Tag Archives: anger

Anger Management for Parents

Stop Screaming Anger Management for Parents

As a parent of 2 little ones, I understand the stress and the joy that they bring.  In this seminar we will discuss

  • parenting techniques
  • ways to take care of yourself
  • managing anger
  • quit beating yourself up
  • make anger your ally-finding the purpose of it
  • become aware of high risk situations

To register for Stop Screaming Anger Management for Parents click here.

This seminar has the capability of becoming a 6 week class.

Please [aio_button align=”center” animation=”bounce” color=”orange” size=”small” icon=”inbox” text=”Email me” relationship=”author” url=”mailto:laurie@grohhealthyliving.com”]

if you would like to join the waiting list, or if you have any questions about Stop Screaming Anger Management for Parents.

Laurie Groh, MS, LPC, SAS
Shoreside Therapies
4530 N Oakland Ave
Whitefish Bay, WI53211

angerparent

 

ANGER MANAGEMENT 1

ANGER MANAGEMENT 1 (6 WEEKS)

Feb 26,2014 -April 2, 2014     Time: 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

You are signing up for a 6 week class.  Exciting news!!  I temporarily reduced the rate. Sessions 1-3 Preparation: Explanation, Toxic Anger Assessment, Anger Episode Model, and Anger Episode Records Sessions 4-6 Change: Review Anger Episodes, Muscle Relaxation, Imagery, and Problem Solving Our Students enjoy an understanding supportive, and non-judgmental educational experience. We provide quality anger management classes for those struggling with feelings from frustration to rage. These anger management classes focus on the consequences of anger, which you already know and teaches an alternative to avoid these negative consequences. Other areas of focus: effective communication, self-awareness, assertiveness, and stress management.  These are all productive tools for preventing negative expressions of anger.

Click here to register

http://grohhealthyliving.com/event-registration/?action=evregister&event_id=5

 

Anger Management Group at Shoreside Therapies in Whitefish Bay

Anger Management Group at Shoreside Therapies in Whitefish Bay

Oct 30,2013 – Dec 4,2013    Time: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

You are signing up for a 6 week class.  Exciting news!!  I temporarily reduced the rate for these 6 weeks.  Only $20 a session!!

Sessions 1-3 Preparation: Explanation, Toxic Anger Assessment, Anger Episode Model, and Anger Episode Records

Sessions 4-6 Change: Review Anger Episodes, Muscle Relaxation, Imagery, and Problem Solving

Our Students enjoy an understanding supportive, and non-judgmental educational experience. We provide quality anger management classes for those struggling with feelings from frustration to rage. These anger management classes focus on the consequences of anger, which you already know and teaches an alternative to avoid these negative consequences. Other areas of focus: effective communication, self-awareness, assertiveness, and stress management.  These are all productive tools for preventing negative expressions of anger.

anger management

Thank you

Laurie Groh, MS LPC SAS

Mental Health Counselor at Shoreside Therapies in Whitefish Bay

How to Express Your Feelings in a Respectful Way

People often tell me that they have problems maintaining calm and respectful communication with their partner even though they intended to. They start out fine, but can’t follow through when their partner responds in disrespectful or angry ways. Some of these couples need the presence of an experienced couples therapist to be able to maintain calm and repair disruptions.

This article offers a communication model that outlines how to practice maintaining communication regarding how you feel in an honest and open way while keeping your calm. This is not about feeling good or even comfortable. This is about practicing staying calm even though you feel hurt and angry.

The rationale for this is having a fuller understanding of each other’s perspectives. Feeling angry doesn’t necessarily mean that you are bound to break up. It means that there is something you need to take care of.

If you manage to find solutions together, you will feel closer, safer, and understood on a deeper level. Imagine explaining to your partner that you are hurt and angry in a calm way. Also, imagine that your partner is able to hear you and respond in a loving way.

Because it is easier to express positive feelings and talk about what’s right in your relationship, I will recommend that you start with five positive statements about yourself, your partner, and your relationship. Build from the following, if you like:

What do you love about your partner?

What do you love about the relationship?

What is most important to you?

Give a concrete example of what makes you feel loved.

Give a concrete example of what you look forward to.

Expressing your love, appreciation, and willingness to stay connected and find solutions together is essential for your partner’s willingness to hear you out and consider your requests and proposed solutions to problems you are having.

Expressing feelings of frustration, anger, fear, and sadness is a lot harder and takes some consideration. If you are able to stay calm and collected while you talk about your feelings, your chances of staying on track are higher. If you avoid blaming your partner and instead talk about what you feel, think, and what is important to you and why, it is more likely that your partner will respond positively.

Try to make it easier for your partner to listen to you and refrain from interrupting you and subsequently defending herself/himself. Try to make your statements more about yourself than about your partner. This is probably one of the hardest things to do. Self-expression is about defining yourself and what is most important to you, which is not easy when you are feeling upset and hurt.

It is natural in a relationship to feel at times that the other person is to blame. However, if you consider the matter, you will become aware that you have a responsibility for your own responses and reactions, and how you function as a partner has an influence on the relationship. Your feelings are your own, and to blame others for them is not conductive for your individual or relationship growth.

Before you start expressing feelings of anger and hurt, I recommend that you think about what you are going to say and how you are going to say it. Consider the following:

What are your feelings? Do you feel angry, hurt, sad, scared, lonely, jealous, guilty, etc.?

Give concrete examples such as, “I feel scared when you don’t call.”

Focus more on what you feel, think, and want, not on your partner’s shortcomings. “I feel lonely and I miss what we used to do together.”

Tell your partner why it is important to you that you honestly and openly express your feelings. Make sure you explain that self-expression goes both ways, and that it takes courage to talk about feeling vulnerable. Showing vulnerabilities is a sign of strength, and talking openly and honestly about how you feel is not a weakness.

Be mindful of how you express yourself. Tone of voice, facial expressions, body language, and eye contact are more important than most people think. Most of what you actually communicate to your partner has to do with how you communicate.

Be open and explicit about your intentions for having the conversation.

Make sure you are not having this conversation to get back at your partner. If you are very angry, you might feel vengeful. If that is the case, calm yourself and consider what is most important to you and what kind of partner you would like to be.

Don’t expect immediate success. Self-expression is a skill which takes practice to master. Ask for professional help if you need to.

via How to Express Your Feelings in a Respectful Way.

Thank you

Laurie Groh, MS LPC SAS

Mental Health Counselor at Shoreside Therapies in Whitefish Bay

10 Basic Truths About Keeping Your Relationship Healthy – StumbleUpon

10 Basic Truths About Keeping Your Relationship Healthy

It’s easy to make relationships more complicated than they are.

19
Share
email

I think it’s easy to make things more complicated than they need to be. Here are some basic rules of the relationship road that will keep you headed in the right direction.

1. Successful relationships take work. They don’t happen in a vacuum. They occur when the couples in them take the risk of sharing what it is that’s going on in their hearts and heads.

2. You can only change yourself, not your partner. If you love someone and think that after a while he or she will alter behaviors you find uncomfortable, think again. If you want changes, put them on the table, so your partner knows what you need.

3. All arguments stem from our own fear or pain. When upset occurs, check out what’s going on inside you rather than getting angry with your partner. Truth is that we usually aren’t upset for the reasons we think we are.

5. Honor each other in some way every day. Every morning, you have the opportunity to make your relationship sweeter and deeper by recommitting to your mate. Feeling respected and cherished by the one you love makes life much nicer.

6. Anger is a waste of time. Anger also is a relationship killer because it makes you self-absorbed and won’t allow you to see the good. If you are annoyed with your mate, give yourself some time to calm down and then gently discuss what’s going on for you.

7. Get regular tune-ups. Go to a couples workshop, talk with a counselor or read a relationship book together at least once a year. Even if you don’t think that you need ideas, and the process alone will strengthen your connection.

8. Find a way to become and stay best friends. For some, this sounds unromantic, but for those who live it, most say it’s the best part of their time together.

9. Be responsible for your own happiness. No other person can make you happy. It’s something that you have to do on your own. If you feel that it’s your partner’s fault, think again, and look within to find out what piece may be missing for you.

10. Give what you want to get. Our needs change with time. If you’d like to feel understood, try being more understanding. If you want to feel more love, try giving more. It’s a simple program that really works.

Thank you

Laurie Groh, MS LPC SAS

Mental Health Counselor at Shoreside Therapies in Whitefish Bay

There are no guarantees, but couples who practice these techniques have longer and stronger relationships than those who are not proactive in their love

Best Tips for a Better Relationship: Improving Your Relationship Can Be as Easy as Improving Yourself – Yahoo! Voices – voices.yahoo.com

1. Don’t Say Things in Anger – We’ve all done it. Lost our temper in the middle of a fight with a boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife and shouted something we later regret. The first tip to help get a better relationship is simple. Don’t say things in anger, because I’ll guarantee you will regret them later. Take a deep breath, calm down and, once you’re calm and had time to think, tell your partner what’s really making you angry. Surprisingly, you’ll often find out it’s not the thing you thought it was, and you won’t have to regret saying that it was.

2. Trust Your Partner – So many times I hear people complaining about their relationships, and then I realize they don’t trust their partner. Never have. Without trust, a relationship will never be a healthy one. So, until you know any different, trust that what your partner is telling you and doing can be trusted. Men especially need to be trusted; it’s the cornerstone of any healthy relationship with a woman. Trust him, and you could be shocked at how much healthier your relationship suddenly becomes because, after all, if you don’t trust someone, they often start to do things you accused them of. After all, if you think they’re doing it, they might as well. Right?

3. Be Complimentary – People love compliments, but very few of us in relationships actually give them. Men and women love compliments so give them freely. Men especially love to get compliments as, more than women, they very rarely receive them. Make a vow to yourself. Give your partner a new compliment at least two or three times a week and see how quickly your relationship will become better.

4. Stand Up To Your Partner – Don’t let yourself be trodden on or rode roughshod over by your partner. Stand up for yourself and don’t accept bad behavior. Surprisingly, the less you put up with bad behavior, the less likely you are to get it. Men and women respect people who respect themselves so stand up for yourself and your partner will respect you more too.

5. Always Think of ‘We’ – Too many people in relationships think about ‘me’ and not ‘we’. A relationship is made up of two people. Make sure you make decisions that are healthy for both of you and your relationship will automatically become a better one.

6. Talk to Each Other – The best relationship advice in the world is this – talk to each other. When you’ve got problems or concerns, or things just don’t seem to be going right, don’t talk to your friends, talk to each other. Nobody else, except the people in the relationship really know what’s going on in it or understands what the problems are. Talk to each other, don’t hide anything, and work things out together.

7. Don’t Treat Your Partner Like The Enemy – So many people treat their girlfriends and boyfriends, husbands and wives, like the enemy. They’re not. They’re actually supposed to love you and you them so, if you’re treating your partner like the enemy, stop it! Treat him or her like an ally and, unsurprisingly, they’ll probably become one.

8. Talk About Your Partner The Way You Want Him/Her To Be – People usually become what we tell them they are. If we tell them they’re “stupid”, “lazy”, “rude”, “disrespectful”, then that’s what they usually become. But, if you are constantly telling them they are “smart”, “handsome”, “kind” and “a good person”, fascinatingly, that’s what they become. Never tell your partner that he or she is something negative or you may get what you didn’t wish for.

9. Nagging is the Worst Thing You Can Do – Most men who have affairs often say it’s because they lived with a nagger. Nothing they ever did was right, and most of it was wrong. Imagine going home every day and being told exactly what you’re doing wrong. It’s not surprising that many men have affairs because they want to be with someone who makes them feel good about themselves. When you feel yourself nagging, stop it. Nagging is absolute poison to a relationship and, besides, you married a grown-up right? So why do you suddenly have to become his mother?

10. Spend Time Together – Too many people are so obsessed with making money and buying stuff, they don’t spend enough time with their partner. Spend quality time every day with your partner, even if it’s just watching a TV show together, doing the dishes together, or putting the kids to bed together. It’s the little things in a healthy relationship that keep it healthy but spending time together is a big one.

via Best Tips for a Better Relationship: Improving Your Relationship Can Be as Easy as Improving Yourself – Yahoo! Voices – voices.yahoo.com.

Symptoms of Codependence

Are you codependent?? Would you like simple steps to start creating healthier relationships? 

I am offering a seminar and potentially a 6 week class focusing on skills to help you to create boundaries, gain more time, and gain more emotional energy!

Check it out.

http://grohhealthyliving.com/event-registration/?action=evregister&event_id=9

 

Codependency involves a habitual system of thinking, feeling, and behaving toward ourselves and others that can cause pain.
Codependent behaviors or habits are self-destructive.
We frequently react to people who are destroying themselves; we react by learning to destroy ourselves. These habits can lead us into, or keep us in, destructive relationships that don’t work. These behaviors can sabotage relationships that may otherwise have worked. These behaviors can prevent us from finding peace and happiness with the most important person in our lives…. ourselves. These behaviors belong to the only person we can change.. ourselves. These are our problems.
The following are characteristics of codependent persons: (We started to do these things out of necessity to protect ourselves and meet our needs.)

Care Taking

Codependents may,
1. Think and feel responsible for other people—for other people’s feelings, thoughts, actions, choices, wants, needs, well-being, lack of well-being, and ultimate destiny.
2. Feel anxiety, pity, and guilt when other people have a problem.
3. Feel compelled –almost forced — to help that person solve the problem, such as offering unwanted advice, giving a rapid-fire series of suggestions, or fixing feelings.
4. Feel angry when their help isn’t effective.
5. Anticipate other people’s needs
6. Wonder why others don’t do the same for them.
7. Don’t really want to be doing, doing more than their fair share of the work, and doing things other people are capable of doing for themselves.
8. Not knowing what they want and need, or if they do, tell themselves what they want and need is not important.
9. Try to please others instead of themselves.
10. Find it easier to feel and express anger about injustices done to others rather than injustices done to themselves.
11. Feel safest when giving.
12. Feel insecure and guilty when somebody gives to them.
13. Feel sad because they spend their whole lives giving to other people and nobody gives to them.
14. Find themselves attracted to needy people.
15. Find needy people attracted to them.
16. Feel bored, empty, and worthless if they don’t have a crisis in their lives, a problem to solve, or someone to help.
17. Abandon their routine to respond to or do something for somebody else.
18. Over commit themselves.
19. Feel harried and pressured.
20. Believe deep inside other people are somehow responsible for them.
21. Blame others for the spot the codependents are in.
22. Say other people make the codependents feel the way they do.
23. Believe other people are making them crazy.
24. Feel angry, victimized, unappreciated, and used.
25. Find other people become impatient or angry with them for all of the preceding characteristics.

Low Self Worth

Codependents tend to:
1. Come from troubled, repressed, or dysfunctional families.
2. Deny their family was troubled, repressed or dysfunctional.
3. Blame themselves for everything.
4. Pick on themselves for everything, including the way they think, feel, look, act, and behave.
5. Get angry, defensive, self-righteous, and indigent when others blame and criticize the codependents — something codependents regularly do to themselves.
6. Reject compliments or praise
7. Get depressed from a lack of compliments and praise (stroke deprivation)
8. Feel different from the rest of the world.
9. Think they’re not quite good enough.
10. Feel guilty about spending money on themselves or doing unnecessary or fun things for themselves.
11. Fear rejection.
12. Take things personally.
13. Have been victims of sexual, physical, or emotional abuse, neglect, abandonment, or alcoholism.
14. Feel like victims.
15. Tell themselves they can’t do anything right.
16. Be afraid of making mistakes.
17. Wonder why they have a tough time making decisions.
18. Have a lot of “shoulds”.
19. Feel a lot of guilt.
20. Feel ashamed of who they are.
21. Think their lives are not worth living.
22. Try to help other people live their lives instead.
23. Get artificial feelings of self-worth from helping others.
24. Get strong feelings of low self-worth —embarrassment, failure, etc…from other people’s failures and problems.
25. Wish good things would happen to them.
26. Believe good things never will happen.
27. Believe they don’t deserve good things and happiness.
28. Wish others would like and love them.
29. Believe other people couldn’t possibly like and love them.
30. Try to prove they’re good enough for other people.
31. Settle for being needed.

Repression


Many Codependents:
1. Push their thoughts and feelings out of their awareness because of fear and guilt.
2. Become afraid to let themselves be who they are.
3. Appear rigid and controlled.

Obsession

Codependents tend to:
1. Feel terribly anxious about problems and people.
2. Worry about the silliest things.
3. Think and talk a lot about other people.
4. Lose sleep over problems or other people’s behavior.
5. Worry
6. Never Find answers.
7. Check on people.
8. Try to catch people in acts of misbehavior.
9. Feel unable to quit talking, thinking, and worrying about other people or problems.
10. Abandon their routine because they are so upset about somebody or something.
11. Focus all their energy on other people and problems.
12. Wonder why they never have any energy.
13. Wonder why they can’t get things done.

 Controlling

Many codependents:
1. Have lived through events and with people that were out of control, causing the codependents sorrow and disappointment.
2. Become afraid to let other people be who they are and allow events to happen naturally.
3. Don’t see or deal with their fear of loss of control.
4. Think they know best how things should turn out and how people should behave.
5. Try to control events and people through helplessness, guilt, coercion, threats, advice-giving, manipulation, or domination.
6. Eventually fail in their efforts or provoke people’s anger.
7. Get frustrated and angry.
8. Feel controlled by events and people.

Denial

Codependents tend to:
1. Ignore problems or pretend they aren’t happening.
2. Pretend circumstances aren’t as bad as they are.
3. Tell themselves things will be better tomorrow.
4. Stay busy so they don’t have to think about things.
5. Get confused.
6. Get depressed or sick.
7. Go to doctors and get tranquilizers.
8. Become workaholics.
9. Spend money compulsively.
10. Overeat.
11. Pretend those things aren’t happening either.
12. Watch problems get worse.
13. Believe lies.
14. Lie to themselves.
15. Wonder why they feel like they’re going crazy.

Dependency

Many codependents:
1. Don’t feel happy, content, or peaceful with themselves.
2. Look for happiness outside themselves.
3. Latch onto whoever or whatever they think can provide happiness.
4. Feel terribly threatened by the loss of any thing or person they think proves their happiness.
5. Didn’t feel love and approval from their parents.
6. Don’t love themselves.
7. Believe other people can’t or don’t love them.
8. Desperately seek love and approval.
9. Often seek love from people incapable of loving.
10. Believe other people are never there for them.
11. Equate love with pain.
12. Feel they need people more than they want them.
13. Try to prove they’re good enough to be loved.
14. Don’t take time to see if other people are good for them.
15. Worry whether other people love or like them.
16. Don’t take time to figure out if they love or like other people.
17. Center their lives around other people.
18. Look for relationships to provide all their good feelings.
19. Lost interest in their own lives when they love.
20. Worry other people will leave them.
21. Don’t believe they can take care of themselves.
22. Stay in relationships that don’t work.
23. Tolerate abuse to keep people loving them.
24. Feel trapped in relationships.
25. Leave bad relationships and form new ones that don’t work either.
26. Wonder if they will ever find love.

Poor Communication

Codependents frequently:
1. Blame
2. Threaten
3. Coerce
4. Beg
5. Bribe
6. Advise
7. Don’t say what they mean.
8. Don’t mean what they say.
9. Don’t know what they mean.
10. Don’t take themselves seriously.
11. Think other people don’t take the codependents seriously.
12. Take themselves too seriously.
13. Ask for what they want and need indirectly — sighing, for example.
14. Find it difficult to get to the point.
15. Aren’t sure what the point is.
16. Gauge their words carefully to achieve a desired effect.
17. Try to say what they think will please people.
18. Try to say what they think will provoke people.
19. Try to say what they hop will make people do what they want them to do.
20. Eliminate the word NO from their vocabulary.
21. Talk too much.
22. Talk about other people.
23. Avoid talking about themselves, their problems, feelings, and thoughts.
24. Say everything is their fault.
25. Say nothing is their fault.
26. Believe their opinions don’t matter.
27. Want to express their opinions until they know other people’s opinions.
28. Lie to protect and cover up for people they love.
29. Have a difficult time asserting their rights.
30. Have a difficult time expressing their emotions honestly, openly, and appropriately.
31. Think most of what they have to say is unimportant.
32. Begin to talk in Cynical, self-degrading, or hostile ways.
33. Apologize for bothering people.

Weak Boundaries

Codependents frequently:
1. Say they won’t tolerate certain behaviors from other people.
2. Gradually increase their tolerance until they can tolerate and do things they said they would never do.
3. Let others hurt them.
4. Keep letting others hurt them.
5. Wonder why they hurt so badly.
6. Complain, blame, and try to control while they continue to stand there.
7. Finally get angry.
8. Become totally intolerant.

Lack of Trust

Codependents
1. Don’t trust themselves.
2. Don’t trust their feelings.
3. Don’t trust their decisions.
4. Don’t trust other people.
5. Try to trust untrustworthy people.
6. Think God has abandoned them.
7. Lose faith and trust in God.

Anger

Many Codependents:
1. Feel very scared, hurt, and angry
2. Live with people who are very scared, hurt, and angry.
3. Are afraid of their own anger.
4. Are frightened of other people’s anger.
5. Think people will go away if anger enters the picture.
6. Feel controlled by other people’s anger.
7. Repress their angry feelings.
8. Think other people make them feel angry.
9. Are afraid to make other people feel anger.
10. Cry a lot, get depressed, overact, get sick, do mean and nasty things to get even, act hostile, or have violent temper outbursts.
11. Punish other people for making the codependents angry.
12. Have been shamed for feeling angry.
13. Place guilt and shame on themselves for feeling angry.
14. Feel increasing amounts of anger, resentment, and bitterness.
15. Feel safer with their anger than hurt feelings.
16. Wonder if they’ll ever not be angry.

Sex Problems.

Some codependents:
1. Are caretakers in the bedroom.
2. Have sex when they don’t want to.
3. Have sex when they’d rather be held, nurtured, and loved.
4. Try to have sex when they’re angry or hurt.
5. Refuse to enjoy sex because they’re so angry at their partner
6. Are afraid of losing control.
7. Have a difficult time asking for what they need in bed.
8. Withdraw emotionally from their partner.
9. Feel sexual revulsion toward their partner.
10. Don’t talk about it.
11. Force themselves to have sex, anyway.
12. Reduce sex to a technical act.
13. Wonder why they don’t enjoy sex.
14. Lose interest in sex.
15. Make up reasons to abstain.
16. Wish their sex partner would die, go away, or sense the codependent’s feelings.
17. Have strong sexual fantasies about other people.
18. Consider or have an extramarital affair.

Miscellaneous

Codependents tend to:
1. Be extremely responsible.
2. Be extremely irresponsible.
3. Become martyrs, sacrificing their happiness and that of others for causes that don’t require sacrifice.
4. Find it difficult to feel close to people.
5. Find it difficult to have fun and be spontaneous.
6. Have an overall passive response to codependency — crying, hurt, helplessness.
7. Have an overall aggressive response to codependency — violence, anger, dominance.
8. Combine passive and aggressive responses.
9. Vacillate in decisions and emotions.
10. Laugh when they feel like crying.
11. Stay loyal to their compulsions and people even when it hurts.
12. Be ashamed about family, personal, or relationship problems.
13. Be confused about the nature of the problem.
14. Cover up, lie, and protect the problem.
15. Not seek help because they tell themselves the problem isn’t bad enough, or they aren’t important enough.
16. Wonder why the problem doesn’t go away.

Progressive

In the later stages of codependency, codependents may:
1. Feel lethargic.
2. Feel depressed.
3. Become withdrawn and isolated.
4. Experience a complete loss of daily routine and structure.
5. Abuse or neglect their children and other responsibilities.
6. Feel hopeless.
7. Begin to plan their escape from a relationship they feel trapped in.
8. Think about suicide.
9. Become violent.
10. Become seriously emotionally, mentally, or physically ill.
11. Experience an eating disorder (over- or under eating)
12. Become addicted to alcohol or other drugs.

 

What is ACoA?

Ask The Experts

What is an ACoA?

Answer from Tian Dayton, MA, PhD, TEP:

An ACoA is a person who grew up with alcoholism/addiction, mental illness, abuse or neglect  in their childhood who feels the effects of this childhood experience in adulthood. In my book The ACoA Trauma Syndrome, I connect this reaction with post-traumatic stress syndrome/disorder or PTSD. The ACoA trauma syndrome means essentially that unresolved pain, fear, anxiety and resentment from our primary family or origin relationships becomes restimulated in adult partnering and parenting. The feelings of vulnerability, dependence and deep, intimate connection that we experience as partners and parents act as triggers for hidden or unresolved pain associated with those feelings. In the same way that a soldier might duck at the sound of a car backfiring because it reads to his unconscious as gunfire, the ACoA might duck emotionally when confronted with anger, humiliation or feeling abandoned. Even a raised eyebrow, a sudden change of mood in another person or anger can catapult an ACoA into memories that they may have sat on for years and years. When these memories get triggered, the ACoA my freeze or even shiver inside, they may want to leave the room and avoid the situation that is stimulating them or they may want to fight, defend themselves and say all that they never got a chance to say as children. They, in other words, overreact to the situation in the present that is stimulating pain from the past. But many ACoAs do not know this is happening and they get caught in a reenactment in which they live out their old pain in a new relationship but they do not know that’s what is going on. They import past pain and project it onto whoever is triggering them, though the person in the present may well be doing something objectionable, the ACoA may have trouble understanding that some of the intensity of their reaction is, in fact, historical.

Tian Dayton, MA, PhD, TEO, is the director of the New York Psychodrama Training Institute and executive editor of the Journal for Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy. She is the recipient of the Mona Mansell Award, the Ackerman/Black Award and the Kipper Scholar’s Award for her contributions to the fields of addiction and psychodrama. She serves on the advisory board of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics and is the author of fifteen books. Dr. Dayton is the creator of the Internet’s first interactive self-help website, emotionalexplorer.com. You can learn more about ACoAs and The ACoA Trauma Syndrome by ordering her book at hcibooks.com for 20 percent of the list price of $16.95. Read her feature article on the topic in the upcoming December issue of Counselor magazine.

via Counselor.