It’s a popular idea that nobody can make you feel anything. On first take, this feels strengthening because it restores your power of choice. No longer do you have to succumb to other people’s moods and manipulations. But like many catchy sayings, this one is only partly true.
“We don’t make love much anymore. I’m rarely in the mood. My partner doesn’t want sex as often as I do.”
If you work with couples, you will hear this a lot.
What I call “Marriage, Inc.” has taken over the love life of many modern families. Careers. Kids. Rushing around with a to-do list. Fatigue. When your couples fall into bed at the end of the day, they are just too tired for sex.
How many times a day do you experience disappointment? It can be as simple as discovering Dunkin’ Donuts no longer carries your favorite toasted coconut donut to not getting a promotion. Maybe your child or spouse’s behavior has really let you down, or a serious health issue has been revealed in a friend or yourself. How long do you stay disappointed?
Even the well-seasoned therapist can feel “stuck” with a client who’s overwhelmed, blocked, or shut down. Suggesting expressive writing or drawing (“journaling”), either during or between sessions, can help get the process back on track. Both freewriting (writing whatever comes to mind) and guided journaling (starting with a specific prompt) are beneficial.