Growing Empathy for Men in Group Therapy

Growing  Empathy for Men in Group Therapy

In an earlier article “Why Group Therapy for Men: 5 Benefits,” I wrote about how working with other men in a group context can be beneficial. The article raised some questions from readers: one reader said: “Ok, I’m interested but what are the mechanics of this?  How does that actually … Continue reading

Mother-Daughter Conflict

Presumably, the most enduring relationship most women have is with their mothers. Researchers suggest that daughters form an attachment bond with their mothers during infancy and rarely discontinue their relationship irrespective of the bond. Working as a healthcare provider for geriatric clients, specifically aging mothers, I often notice mothers request their daughter over their sons for emotional support. Research conducted on mother-daughter dyads who were chronically subject to conflict revealed that despite experiencing negative emotion and resentment, daughters seldom end their relationship with their mothers.

One could be curious why women pursue a conflictual and emotionally jarring relationship. Grounded theory researchers discovered that daughters frame their current relationship on their perception of childhood injustice perpetrated by their mothers. Childhood injustices identified were: unfulfilled maternal role obligation enforced power-dependency and unstable family environment. As a result of which their adult relationship with their mother often manifested with a tone of hostility, anger, resentment, and powerlessness. Despite this, daughters express a strong desire to maintain a relationship with their mother in hopes of pursuing the dream relationship, seeking validation, and out of a sense of obligation.

As a healthcare provider, I am concerned for obligation driven daughters with insecure-attachment who may be at risk for negative consequences as a result of shouldering the caregiving burden. A safe therapeutic dialogical intervention may hold the blueprint for repairing a long-term ruptured relationship between a mother and daughter. The Imago dialogical process used in individual or couple’s therapy helps women to uncover the source of their resentment and hostility and how it is not only playing out in their family of origin but in their current intimate relationship. A supportive spouse may offer validation to suffice the unmet need from the mother. An empathetic support system to nurture early wounded women is recommended to create a loving and emotionally corrective mother-daughter relationship.

Do as I Do, Not as I Say!

Do as I Do, Not as I Say!

“Do as I say not as I do.” Children mirror parents and peers, fans mimic favorite celebrities, and art imitates life. We know that people learn by watching others. Actions really do speak louder than words. 100’s of billions of neurons make up the brain. Neurons connect with other neurons … Continue reading

To Differentiate or Not To, that is the question.

To Differentiate or Not To, that is the question.

“What do you want to do?” or “Sure honey, but what do you think about it?” Have you ever tried to encourage a friend by reminding them of all the great ideas or qualities they have, just to have each of your reasonable suggestions or compliments met with all the ways their current love-interest has … Continue reading

Practicing socializing in group therapy is a path to healing old wounds.

Practicing socializing in group therapy is a path to healing old wounds.

Socializing is always a hot topic, today even more so. The way that our earliest caregivers communicate the outside world plays a significant role in our initial formation of how to listen, express empathy and navigate relationships. Group therapy offers a unique opportunity to practice unfamiliar behaviors and get feedback … Continue reading

Relationship Exits

Relationship Exits

I had the pleasure of attending a Getting the Love You Want Workshop recently.  This workshop is built on Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt’s book by the same title, and is designed to help couples reconnect and to resolve conflict successfully.  The workshop facilitators guided couples through several exercises … Continue reading

Sessions with Bob and Lena: A Podcast

“Sessions with Bob and Lena” is a podcast with monthly episodes ranging from 30-40 minutes in length. Although we will explore a wide variety of topics related to psychology and wellness, our focus will be on relating: how we relate in the world individually and collectively with the goal of … Continue reading

Positive Outcomes of Group Therapy: Corrective Recapitulation

Positive Outcomes of Group Therapy: Corrective Recapitulation

The roles we play in our family are familiar and indelible. You know what role you assumed; your birth order may well have played a part in the familial roles you adopted. Roles serve to stabilize or defend against flaws in the family. Returning home for the holidays, adult kids … Continue reading

Tender Touch

Tender touching is one way that we demonstrate affection towards another person. When you tenderly smooth back your partner’s hair, squeeze his shoulder as you join him on the sofa, massage her feet at the end of a workday, and hold hands walking down the street you are offering security, … Continue reading

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