Advertisements
Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘AskThePeople'sTherapistSeries’ Category

An interesting question that touches on some basic Freudian theory:

I’ve been reading your blog for the past few months and I really enjoy it. I hope you can help with this problem that has completely stumped me.

Eight years ago I left an abusive relationship.  In general things are much better now, I don’t have nightmares anymore, and it doesn’t generally affect me on a day to day basis. Or so I thought.

I have a deep hatred for one of my coworkers that I was never really able to explain.  It suddenly occurred to me that he reminds me of my abusive ex.  That is, he reminds me of the way my abusive ex appears when you first meet him.  Friendly but in a really jokey way, a little awkward, a little self involved.  They’re like twins, on the surface. I try to tell myself that this does not mean he’s like my ex once you really get to know him, but it doesn’t help. I hate him. And now that I’ve realized why I hate him I only hate him more.

What can I do about this? I’d like to stop hating him but if I can’t do that, how do I handle it?

Thank you for your help,

S

And here’s my answer:

To submit a question to Ask The People’s Therapist, please email it as text or a video to: wmeyerhofer@aquietroom.com

If I answer your question on the site, you’ll win a free session of psychotherapy with The People’s Therapist!

Check out The People’s Therapist’s new book.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Here’s an interesting letter that arrived unsigned:

I need help addressing a situation with a friend.

About 8 years ago, her dad passed away suddenly, and she continues to miss and mourn her dad.  We’ve been friends for about 6 years and for as long as I’ve known her, she’s always been… down.  There are parts that are more obvious or easier for me to understand — for example, she gets very sad around Father’s Day and her dad’s birthday.

Then there are parts that are just what I’ve experienced as her general outlook on life.  She always finds something to be sad about.  For example, she had complained about her job and coworkers and the long commute that was a strain on her social life.  Then she applied to and got a new job that will shrink her commute from 2 hours to 20 minutes each way.  I was so excited for her and called to congratulate her.  But she had already switched gears.  She spoke about how she’ll miss her coworkers and the familiarity of her old job, and how the new job has a more formal dress code.

That’s just an example.  And I’m finding it increasingly difficult to interact with her without being affected (or angered or frustrated) by her pessimistic outlook, which she sometimes applies to good news that I share.  I’ve suspected that her father’s death underlies her melancholy and have suggested several times that she seeks counseling, but she’s dismissed that suggestion.

Her down-ness has made me less inclined to talk with her.  She expresses a lot of appreciation for my friendship and often tells me that I lift her spirits and am a ray of sunshine to her.  But I don’t think she knows how much effort it takes, or how she’s often like a gray cloud to me.  How do I express this to her in a way that won’t make her more sad or down?  Should I?

Thanks.

And here’s my answer:

To submit a question to Ask The People’s Therapist, please email it as text or a video to: wmeyerhofer@aquietroom.com

If I answer your question on the site, you’ll win a free session of psychotherapy with The People’s Therapist!

Read Full Post »

“A” wrote in with the following question:

I wanted to know your thoughts on the imbalance in power relationships at law firms.

My boyfriend, J,works for a partner in a firm. They’ve worked together on and off for 5 years. The partner was an associate when J joined as a trainee. They’ve been ‘friends’ but the friendship is not balanced. There’s an increasing tendency for the personal and professional relationship to blend, and not in a good way.
The partner will abuse his ability to prevent certain social situations from happening by increasing J’s work load. If we don’t agree to socialize on the weekend with him and his wife then the partner can make life difficult as well. He has a very controlling and dominating nature, and will often send emails which are childish and aggressive to J if he doesn’t get his way.

My question is … Is it ever appropriate to have a personal relationship with anyone who is in a position of power over you?

I find that it is not, and as a by stander in this merry-go round of their relationship with one another find that I am a helpless player who gets dragged in from time to time, but is unable to stand up and defend herself because, according to J, ‘he’s a partner and it’ll make work more complicated for me if we upset him.’

Also how to extract ourselves from this? J is in the process of applying for a new position elsewhere, but he still intimates that in the future he’ll want to continue being friends with this partner. Is this some kind of negative symbiotic relationship, whose negative side he cannot recognize because he’s been in it for so long?

And here’s my answer:

To submit a question to Ask The People’s Therapist, please email it as text or a video to: wmeyerhofer@aquietroom.com

If I answer your question on the site, you’ll win a free session of psychotherapy with The People’s Therapist!

Read Full Post »

It turns out that A.M.’s question was a two-parter. Here’s part two:

What strategies can you suggest for dealing with passive-aggression, in both the workplace and in intimate relationships? Is there an effective way to set boundaries with a person who is setting out to undermine them? How can you best maintain your integrity and self-esteem when subjected to it, and avoid being a target in the future?

And here’s my answer:

To submit a question to Ask The People’s Therapist, please email it as text or a video to: wmeyerhofer@aquietroom.com

If I answer your question on the site, you’ll win a free session of psychotherapy with The People’s Therapist!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Read Full Post »

This week’s question is from A.M.:

What strategies can you suggest for someone who is stuck when writing, say a thesis or a dissertation? Two people dear to me have essentially withdrawn from society, apparently unable to deal with the ego strain of finishing this last piece of the degree. Any thoughts?

And here’s my answer:

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/w?v=bjcf95c083E]

To submit a question to Ask The People’s Therapist, please email it as text or a video to: wmeyerhofer@aquietroom.com

If I answer your question on the site, you’ll win a free session of psychotherapy with The People’s Therapist!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Read Full Post »

This week’s question comes from L, in New York City. She asks:

Do you think that personality “flaws” (e.g. shyness, lack of confidence/self-esteem, being an approval-seeker) are entirely learned behaviors, or do you think that to some extent you are born with these characteristics?  In other words, what do you think about nature vs. nurture when it comes to personality?

Here’s my answer:

To submit a question to Ask The People’s Therapist, please email it as text or a video to: wmeyerhofer@aquietroom.com

If I answer your question on the site, you’ll win a free session of psychotherapy with The People’s Therapist!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Read Full Post »

This week’s question is from Laure, in Canada.  She writes:

Thank you for blogging about the various issues raised during your therapy sessions, I find it most interesting to read and learn from! I particularly appreciate your insight on lawyer patients, as I I will soon be entering law school, and all of your comments on trust (trusting others at the law firm, trusting one’s therapist and one’s partner, for example).

I was wondering if you could please develop and give examples on how to apply your advice given during your interview with Above the law (February 11, 2010) :

“I’d tell them to maintain a “self boundary” – a sort of emotional insulation from the toxic environment of law firms. There is work, and there is you, and there is a firm boundary between the two. You can do what is asked of you, and tolerate some brutal treatment at the office, but that toxicity doesn’t enter your soul; it doesn’t get in where it shouldn’t be, where you dwell, with the child that you were, the vulnerable you that needs love and care and appreciation.”

How would a law student go about shutting out the toxic environment and competitiveness of law school?

And here is my answer:

To submit a question to Ask The People’s Therapist, please email it as text or a video to: wmeyerhofer@aquietroom.com

If I answer your question on the site, you’ll win a free session of psychotherapy with The People’s Therapist!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »