Many of us have had the experience of saying something we thought was innocuous, only to have a friend or partner interpret it as a veiled accusation or an attempted guilt-trip. Or the reverse — an innocent comment by the other is perceived as a slight or criticism. Each party experiences and interprets the same situation in very different ways.
The intense emotional impact of divorce often leaves parents filled with anger, hurt and the fear of losing connection with one’s children; in the battle that ensues, the children can become the pawns, suffering trauma that is greater than the breakup itself.
Tragically, several of my clients have had to confront the suicide of a loved one, or find themselves in the position of wanting to support someone who has experienced such a loss. The following list of resources focuses on supporting adolescents and young adults, but is relevant for a wider population as well.
To a large degree (although not across the board or in every circumstance), we have much greater power to control how people treat us than we are aware. Often from fear of appearing selfish, unkind, or losing connection, we allow ourselves to be disrespected, and in so doing, start to lose pieces of ourselves.
The book’s title — We Are Called to Rise — is drawn from the quote by poet Emily Dickenson: “We never know how high we are, Till we are called to rise; And then, if we are true to plan, Our statures touch the skies.” The following two eloquent quotes capture the book’s essence.
Many of us have been challenged by toxic people in our lives who spew negativity, leaving us feeling somehow demeaned and deflated. From the Latin word toxikon, meaning “arrow poison,” the term toxic means literally: to fill or poison in a targeted way, says Theo Veldsman, head of Industrial Psychology and People Management at the University of Johannesburg.
Unlike other treatment professionals, Canadian physician and social critic Gabor Maté disagrees with the current biomedical, genetic model of addiction. He insists that addictive patterns of behavior are rooted in the alienation and emotional suffering that are inseparable from Western capitalist cultures, which (by favoring striving and acquiring over noticing and caring for one another), end up shortchanging — and too often traumatizing — children and families.
The Five Stages of Change model of behavior, originally developed in the 1970s to better understand how smokers might give up their addiction to cigarettes (Prochaska & DiClemente*), is based on the assumption that behavioral change does not take place in one step or at one time, but is rather a process involving progress through a series of distinct, predictable stages.