Intern Spotlight: Meet Sara Mercier-Kennedy

M.S. Clinical Mental Health Intern Graduated from Colorado State University with a double Bachelor’s in Psychology and Sociology, where I focused on Gender Identity formation, and LGBTQIA+ issues.  Specifically those in relation to the Transgender population and access to health-care and mental health counseling by knowledgeable counseling professionals and doctors.  I then went on to …

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Love Addiction and Approval Addiction

In my experience as a counselor for a number of years, I have found that love addiction and approval addiction are far more prevalent than any other substance or process addictions. We live in a love-addicted, approval-addicted society.

What does it mean to be love/approval addicted? Below is a checklist for you to see if you are addicted to love and/or approval. Believing any of these may indicate love or approval addiction.

I believe that:

* My happiness and wellbeing are depended upon getting love from another person.

* My adequacy, lovability, and feelings of self-worth and self-esteem come from others liking me and approving of me.

* Others disapproval or rejection mean that Iím not good enough.

* I can’t make myself happy.

* I can’t make myself as happy as someone else can.

* My best feelings come from outside myself, from how other people or a particular other person sees me and treats me.

* Others are responsible for my feelings. Therefore, if someone cares about me, he or she will never do anything that hurts or upsets me.

* I can’t be alone. I feel like Iíll die if Iím alone.

* When I’m hurt or upset, itís someone elseís fault.

* It’s up to other people to make me feel good about myself by approving of me.

* I’m not responsible for my feelings. Other people make me feel happy, sad, angry, frustrated, shut down, or depressed. When I’m angry, someone makes me feel that way and is responsible for fixing my feelings.

* I’m not responsible for my behavior. Other people make me yell, act crazy, get sick, laugh, cry, get violent, leave, or fail.

* Others are selfish if they do what they want instead of what I want or need.

* If I’m not connected to someone, I will die.

* I can’t handle my pain, especially the pain of disapproval, rejection, abandonment, the pain of being shut out – the pain of isolation and loneliness.

Living as a love or approval addict is a very hard way to live. You have to constantly make sure you say the right thing, do the right, and look right in order to get the needed love and approval. Your feelings are on a roller coaster from feeling the wonderful feelings that come from getting your love or approval fixîto feeling the despair that comes when your supply source of your love and approval – shuts down, gets angry or judgmental, or goes away.

THE UNDERLYING CAUSE OF LOVE AND APPROVAL ADDICTION

Love and approval addiction is rooted in self-abandonment. Imagine the feeling part of you as a child, your inner child. When you are love or approval addicted, you have handed your inner child away for adoption. Instead of learning to take responsibility for your own happiness by loving and approving of yourself, you have handed your inner child away to others for love and approval making others responsible for your feelings. This inner self-abandonment will always cause the deep pain of low self-worth, making you dependent upon others for your sense of worth.

The sad thing about all of this is that love is the most abundant thing in the universe. We live in a sea of love it is always within us and all around us. It is our ability to connect and love oneself. When you learn to open to Self Love, you become filled with love, with peace, with joy. The empty place within that yearns to be filled becomes so filled with love that it overflows to others. You find yourself desiring to give love rather than always trying to get it.

As long as you make others your source for love, you will not find the love, peace and joy that you seek. By learning and practicing the Inner Bonding process that we teach, you can learn to fill yourself with love and heal your love and approval addictions.

Are you love or approval addicted? Most modern people are. The following checklist will help you to determine your level of love or approval addiction.

Domestic Violence And Depression

More and more people are reporting incidents of domestic violence to the police. If you are a victim of domestic violence you will be aware of just how frightening it can be. The question that many people ask is what are the causes of this violence, is the person just a lunatic or are there other reasons behind it.

According to the latest reports alcohol has a large part to play in leading to cases of domestic violence. In the example of a husband hitting his wife when he is drunk, this is typically what can happen. For the sake of making this article easier to read, I shall call the husband John and his wife Linda.

John is a really nice guy when sober. Linda is very much in love with him and hopes that they will grow old together. John is a great father to their two children, is helpful around the house and is a great cook. The problem occurs after he has had rather too much to drink. John now becomes a whole different person, he starts to accuse his wife of having an affair, becomes abusive and very argumentative. Linda realizing he is drunk attempts to walk away to leave John to his bad mood, this only adds however to his anger and he starts to become violent.

The next morning John can not believe what he has done and is full of regret and remorse. He can not say sorry enough and begs for Linda’s forgiveness. He promises that it will never happen again and states that he will give up the alcohol if that would make his wife happy.

Linda is not sure what to do, she would love to forgive and forget but feels that it is very likely that it only happen again in the future if she does.

In many cases people like Linda will forgive their partner or husband a number of times before eventually losing patience with them.

My advice for John would be to stop drinking alcohol straight away. This seems to be the cause of all of these problems, therefore you need to find something else to have an interest in.

Another cause of domestic violence is known to be depression. Some people who are normally very relaxed can become very angry and abusive when in a deep state of depression. They can take their problems and frustrations out on their partner much like in the example above.

A few days or weeks later when the person in question is feeling a lot happier, they will not believe what they have done.

Whether it is because of depression or alcohol, one solution to this domestic violence problem could be to attend some form of anger management program, that is for people like John.

Finding Help in the Mental Health Community by Melayne Spataro

Within recent years, the topic of mental health has become more talked about than it previously has. I think this is because people are more willing to talk about the things they are going through and are willing to talk to someone else about it. For such a long time, it was kinda looked at …

Read moreFinding Help in the Mental Health Community by Melayne Spataro

Finding Your Tribe By Melayne Spataro

There’s not really a set-in stone time layout in how long it takes to find your tribe, someone might be a friend that you have had since kindergarten and someone else might be someone you met several months ago or even a few weeks ago. Though there are some things that may differ from person …

Read moreFinding Your Tribe By Melayne Spataro

Alcohol Addiction: Debunking the Myth

Many people have their beliefs about alcohol addiction. However, most of these beliefs stem from a lack of experience, understanding and perhaps tolerance.  So let us correct some of these common misconceptions.

Myth 1: Addiction is only a bad habit and the only reason addicts can’t quit is because they have no willpower.

At the start of drinking, perhaps it could be a voluntary decision. Consider it a much needed respite from work, bills, relationship and all the drama. However, the more they choose to turn to it, the more dependent they become on it to relieve stress and in the end, they become addicted. This addiction happens because alcohol alters the brains and now the alcohol is in control of the addict.

Myth 2: Addicts are people with mental problems.

The statement is untrue. Addicts began as normal people who only started on one or two drinks to relieve stress. The more they seek this as an outlet, the more addicted they become. As we said in myth #1 alcohol alters the brain, creating a need in the user to be drinking all the time. This leads to bad life decisions.

Myth 3:  Treatment never works. Look at how many people relapse

The public thinks, that it will be easy to quit alcohol cold turkey however it is not that easy. The rehabilitation of alcoholics or treatment for them is not a one size fit all. The programme has to be tailored to suit the needs of the alcohol addicts. Different individuals have different issues that they are dealing with and they also respond differently to various treatment.

Myth 4: The addict has to be willing to quit for treatment to be effective.

Most of the time, they do not want treatment. They only seek treatment because they were ordered by the court or they were referred by concerned family members. Wanting to quit has little effect on the effectiveness on the treatment.

Myth 5: Addicts are a lost cause once they relapse.

Getting off the addiction is easy. Staying off it is difficult. Relapsing does not mean hitting rock bottom. It could be used as a positive thing by analyzing why the individual relapsed, what trigger that triggered the event and learn to avoid it next time. These are a few of the myths of alcohol addiction. The knowledge of this alone will help you be a better friend to those in need.

 

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How to Control Anger for a Happier Life?

Anger is a very important emotion and part of our make-up which warns us of unsafe situations and helps us to react effectively. Whereas the emotion of anger is necessary, it is important that the anger does not control your life, and controlling anger is something which some people find extremely difficult. You must learn to control your anger, as many otherwise happy relationships have been destroyed by one partner’s inability to control their temper, and eventually the concept of living with someone who has anger management problems becomes less and less desirable for the other partner who eventually and inevitably leaves.

In finding suitable ways of controlling anger, it is useful to find alternative ways to express emotions and gain a new perspective. If you look back over what has made you angry in the past, you will probably realise that in most of the occasions where you allowed your temper to flare up, it actually made the situation much worse in the long run, rather than better. This is an important realisation in learning to control your temper. Whenever you find yourself in this type of situation in the future, don’t just lash out but try to remove yourself from the situation, step back, calm down and think rationally about the consequences of your actions.

If you find that during the day anger wells up inside of you, it is a good idea to use exercise as a suitable medium to rid yourself of the frustration and anger. You may find that by spending some time at the gym, pumping iron, or by hitting a punch bag, your anger can be reduced and you will feel fitter and more relaxed and ready to face the world. This is a very effective way of controlling anger, particularly if you are prone to aggression and violence.

 

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