Archive for the ‘interdependence’ Category

Big Girl Panties

I interrupt my normal blogging content in order to get a rant off my chest. The last few weeks, ok, months, have been long and frustrating. As the final straw, I got a flat tire yesterday morning on the way to get a haircut which was overdue for a month (my hair is still way too long and my hairdresser went on vacation, so I’m going to look this way for another week. Trust me, it is NOT pretty. I look like Beethoven. The composer, not the dog.) Because of all this, I am cranky, curmudgeonly, and just plain out of patience, so I am going to indulge myself in a rant. If you are easily offended, or do not wish to see this side of me, may I suggest you stop reading now? For those of you brave enough (or foolish enough 🙂 ) to continue reading, thank you for indulging me. Also, if you read this and wonder if it is addressed to you, please do not ask me. This is based on an amalgam of behaviors I have seen over a long period of time and is addressed to no one in particular. But by all means, if you think it applies, you might want to stop and think what you’d like to do about that. One last note, I am not claiming to be perfect, I do more than my fair share of stupid stuff when I post, but this is my blog and I’m allowed to rant here. Continue Reading

What’s a therapist to do?

Alex asked the question below over on the Ask AG page and I am going to offer my take on it.

I am wondering if you have any insight on a psychotherapist’s role when a patient is demonstrating persistent, self-destructive behaviors? I’m referring to damaging, non-suicidal behaviors that artificially regulate emotions– such as self-injury, eating disordered behaviors (restricting, purging, etc.), reckless impulsivity, or drug/alcohol abuse (though this last one might be slightly different, I guess, since it compromises your mental capacity more extremely).

This is a really excellent question and in some ways goes to the heart of what therapy is about. I do want to be upfront though in that I am still working through my own behaviors with food so I approach this topic with fear and trembling. I would recommend approaching this post with some skepticism, dear readers, as I may be speaking out of the wrong orifice. 🙂 Continue Reading

Boundaries, Dependence and Interdependence

October 5, 2011 14 comments

We often discuss boundaries in terms of the therapeutic relationship but the truth is that all healthy relationships require boundaries. Boundaries are what tell us where we end and where the other person begins; what is our responsibility and what is the others. Boundaries allow us to concentrate on the things we can actually control and not take on things we cannot.

Even though boundaries are present in all relationships, they are more noticeable in therapy for several reasons. The first is that the therapeutic relationship is a weird duck, unlike any other type of relationship we have, although it can take on characteristics of other relationships: parent, friend, mentor, lover etc. Because of the unique nature of the relationship, we run into boundaries in places we usually wouldn’t which makes us take notice. Not being able to know about the other person’s thoughts and feelings can feel very unnatural and therefore is more noticeable. Another reason they are so noticeable is that therapists are trained (or should be in theory) to be very conscious of boundaries and to hold them clearly. The therapist needs to be especially conscious of the boundaries as they do not come naturally in therapy, and in some cases can be a boundary which occurs in no other type of relationship. Continue Reading