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

Advertisements

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 Counseling Can Lead to Enhanced Communication and a Successful, Fulfilling Relationship

Marriage Counseling and Enhanced Communicaton

Marriage Counseling and Enhanced Communication

“Effective Conflict Resolution”

By: Jessica Ortega

Most people enter marriage with the intent of establishing a happy union with a life partner. Sadly, it is not always the case that everything works out as planned. As time passes, marital strife due to conflict begins to deteriorate the once happy union. When couples finally seek help, the relationship is sometimes so broken it is just too late. Everyone clashes due to the negative feelings from differences between two people; it is part of what it means to be together. However, it is important to know how to fight.

Couples with poor conflict resolution skills are not successful at solving problems and letting go. Here’s what to consider when problems arise so that you and your spouse can become marital masters:

  • Self-awareness: get to know yourself, your wants and needs and ask for them in a non-threatening way instead of expecting them from your partner.
  • Forgiveness: if you forgive yourself for any wrongdoing you or your spouse may have caused the marriage, you can be on your way to forgiving your partner and letting go.
  • Empathic listening and responding: express yourself in an honest way so that your partner preserves his/her self-image without invoking defensiveness.
  • Efficacy: expect a successful marriage. Have the idea that as a unit, you and your partner can get through difficult times.
  • Feedback: when necessary, provide positive feedback without attacking or invalidating your spouse.

Remember: having good relationships is a skill and marriage is one of the most important of those learned skills. If you are concerned that you or anyone you care about may be having marital issues, the licensed counselors and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling and Psychotherapy can assist you. They have successfully helped many couples to get through hard times and achieve marital happiness. 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.

If You Haven’t Already Done So, Forgive Yourself

By: Dariana Taveras

Relationship Problems: Why Forgiving is the First Step

For thinking that you could be the one to save the pieces of whatever is left of your relationship…for holding on tightly despite the currents that are attempting to knock you down…for not taking responsibility for whatever it is that you felt like you did to ruin your relationship. Most importantly, forgive yourself for YOURSELF.

You may think that you want to forgive yourself for the sake of your partner. However, the reality is that the only way to work through your current issues is by acknowledging what went wrong and concentrating on repairing it. The idea is to shift away from self-inflicted excuses and punishments. Your relationship still has an opportunity to be saved if you are willing to be accountable for your actions and wish to work towards a common goal. If your goal is to remain by each other’s side, then the first inevitable step is forgiveness. Satisfaction within your relationship may significantly improve if you begin to have fewer negative feelings towards yourself and your current situation.

If you are concerned that you or anyone you care about may be having relationship issues, the licensed professionals at Arista Counseling and Psychotherapy can assist you. They have successfully helped many with marriage, pre-marital, and relationship issues. 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.

ADHD: Symptoms in Adults – Bergen County, NJ

adhd-problem-focus-400x400

By Irada Yunusova

Although the visual of a hyperactive kid bouncing around in his seat is the cliché often associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, the symptoms of ADHD may prevail into adulthood and arise in different fashions. The subtle signs of adult ADHD may be overlooked because many of the symptoms seem like ordinary inconveniences everyone must face, such as boredom and daydreaming. The extent and frequency of symptoms must be considered in order to diagnose individuals and improve the life functioning of afflicted individuals. Five indicators of adult ADHD are discussed below.

1. Dissatisfaction with Reading

Many adults with ADHD do not draw satisfaction from reading books because books require a lot of attention. They may notice themselves going through the motions of reading without actually taking in the information, causing them to miss details that prevent continued interest. Adults with ADHD may enjoy websites and magazines more because they do not required as much ongoing attention.

2.Interruption during Conversations

Although adults with ADHD understand the proper etiquette of conversations, where individuals take turns in listening and speaking, they may find the balance difficult. Many adults do not have the attention and working memory to hold a thought in their mind while simultaneously listening to someone speak. Interruption may appear to be the only solution to prevent forgetting one’s comment. Some individuals identified challenges with communication as a cause of their marital problems.

3. Hyperactivity

This common identifier may present itself differently across individuals. Adults often times may describe themselves as restless, on edge, or tense. Diagnosing ADHD may be complicated by the fact that not all individuals with ADHD are hyperactive. In addition, those who were hyperactive as children may no longer be as adults.

4. Challenges with Focusing

Individuals with ADHD may find it more difficult to keep their attention on a given task. This may make them reckless drivers, where occurrences of speeding and traffic accidents may be common-place. Adults may also find themselves struggling with career performance because noise and phone calls may be a source of distraction.

5. Difficulty with Organization and Task Completion

Adults with ADHD may have difficulty organizing and balancing responsibilities, such as bills, their job, and children. Individuals with ADHD may have trouble starting a task and often procrastinate both in their home and work environments. Distractibility and inattentiveness may lead to tardiness in the completion of tasks.

Although adults with ADHD may have struggled for years, identifying this problem may improve their chance of finding treatment as adults. A combination of therapy and medication can help improve daily functioning and life satisfaction. If ADHD is causing distress, contacting a mental health professional at Arista Counseling and Psychological Services in Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan, NY may be the first step. Feel free to contact us for a free phone consultation at 201-368-3700 in order to set up an appointment with one of our licensed therapists, counselors, psychologists, or psychiatrists. Help is just a phone call away.

 

Sources:

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2014/07/27/subtle-signs-you-may-have-adult-adhd/

http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/guide/10-symptoms-adult-adhd?page=2

Marriage & Relationships: Is your partner in love? – Bergen County, NJ

By: Davine Holness

how to tell if your partner loves you

Marriage & Relationships: What are some signs that can clue you in that your partner loves you?

Actions speak louder than words.  Couples and marriage partners often say they love each other, but how do they show it?  Here are some clues that have been found by psychological research to be signs of being in love.  People who are in love…

  1. Find time for each other.  They want to spend as much time with each other as they can.
  2. Ask each other about their day, keeping lines of communication open.
  3.  Trust each other, giving each other the benefit of the doubt.
  4. Provide help for each other when it’s needed
  5. Respect each other’s points of view, even if there is disagreement.
  6. Include each other in important decisions.
  7. Show affection and are emotionally intimate.  They show signs of physical closeness.
  8. Look at each other and enjoy each other’s presence.
  9. Reminisce together, reliving enjoyable moments.
  10. See the relationship as worth fighting for.
  11. Boost each other’s self esteem and make each other feel valued.

For help with any kind of relationship issues, feel free to talk to the experienced marriage and relationship counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling and Psychotherapy at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 996-3939.

Source:

Krauss, S. (2014, March 15). 11 Ways to Tell if Your Lover Loves You. Retrieved June 9, 2014

Marriage Counseling – Love vs. Infatuation – Bergen County NJ

By: Davine Holness

Marriage: Knowing the difference between love and infatuation can help forge a healthy relationship

Marriage: Knowing the difference between love and infatuation can help forge a healthy relationship

One of the most beautiful feelings of the human experience is being in love.   However, many relationships have ended because people discovered that what they had thought was love was in fact merely its deceptive cousin: infatuation.  In any relationship, it’s important to know where you stand, and in amorous relationships this means finding out whether you’re truly in love or just infatuated with the other person.  While most people are infatuated with their love partners to an extent, it is important to understand which of the two forces is the basis of the relationship.  This knowledge can help you make wise decisions about commitments, and give you a better understanding of yourself and your partner.  Understanding the difference between love and infatuation will lead to a healthier, happier love life.

 

Infatuation is static: it is the passionate feeling when someone else is all you can think about.  It is when you are attracted to the person, and your priorities are built around them, but there is no shared growth or development.  When a relationship is based on infatuation, there is often little trust, loyalty, and commitment – the relationship isn’t a mutual give-and-take.  The key feature of infatuation is an unrealistic idea of who the other person is, and what the relationship will provide for your life.

 

Love, on the other hand is a dynamic process that involves shared emotion, trust and growth.  It’s constant consideration for the other person that leads to joint planning and decision making.   The important thing is knowing who the person really is, knowing that the relationship won’t be perfect, and loving them anyway. The relationship evolves as the individuals mature and needs change; the two parties work together in building a shared future.  Love is strong enough to outlast the ups and downs of life.

 

So how can you go about differentiating between love and infatuation?  Asking yourself the following questions can help you figure it out:

 

  • Are you truly happy?  Are you treated as a person of value?
  • Is there hope for a shared future?  Are the two of you thinking and planning as a couple rather than separately?
  • Is your life better because of your partner?
  • Are you foregoing your dreams for your partner, or are you restructuring your dreams to fit each other?
  • Does your partner’s mother know about you?
  • Most importantly: does the relationship bring out the best in each of you?

 

Telling the difference between true love and infatuation is not easy.  If you are working through this or other relationship/marriage issues, the Bergen County, New Jersey or Manhattan offices of Arista Counseling and Psychiatric Services can help.  Call us to arrange an appointment with one of our marriage counselors, psychotherapists, psychologists and psychiatrists.

 

Arista Counseling: (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920

Visit our website for more info: http://www.acenterfortherapy.com/

Relationships- Abusive Relationships- Bergen County, NJ

By: Michelle Dierna

pic45

Abusive Relationships take many shapes and forms. The most commonly known forms of abuse are verbal and physical but there are other kinds as well. In romantically abusive relationships, usually the abuser yearns to have a sense of control and power in the relationship. Many abusers have similar behavior patterns and characteristic traits that can be recognized as “red flags”. It is highly important to recognize the “red flags” if you feel you might be in an abusive relationship. Abusive relationships, no matter what form, can be extremely harmful to a person’s self-esteem, often causing one to question one’s sense of identity. There is also the strong overlapping issue of someone constantly trying to control a  victims thoughts and actions. This results in the abuser punishing the victim are verbally and/or physically abusive.

Some abusers share these traits:

  • Charismatic & Charming: It may shock some, but many abuser can at first, come across as very charming and charismatic, both widely attractive features. The abuser usually projects himself/herself as the ideal mate, courting the other individual by showering them with compliments, admiration, even with sentimental gifts. All of these “charming” approaches are smothered onto the person the abuser is trying to court. This can lure any person into starting a romantic relationship if they feel these signs of affection are authentic.
  • Manipulative and Controlling: Most abusers use the skills of manipulation and control. Both are innate characteristic traits of abusers. This may possibly be due to the fact that the abuser has often been the victim of abuse. People that have abusive tendencies, usually learned by seeing, hearing or experiencing abuse in their past. This might help us understand certain behaviors of abusers, but absolutely does not excuse it. These behaviors can potentially become dangerous.

Usually a person who is manipulative will control the more “submissive” individual by observing and taking advantage of “weak” and “vulnerable” areas of the other person. For example: ” Your dad left you because you have extreme anger issues and now I have to deal with it, because no one else will”. This is the point when power fuels the dynamic of the relationship into an unhealthy relationship. One person in the relationship obtains more authority which makes them believe they can set the boundaries and place rules as to what is right and wrong in the relationship.  This bias is usually towards themselves. The victim of a master manipulator will either detect these behaviors at first and leave the toxic situation or give the abuser exactly the reaction he/she wants, by giving the abuser the satisfaction of having control.

  • Narcissistic: In simple terms, the whole world revolves around a narcissistic person He or she is typically self-absorbed. It is hard to develop meaningful communication with a narcissistic person because the conversations are usually about his or her own feelings and his or her views and his or her interests. Someone who is narcissistic finds it hard entertain opinions other than their own. Thus, they tend to be more close minded than most people.
  • Jealous and Aggressive: Many people in abusive relationships don’t realize the abuse; they grow scared or become comfortable in the cycle of abuse, feeling unworthy of their significant other. Jealousy is yet another way for the abuser to take control away from their significant other. Victims will get scrutinized over actions that may cause their partner-the abuser to feel jealous. People in healthy relationships fight and argue too, but abusive/ unhealthy relationships can be filled with words of discouragement and false accusations. What healthy relationships find petty, unhealthy relationships magnify. Insecurity plays a huge part in jealousy by abusers: if the abuser feels that he or she is losing authority and control over their partner they can escalate any situation fast. When the abuser has this feeling of entitlement, most likely because of narcissistic tendencies, it is not uncommon for jealousy to turn into rage that can lead to aggressive physical abuse.

Once a person touches you against your will or even threatens to, don’t ever take it lightly. If you are scared to leave your significant other, call a friend, a therapist or the police and discuss what happened immediately. Keep in mind that verbal abuse is no better than physical abuse; they both can intertwine quickly and the outcome could potentially be terrible. Thus, ask a few questions to yourself if you are unsure if you are in an abusive relationship and make sure to seek help as soon as possible.

*Some questions you can ask yourself:

 1.  Do you feel nervous or anxious around your partner?

2.  Does he/she criticize and embarrass you in front of others?

3.  Are you afraid of having a different opinion from that of your partner and voicing it?

4.  Does your partner exhibit jealousy and accuse you of cheating or having an affair?

5.  Does he or she threaten to hit you or harm you in any way?

6. Are you constantly criticized and made to feel that you cant live without your significant other?

Relationships can be extremely complex at time.  Many woman and men stay in abusive relationships because they may feel that staying is their only choice. They may feel controlled by their significant other and scared to leave because of what their significant other might do if they leave. If this is you, get help immediately.

If you or a loved one think you might be in an abusive relationship,or feel you may be suffering from any form of abuse; feel free to contact our Manhattan or Bergen County, New Jersey offices to make an appointment with one of our own therapists, counselors, psychologists or psychiatrists for guidance needed or an evaluation.

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

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

Sources:

1.”The Christian Broadcasting Network.” 12 Traits of an Abuser. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 May 2014. .cbn.com/family/marriage/petherbridge_abusertraits.aspx.

2.”The Christian Broadcasting Network.” 12 Traits of an Abuser. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 May 2014. .cbn.com/family/marriage/petherbridge_abusertraits.aspx.

First Marriage, Then Love…Maybe

By: Riddhi Patelmarriage

Arranged marriage is the norm in many parts of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. For instance, in traditional Hindu and Muslim families, when an individual is ready for marriage, parents choose a potential spouse based on certain characteristics they feel would best benefit their child. These might include values and beliefs, family background and occupation. Once the two individuals meet and go on a few “dates”, they can either agree to get married soon thereafter, or disagree and continue the search for another potential partner.

Studies indicate that arranged marriages have lower rates of divorce than love marriages. India, one of the few countries where arranged marriage is still very common, has the lowest divorce rate in the world at 1.1 percent. This can have many different explanations. Due to the fact that arranged marriages remove differences in religion, cultural background and socioeconomic status, the husband and wife may understand each other more which may result in a longer lasting marriage. Another reason may be because parents know our personalities pretty well and so while choosing a potential partner, they base their judgment on logic rather than the emotion of love or lust. Those who believe in arranged marriage do not think it is necessary for love to be present before marriage. In fact, they believe marriage is like planting a seed in which love grows over the years.

However, there are instances in arranged marriages where the love just never grows. But, unfortunately, the couple remains in the relationship because divorce is frowned upon in their culture. Often times, in a situation like this a person may start to feel trapped in the relationship which can make matters worse.

If you or anyone you know is dealing with any kind of issues regarding a relationship or marriage, it may be beneficial to seek marriage counseling with a professional therapist who works with couples that have problems. If you are in Bergen County, New Jersey or Manhattan, New York, feel free to call 201-368-3700 to make an appointment with one of our own therapists, marriage counselors, psychologists or psychiatrists.

Emotional Abuse: Therapy Can Help

By: Samantha Santo

emotional abuse picture

There are a few different types of abuse that are prevalent in today’s society.  It seems that physical abuse is the most common form of abuse, but that isn’t necessarily the case.  It is important to know that abuse may not be identifiable by just looking at someone.  Emotional abuse is a form of abuse that can go unnoticed.  Emotional abuse is when your partner in a relationship continually embarrasses you, insults you and/or puts you down.

Here are a few more signs to help you determine if you are in an emotionally abusive relationship:

  1. You are constantly being told your opinion is “wrong”
  2. You feel belittled
  3. Your partner wants access to your e-mails, FaceBook, text messages, etc.
  4. You feel like you always have to justify yourself

If you can relate to any of the situations listed above, you may be in an unhealthy, abusive relationship.  It may be beneficial to contact a mental health professional and receive counseling or therapy to help you handle and put an end to the emotional abuse.  If you are in Bergen County, New Jersey feel free to call 201-368-3700 to make an appointment with one of our own licensed therapists, counselors, psychologists or psychiatrists.

For more information on emotional abuse, visit www.acenterfortherapy.com