to him. There was no other woman for him. He wanted her to pick him up when he was down and do the same for her. The only problem was that he remembered the good times and she remembered the bad times.

los angeles therapy for anger and stress

Owning up to his misdeeds wasn’t a problem for Max.

In fact the sooner he admitted fault, the sooner Trudy's heart would soften and he would get the gentle loving he yearned for. He openly admitted that he wasn’t reliable and didn’t act responsibly. But when Trudy accused him of not being emotionally available for his family he exploded! Those accusations made him feel completely misunderstood. But when he tried to put her straight, she just talked over him, shutting him down. Rage built up and out came the bad language, accusing Trudy of never seeing any good in him and making him feel worse, when he was already owning his stuff and making efforts to improve.

 

los angeles therapy for couples in conflict

 

Other times Max broke down in tears of helplessness. Trudy responded by bucking him up only to then get enraged herself and hold him accountable for the things he did that had wounded her – and that still stung.

“What about the time you left Sasha alone in bathroom while you went to get high?”

“You weren’t there when I made dinner, night after night!”

“Your place was full of drugs when I brought Sasha to see you! What if I get labelled a negligent parent for leaving her with you in that place?”

 

Max wanted comfort and numbness of his bad feelings, but he was treated like a naughty boy who needed to acknowledge his sins

She became the authority figure reminding him about his transgressions just when he was vulnerable, making him squirm in shame. The shame turned to guilt, and guilt fueled anger. Max exploded again. This time it was be more like a tantrum, destroying things around him, just as Trudy’s way of interacting had crushed him.

During his most vulnerable moments with Trudy, Max wanted her comfort and understanding, but he got a reminder of how bad he could be. The experience felt like abandonment.

Max wanted Trudy to be there and know how wretched he felt, but he felt scolded. She wasn’t there in the way he needed, adding to his sense of abandonment.

When Max tried to defend himself against her recalling his past bad actions, she shut him down by talking over him. He felt abandoned again, because he was alone in his world, while she had flown to another.

Max didn’t help himself by exploding each time he felt abandoned. All he did was make Trudy feel more righteous in keeping her distance.

anger management psychotherapy for improved communication in couples

Abandonment anger is explosive and tenacious.

So how can Max control his rage and then have a meaningful relationship with Trudy?

  1. First he has to cry out his deep wound of abandonment instead of using drugs, alcohol and Trudy as plasters. He needs to mourn the loss of having someone reliable to fill that empty emotional hole. Until and unless he does that, he will always “use”, while desperately attempting to get Trudy to step in there, so he doesn’t have to feel the pain.

 

  1. Max needs to learn how to express his feelings in words rather than just explode when he can’t get through. In order to express feelings he has to be willing to feel them – not numb them with substances or get Trudy to put her finger over the hole! That’s where therapy comes in. Getting in touch with the hurt, pain, rage and fear of being alone and abandoned requires a therapeutic relationship of trust, safety and learning where he is accepted and tolerated – so that shame doesn’t undo him.

 

  1. Next Max can learn the vocabulary of feelings and describe them accurately as he feels them, writing them down as a story or letter to Trudy, Sasha or whomever he is feelings things for and about. Research has demonstrated the value of writing about experiences to help calm the anger and become more coherent.

 

  1. Lastly, Max can learn in therapy how to do reality checks. He needs to discover whether he just wants to be rescued as a way of receiving love (co-dependency) or whether he wants a relationship of equality and true partnership. He can reflect on this as events arise with his therapist and then make a commitment to a healthier way of life. Rage will be needed no more.

 

Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D. 2015

 

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 relationships."

You might also like:

Feeling Insecure in a Relationship Makes You Prone to Angry Outbursts

Do You Numb Yourself to Avoid Angry Outbursts, Only To Have Them Later On?

How to Get Your Loved One to Prove Their Love Without Using Anger?

 

 

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.



Anger Makes You Swing From One Type of Depression to Another

March 13th, 2015 No Comments

Anger and Stress Management Tips for Satisfying Relationships

 

west los angeles therapy for anger and depression

Sadness, loneliness, lack of energy, withdrawing from the world

 

You may find it hard to believe that anger may be at the root of your sad and lethargic feelings when you get depressed. But the link between anger and depression has been established centuries ago by the Greek philosophers and then more scientifically by the turn of the 19th century.

Treatment with SSRI's is the most widely practiced medication route. But recent research shows that there are two types of depression and that SSRI's are at best no better than a placebo (sugar pill) and that where they are effective, they are more helpful (with psychotherapy) for one  more than the other.

 

west los angeles therapy for self-critical depression

Depression triggered by anger at yourself

When you are down, do you find your critical and judgmental voice beating you up because you didn’t match your ideals? Do you feel like you let yourself down even though you did your best? Anger at yourself makes you more likely to experience a war within yourself that exhausts you and makes you want to step back from life so that you don’t have to fail again, and hear the self-torturing condemnation that goes on inside your head.

An article reported in 2009, Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, describes the strong relationship between anger and depression, with guilt and shame strongly featured in the mix.

Words from loved ones that attempt to make you feel good don’t work because they feel so unrealistic and therefore not worth taking in. You can’t be comforted, or allow yourself to go easy on yourself.

A 2002 study reported in Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, found that self-critical  or introjective depressioni is based on negative self-evaluation of self-imposed unrealistic standards of perfection.

In addition, growing up with at least one harsh and judgmental parent, made you fearful and mistrusting of people who supposedly want to take care of and comfort you. Not only did you internalize that harsh and critical voice but you were suspicious of anyone offering a soothing balm!

The stress of having to bear your own condemnation and wrath is painful, and chronically so. Your suffering may be so overwhelming that it becomes a pain in your body. It could be headaches, back pain, muscle or joint pains. Your type of depression is linked to stress induced physical pain because you have closed the door for emotional comfort or compassion.  

Antidepressants like Cymbalta  target physical pain but they don’t really work for introjective depression because the area of the brain that is responsible for rage doesn't respond to this class of drugs.

west los angeles therapy for sadness, loneliness and depression

Taking the exit ramp to the empty-lonely road, tends the mental lashings and restores your sense of well-being.

Sometimes your harsh judgmental attack on yourself makes you isolate yourself from the world which is more tolerant and compassionate than you are in the moment. So you end up feeling empty and alone when the punitive voice has done its worst. The shift to a more lonely and fearful place may help you seek comfort and security in others to make you feel worthwhile again.

Ironically you have shifted to the opposite pole of depression to escape the discomfort of this one, as you will see below.

 

 west los angeles counseling for stress and depression

Depression based on anger at others

If you feel lost, alone and empty when you are down, it’s most likely brought on by anger at losing a relationship that you relied on. It could be a friend who doesn’t call anymore, a close family member who moved away, or a mentoring relationship that came to an end. You may find yourself trying to fill that hole with food, alcohol, work, or being busy just to numb yourself and feel stabilized again. Or you might get clingy with others, feeling unsafe and scared to be on your own.

The 2002 study above found that the empty sad type of depression, known as anaclitic depression was characterized by a need to get reassurance and approval from others by meeting their high standards. So if you are not ‘perfect’ as others apparently expect, you risk losing them, you get stressed and insecure, and your feelings of self-worth plummet.

Growing up trying to please your parents or other loved ones and not succeeding made you feel ‘insufficient’; and so you attempted to win their approval by trying harder to be what they wanted you to be, losing yourself in the process. Having lost yourself, you are empty and scared.

When you constant efforts to be accepted, and “good enough” for significant others fail, you fall into a depressed state. You get angry at others for not acknowledging and rewarding your efforts, but you can’t show this imperfection, and get put in the reject pile for good!

Antidepressants such as SSRIs when they work at all, are better able to alleviate anaclitic depression because the symptoms of sadness can be lifted when more serotonin is made available.

west los angeles therapy for stress and depression

 

Self Criticism helps you armor up and prevent yourself feeling so sad again

You may begin blaming yourself for ever letting yourself get attached because it just ends in abandonment, so why bother? You armor up against being sad and empty again by beating the drum of strength in not needing anyone ever again.


To escape the weak feelings of anaclitic depression to move towards introjective depression, evaluating yourself harshly and engaging in a lot of critical self-talk so that you will feel strong and not need anyone.

BUT, you are still depressed and continue to shift between the self-critical to the sad and lonely and back again.

 

Anger at not being perfect is at the root of both types of depression, brought on by lack of adequate acceptance and nurturing in the early years.

west los angeles counseling for depression and sadness

Working in an accepting, tolerating therapeutic relationship where you can express your anger – AND your guilt and shame about it is the best long term solution.

 

Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D. 2015

 

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 relationships."

You might also like:

Four ways to silence your self-critical voice

Six ways to avoid anger, stress and depression that ruin your relationships

Depression buries the anger that helps you connect with loved ones

 

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.

 



Six Ways to Avoid Anger, Stress and Depression That Ruin Your Relationships

February 24th, 2015 No Comments

Anger and Stress Management Tips for Satisfying Relationships

 

west los angeles therapy for anger and stress managementJuliette was at the end of her rope

Working as a risk management specialist for a large medical group was getting 36-year-old Juliette down. She was exhausted and had no energy left for her husband, 38-year-old Elliot and their 5 and 6 year old children Aden and Mara. She hated having to work, but was the only breadwinner. The pressure on Juliette made her depressed. All she wanted to do was to sleep. She left the chores to her Elliot who attended to them with pride, seeing them as his contribution to the family.

Even when she was awake, Juliette felt fatigued and disinterested in playing with her kids. She preferred to look on as Elliot engaged them in cycling, swimming and ball games. She was easily upset when things didn’t go right with the family, and felt useless as a mother, sister and wife. Depression had taken hold, and Juliette was steeped in a lack of self-worth. Her anger at having to be the breadwinner was buried in the depression, as was her disappointment and resentment towards her husband for not taking on that role.

west los angeles therapy for anxiety, stress and depression

The happiness Elliot felt taking care of the home and family was tainted by his anxiety about Juliette’s depression. He was scared that if she got worse and couldn’t work, he would be forced to step into the breach! Since losing his sales job three years ago, he had given up looking for other opportunities having had little response and numerous applications rejected. He had settled into being the primary care taker, but Juliette’s depression was stirring up fears again. Frantic efforts to cheer up his wife, and fix whatever problems she talked about didn’t make things any easier. She just got more and more morose and shut down, hoping that he would take up the baton and support the family.

 

west los angeles therapy for couples who are stressed and depressed

They didn’t talk about Juliette’s depression or about Elliot’s anxiety that he would have to get a job if she didn’t pull herself together. They were caught in a vicious cycle where Juliette’s depression made her more dependent on Elliot to take care of parenting, housework and the children’s school issues. The more dependent Juliette became the more Elliot countered that he couldn’t get a job because he was burdened with all the child care and household management!

Depression promotes stress about not being able to cope, resulting in poor romantic relationship outcomes, says a study reported in Clinical Psychology Review, 2010.

Another study reported in Communication Monographs, 2015 monitored the communication between romantic couples where one partner was depressed.  They found that depressed members of a romantic partnership avoided talking about the depression and how it impacted their relationship, as well as about the relationship itself.  The uncertainty about the status of the relationship was the primary reason for avoidance. Women were less likely than men to talk about the depression, exacerbating the uncertainty in the relationship.

west los angeles counseling for stress and depression

Depressed people like Juliette are motivated to avoid negative outcomes and often use avoidance as a way of managing their relationship problems. Although it may ease the stress in the moment of choosing avoidance, over the long term, there is a price to pay. Opportunities to practice interpersonal skills are removed. Chances to deepen bonds through understanding and empathy are neglected, leading to and interpretation of each other’s behavior in increasingly negative ways.  The threats to their identity as individuals and members of a couple are never faced and resolved, adding to the stress, and deepening the depression, as reported in an article in Clinical Psychology Review, 2011

A depressed partner may take anti-depressants like SSRI’s (Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Lexapro, Cimbalta, Effexor, Celexa etc.) and still not get any better. A recent study reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Feb. 9, 2015 found that stress prevents the medication from doing its job, making the depression even worse. This study described the ‘punishment center of the brain’ (lateral habenula) that rules, making a person feel down on themselves and more depressed.

Put that together with a finding that placebo pills were as good if not better than anti-depressants in affecting mood (Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. 2010) we have a perfect storm of bad feeling and estrangement between a romantic couple. Putting Juliette on anti-depressants won’t make her better, nor will it remove the cause for her depression. She needs to be depressed to push her husband into being the breadwinner.

 

 

west los angeles counseling for stressed and anxious couplesSo what can this couple do with this awful situation?

 

Attend couples therapy and begin the process of implementing these 6 essential steps

  • Discuss their expectations of each other.
  • Express their disappointments, fears and anger at one another for the roles they are forced to adopt.
  • Discuss the depression, it’s purpose and impact on the family, including the rage Juliette suppressed, about having to be the one supporting the family when she really wanted to be the one taken care of.
  • Explore coping mechanisms for the relationship stress by noticing the trigger points.
  • Begin the process of sharing parenting and household tasks
  • Shift Elliot from feeling “forced” to get a job, to “wanting” to get a job

 

 

copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D. 2015

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:

Expressing anger is a pain relief mechanism

Unresolved anger and stress keeps you depressed longer

Depression buries the anger that prevents you from communicating with loved ones

 

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

 



How To Stop the Cycle of Love Turning into Anger and Hate

February 10th, 2015 No Comments

 

Anger and Stress Management Tips for Satisfying Relationships

west los angeles anger management therapy

Do you hate your loved one so much that you want to hurt them and make them feel your pain?

Are you so enraged when they seem to be loving and then switch off?

It's natural for you to feel angry when you are given with one hand and then another and takes it away before you've even tasted it.

The stress of having/not having pumps you up with adrenaline.

THE THREE D'S OF ANGER, AND STRESS ENGULF YOU

You feel dismissed

You feel depersonalized

You feel dehumanized

SO you use your hate to do the same to your loved one  – you retaliate and use up that 'fighting' energy that stress gave you

You end up seeing each other as monsters, fight your ground and then move away, disgusted and spent.

BUT WHAT IF YOU COULD BREAK THAT CYCLE OF ANGER, HATE AND DESTRUCTION?

What if you could create a new brain pathway that helps you connect through your common experience of being dismissed, depersonalized and dehumanized?

WATCH THIS VIDEO AND LEARN HOW KEEP LOVE GOING INSTEAD OF LETTING HATE TAKE OVER

 

 

 

 

copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D. 2015

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

Managing anger that comes from feeling unwanted and insecure

Six ways to feel good without having to make your partner bad

Disclaimer: this video 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



How a Dream about an Alligator Helped Damien Choose Between His Mother and his Girfriend! Part 2

January 27th, 2015 1 Comment

Dream Analysis To Help With Anger and Stress Management

 

west los angeles dream analysis

The dream that helped Damien understand the trap he was in, fearing commitment and choices was the first of a series that helped him prepare to propose to his girlfriend and adjust his relationship with his mother. Now he was ready to propose, but how would his mother react?

The eldest of three children, Damien felt responsible for his mother’s welfare. His younger siblings were in college and his father wasn’t reliable. Damien enjoyed getting advice on ‘the right thing to do,’ from his mother, who also took care of him in ways that made their bond special.

He knew his mother wanted him to marry a girl that came from the same ethnic and religious background. There was nothing more important to him than his prospective wife and mother getting along. Would his mother approve of Leila? Would they find a way of relating without making him choose between them? Would Leila be okay with him visiting his mother after church every Sunday? Would Leila be okay with him continuing  to take care of his mother’s car insurance payments?

 

west los angeles dream interpretation

 

Then came a dream that illuminated his predicament and helped answered his question, freeing him from his self-imposed dilemmas – just like the teepee cage in the last dream.

“I was walking and saw a baby alligator. It was still attached to its mother with tissue that looked like a placenta. It didn’t hatch out of an egg.  There were zoo keepers and then there was an alligator tail coming out of my chest. It was taken out and even though there was a hole, I felt good.”

Damien associated alligators with hard skin that is Impenetrable” so he can’t get out, nor can others get in to help him. As we explored the image in the dream, Damien talked about the hard skin being a barrier to connecting with others. He noticed that he felt disconnected and awkward in groups. He was also having trouble connecting with Leila, torn between his affiliation with his mother and his girlfriend.

west los angeles therapy with dream interpretation

 

This is what we made of the dream in his therapy, using the context of is life at that time as the backdrop.

Alligators are reptiles that live in water and on land. Damien’s psyche was showing him that he is operating as a reptile. He can live in a state of unawareness, represented by the water, or he can live on land – but he can’t survive if he is still attached to his mother’s placenta!

Both the water and the placenta show his anxiety about being his ‘own man. Damien feared that without the basic nurturance from the placenta, and the womb like existence of the water he wouldn’t be able to survive successfully.

west los angeles dream analysis

The image of hope came via the image of the bit of alligator tail that was coming out of his chest.

The remnant of alligator tail symbolized the beginnings of his awareness of his own capability and wish to prove it. He is given hope that he can take himself out of his entrenched reptilian mode and live freely making choices and decisions for his life – not just being seduced by care taking and then discover that he has given over charge of his life to others.

This dream stayed with Damien for weeks.

We related his resistance to changing his ways to the ‘hard skin’ of the alligator. We connected his tendency to get carried away with his work, ignoring his personal life with being in the water, oblivious to reality. He also made the link between his growing unease with being treated like a child by his mother.

The image of pulling out the remnants of the alligator tail from his chest gave Damien the confidence he needed to propose to Leila even if it meant he would have to give up the care of his mother. His conflict about having to choose between his mother and Leila (the water or the land) dissolved. He became a fully-fledged mammal, shedding his reptilian self.

Leila accepted his proposal with excitement and much happiness. Damien was relieved and felt like he was finally getting on the path of achieving his masculine identity. He told his parents that he was engaged and welcomed his mother getting involved in the wedding plans. He was fulfilling his manly role and that felt good.

What Damien hadn’t anticipated was his mother would make a last ditch attempt to keep the placenta attached. She began giving him gifts of personal care items- reflecting an intimacy that was inappropriate for an adult male and his mother. He didn’t want to hurt her by refusing them, nor overrule her on the choice of wedding stationary she was ordering.

Reminders of the tail remnant he pulled out of his chest in therapy were immensely powerful in helping Damien find his strength to tell his mother what he wanted and what he didn’t. He cut the placenta and survived. She backed down and he didn’t feel guilty.   

Damien had many days and nights of doubt about his choice of wife. As he became more self-assured and realized that making choices and commitments (being on land without being attached to the placenta) didn’t mess up his life, he approached his wedding ‘knowing’ this was the right thing for him. The hard alligator skin was no longer needed to protect him from taking risks. He owned his warm bloodedness fully. What a gift of a dream from his psyche!

 

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 a Dream Can Help You Overcome Your Fear Of Making Your Own Choices    (part 1 of Damien's story)

How Your Dream Can Free You From Trying to Get Your Parent's Approval

How Your Dream Can Help You Overcome Bad Memories That Keep You Stuck

 

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.