Therapy is a great way to deal and heal with your past. Please get in touch with me at 973-220-9007 so we can get started on your healing journey.
If you or someone you love is unsure about whether you/they are getting into an abusive situation, here are some signs to look for. Please let me know what you think.
How To Spot A Potential Abuser – Dr. Phil
- Excessive and quick commitment to relationships
- Extremely possessive and jealous, confused with love
- Control of all money
- Name-calling and demeaning
- Threats against you, your children or of suicide for failure to comply (emotional extortion)
- Exhibits cruelty to animals or children
- Takes away choices such as good, fashion, social life
- Excessive monitoring
- Dominating time
- Extreme sense of entitlement
- Blames the victim (“They made me do it.”)
- Insecure but presents a false sense of superiority
- Lack of empathy
- Hypersensitivity and victim mentality
- Extreme controlling behavior early on disguised as concern for safety
- Presents dual personalities
- Poor communication skills
- Has unrealistic expectations or demands
“Co-dependence is a disease of immaturity, rendering a person unable to experience appropriate levels of self-esteem, unable to set boundaries with other people, unable to own his or her own reality, unable to take care of his or her needs and wants appropriately, and unable to express his or her reality moderately and at the appropriate age level.” (Pia Mellody: Breaking Free, p. 25)
This past Friday I attended a very interesting symposium in NYC. One of the topics was “Infidelity: Why Men and Women Cheat,” by Dr. Kenneth Paul Rosenberg. He has written a new book by that title, which will be available to the general public on May 15th.
In his book, he speaks about the importance of emotional fidelity, perhaps even above sexual fidelity. Emotional fidelity is at the core of every good relationship, especially marriage. He lists (p. 231) some vows of emotional fidelity, which promise to put your relationship first and make it your most precious asset:
I promise that….
….you can trust that I will be there for you.
….I will put your first above others. Just after the needs of the children, your welfare will be my priority.
…..I have your back.
….I will create opportunities for you to feel great pleasure and to love.
….You can trust me to know you, that my word and intentions are good.
….I will endeavor, within reason, to mitigate your hardships.
….I dedicate myself to the intention, however imperfectly executed, that nothing will tear us apart, and everything will bring us closer.
Notice that in all these vows of emotional fidelity, you are not asking for or demanding anything.
In every item, you are giving. Too often couples focus on what they are not getting. The irony of love, he says, is that to ensure your happiness, you need to focus on what you are giving, not on what you are getting.
One of the greatest obstacles to a successful relationship is over-reactivity of one or both partners. Here is a quick tool to help with that:
If you have a situation in which you or your partner is over-reacting, think about “dialing down you reactivity.” Perhaps you can picture a dial with a needle and notice what number the needle is on. Connect to the logical part of yourself. See if you can use the power of your imagination to dial the number down, down to the “just right” level to be effective. Or perhaps you are turning a knob that moves the needle down to the optimal range. Focus on your breathing, taking deep, relaxing breaths and allow waves of relaxation to slow your pulse, lower your blood pressure, and move the needle down to the optimal range. The more you practice, the easier it will become!
I am a psychotherapist trained in a variety of approaches designed to help you reach your personal goals and self-understanding. These include: brief, solution-focused counseling, cognitive-behavioral therapy (Adlerian orientation), and psychodynamic therapy. At times I also use hypnosis or EMDR. I am the founder of Counseling Care Specialties in South Orange, New Jersey.
Using my professional training and experience, I provide an environment in which you can feel comfortable exploring new insights and options. The ability to view yourself and your situation from a broader perspective can lead you to a sense of empowerment and to making positive changes.
We can also work on developing new skills in interpersonal relationships, stress management for mind/body wellness, and healing from emotional pain, both present and past.
People often deny their anger at the same time that they hold on to it. Don’t be afraid to recognize that you’re angry. Denying your anger fuels hostility, grudges, and the sense of being a victim. It is important for couples to get their issues out into the open, but in a calm and respectful way.
If your partner launches into an angry assault, do your best not to get entangled in the contagion of the anger. It is worth taking a time out. Once you have calmed down, see if you can take the risk of being more honest with each other. Rather than pointing out each other’s imperfections and the differences between you, you can commit to being more honest with each other, hearing each other out, and empathizing with each other. You each need to be authentic and caring with each other, accept each other as you are, with all your differences.
The ideas in this post are based on the work of Ellyn Bader and Pete Pearson: TELL ME NO LIES.