Waiting Room Therapy III


waiting-room-DS9_0928-bw

“You’re back. It’s been a while.”

“I was scheduled to come with my husband. I told him I cancelled and came alone.”

“You got married!”

“It’s not that exciting, you know.”

“Well, I was wondering when it would happen for you.”

“Gee, thanks!”

“Do I smell trouble already?”

“No. Everything is wonderful. Why, can’t I come to therapy alone? I give him everything else.”

“Hmm. Yeah. OK.”

“Fine. I am just…grieving.”

“You are always griving.”

“It’s not my fault I get attached to people. It’s just my nature.”

“You have choice. There would be no sense of loss without a sense of ownership.”

“Sounds like you know the feeling.”

“If I can quit drinking, you can quit anyone.”

“I know. I have done it a million times.”

 

 


Attachment Styles in Adult Relationships


PJ-BF449_BONDSJ_DV_20120220170504

Reading about attachment styles and therapy today and pondering on a few things. There are 4 main types of attachment styles: secure, anxious/preoccupied/resistant, avoidant and disorganized. 

I find the Strange Situation experiment fascinating. Especially if you apply it to your adult relationships. It goes like this:

The infant is left alone with a stranger while the primary caregiver/attachment figure leaves the room. The the attachment figure returns. The infant’s behavior is observed. Three main patterns emerged from this experiment:

The securely attached infant becomes distressed by being with a stranger and being left, however when the parent returns they are able to soothe, re-establish the bond and move on exploring their environment without much fuss.

The anxious/resistant infant vacillates between being needy and angry towards the attachment figure for leaving. They have a hard time being soothed and moving on to exploring the environment independently.

The avoidant infant seems unfazed by the separation and appears equally indifferent to the parent returning. However, the emotional distress he/she is under is equal to the anxious infant except they don’t show it.

Got it?

Good.

Now think about your current or last relationship.

What is your attachment style to them?

Is it different with different people?

Why?

And most importantly, how do you reestablish the attachment bond after a separation, may that be minor or seemingly insignificant? How does it effect your communication?

Research shows that people who are securely attached benefit significantly more from therapy which is interesting since, in therapy, we see more people with insecure attachment styles. That’s WHY they are in therapy to begin with!

As I keep thinking about this topic, I revisit my own childhood and am painfully awakened to the realization of a significant break in attachment to my main parental figures which explains a lot of my issues I have encountered in relationships as an adult. We often think of abuse or trauma during significant attachment periods (0-3 years) in extreme terms (like sexual, physical abuse), however as it turns out, even being sent away to your grandparents for a while may have a significant effect.

The good news is, your attachment style changes over time through secure/safe attachment figures into adulthood.

The question is…

What kind of attachment(s) are YOU choosing for yourself? 


Dandelion fights


Monkeytraps

dandelions 3

They fight on my sofa.

The themes are familiar.  He never listens to me.  She won’t stop trying to control me.

Thirty minutes, this goes on.

Finally she breaks down and sobs, and he stares angrily off into space.

 “Do you guys have a lawn?” I ask.

Betty wipes her eyes, looks at me.  Bob, suspecting  I’m crazy, frowns.

“With dandelions on it?” I continue.  “What happens when you mow dandelions?  Right.  They come up again tomorrow.  Because to remove a dandelion you have to dig up the root.

“This is a dandelion fight,” I say.  “You keep having it for the same reason you can’t mow dandelions away.  You’re not getting to the root.”

“What root?” Bob asks.

“Two roots, actually.  One’s emotional: how you feel right now.  You guys never talk about that.  Betty, what are you feeling right now?”

She sniffles.  “Like he doesn’t love me at all.”

View original post 135 more words


Addictive Drugs That Are Actually Pesticides


Homeless Jesus - Tales of a Tenderhearted Kid

Image

From coca leaves to coffee beans, people use plants to produce many of the most popular drugs in the world. But whether it’s your $5 morning latté or a line of coke, you might be surprised to learn why plants bother to build the molecules behind that buzz in the first place. Strangely enough, many plant-based drugs—such as caffeine, cocaine, nicotine and morphine—are all made for the exact same reason: to fight off insects. Why exactly do humans love ingesting insect repellent so much?

CAFFEINE, COCAINE, NICOTINE AND MORPHINE: PLEASURABLE PESTICIDES

According to Dr. David Kennedy, who studies plants and the human brain at Northumbria University, to understand what it is about nature’s pesticides that gets us so enjoyably high, it first helps to look at the world from a plant’s perspective. “Unlike animals, plants are rooted in where they live, and can’t really get away from any threats they might…

View original post 536 more words


A Tenderhearted Kid Goes Vegan…and a lesson on the architecture of the mind.


Homeless Jesus - Tales of a Tenderhearted Kid

In summer of 2010 I read Diet for A New America by John Robbins. John is Baskin-Robbins c0-founder Irv Robbins only son. He grew up eating a lot of ice cream, sometimes with every meal. As he got older, he started to notice his father’s and uncle’s health deteriorate and wondered if that had anything to do with their dairy heavy diet and largley sedentary lifestyle. The more he learned about food and nutrition the more his suspicions were confirmed. He could have been the legitimate heir of an ice cream empire, rich and successful. Instead, he abandoned all that to become vegan, move to Canada with his wife and start a garden. Needless to say, Robbins advocates a plant-based diet for ethical, environmental and health reasons. He is a bestselling author, social activist, and humanitarian. He is the recipient of the Rachel Carson Award, the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Award…

View original post 858 more words


This Is Not Goodbye.


goodbye

I must admit. I have been slacking. Big time!

I can’t believe I haven’t written a single post since Nomber. But then again. I can.

I am sorry.

Honestly, I love this blog and I hate this blog. I love talking about life, happiness, relationships, addiction. I love writting about things I know a lot about. But I can’t help but feel that this blog is by far the most self-indulgent thing I have ever done. I truely hope that you have gotten something from it because I am about to shift focus.

No, I won’t stop writting. But I will stop posting on a Couch and a Chair. I will give therapy and the pursuit of happieness a break to pursue something more important and closer to my heart.

Social Justice.

You can check out my new blog and follow me there if you like.

I will return to A Couch and A chair one day. I’m sure of it. In the mean time I’m following my heart. As they say in running “When your legs get tired, run with your heart.”

 

Thank you for reading.

See you soon!

~E


Tuesday Inspiration.


A couple of weeks ago my boyfriend and I decided we were going to climb Mt. Mitchell. It sounded like a great idea but we both had no clue what we were about to get ourselves into. We started at the Black Mountain campground, about an hour outside of Asheville. It took us 30 minutes to find the trail head as the campground was closed and all the signs covered (do NOT do this off season). We started out in great spirits, high energy, prepared and ready to tackle 5.7 miles up 3600 feet elevation climb to the summit and back.

We started out strong, fast, excited. We stopped to take pictures. We greeted a group of hikers. The sun was shining. What a beautiful day for a hike!

An hour into it I started to wonder who’s idea this was. Oh wait, it was mine.

The second hour, I started pondering on why someone would want to do this. I mean, I’m active, I run, I hike, I’m in good health. Why not? But really, this was HARD. By the third hour of unrelenting uphill climb through the ever changing vegetation and climate, in the middle of thick, lonely, never ending woods, up there in the “no going back” land, on a hike that gave the word “commitment” a whole new meaning, up there I had my answer.

I was doing it to challenge myself. To see what I could do. To show myself what I was made of. So next time I had doubts about accomplishing anything I could say to myself “Dude, you did Mt. Mitchell!” It’s funny, the life lessons you learn on a hike like that.

I came out inspired and I finally have a moment to share my inspiration with you. Here’s what I learned:

1. Commitment is everything – Once you fully commit to doing something, your EGO will not let you quit. Hey, the EGO is good for something! Also, announcing your intentions and plans to the world and significant others will help you not give up. Everything you want to accomplish is like climbing a mountain – you have to commit to it.

2. Be prepared – Physically, mentally, emotionally. I don’t think I would have made it 6 hours and 9 minutes, 11.4 miles up and down a mountain if I didn’t have the following: an awesome companion, love for nature, information about the trail, hiking pole for support, layers of warm, breathable, non-cotton clothing, humor, a spirit of adventure, a hat, gloves, hiking socks, water, snacks…Details matter. Don’t underestimate preparation, it can make the difference between succeeding and failing.

3. No giving up – Tell yourself there is no going back. Someone once said that it is right after the moment you want to give up that the miracle happens. Remind yourself why you set your goal, what is your motivation, what drives you. Inspire yourself every moment of the journey and don’t let negativity creep in. On the trail, I was hot, I was freezing, I was sweaty, tired, irritated with slippery leaves, wobbly rocks and pesky roots, scared by sudden snow falling and loud wind blowing. I didn’t let that get me down. I kept on going.

4. Visualize – Imagine what it will be like when you reach your goal. When you get to the summit (so to speak). What will it feel like? My experience was somewhere between wanting to throw up and crying. But I also felt exhilarated, accomplished, proud, humbled, changed. Visualize what it will look like once you achieve your goal, how it will change you and what it will mean for future endeavors.

5. Work hard – Accomplishing anything is hard work. Prepare yourself for it. Be patient. Know that hard work will pay off in the end. It will be unpleasant and uncomfortable at times. You can do it though. You are ready. You are committed. You can do the work. Stop with the laziness, excuses, procrastination. Just do it. Sacrifice short-term pleasures for long-term achievements.

You are ready.

me