Red and Pink Flags

Red and Pink flags when it comes to people and their behaviors You bring up a point about not being ready, that’s a good one because people tend to think when you come in and you’ll have to face everything all at once. That’s not really true, I’m not sure you know we have some people come in and they say well I’m having a problem in my relationship and perhaps they had some trauma or tragedy or just a difficult time sometime else like in college or in childhood and they’re not ready to talk about that. That’s perfectly fine. We can deal with whatever problem you’re able to talk about or want to talk about, it’s really led by you. I think that’s a misconception, that somehow we have a set of rules or set schedule and timing and that’s yeah it’s not that rigid. You get to control the timing, in fact, I have people and say “okay, so when do you think I’ll be ready to go?” I don’t control when you’ll be ready, it’s really very a subjective viewpoint. When you feel like you’re in a place that you have figured something out or have changed the course of your life or the course of your relationship and when you’re ready, you’re ready.  I’ve had you’ve had people come in for assessments and that’s enough. I think I’ve had people for 10- 15 years because once they figured out what the problem is they want to figure out what’s next. It’s all up to you and up to that person but they had lots of things they want to figure out and they really enjoyed the process and got a lot of benefits out of learning and how do I unpack that emotional bag. It’s your own pace and how easily you do it. We’re flexible.

Relationship Breaking Points

Relationship Breaking Points.  What is Relationship Breaking Points? This is what we discuss today.   How do you know when your relationship is in trouble and when should you get professional help? We love that question because there’s no easy answer to that. Healthy couples do have arguments or heated discussions from time to time, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need emotional help or relationship or professional help, but why not? Why not make it easier on yourself and your relationship? One of the questions is when do you know when you’re at your breaking point? We‘d rather you come in before your breaking point. So if you’re starting to question your breaking point or if you’re at your breaking point that maybe the breaking point. That’s a big thing, coming in beforehand or if you feel like you’re at your breaking point that’s also the time where you probably need to call us and come to us or anybody, to start really figuring out what got you there. We want to emphasize that you can call us and we can talk and see if you’re ready to come in, just because you pick up the phone and call someone in mental health or anybody it doesn’t mean you’re committed to a lifetime of therapy. There’s a lot of stages in between and we’ve seen people, we’ve talked to people on the phone a lot, we’ve emailed people and helped them. We have had people come in for one assessment, one meeting and everything in between one meeting and ten years of therapy. It’s all in between. So if you’re questioning the breaking point, it’s a good time to pick up the phone and call somebody. What we would call a breaking point, what we call in mental health- a breaking point is when the argument starts becoming invasive in your life. Does it impact your other relationships? Does it impact your work? Does it impact your health? Those are the three main areas we look at. In fact, we talk about this too, some area of your life has to be impacted negatively for us to even give a diagnosis. According to the DSM which is our Bible, someone has to come in, so if someone came in and said I’m crying all the time, I can’t sleep, I can’t eat and I’m a mess. If they say it’s not affecting work or it’s not affecting relationships then we couldn’t give him a diagnosis of depression. That definition of breaking …

Pathological Altruism, When helping is not the best answer

Pathological Altruism is Helping That Hurts   Negative feelings, so negative things can be positive. People think feeling angry, needy, or sad is bad or wrong and we teach them that those are not only normal but they can be really good for you to understand. Those who feel them deal with them basically. Let’s talk about the OP because the opposite is true to something that people think is good is not so good like pathological altruism. That’s a phrase I have to teach a lot of patience, pathological altruism it’s a mouthful. Pathological altruism is sort of how it sounds, where people are helping others but at their expense. They don’t realize this so they’re helping, helping, helping often with the idea that if I help enough, someone’s going to help me. But what ends up happening is they become furious because no one helps them. They don’t realize that’s the string attached to the help. It ends up being really disruptive in that way because they themselves don’t know how to ask for what they need. Which goes back to our neediness. People who have pathological altruism as one of their defenses gives, gives, gives and then gets angry when nobody gives back. They’ve missed a little portion of not being able to tell someone what they needed. This is a moment where the student becomes the teacher so beautifully and you’ve learned that over the – overtime but it always comes back to these three emotions. Same with us we do the neediness, anger, and sadness. So people have trouble with neediness, they cover it up by saying I’ll help you and then I won’t have to say I need anything from you, you’ll just know. We don’t just know, people don’t just know, that’s why communication about these things is so important. People forget that people can’t read each other’s minds and assume. Let’s say, in a marriage you assume because you’re married that this person should know you well enough to know your needs but it’s really actually the opposite. If we don’t tell them our needs they don’t realize that. It’s important to make sure you are comfortable enough to know, “I have to tell people what I need or else I’m not going to get it.” How many times have we heard someone say, “they should know,” you should know by now the opposite is true. They say, “I know how she’s going to react, or how he’s going …

Robo Man Syndrome, When Men Don’t Emote

Men Do Not Emote.  Well, SOME men. Robo Man Syndrome When Men Do Not Emote.  This is a common issue that comes up. I’m Dr. Laura Dabney this is Joelle Brant we both work with executive men to help them with their relationships.  We support the Robo man syndrome men who do not emote.  We’ve talked about emotions and how they sometimes like to protect themselves from emotions in ways it might not be a good idea. Such as pathological altruism and doing everything for everyone at the expense of yourself not be at boundaries. We talked about boundaries more popular ones we spoke of panic and anxiety, yes, phobias oh yeah Joelle’s phobia. I did kill an ant yesterday, so maybe I’m making progress.  Well I’ve been talking we’ve both been talking with Dr. Jed diamond, and I am fond of him. He is a psychologist who works outside of San Francisco, and he played a significant role in helping us understand men’s emotions. He has a very similar clientele to us. So we have a lot in common, and it’s been a joy to talk with him he wrote the book male menopause back in the 70s, and since then he’s gotten interested in what he calls irritable man syndrome. Which are men who feel the only emotion they’re allowed to have is anger.  If they’re hurt, they’re angry; if they’re sad, they’re mad, you know everything else comes out that’s anger! That’s been interesting. So that’s what he sees the most that are what he sees a lot of. That’s what we’ve been writing about. I was talking about what I see and what we talked about, which is Robo man. It’s a little different than irritable man but along the same lines where men often feel that any kind of emoting is harmful or effeminate or something’s not right with it. They are trying to, and they will tell if this is a conscious thing they were trying to be robotic. I’m going to have no emotion shut down or get down even.  I just shut it down yeah it’ll be the only kind of involute does the other word I use a lot the in Buddhist goes like oyster into their shell they clam up, and there’s nobody home this will not help you can’t penetrate that which can be very frustrating for people in their lives. They’re trying to get a sense of what’s going on, and there’s an emotion attached to what’s going on. They won’t even they won’t just say platitudes or general statements. They …

Anxiety and Phobias the Down and Dirty

Phobias, anxiety, disorders, and the unconscious. We’re going to continue our talk on panic and anxiety good with that, so that’s an excellent point to point out if you have anxiety about something, then it’s not a mental disorder. If you know what the reason is, then it’s a normal reaction — a typical response that you’re anxious about, like picking up the little munchkins on time. People come in with anxiety, and they don’t know why, and that’s when it becomes interesting. Or they think they know why and it might not be the real why. That’s when we dig in and do our work because that’s what’s most exciting. It’s like being a detective because you have to find out what it is. It’s unconscious, and why is it unconscious because it hurts. There’s some pain there’s something below the surface. This is painful; you know your brain is smart. Most people’s minds are sparse; it wants to cover up pain; it doesn’t want to feel pain. You may want to know why, but they don’t want to know why. Our job is to get glimpses of that as it comes to the surface and pulls it out, helps them understand in a safe place where they know that, yes, it’s going to hurt, but it never hurts as much as they imagined. It’s like a memory from when you were a child, and you couldn’t deal with pain and stressful situations like you do now. It’s like ripping off a band-aid type of pain It’s usually something as simple as a negative feeling towards somebody that you love. I’ve talked to patients about them having a fantasy about hurting somebody or maiming somebody they feel so guilty about it, but they’ve just been trying to bury it all this time. The fantasies are normal, but there’s a lot of people who do not believe that, and some do not think it’s reasonable to have fantasies about any feeling or doing anything. For this, I’ll use my Stephen King approach. Stephen King would be in jail if we thought weird fantasies were against the law. That’s right; there’s a big difference between thinking and acting. Symbolism is very abstract. I’ll give you an example; sometimes, little crawly things mean invasive. So has somebody been invasive? In a session, I would say okay thanks we’re on the right track because I know you’re eliciting a response from me right so it could be somebody who is a mean or forcing you that could …