Even Burned Out, Kids Needs You
Gary Direnfeld
by Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
3d ago
You may be a burned out parent. You can recognize it by giving into your kids’ demands while complaining they don’t listen. You may find yourself trying to buy their understanding and reasonable behavior while thinking they are ungrateful and/or spoiled. You may be seeking help for them, hoping someone else can either talk some sense into them or help them see how good they’ve got it. Thing is, you’re likely tired, exhausted. You may be struggling to make ends meet. Your work may be demanding or precarious. Your housing may cost a fortune leaving you with litte left but fears. Being burnt out ..read more
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Big Feelings, Tension, Fear…
Gary Direnfeld
by Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
3d ago
Abandonment. That sense of being left behind. It’s so triggering. Then when the distance is bridged and the dramatic reconnection wears, the doubt sets back in. Then the sabotaging. Not sure if it’s oneself or the other. It’s just insecure again. The ambivalence creates tension yet again. It can’t be tolerated and away they go again. Freak out. Chase. Catch. Relief. Ambivalent. Distance. Breakdown. Run. Repeat. It is the borderline’s pattern. Borderline Personality Disorder. It’s intense. Big dramatic relationship. It’s tempestuous. It’s fragile. It’s often based on a lifetime of ambiguity in ..read more
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Medication for Depression or Anxiety
Gary Direnfeld
by Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
3d ago
If you have been prescribed medication for depression or anxiety, it is important to know it can take a good four to six weeks before you truly feel the benefit. Unlike a Tylenol for a headache which usually reaches therapeutic level in about 20 minutes, medications for depression and anxiety literally takes weeks. If there are side affects, the most common being headache, nausea, upset stomach, sleep disturbance, most subside in two to three weeks. Often the person taking the meds doesn’t see the effect as soon as those living with the person. Those living with you may start to see an improve ..read more
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Parents: Launching Pads and Guidance Systems
Gary Direnfeld
by Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
3d ago
At fourteen she was fawning over a guy. The guy was also fourteen. School was a distant afterthought for her. What she wanted was that boy. He was a decent boy. Naïve. Good family. She certainly distracted him. He was also her distraction. She needed distraction from her life at home. She put on a brave face. She presented so lovely. It was a mask. The mask covered all that she saw. All that she lived. It was the stuff of nightmares. With that boy, she was a million miles away. It would catch up with her. Her life was a house of cards. She would find herself lost. Her family imploded. She had ..read more
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Realizing One’s Partner is a Narcissist
Gary Direnfeld
by Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
3w ago
She thought her husband had changed. She emplored him to go to therapy so as to return to the man she thought she knew. He wouldn’t. He was pleased with himself. He felt it was she who was the problem. She wouldn’t cowtow to his bidding. He pressed harder, more nasty. She would give in. He would be nice again… and on and on it went. Truth is, he didn’t change. He had only revealed more of himself to her. It wasn’t a matter of getting back the man she knew. It was coming to terms with the man he was. She had mistaken the love bombing for true affection rather than what it was, a lure to capture ..read more
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Leeches and Snakes and Turtles, Oh My!
Gary Direnfeld
by Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
3w ago
It was one of those showers that felt extra good. Plenty of hot water. Nice stream. It flowed over me. It came after this mornings kayak ride. The shower wasn’t necessary from sweating. It was because when I first got into the kayak, I wasn’t centered. I bailed. Our house backs onto a little waterway. It’s actually a man-made lagoon that was dug somewhere around the 1920s. It leads to the lake through a small bridge over which the roadway travels. It’s scenic. Plenty of small fishing boats and personal water craft line the sides. Picturesque. The lagoon has plenty of wildlife. On the surface b ..read more
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Managing That Teen
Gary Direnfeld
by Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
3w ago
When the relationship with your teen is in tatters, it’s up to you to restore it. Lectures won’t do it. Gifts won’t do it. Harsher punishments won’t do it either. Consider guerilla love. In guerilla warfare we sneak up on our enemy combatant and when they least suspect it, we attack, slay and sneak away. With guerilla love, we sneak up on our kid not to slay, but to deliver a small and quick act of affection. The teen rarely left their room. When they did, it was like an invitation to conflict. It could be over not showing up for dinner, a messy bedroom, schoolwork incomplete. Like a turtle wi ..read more
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Those @#!$* Video Games!
Gary Direnfeld
by Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
1M ago
So many parents seem befuddled, not knowing what to do when their child is hooked on video games. They spend considerable time negotiating, coaching, goading, yelling, screaming and threatening. If the child cannot stop their play and is resistant to any of those approaches, the real solution is to cut off their supply. It’s important to appreciate that gaming can be compared to any substance addiction. Any amount keeps the user hooked, looking for the next fix. To think a parent can simply limit use typically sets up a cat and mouse dynamic where the child is forever begging, seeking, sneakin ..read more
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Growth – It comes from the problems we face….
Gary Direnfeld
by Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
1M ago
My first essay at university earned me a “D”. It was written on the top of the page as a large red letter. The comment beneath the letter was, “You have a serious writing problem.” I went to that prof and asked for help. He told me to read Hemingway. I told him I didn’t enjoy novels and he said that I should get his anthology of short stories then. That way, I could quickly get through one story and then another. It would be easier for me to manage. He said by reading Hemingway, I could copy his style. Short sentences. Few sentences per paragraph. My essay was like one run on sentence with lit ..read more
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Attachment Theory Through Three Examples
Gary Direnfeld
by Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
1M ago
The baby goes wah. It’s the parent’s job to figure out why so that they may soothe the child. The parent often checks the diaper first. It’s quick and easy. Assuming a clean diaper and the baby is still in distress, the parent tries to feed the child, wondering if hungry. However, in this case the child continues to wah. Not sure what to do next, the parent lifts the child in the air and goes, “Cootchi coo.” With that, the child settles. It seems the little one just needed some stimulation. Throughout, the child’s experience is that when in distress, the parent (an adult) comes when signaled ..read more
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