Codependency Week 6: Angry!

Free From Codependency

This week, we look at W who is making the biggest move of his life. W is moving across the country to be with his loved one. W has dealt very well with his codependent side of his personality to this point but has spent the last few days feeling extremely angry and down on himself and doesn’t know why. His partner is not really helping by being distant and not involved in the process. W is questioning himself and doubts he has made the right decision. W is currently doing inner child therapy and his inner critic is pushing him all the way.

I am at my wits end. I want this move so bad but have spent the last week really getting angry with myself. I doubt that I can do this and my inner critic has been telling me constantly how stupid I am to let my…

View original post 346 more words

Codependency Diary Week 5: The Dance

Free From Codependency

tumblr_nyva16n6861s1vn29o1_500In this episode, I highlight J who found out he was codependent after starting therapy. J is a successful business man who by his own admission “can’t live alone”. He also is often attracted to emotionally distant, sometimes abusive types who take advantage of his good nature. He tries “to fix them” and is often left disappointed by the result of his efforts. J is extremely sensitive and wishes his endevours were rewarded a bit more than they are. Just recently, J has been depressed and wondering where his relationship is heading. He sees little future with his current partner who is stand-offish and distant most of the time. When challenged, his partner M, turns it around to suggest it is J’s fault that things are not working. J has taken this to heart and is suffering.

I can’t get rid of this black cloud that hangs over me and…

View original post 502 more words

E09: Taking The First Steps To Recovery After A Breakup (Book Reading & Discussion)

Have you just broken up? Feeling bad… Not knowing where to go or what to do?

Listen to the new podcast around Dr. Nicholas Jenner’s book “Our Quest For Happily Ever After & Why It sometimes does Not Work’. We discuss a section taken from the third chapter of the book called: “Taking The First Steps to Recovery (After A Breakup)”.

“Our Quest For Happily Ever After.. And Why It Sometimes Does Not Work” is Available Now: at 9.99 USD.

AMAZON UK
AMAZON USA
AMAZON CANADA
AMAZON GERMANY
AMAZON AUSTRALIA
AMAZON ITALY

Read more from Dr. Jenner’s blogs: FREE FROM CODEPENDENCY

Dr. Nicholas Jenner is a counseling psychologist in private practice working with individuals, couples, groups and companies with a speciality in CBT techniques. Apart from seeing clients face-to-face, Dr. Jenner also runs a thriving online therapy business bringing help to those who find taking therapy online as convenient and tailored for their needs. More Details HERE.

 

All We Really Need is Self-Discipline.

importance-personal-responsibility1Many of us procrastinate to the point that it takes a lot of energy to keep it going. Energy that could be used more productively. Many of us fail to take responsibility for things we have done, finding it easy to avoid issues by blaming others or circumstances “beyond our control”. Many of us do not take the time to analyse an issue, preferring to avoid the pain that is associated with it. Many of us are looking for instant gratification, hoping that things will change or something will come along and take the pain away. It happens to everybody at some stage in their lives purely because it makes us feel “good” in the moment. It happens in all aspects of our lives….relationships…where we avoid painful decisions hoping things might improve….work….where we procrastinate that difficult task….avoid talking with our boss….or raising an issue with a colleague or client. We also do it as individuals. Not taking responsibility for what we can influence and not making definite choices about ourselves. We would rather moan and complain and put our destiny in the hands of others. When we avoid our own responsibility, we are really saying to others…”you need to tell me what to do…to look after me” Erich Fromm stated quite rightly in his book on Nazism that we spend our lives “escaping from freedom”. The freedom that personal responsibility brings.

Of course, we are not always taught how to work with such concepts described above. Not many parents have the time to give their children the security they need to take responsibility for themselves and all that means. Many parents are overwhelmed and put across the very concepts that foster the above. No parent is perfect but we all need to look at how we deal with our children on a daily basis, the way we talk to them, treat them, set boundaries for them and positively discipline them. Parents who fight in front of their children, dismiss and neglect wishes, use punitive punishment or threaten will achieve only the situation that children take it on themselves as something “wrong” with them. This is in no way prepares them for a functional adult existence.

What we need is self-discipline, to take responsibility and to face problems head-on and not delay the pain that goes along with it. These concepts are learnt early in our lives. In fact, many say they are inherent in us but are gone by the time we reach teenage years due to the environment we grow up in. Discipline will beat procrastination. It will teach us to take responsibility for the things we can influence and it will teach us that delaying the pain and replacing it with something “nice” or “pleasurable” is only pushing things further down the line to a point where we will need to face it due to circumstance and not choice.

Choice is the key word here. All of the dysfunctional concepts described above are done by choice and we can make different choices. Choose to take responsibility, face that difficult task, solve the question of staying or going and choose to deal with conflict efficiently. Choice is about discipline and doing nothing is also a choice. Life is purely a set of problems to face, endure and ultimately solve. Once we choose to solve them, life can be much better.

Codependency Diary Week 4: Week 1 Revisited

Free From Codependency

tumblr_nyva16n6861s1vn29o1_500Today, we revisit our situation in week 1. A is still struggling after a major conflict with B. Things have settled but A’s thoughts are not in the right place. She is fighting codependent tendencies while B has moved on confident that the matter has been resolved. Without discussion, she is living and coping with this alone. B’s more pragmatic approach is causing A some concern and has brought on some insecurities.

I don’t know how to view the situation at the moment. I am constantly looking for signs that give me some indication of what he is thinking or feeling after the fight. I know I am hypervigilant and coming across as needy. At least, I presume so. I feel I am on eggshells and very anxious. The guilt and shame I feel about what I did are overwhelming. I am convinced his feelings have changed to the extent…

View original post 409 more words

Trump Those Fears!

circle-of-influence-circle-of-concernFor some, the world ended the day a new President was elected. Not in my lifetime have I seen such fear and resistance towards a new leader of the free world. People are worried and not just in America. Nationalist movements seem to be cropping up everywhere after a long period of more liberal views. The UK has rejected Europe on the basis of mass immigration and taken a more insular stance. Next year, France and Germany may well follow. One might suggest that this swing from left to right is a natural process, the way politics generally works and especially in a democracy. We all have to accept the results of an election as an indication of what the people voted for, even if our candidate did not win. However, in these extraordinary times, we face at least four years of the yet unknown and in Europe the real threat of a segregated union.

Many of my patients in minority groups in the US have been especially affected by the election of what they see as a racist, sexist new President. Particularly amongst the LGBT community, there was a sense of foreboding about what was to come. Some reported that they had been subjected to verbal abuse the day after the election and feared that bigotry would gain an upper hand. Once the shock dies down, things might settle but one cannot doubt that people have real fear about what is to come.

If you look at such events on a global scale, you could easily become overwhelmed by the tidal wave of information. The media on both sides have their own agenda (and candidate) to push and this is not helped by celebrities attempting to move their fan base to fall in line with their own ideals. It seems to come from everywhere, it would be very easy to fall into the trap of ruminating about such events to the extent that reality is somewhat lost. Many have been doing this as they try to make sense of events taking place.

Interesting as it is to speculate about and discuss world events, I recommend my patients to return to a tried and tested method devised by Stephen Covey, best selling author of the “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. He depicts our concerns in the sense of two circles, one large, our circle of concern and one smaller, our circle of influence. He states quite rightly that we spend a lot of our mental energy in the larger circle, worrying about global events that we can do little or nothing about, such things as political events, global financial systems, the future and so on. This leaves less room for the more functional circle that we can influence which contains our thoughts, feelings, behaviour, and view of the world. This circle would also contain any functional action we might take in order to ease our fears.  If we spend more time here realistically working on these concepts, this circle will grow.

So what does this mean in real terms and what can be done on an individual level? Apart from controlling our thoughts, we can also take action if we feel strongly enough. In the same way that using energy saving devices can help environmental issues in a small way, so things can be done on a local and community level to support those who are disadvantaged. It does not take a revolution or a lot of effort for this to work. The key is to decide what can be done, what is feasible and making a choice to do it. Returning to the LGBT community, my clients decided what was functional at that moment and what was best for them was to support the community and give a voice to anyone who wanted to be heard. This was in addition to spreading information concerning keeping safe.

To summarise, what this means is keeping thoughts and action on a very local, individual level and working on these in a realistic manner. This is not to say that global issues are not important or that they should be avoided but more productive work can be done by concentrating on things that we really have control over. That also means working out which of our fears are realistic and can be dealt with and which are unrealistic and can be discarded.

Dr. Nicholas Jenner is a counseling psychologist in private practice working with individuals, couples, groups and companies with a speciality in CBT techniques. Apart from seeing clients face-to-face, Dr. Jenner also runs a thriving online therapy business bringing help to those who find taking therapy online as convenient and tailored for their needs. More Details HERE

New Podcast! E08: Can An Affair Make Or Break A Relationship (Book Reading & Discussion)

Based on the second part of his recently published ebook “Our Quest For Happily Ever After & Why It Sometimes Does Not work”, Dr. Jenner discusses the impact of an affair on a relationship and what you can do if you find yourself in this situation.

Does an affair really need to lead to a break-up? Or can it be used as a springboard for a new beginning?

“Our Quest For Happily Ever After.. And Why It Sometimes Does Not Work” is Available Now: at 9.99 USD.

AMAZON UK
AMAZON USA
AMAZON CANADA
AMAZON GERMANY
AMAZON AUSTRALIA
AMAZON ITALY

Read more from Dr. Jenner’s blog: FREE FROM CODEPENDENCY

Dr. Nicholas Jenner is a counseling psychologist in private practice working with individuals, couples, groups and companies with a speciality in CBT techniques. Apart from seeing clients face-to-face, Dr. Jenner also runs a thriving online therapy business bringing help to those who find taking therapy online as convenient and tailored for their needs. More Details HERE

New Podcast: Understanding Your Relationship (Book Reading And Discussion)

Do you understand your relationship or your partner? Do you know about your attachment style & how this affects your interaction with other people?

Today, we answer the crucial questions: Why it is important for every couple to understand their relationship, to understand the person you are today and the person you are committing yourself to. And how that can help to build a basis for a successful and healthy relationship.

“Our Quest For Happily Ever After.. And Why It Sometimes Does Not Work” is Available Now: at 9.99 USD:

AMAZON UK
AMAZON USA
AMAZON CANADA
AMAZON GERMANY
AMAZON AUSTRALIA
AMAZON ITALY

Read more from Dr. Jenner’s blog about Codependency.

Dr. Nicholas Jenner is a counseling psychologist in private practice working with individuals, couples, groups and companies with a speciality in CBT techniques. Apart from seeing clients face-to-face, Dr. Jenner also runs a thriving online therapy business bringing help to those who find taking therapy online as convenient and tailored for their needs. More Details HERE

Codependent Diary Week 3: Victim Mentality

Free From Codependency

This week we meet R. An elderly woman who has been married for 40 years to an emotionally distant husband in a very dysfunctional relationship. The physical side of their relationship is non-existent and things at home are complicated by the fact that their 35-year-old son still lives at home. Her husband tries to spend as little time as possible with her and R’s feelings about the situation move in cycles. Here is her story.

I do everything for these two. I cook, I clean, I look after them 24 hours a day. I even get my son up, make his bed and make breakfast for him while he is showering. This is my job and my life. I know no other way. I love it, yet I hate it because I get nothing back from them at all apart from more demands and criticism when they don’t get what they…

View original post 386 more words

Those Who Say Can’t Usually Mean Won’t

its-never-about-the-trash-common-relationship-problems_part-1_dr-jeff-kaneHow many times have you heard someone say “I can’t change”? If you are like me, you have heard it many times. In most cases, what is really being said is “I won’t change”… I am happy with how I am and I see no reason to change. When you are in a relationship with such a person, you have a clear dilemma… do you accept this or not?

Let’s qualify the word “change”, we are not changing about changing a personality to fit in with someone else…. that is not sustainable. We are talking about rigid thinking concerned with communication, conflict-management and attitudes that might alienate a partner, such as silent-treatment and stonewalling. There are, of course, cases where such changes in thinking would be virtually impossible. There are people who are so convinced that their views and ways are so correct, that they do not the need to even discuss them, let alone look at even changing them. Under these circumstances, one must wonder if a relationship would ever conceivably work with an individual like this. That said, many choose to stay in relationships like this for reasons of their own.

The key word here is certainly choice. You cannot really complain if you have chosen to stay in such a relationship and accepted fully the notion that your partner “cannot change” or you stay because you are hoping that over time, change will happen.  That person is also making a clear choice even it seems out of their control. The “cannot change” motto is in most cases a schema based on fear of change… A clear defense mechanism that keeps them in a secure place. A place that no-one is really allowed to enter. It is a method that works for them. As an individual, the issues arise when another person comes into their life. This is when this rigid view starts to affect all aspects of interaction. How could it be any different?

Back to the dilemma. How much change in attitude can we reasonably expect in our partner before we say “This is not for me”. The key is clear communication. As stated, we cannot complain if we accept everything but we can make our needs and wants clear to our partner and expect a functional response. Clear, honest, respectful dialogue about what is not working (and about what is) sets a standard for the relationship. It is then up to both partners to decide whether they can meet those standards. If not, then the consequences are clear, or should be.

Many couples I deal with in therapy face this issue. Should I stay or leave? The fact that they are in therapy means they have recognised the issues but cannot (or will not) find a solution. Breaking up is never easy but sometimes there is no other way. This decision is in fact based on whether your needs are being met and you are able to do the same for your partner. If not, and the couple cannot (or will not) work it out, then separation is most likely the best outcome.

Dr. Nicholas Jenner is a counseling psychologist in private practice working with individuals, couples, groups and companies with a speciality in CBT techniques. Apart from seeing clients face-to-face, Dr. Jenner also runs a thriving online therapy business bringing help to those who find taking therapy online as convenient and tailored for their needs. More Details HERE

 

 

%d bloggers like this: