Posts Tagged ‘Roswell Therapy’
What is Codependency?
“It is an emotional and behavioral condition that affects an individual’s ability to have a healthy, mutually satisfying relationship. It is also known as “relationship addiction” because people with codependency often form or maintain relationships that are one-sided, emotionally destructive and abusive.”
In my practice, I have seen a lot of Codependence. It can be hard for a Codependent to accept their label. They have grown up or have learned to cope with life by taking care of others, to an extreme.
How to Spot Codependency?
They are the martyrs. They are the ones always cleaning up after the party. They are the ones smoothing over a narcissist’s consistently inappropriate behavior. They are one making excuses for others. They are the ones putting themselves last but everyone else first.
Can I be real? Codependents make great employees and church members. They will get the job done without setting boundaries for themselves.
Melodie Beattie authored the infamous, “Codependent No More”.
“Beattie’s view of codependency starts from the (counter-intuitive) premise that rescuing someone, in the sense of solving their problems for them, is a less benevolent act than it might at first seem. To avoid the destructive aspects of enabling in the guise of helping, she highlighted how “Co-dependents are caretakers – rescuers. They rescue, then they persecute, then they end up victimized”.”
How Do Codependents View the World?
They hold the constant thought that if someone else would change or do what they wanted, their lives would get better.
“If only __(insert name here)__ would ________, I would be better.”.
Or often say things like, “You make me feel ______.” “You are doing this to me _______.”
It’s the confidence that they must fix others, and that the boundaries between others and themselves are non-existent.
Steps to Fix Codependency
1) Acknowledge it. How often does your mind (or even prayers) quickly turn to solving other people’s issues?
2) Learn about it. The more you know how codependence manifests, the easier you will be able to see yourself heading down the road. A therapist familiar with codependence can be amazingly insightful. For example, how did you end up this way, why do you continue to seek out relationships with those who use your codependency to their benefit?
3) Find a support group and try at least 6 meetings. Al-Anon and CODA are two great support groups for dealing with co-dependence. (Al-Anon only asks that you have a family or friend that is/was an alcoholic. That covers about 90% of the population right there). Many times a parent or spouse was an alcoholic at one time, but the effects are there even 10-30 years later.
4) Read the literature from a support group and make it part of your daily reading.
5) Work the steps or program with a sponsor or therapist.
6) Learn to take care of yourself. What are your needs and desires? It’s called self-care (this is not a selfish choice, codependents have to practice on finding fulfillment for themselves). Examples include: do things you like, get your nails done, read something you want to read, go to eat where you like to eat. Hang out with your friends and enjoy other’s company simply by being you. Don’t keep trying to solve their problems for them.
7) Understand that ignoring codependence will one day lead to extremely low levels of self-esteem.
Want to come and talk with a therapist in Roswell about Codependence? Call Psychotherapist Steve Roswell at 770-641-8726. Offices are conveniently located in Historic Downtown Roswell, GA.
If you supervise a difficult or toxic person, you know it holds a particular set of challenges. You are probably trying to walk the line between firmness and friendliness in your management and a challenging personality can easily knock your style off-kilter. Last month, we discussed suggestions for how to deal with a grumpy or negative coworker, this month, here are my suggestions for effective management styles for the dreaded office grouch.
- Pay Attention – Many times a person may act out because they feel helpless, bored or unheard. Listen to clues into how the person thinks, what problems he or she faces, and whether or not there is anything you can do about it. You may be able to adjust their responsibilities to keep them engaged and interested. Or they may just need someone to care enough to hear what they have to say.
- Be Firm – This means giving specific, constructive feedback when you see a performance or interpersonal problem that is affecting your company. Do not avoid conflict! Check out my blog from last year about how to effectively handle a confrontation.
- Set Consequences– Be clear about ramifications for destructive behavior and follow through. Avoid arbitrary punishments and inconsistent enforcement. Frame these conversations in a positive light, encouraging the employee to live up to the potential you see in them or they may miss out on certain privileges.
- Avoid Gossip – Talking to a fellow employee or subordinate about the difficult person will only create more strife in your office environment. Just. Don’t.
- Take Notes – Keep track of incidents and behaviors in your documentation. This will help you to be specific when you confront an employee. The notes will also be invaluable if you ever have the unfortunate task of letting a toxic employee go.
A Single Adjustment that can Change Your Family Dynamic
Life can move fast and sometimes even healthy families breeze past the time necessary to strengthen their relationships. There are so many complex issues in a family, but there is one simple change that can strengthen your family bond immediately: Eat dinner together. Research suggests that structured family meal times can improve grades, decrease obesity and even lower the risk of drug-abuse. Here are some suggestions for how to make dinnertime great.
- Set a Goal. You are probably busy with sports, homework and other extracurricular activities, so I recommend that you set a goal and a schedule for family meal time. You may start with just two set days a week. Inform your kids that those nights are off limits for friends or activities.
- Cook and Clean Together. Lower the stress by preparing simple meals and cleaning up together. This also encourages teamwork and gives your kids the chance to be creative and make memories. And the added benefit of teaching them how to cook and clean.
- Power Off. When it’s time to sit at the table, all electronics should be turned off or put in a different room. Parents, this includes you!
- Ask the Right Questions. Conversation does not need to be forced at the dinner table, but parents can keep in mind this principle when asking questions – be specific. If you ask “how was school today?” you’ll likely get a one word answer, “fine.” Try asking “What was your favorite activity you did at school today?” or “Who is the nicest (funniest, meanest) person in your class?” And of course, be an active listener!
While dinner may improve your family dynamics, it will not help you deal with difficult issues such as divorce, blended families, mental health problems, behavior issues and others. Contact me at (770) 641-8726 if you are seeking in-depth family counseling.
Steven D Brand, Psychotherapist Roswell, GA
How to Thrive through the Holiday Season
‘Tis the season of holiday cheer… but for some people it can also be a difficult season. If you suffer from the winter blues between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, a few tweaks to your routine can help you thrive, not just survive this year.
- Stay Active and Outdoors. Sometimes the cold winter months can lead to bouts of depression. It is believed that this is caused by fewer daylight hours in the winter. This can be a mild annoyance or a diagnosable problem, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). To combat these symptoms, get moving outside. Take a winter hike in the mountains, a bike ride or a jog around the block. (For more serious symptoms, please seek professional help.)
- Be Thankful. With Black Friday on the horizon… enter the enticing trap of consumerism, comparison and all-out competition. These are toxic for your mental health. Instead of comparing your gifts, attire and activities with others, try to foster gratitude in your conversation and your mental discipline. A thankful journal is good, but telling a friend or family member about your gratitude is an even more powerful practice.
- Remain Flexible. You may have visions of a perfect turkey, uninterrupted football marathons and the new iPhone. But let’s face it. When Great Aunt Mable, Brother Bubba and all the kids get together, there is nothing predictable. Someone might burn the stuffing. It will probably be noisy. You could even get an Android. (Kidding.) Family-time is beautiful in its chaos, so let’s all agree that the holidays will not be perfect and enjoy the messiness of it all.
- Observe the Sacred. It is easy to breeze through the holidays without realizing the magnitude of what we are celebrating. I encourage you to take time to recognize what is sacred. Perhaps that means memorializing a lost loved one, attending a midnight service, or saying a prayer with your family.
I would like to wish you all a joyful kick-off to the Holiday Season. I believe this could be your best yet!
Please contact me if you would like to set up an appointment in my office, located in Historic Roswell.
Steven D Brand
12 Norcross St. #215
Roswell, GA 30075
Still want to read more, read my previous post about mentally rebooting for Fall.
Autumn is approaching. With that there is one guarantee: Change.
Your first child could be starting Kindergarten or your last one could be going off to college.
You may be beginning a new job, going through a tough phase of life or just preparing for the rhythm of shorter days.
When we are not prepared for it, even positive change can blindside us. Here are five intentional adjustments that can help you thrive during life’s transitions:
- Reinforce your Support System. Surrounding yourself with joyful, resourceful or helpful friends and family can be one of the most important decisions you make. Have lunch with a friend, a long phone conversation with a family member, or find a mentor who has already been through the same type of change you are experiencing.
- Exercise, Eat Healthy and Rest. This may go without saying, but change can be distracting and neglecting healthy choices can exacerbate the problem. Staying healthy will help keep your body and mind in check.
- Take time to Reflect. Recognizing possible stressors or giving time to observe your thoughts about your situation can be therapeutic. This may include keeping a journal, taking a quiet walk in the park, saying a prayer or just pausing to observe your inner thoughts.
- Be an Active Thinker. It is important to make the choice to focus on the positive aspects of life change. This involves active decision making and staying alert to rewire your negative thought patterns.
- Connect to Something Larger than Yourself. A great way to move out of a difficult time is to help someone else. Make time to volunteer somewhere, make a meal for a sick friend, or become a mentor for someone else who is also facing change.
Sometimes the stress of transition is more than we can handle in 5 simple steps. Steven Brand would love to help you with more in-depth processing and setting goals to achieve your personal best. To schedule an appointment, call him at (770) 641-8726.