As the year ends, a second installment of updates regarding some of the most-read posts on Minding Therapy in 2017. For Part One, see this link.
I. “Attached”: Secure, Anxious, and Avoidant Styles (published 10-5-16)
- If you’re single, look for a partner with a secure attachment.
- Learn ways to soothe yourself.
- Spend time getting to know yourself.
- Practice communicating your feelings and needs directly.
- Set realistic expectations in relationships (for example, recognizing that your partner can’t meet all of your needs all the time).
- Be aware of over-reactions and jumping to conclusions about your partner.
- Consider working with a therapist (individually and/or as a couple).
- Be patient with yourself and your partner. Change is hard work and it takes lots of practice.
- Give yourself love and compassion.
II. “Detach with Love”: The Why, The How, The Meaning (4-2-15)
How can you handle being in a close relationship with an addict? Lighthouse Treatment Center advises the following steps toward detaching with love. Click on their link for more info.
- Understand that they are Irrational
- Stop Assuming Responsibility
- Putting Yourself First
- Stop Giving Without Reciprocation
Sharon Martin, LCSW, also points out (Psych Central) that Al-Anon provides a helpful acronym:
IV. “Fatal Attraction”: Another Look at Alex’s Mental Health (6-11-13)
KT Hawbaker, Chicago Tribune, recently reported an interesting twist in the making of the 1987 film Fatal Attraction. The original ending had Michael Douglas‘s character being exposed by the two leading women as a cheater—but this type of power claim by women turned out to displease test audiences. Glenn Close, who played Alex, resisted revising that ending but lost out.
Fast forward to today’s pop cultural milieu, however, and women have finally been allowed to express their outrage on small and large screens. One example offered by Hawbaker is the TV series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. More on this topic:
‘Female anger is so taboo, but these shows and movies are now claiming the right to it. Expressing anger is a means of gaining agency,’ says Sady Doyle, author of ‘Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear … and Why.’ Doyle says that previous depictions of the scorned woman — like Alex — played on stereotypes that threatened patriarchal norms. These characters were often women in positions of power who would snap, then ‘go crazy and ruin men’s lives’.
Many readers are curious in general about the ethics of therapists, who are often poorly portrayed on screen. Well, Zoe Williams, The Guardian, went to the specifics when she wrote a recent article called “From Gypsy to The Sopranos, what do real psychotherapists think of TV shrinks?”
One final feature of Gypsy gets, I think, to the heart of why therapy is so fascinating and so hard to render. All [therapist] Jean Holloway’s sessions are very boring. ‘My clients never bore me,’ Perry says, ‘and I’ll tell you why. If someone’s boring you, it’s because they’re not saying what’s on their mind. They’re not giving you a part of them. If I’m not engaged, I’ll say, ‘It’s odd, because I keep drifting off. Is there something you’re not talking about?’