Holiday behaviors

During the Thanksgiving holiday and the upcoming  seasons a lot of us go home to family.  We spend a couple of days with the people we grew up with and are still in communication.  Those people may change from time to time due to divorce or death but they are basically the same  If you grew up in a basically happy functional family then your going home is a time to look forward to with happy expectation.  If you grew up in a dysfunctional home then you may find yourself taking on those old characteristics that were you when you were growing up.  If you have done any work at all on yourself, you are not usually that person because you have found, that person does not function well in the real world.  You may also have found that the only time you find yourself behaving like the old you is in the family setting.  If you are mindful of this fact, you can change it.  Again, no magic bullet, no instant pill to take only hard work on your part.

In an earlier blog I wrote about mindfulness.  Being aware of your surroundings and noticing what is around you and what you are feeling about those things.  Becoming aware of what triggers your mood change.  You cannot change it if you are not aware of what needs to change.  If you are becoming emotional around certain people or around certain things, rooms in a certain house.  There is a reason.  Spend time in the morning or evening allowing yourself time to think about why.  Set a timer for no more than 15 minutes each day on this.  When you find out why it will allow an understanding of where the feelings are coming from and therefore you will be able to acknowledge the fact that you are not that small child any longer and can take care of yourself.  You have to parent the child within, nurturing that child until it is not afraid, angry, sad or hurt by whatever happened in the past. You will need to nurture that child and parent it.  You will need to make sure this child knows it is safe and cared about by you. Using your dominant hand ask the child within what is making you fearful, angry etc.  Then with your non-dominent hand let the child tell you what that might be.  Listen to it and assure it that you will take care of it and they are safe.  You use the non-dominent hand because that engages emotional part of your brain, which is where your child lives. You will then notice the things that used to alter your mood before  when you went home, does not any longer.  You do not become that same old child for your family.  You will not leave there wondering why you turn into someone you are no longer around your family.  Keep in mind though that if your family is still dysfunctional, they will want you to be that old person because they need you to be.  Don’t fall for it, be who you are.  During your meditation you will need to relax first and give away the old behaviors and all of those things you have no control over..  This will help.    Link to the video’s    Enjoy!


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I became a therapist in an attempt to understand my own childhood and what happened there and how it made me who I am, exhibiting the behaviors that were not always positive, very often self-destructive. I used Art Therapy to help me understand things in my past that were stopping me from making better decisions in my present day. I used Behavioral Science to help me understand underlying causal factors, roots to the present day behaviors that I was seeing in myself. Both help me to change those behaviors/thoughts that were causing me to make self-destructive decisions that were causing pain in life. I have been a therapist since 1985 and have an undergraduate degree Art and behavioral science (double major) from the University of Maine. My graduate work was done at Marywood university and I have a degree in Art Therapy. I have certificates in Forensic Interviewing and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior therapy. I have 22 out of 30 credits toward a degree in Trauma Therapy from Drexel University. I started out as a Community Support Worker, Program Manager/Clinical Supervisor, Family therapist and Outpatient therapist.

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