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Crisis Points of Relationships and Marriage

Marriage is most open to crisis when it is rigid and inflexible. Whatever won't bend will break, or push others away. Rigid people, who expect specific roles in relationships only create more crises at different relationship developmental points. When the relationship demands that there be isolation from outside supports, such as family, the focus becomes one of control and fear. Problems can also develop when the relationship is seen as needing to be on the high of a romance. Romance seduces people into expecting too much. Romance after courtship can...
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Is My Past Trauma Causing Issues in My Marriage?

We have a tendency to believe that our marriage will “always be there” and never be in crisis. We also realize that all relationships have their ups and downs, and this helps prepare us for difficulties down the road. However, when a significant crisis or traumatic event happens, the stability of any relationship can be put in jeopardy. Understanding a few key concepts can help us to “manage” these difficult times in healthier ways. Is it a Crisis? A crisis can happen when we experience a loss...
Stress Knots

What’s Wrong With Me? The Logic of Panic Attacks

Panic attacks can be overwhelming and exhausting, leaving us feeling out of control. You can feel your own heart beating in your chest, you start feeling numbness or tingling in your arms or legs, and you suddenly find yourself afraid of going crazy, dying or possibly losing control. This cycle can grow and become a vicious circle from which it seems as if there's no escape. What Causes Panic Attacks? So, what causes panic attacks? As hard is it is to hear, you cause it. Nothing outside of you causes it. This is the unfortunate reality of what actually ends up happening. To combat...
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Fix Your Self-Compassion and Self-Esteem

Building self-esteem and increasing self-compassion require a few specific techniques that need to be adapted to your life. Discover Your Purpose Sometimes, we notice that we are lacking something in our lives. Our goals seems elusive and we feel stuck without.  Like all people, we want to live a life with meaning and purpose. How do we find the answers we are looking for? Interestingly enough, we can discover clues as to what our purpose might by examining our problems. As hard as it is to believe, difficulties actually serve an important purpose in our lives. By looking at the absence of...
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How to Solve Problems Together

Healthy families, and couples, know that everyone, and every family, has problems. We want to live in a society that tries to force us to believe that only bad people have problems. The reality is that we all have issues that we have to deal with and solve if we are to be functional and healthy. When one member of the family has a problem, it is critical to know that it is something that affects the entire family. If you really want to solve things it is going to take a joint effort by everyone concerned to resolve things. Withdrawal is...
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Caretaker Burnout, Compassion, and Fatigue

When a member of the family experiences problems, an illness, injury or disability, we tend to forget the impact that any of these problems have on other members of the family. Even short-term crises and problems can drain us as we try to be strong in our efforts to be caring and helpful. Taking care of others with chronic problems requires a lot of energy, love and concern. We all want to do it when problems develop out of love and concern. What we tend to forget is that over time, caretaker burnout can develop leaving the caretaker with a...
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How Can Biofeedback Help Manage my Stress?

Biofeedback is a fancy way of saying that we look for signals from our biology in order to tell us how relaxed or stressed we are. If we were as observant as Sherlock Holmes, we could possibly perform biofeedback by merely observing one's body language and responses. However, most of use aren't that keenly aware of the subtle differences in body language. To compensate for this, we use machines which can measure signals (heart rate, electrical signals, etc.) of our body and turn the results into visual feedback by numbers, sounds, gauges and other information. By learning how to control our physical...
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Learning to Endure Conflict, Tension & Emptiness

One of the most important things that human beings can learn to do in life is to endure the hard times. This is not always easy because we are always hoping that things will be comfortable, easy or enjoyable. Other times, we just want to have something to keep us busy.  The reality of life is that these things do not always happen. As a result, it is important to think about a few issues as part of learning how to survive. Comfort Seekers We are all comfort seekers in life. We enter life as babies and hope that we can become...
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Do Not Stop Until You Have the Answer

The philosophy of Star Trek can be far reaching and profound. In many ways, through the inspiration of a story we can often learn more about ourselves and the world around us. Oddly enough, it can also introduce us to concepts that help us battle our own codependency. "Perhaps the key to understanding your experience is to stop looking into other sources for a meaning. When we look at Michaelangelo's David or Symnay's Tomb and we don't ask what does this mean to other people. The real question is, what...
Football Players

How Depression and Fear Affect Men

The psychology of men is hard for both men and women to understand. Some women think that men are chronically intense, angry and controlling. Men insist that they have no idea why women think that they are always intense angry or controlling in interactions. Men feel misunderstood in their efforts to be helpful. Why Men Are Misunderstood Men rarely discuss feelings with other men, let alone women. Men are taught that competition, work, sports, winning are all they should talk about. Men are told early in their lives that "boys don’t cry, and boys are tough." Men are expected to "just know" and as...