Rejection: Better By Monday

“To love at all is to be vulnerable.” C.S. Lewis

In one of my college classes the professor asked a question about vulnerability which caused several class members to respond with a negative perspective. The people who voiced an opinion seemed to believe that to be vulnerable meant to be weak. It does mean to be susceptible to injury but I believe that vulnerability also means to be open and willing to be seen.

I have had some life experience with vulnerability. I have been open and accepted many times. But I have also been vulnerable and rejected. I don’t believe that the rejection was a result of the vulnerability, it was a result of what someone else wanted but thought I didn’t have.

I have seen this same realization about being open and risking rejection in many of my clients. It is hard to risk rejection and want acceptance. It takes personal strength to be vulnerable – to be open to acceptance or rejection.

It is beneficial to let your truth be seen. Loving yourself enough to be seen may be the best and most sure way to be honored by another self-loving person. The view you offer of yourself (and the beauty of that view being appreciated) is courageous and confidence building.

Taking time to learn about the person you want to open yourself up to is better self-protection than hiding. If you hide because you are afraid of rejection or betrayal then move more slowly or move on but be seen! Knowing the trustworthiness of your partner takes time. Trusting yourself comes with the experience of being seen.

Showing your own truth is your choice and responsibility. Open yourself up because you want to share who you are with someone you believe will respect your truth.

One Thing To Do: Make a list of the things about yourself you feel safe sharing with a new friend and draw a line. Then continue to list what you would share with a very close friend. That is your depth line – don’t go past it with new people, too soon.

Dawna Daigneault

Dawna Daigneault, Eds, LPC

Dawna Daigneault, Ed.S., LPC.

Zest of Life, LLC. Professional Counseling.

Your Power Can Be Better By Monday

Knowing what you need to re-balance your personal power in your current relationship can be difficult. It may seem that your only options include unpleasant behaviors such as; being more aggressive, raising your defenses or even finding a different partner.

If your partner is not abusive and you feel safe in your relationship but seem to always defer to his/her suggestions – then becoming more secure in your own worth will help you show your needs and preferences more often.

You may be able to create more relationship closeness when you and your partner respect the need for both partners to have a balance of power within the relational system. The two of you are co-creating that system with every overt decision and covert withholding you each make. Mutual respect is the key to making both partners more equally present.

The ability to balance an external system (relationship) may be easier when you balance your internal system of self-worth. Do you know how to show respect to your partner and not lose respect for yourself? Can you show up for your own best interest when a disagreement threatens your self-esteem?

Showing respect for yourself, your needs, ideas and voice will help your partner see you and know you better. Mind reading isn’t a magical power your partner obtains as soon as you enter the picture. You can make yourself known by showing up more fully in conversations, decision making, and during down time. Respect your need to be known first – then let your partner learn what you know about yourself.

One Thing to Do: Talk yourself through the last important conversation you had with your partner and write down how often you showed respect and how often you felt respected. This is mapping a pattern you engaged in – which you may repeat.

Dawna Daigneault, Eds, LPC

Dawna Daigneault, Eds, LPC

Dawna Daigneault, Ed.S., LPC.

Zest of Life, LLC. Professional Counseling.

The You Factor in Psychotherapy

A blog post on making the most of your psychotherapy.

Ochester Psychological Services

iStock_000014865626_SmallDid you know that you are the most important factor in your therapy?  It may seem surprising given the amount of time we spend searching for the right provider and the right therapy approach.  However, research shows that around 55% of therapy outcome is related to extra-therapeutic factors such as client readiness for change, willingness, commitment, hope and expectations of effectiveness, and resources such as social support.

The client-therapist relationship is the second largest factor associated with treatment outcome (about 30%) and this includes things like the therapeutic alliance and therapist characteristics such as verbal skills, empathy, and warmth. Interestingly, the therapy approach only accounts for about 15% of the variance in outcomes.

This can be viewed as good news on a couple of levels. It means that a wide variety of therapy approaches can be beneficial to most people and we don’t have to be overly concerned if a particular approach…

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Better By Monday: Holiday Stress Buster

Better By MondayDuring the holiday season, triggers which negatively affect your emotional elevation abound. Higher expectations, deadlines and a harried pace contribute to the potential for us to be gone in sixty seconds or less to an unhappy place. Gone from fun family sing alongs with each other in the car, while looking at lights, to Rudolph the Red Faced Rage – Deer.

Jumping into a frustrated, disagreeable, anxious and/or deflated state may steal away the rest of an otherwise good day. To keep your good mood through the holiday season, keep these three statements handy.

How to be selective about what (or who) triggers your emotions:

  1. Ask yourself, “Do I have all the facts about what is happening?”
  2. Tell yourself, “If I wait, this may resolve itself.”
  3. Self-soothe, “I can handle this right now – the right way.”

The answer to number one is always, “No!” We never have ALL the facts. So, don’t give your power away to a moment that looks like a mess, sounds like a mess and will only become more messy if you jump in too. If there is truth you need to tell someone try to wait until a shared moment with that person can be had one-to-one.

Dawna Daigneault, Eds, LPC

Dawna Daigneault, Eds, LPC

Dawna Daigneault, Ed.S., LPC.

Zest of Life, LLC. Professional Counseling.

Better By Monday is a blog about one thing you can try, over the weekend, to feel a little better by Monday.

Better By Monday: Relational Avidity

Better By MondayHow a couple, family or community communicates and works to overcome their shared challenges requires a collective commitment to mutual respect. Usually, through love and respect, a solid starting point exists for families to engage in the hard conversations. A respectful point, at which to start, is especially important when dealing with the most difficult issues. The bond of family gives members the strength to talk through tough issues together. Individual members of communities can create powerful bonds too – with the right glue.

Nature sometimes provides a handy reference point to help us understand truth about ourselves. The world of microbiology and the tiny proteins existing there can teach us a helpful principle about collaborative bonds.
Proteins are structures that are groups of other microbiological components (we won’t get into that here) held together by “bonds” – think of how the muscles and tendons combine to hold our skeleton in place. What is interesting about bonds in proteins is a particular property they exhibit that correlates quite well to how individuals and groups “take a stand” in collaborative problem solving.

In describing some properties of proteins, scientists use a term called avidity. It describes the combined strength of multiple protein bond interactions. Avidity is distinct from affinity, which is a term used to describe the strength of a single bond. By comparison, avidity is a truly special property that describes the fact that there is actually combined synergistic strength of bond affinities which are stronger than simply the sum of individual bonds.

Yes, you heard that right and it’s amazing. Avidity describes something that basically mimics what is required among people who visit my practice and are called upon to solve problems: working together makes for effective system wide change. In the seemingly off-topic world of proteins there is evidence that we are stronger together than apart.

In countless family and/or community situations we may start thinking that our way of seeing a problem is the only way and we might not listen to how someone else feels or what their perspective is. Proteins and how they are structured serve as a great reminder that there is MORE STRENGTH in our collective bonds than in the separate strength of each individual. When we reach out to hear and understand others we are not surrendering individual needs, we are creating a bond that transcends all of us and raises us all up to a better and healthier place.

It may be that collaborative problem solving is the starting point for community avidity because it promotes the desire for shared understanding, progress towards a common goal and mutual respect.

To Do: Listen to someone this week (in person or through media) and show respect for the differences between your points of view. Take note of how you were able to show respect for another person without losing your self-respect.

Dawna Daigneault, Eds, LPC

Dawna Daigneault, Eds, LPC

Dawna Daigneault, ED.S., LPC.

Zest of Life, LLC. Professional Counseling.

Better By Monday is a blog about one thing you can try, over the weekend, to feel a little better by Monday.