Category: General

Bouncing Back From Trauma

Adversity impacts the world around us. Few of us will make it through life unscathed. Personal tragedies, traumatic injuries, loss of health, chaotic relationships and financial reversals are just a few of the near normal events that can shake us to our foundation. However, we also hear of individuals who seem to take life’s difficulties in stride, and “bounce back” unexpectedly well with attitudes of determination and perseverance. Often these people become heroes of sorts in our families or culture

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Fostering Resilience: Lessons from an African perspective

Once you embark upon it, you must be prepared for a life-changing impact. Perspectives are skewed. $100 running shoes, refrigerators and paved roads take on new status as luxury items, not necessities. You will come back to North America wondering what we’re all whining about here. Yes, a trip to Africa does just what we’re afraid of. It makes us uncomfortable with our own expectations for a life of comfort and ease. Experiencing life in Zambia made me increasingly aware

Posted in General, Personal Growth

Dealing Positively with Life’s Negatives

Jay and his sister Maggie grew up in a small northern town, neglected by both parents. Their father, usually absent, was physically abusive when he was home, and their mother, frequently absent also, was intoxicated when present with her children. Jay ended up raising his younger sister, providing the cooking, cleaning and other domestic skills necessary to keep their small trailer habitable. He was skinny and small for his age, and was often bullied and physically abused by schoolmates. Jay

Posted in Depression, General, Personal Growth

Shame on Me

Many of us have grown to adulthood with child-based shame thoughts. Our self confidence can be readily undermined when these “little boy” or “little girl” thoughts creep in. These thoughts seem to have a life of their own and frequently are negative or critical. Matthew McKay and Patrick Fanning in, Self Esteem, mention that these negative thoughts originate from an internal “pathological critic”. They go on to discuss a number of categories of “cognitive distortions” or exaggerated thoughts. These “tools

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Forgiveness Is Healthy

The International Forgiveness Institute has been researching a topic usually associated with religion. Most of us accept the reality that forgiving another person who has wronged us will bring spiritual peace. But can it also bring psychological health? Gathering information from traditional, philosophical, psychological and developmental sources, as well as personal anecdotes and surveys, the IFI has come up with a functional definition of forgiveness. Forgiveness is moral, as it reacts in a positive way to a moral wrongdoing. Forgiveness

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What Do I Think of My Life Overall?

Erik Erikson, a psychoanalyst of the middle twentieth century, developed a scheme of human life in which he saw people at each new age-stage of life confronting new and different sorts of life challenges. It is interesting to examine his views about the last stage of life, when a person has retired and is addressing the question, “Has my life been happy and worthwhile?” To ask myself how I feel about my life overall is a big question. How does

Posted in General, Personal Growth

Speak Up Ladies!!

Many women are losing their marriages and they don’t know it. Many women have interpersonal needs, which are not being met in their marital relationship. They probably have friends with whom they share the emotional side of their lives. This helps; however there are needs which can be best met by the marriage partner. When it doesn’t happen the relationship can go “flat”. All too often a woman will not speak openly about her needs. She suffers privately and eventually

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The Listening Two Step

Listening is like dancing. If you get the steps in the right order there is flow and harmony. If you skip a step or reverse them, someone trips up, often resulting in tension and upset. Within marriage, it can be difficult to listen well. It is easy to “react” to what one hears instead of simply listening. Perhaps this is a skill problem, similar to that of partners on the dance floor who are all left feet. It might be

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Wake up Guys!!

Many guys are losing their marriages and they don’t know it. Gone is the day when a guy can work and “bring home the bacon” and think that he is fulfilling his role as a husband and father. That may have been what Dad did but it’s not enough anymore (and probably wasn’t then either). I’ve seen the pattern many times. A couple is busy with work and children and do not have much time for each other. The relationship

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To Love is to Prune

Psychologist: “You seem to keep a lot of your concerns to yourself. How about opening up more with your spouse?” Client: “I don’t like to make waves.” P: “You mean you don’t want a hassle?” C: “I don’t like to hurt anyone’s feelings.” P: “Is there also a chance your wife might get angry?” C: “Yes.” P: “And you are uncomfortable with her anger?” C: “Yes, I guess it scares me.” P: “So you don’t want to risk a confrontation

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