With many kinds of addiction, people think of recovery as ongoing abstinence from the substance or behavior. If you have a problem with alcohol, being in recovery means not drinking anymore. If you’re recovering from a gambling addiction, it’s about giving up the online poker.
Gal Gadot is fearless as the lead in Wonder Woman. She inhabits a character of integrity and intelligence, and displayed strength and power in action scenes that would give any superhero in the DC universe a run for their money. But while shooting as Wonder Woman in last year’s hit Batman v. Superman, Gadot was afraid of something: letting anyone know that she was pregnant.
Kindness is love in action. That means intentionally and sincerely making kindness part of your daily life—even when you might not feel like it. You may find yourself grumpy or disillusioned, tired or sad, or any of the irritating emotional traps we can find ourselves in because we are human, after all. Authentic kindness is both natural and courageous because it requires us to connect with others. And this requires effort. Otherwise, you may feel stuck, lonely, or hardhearted over time.
When we say that a treatment method is “evidence-based,” we mean that it is backed up by objective, scientific evidence that proves it is effective, so evidence-based methods keep us in the lineage of the scientific method. Basically, we can’t trust what we think is true or effective, so we must do real-world scientific testing to verify that the method being used is leading to the results we think we see.
Certainly no one picks a self-absorbed narcissist as a love interest intentionally, but because narcissists are so charming at the beginning of a relationship, anyone can be taken in. Once the charm fades, as it always does with a narcissist, many people end the relationship. But there are some who continually fall victim to the narcissist’s charm and stay in the relationship long after the charm has faded and the critical, controlling, and self-serving behaviors take its place. Why?
Ellis Edmunds, PsyD, developed an acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) board game called the Mindful Bus. (The “passengers on the bus” is a well-used ACT metaphor, but we’ll get to that later.) The game can be played with therapists and their clients, with couples, with friends, or family. New Harbinger visited Ellis’ Oakland office to play the game and learn more about it.
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a treatment that was originally created by Marsha Linehan and her team to treat individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD). Folks with BPD have what’s called pervasive emotion dysregulation—in other words, they struggle to identify what they’re feeling, don’t have the skills to effectively manage the emotions that arise, and end up turning to problem behaviors (such as suicide attempts, self-harming behaviors, or substance use), in an attempt to cope.
Finding someone who matches up with your values is necessary for a healthy and lasting relationship. Helping your client identify their values is key to helping them avoid yet another failed relationship with a narcissist.
Many clients who repeat unhealthy relationships with narcissistic partners recognize that they are the common denominator in all these failed relationships, but feel helpless and unsure how to pick a healthy partner. Understanding their own values is key to break the cycle.
When I was growing up, my dad used to read me a funny poem about mythical town that was situated on a beautiful cliff. There was a very pretty valley below, and the townspeople would often go to scenic overlook. They weren’t terribly careful, though, because people looking over the valley kept falling off the cliff. The townspeople held a meeting to figure out how to deal with this serious situation. Half of the townspeople decided that the town should put up a fence, to stop people from falling. The other half of the town decided it was smarter to put a full-time ambulance in the valley, to help the people who were hurt. I tell this story at almost every training that I give on PTSD and trauma.