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By associatesforl1144, Sep 13 2017 07:03PM

Abandonment issues can cut us to our core. Many don't recognize that the abandonment one may have suffered in childhood can have a major negative effect impacting adulthood.

Fear of abandonment or rejection can create fear, anger, anxiety and depression. As a result, relationships may be difficult to navigate, self-esteem is diminished and trusting others is never easy.

Substance abuse issues or other addictive behaviors are very common for individuals who have experienced rejection or abandonment from a primary care giver during childhood. This abandonment can be the consequence of a parent leaving the home due to divorce, death or even illness. Physical abandonment is not always necessary; a child can suffer rejection through emotional abandonment such as being ignored or even rejection that one experiences through bullying. These types of occurrences can be traumatic for a child regardless of age.

It is not uncommon for someone who has experienced childhood abandonment to self-sabotage relationships, careers, or friendships. When someone has difficulty trusting others there appears to be an unconscious need for the person to push others away. In a sense, the person will want to reject you first before you can reject them.

If you have ever loved someone who has done this then you can understand how frustrating this can be but it is even more maddening for the person who is doing it because a person who has experienced abandonment really wants to feel safe, secure and more than ever to be loved and validated.

Other signs that you may love someone with abandonment issues or have abandonment issues yourself is there is a strong need for control. Individuals may attach themselves too quickly, have a sense of neediness and they always give too much. When this person begins to feel that their partner is not reciprocating they will typically begin to resent the person and then set out to sabotage the relationship by creating emotional distance.

When a person begins to distance from a partner emotionally it usually happens on an unconscious level. For example, one may notice some of these negative behaviors when arguments occur for no good reason or the person may find one negative aspect about their partner and then over focus on the flaw. There will be difficulty in communication and there is an expectation that a partner will commit 100% to them but they will have trouble committing to their partner.

So, what is the answer? Simply, it may be found in what is known in the field of psychology as Attachment Theory.

In the book Attached, The New Science of Adult Attachment and How it can Help you find and Keep Love (2011) authors, Amir Levine, M.D. and Rachel S.F. Heller, M.A. provide a very thorough understanding of adult attachment that is relatable to anyone who may be experiencing this.

The authors provide comprehensive descriptions and good examples of the varied types of attachment styles that have been described as secure, avoidant and anxious. The book is a very good guide that can help someone understand their own attachment style and how it may be sabotaging significant relationships. They offer a solid approach to improve communication, deal with conflict, and skills to develop healthier relationship behaviors so that the abandonment issue does not continue to rule the relationship.

A mental health professional may also be a valuable resource that can help you or a loved one break painful relationship patterns or help understand how you may be sabotaging relationships.

Levin, Amir and Heller, Rachel S.F., (2011). Attached, The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find and Keep Love. Penguin Group: New York, NY.

By associatesforl1144, Aug 24 2016 01:21PM

Have you ever been in an activity where you gave it all you have and then felt disappointed, depressed or let down when it ended? It could be a show that you were in, a championship game if you were in sports, or maybe you were the organizer of the office holiday party, which kept you busy and excited for two months.

In order to understand what I am speaking of, I have divided these types of events into three stages. Stage one is the preparation stage, the performance stage and then the aftermath.

When you are in the preparation stage you prepare for the event. You can experience excitement, nervousness, anxiousness, determination and drive. Often, you devote so much time to practice and organizing your task at hand that other things in your life sometimes become neglected. However, it is during this stage that you have a sense of purpose in your life. For example, if you are in a show your purpose is to give everyone the best performance that you can. If it is a championship game you want to beat the opposition and bring honor to your school, town or family. Both the actor and the athlete look forward to the applause.

However, you may also hear a voice in your head that keeps you company. The voice reminds you that it's time to practice or that you need to improve something in your game or presentation. It guides you through the preparation phase and helps you to stay motivated. Anxiety and excitement are closely related emotions. Many actors and athletes have shared that when they were ready to take the field or the stage they felt nervous. This nervousness can come from fear of making a mistake, but it is also contained excitement that the big moment is imminent.

During the actual performance stage whether this is participating in some game or event the performer often becomes ecstatic and energy is high. All sense of time goes away and the individual has no awareness of anything outside of what they are doing. It is a great feeling.

After the performance, the performer continues to feel good for the rest of the day or night but for some, a moment of accomplishment and excitement can often feel like a letdown after the event is over and this can happen as early as the next morning. It is at this time that a person who one day previous was feeling upbeat, excited and accomplished, now all of a sudden feels dread and depression can take over. Newlywed brides have sometimes described a feeling of letdown after their wedding that has lasted from a week to several months, in some cases. For one day, all of the attention is focused on them and then it's over. For performers, the goal has been obtained and now there is nothing to strive for and the voice inside one's head is alive and keeping company and then there is nothing to look forward to anymore.

What do you do to avoid the letdown? Well, hopefully, someone attended your event that was able to take pictures of you and afterwards it can be helpful to take the time and spend it with family and friends who supported you during the event. It can be a time to share pictures and reminisce. You may also want to include people that were involved in the event such as teammates or colleagues. If you do this often for the first few days you will find that you need to do it less as the days go by. Call old friends whom you may not have seen for a while, spend time with your family if you neglected them leading up to your event and do activities that make you feel good. You will realize that you have many ways to feel good and one event does not need to be your only source for validation.

This article is a great recourse for people who perform in shows, play sports, or tend to get so involved in an activity that a blah feeling may seem inevitable once it is over. Some of what I spoke of are good practical tips for helping yourself to avoid the letdown. Most important though is to remember your hard work and what you were able to accomplish!

By associatesforl1144, Jan 25 2016 05:12PM

Employee Assistance Programs, otherwise known as EAP’s, are an added benefit many employers offer. EAP’s provide referrals for a limited number of 100% covered confidential mental health counseling sessions. Counseling sessions focus on identifying and healing presented issues. An individual, couple or a family can use the EAP sessions.

In the first session, the EAP counselor will work to create a warm relationship with you, assess your counseling issues, and outline a brief solution-focused plan of treatment to work within the allotted EAP sessions and/or refer you for other appropriate counseling services. In the subsequent sessions, the EAP counselor will continue address and offer solutions to heal your issues and may provide community resources for ongoing care. After the allotted EAP sessions are completed, you may continue with treatment often by accessing your health insurance benefits.

Asking for help through an Employee Assistance Program is easy. The hardest part of the process for many is admitting they have a problem and asking for help. Luckily, many companies have EAP programs that are easy to access and are strictly CONFIDENTIAL.

To find out if your employer offers this benefit you may contact your employer EAP hotline that can often be found in your employee handbook or contact your Human Resources department to request information.

Employee Assistance counseling can help with the following:

• Anger

• Co-worker Conflicts

• Custody issues

• Divorce

• Grief

• Job Concerns

• Relationship issues

• Substance Abuse

• Crisis situations

• Depression

• Anxiety

• Parenting

• Stress

• Weight Loss

• Addiction

• Social issues


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Associates for Life Enhancement, Inc. is a group of professionals in private practice who provide counseling services with offices located in Atlantic and Burlington Counties. We hope to use this blog as a way to provide you with information on different topics that may be of interest. Please feel free to subscribe to our webfeed that will update you when new articles have been posted!