Posts Tagged ‘common marital problems’

We often think that our children have better resilience to their anxiety and they become normal once we have either given them positive strokes, bought them a chocolate, a gift or diverted their attention by permitting them to play video games. But it needs to be understood that anxiety doesn’t happen to the kids like the way we experience it happening to us adults. Anxiety in children can trigger, in panic attacks, in their tantrums, in their sudden rush of energy or it may occur in the untimely defiant behaviour. We as parent just push it aside by ascribing it to their misbehaving or being in the company of wrong friends. However, children may react differently depending on the immediate situation, past incidents or future anticipations.

As psychologists counsellors and family therapists we have to deal with couples, parents and other family members of our clients who always appear to be suffering from anxiety, In most such cases their children too suffer from similar anxiety or otherwise children from families where there is a good coordination amongst parents struggle with anxiety too.

Some parents would pretend and hide their issues of anxiety and other concerns from their children. Even when kids are understanding the parents would try to act as if everything was fine. These parents would do everything they deem fit or within their reach to calm their wards and reset their nervous system through various practices of calming. Children can pick up anxiety from their parents through the verbal communication, through the body language of their parents, through their mood disorders or the kids themselves can react to any general event in the family and develop a full or partial panic attack.

We have seen many a parents fighting and undermining each other when they come to us. They fail to realise that when they behave so their children too suffer mental agony and a fear of being abandoned by either or both of their parents. Children feel abused when their parents fight. They feel cheated by their parents. Children want to live in a typical family life environment irrespective of the riches or poverty. Any thought of living without a parent causes them much mental pain and that triggers anxiety. To them, their family is their safety nest. Their family enables them to play, to study, to make friends. It helps them grow. It is the reason of their being here in the world. To them family is the only reality, rest all is just make believe. Any iota of doubt on family’s continuity causes deep anxiety.

Parents should remember that their children would always pick up the stress and trauma that their parents experience and exhibit. The parents may think that their children are safe and that children have not been exposed to any kind of stress, physical, sexual, or emotional or personality abuse. They may believe that they are offering their children a great childhood compared to parents’ own childhood or other experiences that parents had to suffer. But actual truth is far from this. Children can become anxious for many reasons triggered by the parents’ obvious circumstances or not so obvious happenings within the family. Some of these reasons could be the actual and some could be as perceived by the children. To us adults many of those reasons might not be major, but to a child they become quite significant in triggering insecurities and anxiety thereof. Should the parents happen to be separated or divorced the self-blaming mind of the children would always be devastated by the memories of the times when the family was together. They would not understand the sudden blow of isolation and the non-availability of the parental umbrella. They struggle to be emotionally available to the single parent they now live with and at the same time add on a make believe relationship with the parent they have been separated from which they continue to believe was on their account. A two edged anxiety of this kind breaks them. It shreds the very fibre of their mental balance.

Children are often left heartbroken if there happens to be a fight in their family. They tend to believe that all tension is on account of their being a cause of distress to their parents. Often they are left with a broken trust. They feel guilty with their self-confidence devastated by the memories of parents shouting at each other. They are afraid of the sudden isolation caused by such disputes amongst their parents.

We always assume that our children are understanding. They adjust to the life as they grow. That they have stronger plasticity. This could be applicable in some way but it is not the complete truth. They are not as strongly fortified against anxiety as we tend to believe. Children do build up their defence mechanisms but these defence mechanisms may prove more damaging to their growing personality during adolescence and later on in their grown up relationships. We often come across young persons and old people alike who suffer from the traumas of their growing up years in anxiety.

We give hereunder some of the symptoms that we have witnessed in children while counselling the families .

1) Dissociation: Children have exhibited dissociation by completely cutting themselves off mentally from what is happening in their families. They form their own make believe world to hide the pain. Though parents may believe that the child is being creative, when the child speaks to and play with imaginary characters. Riya 6 years is one such case. Her parents do not see each other eye to eye. Their constant bickering causes much anxiety to the child. The child is seen talking to her doll most of the times and refuses to part with the doll when she goes to school or goes to bed. Her parents eventually brought her to the counsellor when her teacher noticed the child talking to the doll she had brought into her school bag to the classroom.

Monty’s (9 years) parents had been advised by the psychologist that their child suffers from ADHD because that’s the only way he can get their attention and evoke sympathy from them. His parents both working, hardly find time to spend with their child. Their occasional outbursts cause him such a deep distress. He exhibits his anxiety by getting irritated, by indulging into hyperactivity, impulsiveness and inattentive behaviour.

Depression was diagnosed in Deepa (10 years) as a mood disorder because the chronic emotional outbursts indulged in by her grandmother and mother in their interactions caused much disturbance to the child.

2)Gastrointestinal: Meenu’s (5 years) anxiety has been cropping up in her difficult behaviour to ease up herself. She holds up her anxiety in her abdominal area. In spite of her feeling pressure on the stomach she would refuse to sit on the pot to clear her stomach. She suffers from constipation. Her bowel training has been conducted a few times. But whenever she needs to clean her bowels, she holds on to her stool and often soils her clothes. A better approach would be to ensure the child is offered a better protective environment at home free from tension and stress. We noticed she catches on to her parents’ anxiety and expresses her own in the manner described.

3) Obsessive seeking of Validation: Divya (11 years) exhibits lack of self-confidence. She most of the times struggles to express herself confidently. She would often speak in almost inaudible tone She needs to be reassured that others are paying attention to her and she must speak louder with confidence. She always needs validation from her mother.

Children themselves may not be aware of their anxiety but parents and the teachers need to read the symptoms and signs that speak of anxiety in the children.

If you can be aware that a life experience has created anxiety in their lives, you can bring attention to it and help them cope with that anxiety. You must take your child to a psychologist for evaluation and necessary counselling wherever needed. The psychologist may have to counsel the parents too.

Just being aware that your child can suffer from your chronic circumstances and catch on to anxiety should be taken as an initial step to prevention. Take them to a psychologist whenever or if they exhibit symptoms of anxiety. Whenever possible speak to them about their fears, concerns and phobias whether implied or implicit. Children should be trained and encouraged by both parents to discuss, open up and ask questions from parents should there be any stressful occasion in the family. This will help them to understand that there can be differences of opinions, arguments and even conflicts within the family but that you will always protect them and be with them to take care of them.

Family is Everything

Read Full Post »

Meena had left her husband’s house a week ago and she didn’t want to go back.The little fight that they had , had been a routine .She felt she had been a little too hard on her husband. She wanted to atone for these bickerings by punishing herself.She wanted to stay away from her home and husband, always believing this would be her punishment .

Ravi always wanted to have some freedom and space in his busy life. He would travel to the hills once every three months. But he felt guilty of cheating on his wife,every time he did that .He did not know how to compensate his wife for this and the guilt always knawed upon his mind. He brought her number of gifts, believing that way he was paying for his neglect of her . Both the situations above indicate that,

We often take it too hard on ourselves and become compassion less for our own mind ,soul and body.We indulge into self denial ,self effacement and /or believe in self punishment .But how would such a step ever become a compensation to the other partner .Every harmful act that you think of doing to yourself either and or think that self punishment could be an act of compensation to the other partner would in fact be a compassionless act for both.

“You need to be more compassionate to yourself first before you think of developing the same for others. When you have learned compassion for yourself, compassion for others is automatic.”

What is Mindful Perceptive Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT)?

Compassion-focused therapy (CFT) aims to bring about a better mental health and emotional well-being by training and enabling people to develop a compassionate attitude toward themselves and other people in their lives .This helps the person get a better understanding of self and that of others’ intention, motivation and activities.

What does Mindful Perceptive CFT Involve ?

The therapeutic technique of CFT include five A exercises spelt out as Acceptance, Appreciation, Adjustment, Accomodation, Adoption or Adaptation.These extensive exercises, or activities emphasising the mental perception buildup of solid relationship, an individual can enjoy are undertaken during the Therapy on regular basis.

These exercises may include making a list of accepting person or things first at the face values irrespective of the likes or dislikes,Appreciation comes by taking time to savour the moment when something enjoyable is noticed, and other positive rewarding behaviours.Similarly mind then is trained to understand utilise and appreciate the concepts of other four A’s.

Mindful Perceptive Meditation is made use of in CFT is to develop a better sensory perceptive attention to the current moment in a manner that is free from any bias or prejudice. CFT makes use of Compassion-focused imagery exercises, or the use of guided memories to stimulate an appreciation of the environment .The objective of the guided imagery is the production and perception of a relational image that stimulates the calming system of the mind.

This can be achieved by perceptually imaging someone showing kindness and compassion to you and then mentally experience how that feels, with the intention that you learn how to show yourself kindness and compassion.

Disorders treated with Mindful Perceptive CFT

Mindful Perceptive CFT can be helpful to people who find it challenging to understand, feel, or express compassion in their social interaction and relationships .

Mindful Perceptive CFT can help to explore reasons ,events and past experiences that have brought about such a difficulty in developing compassion. Mindful Perceptive CFT explores methods of positive change.

This therapy can also be effective at helping people come out of their distressing thoughts, behaviours, and negative feelings of all kinds . Such MPCFT particularly is helpful when dealing with feelings associated with self condemnation,self effacement and self harm.

CFT can also help with, depression, Anxiety, shame based trauma, eating disorders, anger and self-harm.

Read Full Post »

A good   happy marriage    calls for companionship of the mind and the matter . But many a times the companionship of the mind plays larger role as compared to the companionship    of the matter.  It is always the mind and the soul that will keep your marriage  young  thriving and throbbing no matter how long and how  far have you been staying away from your companion. In  this  age of career building  by both the male and the female partners to the merriment   ,distance marriages many times become compulsion rather than a choice.When a partner lives apart  or moves away temporarily   it is the mind that will keep on reminding   you of the  physical matter of the companionship and keep the memories of the time spent together alive and make you pine for the next opportunity that will bring you closer to the partner again.

We have often heard couples talking about the waning of the inteterst in marriage and of the fact that the caring of each  in the marriage  no longer seems to be   of so much  importance any more. Many couples suffer in silence wondering if the other partner has been seeing someone else or if they no longer attract each other.  If such be the case with you too then it is time you learn some of the secrets to keep your marriage thriving and throbbing …..
1. The secret of  the communication of the mind and the matter :The  mind will respond only when the matter  is felt ,touched and is absorbed by the mind as a pleasant and lasting memory. It is   important each times the couples meet that they should make it a special occasion to    touch and talk .The physical touch charges the sensual cords leading to the charging of the emotional cords by the lovey dovey talks .The couple must talk and interact with each other on matters that  are non controversial  for them both and  the  loving gesture of physically touching each other will add to  the necessary romantic touch of their desire for each other .  Some couples are  resistant to the communication of the mind and the matter when they do not want to  exhibit their fondness for each other. They believe that the  touch will eventually lead to the bigger acts of   love making etc and that once they touch they will lose focus on the   actual points of discussion.  Nothing is far from the truth .  The touch will actually bring about the focus on what the other person is saying and will be a way of showing and showering affections for each other  .

The couples  must make it a    habit to talk and touch whenever they hold discussions in their privacy .  Partners  that speak of  distraction in their marriage  usually  say that they have nothing   common to talk about . That they find their  other  partner too does not speak much about to them. Such aloofness and the act of not opening to each other   creates uncalled for fears, leading to anxiety and sense of loneliness in marriage. The couples can have many   things to talk about.

  • You can talk to each other  about each other’s  aspirations.
  • You can talk to each other   about the best things that you like about your partner .
  • You can talk to each other about your  fears.
  • You can    share a  joke  that the neighbors, the office mates or children  have   shared with you
  •  You can talk about the interesting piece of writing you just read on the internet.
  •  You can  speak about the interesting recipe that you have learnt and are going to    try it out on the next weekend .

The partners must share such things in the morning  while sharing bed tea or on the breakfast table   before they leave for their works. They can speak to each other in the middle of the day over the phone or over the web chat to keep the memories of the morning touch and talk alive, and throbbing.
That will show the partners that each one cares for the other and yearn for him or her.

while some people  feel that they need to open more and talk   whereas some partner could be of the opinion and  the habit of not talking much . this can make the other partner   feel he or she   is not  getting  enough attention from the  other. That is the reason  that couples   need to   not only talk more but also  need to touch more.

You must reach out and touch your partner in  many different ways   to feel the romanticism of a young married life   .

  •   Begin  the day  with a  warm kiss or a gentle rub.
  •  Stroke the partner’s  cheek or play with the  hair .
  •   A momentary touch can bring about the  positive energy in the relationship and the feeling of gentle touch lingers on through the day .
  •   When couples touch each others  shoulders, or stroke their cheek, the magical  moment   will get them   connected to each other . The relationship will sparkle and bring about a feeling of love and affection overpowering any negativity  that the couple might  have had  .


Read Full Post »

An open communication definitely will help the couple resolve their differences. They can do so by sitting in an amicable atmosphere of love and regard for each other’s opinion and   view point.   Many issues can be settled in life by having a long talk.  Some other issues can be settled and resolved by professional counseling. It may so happen some times that the couple simply isn’t compatible cerebrally and physically to be together.  But that does not mean that the strangers cannot become the best of friends. Efforts made in the right direction can bring the poles apart personalities to develop tolerance and acceptance of each other which may eventually ignite the sparks of love and affection too.

A strained relationship can be developed due to many smaller yet important issues which could have been better resolved as soon as these differences had cropped up.  The differences could also have been arisen as a  result of much deeper  issues. Certain problems seem to be common among many couples, so those areas are good places to start when trying to work on a lifelong marital relationship. A good beginning can be made  by the young couple by   seeking premarital counseling to help them with their relationship support material and tips that can help the couple  build a solid foundation for a happy married life.

Read Full Post »