To a great extent, we live in a culture that resists and fears emotion. From the time we’re babies we’re taught to quickly shut off “negative” feelings like anger, sadness or pain. Yet, learning to suppress or overly control our emotions has serious consequences. When we avoid our feelings, we tune out important clues as to who we are. We limit our capacity for self-understanding and fail to fully experience or shape our lives. The methods we adopt to numb ourselves to interpersonal pain from our earliest relationships tend to become engrained in us and solidified as early as 5 years old when we start to develop an awareness of loss and death. These psychological defenses may have originally been created to protect us stressful circumstances, but they can go on to hurt us in our adult lives. My father, Dr. Robert Firestone, in his comprehensive theory of human behavior, Separation Theory, contends that the core conflict for all human beings is … [Read more...] about Should You Feel or Flee Your Emotions?
Emotionally focused therapy
A California preacher is suing Vimeo after the video-sharing site closed his account and took down videos that promoted conversion therapy. James Domen, who identifies as a "former homosexual," filed suit in Manhattan federal court suit on Wednesday, claiming Vimeo is violating his free speech rights and censoring him from "speaking about his preferred sexual orientation and his religious beliefs." Domen, a pastor at Church United, says he spent three years as a gay man before he "heard God's voice telling me to come back to Him." "After three years of intensive counseling, support groups for individuals wanting to leave a homosexual lifestyle, reading books about the psychology of sexual desires, and learning how to have healthy friendships with men, I began dating women," he wrote on the Changed Movement website. Domen enrolled in seminary at Azusa Pacific University and became a pastor in Yorba Linda. He also worked with Focus on the Family's California Family Council to pass Prop … [Read more...] about ‘Former Homosexual’ Pastor Sues Vimeo For Taking Down His Conversion Therapy Videos
I am recovering from back surgery (a microdiscectomy). I ignored my pain when I should have listened. I feel worried, perhaps absurdly so, about the backs of others. So much so that upon waking from surgery one of my first thoughts was to write a post about back pain in the hopes of sparing others the hell I experienced. Here are some of the things I think your back pain may be telling you. 1. You need to address ignored emotional or relationship problems, and/or better manage your stress. Some believe back pain is a somatic symptom created by the unconscious to distract us from emotional issues that we want to repress. Physician John Sarno says that tension from internalized pressure and rage leads to oxygen deprivation of the muscle and that’s where the pain comes from. I suppose it’s possible that unexpressed emotions can seek expression in our bodies, or that we can generate pain to force changes that are consciously unacceptable to us. At the very least, poorly … [Read more...] about What Your Back Pain Is Telling You
Source: unsplash To say that the child is the father to the man is old news — we all realize the influence of our childhoods on the adult we become. Like the foundation of a house, our childhood experiences are the foundation on which the rest of our lives are built. And if the foundation is not solid — has emotional cracks and wounds — these affect the structure of our adult lives. Each of has a story that we walk out of our childhoods with — about the way our parents always argued, that our brother was abusive, that our sister was supportive, that our grandmother the rock that kept us stable, that school was hell. We fill in the story with memories — of that awful argument when our father punched a hole in the wall, that time our bullying brother held us down on the playground until the teacher made him get off, the kind attention of our sister when we lost a toy, the way our grandmother listened when we were upset one Christmas, how we felt lonely … [Read more...] about 4 Key Ways Your Childhood Shapes You