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          Trained in   Collaborative Divorce sm  model                

 

 

SOMEDAY, MAYBE 

THERE WILL EXIST A WELL-INFORMED,  WELL-CONSIDERED, AND YET FERVENT PUBLIC CONVICTION THAT THE MOST DEADLY OF ALL POSSIBLE SINS IS THE  MUTILATION OF A CHILDíS SPIRIT.

  ERIK ERIKSON

WHAT IS CODEPENDENCE?

These patterns and characteristics are offered as a tool to aid in self-evaluation. They may be particularly helpful to newcomers as they begin to understand codependence and may aid those who have been in recovery a while in determining what traits still need attention and transformation.

Denial Patterns:

I have difficulty identifying what I am feeling.

I minimize, alter or deny how I truly feel.

I perceive myself as completely unselfish and dedicated to the well being of others.

Low Self-Esteem Patterns:

I have difficulty making decisions.

I judge everything I think, say or do harshly, as never "good enough".

I am embarrassed to receive recognition and praise or gifts.

I do not ask others to meet my needs or desires.

I value othersí approval of my thinking, feelings and behaviors over my own.

I do not perceive myself as a lovable or worthwhile person.

Compliance Patterns:

I compromise my own values and integrity to avoid rejection or othersí anger.

I am very sensitive to how others are feeling and feel the same.

I am extremely loyal, remaining in harmful situations too long.

I value othersí opinions and feelings more than my own and am often afraid to express differing opinions and feelings of my own.

I put aside by own interests and hobbies in order to do what others want.

I accept sex when I want love.

Control Patterns:

I believe most other people are incapable of taking care of themselves.

I attempt to convince others of what they "should" think and how they "truly" feel.

I become resentful when others will not let me help them.

I freely offer others advice and directions without being asked.

I lavish gifts and favors on those I care about.

I use sex to gain approval and acceptance.

I have to be "needed" in order to have a relationship with others.

 

TWISTED THINKING

ALL OR NOTHING

Looking at things in absolute black and white categories, "Either/Or" thinking.

OVERGENERALIZATION

Viewing a single negative event as a never-ending pattern of defeat.

"Always" and "Never" thinking.

MENTAL FILTER

Dwelling on one negative detail, so your vision of an entire situation becomes dark and cloudy, like the drop of ink that discolors an entire glass of water.

SELF-DISCOUNT

Insisting that your own positive qualities or accomplishments "donít count". Difficulty with accepting compliments.

JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS

Mind Reading: You assume that you know what someone else is thinking or feeling, and you react as if it were true.

Fortune Telling: You predict a future where things canít change or turn out badly. Creating your own Soap Opera.

CATASTROPHIZING

Blowing things out of proportion, shrinking your importance. Role playing the "King or Queen of Tragedy".

EMOTIONAL REASONING

Reasoning from feelings. "I feel like a failure, therefore, I am a failure."

SHOULDS

"Should", "must", "ought to" and "have to" come from a parent or authority figure. "Should" means "I donít want to, but THEY are making me." Adults donít have "shoulds".

SELF LABELING

Identifying with your shortcomings and mistakes, calling yourself names like "stupid", "loser", "jerk" or "fool", instead of pinpointing the cause of the problem so you can learn from it, or try to correct it.

PERSONALIZING BLAME

Blaming yourself for something you werenít entirely responsible for, or how someone else feels. Conversely, you may blame other people, external events, or fate, while overlooking how your own attitudes and behavior may have contributed to a problem.

TOXIC INTIMACY vs HEALTHY INTIMACY

 

TOXIC INTIMACY

Obsession with finding "someone to love"

Need for immediate gratification

Pressuring partner for sex or commitment

Imbalance of power

Power plays for control

No-talk rule, especially if things are not working out

Manipulation

Lack of trust

Attempts to change partner to meet oneís needs

Relationship is based on delusion and avoidance of the unpleasant

Relationship is always the same

Expectation that one partner will fix and rescue the other

Fusion (being obsessed with each otherís problems and feelings)

Passion confused with fear

Blaming self or partner for problems

Cycle of pain and despair

 

 

HEALTHY INTIMACY

Development of self as a first priority

Desire for long-term contentment; relationship develops step-by-step

Freedom of choice

Balance and mutuality in the relationship

Compromise, negotiation or taking turns at leading

Sharing wants, feelings, and appreciation of what your partner means to you

Directness

Appropriate trust (that is, knowing that your partner will likely behave according to his fundamental nature)

Embracing of each otherís individuality

Relationship is always changing

Self-care by both partners

Loving detachment (healthy concern about partnerís well-being and growth, while letting go)

Sex grows out of friendship and caring

Problem-solving together

Cycle of comfort and contentment

 

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This list was compiled after listening to a lecture on intimacy by Chicago therapist Terence Gorski.

 

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Last modified: September 10, 2009 
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