ON bEING A tHERAPIST...
by Janelle Bull
1. I listen to many parents talk about their young, ADULT-Children - all of whom have full time jobs - talk about how they "wake them up for work, make their lunch, pay for their cell phones..." This is co-dependency wrapped in enmeshment. Not healthy for either party.
2. Time and time again, I hear clients telling their children about "moms" affair (or dads). Don't. This is too much for children to carry around.
3. Don't go to any therapist until you can be vulnerable and honest. It's a waste of your money. We have an ethical obligation to make sure you progress. So, don't be upset if we guide you to a different therapist that might help you get "un-stuck."
4. I'm seeing MANY parents push their kids for "perfection." Parents... please deal with your own insecurities before you push them into your kids. Perfection is your problem - not theirs.
Watch the documentary called, " Trophy Kids" on Netflix. It explains it well.
5. If you have been cheated on by your spouse and he / she says it's over - it's your job to listen to your gut as to the truth of that statement.
6. Since high conflict coupes are my specialty, here are some of my insights:
- Men want to "win the trial" at all costs.
- Men and women want to "prove" how wrong their partner is - coming in - week over week with stories proving their innocence.
- Many fight to be "right" not "happy."
- Many high conflict couples (about 70% in my practice) have had very little or no intimacy for years at a time.
- Many stay together due to religious beliefs or they are afraid to leave due to financial reasons.
- Many, if not both, suffer from some sort of personality disorder.
- Many were raised in chaotic households.
- Many lie about money to each other.
- They define their relationship by jealousy and insecurities.
7. I experience many clients who suffer from the fear of success. They would rather fail (as they have mastered the feelings of failure) than achieve. They fear having to "keep achieving" and see it as a harder road to take.
8. Everyone loops back. The heart softens. People want to explain themselves or clear the air. I see it over and over.
9. When you really don't care what others think of you, you have reached a level of freedom no one can take away.
10. Put yourself out in the world in a way that lifts others - not breaks them down. Responding to others to "prove a point" or "to show who is the smartest" is - well - ugly.
11. Manage your home, your relationships, your job in a compassionate way.
12. I can tell if a person is miserable ... if they are:
- Short tempered
- Constantly reinventing themselves
- The opposite of mindful
- They talk down to others
- Have a super-ego (not just an ego).
13. When clients tell me that they can't trust their partner for whatever reason, I redirect their thinking. It is themselves that they are not sure they can trust. "Will I see the signs this time if my spouse cheats?" "Will I trust my gut this time?"
14. For every parent that sends their child for therapy, it should be required that the parents attend therapy as well!
15. Be a spectator to your own thoughts. This is especially important when you are emotional. What is triggering you? What is triggering the other person?