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Therapy is about as precise a term as "medicine."
So imagine if someone said, "I tried medicine, and it didn't work," and someone shot back with, "Medicine is great, I took some and it's done wonders." Another could very well say, "I did medicine once and my hair fell out." They'd all be right. Imagine how scary and weird it'd be to not know what medicine was, to hear all these conflicting stories about it, and then have someone suggest you try it. No thank you.
Getting people to talk about their mental health and emotions has always been difficult.
Getting people to be open, receptive and vulnerable to participate in therapeutic services has proven to be even more of a challenge, especially in the African-American community.
While we can stop and ponder at that statement, I prefer to set a challenge for those seeking help and those able to provide help, to develop a plan to take action and move one step closer to seeking solutions, guidance and becoming more informed.
For this blog entry, I am indebted to psychologist Dr. John Narciso (his 1975 book, Declare Yourself) for introducing me to the ideas of declarative and operational communication. What follows is my take on these concepts when working with the parent-teenager relationship.
You’ve read the articles, the books—be mindful, be in the now, live in the present. Yes, it has psychological benefits, yes, it is a matter of training your brain to focus and respond differently. So, you do the right stuff—you are mindful when you are cooking and pay attention to the slicing of the onion; you download a meditation app and use it twice a day for a few weeks. Good for you for trying, but sometimes trying is not quite good enough.
There’s not always a lot of socializing going on in social anxiety, but there’s certainly a lot of thinking. People with social anxiety appear to have developed some very biased ways of thinking that maintain the anxiety over time.
Let’s begin with a simple demonstration. U.K. clinical psychologist Warren Mansell and colleagues conducted a very simple experiment with participants who were either high or low on measures of social anxiety. Each participant was asked to make a three-minute speech on a controversial topic to a TV monitor that they believed displayed six people who were watching their performance live. Two audience members exhibited only positive behaviours during the speech (nodding, leaning forward, smiling), two audience members exhibited only negative behaviours (yawning, looking around, shaking head), and the remaining two exhibited only neutral behaviours (adjusting seat position, playing with a pen).
The day started with sunshine, a bright blue sky, and a chill in the air. The perfect autumn day. I was excited to select a sweater, which was appropriate for the crispness of the fall season. Pumpkins and chrysanthemums lined our sidewalk, and I was looking forward to a fire pit and s’mores with friends that weekend.
Then my husband came home from work feeling poorly. Within hours, my strong, healthy husband was curled up shaking and in terrible pain. Three trips to the emergency room later, we began to understand his symptoms, and things started to calm down
Being generous and giving is generally considered a virtue—both at home and at work. But in a world where there are givers and takers, how do givers who are trying to be "good" protect their generosity and energy? How do givers avoid becoming depleted, resentful, burnt out, or disappointed?
I try not to tell my kids that I am proud of them.
Taken out of context, that statement probably sounds very strange. Aren’t we supposed to tell our kids that we are proud of them?
Of course we are. What I am working on is what I tell my kids I am proud of.