Discover our App

Centerpointe Research

responsibility

Making Bad Connections Between Two Separate Things When They Don’t Make Sense

rp_363561405_150_150.jpgIt is unfortunate that some people when bad things happen in order to explain unexplainable things they make connections that make themselves feel really guilty when they actually might not be so. Unfortunately, bad things happen over which we seemingly have no control.  This especially happens when someone dies unexpectedly.

From an early age people often makes inaccurate connections between when something bad like this happens and something that they have done unfortunately when they did not know that the unexpected would happen.

rp_228552603_150_150.jpgThis especially happens when someone is grieving and did not know before the person passed away that the person would die unexpectedly.  Perhaps there was a family celebration that was not so happy because someone’s feelings got hurt.  Being that we often have great expectations for such occasions, this often happens when things don’t meet our expectations and our feelings get hurt or we get mad about something.

Most people know that this will often blow over and be forgotten before the next big family celebration.  Then something bad happens and the person blames his or herself for it happening or for not having treated the person who dies unexpectedly right!

Theresa Caputo, The Long Island Medium

Theresa Caputo, The Long Island Medium

A person’s sudden passing is upsetting enough without adding the factor in that one of the persons doing the grieving feels that he or she had a part in it which they now regret.  The origin of this problem is often that the person who feels bad would rather they had something to do it rather than it happened for no reason or if by chance a person is not on good terms with the person who passes unexpected and now wishes that he or she had not been that way considering what happened later even though he or she didn’t know that would happen at that time.

It is important to forgive yourself like you should or would do for other people.It is, even more, important to do so if you realize that you had no intention to hurt the person that passed away as you thought this person would be around to make it up if necessary.  Don’t blame yourself for something over which you have no control!

 

Freedom Your Responsibility

Road Rage As An Example

Road Rage As An Example

With every freedom comes responsibilities.  What were or are your responsibilities when you get your driver’s license as a teenager? Who gets into accidents and gets traffic tickets if they don’t drive carefully?  You did and still do.

People make a big deal about not getting to exercise their basic rights anyway they want to.  Should they be able to kill innocent people because freedom of religion is their basic right and it is their religious belief that people who do not believe as they do should be killed?

What happened to freedom of speech?  It has gotten to the point that the American flag can be flagrantly desecrated, but sometimes not allowed to be displayed even on private property.  What about the recent disputes about what most people think is the Confederate flag.  Can I still display one on my property and I will if I want to.

Which one religious group has been attacked to the point that they don’t have freedom of expression anymore.  Christianity appears to be being phased out of the country while other religions such as Muslims and atheists are being allowed to promote themselves publicly and force their religious beliefs on others who do not believe as they do.  So what is the major religion or some version of it or non-religion that are apparently becoming the national beliefs of America?  And whose freedom of expression should not be limited by anybody even those whose beliefs do not agree with theirs?

What about some Jewish people who eat Kosher food.  Are other people forced to shop or work in their Kosher butcher shops or eat in their Kosher restaurants?  Do they eat or work in places that do not have Kosher food?  No; but some Muslims who do not believe in eating pork want to force butcher shops and restaurants serving pork to not serve pork so they can eat or work there.  These Jewish people obey their consciences and this limits where they can work or eat.  Why not the Muslims?

With rights come responsibilities and if you don’t become responsible for how you express your rights, then you still have to accept the consequences.  People can have weapons and use them to defend themselves within certain limits; does that allow people to use them anytime  or anyway they want.  NO!

Coming:  The PC Police And Who It Effects.

 

Continuing Growth Is Necessary For A Psychotherapist

loud-noisesNo, once chosen the profession of a psychotherapist or counselor requires continuing growth.  Sometimes in surprising ways.

Freudian psychotherapists have raised the subject of transference in the relationship between a therapist and a client.  Transference can go both ways.  Something about the client makes them see the therapist in a certain way.  Sometimes something about the therapist makes them see the client in a certain way.

Education in a profession such as psychotherapy can lead the practitioner to believe they must present themselves as  experts in the field and as not vulnerable to the types of things that bring ordinary clients into therapy.  This can lead to rationalization and denial on the therapists part.

Rationalization means that the therapst can create a good explanation as to why he or she is not vulnerable to the types of problems his or her patients have.  Denial can also result from the taking of this position and it can cause therapy to not move forward for the client.

Personal growth is one way possibly to help stop this from happening. Does the development of one’s self-concept and concept of life stop with attaining one’s maturity whether at 18, 21, or 35?  No, it does not.  Our perspective on life constantly changes with new experiences.

Honestly does a psychotherapist think that they can understand exactly how they learned to be who they think they are and stop growing.  Wouldn’t personal growth experiences for psychotherapists help with this?

Is there only one answer?  Hasn’t science found this out.  What things did scientists believe were true when your parents were children and what have you or your children learned in the present that scientists’ did not know or believe then?

Remember the old saying, “Do as I say!” not “Do as I do!”

Also the more defensive barbed wire a therapist puts between him or herself and what he or she is asking their patient to do, the more “phony” and indefensible they become as therapists.

New learning and new growth leads to enthusiasm to carry this over into the psychotherapist’s work.  Insights developed this way can help a therapist be more responsive in therapy.   I now hear and see more things than I used to see or hear in everyday interpersonal interaction.

For example I can still learn from a four year old that grandma is not always smiling and looking happy when she thinks she is especially when I am feeling that I am working at something and forgeting to enjoy doing it.

 

 

Neglected Gratitude

Theresa Caputo, The Long Island Medium

Theresa Caputo, The Long Island Medium Helping Someone

Think of all the people who have helped you. For a moment, don’t count the times that they didn’t. Be appreciative of what you did get even if you can’t rely on them now. It is unusual to look back and not find at least one person who has helped you. Even people who have did you great harm might have done something that benefited you once. It is also easier to notice the things that have gone wrong than to count your blessings.
So often we do not remember or note in any way things that people who treat you right have done and value more what someone who has neglected us has done. Be truly grateful. Why is a favor done by someone who usually rejects us mean more than one by someone who consistently supports you. “Ah, you say when this happens, “It doesn’t count.”
chinese-grandparents-sitting-grandchildren-26098101There was a mother who had a lot of children. Two of them took care of her and even at one point had her live with each of them. Who did she get excited about when they came to see her or when she had a chance to go see them, the ones who usually did nothing for her and usually weren’t around very much. Seems shallow, doesn’t it.
You may feel the same way about family. If they are not the ones doing something for you, then it doesn’t count. Yet hasn’t God sent other people into your life to help you at times maybe when your family wasn’t there. People aren’t all or always bad.
rp_7297340494_bbd50a8706_m.jpgNo one’s family life is perfect and I spent some time when I was younger talking about what my parents had done wrong in raising me and did not talk about the good things (Oh, yes, there were some). For example, my parents put me through undergraduate school at a private four year college. Also holidays and family get togethers were important to them.
I don’t want to underestimate anything that went wrong in your upbringing; but many times there are more than one thing to consider if you are looking at how you were raised. Yes, the bad things might have outweighed the good ones; but the good ones still existed.

The Three R And R’s

Rest and Relaxation, Rules and Regulations, Rights and Responsibilities.  Which one don’t we need?  How about a vote?

My vote is for Rules and Regulations.  They are something we can do without if we have established Rights and Responsibilities.  Values and Morals are internal standards established by the soul to live in this world with other souls.  Values and Morals generate what a soul considers to be individual rights and to be the accompanying responsibilities that go with having these rights.self discipline

Rules and Regulations are established only for people who do not have values and morals or who do not have the same values and morals and fight over them.  A strong commitment to a set of rights (the amendments of the constitution) and responsibilities makes having rules and regulations almost unnecessary.

Rest and relaxation enable us to continue doing these things that we consider the right things to do.  God established Sundays as a day of rest.  A period of time when relaxation, not responsibilities, takes the fore front.  We must care for ourselves like we care for others.  For example, what good is an exhausted caregiver to the one who needs care?  We also need a time to go over our values in life and to determine if we are still adhering to them.

We also used to be “on duty” when we were at work, not wasting time looking at social media (which we can do after work) or texting and at 5 P.M. we were off duty and free to see our friends and family and catch up on things at home as well as clean up and get a refreshing night’s sleep.  Parents are not supposed to be “mystery people” who pick up and drop off children somewhere and bring them home only to sleep.  Worse yet no one needs an exhausting commute to and from work or shift work that upsets a person’s internal clock.

Does Therapy Come Too Late?

rp_228552603_150_150.jpgWhy didn’t we learn to help ourselves in school?  Where were the role models of good adjustment at home?  Parents are often as clueless as their children and are afraid to admit it when they didn’t also get the instruction at home or school.

There are self-help books for adults.  Where are they for children?  Do parents feel that it is to their advantage to have children who don’t know anymore than than they did when they were children?

rp_300px-TV_highquality.jpgDo children learn how to deal with life from video games, violent programs, or from the drama they see and/or experience at home.  Values, ideals, and spirituality are close to being forbidden in schools or anywhere in the public eye.  Wholesome shows have been replaced by shows with lots of drama providing bad examples of how to behave in relationships or deal with problems.

Practicing therapy can be a frustrating business especially when it comes after a person’s beliefs and problem-solving behaviors have become crystallized and so much a part of a person’s identity that they feel threatened when challenged to change.  It has a lot to do with how a person’s self-esteem is developed and the practices that they are taught to maintain it.  Lying, deceiving, and avoiding responsibility are often used by someone when a person is afraid of being criticized and ultimately rejected.rp_Anxiety.gif

What results is a fear of change and a learned helplessness instead of developing helpful problem-solving skills and a desire to change for the sake of doing better.  We are evolving individuals and making mistakes and changing what we do or think is part of the process.  I once wrote a story or a poem about “Old King Never Ever Wrong”.

Stories are to teach and not just to amuse or vent rage.  Before most people could read or write stories were a way of teaching things and were passed down orally from generation to generation in order to do this.  What about the parables Jesus told in the Bible?  What about the Bible stories that are still taught in Sunday school or church?

Acknowledge Your Feelings But Don’t Let Them Control You

amygdalaFeelings can be overwhelming and are necessary at times.  Grief for example, must be expressed sooner or later.  It is very damaging especially to relationships if it can not be shared.  When I am very hungry, I get so mad that I could spit nails.  When I am with family or friends I warn them when I get that way.  I am literally not able to fulfill others’ requests until I get something to eat.  You probably could name more.

Some feelings people feel are so strong that they literally take over and people thus say that they “involuntarily” do things that they may or may not regret later.  They are out of control but it is not their fault.  For example, someone says, “He made me so mad…” and this justifies whatever that person does next.

Are we responsible for our feelings?  Well, “Yes,” and “No”.   We are frequently conditioned at a very young age to respond with negative feelings to certain things.   We may be even given rational explanations for feeling that way that we accept as something that motivates us to do certain certain things and often enables us to not accept responsibility for what we do then.

How do we resist all that conditioning?  It can effectively put limits on our life if we let it.   It is often difficult to undo.   How often have we heard someone say, “I can’t help it,” in relation to performing these type of learned behaviors.  Is it a Get Out of Jail Free” card like in Monopoly?

What have you learned to feel and to respond to in certain situations.  Is it you that is behind it or did you catch it from somewhere or someone else?

 

Sometimes It Is Hard To Be Me

rp_Truman_pass-the-buck.jpgSometimes it’s hard to be me.”  Do you ever think that especially after a hard day when you feel like you really got nothing done and several things have gone wrong?  I tried that out on some people the other day and they had to agree with it.

If you challenge yourself frequently to meet up to certain standards and set yourself multiple goals as well as take on too many responsibilities, you might feel that way.

rp_Anxiety.gifFrequently I suggested to people I saw for counseling that they set more manageable goals on which they could be better able to focus.  Simply the plan is to either to set a time limit on how long you are going to work on a given problem and then go on to something else or to determine what part of the problem you are going to work on and finish before going on to something else.

Don’t set yourself up for failure by not changing your goals when and if you realize that it is not possible to meet them on a certain day.  Everybody needs to experience a certain level of accomplishment and don’t be too hard on yourself if you realize that you haven’t set reasonable goals.

"Let me see here,"

“Let me see here,”

For example when I studied for my licensing exam as a psychologist, I set my self a certain number of pages to cover a day during the week and if I reached that goal, I did not have to cover any pages on the weekend to make up for what I didn’t get done during the week.  Also I was just starting to juggle my new role as farm wife with that of fledgling psychologist.

Also don’t forget to say to yourself (when this is going on), “Take good care of yourself.  You belong to me.”  You get that?  This is “you” saying it to “you”!rp_300px-Sweet-dreams-dreaming-of-snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarves.jpg

 

 

Risky Business!

Do you do things everyday that could cost you your life or someone else’s life?  Do you do things daily that would or could cost you a lot of money?  Why do we take these risks?  Are we more moved by the possibility of instant satisfaction instead of safely curbing these impulses to avoid  future penalties?

Is it our inner voice that encourages or discourages this?  Do we listen to others and not our own common sense? Do we have a set of defense mechanisms such as denial and rationalization in place to prevent our listening to warnings in our own head, in the media, or from our family?denialquote,Egypt

How few of the life promoting resolutions that get made at New Years ever come to fruition such as driving safely or living a more healthy lifestyle?

Also do we put our own lives first or do we satisfy everybody else’s needs and neglect our own which then justifies our breeches of safety when we do have a chance to do  something impulsive and costly when we feel that we have a chance to satisfy our own needs versus those of others.

 

 

You Don’t See It (All) Coming

Oh, Oh, I have been thinking again and have just got to get it out where you and I can see it and read it.  So here again is another rough draft.

You don’t see it all.  Don’t you think that you could trip over something if you didn’t see it and you might get badly hurt.  Most of us do this all the time psychologically.  If it hurts to think of something, it is easier sometimes to forget it.  If we have a fault, it feels better to focus on the faults of others rather than our own.  Where do you think gossip c0mes from?

Gossiping

Gossiping

If we have a significant failure in our life or think we lack ability in an important area, we might overcompensate by focusing all our time and energy in another area where we think we are might be able to do better or there is less competition.  This often happens in families where an older sibling is a star athlete or straight A scholar.  Have you ever heard about a young girl who is attractive and limber and says she won’t try out for cheerleader because her old sister or cousin was one and she couldn’t compete.    Are we just fooling ourselves  (“Pride goeth before a fall”) or are we making it to a bad situation.

For example, frequently extremely talented people when their performances turn into money making propositions, often neglect to get good help in managing their assets and live in a fantasy land where they don’t have to think about things like that.  They often give over control of their own organization to someone else while retaining the right to spend what they earn as they see fit.  Can’t you see the train wreck coming in this type of situation?rp_300px-The_game_you_play.jpgFreud called these tendencies to avoid psychological pain and difficulties defense mechanisms.  They are projection, overcompensation, denial, repression, and rationalization.  As good a job as they do of protecting us, they can get in our way of living a full and healthy life.

For example, if you lived in an area with poisonous snakes denying that they lived in your part of the country, might lead to a dangerous surprise someday especially if you go to an area where these snakes are known to live and come out of hiding to lay in the warm sun because they are cold blooded creatures and you both pick the same sunny spot?! to sun bath.  In this case ignorance is not bliss.rp_Crookedfingersdignity.jpgBlame rhymes with shame and that is what we feel when we do this.  Shaming is a powerful tool used by significant others and others in power over us to keep us from doing something or to get us to do something.  Shame seems to have no useful purpose but to thwart us in our desires.  Often this turns into a situation like in the story about the emperor’s new clothes.  The tailor had the emperor thinking that he had such a fine cloth to make him a new outfit that only very special people could see it and thus were able to wear it.  How the townspeople laughed when they saw him in the new outfit that the tailor had made for him and they could only see he had only underclothes.rp_300px-TV_highquality.jpgWhat we see, hear, smell, taste, and feel with our senses and what we make of them are our perceptions.  After you go to bed and turn most of the lights off, you won’t be able to see anything until your eyes adjust and then what you see will be mainly black and white and not as clear as you normally would see it.  Now do you know why toddlers see monsters and are afraid of the dark at bedtime.

Last night my little grand daughter was spending the night and sleeping on the couch.  She keep asking about that black thing over there in the corner and was not satisfied until I went over there and found what she was looking at, a dark blue throw in a heap on the floor next to Grandpa’s recliner.  Since she trusted me and I reassured her with my actions by checking it, she went to sleep.rp_300px-Sweet-dreams-dreaming-of-snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarves.jpgChildren are less stupid than we give them credit for being.  They know less than we do and may have put together what they know in a guileless way, but it still makes sense if you can see it from their point of view.  Unhappily sometimes it is easier to put these children off or tell them a convenient lie than to spend the time it really takes to understand and deal with the situation.  For example, the old there are no monsters under the bed comment which can lead to tears on the child’s part and frustration on the adult’s part.

Do we hide stuff from ourselves by using such things as defense mechanisms?  Then do they come back to haunt us in the future?  Maybe it is better when you do see it all, no matter how uncomfortable that makes us.  How often does one partner not see it coming when the other partner asks for a divorce and/or has an affair?  Yes, we do have to focus in order to get anything done like texting while driving but then we might fatally fail to attend to something else that was going on at the same time.