Making judgements

We humans make judgements about things on a daily basis. Sometimes minute by minute.  We wake up and make a judgement about whether or not we feel like wearing the red shirt or the black shirt today.  We make a judgement about whether we agree with what is being broadcast on the news today or whether it is just media hype.  We make a judgement about whether or not we think the President is doing a good job, we might be making that judgement based upon whether we truly feel that way or we are just prejudiced against people of color, and it really wouldn’t matter what he was doing, we still wouldn’t like him.  When we make judgements it tells the person listening more about us and our character then about  the person which we are making the judgement.  Some judgements are necessary for daily life and show personal preferences for certain things.  Others are not necessary and even sometimes cruel.  Judgements are not necessarily good or bad, except when we begin to think ours is better than the other persons.  When we think we are right and the other person is wrong.  Both people can be right, for themselves.  Just because we don’t all think alike does not mean one of us is wrong.  Judgements of this nature are based upon the past and needing to be right.  No one is right all of the time.  Humans make mistakes.  If you are unable to allow a person to disagree with you without  becoming angry because they are doing so, you have the problem.  If you need others to agree with you in order to believe what you believe, then you really don’t believe it.  You should be able to stand on your own in your belief and defend it, without the support of others.  It is hard to do, but, can be done if you truly believe what you are saying.  Taking a look at where the judgement is coming from will do one of two things.  It will reinforce our belief or it will allow us to understand that our belief is based in fear or prejudice.  Those judgements should change and new ones based in understanding should take their place.  Judgements based in fear and prejudice only diminish us, they do nothing to the other person.  They show the people you are speaking with that you are fearful, prejudiced and stuck in anger about something in the past.  Only you can change that, by looking at why you are hanging on to the anger and where it is coming from in the past.  These video’s will help you to relax while you are letting go of those things you need to let go.  Link to the video’s.     Enjoy!

Finding root causes

Often times as a Behavior Specialist Consultant and in my personal life, I have been accused of making excuses for people’s behavior.  In my mind there is a huge difference between making excuses and finding root causes. Making excuses entails coming up with things that cause this person to do what they did and then letting them off the hook for whatever it might have been.  Finding root causes entails looking underneath the surface behavior to find what is driving the behavior.  This is done in order to change the underlying causal factors and therefore the behavior itself.  This does not let the person off the hook but makes them do work to change what was done so it will not happen again.  It not only changed the surface behavior, what you can see with the eye, but also what is driving the behavior.  An example might be the following:  When dealing with a child who has been molested you will see surface behaviors like hyper sexuality or the opposite dressing very plainly, fading into the woodwork to not be noticed or to not be attractive.  You will see criminal behavior, drug and / or alcohol use and eventually abuse.  You will see anger and a lot of it.  There will be poor school performance, especially if it is a teacher that is doing the molesting.  You will see cutting themselves, emotional dis-regulation, reactions to things that are not that bad will have an overreaction.  They will not be able to hold a job when they get older due to the anger.  They will have excuses for their responses to things that do not make sense to a normal person but it does to them and they will be angry with you if you dispute it.  Fixing only the surface behaviors will not change the behavior.  They may stop doing whatever you have punished them for, but the driving force behind the behavior has not changed and therefore it will continue to happen.  If you punish a child for dressing provocatively,they may not dress that way again in your presence, but they will find another way to express that behavior.  They may begin to sneak out of the house, dress provocatively when they are out of your sight, etc.  Because you have not found the underlying causal factor, the behavior continues.  It takes a lot of work to change causal factors.  Sometimes years and determination to make it different by the person exhibiting the behavior.  Making them feel bad about what they are doing will only make it worse.  It will make them defensive and pull away from you.  That does not mean you accept their behavior,  it means you let them know you will love them without strings.  Most of us have no idea how to do that.  Loving without conditions attached means that you are willing to love this person no matter what they do, no criticism, just acceptance of who they are and where they are at this point in their life.  That does not mean you accept their behavior.   You are also willing to tell them, without judgment, how it hurts you to see them do whatever it was they did and cause themselves such pain.  If you are only interested in what other people see then you are making excuses.  If you are trying to understand what is making it happen then you are looking for root causes and trying for a permanent change.  These video’s will help you to relax while you are giving away what you cannot control and is no longer working for you.  Link to the video’s.   Enjoy!

Letting go

Letting go does not mean that we forget what happened.  Letting go means that we no longer refeel the emotions attached to the memory.  As humans we have the capacity to remember everything that has every happened to us from the time we were born.  As a therapist, when someone tells me that they have no memories of their childhood, I wonder what trauma happened to them that they don’t remember.  If we fall and break our leg as a child, we should remember the fall and the fact that it hurt.  We should not refeel the pain of the break.  If we got blamed for something we did not do and were punished for it.  We should remember the event, the people involved and the fact that we were angry.  We should not be refeeling the anger.  We need to remember the bad as well as the good in our lives.  We need to remember the bad so we do not repeat the mistakes that were made,  either by others or by ourselves.  If we forget we are doomed to repeat them.  Letting go is not easy,  for me it is a process that does not happen overnight, or within a week.  Depending upon what I am trying to let go of, it may take me months to let go of it.  If it is something or someone dear to me it usually takes months, sometimes a year or more.  I know that I have truly let go when I can find humor in it.  If I am remembering it and able to find something humorous about it, then I have let go.  These video’s will help you to let go.  Link to the video’s.  Enjoy!

Grieving

There is no correct way to grieve.  Like people, there are many ways to grieve.  There is, however, a pattern to grief.  Elizabeth K Ross was correct, there are stages.  You don’t just go through them once, however.  You may at one point get to acceptance and several weeks, months years later do it all again because something has triggered a memory.  You may stay stuck in anger or denial longer then other people.  You may not go through them the way they are laid out either, you may be angry first.  You may have delayed the grieving because you had to be strong for someone.  The only sure thing is that there are stages that you go through that are common for every one when you lose someone or something dear to you.  That’s right, something.  If your house burns down, loose a job you liked or anything else that was important to you, not just people.  You can grieve the loss of your health, the loss of a limb, when your children leave to be out on their own, what you thought was going to happen when you had grandchildren and then it didn’t.  You may have thought you were going to have big family Christmas’ and then they moved away or you have an in-law that does not like you and will not come when the family is together.  These are all losses and you will grieve them.  There is no norm for grieving, no length of time when it will just go away or stop.  The intensity and duration of the sadness will lessen, but it does not go away.  No one can tell you you’re not doing it right.  Those that do, have no idea what they’re talking about and have probable never truly grieved anything.  Don’t listen, do your own thing and get through it by accepting solace where and when it presents itself.  There are no accidents, there are lessons to be learned if you are open to them.  Don’t close your heart or your ears because of your grief.  Feeling it is the only way through it, or anything for that matter.  Grieving with people who love you is the best way, if you are alone, do it with a counselor or a grief group, but do it and get through it.  These video’s will help you to relax and get rid of og those thing you have no control over.  Link to the video’s.    Enjoy!

Taking Resonsibility

One of the hallmarks of dysfunction is that you cannot take responsibility for what you do, think or say.  It will always be someone elses fault.  In a family or community system that equals out to needing to have a scapegoat.  Someone to blame when things do not work out in a positive manner.  In a functional family or community system you are able to take responsibility for what you did that may have caused a problem or even harm to someone else without too much hassle.  There is a discussion, even anger but the issue is worked out eventually and all is okay with the world within that group again.  No one gets physically, emotionally, verbally or mentally hurt by the event.  Each person handles their own feelings about what happened and a healthy discussion about what went wrong is able to occur.  The discussion is not about getting even or owing someone something because of what happened.  The discussion instead is about lovingly getting to a place where the same thing does not happen again and working out how that may occur.  A discussion about how to do it better next time without making the person responsible feel worthless, merely human and capable of making mistakes like the rest of us.  In a functional system the person responsible will come to their own way of making up for what they did without needing a prompt from anyone or being made to feel guilty.  In a functional system there is no judgement about the person that is responsible.  There is only a need from everyone to make it better so it doesn’t happen again and everyone learns from the mistake that was made and accepts responsibility for their part in making it happen.

Making mistakes is a human thing.  If you are a human being you have and will continue to make mistakes.  Maybe not the same ones as your neighbor but mistakes none the less.  Making a judgement about whether your mistake is better or worse than another persons is ludicrous.  A mistake is just that, a mistake.  You cannot learn from mistakes if you do not admit to them, you will continue to make the same ones unless you do.   There is nothing right or wrong, better or worse about it. The only time anything may be right or wrong is when something was done on purpose, but then it is not a mistake.  It is a purposeful act, deliberately done.  Not a mistake.  These video’s will help you to relax and give away what is necessary to learn from your mistakes.  Link to the video’s.   Enjoy!

Trauma Therapy

Trauma Therapy works because when you talk, write or draw about an event you are getting it out of your head and giving it voice.  When you keep things in your head and do not talk about it or give them voice in some manner they will take on a life of their own.  They become the boogie man in the closet waiting to pounce at the first opportunity.  You know they are not real but cannot trust that thought.  They soon become real and you are convinced that if you open the closet they will get you.  Your brain is this wonderful organ that needs to make sense of everything that happens, whether it is logical or not.  It needs to file it away in your memory bank. It cannot until you deal with the feelings attached to the memory.  Feelings often are not logical, they’re feelings.  You can only deal with feelings if you face them and give them voice.  Acknowledging them, gives them voice and they become less powerful, it gets them out of you head and into a place where you can see them logically and then your brain can file it away without the feeling attached to it.  You will always remember the event but without the feeling and it is then less powerful, it is the feeling that you had at the time the trauma happened that is causing the problem with flashbacks and night terrors, not the actual event itself.  Talking, writing or drawing about the event and the feelings,  puts it on paper or gives it voice so it can be talked about and seen for what it is or was at the time.  Eventually it will lose its power because it is now out in the open to be seen.  Trauma Therapy works because when you repeat the event often enough it will lose its power over you and the event will become normalized. It works much the same way a person who likes to watch horror movies works.  The person who never watches horror movies is terrorized by everything in the move.  The person who sees horror movies all the time would be laughing at the same movie. They have normalized the horror and need something larger and / or bigger then life to scare them.   Trauma Therapy works on the same principle, the more you get it out of your head in some manner the more normalized it becomes and the less power it has to interrupt your life.   You can then remember the event without being terrorized or traumatized by it.

You cannot make someone do Trauma Therapy until they are ready to do so.  Forcing someone to relive events that caused them trauma is retraumatizing them.  The person who experienced the trauma has to want to do it or it will not work and you will be causing more pain for that person.   These video’s will help to relax you and given away what you cannot control while you are making changes/  Link to the video’s.    Enjoy!

.

Quiet people

I  have always been a quiet person.  With my first abnormal psychology class I even explored the possibility of being a person with Aspergers, which is a high functioning autism.  It is not uncommon to identify with disorders found in an abnormal psychology book when you are beginning your trek through the world to being a therapist.  I also found myself diagnosing my family, because as a child I observed a lot of things and did not feel the need to comment. There was no need to compete, no need to comment, no need to prove people wrong about what they thought of me.  I am still that way  The reason I came to the conclusion that I did not have Aspergers is because I have a filter in my frontal lobe.  Just because it comes into my mind does not mean I have to either say it or act on it.  I can sit quietly by and think a lot of things and not feel the need to express one of them.  This did not sit well with my family.  We are a family of talkers and anyone who does not have an expressed opinion is considered slow, stupid, mentally challenged. I was considered mentally challenged because I did not talk about anything unless I felt it was important enough to talk about. I saw my family as talking a lot about nothing.  There are a lot of things I do not consider important enough to talk about because I truly do not care about them or what happens with them.  The not talking also was brought into the classroom and I had few friends during my school years.  I did not feel a need for too many friends and found the giggling and the drama unnecessary and silly.  I was voted most unamiable at 8th grade graduation.   When I looked up what the word meant I was surprised because I did not consider myself unfriendly, just shy.  As I got older I began to show people a sense of humor and used the humor to get through a lot of situations and still do, especially stressful situations.  I am still quiet and do not feel a need to express an opinion even though I may have a differing opinion then yours I am able to sit and listen to yours, respect it without commenting and unless you directly ask me my opinion you may never hear it.  The teachers at school spoke to me as though I were slow, mentally challenged or deaf.  I knew it but had no idea how to make it different.  I was often called on even though I did not raise my hand.  I knew the answer but could not get my mouth to work enough to say it because I had just been put on the spot and was unprepared to speak about anything.  This of course brought ridicule from my peers at the first opportunity.  I learned how to defend myself verbally and physically and reinforced the idea that people were untrustworthy and you were on your own to defend yourself against them.  That is how I came to defend my younger sisters as well.

I still do not have many friends and do not need many.  I am still quiet and use my sense of humor to get through a lot of things.  I have found a voice but still do not need to express feelings or thoughts about what you might be telling me or talking about,  I am able to stand up in front of crowds of people and teach or speak without anxiety.  I have learned that I am not stupid or unamiable. I am content with who and what I am and know that I will continue to grow and become fully who that might become.  These video’s will help to relax you and give away what you cannot control, if you have identified with this blog.   Link to the video’s.   Enjoy!