Monday, October 29, 2012

Creating Mutually Effective Affirmative Strategies

Creating Mutually Effective Affirmative Strategies                         Thomas Carver LMFT

This family systemic therapy model is used during an assessment phase while the therapist determines if the child can be treated in family therapy rather than being referred to an outpatient or inpatient program. 

The Therapist must ascertain the parents degree of adolescent world sophistication.

Adults who fail to recognize this are considered ignorant by their children and therefore unilaterally dismissed.

The Therapist helps the parent to ‘get’ the world of an adolescent and therefore gain credibility.



*Child:  “Mom, can I go to a concert with my friends

*Mom:  “I trust you, but I am worried.   What band is it?”

*Child:  “uuuuuhm, BDS”  

*Mom:  “What is BDS?”  

*Child:  “Bloody Death Sex”

*Mom:  “Whaaaat!”

Mom had said in therapy that her true intention is to have her daughter make choices as she gets older and that she wants her to become an independent thinking teen.

When Mom baulks at the idea of BDS her daughter can highlight Mom’s hypocrisy.

AND The Game begins again… unless the Therapist shows them a new paradigm.



The Therapist works individually with the parents to identify family-of-origin trauma from their own experiences as children being parented by their parents.

Mom does not want to be an Authoritarian parent, rather an Authoritative parent. 

Authoritarian parent:  Setting boundaries without sensitivity to their child’s feelings.

Authoritative parent:  Setting boundaries with sensitivity to their child’s feelings.

Mom’s parents dictated her life goals, limited self-expression, determined her friends, and usually preferred actions that were most convenient to the parent(s), BUT claimed to trust her.

This caused her to feel helpless when she submitted to it.

Mom actually rebelled herself by choosing friends that were known to have poor behavior as a reaction to her parent’s rigidity.   YET her initial/instinctive response to her own daughter is to deny her without explanation just like her own parents.

The Therapist shows Mom the difference between the teenage Mom and her teenage daughter and the difference between how Mom had to deal with her parents and the way that her daughter has to deal with her.

Mom’s willingness to be introspective enabled her to decide to act collaboratively with her daughter.


As an over-correction to her own trauma Mom has co-created The Game with her daughter.

The Game:                                              “Make Me An Offer So I Can Spit On It”: 

Mom tries to appease child over and over to no avail by offering solution after solution that would all be rejected.  The daughter learns that she can exhaust Mom by frustrating her therefore enforcing that negativity begets power and control.

Negativity as a way to be in control is a strategy will carry on to a child’s adult relationships.


The Therapist does not always remain neutral because it can inadvertently validate the family’s dysfunctional patterns by reinforcing each other entrenched roles. 

Instead the Therapist enforces the responsible boundaries that each member has to fulfill. 


*Mom:  “I believe that you and your friends do not intend to do anything inappropriate”

*Therapist:  “It sounds like you want to be able to say YES, but that you are being a worried mother”

*Mom:  “YES”

*Therapist;  “Mom, you want to say ‘yes,’ and daughter, you want to hear ‘yes.’  How do you two make it so Mom can say yes?”

Child:  “Just say YES!”

*Therapist:  Mom just can’t say YES.  She needs motivation to say YES, because you are asking her to let the girl she loves the most, who she wants to trust so badly, and believes she is responsible.. go to a Bloody Death Sex show!”  “Make your Mom an offer she can’t refuse.  Mom, do you want an offer?”

*Mom:  Yes, help me out here!  I am willing to say YES”

*Child:  “Why do I need to make her an offer just because she worries!”

*Therapist:  “Well, you don’t have to.  You don’t have to go to the concert.  But Mom is willing to let you go if you can come up with something… or you will not come up with something and not go.  Right, Mom?”

Indecision creates anxiety and keeps families in relationship purgatory. 

By the Therapist setting a default consequence it eliminates the indecision purgatory.  The default consequence is not going to the concert if the daughter chooses to not participate.

Paradigm Shift From First Order Change To Second Order Change

First order changes are small or minor improvements/adjustments that do not alter the family system.

Second order change alters the fundamental structure from everything resetting itself when the child gets their desired decision to the child getting their desired decision by making it workable to the parent.


*Child:  “Why can’t you just chill!”

*Therapist:  “Your Mom is being a mom.  That’s what moms do.  They worry; they can’t help it.  It is not possible for her to stop being a mom.  Mom, is it possible for you not to be a mom?”

The Therapist is enforcing the responsible boundaries.  Usually in therapy the child can get to a point where they admit that their parent cannot just stop being a parent and that they even need them to be parents (sometimes!).

*Child:  “Just don’t worry’

*Mom:  “I am trying to let you be a teenager by being willing to let go, but don’t tell me to not be a mother.  Don’t tell me I can’t be a mother especially when I’m trying to let you be the teenager that you are.”

*Therapist:  “By being allowed to be who you need to be as a teenager also means that you allow your mother to be who she is.  If you want to assert power and control you must give up some power and control (to your mother).”  “By the way, Mom, there is nothing that your daughter can say that will totally alleviate your worry.  All you can ask for is for her to come up with something that will alleviate your worry enough so that you don’t worry too much.  Daughter, make Mom an offer she can’t refuse.”

Children will often go into despair if they think that they have to come up with an idea that will totally alleviate their parent’s fear, because they all know it is impossible.

*Child:  “Why should I have to!”

*Mom:  “You don’t have to.  If you don’t, the answer is NO.  If you can, you can go.”

Children will offer ideas like:  they won’t nag you anymore, they won’t hang out with the wrong people, they won’t do drugs, etc.  They offer a deal of things they know they should not be doing anyway, therefore not valid.  This is because the have practice in staying in the negative.  The affirmative is practiced in therapy. 

The Therapist reminds the parent(s) that they do not have to justify themselves anymore at this point.

The child will continue to be oppositional.  The parent keeps saying, ‘make me an offer.”  The Therapist continues to help the child to understand what is a reasonable offer. 

They may need breaks and or to continue the discussion later.  Deescalate and allow each person to regulate their nervous systems down.

*Child:  “How about I call you at (prearranged) times throughout the show to let you know I am safe.”

*Mom:  “I think that is a very good idea.”

The mom was allowed to be a worrying mother and the child was allowed to be an independent teenager.

True power and control obtained not through negativity, but through creative, mutually respectful affirmative strategies.

This developmental strategy teaches a child that power and control is gained with responsibility to each other’s needs.

Parents who continually restrict and restrain their children take away developmental experiences of experimenting appropriately with power and control.  This can lead to rebellion and defiance. 

When a child is given choices they are more willing to accept boundaries.


Ronald Mah, The Therapist Magazine, July/August 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Humanistic Psychology

Humanistic psychology includes several approaches to counseling and therapy. Among the earliest approaches we find the developmental theory of Abraham Maslow, emphazising a hierarchy of needs and motivations; the existential psychology of Rollo May acknowledging human choice and the tragic aspects of human existence; and the person-centered or client-centered therapy of Carl Rogers, which is centered on the client's capacity for self-direction and understanding of his or her own development.[33] The therapist should be focusing ensuring that all of the client’s feelings are being considered and that the therapist has a firm grasp on the concerns of the client while ensuring that there is an air of acceptance and warmth. Other approaches to humanistic counseling and therapy include Gestalt therapy, which puts a focus on the here and now, especially as an opportunity to look past any preconceived notions and focus on how the present is affected by the past. Role playing also plays a large role in Gestalt therapy and allows for a true expression of feelings that may not have been shared in other circumstances. When using Gestalt therapy, non-verbal cues are an important indicator of how the client may actually be feeling, despite the feelings expressed. Also, humanistic psychotherapy, depth therapy, holistic health, encounter groups, sensitivity training, marital and family therapies, body work, and the existential psychotherapy of Medard Boss.[2] Existential-integrative psychotherapy, developed by Kirk Schneider (2008), is a relatively new development within humanistic and existential therapy. Existential psychotherapies apply the existential philosophy, which emphasizes the idea that humans have the freedom to make sense of their lives. They are free to define themselves and do whatever it is they want to do. This is a type of humanistic therapy that forces the client to explore the meaning of their life, as well as its purpose. There is a conflict between having freedoms and having limitations. Examples of limitations include genetics, culture, and many other factors. Existential therapy involves trying to resolve this conflict.[3] Empathy is one of the most important aspects of humanistic therapy. This idea focuses on the therapist’s ability to see the world through the eyes of the client. Without this, therapists can be forced to apply an external frame of reference where the therapist is no longer understanding the actions and thoughts of the client as the client would, but strictly as a therapist which defeats the purpose of humanistic therapy. Included in empathizing, unconditional positive regard is one of the key elements of humanistic psychology. Unconditional positive regard refers to the care that the therapist needs to have for the client. This ensures that the therapist does not become the authority figure in the relationship allowing for a more open flow of information as well as a kinder relationship between the two. A therapist practicing humanistic therapy needs to show a willingness to listen and ensure the comfort of the patient where genuine feelings may be shared but are not forced upon someone.[3] The therapist should be focusing ensuring that all of the client’s feelings are being considered and that the therapist has a firm grasp on the concerns of the client while ensuring that there is an air of acceptance and warmth.[3] A student of Carl Rogers, Marshall Rosenberg's Nonviolent Communication emphasizes empathy in the relationship. Self-help is also included in humanistic psychology: Sheila Ernst and Lucy Goodison have described using some of the main humanistic approaches in self-help groups.[34][citation needed] Co-counselling, which is a purely self-help approach, is regarded as coming within humanistic psychology.[35] Humanistic theory has had a strong influence on other forms of popular therapy, including Harvey Jackins' Re-evaluation Counselling and the work of Carl Rogers, including his student Eugene Gendlin ; (see Focusing). The ideal self and real self involve understanding the issues that arise from having an idea of what you wish you were as a person, and having that not match who you actually are as a person (incongruence). The ideal self is what a person believes should be done, as well as what their core values are. The real self is what is actually played out in life. Through humanistic therapy, an understanding of the present allows children to add positive experiences into their real self concept and continued their good behavior. The goal is to have the two selves become congruent. Rogers believed that when a therapist was able to be congruent, a real relationship occurs in therapy. It is much easier to trust someone who is willing to share feelings openly, even if it may not be what the client always wants to hear and that allows the therapist to foster a strong relationship.[3] Humanistic psychology tends to look beyond the medical model of psychology in order to open up a nonpathologizing view of the person.[33] This usually implies that the therapist downplays the pathological aspects of a person's life in favour of the healthy aspects. A key ingredient in this approach is the meeting between therapist and client and the possibilities for dialogue. The aim of much humanistic therapy is to help the client approach a stronger and more healthy sense of self, also called self-actualization.[2][33] All this is part of humanistic psychology's motivation to be a science of human experience, focusing on the actual lived experience of persons.[2] The role of the therapist is to create an environment where the client can freely express any thoughts or feelings. In this form of psychology the therapist cannot suggest topics for conversation nor can he guide the conversation in any way. The therapist also can not analyze or interpret the client’s behavior or any information the client shares. The role of the therapist is to provide empathy and to listen attentively to the client. The therapist works to understand how the client feels.[3]

See Depression’s Truth

We are normally charmed by the world, under the spell of samsaric entertainment. But it's when we're depressed, says TRALEG KYABGON RINPOCHE, that we can see through that. Depression is something we all experience. For some people depression is mild, while for others it is very intense and debilitating. For some people it lasts for a short time and then disappears, while for others it may persist over many years, or even an entire lifetime. We generally think of depression as a terrible state to be in: it is something we think we have to overcome, and we go to great lengths to hide it from others. This is probably because when we suffer from depression, our energy levels and motivation go down and we become withdrawn, uncommunicative, irritable, resentful and basically very difficult to be with. There is also often a lot of anger, jealousy or envy mixed with depression, because seeing someone who is happy only makes our depression worse. The point is that depression, in terms of its symptoms, can be debilitating and paralyzing because of what the Buddhists call the “conflicting emotions” associated with it. When we are depressed, our self-esteem and self-confidence plummet. We begin to doubt ourselves. We begin to think that we have become a failure at everything. Western psychotherapists say that you can learn a person's reasons for experiencing depression if you look into their biographical or biological history. From the Buddhist point of view, though, the fundamental understanding is that depression is based on our interpretations of our life situations, our circumstances, our self-conceptions. We get depressed for not being the person we want to be. We get depressed when we think we have not been able to achieve the things that we want to achieve in life. But depression is not necessarily a bad state to be in. When we are depressed, we may actually be able to see through the falsity and deceptive nature of the samsaric world. In other words, we should not think, “When I am depressed my mind is distorted and messed up, while when I am not depressed I am seeing everything clearly.” According to Buddhism, the world that we perceive—the world we interact with and live in—is insubstantial. Through the experience of depression and despair we can begin to see things more clearly rather than less clearly. It is said that we are normally charmed or bedazzled by the world, like a spell has been put on us by the allure of samsaric excitements and entertainment. When we get depressed, though, we begin to see through that—we are able to cut through the illusions of samsara. Depression, when we work with it, can be like a signal, something that puts a brake on our excesses and reminds us of the banality of the samsaric condition, so that we will not be duped into sliding back into the old habits again. It reminds us of the futility, insignificance and non-substantiality of the samsaric condition. That is extremely important, according to Buddhism, because if we are not convinced of the illusory nature of the samsaric condition, we will always be two-minded. We will have one foot in the spiritual realm and the other in the samsaric realm, never being fully able to make that extra effort. We are not talking, though, about chronic or clinical depression here, depression that has got way out of hand. We are talking about the kind of depression that makes us stop and think and re-evaluate our lives. This kind of depression can aid us in terms of our spiritual growth, because it makes us begin to question ourselves. For all these years we may have been thinking, “I'm this kind of person,” “I'm that kind of person,” “I'm a mother,” “I'm an engineer,” or whatever. Then suddenly that familiar world crumbles. The rug is pulled out from under our feet. We have to have experiences like that for our spiritual journey to be meaningful; otherwise we will not be convinced of the non-substantial nature of the samsaric world. Instead, we will take the world of everyday life to be real. With a genuinely constructive form of depression, we become nakedly in touch with our emotions and feelings. We feel a need to make sense of everything, but in new ways. Now, making sense of everything from the samsaric point of view does not work. All the old beliefs, attitudes and ways of dealing with things have not worked. One has to evaluate, say and do things differently, experience things differently. That comes from using depression in a constructive fashion. Depression can be used to curb our natural urges to lose control, to become distracted and outwardly directed, dispersing our energy in all directions. The feeling of depression always reminds us of ourselves; it stops us from becoming lost in our activities, in our experiences of this and that. A genuinely constructive form of depression keeps us vividly in touch with our feelings. In that sense, a modest form of depression is like a state of mental equilibrium. Everything we experience is normally experienced from an egoistic or narcissistic point of view. But a constructive form of depression takes away the brashness, the security and the illusory forms of self-confidence that we have. When we are depressed, instead of thinking with such confidence, “I know what is going on, I know where things are at,” we are forced to be more observant and to question our assumptions, attitudes and behavior. That is what we have to do if we are to make progress on the spiritual path. The individual is then open to new ways of doing things, new and creative ways of thinking. As the Buddhist teachings say, we have to ride with life, we have to evolve. Life itself is a learning process and we can only evolve and learn when we are open. We are open when we question things, and we only question things when we are aware of our inadequacies as much as of our abilities. Being aware of what we do not know is more important than being aware of what we do know: if we concentrate on what we do not know, we will always be inquisitive and want to learn. And we want to learn if there is that slight experience of depression, which in Tibetan is called yid tang skyo pa, which has the connotation of being tired of all that is unreal, of all that is sham and illusory. The mood of depression can, in fact, propel us forward. Even though many people who experience depression say that they feel stuck, the feeling of depression can be a motivating force. The Christian mystics used the expression, “dark night of the soul,” which means that you have to experience the darkness in order to go forward. You cannot just embark on the mystical journey and expect everything to be hunky-dory. You have to have the experience of the carpet being pulled out from under your feet and you have to experience yourself dangling and questioning, filled with doubts and uncertainties, not knowing what the hell is going on. As Lao Tzu says, “Those who say they know, don't know, and those who say they don't know, know.” I suppose he is making a similar kind of point, in that the true intuitive knowledge necessary on the spiritual path comes from doubt, uncertainty and not knowing. The arrogance of knowing is expiated. In other words, the spiritual path does not just consist of things that massage the ego or make the ego feel good and comfortable. The ego has to be continuously and repeatedly challenged in order for us to grow spiritually. One of the first things that the ego has to learn is that nothing in this world is stable or absolutely true. In order to deal with depression effectively, we must cultivate five qualities in our meditation: courage, awareness, joy, love and compassion. Cultivating courage means that we have to have the willingness to allow ourselves to be in a depressed state. If depression is the state that we find ourselves in, we should not become alarmed and regard it as a sign of something terrible. We have to have the courage not to recoil from our experience but simply allow it to arise. It is not helpful to indulge in negative internal dialogues like, “How long is this depression going to last? Is it going to get worse? How am I going to be able to cope with myself? What will people think of me?” Approaching everything that we experience courageously will result in those experiences having no effect on us: on the contrary, we will become empowered by them. This sort of courage is based on a fundamental conviction that we are capable of dealing with whatever it is that arises, rather than thinking that somehow or other what arises is going to have an adverse effect on us. When we start to think that our experience is going to affect us adversely, then fear, anxiety and all of those things come up. But when we are able to say, “Whatever arises is O.K.,” we do not have to be so self-protective. By allowing the depressive mood to be there—if that is what comes up—we are showing courage. If we have that kind of courage we are not harmed. More damage is done by hiding behind our illusions and delusions; when we do that, the conflicting emotions become insidious. Most damage takes place due to lack of courage. This lack of courage is almost like a pathological need to protect ourselves. We think, “I won't be able to handle this, it will be too much. I will be destroyed. I will go crazy.” We indulge in all kinds of negative monologues. This is the reason our minds get disturbed, not because we have had such-and-such experience. It is not our experiences but our reactions to them that cause damage. We have to forget about our fear that we will somehow be harmed by our negative experiences. If we concentrate more on the courageous mental act of being able to accommodate and accept, we will provide room for the depressive state of mind to be there and we will no longer react to it with alarm. Having courage in meditation practice means that there automatically will be awareness there. Awareness means being able to see what is going on. If we do not show courage in our meditation there will be no awareness either, because we will instinctively recoil from our meditative experiences. As soon as something disturbing or unpleasant arises, such as a depressive mood, we will recoil. We have to practice awareness in relation to things that we think of as harmful, as well as the things we regard as innocuous. Through showing courage, we can be aware of what we have allowed ourselves to experience. Awareness is not a state, but a process: an “aware-ing.” All the mental states that arise in the mind are also processes. This is an important thing to notice. Even if you are in a depressed mood, you see that the mood changes—if you are aware. If you are not aware, there is no change, no transmutation, no movement. But if you are aware, you will notice that subtle permutations of change are continuously taking place: you will see that the experience of the depressed mood itself fluctuates. Normally we assume that it is the same depression, but it is never the same. It is always presenting itself differently. This kind of attention is one of the things that Buddhism encourages us to exercise through the practice of meditation, because not noticing things is what leads us to solidify our experiences. When that solidification takes place, our minds become fixated on things and awareness is instantly dissipated. We are no longer in touch with our own mental state. When we are directly in touch with our mental state, we can see the changing hues of our depressive mood. One sign of depression is a person’s posture. In meditation, we pay attention to our posture. We do not sit with our shoulders slouched, looking defeated and forlorn. It is said that the shoulders should be extended and the chest out, showing some kind of majesty and royal bearing. That has to be included in the practice of awareness. The way to stay in touch with our mental state is simply by paying attention to what we are experiencing in the moment. But when Buddhists talk about “being in the now,” they often think that the “now” has no relevance to the past or the future. That is not true. The way to experience the present moment is not by ignoring the relationship between our present experience and where that experience has come from or where it might be going. The past and the present are embodied in the experiences that we have as human beings. Whatever experiences we have, we have them because of the past; we cannot have an experience that is totally disconnected from our past. The reason why a particular experience arose in the first place is because of our past. That is the reality of karma. Our present mental state is the product of previous mental states and previous life experiences. In other words, what we are experiencing now is the fruit of what we have experienced in the past. When we pay attention to what we are experiencing now, through awareness, we are able to determine our future karma by making it take a different course. If we do not pay attention, our future karma will not be altered. Besides courage and awareness, we need to cultivate joy in order to work with depression. Joy here does not mean elation, which is always a bad sign. When we are feeling really high, we crash really hard. In this context, joy means a sense of physical and mental wellbeing. That is, if we have good experiences in meditation, we do not feel too excited, and if we have bad experiences, we do not feel too down and hopeless. Joy in Tibetan is called dga' ba; it means not being like a yo-yo, basically. In either elation or depression, according to the Buddhist teachings, there is no real joy—we are just being swept along by our emotional currents. When we are happy we are so happy—and we become completely overwhelmed by that—and when we are unhappy the emotion is so strong that we cannot bear it. Joy is more about being on an even keel. This does not mean that we cannot sometimes feel really uplifted and joyous. But if we have a joyful disposition—an underlying mental attitude of joy—then we do not completely break down when things do not go our way, or lose it to the other extreme when things go well. Instead there is a sense of equilibrium. The fact is, we do not know what to expect: sometimes things will be wonderful, and other times things will be terrible. But having practiced meditation—having dealt with our depression and other states of mind—there can be that underlying sense of joy. So dealing with our present situation is the most important thing, according to Buddhism. We should not always be thinking that things should be different, that something else should be happening based on our own wishes. If we stop doing that, we will experience joy. Along with courage, awareness and joy, we need love and compassion in order to work with our depression. In Buddhism, love and compassion are related to how we view ourselves and others. When we are depressed, we do not feel worthy of receiving love, let alone giving love. We do not feel worthy of receiving the gift of compassion from others, let alone capable of giving the gift of compassion. But through the practice of meditation on love and compassion—called “mind training” in Buddhism—we begin to realize that we have something to give and that we can give it. When that feeling returns, we feel more connected to other beings. The gift of love or compassion is in the act of giving itself. We do not have to receive something in return to make these gifts worthwhile. The simple existence of others is what makes them worthwhile, because without others we would be solitary, lonely, cut-off and miserable people. Life would be far less rich if other people were not part of our world. It is said in the teachings that even people who cause us difficulties help us to grow if we are able to deal with them properly. Practicing love and compassion—along with courage, awareness and joy—will keep what Winston Churchill referred to as his “black dog” at bay. That does not mean we will get rid of our depression overnight, but we do not have to. The negative effects of depression will gradually decrease and our ability to make use of depression in a constructive fashion will increase. If we are able to meditate and learn to develop courage, awareness, joy, love and compassion, we will grow and depression will dissipate. We do not have to get rid of it—depression will get worn out by itself. That is important. Thinking of depression as an enemy and trying to conquer or overcome it, at least from the Buddhist point of view, is a self-defeating task. Our task in meditation is not to do that, but rather to learn the skills necessary to deal with whatever it is that we are experiencing. The Venerable Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche is president and director of Kagyu E-Vam Buddhist Institute in Melbourne, Australia. He is the author of The Essence of Buddhism: An Introduction to Its Philosophy and Practice. Originally published in the March 2003 Shambhala Sun magazine.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Trying to Please Our Parents Forever?

Living for Ourselves by Madisyn Taylor We may not realize until we are adults that we are living our life to make our parents happy. Most of us come to a point in our lives when we question why we are doing what we are doing, and many of us come to realize that we may be living our lives in an effort to make our parents happy. This realization can dawn when we are in our 20s, our 40s, or even later, depending upon how tight a hold our family of origin has on our psyche. We may feel shocked or depressed by this information, but we can trust that it is coming to us at this time because we are ready to find out what it would mean to live our lives for ourselves, following the call of our own soul, and refusing any longer to be beholden to someone else’s expectations. One of the most common reasons we are so tied into making our parents, or others, happy, is that we were not properly mirrored when we were children. We were not honored as individuals in our own right, with a will and purpose of our own, to be determined by our own unfolding. As a result, we learned to look outside of ourselves for approval, support, and direction rather than look within. The good news is that the part of us that was not adequately nurtured is still there, inside us, like a seed that has not yet received the sunlight and moisture it needs to open and to allow its inner contents to unfurl. It is never too late to provide ourselves with what we need to awaken this inner being. There are many ways to create a safe container for ourselves so that we can turn within and shine the light of awareness there. We may join a support group, go to therapy, or start a practice of journaling every day for half an hour. This experience of becoming is well worth the difficult work that may be required of us to get there. In whatever process we choose, we may feel worse before we feel better, but we will ultimately find out how to live our lives for ourselves and how to make ourselves happy.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Five Love Languages

• Quality time: For a person who speaks this language, things like eye contact, deep and meaningful conversations and shared activities are needed to feel loved. Bonding time with their partner is what is most important to them. • Receiving gifts: When you are with a partner who love little gifts and surprises, this is precisely what you will get. You will constantly be showered with new clothes, flowers or even chocolates. This is how they want to be loved, so this is exactly what they do for their partners. Giving the gift of self is also an important symbol of love to these people. • Words of affection: This works by giving your partner constant compliments, sweet love notes and lots of encouragement. This is important because those who speak this language are sensitive people and don’t take criticism as well as others. They may illustrate their frustrations by using sharp words or even by harassing you. • Physical touch: If this is the language of your partner they will be very affectionate or, as some like to call it, touchy-feely. Sex to them means much more than just an orgasm - it is a way to connect. If you deny someone who speaks this love language sex, they may feel unloved. • Acts of service: Some people find pleasure in doing things for others. This may mean that they will feel loved when their partners help out with chores or doing things for them. However, acts of service should be done out of love, not obligation.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Vyvanse vs Adderall XR – Benefits, Problems

Vyvanse is a new treatment for ADHD and this article compares it to Adderall. If you want to learn the 10 most important things you should know about Vyvanse, see here. Are you confused by all your medication options? (Ritalin, Adderall, Focalin, Vyvanse, Intuniv, Metadate, Pemoline – and that’s just getting started!) Figure things out – a Full List of ADHD Medications tells you what you need to know. Now… First, it’s important to realize that Vyvanse is Shire’s replacement for their old blockbuster drug, Adderall XR, which is losing its patent. If you’re being suggested to take Vyvanse, it’s not necessarily because it’s a better medication. Shire wants to turn it into a billion dollar drug, and has unleashed a marketing campaign of that magnitude, aimed at consumers and doctors. On the other hand, Vyvanse does have some advantages over Adderall. It also has a few disadvantages. Comparing Vyvanse vs Adderall is made slightly harder because both drugs are amphetamines. If you take either, you’re getting pretty much the same thing. That said, there are some important differences. 1) Vyvanse is 100% d-amphetamine, while Adderall XR is a mix of 4 different d and l-amphetamines. This mix in Adderall may make it more effective, stronger. But it might cause more anxiety or physical side effects. See later for discussion of the differences between the amphetamine types. The next big difference is that: 2) Vyvanse is released via digestion, while Adderall is released by bead technology. The digestion release may make Vyvanse smoother, last longer, and have less variability. What you eat might not effect it so much, while Adderall XR may be more effected by, say, having a cup of orange juice. This release also means that snorting or injecting Vyvanse provides less of a high. As many have pointed out, however, Vyvanse can provide a high just by being taken at higher doses. Advantages of Vyvanse We have a full article discussing the Advantages of Vyvanse. Vyvanse has been shown to have effect for a very long time, up to 14 hours in some studies. While realistically that duration of effect may not happen, it works fairly well for fairly long. This is likely because its release mechanism is typically smooth, meaning less variability. Finally, Vyvanse is pure d-amphetamine, which may mean less of certain side effects compared to the l and d-amphetamine of Adderall. Disadvantages of Vyvanse Vyvanse is basically nothing more than extended release Dexedrine. And while it seems to have fewer side effects relating to anxiety and release, it may cause more side effects like reduced appetite. Because Vyvanse is so new, it may be significantly more expensive than other options or not covered by insurance, especially since both Dexedrine and Adderall are available in generic form. We also simply do not know as much about it as we do about the older drugs. Finally, some users feel that it’s not as strong as Adderall, and that it stops working earlier than advertised. l versus d amphetamine Remember that Vyvanse is pure d-amphetamine, while Adderall is a mix of d- and l-forms. The d form may be more effective at reducing impulsiveness and overactivity. The l form, on the other hand, may increase concentration better, but it may also cause more anxiety. It is also per molecule less effective than the d form, but such a distinction is perhaps irrelevant. The d form may effect more dopamine, as opposed to both noradrenaline and dopamine in the l form. This theory, however, is not established. Noradrenaline is involved in anxiety responses, which may explain why Adderall XR seems to be worse for anxiety. Adult ADHD: ADHD is a lot different in adults than in children. Hyperactivity, for instance, is not necessarily there or in the same form as in kids. If you are over 18 and worried that you might have ADHD, check out an ADHD Test Made for Adults. Link: Whole Article

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Niacin: The Depression Cure

Niacin (or vitamin B-3) has been a long-standing known cure for chronic depression and anxiety. Unfortunately, most of us have never heard of the potential emotional benefits to Niacin. Though the reason for secrecy surrounding vitamin therapy has a complicated and deep-rooted past, a simple explanation is that natural remedies are not supported by the U.S. medical field.

A Brief Niacin History

One of the most publicized cases of Niacin used as a cure for depression surrounded Bill Wilson (the founder of AA). Bill struggled with chronic depression much of his life, and after being introduced to psychiatrists Humphrey Osmond and Abram Hoffer in the late fifties, he began participating in a study including the use of Niacin for depression.

Bill supported Niacin so strongly, that he attempted to introduce its use to the AA organization, but the idea was fully rejected by the fellowship. Bill published several articles, and detailed his experiences with depression and his cure, in the book, “Pass It On.”

Since the research in the fifties, various nutritionists (and very few enlightened doctors) have prescribed high doses of Niacin for chronic depression. Unfortunately, treatment of serious illnesses with vitamin therapy has become dangerous ground for most doctors to walk on. In fact, in the United States, it is against the law to prescribe nutrition or vitamins to treat cancer patients (promoting natural cures landed Juice Master, Jason Vale in prison).

The Myth That Vitamins Are Dangerous

OK, so this may not be completely a myth… In the “Annals of Emergency Medicine” there were 2 documented cases of serious reactions to high doses of Niacin. These patients had taken the Niacin to clear their system of Cocaine in order to pass drug tests. So how does this compare to conventional medicine? Over 783,936 people die EVERY YEAR from medical mistakes and approximately 100,000+ of those deaths are people taking prescription drugs as directed.

Treating Depression and Anxiety Naturally

First and foremost, it is important to recognize that depression and anxiety can actually be enhanced by poor diet and stress. Niacin itself should not be the first option to treatment if nutrition, exercise and stress are not being addressed. Simply improving your diet, exercising regularly and taking time to meditate or relax, could greatly improve problems with depression and anxiety.

It is also important to note that many prescription medications for emotional illness have their own side effects. Taking these drugs can actually enhance emotional distress, or have other adverse effects.

If depression and anxiety are severe enough however, you should probably seek out medical care from a doctor who is familiar with natural remedies and treatments. Niacin has not been known to cause death, but should be taken in carefully managed doses and supplemented with other vitamins (especially the other B vitamins).

Most doctors will prescribe Niacin in small frequent doses, and slowly increase these doses daily. Large amounts of Niacin will cause your skin to flush, but a slight niacin flush should end in about ten minutes or so and is considered normal. A doctor will most likely suggest that Niacin be taken after each meal in a small dose (such as 25 mg), and may increase that dose each day (such as 50mg at breakfast, then 25mg for lunch and dinner). These doses will not usually exceed 3,000 to 9,000 mg a day, and will be reduced if the patient’s skin continues to flush.

Niacin not only treats depression, but has also been shown to aid with sleeping problems, alcoholism, schizophrenia, and high cholesterol.

Choosing the Right Type of Niacin

Sufficient research has not been performed on the effectiveness of No-Flush and Flush-Free varieties of Niacin for depression, however research has shown that they have no impact on patients with high cholesterol. We suggest taking pure nicotinic acid (if you cannot find this at the grocer, try your local organic store or purchase it online).

Natural Sources of Niacin

Some foods Niacin can be found in, include almonds and seeds, wheat products, beans, rice bran, green leafy vegetables, carrots, turnips, celery, lean red meat, fish, organ meats (kidney, liver), prawns, and pork.


Annals of Emergency Medicine
Pass It on: The Story of Bill Wilson and How the A. A. Message Reached the World by Alcoholics Anonymous
Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Revised Second Edition by Michael Murray and Joseph Pizzorno