Questionable Reasons For Having A Baby

reasons for having a baby

Questionable reasons mothers and / or fathers may have for having a baby :

– by accident

– for financial gain (in the form of benefits) or to avoid having to work

– to gain access to social / council housing

– to trap the father into a long-term relationship / marriage or to use as a ‘weapon’ or ‘pawn.’

– as a desperate bid to ‘save’ a relationship / marriage (for example, in my own case my mother was persuaded by her psychiatrist to have me to increase her chances of keeping her marriage with my father together)

– primarily for what they can ‘get out of the baby’ e.g. unconditional love and attention to compensate for what they did not receive in their own childhoods

– to have someone who will care for them in later life

to have someone to take care of their emotional needs

– to have someone who will provide them with an identity e.g. to ‘prove ‘ manhood and ‘virility’ in the case of the father

to have someone through whom they can live their lives vicariously in order to compensate for their own lack of success, achievement and fulfillment (e.g. by trying to turn their child into a sports star, movie star or otherwise famous person).

– to have someone who will make them feel powerful and respected.

having a baby

When The Child Does Not Fulfill The Parents’ Expectations :

When the child inevitably ‘fails’ to live up to the parents’ unrealistic expectations, and their fantasies of an idealized family do not materialize, there is a danger that they will start to resent their child and view him/her as an unwanted household guest, annoyance and  a source irritation, as well as a strain upon both financial and temporal resources. Some parents may even hate and despise their child and do their best to avoid interacting with him/her by spending long hours in the office, gardening, socializing, on hobbies which do not include the child etc.

The Unwanted Child Will Sense He Is Not Wanted, Even If The Parental Rejection Is Not Direct Or Overt :

A child will almost certainly sense whether or not s/he is truly loved and wanted by his/her parents. If the parents perpetually do not want the child  around, or to interact with him/her in any meaningful way, s/he (i.e. the child) is highly likely will to pick up on this devastating, often tacitly and unconsciously conveyed, information ; even being occasionally told by such parents that s/he is loved is likely to ring hollow and lead to feelings of confusion and distrust.

RESOURCE :

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

Privileged Abandonment? Emotional Effects Of Boarding School On The Child

privileged abandonment

‘Privileged Abandonment’ :

Whilst attending a boarding school is frequently regarded as a privilege by many in society, research by Duffell highlights the fact that the child’s experience of undergoing such schooling can all too often also involve inducing in him/her profound feelings of abandonment and neglect.

Indeed, Duffell, who has worked with many ex- boarding school pupils who have been adversely psychologically affected by their experience, refers to the concept of ‘privileged abandonment.’

In particular, Duffell highlights the fact that, very often, no matter how emotionally painful the child finds it to be separated from his/her parents, s/he is inhibited from showing such emotion due to the fear of being mocked, ridiculed and bullied by his/her peers as a result.

Usually, too, the child learns that s/he is prevented from reporting any bullying or abuse s/he may suffer whilst at school due to a prevailing culture secrecy and denial as well as fear of potential consequences.

privileged abandonment

Fear Of Appearing Ungrateful :

Because, as alluded to above, so many in society regard those who attend boarding school as ‘privileged’, or, even, ‘spoiled’, this makes it more difficult still for the child at boarding school to complain about feeling abandoned and frightened for fear of giving an impression of ingratitude; this may well especially be the case if the parents manipulate the child by emphasizing the sacrifices they have been compelled to make in order to pay for his/her education.

Denial :

As adults, many individuals may enter a state of denial about the adverse psychological effects their time at boarding school had on them, pushing the emotional torment it caused them at the time out of their conscious minds and below the level of awareness ; this may explain why it is not uncommon for those who suffered considerably as a result of their schooling to send their own children to boarding schools where they may undergo similar experiences of suffering.

Duffell and other researchers suggest that the adverse effects on the individual of attending boarding school may include him/her :

 

  • developing a disdain for displays of emotion and vulnerability both from others and from him/herself
  • developing a rigid, over-emphasized sense of importance in relation to self-reliance and not being dependent upon others
  • developing a ‘durable’, but ‘brittle’ and ‘defensive’,  personality
  • lack of emotional development due to the necessity, whilst growing up at boarding school. to repress feelings of emotional dependency
  • lack of trust in relationships in adulthood
  • fear of abandonment in adulthood
  • shame about feeling / showing signs of vulnerability / dependence, including within intimate, adult relationships, leading to problems within such relationships

 

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

 

 

Adverse Effects Of Childhood Trauma On Oxytocin And Our Ability To Love

oxytocin

Childhood Trauma, Oxytocin And Our Ability To Love :

We have already seen from articles previously published on this site that there is a link between childhood trauma and the subsequent experience of depression in later life (e.g. click here).

Furthermore, it is now also known, thanks to neuroscientific research, that those who have suffered childhood trauma and have, subsequently, been diagnosed with a depressive illness are at risk of also having suffering disruption to the part of the brain’s neurobiological system which is responsible for the generation feelings of love and trust.

Oxytocin : The ‘Love Hormone’

More specifically, those who have suffered ongoing childhood trauma are at risk of having lower levels of the neurohormone oxytocin than average. Oxytocin is released into the brain in response to social interaction with others including affectionate physical contact (e.g being hugged, caressed, sex etc) or through warm and loving verbal exchanges that increase emotional bonding and attachment with a trusted other.

 

oxytocin

Possible Positive Effects Of Naturally Raised Levels Of Oxytocin :

If, then, due to our experience of childhood trauma, we have lower than average levels of oxytocin, it can frequently be in our interests to attempt to raise them (I list the potential benefits of doing so below) :

The possible positive effects of raising our levels of oxytocin include :

  • increased levels of social confidence
  • decreased feelings of both emotional and physical pain
  • decreased need for approval from others
  • increased levels of enjoyment derived from social interactions
  • decreased proneness to feelings that life is not worth living
  • increased levels of trust
  • increased motivation to behave ‘pro-socially’
  • increased psychological stability
  • increased ability to relax
  • increased inclination to exercise warm and loving maternal care
  • increased ability to bond with one’s partner
  • increased speed of wound healing
  • increased generosity
  • improved sleep
  • increased resilience to depression

Animal Study Suggesting Anti-Depressant Effects of Oxytocin :

A study (Norman and Karelina, 2010) involving mice with a small injury showed that those left to recover alone were more likely to develop depressive symptoms (e.g. quickly giving up on challenging tasks) than mice who were allowed to recover in pairs; the study concluded that that the paired mice were more resilient to depression because of raised levels of oxytocin induced by the companionship of their co-recovering rodent friend. 

Paradoxical Effects :

Recent research suggests that invariably identifying the release of oxytocin into the brain  as a helpful biological process is an over-generalization.

This is because it has now been found that the release of the neurohormone may be paradoxical in as far as it may also sometimes have negative effects.

For example, it may exacerbate painful memories of previous, dysfunctional relationships (e.g. one study found that bad memories of one’s difficult relationship with one’s mother in early life were actually worsened by increased levels of oxytocin).

Another possible negative effect is that it may make us less accepting of those who are not part of our social group or culture (thus increasing feelings of prejudice against others).

Intensification Of Salience Of Social Interactions :

Bringing together the above information as a whole, it appears that it is too simplistic to regard the function of oxytocin as solely relevant to the accentuation of feelings associated with love.

Instead, it should be seen as relevant to how we perceive the salience of our relationships / social interactions with others – both good and bad.

Natural Ways Of Increasing Our Levels Of Oxytocin :

  • social support
  • hugs
  • massage
  • interacting with friends
  • being part of a sports team
  • owning a dog
  • just being around other people even if not directly interacting with them

 

RESOURCE :

Overcome Shyness and Social Anxiety | Self Hypnosis Downloads

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

 

Identity Disturbance And Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

identity problems

BPD And Identity Disturbance :

We have seen from other articles that I have published on this site that one of the defining symptoms of borderline personality disorder (a condition strongly associated with childhood trauma) is identity disturbance. In other words, many individuals with BPD have an unstable self-image and no firm sense of their identity ; they may sum up such issues by using expressions such as : ‘I don’t know who I am.

Individuals suffering from identity disturbance may :

  • have an unstable self-image that frequently oscillates between two extremes and an inconsistent view of self over time
  • become obsessed by their appearance, even to the extent that they develop conditions such as body dysmorphic disorder and anorexia nervosa.
  • lose touch with reality (dissociation)
  • experience feelings of derealization and/or depersonalization
  • attempt to develop an unrealistic, idealized self (e.g. trying to adopt the image of a famous movie star) only to feel empty and deficient when this inevitably fails
  • act as ‘social chameleons‘ (find that, because of their weak and uncertain sense of their own identity, they mimic the behaviors, values and attitudes of those they happen to be associating with at any given time
  • live by inconsistent standards and principals
  • have inconsistent view of the world and their place in it

social chameleon

Categories Of Identity Disturbance :

Some psychologists break identity disorder associated with BPD into four categories ; these are as follows :

  1. ROLE ABSORPTION
  2. PAINFUL INCOHERENCE
  3. INCONSISTENCY
  4. LACK OF COMMITMENT

Let’s look at each of these four categories in a little more detail :

ROLE ABSORPTION :

This involves individuals with an intrinsically weak sense of their own identity desperately attempting to create one by defining themselves through a particular role or cause. This may involve adopting a different name and radically altering their world view, values and belief system. Such individuals are vulnerable to being lured into cults whereby they may completely subjugate any sense of their own identity and, instead, overlay it with the identity into which the cult leader inculcates and indoctrinates them. Such individuals are obviously at high risk of being exploited by unscrupulous others.

PAINFUL INCOHERENCE :

Those who fall into this category constantly experience a distressing sense of emptiness (to read my previously published article, which goes into greater detail about this, entitled : ‘Constantly Feeling Empty? Effects And Solutions’ , click here.

INCONSISTENCY :

Individuals in this category are prone to changing their values, attitudes and opinions according to the people they happen to be associating with at any given time and, because of this, are sometimes referred to as ‘social chameleons’, as referred to above.

LACK OF COMMITMENT :

Lack of commitment can manifest itself in relation to many important areas of life including education (e.g. frequently changing courses but never completing any) ; career (frequently changing jobs) ; geographic location (frequently moving home) ; relationships (e.g. inability to maintain relationships with friends / partners / spouses) ; interests / hobbies.

Addressing Identity Problems :

To read my previously published article about how to tackle identity problems stemming from childhood trauma, click here.

 

RESOURCES :

Find Your Identity | Self Hypnosis Downloads

The Real You | Self Hypnosis Downloads

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

 

 

Neurogenic Tremors : Why Shaking With Fear Is Good For Us

neurogenic tremors

Recent research has served to emphasize the crucial relevance of the body when considering both how severe traumatic experiences can adversely affect us AND how we can treat such adverse effects (including posttraumatic stress disorder).

One very important finding in relation to this is that traumatic experiences can lead to chronic excess tension in the skeletal muscles. And, because the body and the mind are so intimately connected, this, in turn, can make us hypersensitive to stress to such a degree that we may find even very minor stressors create in us feelings of overwhelming anxiety.

Indeed, as the role of the body in how traumatic experiences affect us (especially if we are suffering from PTSD) becomes better understood there is a concomitant increase in interest in supplementing psychological therapies to treat responses to trauma with somatic (physical) therapies.

Neurogenic Tremors :

Tremors are a natural, automatic / instinctual response to anxiety, fear, panic attacks, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or any shock to the nervous system. This response has evolved because, when the nervous system becomes out of balance, it helps to return the body and emotions back into a state of equilibrium; it achieves this by reducing our level of arousal and shutting down the ‘fight or flight’response.

Furthermore, tremors are a way of dissipating the excess energy residing in the body that accumulated during the state of high arousal. In this way, tremors can help us escape from the unpleasant symptoms (both physical and mental) that may have arisen due to trauma.

neurogenic tremors

In technical terms, tremors help to reduce over-activity in the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis ( a complex neuroendocrine system whose functions include regulating our response to stress, our emotions and bodily, energy storage and release) and are called neurogenic tremors. 

Applications To Therapy :

Tremors (or shaking or trembling) help to deactivate and calm the nervous system. Such deactivation signals to the brain that danger and threat has passed ; this, in turn, allows us to relax again : our muscles are able to release the excess of energy they have stored up whilst in fight / flight mode which, in turn, permits chronic tension patterns that have developed in the body to be eradicated.

People who have suffered trauma and have developed PTSD have often been ‘locked into’ the fight/flight response for a protracted period of time and have suppressed their feelings of anxiety (often with the ‘help’ of alcohol or drugs) because they believe, on a conscious or unconscious level, that showing and expressing one’s feelings ‘a sign of weakness.’

And, because of this erroneous belief, such individuals tend to be averse to physical displays of distress (such as trembling and crying). The price to be paid for such suppression is that the excess energy stored in the body becomes trapped, ensuring that the person habitually remains in an uncomfortable state of bodily tension and associated mental distress.

Based on the ideas presented above, Dr Peter Levine, a leading expert on the effects of trauma, has developed a therapy that he has called somatic experiencing which helps the client to release the pernicious, pent-up energy that was generated by their traumatic experience and, thus, alleviate their physical and mental suffering incurred.

eBook :

Above eBook now available from Amazon for instant download. Click here for further details.

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

Overcoming Feelings Of Shame With Counseling

overcome feelings of shame

We have seen from other articles that I have published on this site that those of us who have experienced significant and protracted childhood trauma often experience irrational, deep feelings of shame as adults which can severely disrupt our lives (for much more on this, see the section of this site entitled : ‘Self-Hatred And Shame).

Because living with profound feelings of shame is so psychologically painful and impinges so seriously upon our quality of life, it is worth considering undergoing counseling to help overcome the problem.

One important counseling technique employed to help individuals diminish their irrational, but insidious, sense of deep-rooted shame is to help them build shame resilience.

Overcoming Feelings Of Shame By Building Shame Resilience :

According to the American  Psychological Association (2014), there are several important factors that help a person to overcome their feelings of shame which include the following :

  • self-awareness
  • reaching out and connecting to others
  • access to care and support
  • paying attention to own needs
  • setting healthy boundaries
  • self-confidence
  • having realistic expectations and goals
  • cultivating feelings of empathy and compassion (including, most importantly, self-compassion)

.overcoming shame

Now let’s now look at the above list of factors in a little more detail :

SELF-AWARENESS :  recognizing early life experiences that implanted deep feelings of shame into our psyches (e.g. internalizing our parents’ negative view of us / view of us as ‘bad’ whilst we were growing up) ; becoming aware of dysfunctional thought processes and irrational beliefs that help maintain feelings of shame ; identifying situations / events which trigger feelings of shame and recognizing and acknowledging defenses we employ against shame.

REACHING OUT AND CONNECTING WITH OTHERS : talking to others one trusts (such as a counselor) about one’s feelings of shame and realizing that shame is a universal emotion that, when NOT ‘toxic’, serves a vital evolutionary purpose that everyone experiences to one degree or another.

This, in turn, is likely to help one access care and support which itself can then help one to become more mindful of one’s own needs.

Relationships connected to our care and support need to be founded upon healthy boundaries to reduce the likelihood of such relationships generating further feelings of shame within ourselves.

CONFIDENCE : when the above factors are combined with increased self-confidence one can start to modify one’s expectations about oneself and others in such a way that such expectations become more realistic which, in turn, facilitates the development of realistic expectations of oneself and the setting of appropriate and obtainable goals for oneself.

CULTIVATING FEELINGS OF EMPATHY AND COMPASSION : not judging others or oneself ; seeing things from the perspective of others ; talking to others about their feelings and about our own feelings (including being open about our own feelings of shame and letting go of our defenses / ‘removing the mask’ we use to hide our shame); developing self-empathy (i.e. compassionately  and non-judgmentally accepting and understanding our own shame related experiences / behaviors and treating ourselves in the same way we would treat someone we deeply cared about) ; accepting, non-judgmentally, our human weaknesses, frailties, faults and failures / letting go of ‘perfectionism’ and ’embracing’ our non-perfect selves (to do this we need to understand that we have been shaped by our early life experiences over which, at the time, we could exert little or no control.

Because developing compassion for others and for ourselves is so important to the process of overcoming feelings of toxic shame, it is unsurprising to learn that compassion focused therapy can be a very effective means of facilitating such a process.

 

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE)

 

Four Responses To Intense Feelings Of Shame

shame

We have already seen from other articles that I have published on this site that those of us who have experienced significant childhood trauma over a protracted period are at risk of, as adults, having to endure intense, irrational feelings of deep-rooted shame ; this can be extremely painful.

Nathanson (1992) identified four main ways in which an individual may respond to feelings of shame in an attempt (conscious or unconscious) to defend and protect him/herself from the emotional suffering such feelings can evoke.

The Four Defenses Against Shame :

Nathanson proposed that the main four defense mechanisms employed against shame (which he believed to be largely learned in early childhood to protect the self from intolerable feelings) are :

  • withdrawal
  • attack self
  • avoidance
  • attack others

Nathanson also suggests that whilst individuals may employ more than one of the above defenses against shame (depending upon the particular conditions which have given rise feelings of shame) they tend to have a kind of ‘default mode’ (i.e. a specific main defensive strategy against shame) which they most frequently rely upon.

The Compass Of Shame :

Nathanson referred to the above four defenses against shame (withdrawal, attack self, avoidance, attack others) as making up what he referred to as ‘The Compass Of Shame‘. He further explained that all four defenses were best seen as existing on a continuum running from ‘mild’ to ‘extreme’.

So, for example, a ‘mild’ enactment of withdrawal is the aversion of one’s gaze whereas, at the ‘extreme’ end of the spectrum, one might withdraw from others completely and live in a wooden hut in the forest as a hermit.

shame

The Continuums :

So now let’s briefly look at the four continuums upon which the four shame defenses lie :

1) DEFENSE AGAINST SHAME : WITHDRAWAL

MILD END OF CONTINUUM : slumped shoulders, looking downwards, blushing, covering mouth with hand, staying silent, averted gaze, chronic loneliness

EXTREME END OF CONTINUUM : physical, cognitive and emotional withdrawal, isolation, depression, retreat into ‘own internal world’, chronic loneliness, presentation of only a false and superficial self to the world, hypersensitivity to rejection and criticism (particularly criticism of character)

2) DEFENSE AGAINST SHAME : ATTACK SELF

MILD END OF CONTINUUM : deferential behavior, modesty, shyness, self-deprecating humor

MIDDLE OF CONTINUUM : self-sabotage, self-neglect, self-humiliation, self-effacement, obsequiousness, subservience

EXTREME END OF CONTINUUM : self-hatred, self-disgust, self-contempt, masochism, self-debasement, self-harm (e.g. cutting self, burning self with cigarettes etc), suicidal ideation / suicidal behavior

3) DEFENSE AGAINST SHAME : AVOIDANCE

MILD END OF CONTINUUM : self-deception, disowned shame, self-deprecating charm, impostor syndrome

MIDDLE OF CONTINUUM : ostentatious behavior / displays of wealth (jewelry, clothes etc.) arrogance,  competitiveness, thrill seeking / risk taking, hedonism, perfectionism,

EXTREME END OF CONTINUUM : pathological lying, narcissism, grandiosity, self-aggrandisement, addictions (e.g excessive use of alcohol, obsessive sexual activity,

4) DEFENSE AGAINST SHAME : ATTACK OTHERS

MILD END OF CONTINUUM : teasing, put downs, banter

MIDDLE OF CONTINUUM : bullying, humiliated fury, rage

EXTREME END OF CONTINUUM : violence

Whilst some of the above defenses against shame are clearly healthier than others, even these mostly fail to fully alleviate deeply entrenched shameful feelings – in such cases, therapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy and compassion-focused therapy can be of significant benefit.

RESOURCE :

LET GO OF SHAME : SELF-HYPNOSIS DOWNLOADS

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE)

 

 

 

 

Often Aggressive? Is Your Sensorimotor System Primed To Deal With Threat?

sensorimotor system

Are You Easily Provoked Into Angry And Aggressive Behavior?

After my mother threw me out of her house when I was thirteen years old and I was reluctantly taken in by my father and step-mother (which I have written about elsewhere in this site, so I won’t repeat the details), I was quickly labelled by my unwilling new custodians as ‘morose’ and ‘hostile ‘ (amongst other less than complimentary descriptors); whilst perhaps less than helpful, I am forced to confess that these two adjectives had not been applied to me wholly inaccurately.

Whilst I see now that my ‘moroseness’ and ‘hostility’ were directly symptomatic of my experiences during my early life (I have also written about this elsewhere), this basic inference was emphatically not drawn by my father and new wife. To them I was just a ‘bad’ child, possibly even ‘evil’ (my step-mother was intensely, pathologically religious and, soon after I moved in I recall, as vividly as if it were happening now, her shouting at me in some utterly indecipherable way and in no language I had ever heard before ; she was, in fact, speaking in what she believed, or pretended to believe and wanted me to believe, were ‘tongues’).

But back to my hostility, or, more accurately, to a consideration of individuals in general who are more than averagely  prone to hostile / aggressive / angry behavior.

If we, in our early lives, were habitually threatened and made to feel unsafe  by our parents / primary caregivers then, over time, our sensorimotor system may have become ‘primed for threat’ (this is the case because it would have been evolutionary adaptive for our distant ancestors).  In other words, it may have become highly sensitive and driven into overdrive in response to the smallest, perceived provocation.

This, in turn, means that as adults, when we perceive a threat that in any way reminds us (usually on an unconscious level) of our frightening childhood experiences (even though we are, objectively speaking, in no danger in the present)  our sensorimotor system is liable to become automatically activated (e.g. discharge of the sympathetic nervous system, increased adrenalin production, increased heart-rate, tensed muscles etc, all of which, in turn, stimulate emotional arousal) in such a way that we become, whether we like it or not, disproportionately and inappropriately aggressive.

Such behavior is automatic and beyond conscious control because when such reminders of past dangers occur (often called ‘flashbacks’), cognitive processing is inhibited (i.e. our rational thinking processes essentially ‘shut down’) and we become devoid of the reasoning capacity necessary to realize that we are, at the present time, in fact, safe.

Instead of realizing we are safe, we automatically become hyperaroused and experience strong impulses to lash out verbally or even physically). This can be regarded, as far as our unconscious motivation is concerned) asdefensive aggression‘ ; we are overtaken by a desperate need to ensure we are not hurt again in the way we were hurt as children (I stress again that  we often will not be consciously aware that this is the driving force behind our overly aggressive and hostile reactions).

For survivors of childhood trauma, such automatic responses can cause myriad problems including frequent, destructive, impulsive behavior. This can lead to individual to feel profoundly ashamed and to see him/herself as seriously, psychologically flawed, unstable and often incapable of rational reflection, unaware of the underlying problem : how his/her sensorimotor system has been, due to early-life trauma, conditioned (now maladaptively) to operate.

 

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

Antisocial Personality Disorder – A Psychodynamic Explanation

antisocial

Antisocial Personality Disorder And The Early Life Of Sufferers :

According to Meroy (1988), those who go on to develop antisocial personality disorder as adults have frequently experienced a dysfunctional relationship with their mothers during infancy, including a failure to form a healthy emotional bond with her – this could be for a variety of reasons that include maternal mental illness, emotional deprivation, rejection, abuse and/or neglect.

Stranger Self-Object :

Meroy also suggests that the person suffering from antisocial personality disorder has a self based upon an ‘aggressive introject’, referred to as a ‘stranger self-object.’

An introject can be defined as : an unconscious defense mechanism in which an individual (especially a child) absorbs , and replicates in himself, the personality traits of another person into his/her own psyche.

The aggressive introject is referred to as the stranger self-object because it reflects the child’s experience of the parent as a kind of ‘stranger’ who cannot be trusted and who harbors nefarious intent towards him/her (i.e. the child).

As a child, the future antisocial personality disorder sufferer perceives his/her primary caregiver (usually the mother) as being unloving, cruel, emotionally distant and cold, unempathic, uncaring and a threat / aggressive / prone to hurting him/her ; s/he then introjects (see above) these characteristics.

Failure To Develop Meaningful Empathy Or Internalize Rules :

Furthermore, s/he generalizes the negative characteristics s/he perceives to exist in the harmful primary- caregiver onto others so that his/her basic template for relating to other people in general excludes trust, empathy and healthy emotional bonding.

This, in turn, leads him/her to be unable to develop meaningful empathy with others, making it possible for him/her to hurt these others without experiencing feelings of remorse.

Failure to identify with parents due to early life dysfunctional relationships with them can also frequently lead to non-internalization of rule based systems which, in turn, makes it far more likely that the child will grow up without respect for the rules of society in general (which is, of course, a hallmark of the antisocial personality).

‘Sadistic’ Attempts To Bond :

Because of the failure of emotional bonding in early life with his/her mother, the antisocial personality disorder sufferer, as an adult, becomes essentially emotionally detached from his/her relationships and any attempts s/he does make to bond with others are frequently sadistic (based upon control and other destructive behaviors).

‘Superego Lacunae’ :

Because those suffering from antisocial personality disorder do not experience remorse when they hurt others, some psychodynamic theorists speculate that they are also unable to experience true depression (in relation to this idea, you may wish to read my article entitled : Do Only Good’ People Get Depressed?). Kernberg (1984) suggests that such individuals usually have severely underdeveloped superegos and that even high functioning antisocial individuals, who do, in fact, have some nascent and perfunctory development of their conscience, still have very substantial deficits in relation to it which Kernberg referred to as superego lucanae.

Kernberg also put forward the notion that those who suffer from antisocial personality disorder :

  • do not tend to be interested in rationalizing their behavior
  • do not tend to be interested in morally justifying their behavior

RESOURCE :

childhood anger ebook

Above eBook now available from Amazon for instant download. Click here for further information.

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Considering Seeing A Therapist? An Overview Of Talking Therapy.

talking therapy

What Is ‘Talking Therapy’And What Conditions Can It Treat?

The term ‘talking therapy’ refers not to one specific therapy but to a category of therapies. As the phrase strongly implies, ‘talking therapies’ involve a client talking to a therapist with the aim of ameliorating their particular psychological difficulty (e.g. depression, anger, addiction, eating disorders, phobias, childhood trauma, relationship problems and family problems). Studies show that in many cases ‘talking therapies’ can be at least as effective, and, frequently, more effective, than medications for the treatment of a wide range of psychological problems.

Examples Of ‘Talking Therapies’:

As stated above, there are a variety of ‘talking therapies’ from which to choose. These include the following :

  • cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • counselling
  • psychodynamic psychotherapy
  • behavioral activation
  • mindfulness-based therapies
  • family therapy
  • interpersonal therapy
  • dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)

(NB The above list is not exhaustive).

Let’s briefly look at each of these eight examples of ‘talking therapy’ in turn :

talking therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy :

This type of therapy is currently widely used to help individuals with psychological difficulties and is evidence-based (i.e. supported by empirical research findings). It is a short-term therapy within which the therapist and client work together to help the client identify dysfunctional behaviors and thinking processes that may be contributing to his/her problems and then to change these behaviors and thinking processes into more helpful ones.

To read my previously published article about how cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help those of us who have suffered childhood trauma, click here.

Counselling :

Counselling involves the client talking to a trained therapist about emotions and feelings ; the therapist will listen to the client in a non-judgmental and non-critical  manner.

Usually, the therapist does not provide direct advice to the client but, instead, aims to facilitate the client’s insight into, and understanding of, his/her own thinking patterns and, also, to help him/her discover his/her own solutions to his/her problems.

Counselling has traditionally been a face-to-face activity but is now becoming increasingly available online.

Psychodynamic psychotherapy :

This type of therapy aims to discover, and make the client aware of, how his/her (previously) unconscious mental processes, strongly influenced by early life experiences, have, historically, adversely affected his/her behavior.

To read my previously published post about how psychodynamic psychotherapy can help those who have suffered childhood trauma and, as a result, gone on to develop borderline personality disorder (BPD), click here.

Behavioral activation :

This therapy is used for the treatment of depression and, encouragingly, has been found to have a good rate of success (even, more encouragingly still, in the case of those suffering from depression who have not responded well to other therapeutic interventions – i.e. those who were previously found to be ‘treatment resistant’).

It is often used in conjunction with CBT (see above) or other therapies and, in particular, can help clients who are isolated and avoidant.

To read my previously published article  about how behavioral activation can effectively alleviate depression, click here.

Mindfulness-based therapies :

Mindfulness-based therapies have the goal of helping the client to become aware of his/her feelings, thoughts and experiences in the present moment and to accept these, as a kind of disinterested observer, without judging them . Once the client, with practice, starts to master this skill (which takes time), s/he should experience significantly less distress, or, even, in the ideal case, serene equanimity, when unwanted thoughts and feelings arise in his/her mind.

To read my previously published article about research into mindfulness meditation, click here.

Family therapy :

This therapy aims to resolve dysfunctional family dynamics, particularly by focusing upon how communication can be improved between family members and how conflicts can be overcome.

To read my previously published article on family systems theory and the family scapegoat, click here.

Interpersonal therapy :

This form of therapy aims to help individuals who have interpersonal problems (i.e. find it hard to form and maintain relationships with others). The effectiveness of this kind of therapy is supported by empirical evidence.

To read my previously published article about the process by which are adult relationships can be ruined, click here.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT):

This is an evidence-based therapy for the treatment of individuals who suffer from borderline personality disorder (BPD). To read my previously published article about how DBT can help people with BPD, click here.

 David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).