Good Grief: Part 5

By: Sam Reiner

And now we have come to the last part of my blogs on grief. So far we have gone over what you will be going through while grieving and how long grief should last. But now we must ask, how can you move on? Well that’s easy, you know you can move on when you’ve hit the acceptance stage and start feeling better. You may start to feel better in small ways at first. You could find it easier to get out of bed in the morning or you could have burst of energy. You will begin to feel like your old self again and you will start to reorganize your life to accommodate the loss. This may cause you to have a series of ups and downs. One day you may feel amazing but the next you feel absolutely terrible. You may feel guilty or disloyal for moving on and that this is a completely normal feeling. It is also normal to feel grief on birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, or other special times. However, it’s important to remember is that all these feelings are completely natural.

And just like that, we have reached the end. At the beginning of part 1 I hoped to answer 3 questions about grief. What will I feel, how long will I feel it, and how can I move on? If I did my job correctly, I have been able to answer all these questions so you are better prepared to face the hardship that is grief.

If you or someone you know is grieving, contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/.

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Breakups: High School Sweetheart not so Sweet

By: Emily Mulhaul

To all of the silent sufferers out there who feel as though they are being dramatic for grieving a loss of a relationship for over a year now, you are not alone and you are not dramatic. Breakups can take an emotional toll on us that sometimes prolong for a year or more. Often times, our past experiences shape our present situation, meaning the termination of one relationship may affect our future relationships. Not only may it shape our present relationships with others, but it shapes relationships with oneself as well. Breakups may deprive us of the self confidence and hope we once had because it seemed to have vanished alongside the memory of the relationship.

Whether your break up is affecting your relationship with others or your relationship with yourself, experienced psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, social workers, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling are here to help. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment.

 

Relationships: Abusive Relationships: Why We Repeat the Past

“Why didn’t you just walk away?” “How could you let this happen to yourself again?” These questions are not uncommon for survivors of domestic abuse to hear. When a person has numerous maladaptive relationships, it leaves them and others baffled. Why on earth would someone put themselves in an abusive situation again? The answer to this lies in a psychological phenomenon called “repetition compulsion.” In repetition compulsion, a person either puts themselves into a situation where abuse is likely to happen again, or they reenact the past situation with another partner. Below are some theorized reasons why people repeat the past in their relationships.

  1. Change can be a scary or anxiety-provoking thing. Most of us stick to what we know, even if it means regularly dating partners who are physically and/or emotionally abusive.
  2. Some think that by putting themselves in the same situation, they can change the outcome this time. They think that they will be able to master this relationship, and this will make up for the last bad one.
  3. We might believe that if we act in just the right way, our partner’s behavior will change and they will treat us right.
  4. We begin to internalize the beliefs that we are unlovable and deserve to be mistreated.
  5.  Unconsciously or consciously, we seek out abuse from others due to conditioning.
  6. “Winning” an argument with an abusive partner may lead us to believe that we are able to do this again and the abuse will stop.

Despite how terrible the situation may be, know that you are not alone, there is help available, and there are resources to begin the healing process.

The psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, social workers, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling can help you. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment.

Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.

Further reading: “The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma” by Bessel van der Kolk, M.D.

Source: Esposito, Linda. “Why Do We Repeat the Past in Our Relationships?” Psychology Today. Sussex Pulishers, 22 Mar. 2016. Web. 07 Apr. 2016

By: Scout H

Relationship & Dating Tips

First dates can be exciting, enjoyable, and can open up a wide range of possibilities. If you’re about to spend time with someone new, make sure you keep your eyes open for some red flags that may predict the fate of your relationship down the road.

  • If they pay more attention to electronics than to you during the first date, you can easily tell where their priorities are.
  • If they spend the majority of the time talking about themselves during the date, it is possible you might end up with a narcissist.
  • Disclosing how much they hate their job or friend or relative, especially on a first date, should make you apprehensive. This shows that they have a history of tumultuous relationships.
  • Talking about an ex or comparing you to an ex is a huge indicator that your date is still hanging on to the past.
  • Asking if someone is enjoying the restaurant/music/movie is fine. You might find yourself becoming uncomfortable with how many times you need to reassure them. However, asking many times throughout the night how things are going may be a sign of low self-esteem.
  • If during the date they disclose a view that is fundamentally different from yours, don’t ignore it! Having different opinions is fine, but if your core beliefs are too different, this could make for some serious clashing in a relationship.
  • Being unnecessarily rude towards the waiter, a parking attendant, or other person in front of you is never a good sign. If they blow up on people for small things, imagine how they’d treat you if they thought you did something wrong!

If you learn to recognize the red flags, you will be able to know when to call a first date your last date!

If you’re dealing with relationship problems, consider reaching out to the psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, social workers, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722 1920 to set up an appointment.

Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.

Source: Degges-White, Suzanne. “13 First Date Red Flags.” Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers, 31 Mar. 2016. Web. 01 Apr. 2016.

By: Scout H

How to Recognize a Sociopath

Sociopaths: devious, controlling, cunning. If you ever come across someone with this toxic antisocial personality disorder, it is important to know how to recognize the signs for your own personal safety. These people repeatedly disregard the feelings of others while seeking only to please themselves. They are unable to have the ability to organize their emotions and therefore have no shame about their actions, regardless of how it makes those around them feel. Often, they find internal gratification from hurting others. Below are some warning signs to help you identify a sociopath:

  • A discrepancy between what the person says, and what the person does
  • Making excuses for themselves when they are caught in a lie
  • Changing the subject when they are caught in a lie
  • Beating around the bush when asked questions about the lie you caught them in or not answering them directly
  • Knowing others’ vulnerabilities and manipulating them for personal gain
  • Ability to understand laws and rules, but being unable to understand emotionally why those rules are in place
  • No feelings of shame when they know they have hurt other people
  • Repeatedly putting themselves in situations which could get them arrested
  • Disregarding the safety of themselves or others
  • Constant irritability, hostility, and antagonism
  • Performing cruel and gruesome acts on animals

If these warning signs sound like they apply to yourself or someone you know, it is very important to start therapy. With the help of a medical professional, the combination of medication and psychotherapy can help people with this personality disorder.

The psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, social workers, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling can help you. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722 1920 to set up an appointment.

Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.

Sources:

“Sociopath X – ALL ABOUT SOCIOPATHS – Sociopathic Personality Disorder and Types.” D for Depression Depressive Psychological Disorders. Depression D, 2010. Web. 04 Mar. 2016.

By: Scout H

Breakups: The 5 Stages of Moving On

Often, the end of a relationship can feel like a loss. In a second, lovers can turn into strangers and it is only natural to grieve over someone who played a significant part in your life. Although the path of moving on is different for everyone, here are five common stages that you might experience after breaking up.

  1. Denial. Our hearts play a big role in this stage, as we struggle to come to terms with the fact that our lives are about to drastically change. When the breakup is fresh, no one wants to think of having to start over and adjust to a life without their significant other. We often think of ways to get the person back or convince ourselves this is only temporary. You might even tell yourself the situation is a mistake and you and your partner will get back together soon.
  2. Anger. Once the reality begins to set in, we become angry with the situation and usually at our ex. “How could (s)he do this to me?” “I bet s(he) was cheating on me all along!” We might also become mad at our friends once hearing their opinions on the breakup. Although they might say some valid things, you are in no mindset to hear anyone who disagrees with you.
  3. Bargaining. To start, you could begin to bargain with your ex. “I’ll change”, “I’ll start being nice to your friends” or “You’re hurting the kids by walking away!” are some common things to say. People sometimes turn to a higher power and beg for the situation to be different.
  4. Depression. Now the reality has sunk in completely. You may feel like you do not want to leave your bed in the morning. You feel hopeless as if nothing will work out in the future now that this person is gone.
  5. Acceptance. Over time, you will acknowledge the loss and realize that you are slowly moving forward with your life. You might fall back into one of the previous stages, but remember that this is a process and you are taking things a step at a time.

 

If you’re struggling with a breakup or are having relationship problems, consider reaching out to the psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, social workers, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722 1920 to set up an appointment.

Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.

Source: Kromberg, Jennifer. “The 5 Stages of Grieving the End of a Relationship.” Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers, LLC, 11 Sept. 2013. Web. 10 Mar. 2016.

By: Scout H

 

 

Marriage: Is Social Media a Threat to Your Relationships?

Marriage: Is Social Media a Threat to Your Relationship?

Marriage: Is Social Media a Threat to Your Relationship?

“Love in the Age of Social Media”

By: Jessica Ortega

Our digital lives are slowly but surely taking over our physical world. Today, 61% of Americans own smart phones and it is estimated they spend about 11 hours a day on major media sources. With all these online communication tools available, it is no surprise that the usage of these take a toll on our most important relationship: our marital relationship. In times of marital trouble, it is easy to disconnect from your spouse and connect with someone else through social media. The result of an environment where temptation and opportunities for affairs are readily available, can cause a drift in your marriage.

According to The Huffington Post, couples using more than five [social media] channels reported a 14% drop in marital satisfaction. Aside from marital unhappiness, social media usage has been linked to divorce rates, and the devastation of breaking families apart.

How can you tell if social media is negatively impacting your marriage?

  • You are spending more time on social media than personal time with your spouse.
  • You are convinced online relationships are more enjoyable and fulfilling than your marriage or other activities.
  • There are spousal disagreements about the content you are publicly sharing online.
  • There is an urge for secrecy about your online relationships.

Of course, we are not advising you to permanently remove yourself from social media, as these are part of our present culture. As 21st century citizens, we are to acquire the skills that arise with the continuous advances in technology; however, when engaging in social media relationships, be cautious, act respectfully and remember that you are representing yourself as well as your family on the World Wide Web.

If you are concerned that you or anyone you care about may be experiencing distance or conflict in their marriage, the licensed professionals at Arista Counseling&Psychotherapy can assist you. Contact our Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.

Anxiety and Communication-How to prepare for a difficult conversation- Bergen County, NJ

By: Michelle Dierna

art of communication pic

Communicating can be very difficult when you are preparing to have a difficult conversation with an individual or group of people who you know most likely will have mixed reactions and emotions regarding the subject. Most People find it easier to avoid communicating something that they think is going to be controversial or unpleasant, which results in halting the communication and letting the situation linger. It’s usually embedded in people to avoid confrontation conflict and stressful situations.

“Learning how to have difficult conversations at work or in personal relationship’s boosts one’s confidence, increases one’s self-awareness, and gives one the sense of being in control of one’s own life. What stops us from having that difficult conversation we should have?”

Fear is usually what stops a person from confronting a difficult situation.  Fear can arise when facing a difficult conversation because you may be afraid that you will hurt someone’s feelings, fear losing people you love, or fear of incurring in those we love or want to impress, “we fear the consequences of engaging in a difficult conversation”.

 Some tips on preparing for a difficult conversation:

  • Don’t delay the conversation any longer and provide reasons for why it needs to happen: Delaying conversations just makes the situation more dramatic and can even lead to failing to ever resolve the conflict. Being honest and confronting the person/ group and giving them a reason to see why you would like to discuss the issue, this will optimistically lead to a respectful conversation between both parties.
  • Stay connected when communicating and encourage Questions: Each of us communicates in different ways; staying open-minded when communicating with the person or group and encouraging questions by the other person, may help the flow of communication and help to get a better understanding of how the individual or group feels about the subject at hand. It will encourage them to share their perspective. Do not focus the whole conversation on yourself; you should be interested in the other person’s opinions too. It is healthy to express your feelings but this is about you conversing back and forth, not one way.
  • Resist making fast assumptions; Think before speaking right away: Listen to the other person and assess the situation fairly. Many people have a hard time seeing things from the other person’s point of view. Before making assumptions about the situation, listen to the individual/group and then arrive at a conclusion because it could be that the situations that lead to the conversation was just a misunderstanding. Hopefully this will result in figuring out a solution to the situation/conversation or coming to a mutual agreement about what the future holds after the discussion.
  • Don’t Rehearse: Be genuine; if you are not you should not expect a sincere response. If you want to confront a situation that is bothering you, explain exactly how you feel honestly without sounding like your reading off a projector screen. Correct communication is the key to opening up new ways of approaching tough topics.

 If you are struggling with communication issues, problems confronting a difficult situation that may concern you or anxiety, feel free to contact our Bergen County, New Jersey or Manhattan offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists for an evaluation.

Arista Counseling and Psychiatric Services (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920

More detailed information can be found at http://www.acenterfortherapy.com

 

Sources:

1.”Tips on Having Difficult Conversations.” Harvard Business Review. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 May 2014. hbr.org/web/management-tip/tips-on-having-difficult-conversations

2. Aldo.Civico.Ph.D.“How to have difficult conversations”.psychologytoday/blog/turning-point/201405/how-have-difficult-conversations

Preventing Affairs: Four things you can do right now to stop infidelity from damaging your relationship

By: Davine Holness

Don't let this happen to you!

Infidelity: What can a couple do to inoculate itself against cheating?

An affair can be extremely damaging; in fact, the single most common way for a relationship to end is for one partner to become involved with another person.  People cheat for a variety of reasons, but one commonality is that the cheater feels that the new partner will meet more of their needs than their current partner.  While most marriages survive an extra-marital affair, it is much better to take steps to prevent it, rather than have to heal the hurt after it happens.  What most people don’t know is that there are some simple steps that can be taken to stop an affair before it occurs.

 1. Engage in an open conversation.  Most couples do not have an explicit discussion about affairs until one has already occurred.  Affairs are a contentious matter that can be uncomfortable to talk about.  However, taking the time to have a talk and create a Primary Prevention Plan can save you a lot of strife in the future.

2. Understand that it could happen to you.  Extra-marital affairs are more prevalent than you might think.  At least 80% of people start out their marriage with the belief that it will be a completely monogamous relationship.  However, 35-45% of marriages involve an affair of some sort.  Furthermore, while people tend to think that affairs are endemic to old or unhappy marriages, they are in fact most likely to occur in the first 5 years of marriage, with the highest rates occuring in the first two years.  Avoiding denial is an important step toward making an agreement that can ultimately prevent an affair.

3. Identify vulnerabilities.  Each partner should reflect on what situations would make them more likely to cheat, and share these vulnerabilities with the other.  They should then agree to let each other know if they’re in a potentially tempting situation rather than acting impulsively.  This makes affairs less likely by taking away the edge that they get from being spontaneous and secret.

4. Commit to honesty.  Agree that you will tell each other within 72 hours if an incident of cheating occurs.  Hiding what’s happened is usually more harmful than the incident itself.  Covering up infidelity leads to feelings of betrayal which only grow with time.  Honesty prevents an affair from becoming a bigger problem than it needs to be.

 

An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.  For help preventing (or recovering from) an affair, feel free to contact the Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan offices of Arista Counseling and Psychiatric Services (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920.  Visit www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.

Source:
McCarthy, B. W. (2012, January 2). Preventing extra-marital affairs. Psychology today. Retrieved May 15, 2014

Life after Infidelity: Trust Broken

By: Michelle Dierna

Don't let an affair ruin your relationship

Infidelity: What do you do next?

When trust is broken in a marriage it is extremely hard for both people involved, not only the person that was betrayed. When infidelity is exposed in a marriage the stability and future after the exposure can be very confusing. Many times in a situation where someone in the marriage is cheating it’s the secrecy that is worse than the actual infidelity – the broken trust. When couples are faced with infidelity, there are some ways that could possibly help find the answer to why the affair happened in the first place. If you want to save your marriage and you think the infidelity is straining your relationship, the cheater must work on fixing his/her mistakes with their partner. Here are some tips to help you work through infidelity in your marriage after it has been exposed.

  • Be Open and Honest: If you were the one cheating, be open and honest about all aspects of the affair. Sometimes opening up and revealing why the affair happened is the best way to figure out some voids that needed to be filled in the marriage. Identifying the voids in the marriage and what needs to happen to fill those voids could help heal the wounds in the marriage. It is about coming to an understanding – without excusing the infidelity.
  • Restoring Trust While Having Compassion: Making a list of trust- enhancing behaviors that will help a couple heal is a great idea! This is a good building block and a first step to rebuilding trusting your partner again. Compassion needs to be explained between both partners. Maybe the cheating occurred for a particular reason and something was lacking in the relationship. By having compassion the recovery process can begin.
  •  Set Boundaries That Make Both Partners Happy: Make date nights and more time for each other. Set aside a weekend for hiking, tennis or other activities you both enjoy doing together. Communicate and voice what makes each of you uncomfortable and what makes each of you happy. Discuss how you would like the relationship to develop in the future. Being more vocal about where the couple spends their time separately is a trust-building method if it’s not too demanding of your partner’s space.

If you are struggling with marriage or relationship issues that may concern infidelity, feel free to contact our Bergen County, New Jersey or Manhattan offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists for an evaluation of your relationships. Our marriage counselors and psychologists have successfully helped many couples and families.

Arista Counseling and Psychiatric Services (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920

More detailed information can be found at http://www.acenterfortherapy.com